Here are the week's best releases from the pop culture universe
DVD — Pan's Labyrinth: The two-disc special edition of last year's best movie features commentary by director Guillermo del Toro, storyboards, and lots of behind-the-scenes docs—everything from the film's special effects to its symbolic use of color gets dissected. But it's the terrific fairy tale—complete with pixie-eating beasts and a conflicted heroine—at the heart of the movie that merits repeated viewings.
BOOK — American Splendor: Another Day: The latest graphic novel in Harvey Pekar's long-running series about Harvey Pekar finds Cleveland's favorite anti-hero getting back to his day-to-day grind. The little things—food, toilets, people—which annoyed the hell out of Pekar before Hollywood made him a star a few years ago return, bigger and badder than ever. Nobody does grumpy better.
TV — Cartoon Network Invaded: The cable net's month-long salute to butt-probing aliens features special new episodes of its best shows, including Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Camp Lazlo, and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. They're all tied together by not-so-friendly visitors from outer space. On Friday, the Ed, Edd n Eddy gang fights a bunch of hungry space invaders. It airs at 7 p.m.
CD — Dolly Parton reissues: Before she became a big-boobed punch line for lazy comedians, Parton freed country music from a male-dominated rut in the early '70s. These three expanded discs feature her best and most personal albums. My Tennessee Home is the most sentimental of the bunch, but Coat of Many Colors and Jolene are the ones to pick up. Sassy, tenacious, and sexually independent, Parton got there long before Faith, Shania, and Carrie.
VIDEO GAME: Virtua Tennis 3: The best-ever tennis series serves an ace to new-gen consoles (Xbox 360, PS3, and PSP). Gamers can play as top stars like Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, and Venus Williams, or make their very own kings of the court. The multiplayer mode is super-fun, but best are the dozen mini games—which feature alien garbage cans, baby alligators, and an avalanche of ginormous fruit.
COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE — Revolution on Canvas Volume 2: Poetry From the Indie Music Scene: Without power chords and the impassioned shouts of a singer, most of the words compiled in this book come off as over-earnest stabs at high art. Appropriately, teen faves like Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, Cobra Starship's Gabe Sapporta, and both Meg and Dia pen high-school-quality poems. Don't quit your day jobs.
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