TOP PICK – VIDEO GAME
One of the year’s best games (for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) comes from the same people behind the great Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption. This one zeroes in on a detective working in crime-ridden 1947 Los Angeles. You’ve got partners, and you’ve got weapons, but L.A. Noire is mostly about using your brains to crack cases as you investigate the wide-open city streets.
The Go-Go’s: Beauty and the Beat
The debut album by these women-who-rock ground-breakers celebrates its 30th anniversary with a double-disc set that tags on a 1981 live show from Boston. Onstage the Go-Go’s come off as a scrappy band with obvious punk roots. But their No. 1 album is all pop gloss, a hook-filled record that spawned a pair of hits (“Our Lips Are Sealed” and “We Got the Beat”) as well as a legion of guitar-playing girls.
This recent animated movie for grownups is seeped in art-house history. Its story is based on a script by French funnyman Jacques Tati. And director Sylvain Chomet made the beloved Oscar nominee The Triplets of Belleville. This film is a bit more reserved in its tale of an aging magician who hooks up with a young orphan. Sentimental, funny, and totally charming. Animation buffs will love all the making-of extras.
Queen deluxe reissues
Queen’s catalog has been reissued about a dozen times already. So what makes this latest overhaul any different? For one thing, the band is celebrating its 40th anniversary with remastered versions of its first five albums. Plus, and here’s the best news, each CD gets a second disc of rarities, most of which have never been heard before. All hail the alternate takes, demos, and live cuts.
One of the smartest and most challenging science fiction movies ever made gets the deluxe treatment on this two-disc set. The 1972 Russian film, which clocks in close to three hours, is about a space station and the cosmonaut investigating some strange things going on. But is it really? Like 2001, Solaris is a total mind-blower that serves up a bunch of philosophical questions about life, death, and everything in between.