Apparently Tina Fey wrote a book, and other new release surprises this week, April 4, 2011
Generally speaking, when a celebrity writes a book, we shrug and feel sorry for everyone who purchases it. That's because celebrity books are usually egocentric cash-ins trying to make it seem like these characters on TV are less one-dimensional than we think. That said, Tina Fey's book might not be terrible, because it's written by one of comedy's best and brightest. If that doesn't float your boat, we have new stuff involving computer worlds, Malcolm X and gay con men, but unfortunately not all at once.
5. I Love You Phillip Morris (DVD, Blu-ray)
When we think of Ewan McGregor and Jim Carrey, we don't usually think of sharp, witty indie romantic comedies. But that's essentially what I Love You Phillip Morris is. It's also a film that struggled to gain any traction due to the fact it initially had plenty of explicit gay scenes, some of which were cut or edited down for the theatrical cut. None of that crap actually matters, though; what matters is that I Love You Phillip Morris is a fantastic true story about a couple of ex-cons in love. This isn't a movie about being gay or struggling with it; it's just a goofy film about a guy who repeatedly breaks out of prison to be with his lover.
4. But I Can't Do Anything Else!, By Rob Schrab
In 2007, Rob Schrab completed the run of his indie comic, Scud: The Disposable Assasin, after a ridiculously long hiatus. Part of that was due to the fact that he was finding success in Hollywood, where he made his first feature film, Monster House, and went on to direct a few music videos before landing on the Sarah Silverman Porgram. But I Can't Do Anything Else! is a book partially about the process that led to the creation and finale of Scud and everything in between. For fans of the indie comic, which saw its debut in the mid-'90s and its completion in 2008, this is a must-have.
3. Tron: Legacy (DVD, Blu-Ray)
While Tron: Legacy wasn't exactly met with the most amazing reviews on the planet, but that doesn't stop the film from being a sight to behold. Sure, the story is flat, the characters have fewer dimensions than the computer they inhabit and the dialogue was apparently written by a third-grader, but that doesn't stop it from being an ode to all things nerdy. Light cycles, flying discs, computer planes -- it's all still there, even if the plot isn't. If nothing else, it has a kick-ass soundtrack from Daft Punk to keep you from getting too bored throughout the movie.
2. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, by Manning Marable
Malcolm X couldn't be a more difficult historical figure to write about. Not only was he controversial, he was also continually reinventing himself into new, different things. While his story is well known, it hasn't been assessed with this much care until now. Marable's book looks closely at all the various facets that led to the eventual creation of a powerful leader. There have been books about him before, but none that have ever taken this kind of time assessing what it really meant to be Malcolm X. There are sure to be a lot of details here we've never seen before, including a somewhat shocking assumption that one of the men involved in his killing is alive and well. It's a massive revisionist look at the leader, and only time will tell if he exposed inner truths or made false presumptions. Since Marable passed away last week, we'll never really know.
1. Bossypants, by Tina Fey
Tina Fey is one of those rare comedians who toes the line between likable by everyone and deplorable by everyone else. She somehow manages to make our moms laugh at the same time that we're laughing -- which is not an easy feat for anyone. While we're always wary of a book written by a celebrity, Tina Fey is one of the few we might actually trust this duty to. While it certainly isn't life-affirming or -changing, it's a look into the day-to-day life of a TV star filled with truths and real humor instead of made-up stories and name-dropping. Plus, it's already a front-runner for creepiest book cover of the year.