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The Darkness II


This sequel to the 2007 video game picks up two years later, after our hero Jackie – a gangster elevated to boss status thanks to some help from supernatural powers – still has some wrongs to right. This second outing (for the Xbox 260, PlayStation 3, and PC) is more indebted to the story's comic-book roots, with a graphic style that's dark, menacing, and quick-moving. And it's still a blast to play.




It's 1977 all over again with this 17-member NYC crew, which plays old-school disco with such reverence that visions of coke-lined bathroom stalls will dance through your head. Like so much of the music from back in the day, there isn't much lyrical depth to the songs on their debut, but the pounding beats, skipping high-hats, and glittery vocals are what it's all about anyway.


Malcolm X


Spike Lee's 1992 biopic about the Black Nationalist leader celebrates its 20th anniversary (and Black History Month) with its Blu-ray debut. It's one of Lee's best movies, a stirring account of Malcolm's rise during the turbulent Civil Rights era. Denzel Washington brings his usual command to the role. Lots of bonus material tells the story behind the story.


Thunder Soul


This documentary chronicles Houston's Kashmere High School Stage Band, a group of '70s musicians who were driven from an ordinary high-school jazz band to a solid funk machine by a beloved teacher. Thirty-five years later, members reunite in their old hometown to pay tribute to their leader. Moving, rousing, and packed with great music.




More Black History Month goodness: Laurence Fishburne plays the Supreme Court Justice in this one-man play shot before a live audience at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater in Washington, DC. And for 105 minutes Fishburne rules the stage, reflecting on Thurgood Marshall's life, accomplishments, and regrets. It's a great, riveting performance.