A consumer's guide to the flicks, discs, books, videos, and websites that made the grade--B+ or better--in Entertainment Weekly


The Rookie Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths (G) Unassuming high school science teacher and baseball coach Jim Morris tries out for the major leagues at age 35; the realization of his childhood dream makes for a buttercup-sweet American fairy tale. B+

The Cat’s Meow Edward Herrmann, Kirsten Dunst (PG-13) Charlie Chaplin and a movie-star mistress are among the guests aboard American mogul William Randolph Hearst’s yacht in 1924 in this lively, famous-names-on-parade Hollywood mystery. B+

The Komediant Documentary (unrated) A poignant look at the Yiddish theatrical Burstein clan, chronicling their familial and professional ups and downs in the early 20th century. B+

Nine Queens Gaston Pauls, Ricardo Darin (R) This unusually resonant Argentinean flick about two grifters who hook up for a swindle exudes a squalid, urban-greed-meets-the-gutter mood. A

Time Out Aurelien Recoing, Karin Viard (unrated) Filmmaker Laurent Canet evokes the universality of tragic ordinariness in his piercing tale of a recently unemployed businessman who goes to desperate lengths to hide the fact from his family and friends. A

Video & DVD

The Deep End Tilda Swinton (R) This compelling story of a woman who risks all to protect her son from opportunists is noir at its best. A-

No Man’s Land Branco Djuric (R) In this Foreign Language Oscar winner, two soldiers discover the harrowing and humorous realities of war. A

Paragraph 175 Documentary (unrated) Narrated by Rupert Everett, this affecting docu recounts the internment of homosexuals during WWII. A

Shiri Han Suk-Gyu (R) Two South Korean government agents pursue a femme Nikita in a thriller that pulses with a unique Asian vibe. A-

Tape Ethan Hawke (R) Robert Sean Leonard and Hawke play old chums revisiting an ugly past to find the truth about girlfriend Uma Thurman. A-

The Usual Suspects: Special Edition Kevin Spacey (R) Director Bryan Singer’s serpentine story now dazzles on DVD with commentary by Singer and Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie as well as deleted scenes and a gag reel. A-

Mulholland Drive Naomi Watts (R) Two mysterious women search for answers in a dizzying Lynchian universe of desire and dread. A-



Lucky Man Michael J. Fox (Hyperion) Fox chronicles everything from his Family Ties heyday to his ongoing battle against Parkinson’s in this refreshingly candid memoir. B+

The Fasting Girl: A True Victorian Medical Mystery Michelle Stacey (Putnam) The claims of a 19th-century girl that she subsisted on air alone earned her fame while igniting medical and cultural debates. A

Poker Nation Andy Bellin (Harper- Collins) Bellin’s one-of-a-kind account of his tenure as a ”degenerate gambler” is part memoir, part how-to. B+

Small Wonder Barbara Kingsolver (HarperCollins) In these passionate essays, the best-selling author of The Poisonwood Bible lets loose about the creep of cable and the cost of global misery. A-


At Swim, Two Boys Jamie O’Neill (Scribner) A gay novel, an Irish novel, and a landmark on both counts, O’Neill’s tale of two teenagers in 1915 Dublin will astonish. A

Funnymen Ted Heller (Scribner) In a novel posing as oral history, the uproarious career of a misfit ’50s comedy team gets gleefully dissected. A-

The Haunting Of L Howard Norman (FSG) From the author of The Bird Artist comes another heady murder mystery set in the Canadian hinterlands. A-


Davey And Goliath (daveyandgoliath.org) Reunited puppets from the old animated TV series give you plenty of updated info and interactive links on this official site sponsored by the Lutheran church. The word on the street is they might be coming back. Golly, Davey! A-

Backstage Pass (thesmokinggun.com) This dishy site posts extensive excerpts from top rock stars’ contract riders, which include some crazy demands. P. Diddy won’t eat food unless it’s inspected for hair…a little picky, no? A

Brian’s Drive-In Theater (briansdriveintheater.com) An online shrine worshiping B movies, whether they’re famous, infamous, or just plain obscure. Even better than the real thing, but with less popcorn, cars, and making out. B+

Murder By Numbers (murderbynumbersmovie.warnerbros.com) The official movie site, with graphic murder details and a step-by-step reference guide for conducting a homicide investigation. It’s like Hooked on Forensics! A-

Kylie Minogue (kylie.com) The Aussie sex kitten’s official site includes a tell-all diary, videos, and lingerie. They say very little comes between Kylie and her fans…. A-


Sheryl Crow C’mon, C’mon (A&M) Half VH1 party girl, half tormented loner, Crow makes old-school Cali pop that never sounds fussy or musty. B+

The Band The Last Waltz (Warner/ Rhino) With this luxurious four-CD boxed set documenting their final concert in 1976, The Band’s uniqueness and mythic mystery remain intact. A-

Cee-Lo Cee-Lo Green & His Perfect Imperfections (Arista) In the great Southern tradition of the Reverends Al Green and Little Richard, Goodie Mob’s Cee sings and raps praise to God and sex. B+

Patty Griffin 1000 Kisses (ATO) On this unplugged set, Griffin weaves her folk, rock, and Nashville leanings into a coat of another color: dark blue. B+

Remy Shand The Way I Feel (Motown) Canada’s contribution to the soul revival oozes sexuality, with slow jams to complement a night of chocolate, bubbles, and gallons of champagne. A-

Stew The Naked Dutch Painter…and Other Songs (Smile) The black Burt Bacharach tells well-worn poetic pop tales of dangerous women and innocuous drugs, among other things. A-

Various Artists This Is Where I Belong: The Songs of Ray Davies & the Kinks (Rykodisc) Kinksperts like Ron Sexsmith, Bebel Gilberto, and Yo La Tengo reimagine tunes from Davies’ rich songbook. A-

Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch) Upon repeated listening, Yankee Hotel’s vaporous, insinuating, rusty-carousel melodies carve out a permanent orbit in your head. A-

Elvis Costello When I Was Cruel (Island) The onetime nervous tic of his generation returns to his pugnacious rock roots with an electrifying charge that we thought short-circuited years ago. A