The week's best releases from the pop culture universe
CD — Leonard Cohen reissues: Cohen is the singer-songwriter's singer-songwriter. He's been known to labor over compositions for years. We should be thankful that these three albums from 1969 and '70—Songs of Leonard Cohen, Songs From a Room, and Songs of Love and Hate—ever saw the light of day. Previously unreleased bonus tracks join classics like "Suzanne," "Bird on the Wire," and "Famous Blue Raincoat."
BOOK — The Bathroom Professor: Philosophy on the Go: Aristotle, Socrates, and John Locke dispense words of wisdom in this breezy volume compiled by Joey Green. Centuries of deep-thinking theorists are condensed to sound-byte-spewing idealists. Sections like "What Is Reality?" and "What Nietzsche Said" will make you an existential expert in less than 10 minutes. Frank Sinatra and Popeye also check in with viewpoints.
VIDEO GAME — Bullet Witch: The heroine of this Xbox 360 shoot-'em-up wields a broomstick-shaped gun, which makes bloody pulp out of the army of demons that have taken over the city. But, because she's a witch, her best weapons are the magic spells she regularly conjures during gameplay. The street-clearing tornado is cool, but the fiend-frying lightning bolts are even better.
BOOK — Mas! Cine Mexicano: Sensational Movie Posters 1957-1990: Mexican movies usually include masked wrestlers or bandolier-sporting bandidos. Occasionally, half-naked ladies and hostile roosters join the action. The lavishly designed one-sheets in this colorful book make even stinkers like Santo vs. la Invasión de los Marcianos seem like enduring screen classics.
DVD — Night at the Museum: Stars Ben Stiller and Robin Williams are eclipsed by the spectacular special effects in this box-office hit about a nightwatchman and some very mobile artifacts — including a playful T. rex skeleton and a talking Easter Island statue. This two-disc special edition includes deleted scenes, a dinosaur game, and a featurette on a scene-stealing monkey.
DVD — Spider-Man 2.1: Extended Cut: Just in time for next month's new webslinging adventure, this two-disc set includes eight additional minutes of Spidey and Doc Ock from the 2004 sequel (the best comic book movie ever, by the way). Bonus features include a new behind-the-scenes feature and commentary, plus a look at Spider-Man 3, which hits theaters on May 4.
COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE — Black Sabbath: The Dio Years: You know all those dumb metal jokes that have haunted the genre for more than two decades? They're all Ronnie James Dio's fault. The U.S.-born shrieker replaced Ozzy Osbourne in the world's heaviest metal band and led them through records that were even worse than Never Say Die! This 16-track CD (which includes three new songs) merely verifies that a Sabbath without Ozzy is no Sabbath at all.
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