Favorite

The week's best releases from the pop-culture universe. 

CD -- Sleepless in Seattle: The Birth of Grunge: Without Nirvana, Pearl Jam, or even Soundgarden representing, the grunge on this disc sure sounds muddy, murky, and noisy. But that's pretty much the point of this 20-track compilation that dips back to the mid-'80s -- long before record contracts were dangled in front of the city's coffee-guzzling, flannel-wearing rockers. Babes in Toyland, Screaming Trees, and Mudhoney check in with the best cuts. And be sure to play Six Degrees of Stone Gossard, in which the Pearl Jam guitarist can be linked to each and every song here. It's more fun -- and features more heroin overdoses -- than the Kevin Bacon version!

DVD -- All the President's Men: Two-Disc Special Edition: The movie that launched the careers of thousands of investigative journalists receives a spiffy overhaul for its 30th anniversary. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman -- as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Washington Post reporters who unearthed criminal activity in the Nixon administration -- have never been more authoritative. Bonus material includes commentary by Redford, several behind-the-scenes docs, and a featurette about Mark Felt. It's a great chance to see what Woodward was like before he became a toadie to Karl Rove.

BOOK -- DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore: As you wait for V for Vendetta to hit theaters next month, satisfy your appetite for comicdom's best writer with this 16-story collection. There's no Watchmen here, but classic tales featuring Superman and Batman abound. Best is "The Killing Joke," which pits Batman against a more-ruthless-than-usual Joker. Extraordinary -- and in a league all its own.

TV -- Monty Python's Personal Best: This hour-long weekly series (starting at 9 p.m. Wednesday on PBS) gathers the finest of the legendary comedy troupe's skits from its groundbreaking '70s TV show -- handpicked by the surviving five members for maximum funniness. Each episode includes a new introduction by John Cleese, Eric Idle, et al. And despite the somewhat dated and British humor of some of the bits, they still generate more laughs per minute than anything Saturday Night Live's done over the past decade.

CD -- The Platinum Collection: Three CDs of David Bowie -- conveniently divided by era so you can skip the last half of the final disc -- chart the sweep of rock's most chameleon-like billionaire. With 57 songs, almost everything you'll ever need by Bowie is included: "Space Oddity," "Heroes," and dozens of other songs that, consciously or not, have found their way into Franz Ferdinand's and the Killers' repertoires.

VIDEOGAME -- True Swing Golf: It's gonna be a couple more months before things thaw enough to make real links action feasible. Until then, this totally addictive game (for Nintendo DS) does the trick. The DS' stylus functions as your club; slide it across the console's touch screen. The speed, angle, and force with which you strike the ball affects its trajectory and distance. It's kinda like Golden Tee, but without the long waits, quarter-feeding, and worried looks from bar patrons when you start kicking the machine over a flubbed shot.

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- Her Mother's Daughter: Courtney Love's mom, Linda Carroll, sets out to write a book about her fragile relationship with her troubled rock-star child and ends up revealing just as much about her own scarred past. Unfortunately, Carroll's a licensed therapist, so the book wallows in psychobabble and forced passages of self-discovery. She ultimately cops out, blaming it all on a generations-spanning "curse of the first-born daughter." Because merely calling her daughter a fuck-up would be too easy.

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More by Michael Gallucci

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