''Big Love,'' high stakes, and 8 other things we love this week
10 things EW loves: Week of July 16, 2004
1. BEFORE SUNRISE and BEFORE SUNSET
Wanna make sure ”Sunset”’s bittersweet romance makes you weep? Watch its precursor on DVD first.
2. THE 2004 WORLD SERIES OF POKER
The ML got hooked watching celebs bet their chips on Bravo — so we can’t wait to see how the pros do it, on ESPN.
3. ”TOW THE LINE,” NICK DRAKE
From ”Made to Love Magic,” a CD of rarities from the late folk-rock bard, comes this heretofore unheard gem — a folk-blues that parses the poetry of sadness.
4. THE LOWER DEPTHS
Both Jean Renoir (in 1936) and Akira Kurosawa (in 1957) tackled Maxim Gorky’s classic play. Watch these film masterworks in the Criterion Collection’s amazing 2-DVD set.
5. SPIDER-MAN 2
This better-than-the-original sequel slings a web of slick action and heartbreaking romantic entanglements.
6. THE BIG LOVE, by SARAH DUNN
Call it chick lit if you like, but among the single-gal narrator’s witticisms lurk some worthwhile insights about how social pressures and religion can distort love and sex.
7. AFRODISIAC, BRANDY
The former teenybopper pulls an Usher, getting all dark and confessional — with the help of some cool beats from Timbaland.
8. SUMMER PAPERBACKS
Add a towel and sunblock, and you have essential beach gear. This season, make sure you pack Zoe Heller’s ”What Was She Thinking?” and John Burdett’s ”Bangkok 8.”
9. FAHRENHEIT 9/11
Brilliant and flawed, Michael Moore’s incendiary piece of agitprop offers a bitter and bracing tonic for the summer of our discontent.
10. THE AMAZING RACE
Now this is our kind of international tension: Reality TV’s classiest act returns to CBS for another riveting world tour.