Time travel, sexy video games and more new release picks for the this week, July 26, 2011
It's a bit of a slow week again, but the media coming out today is so top-notch that it's hard to complain. Provided you're interested in things like playing god, a relationship puzzle game about love or watching a movie that's sort of about time travel, you'll have a lot to take in this week. We've even got the release of Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden's new book, which finally clears up why he was booted out of the space program. If you're not into any of this, just go outside or something.
Source Code (DVD, Blu-Ray)
We were big fans of director Duncan Jones' first film, Moon, and his second, although not exactly what we expected, is almost just a great. Source Code is all about an experiment sending a soldier back into the past to solve a mystery, but he only has eight minutes each time to do it. As you'd expect, things aren't exactly as they seem, and as the film slowly unravels itself, you clue into what's really going on. It's an exceptional thriller more than it's science fiction, but it's worth seeing if you're a fan of either genre, even if the last ten minutes are garbage.
Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles
At one point, it seemed like the '30s were all the rage for literature, but in recent years, the time period has been a less popular setting than it used to be. Perhaps it's simply because there is already so much out there. But if you've been hoping to delve into that world, Amore Towles' Rules of Civility will do the trick. Jazz? Check. Greenwich Village? Check. Cashmere Coats? Check. New Years Eve? Yep -- it's all here. It's something of a Great Gatsby written by a modern author, except it doesn't have all those green metaphors our middle school teachers told us about.
Falling to Earth: An Apollo 15 Astronaut's Journey to the Moon by Al Worden
Astronaut Al Worden was kicked out of the astronaut office (do they have an office?) for allegedly profiting on spaceflight. He eventually cleared his name, but Falling to Earth sets out to not just clear the air, but to tell Worden's story, from his childhood to being an Apollo 15 astronaut. What actually happened to cause Worden's firing has been shrouded in mystery for decades, but Falling to Earth gives Worden's never-before-told account. It's a rare opportunity for fans of the now-defunct shuttle program to get a glimpse into one of the more controversial and strange parts of its history.
Catherine (Xbox 360, PS3)
Rarely are we Americans privy to the weirdness of truly Japanese games. They simply don't cross over the ocean because they're so damn strange there isn't a market for them here. Catherine has managed to make it though, and if you're a fan of the utterly bizarre, this game is for you. It's part Q*Bert-style block puzzle game, part relationship simulation and completely insane. You'll be chased up the blocks by a crazed, demonic baby while your inner dialogue runs through the fact you just cheated on your girlfriend, Katherine, with a new girl, Catherine. It's all in purpose of its story, which deals with the big question, "what is love?" It's delightful.
From Dust (XBLA)
It's been a while since we've seen a good old-fashioned god game, but Eric Chahi, best known for the '90s classic Out of this World, is back to game design with From Dust. The core of the game comes from environmental manipulation, which means you'll be dynamically changing the world to create habitable worlds for the tribes who live there. It's a giant playground of a game that will allow you to do whatever you please inside of it, with the only goal being to untangle the history of the planet.
Allen Moore: Storyteller, by Gary Millidge
What's surprising about Storyteller is that it didn't exist until now. Editor Gary Millidge has compiled together a series of new and unpublished interviews with rare photos and art to tell the story of Alan Moore, one of comics' most influential writers. It doesn't stop there -- the package also includes some of his more experimental outings, including an audio CD and some of performance pieces.
The Raven, by Lou Reed, Lorenzo Mattotti
Originally released back in 2003, Lou Reed's (yes, that Lou Reed) The Raven is an ode to Edgar Allen Poe. Illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti, this graphic novel takes the words from Reed's album of the same name and combines them with Reed's songs, prose and music. It's as challenging as you'd expect, but if you dig deep enough, it can be a rewarding experience.
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