Brute Force

The stellar Sith tops our pop-culture picks of the week.

Culture Jamming
Buy the new DVD for Star Wars: Episode -- III Revenge - of the Sith you will.
Buy the new DVD for Star Wars: Episode -- III Revenge of the Sith you will.
DVD -- Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith: Four out of five fanboys agree: The year's biggest movie -- available Tuesday in a two-disc set that includes deleted scenes and "making-of" featurettes -- nicely wraps up the 28 years George Lucas spent making the saga. And while we could have done without some of the groanworthy dialogue ("Hold me like you did by the lake on Naboo"? Please), the dark climax is well worth all those years we spent mastering Yoda-speak. Good this one is.

DVD -- Bewitched/Bewitched: The Complete Second Season: Last summer's Nicole Kidman/Will Ferrell metaflick perks up only when Kidman's allowed to use her magic (though we wish she had wiggled her nose and conjured up more interesting bonus materials on the special-edition DVD). You're better off with the original: 38 episodes of the 1960s TV show in glorious black-and-white (the five discs are also available in a color set, but you'll want to stay away from that). And while the hoariest of sitcom clichés arrives with the birth of baby Tabitha, at least Dick York's still on board as Darrin. It also includes the first appearance of Paul Lynde's wisecracking Uncle Arthur, the world's first and only don't-ask-don't-tell warlock.

CD -- "Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?": This all-star indie-rock tribute to our favorite holiday takes on the bloated spirit of the 1984 charity single that made Ethiopian famine fashionable. But unlike "Do They Know It's Christmas?", there's no Wham!, Phil Collins, or Frankie Goes to Hollywood to clutter the mix (UNICEF, however, does receive the profits). Beck, Devendra Banhart, and members of Sonic Youth, the Arcade Fire, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are among the artists who contribute howlingly funny verses. The result is an aural haunted house staffed by the coolest kids in town.

GAME -- Last Hallow's Eve: Just in time for Halloween comes the latest version of Hecatomb, the card game in which players transform into vampires, demons, and assorted monsters. The role-playing itself can be standard -- weapons include various hexes, curses, and other gothy gobbledygook -- but the five-sided cards feature color illustrations by some of the world's best fantasy artists. We don't know whether to hang them on our wall or hurl their annihilating abominations at opponents.

CD -- One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found: You'll find the Ronettes and Supremes among the 100-plus artists on this four-disc set of 1960s female singers. But it's the more obscure tunes -- by the likes of Maxine Brown and P.P. Arnold -- that have us singing the praises of these sisters. Best are the forgotten gems regarding teen pregnancy, bad boys, and weight loss -- years before Madonna and Britney took their clothes off and sang about the very same things!

VIDEOGAME -- SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs: We love fragging as much as the next joystick jockey, but once in a while, we prefer something a little more tactful. This patriotic third-person shooter for PlayStation 2 is as much about strategy as it is about putting a bullet through the head of a terrorist. Make no mistake, though: With more than 30 different weapons and 20 attachments (which can produce nearly 1,000 weapon combinations), there's still plenty of carnage to be had. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- The Legend of Zorro: When we go to a Zorro movie, we want our hero donning cape and mask, wielding sword, and kicking ass. This overlong sequel to 1998's The Mask of Zorro (in theaters Friday) finds returning stars Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones in the middle of marital discord. They proceed to spat (and spat and spat) for more than two excruciating hours. It finally kicks into gear toward the end, but by then, Zorro's left its mark: zzz . . .

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