Notable new releases and events
The symbol indicates titles of unusual interest, quality, and/or critical acclaim.
Listen to ...Like Clockwork in its entirety prior to its Tuesday release at iTunes.
After a six-year hiatus, Queens of the Stone Age return on Tuesday with ...Like Clockwork, their sixth studio album to date. The end result of a rough two-year recording process that saw the departure of drummer Joey Castillo, the new album marks the Josh Homme-led project's Matador debut, and the album is already receiving strong reviews. The rather eclectic guest roster includes Elton John, Trent Reznor, Brody Dalle, Jake Shears (of Scissor Sisters), Alex Turner (of Arctic Monkeys), and James Lavelle (of UNKLE), while Dave Grohl handles most of the drumming duties, and frequent QOTSA collaborators Mark Lanegan and Nick Oliveri also return.
Also out Tuesday is Desire Lines, the first album in four years for Scottish indie-pop band Camera Obscura; Neko Case and My Morning Jacket's Jim James guest. ... Eleanor Friedberger releases her second solo album, Personal Record, which is more accessible than her work with her brother in Fiery Furnaces. ... Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt revives his Future Bible Heroes side project for Partygoing, the group's first LP in over a decade. ... And Portugal. The Man is back with the Danger Mouse-produced Evil Friends.
One of the few major original titles arriving this year, Remember Me (360, PS3, PC) is a futuristic thriller centering on a "memory hunter" in a rather bleak 2084 Paris who has the ability to manipulate (or "remix," in the game's terminology) other people's memories, though her own memories have been erased, and she must find out why. Gameplay blends stealth action, platforming, puzzle-solving, exploration, and melee-style combat, and Capcom hopes to turn the game (originally titled Adrift) into a major franchise. The review embargo lifts at midnight (Pacific time) tonight, so look for the first reviews to show up shortly thereafter.
Arriving Sunday for the Nintendo 3DS is Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which adds a variety of new customization options to the small-town sim. ... Available Wednesday via Xbox Live Arcade is the new open world survival horror title State of Decay, the first release from Undead Labs, the game studio started by ArenaNet co-founder Jeff Strain.
It must be a rare slow week in the summer blockbuster season if the movie we're featuring is a black-and-white Shakespeare adaptation, but this isn't your typical Shakespeare film. Much Ado About Nothing comes from director Joss Whedon, who shot the film in his own home in less than two weeks as a change of pace after filming The Avengers. The film (which opens in limited release Friday before expanding to additional cities on June 21st) retains the original play's language while transporting the setting to the present day; the ensemble cast features Whedon regulars such as Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker, Clark Gregg, Fran Kranz, Alexis Denisof, Tom Lenk, and Reed Diamond.
Friday's major release is The Internship, a PG-13 comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as two unemployed salesmen who are accepted into the Google internship program despite being just wee bit older than the average intern. Don't expect another Wedding Crashers here; Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) directs, and the next green Metascore he gets will be his first. (Hint: it's not going to be for this film.)
Also opening nationwide Friday is The Purge, a thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey in a scenario where the government sanctions a 12-hour period in which laws are not enforced; early reviews suggest a decent idea executed poorly. ... In limited release is Passion, director Brian De Palma's remake of the 2010 French revenge thriller Love Crime; Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace star.
Tuesday's key DVD/Blu-ray releases include the not-so-good A Good Day to Die Hard, zombie rom-com Warm Bodies, and comedy Identity Thief. Check our DVD Release Calendar for a full list of this week's new releases.
TNT's alien-invasion series Falling Skies returns for its third season on Sunday at 9p with a two-hour premiere. Joining the cast this year are Robert Sean Leonard (House), Gloria Reuben (ER), and Doug Jones (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer). If you still need to catch up, last year's second season will be available on DVD starting Tuesday.
Following the return of Burn Notice (Thursday, 9p), USA introduces a new drama, Graceland (Thursday, 10p), from White Collar creator Jeff Eastin. The series revolves around a group of undercover agents from various agencies (FBI, DEA, customs) who share a beachfront house in Southern California; despite that coastal setting, the show is grittier and more realistic than the typical USA drama. ... Airing Thursday at midnight on Adult Swim is Adam Scott's second Greatest Event in Television History special; this one features Scott and Amy Poehler re-creating the opening credits from Hart to Hart. ... ABC's new primetime soap Mistresses (based on the British series of the same name) kicks off Monday at 10p; Alyssa Milano and Yunjin Kim are among the stars. ... And CBS will broadcast this year's Tony Awards on Sunday at 8p (live on the East Coast; tape-delayed on the West Coast); Neil Patrick Harris returns as host.
Closing the book on last week
|Most Popular Title on Metacritic|
|Arrested Development 71||Week of 5/26-6/1|
|Weekend Box Office Champion (Estimated, U.S. only; source: Boxofficemojo.com)|
|Fast & Furious 6 61||$34.5 million; 2nd week at #1|
|#1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: Billboard.com/Nielsen SoundScan)|
|Daft Punk: Random Access Memories 87||1st week at #1|
|Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)|
|Dancing with the Stars [Results] (ABC)||15.2 million viewers; week of 5/20-5/26|