TOP PICK — DVD
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Sony) One of the '00s best movies finally comes to Blu-ray, and the awesome set pieces — characters gliding across treetops, burly kung-fu guys getting their asses kicked by a girl — have never looked better. Extras detail the movie's glorious soundtrack and costumes. Hard to believe director Ang Lee would make the clunky Hulk just three years after this graceful triumph.
Apathy for the Devil: A '70s Memoir (Da Capo) Longtime U.K. music writer Nick Kent's first book, 2002's The Dark Stuff: Selected Writings on Rock Music, is one of the all-time greats. This follow-up looks at the hazy decade in which Kent penned some of his greatest pieces. David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones all figure into this memoir. So do lots of sex and drugs. Beat that, Pitchfork writers!
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XVIII (Shout! Factory) This latest volume gathers four episodes of the series that starred a pair of robots and their human friend dissecting the terrible films they were forced to watch.As always, the crappier the movie, the better this cult TV show was. The keepers here: Crash of Moons, a 1954 space odyssey with cheap sets, and The Beast of Yucca Flats, which contains about three lines of dialogue.
R.E.M.: Fables of the Reconstruction (Capitol/I.R.S.) One of R.E.M.'s thorniest albums celebrates its 25th anniversary with a two-disc deluxe edition. A CD featuring 14 previously unreleased demos has skeletal versions of songs ("Driver 8," "Can't Get There From Here") that were later beefed up. The production sounds more opened up on this remastered set, but it doesn't shed any light on Michael Stipe's mumbles.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (Zoë Vision) The world's least pretentious prog-rockers turn out to be some super-cool dudes in this great DVD documentary. Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart talk about their music, their devoted (and mostly male) following, and, yes, Lee's voice. There's lots of cool early footage, as well as interviews with famous fans. Dare you not to play air drums during the concert scenes. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.