(500) Days of Summer
(Twentieth Century Fox)
Even though it claims from the start that it isn't a love story, this terrific movie (one of 2009's finest) is indeed a love story — the best since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, in fact. Two twentysomethings hook up, fall in love and then break up. It's all tossed together, mixing up chronology and emotions. It also breaks for a cool song-and-dance. Watch it on Blu-ray.
Another Green World
The latest book in the music-snob-approved 33 1/3 series takes a look at Brian Eno's 1975 ambient classic. Writer Geeta Dayal probes the stories and sounds behind the U2 producer's best solo album, a tranquil meditation on a cold world, told through synthetic noise. It's a perfect wintertime record; this book makes an accommodating companion.
Forge Your Own Chains: Heavy Psychedelic Ballads and Dirges 1968-1974
This cool compilation gathers 15 songs from a bunch of bands you never heard of. Some were from Cleveland (the Sensational Saints), some were from Thailand (T. Zchiew and the Johnny). All of them ingeniously blend 1970s psych-rock with gospel, funk horns and other things you rarely hear in the genre. And all of them are designed to blow your mind.
Last year's best movie comes to Blu-ray with all of Nation's Pride, the Nazi propaganda film that's glimpsed in Basterds. The two-disc set also includes extended and alternate scenes. But the real reason to own this is to watch Quentin Tarantino rework not only war-movie clichés, but World War II itself. A blast.
Motown: The DVD
The greatest pop-music label ever compiles 18 clips from 1965 through 1971, featuring its top artists singing their greatest songs. Many of these TV spots — some from The Ed Sullivan Show, some from lesser-known programs like Teen Town — are lip-synched, but that doesn't take away the joy of seeing the Temptations, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder at their best.