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La Dolce Vita 

Pearl Jam's Italian concerts top this week's pop-culture picks.

Pearl Jam just can't pack 'em in the way they do in the States.
  • Pearl Jam just can't pack 'em in the way they do in the States.

TOP PICK — Immagine in Cornice (Monkeywrench/Rhino)
Pearl Jam visited Italy last year and played five concerts. This intimate DVD documents the shows and goes behind the scenes for acoustic performances and backstage musings. While several tunes come from 2006's so-so Pearl Jam, there are plenty of classic cuts — like "Corduroy" and "Better Man" — to satisfy old fans.

CD — Beirut: The Flying Club Cup (Ba Da Bing)
Zach Condon fills his records with horns, accordions, ukulele — you name it, he's probably worked it into a Beirut song. On his band's second album, Condon dips back in time for a record that takes indie pop for a nostalgic spin. It's an elegant, urbane mix that'll have you pining for the good old days.

CD — Dashboard Confessional: The Shade of Poison Trees (Vagrant)
Chris Carrabba strips down and returns to his roots as emo's reigning acoustic king on this low-key follow-up to last year's sleek Dusk and Summer. The songs were recorded in 10 days with minimal input from other band members, keeping the focus on Carrabba's soul-baring intimacy.

DVD — The Mario Bava Collection — Volume 2 (Anchor Bay)
Bava directed some of the most stylish horror films ever made. This five-disc set collects eight of his movies from the '70s. Baron Blood, Lisa & the Devil, and Bay of Blood are all excellent shockers, but best is Kidnapped, a 1974 thriller in which a robbery goes horribly wrong. Commentary, trailers, and alternative versions round out the extras.

TV/DVD — Atlantis SquarePantis (Nickelodeon)
SpongeBob SquarePants' first TV movie (which premieres at 8 p.m. Monday and comes out on DVD the following day) takes the absorbent, porous sponge and pals to the fabled lost city. The plot has something to do with a medallion that has ties to the underwater metropolis. But it's really just a launching point for various non sequiturs, goofy set pieces, and a cool cameo by David Bowie, as the king of Atlantis.

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE — Darkon (IFC)
This scattershot documentary (premiering on IFC at 9 p.m. Monday) follows a group of role-playing nerds who fancy themselves warriors and elves in a fictional world called Darkon. Their "battles" — staged in Baltimore — are amusingly detailed, but the film's re-enactments are medieval cheese. Lord of the Rings it's not.

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More by Michael Gallucci

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