There's a ton of really interesting stuff coming up this week, and even though book releases are taking the week off in preparation for a bombshell of awesome content next week, we still have some amazing movies, games and comics to check out. Of those, the sequel to the fantastic Batman: Arkham Asylum will turn a few heads, even for non-Batman fans, and a non-fiction manga book about the life of Gandhi is sure to offer up a different spin on his story. Here are those picks and many more.
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest
A Tribe Called Quest helped define what it meant to be a rap group in the '80s and '90s. Now, the story of how they came to be -- and eventually fall apart in 1998 is in documentary form, exposing all of the ups and downs.Directed by Michael Rapaport, it's a remarkably well done look at the group and its influences.
The Last Circus
Have you ever seen a movie about two clowns fighting over a woman during the Spanish Civil War? Probably not. But that's this story told in this movie from somewhat well-known cult director Alex de la Iglesia who bends between the larger tale of the war and the narrative of the clowns. It's absurd, often to a frightening degree, but the film is so unpredictable that you won't be worrying over what happens next and will instead just let the oddness wash over you. It's also rather violent, including a rather intense scene with a trumpet, so make sure you have your brain in a space that can handle it.
Batman: Arkham City (PS3, Xbox 360)
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One out of every ten superhero games is worth playing if you're a fan of comics, but only one in about a 100 are worthwhile if you're not. Batman: Arkham City is privileged to sit in that one percent margin of cross-cultural appeal because it's not just a good superhero game, it's a good game. One of a very few superhero games that actually makes you feel like a superhero, you have all of Batman's gadgets and doo-dads available to you at any time, all of which are a blast to play with.
Dungeon Defenders (PSN, XBLA, PC)
Originally released on iOS and Android, Dungeon Defenders struggled because it was simply too chaotic to really deal with on the small handheld devices. Thankfully, with a keyboard and mouse on PC or a controller on console, the whole thing works a heck of a lot better. It's a somewhat traditional tower defense title where you can take control of one main character as well as set up defenses, but the goofy humor and oddball characters make this an entertaining little romp. Who doesn't want to play as knight without pants on?
Dear Creature by Jonathan Case
Dear Creature tells the story of Grue, an odd little monster who enjoys the taste of human flesh and who lives in the depths of the world. Then one day, he finds a collection of Shakespeare plays in soda bottles. These plays make him pine for a woman who lives on the surface, but who also happens to be agoraphobic. It's bizarre little story that harkens back to the monster movies of the '60s in both its style and its story, so fans of those types of the genre will find a lot to love. There's a solid understanding of Shakespeare at play here too, so you might find yourself surprised at some point by its depth.
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Gandhi: A Manga Biography by Kazuki Ebine
If you've ever wanted to learn about Gandhi in comic book form, now's your chance. Kazuki Ebine manages to weave his narrative around Gandhi's history and influence without exploiting it or wasting space. It's a quick read, but a large tale. Definitely check this out if you're looking for a quick primer on Gandhi's life or you want to learn about him in a different way. The word "manga" might be frightening to some, but if this isn't the Astro-Boy, big eyed, robotic monsters of the '50s -- it's a pretty straightforward telling of legendary story, no robots or monsters to speak of.