TOP PICK –Elvis Costello: This Year's Model – Deluxe Edition (Hip-O/UME)
Costello's best album celebrates its 30th anniversary with a two-CD set that tags on a bunch of B-sides, demos, and live cuts. This is the third time that the album has been reissued, so fans probably have most of this stuff by now. But if you're a newbie, this is the Costello record to start with. You probably know "Pump It Up" and "Radio, Radio"; you should know everything else—including Costello's best-ever flip-side, "Big Tears," which features guitar by the Clash's Mick Jones.
This four-disc collection includes 82 songs by one of the greatest R&B record companies of all time. But instead of loading up on the usual Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Wilson Pickett classics—don't worry, these legends represent—Atlantic Soul digs deep in the crates for many of the label's overlooked gems. The Vibrations, Willie Tee, and the Persuaders may not be oldies-radio staples, but they should be.
This absorbing film about NASA's various space missions between 1968 and 1972 includes some terrific insight from the guys who made history. Astronauts from all nine Apollo missions share stories, while brilliant and awe-inspiring footage brings them to life. One of the rare documentaries that's just as thrilling as a million-dollar blockbuster, if not more so.
DVD –Into the Wild (Paramount)
Sean Penn directed this true story about a 24-year-old privileged college grad who emptied his bank account, tossed his personal belongings, and headed into the Alaskan wilderness alone. You probably know it doesn't end well: Christopher McCandless, who dubbed himself Alexander Supertramp, starved to death after about four months. But that doesn't take away from this powerful, emotional film about friendship and fatal idealism.
VIDEO GAME – Professor Layton and the Curious Village (Nintendo)
In this totally addictive game (for the Nintendo DS), players take on the role of Clayton, a puzzle-loving prof searching for some dead rich dude's hidden treasure. Along the way, he encounters head-scratching riddles and brainteasers involving matchsticks, mazes, and numbers. Best of all, gamers can download a new puzzle each week. Prepare for a total noggin workout.