TOP PICK – VIDEO GAME
Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine
This futuristic sci-fi shooter doesn’t break any new ground storywise (aliens attack, and it’s up to super-powered marines to stop them) or in its gameplay (there’s lots of running and blasting and killing). But it’s still a lotta fun to play, especially when you bring down a thunder hammer on an Ork’s head or use the meltagun to blow a hole through a Warboss. The multiplayer arena gets bloody fast.
Best American Comics 2011
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
One of our favorite annual collections packs a whole lot of comics in its pages. Some are funny, some are sad, some are scary, and some are just downright bizarre. Best of all, the series heads online for the first time, including several strips from Kate Beaton’s hilarious webcomic Hark! A Vagrant. Regulars like David Lasky and Chris Ware show up, alongside newcomers who owe more to American Splendor than Garfield.
Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band live reissues
Seger’s hot these days, thanks to a hits-stuffed concert tour and a new generation of kids getting turned on to his no-bullshit style of heartland rock. There isn’t a better place for them to start than with 1976’s Live Bullet and 1981’s Nine Tonight, two remastered and expanded live albums. Nine Tonight came after Seger was a star, but he’s hungrier on Live Bullet, tearing through classics like “Katmandu.”
The Incredible Melting Man
MOD (manufacturing on demand) has become a goldmine for cult movie fans who couldn’t care less about another Casablanca DVD. The latest gem unearthed from the MGM archives is this 1977 B-movie about an astronaut who returns home from a mission with a deadly case of … well, we’re not sure what it is, but he’s melting! Melting! Look quick for Jonathan Demme in a small role.
Phil Ochs: There but for Fortune
Ochs wanted to be Bob Dylan, but he was way too folky and way too political to break out of the box he was placed in during the ’60s. This documentary chronicles the singer-songwriter’s troubled life, from revolutionary to alcoholic. He killed himself in 1976 after career and personal derailments. Friends and fans like Joan Baez and Sean Penn weigh in on his influence.