Alien: The Illustrated Story
It’s been a good year for Alien fans. First Prometheus, and now this reprint of a celebrated graphic novel that’s been out of print for more than 30 years. Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson’s 1979 comic lifted its story and images from Ridley Scott’s influential movie, but the added menace and narrative are totally theirs. The book has been meticulously restored, so that every gut-bursting scene leaps from the page.
Country Funk: 1969-1975
(Light in the Attic)
This hour-long, 16-song compilation features obscure cuts by artists who were working on the fringes on Nashville during the post-Woodstock era. Mac Davis, Link Wray, and Bobbie Gentry are the names you know, but you probably don’t know these songs. But you should. A bunch of country artists wading knee-deep in the sounds of weed-stenched America? Bet you’ll find a new favorite or two for your next mix.
Green Lantern: The Animated Series – Rise of the Red Lanterns (Season 1 Part 1)
Much better than the big-screen, live-action bomb that came out last year, this Cartoon Network show is a lot closer to the comic book than a futile attempt at making Ryan Reynolds an action star. The 13 episodes on this two-DVD set are all about the story (and some super-cool CG animation). There’s some introductory stuff to get out of the way first, but once the show settles in, it’s a dazzling delight.
Patterson Hood: Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance
The Drive-By Trucker started writing a semi-autobiographical book about family, the South, and other subjects that have haunted his work over the past decade and a half. But he scrapped the book, gathered some pals (including some fellow Truckers), and put together this stripped-down album featuring acoustic guitars and banjo. Like Hood’s other solo records, Heat Lightning is personal. But it also gently rocks.
Having a Wild Weekend
The Beatles looked like they were having so much fun in A Hard Day’s Night, the Dave Clark Five wanted in on some of that too. So they made this super-flimsy and song-stuffed movie in 1965. Don’t worry about the plot (model meets dude, they have some fun); stick to the music, which pulses from the screen. This long out-of-print movie is available from the Warner Archive manufactured-on-demand series.