(Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment; PS2, Xbox, PSP, Nintendo DS)
GAMER The best game to feature comic book heroes to date is Marvel vs. Capcom. Here we have heroes from the DC universe gathered together as the mighty Justice League, ready to stomp the guts out of fiends doing dirt. Read more »
365 NAKED DAYS I didn't care if 2006 was half over when I discovered artist Sara Thustra's poster-size, silk-screened and stitched butcher-paper calendar last year. Stuffed with a zine and riddled with mythical critters, a hairy hippie Adam and Eve, and a monstrous Paul Stanleyesque rock 'n' roll hydra head, it was so handsomely handmade the paper-ephemera equivalent of a fun-loving, snaggletoothed boy toy with dirty locks who sews his own clothes I had to have it anyway. Despite the handful of calendars dangling on my walls, I'm always late. Read more »
FIXED-GEAR FIX Mr. July, bare chested, coyly toys with a Rubik's Cube, the waistband of his Champion boxer-briefs just visible above his brown leather belt with a "Philadelphia Freedom" buckle. Mr. November, sandwiched between two Muni cars, has his T-shirt pulled up to just above his nipples, revealing washboard abs and a plethora of tattoos. Mr. February gazes longingly over the Mission rooftops, one slippered foot swinging like a come-on over the edge.
What do they have in common besides month-based nomenclature? Read more »
Sundance has become a spectator business event, like the weekly box office returns. This year turned out to be a surprise bull market when the same buyers who went in saying there was little of apparent commercial appeal on the program wound up spending tens of millions in an acquisitions frenzy. I didn't get to see Son of Rambow, an '80s nostalgia piece about action movieobsessed kids that earned a cool $8 million distribution deal. But that movie at least sounds like real fun. Read more »
Manufactured Landscapes (Jennifer Baichwal, Canada). Easily the best film at Sundance, this moving portrait of Edward Burtynsky's photographs shakes your views on the progress of humanity to the point of speechlessness. While the photos show how humans have drastically altered the earth through their obstructions ranging from massive recycling landfills to factory lines with thousands of workers creating millions of tiny plastic objects Baichwal's film brings these conflicts to life in a complete, breathtaking manner. Read more »
GOLDEN CLIPPERS"I'm all about spreading my message," local mane maestro Joe Hamer gushes breathlessly over the phone from his car en route to his Petaluma flagship salon. "And my message is beautiful, shiny, healthy hair."
Hamer's just flown in from teasing celebs' tresses at the Golden Globe Awards, as part of the beauty team in Showtime's red carpet perk-up pit stop for volume-compromised VIPs a freebie fluff tent for the rapidly flattening fab. "I know you want those names," he intones tantalizingly. Read more »
TRASH TALKING BIO, TAKE ONE There are so many exquisite moments in steward Desmond Atholl's tell-all that tells all. This ain't no roman à clef, in other words; it's a cutting, richly detailed, tension-filled diary of overseeing the Marlo Thomas–Phil Donahue household. Neither my favorite chapter title ("Free to Be ... Read more »
KIDS' TV GONE WILD There's a scene in Half Nelson a top contender for most depressing scene in a movie loaded with 'em in which Dan, Ryan Gosling's drugged-out high school teacher, trudges home for a meal with his post-hippie parents. As the evening shuffles into boozy awkwardness, his mom throws Free to Be ... You and Me on the hi-fi, and the sounds of "It's All Right to Cry" fill the house. It's the perfect choice for so many reasons; for Dan, a product of the 1970s, any song off that iconic '72 album would signal bittersweet nostalgia. Read more »
AVANT DVD"At an early age I arrived in San Francisco," James Broughton says in his 1974 cinematic self-portrait, Testament. "There I spent the rest of my life growing up." A straight-hearted honesty and smiling irony here lie snug side by side, as they do typically throughout the work of the poet and avant-garde filmmaker. Read more »
CULT MOVIES Cobbled and crumbling streets with a homegrown musk of fish, piss, and National Bohemian Beer wind through Charm City — a place where ragged and palsied vagrants stroke crack pipes atop benches reading "The Greatest City in America." The dainty, dapper man serving me coffee from an antique tray couldn't be further away from Baltimore.
His recent San Francisco appearance has been moved from the Fillmore to the Swedish American Hall. Read more »