BLUE CRUSH Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez (PG-13) This surfer-babe revel hardly has to proselytize for girl power — it’s there in every cascade-crashing move the young wave riders make. B+

THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE Robert Evans (R) A dazzling and dazzlingly inventive documentary on the career of Robert Evans, the former Paramount exec and eternally tanned Hollywood playboy who produced The Godfather and Chinatown. A

NOTORIOUS C.H.O. Margaret Cho (unrated) Comedian Margaret Cho tackles colonics, straight versus gay personal ads, and more in this stand-up performance shot live in Seattle last year. A-

TADPOLE Sigourney Weaver, Bebe Neuwirth (PG-13) This indie comedy about a hyper-sophisticated 15-year-old who harbors a crush on his stepmother nabbed the 2002 Sundance Directing Award. B+

TOSCA Angela Gheor-ghiu, Roberto Alagna (unrated) In his first opera-to-film translation, French director Benoit Jacquot (Sade) updates the heaving passion of Puccini’s famous love-jealousy-murder-suicide fandango. B+

Video & DVD

AUDITION Ryo Ishibashi (unrated) A Japanese psychosexual thriller that serves up revenge as cold and raw as a plate of sushi. B+

IN THE BEDROOM Sissy Spacek (R) Loss and revenge make unhappy bedmates in director Todd Field’s Oscar-nominated tale of grieving parents driven to extremes. A

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING Elijah Wood (PG-13) Short hairy men, gorgeous scenery, and something about jewelry — Peter Jackson works his magic on J.R.R. Tolkien. A-

1776 William Daniels (PG) Complete with a song that was axed at Richard Nixon’s request, this 1972 musical about America’s founding fathers has never looked, or sounded, better. A-

SPEED: FIVE STAR COLLECTION Keanu Reeves (R) Go behind the scenes of the movie that changed the face of public transportation. B+

THE SIMPSONS: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON Animated (unrated) Twenty-two episodes of cartoon bliss, with enough commentary and behind-the-scenes footage to make Homer forget his Butterfinger. A-



100% Paul Pope (Vertigo) Are you anxiously awaiting legalized marijuana and gastro-technology? Pope’s terse, slash-and-burn panels suggest what that future will resemble. A-


FAKING IT Jennifer Crusie (St. Martin’s) A romantic romp involving a family of art forgers and at least one kiss that tastes ”like vodka and disaster.” B+

MAN WALKS INTO A ROOM Nicole Krauss (Doubleday) The riveting protagonist of this empathetic debut is an English professor who loses 24 years of memory. A

SHOOTOUT WITH FATHER Marianne Hauser (FC2) Ninety-one-year-old Hauser displays the wisdom of her years in this stinging novella about an artist jousting with his CEO father. A-


BEST AMERICAN CRIME WRITING Edited by Nicholas Pileggi, Otto Penzler, and Thomas H. Cook (Vintage) Examining everything from cockfighting to 9/11, this compilation mixes the political, the macabre, and the downright brilliant. A-

YOUTH: SCENES FROM PROVINCIAL LIFE II J.M. Coetzee (Viking) In his gripping second memoir, Coetzee is a twentysomething aspiring writer seeking sex and success. A-


SIGNS (signs.movies.com) With all these publicity goodies, eerie sound effects, and videos of crop-circle experts, you might want to just skip the movie. A-

DICTIONARAOKE (dictionaraoke.mirrors.gweep.net) More than 100 computer-voiced songs meticulously constructed from perfectly enunciated audio clips set to Casio-keyboard-quality music. Mr. Roboto would be proud. A

THE GREATEST AUTO DEALER COMMERCIAL OF ALL TIME (nerveco.com/nerve/clients/thomason/santo) Kid in the Hall Kevin McDonald lends semi-star power to a goofy series of commercials from a Portland, Ore., car dealership. A-

HAIKU MOVIE REVIEWS (www.igs.net/~mtr/haiku-reviews/) Haiku Movie Reviews offers critiques that are by turns witty, sly, and, best of all, unfailingly concise. B+

MADONNA.COM (madonna.com) With interactive time lines, photo galleries, lyrics, and video clips galore, the mother of all hype finally has a homepage befitting her rock-royalty status. A


ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING Hairspray (Sony Classical) Cross Grease with Little Shop of Horrors and you’ll have an inkling of the giddy joy this disc imparts. A

JAY FARRAR ThirdShiftGrottoSlack (Artemis) The ex-Uncle Tupelo/ Son Volt main man uses acoustic textures to deepen the resonance of stately roots-rock tunes. B+

FILTER The Amalgamut (Reprise) Skyscraping melodies, tonsil-shredding screams, and electric and acoustic guitars manage to peacefully coexist. B+

INTERPOL Turn On the Bright Lights (Matador) Bursts of melody mixed with the propulsive grooves and emotional swells of ’80s post-punk. A-

AIMEE MANN Lost in Space (Super Ego) Mann adds an ambitious touch of guitar fuzz and a dash of controlled chaos to her rhythm section. B+

KATHY MATTEA Roses (Narada) Trading traditional Nashville fare for a blend of alt-country and Celtic folk, Mattea delivers both secular and spiritual songs. A-

BRAD MEHLDAU Largo (Warner Bros.) The pianist explores his rangier instincts, from headbanger fusion to pure improv, for the curveball jazz CD of the year. A

SLEATER-KINNEY One Beat (Kill Rock Stars) S-K bring plenty of grrrly glory to please the lovers and enough innovation to win over a few haters. B+

YES In a Word: Yes (1969- ) (Rhino) The MTV hits hold up, but nostalgists will prefer dusting off the old bong and settling in with the early epics. B+

DIXIE CHICKS Home (Open Wide/Monument/Columbia) Synthesizing high-tech and down-home, the Chicks’ latest is deeply exhilarating and timeless. A