1. BEST PICTURE SHOWCASE
On Feb. 21, AMC Theatres will unspool all five nominees on select screens nationwide for $30 — bottomless popcorn bucket included. (Check amctheatres.com.) Hey, it looks like you just ran out of excuses.
2. RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE on Logo
There may be a coy focus on ”charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent,” but Top Model for girls-born-as-boys this ain’t. Host RuPaul is cattier than Tyra — as are the shockingly top-notch judges, including Bob Mackie and Project Runway‘s Santino Rice. But honestly, we just can’t get enough of the drag transformations, especially RuPaul’s — into a man.
3. ACE OF CAKES on Food Network
Six seasons in, it’s still perfect for folks who want to have their Millennium Falcon (or Viking ship or Hogwarts castle) cake and eat it, too.
4. EASTBOUND & DOWN on HBO
Danny McBride scores as a former ballplayer who’s all swing-and-miss since he had his last at-bat.
5. INCREDIBAD, The Lonely Island
Why continue to YouTube when you can own faves like ”D— in a Box” and ”J— in My Pants” on this new CD/DVD? ) The Island (SNL‘s Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone) have new tunes, like the hummable ”Punch You in the Jeans,” new videos, and an Emmy award — just in case you doubt their artistic cred.
What’s behind Coraline’s little secret door? An enchanting story by acclaimed fantasy writer Neil Gaiman, peerless stop-motion animation from Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas), and a movie-watching experience that comes as close to magic as one dares to go.
7. CHICK FLICK CLICHÉS VIDEO ON THE HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU OFFICIAL WEBSITE
Justin Long, Kevin Connolly, and Bradley Cooper wax hilarious about cheesy lady-movie tropes. Even our sassy best friend and gay sidekick think it’s funny.
8. THIS IS FOR YOU, by Rob Ryan
Ryan’s romantic book of scalpeled paper cuts was hailed at its ’07 first printing (by the few who could get their hands on it). Just in time for Valentine’s Day, it gets the wider, fancier release it always deserved.
9. MELISSA LEO in Frozen River
The DVD hits stores this week. Last month, Leo picked up an Oscar nomination for her stellar performance. And most likely you still haven’t seen it. All of these things are true, but one of them doesn’t have to be.
READER’S CHOICE*: MOVIES/TV
10. ”WATCH INSTANTLY” on Netflix
The rental retailer is one of the few businesses soaring in this economy, thanks in part to a nifty option that lets members watch movies and TV shows (like The Office, which this reader’s been bingeing on) immediately on their PC or Mac at no extra cost. Entertainment on demand? It’s about time. —Submitted by Karrah
READER’S CHOICE*: MOVIES
11. THE WATCHMEN CASE SETTLEMENT
Yeah I know it was two weeks ago now, but we can really start getting pumped for the first big movie of the year. Rorschach! —Seth F.
READER’S CHOICE*: MUSIC
13. THE WALL-E SOUNDTRACK
With nominations for Best Original Score and Song, there’s never been a better time to pick up this soundtrack, with its great, catchy melodies mixed with the likes of Michael Crawford and Louis Armstrong. —Clayton
READER’S CHOICE*: STAGE
14. SPEED-THE-PLOW on Broadway
William H. Macy, Raul Esparza, and Elisabeth Moss are superb individually and divine together. Their work has given this ”minor Mamet” a darker, deeper resonance. I’m so glad I went back to see this again. —Kellogg
READER’S CHOICE*: MUSIC
15. ”MY LIFE WOULD SUCK WITHOUT YOU,” Kelly Clarkson
I can’t stop listening to this earworm!!! —Ben
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