Mob Rules

A connected Aragorn tops this week's pop-culture picks.

Share on Nextdoor
Viggo Mortensen great video games great comedy shows great first-person shooters pop-rock rap
The mob gets a peek at Mortensen's Little Viggo in Eastern Promises.
The mob gets a peek at Mortensen's Little Viggo in Eastern Promises.

TOP PICK — Eastern Promises (Universal)
Director David Cronenberg and The Lord of the Rings' Viggo Mortensen follow up 2005's brilliant A History of Violence with this blood-splattered crime story (now out on DVD) about a mob driver whose loyalty is tested after he hooks up with a nosy hospital worker (played by Naomi Watts). Mortensen's naked steam-room skirmish is one of the year's top set pieces.

DVD — Chappelle's Show: The Series Collection (Comedy Central)
This six-disc box features all 28 episodes from Chappelle's too-brief three seasons. But what a run: No other TV show has ever delivered sharper comedy. Bonus items include deleted scenes, previously unseen sketches, and commentary by Chappelle. Best of all, the catchphrase-launching Rick James skit gains a few extra minutes. It's even more Rick James, bitch!

VIDEO GAME — BlackSite: Area 51 (Midway)
Partway through this first-person shooter (for the Xbox 360), generic, gun-toting bad guys give way to an even more hostile menace: bug-like aliens from outer space. Action takes place in small-town America, which gamers can level with an arsenal of high-tech weapons and vehicles. Coolest feature: One-Button Squad Command, which lets players send lower-ranked soldiers to do their dangerous dirty work for them.

VIDEO GAME — Need for Speed ProStreet (EA)
This venerable series takes it to the streets once again in a fast-moving game for pretty much every console (including the Xbox 360, Wii, and PSP). Gamers custom-build rides and race all over the world (quite literally: The cool online mode lets players set up their own contests). Besides, unlike other ultra-realistic race games, a little collision — with other cars, walls, etc. — doesn't necessarily mean an immediate trip to the tune-up shop.

CD — Donald Fagen: Nightfly Trilogy (Rhino)

The Steely Dan smartass' three studio albums (The Nightfly, Kamakiriad, and Morph the Cat) anchor this seven-disc box, which adds live cuts, interviews, and videos to the original records. There's also a bonus CD filled with outtakes and B-sides. Be sure to check out the terrific surround-sound mixes, which add new depth and clarity to albums that already rank among the most fussed-over in pop history.

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE — Featuring . . . Eazy-E (Capitol/Priority)
Eazy-E is responsible for bringing together N.W.A, one of hip-hop's most influential crews. But as a solo artist, the nasally voiced rapper (who died of AIDS in 1995) never matched the skill, dexterity, or, frankly, the talent of the group's stars. This 16-track CD compiles collaborations (with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, among others) and a few hard-to-find cuts — "Trust No Bitch," "Fat Girl" — that are no more inspired than their titles.

Scroll to read more Local Music articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.