Dolphin Punching, Moonwalking and Comics this week on our new release picks, March 1
If you're one of those weirdoes that do your taxes straight away at the end of January, then chances are you've got a big old government check burning a whole in your pocket right now. Thankfully, we've got plenty of stuff for you to spend your money on. If you've got a bad memory, if you're looking for a video game that isn't dumbed down to the lowest common denominator or even if you really, really want to see James Franco cut off his arm, you'll be happy this week.
5. Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer If you're wondering why you recognize the name Joshua Foer, there are three possible reasons. Either you're an avid reader of his science articles that have appeared in The New York Times, Slate and elsewhere, you're a huge fan of the esoteric and a frequent reader of the curious and awesome Atlas Obscura, or you're confusing him for his brother, author Jonathan Safran Foer. Regardless, Moonwalking with Einstein looks to be a great read for anyone who has an interest in memory and cognition. The book has plenty of interviews with memory-nuts, people who don't have any (memory that is) and more.
4. The Comics: An Illustrated History of Comic Strip Art by Jerry Robinson, etc. Edited by Jerry Robinson, the creator of the Joker, The Comics looks to spotlight the history of one of the only true American art forms. The book was originally published in 1974, but Dark Horse Comics is giving it the full reissue treatment. This isn't just a reprint of the original book, it's a reimagining, with tons of new content, essays and more from some of the industry's best artists and writers. If you've ever wondered why the Sunday comics have been a mainstay for so long in papers, or why they've been total crap for the last few years, this is your best opportunity to learn about the craft.
3. 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (and other useful guides) by Matthew Inman TheOatmeal.com has been the source of some of the most reverential, bizarre comics since 2009. There is a reasonable chance you've seen these comics and haven't even known; from the wildly popular "How to Use a Semicolon (The Most Feared Punctuation on Earth)," to the all too familiar "The 6 Crappiest Interview Questions,", The Oatmeal is all about those shared experiences that make life so funny. The biting wit, the layers of sarcasm and the occasional scatological joke ensure it would never live long in the real Sunday pages, but those are the exact qualities that make it so enjoyable to read.
2. 127 Hours (DVD, Blu-Ray) James Franco might have been stoned out of his mind this weekend at the Oscars, but give the guy a little credit -- he did just pretend to saw his arm off in a movie, and that's almost as unbearable as doing it in real life. In case you weren't one of the people who ended up vomiting in the theater, now's your chance to check out the film with the convenience of your own toilet on hand. If you've somehow missed the synopsis for this Oscar-nominated film based on the real event of Aron Ralston getting trapped under a rock then sawing his arm off, then, uh, you probably don't actually own a DVD player anyway.
1. Beyond Good and Evil HD (Xbox Live, PSN) We kind of just want to write, "just fucking buy it," and call it a day -- but since most people probably won't heed that advice, know this: Beyond Good and Evil HD is not just one of the greatest games ever made, it's also one of the most intelligent, even-handed and best-written games ever. That's not actually saying that much, but still, what other game have you played where you control a strong female lead who has to take photographs to reveal a conspiracy while solving puzzles and being stealthy? Seriously, just buy the damn game for $15 and enjoy it.
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