Six Picks for the Week of February 14-20

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (Tue.)

ImageA fair fight?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a decade since Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 rocked arcades (remember those?) and Sega Dreamcasts. That game was a brilliant bit of geek wish fulfillment, combining the mutants over at Marvel with the best-known characters from the Capcom universe. Tuesday sees the release of Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (for 360 and PS3), and you can count on fast-paced fighting combat that features the likes of Thor battling Street Fighter’s Chun-Li or Captain America versus Devil May Cry’s Dante. Your free time will soon become a thing of the past.

Get your pop culture mashup fix at the official game website.

Let England Shake by PJ Harvey (Tue.)

ImageHarvey shakes things up

British singer-songwriter Polly Jean Harvey (PJ Harvey) has seen her fame flame gradually diminish throughout the years with each sparely produced subsequent album (Uh Huh Her, White Chalk) failing to live up to her early raucous classics (Dry, Rid of Me, To Bring You My Love). Released Tuesday, her eighth album (not counting her two collaborations with John Parish) Let England Shake aims to break up that streak with its renewed vigor. Lead single “Written on the Forehead” with its Niney the Observer “Blood and Fire” sample is an ethereal slow burn that hints at a rich, more satisfying sound.

Check out Harvey’s official site Monday for a streaming live webcast as she performs her new album.

I Am Number Four (Fri.)

Image Four's score? To be determined

The latest Hollywood attempt to capitalize on the Twilight and young adult fiction phenomenon is this Michael Bay-produced flick based on controversial writer James Frey’s co-penned (along with Jobie Hughes, under the pseudonym Pittacus Lore) novel of the same name. The sci-fi film I Am Number Four, opening Friday, stars newcomer Alex Pettyfer as John Smith, an escaped alien (number four of nine) who hides out in an Ohio high school to avoid capture from another group of aliens. While on Earth, he falls for Glee’s Dianna Agron, kicks it at home with protector Henri -- played by the omnipresent Timothy Olyphant (Justified) -- and learns to use his Force-like powers.

See trailers and more at the movie’s website .

Series premiere of Mad Love (Mon.)

ImageLike Friends, without the extra two friends

It seems to be winter premiere week for CBS. In addition to debuting the Forest Whitaker- and Janeane Garofalo-starring spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and returning reality competitions Amazing Race (Sun.) and Survivor (Wed.), the network is also coming out with a more lighthearted mid-season series this week: Mad Love, premiering Monday at 8:30pm, stars Sarah Chalke (Scrubs) and Jason Biggs (American Pie) as a newly-in-love couple who must deal with their disapproving friends, another couple played by Judy Greer (Arrested Development) and canceled series vet extraordinaire, the great Tyler Labine (Invasion, Reaper, Sons of Tucson). With How I Met Your Mother as a lead-in, perhaps the talented cast can break Labine’s unfortunate losing streak.

Go behind the scenes at CBS’ Mad Love website.

Jeopardy! The IBM Challenge (Mon. - Wed.)

ImageWhat is Ken Jennings' worst nightmare?

Inspired by Jeopardy! super-champion Ken Jennings' machine-like performance in 2004 (when he won 74 consecutive contests), a team of IBM computer scientists set out to see if they could build an actual machine capable of competing on and winning the long-running game show, a daunting task given the current state of technology. After four years of work, the result is Watson, one of the most advanced artificial intelligence systems in the history of computing, capable of deciphering and answering questions (or in the case of Jeopardy!, answers) posed to it in natural language. Beginning Monday (check your local listings for time and channel), Watson will face off against Jennings and Jeopardy!'s all-time biggest money winner Brad Rutter in a one-of-a-kind, three-day tournament pitting man against machine. And, yes, the computer's proceeds will go to charity, so there won't be any solid-gold hard drives or diamond-encrusted processors in Watson's future.

Read more about the challenge on the official Watson mini-sites from IBM and Jeopardy!

Go-Go Boots by Drive-By Truckers (Tue.)

ImageThese boots were made for listening

Alt-country as a genre isn’t quite as prominent it was in the mid-to-late ’90s, but the Drive-By Truckers have endured, frequently putting out solid albums and appealing to their devoted fan base. Following last year’s The Big To-Do, their latest, Go-Go Boots, drops Tuesday and features 14 new tracks (15 if you get the vinyl copy that includes bonus track “I Hear You Hummin’”) of soulful country rock. The Big To-Do and Go-Go Boots are companion pieces of sorts, since the songs that make up both albums were recorded at the same sessions.

You can win a pair of tickets at the official band website, or check out tracks at their MySpace page.

Closing the book on last week

Weekend Box Office Champion (Estimated, U.S. only; source:
Just Go With It 33 $31.0 million; 1st week at #1
#1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: SoundScan)
Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday 70 1st week at #1
Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)
Super Bowl XLV (Fox) 111.0 million viewers; week of 1/31-2/6

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Comments (2)

  • M.H.'d Pink Friday get to #1 this week?
    It's not a bad album, but it's not really #1 worthy. Especially 3 months after it came out. Unless...Valentine's Day gifts. That has to be it.

  • Scott  

    Also add Radiohead's new album just announced! This should be pick #7!

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