Top Shelf Tuesday - February 24

February 24, 2009

Tuesday's here, and you know what that's time to head to the store to check out the latest releases. This week, dig a hot new album from The Black Lips, the raunchy teen comedy Sex Drive, the squad-based shooter Killzone 2, and a whole lot more!

Source: Summit Entertainment


Sex Drive is a raunchy teen comedy that surprises not just with its gross-out antics but also with its surprisingly funny story and characters. Think of it as the American Pie for this decade. If you didn’t catch it while it was in theaters, you can grab it on DVD now. Some of the special features you’ll get are a filmmaker’s audio commentary, the Making a Masterpiece behind-the-scenes featurette, The Marsden Dilemma featurette, and more. And it doesn’t hurt that the DVD version is unrated, which means a lot more…well, you know..nudity and all that jazz.

There’s nothing like an indie film to show you heavy-hitting actors playing parts outside their typical type. In What Just Happened we get to see Robert De Niro and Bruce Willis easing off the tough guy act and upping the ante on their neuroses. Robin Wright Penn, the sexy Kristen Stewart, Catherine Keener, John Turturro, and Stanley Tucci round out this excellent cast, and the special features give you a look at how the movie was made. It has two making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, a look at the casting sessions, and commentary from the author of the book the movie was based on and director Barry Levinson. The movie didn’t enjoy a very wide theatrical release, so now’s your chance to get it on DVD and get your indie on.



Source: Vice Records

Garage rockers The Black Lips follow up their critically-acclaimed Good Bad Not Evil LP with the release of 200 Million Thousand. This new album has the band delivering simple, straightforward songwriting mixed perfectly with the Black Lips distinctive grime. Critics darlings, The Black Lips have received previous acclaim from Rolling Stone, Spin, Filter, The Fader, Anthem, Paste, and The New York Times to name a few. Last year, Rolling Stone called them "one of the best live bands in America" and for good reason. The Atlanta crew has a magic way of whipping a crowd into frenzy with their raw unpredictable energy. If you want some good ol’ fashioned rock 'n' roll that is sure to make your brain explode, The Black Lips are the band for you.

Somali-Canadian rapper/musician K’Naan is ready to take center stage and it’s about frickin’ time. His name means "traveler" in the Somali language and, with the release of Troubadour, K’Naan has created his own musical path through reggae, funk, pop, soul and, above all, hip-hop. Recorded primarily in Kingston, Jamaica at the legendary Tuff Gong studios and Bob Marley's home studio, Troubadour is a hip-hop album like no other. With contributions by Damian Marley, Mos Def, Chubb Rock, Vernon Reid, and Adam Levine, K'Naan has successfully blended samples and live instrumentation for a sound that's rooted in both traditional African melodies and the classic hip-hop tradition. You could throw K’Naan in the "political rapper" category, but that just wouldn’t be fair. This man is a breath of fresh air in the recent world of cartoon hip-hop characters. Scoop this s**t!



Source: Guerrilla Games

Killzone 2, the squad-based shooter sequel, comes out this week and first impressions in the gaming industry indicate that it will surely live up to the hype.  It’s stunning in its graphical consistency, and the developers skillfully eschew the player’s ability to switch cast members by putting you in the boots of Sev, one of the soldiers in the squad.  Other facets have been refined such as the cover system and aiming mechanisms, but all indications are that if you liked the first Killzone, you’ll love the second.

A semi-satirical but totally-functional first person shooter, Eat Lead: the Return of Matt Hazard unfolds the next chapter of the story of Matt Hazard.  Hazard, voiced by Will Arnett, is the gruff, way-over-the-top protagonist who solves problems with more bullets than can mathematically fit in a gun or on a person.  Throughout, the game pokes fun at itself and other shooters (like the flick Shoot ‘Em Up) but still remains engaging, playable and fun.

Did we miss anything? What releases are you looking forward to picking up this week?