TOP PICK – VIDEO GAME
Shift 2 Unleashed
There’s nothing really revolutionary about this racing game from the Need for Speed crew, but there aren’t too many that are as much fun to play. There are some new features on the second outing – like longer racing modes and an awesome helmet cam – but it’s the stuff carried over from the first game that will have you suited up and strapped in for some fast and furious action.
Etta James: The Essential Modern Records Collection
Etta James recorded most of her classics with Chess Records in the ’60s, but she still packs a ton of power on the 15 tracks gathered on this collection of her early work for Modern Records. Best are “The Wallflower” and “Good Rockin’ Daddy,” a pair of sweaty sexual romps disguised as dance songs. Even on these early singles and B-sides James smolders like very few others.
Fritz Lang remasters
M and Metropolis are among the greatest German Expressionist films ever made. More than a quarter century later, director Lang was in Hollywood, turning out rote melodramas. Two notable exceptions are While the City Sleeps and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, gritty film noirs from 1956 that nod to his past. Check out the new remasters, available at warnerarchive.com.
Music: What Happened?
Scott Miller used to front OG indie rockers Game Theory in the ’80s. His terrific book spans most of rock & roll, starting in the late ’50s and running through 2009. Miller compiles a bunch of songs – from the Everly Brothers to Joy Division to the New Pornographers – and critically breaks down everything you’d want to know about them. Geeky and totally fascinating.
TCM Greatest Classic Films: Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan
Weissmuller was an Olympic champ before he starred in a dozen Tarzan movies in the ’30s and ’40s. These two sets gather eight of his best. Volume One includes his first four Tarzan movies – still among the greatest jungle adventures. Volume Two pairs him with Amazons and a leopard woman. Best of all, Weissmuller’s famous Tarzan yell can be heard countless times.