Culture Jamming: Tolkien Gestures 

Lord Of The Rings Videogame Tops This Week's Picks



The Lord of the Rings: Conquest

(Electronic Arts)

Get your geek on in this action-packed videogame (for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Nintendo DS) that gets right to the good stuff: kick-ass battles featuring Aragon, Gandalf, Legalos and many other warriors from Tolkien's drooled-over fantasy world. Best of all, the epic online mode includes a 16-player bloodbath.


SpongeBob SquarePants: Spongicus


The world's happiest and occasionally most annoying sponge unleashes hell in an underwater Gladiator spoof in this collection's best episode. The other seven stories feature Bikini Bottom regulars Squidward, Patrick and Plankton starting a band (the excellently titled "Krabby Road") and the perpetually cheap Mr. Krabs chasing down a penny.


Back to the Future trilogy

(Universal Studios)

Fire up the DeLorean - the '80s faves are available for the first time individually (all three movies were boxed up a few years ago). The original Back to the Future, from 1985, still thrills, especially the scenes where Michael J. Fox travels back to the '50s and hooks up his mom and dad. The sequels are nostalgic; the deleted scenes and outtakes top the extras.


The Jacksons reissues


In between 1978's Destiny and 1980's Triumph, baby brother Michael released Off the Wall and changed pop music forever. His siblings wisely let him loose on these albums (Triumph has the edge, sounding like a lost link between Wall and Thriller). The expanded editions tag on disco remixes, so you can shake your body down to the ground all night long.


Skate 2

(Electronic Arts)

I'm not really into skating games, mostly because the controls are too damn complex to figure out. But this series (for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3) doesn't require a phonebook-size manual to master tricks like one-foots and hippy jumps. There's a storyline here, but the real action happens on the board - and sometimes off: The Hall of Meat highlights your best wipeouts.

More by Michael Gallucci


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