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Nintendo’s cool Super Smash Bros. Brawl tops this week’s pop-culture picks 


TOP PICK — Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Nintendo)
The idea behind this video game for the Wii is pretty simple: A bunch of gaming icons — from Donkey Kong to Mario to Metal Gear Solid's Snake — beat the crap out of each other with their hands, paws, and customizable weapons. Super fun. We especially love the curious puppy, who occasionally interrupts the action by poking his head onscreen.

VIDEO GAME — Major League Baseball 2K8, MLB 08 The Show (2K Sports, Sony)
Just in time for baseball season comes gaming's two best sims (2K8 is available for the Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStations 2 and 3, and the PSP; The Show is for the PS3). 2K8 plays smoother than last year's somewhat awkward model (pitching is so much easier this year), while The Show features an unbeatable Hall of Fame lineup.

DVD — No Country for Old Men (Walt Disney Studios)
Last year's best movie deserves second, third, and even fourth viewings. It takes that many times to penetrate the Coen Brothers' deep and perplexing rumination on evil. There's not much in the way of special features here — the best is a behind-the-scenes look at Joel and Ethan Coen making the film — but this modern classic stands on its own.

TV/DVD — SpongeBob SquarePants: Pest of the West (Nickelodeon)
Our favorite chatty and absorbent sea creature's latest adventure — which premieres at 8 p.m. Friday and comes out on DVD Tuesday — looks back at the Old West. SpongeBob learns of a long-lost relative, SpongeBuck, who took on the quick-drawing Dead Eye Plankton back in the day. There are plenty of western-movie references, a high-noon showdown, and a dumber-than-usual Patrick.

DVD — Sweeney Todd: Special Collector's Edition (DreamWorks)
Tim Burton's stylish take on Stephen Sondheim's killer musical is bloody good. Johnny Depp stars (and sings!) as a vengeful barber who knocks off victims — including Borat's Sacha Baron Cohen — one by one. The two-disc set includes several featurettes about the movie's production, the story's history, and the real-life dude who inspired the tale. There's also lots and lots of blood.

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