We've got a pretty stellar selection of new releases this week that cover a wide array of different interests. While one film nerd might not think Sharktopus worth watching, they'll probably find solace in The Fighter. On the same tone, a gamer who enjoys shooting people in the face will have the opportunity this week to do just that, but those more interested in adventuring and puzzling will be happy too. Plus, one of this era's best rock critics has a new book detailing the up-close and personal lives of celebrities and musicians.
Sharktopus is a terrible movie. It's supposed to be that way, so it kind of works out in the end. It all depends on your own dispositions -- the movie is awful on purpose, filled with ridiculous, over-the-top moments like when Sharktopus eats a yoga teacher, or a jet skier, or a drug smuggler, or anyone wearing a bikini. It's filled with self-reference, clearly marking itself as some type of, er, thinking man's B-rated horror flick, or at least an homage to movies to like Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus. Look, it's not going to blow your mind and the writing is enough to make you puke, but what do you want from a movie called Sharktopus?
At first glance, Homefront is yet another first-person shooter in a world filled with billions of them, but when you dig in a bit deeper, you'll find a game that's more about the world and the people that inhabit it. Speaking of those people, the bulk of the game takes place in Montrose, Colorado -- a curious little fact we didn't miss -- and you can expect a full interview with the developers about the choice later this week. For those itching to get their kill on though, Homefront certainly provides that, with a fantastic multiplayer suite to boot.
3. The Fighter
While Sharktopus should feed those of us that don't get the media-frenzy associated with Oscar films, The Fighter is probably better suited for those with a couple brain cells still firing. This knock-out punch of a film is sure to box your ears with its prizefighting script (sorry). Seriously, it's a pretty darn good boxing movie. It's no Rocky, but it delivers on a level that almost makes you forgive Christian Bale for being a raging douche-nozzle. Plus, it has Colorado's own Amy Adams running around being a tough as nails girlfriend, so if nothing else, you can see one of our own succeeding admirably.
Okami was a game drenched in style. Played up as a Japanese painting come to life, the game was dressed up in a lovely soaking of watercolor tones and deeply Japanese spirit. It was a fantastic Zelda-alike that snatched the hearts of critics everywhere, but sold poorly on both the PS2 and the Wii. While that's usually a prescription for a fate of death and obscurity, Capcom is giving the game another chance, but this time they're doing in on the less risky Nintendo DS. If you're itching for some puzzle solving and some lovely visuals, Okamiden is what you need. It may prove to be the DS's swan-song before the launch of the 3DS in just two weeks.
1. Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness by Neil Strauss
Neil Strauss has made a name for himself over the years as being willing to do pretty much anything for a story. He's embedded himself into the worlds of porn stars, apocalyptic nutjobs and pickup artists, but Everyone Love You When You're Dead tackles the scariest of his various topics: celebrities. The book isn't about the celebrity, though, it's about the dysfunction of stardom. It includes stories about Pete Townsend's fears, shooting guns with Ludacris, getting kidnapped by Courtney Love and, our person favorite, making Lady Gaga cry. Strauss has been one of few music journalists to get full access to stars and has offered some of the best interviews around. Now's a chance to look behind those scenes.