Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Fri.)
Armed with a time-bending dagger, a sick physique, and an inexplicable British accent, a sepia-filtered Jake Gyllenhaal takes on numerous desert foes in an attempt to clear his name, aided by action-adventure It Girl Gemma Arterton as Princess Tamina. Prince of Persia, a loose videogame adaptation, comes out on Friday, and while its fight acrobatics may please popcorn movie enthusiasts, some critics complain that the formulaic film treats its audience like five-year-olds despite its PG-13 rating, much like producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. (For an alternative Moroccan-filmed flick coming out this weekend, check out Sex and the City 2.)
Other early reviews for the film are less bad than you'd think.
Series finales of 24 and Law & Order (Mon.)
America’s favorite terrorist fighter goes out with a bang Monday night at 8/7 Central. In a bloody and adrenalin-fueled two-hour series finale, 24’s Jack Bauer races to foil a Middle East peace treaty plot. A film is in the works for those who will miss 24’s murky morality. More terrorism follows at 10/9 Central on NBC as NYC police/legal procedural Law & Order ends after 20 seasons with an episode featuring a blogger-terrorist enraged by the recently abolished “rubber rooms”—where teachers wait while facing disciplinary hearings. Outside of Jack McCoy finally blowing his stack, histrionic closure tropes seem unlikely.
How are the networks replacing their long-running shows? Check out the fall schedules for NBC and Fox.
True Blood Season 2 on DVD (Tue.)
Season 2 of dark, sexy cultural phenomenon True Blood comes out on Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, just ahead of the HBO show’s June 13 Season 3 premiere. While the first season was anchored by the nascent romance between telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and smoldering VILF Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), the second season expands this metaphorically lush world of vampires, shapeshifters, religious fanatics, and sassy Southerners into a bloody frenzy of eroticism, satire, and intrigue. Audio commentaries and featurettes round out the release; fans who purchase the set at Target will also receive an exclusive 45-minute cast Q&A.
Watch Resurrecting True Blood, a summary of Season 2 on HBO’s True Blood website.
Visually inventive French fantasist Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Delicatessen, Amélie) continues the anti-violence themes and fairytale sensibilities of his last film, A Very Long Engagement, with this quirky comedy-adventure about Parisian misfits who carry out an elaborate revenge plot against weapons-manufacturing corporations. Sight gags, slapstick comedy, and intricate Rube Goldberg-esque set pieces add a pleasing whimsy to this satire. The film opens on Friday in New York City and arrives in additional cities on June 4.
Interact with visuals and more at the French film’s clever English-language website.
David Cross: Bigger and Blackerer (Tue.)
Comedian, actor, author, Pitchfork-skewerer, and misanthrope-about-town David Cross (Arrested Development, Mr. Show with Bob and David) releases his third comedy album Tuesday on Sub Pop, the label that released his first two albums, including the Grammy-nominated Shut Up, You Fucking Baby! The sometime never-nude again takes on religion, politicians, and ennui, and while there is some content overlap between the DVD and CD, which both utilize recordings of the same back-to-back Boston dates, each contains some original material.
Sasquatch! Music Festival (Sat.-Mon.)
Washington’s annual Sasquatch! Music Festival takes place at the breathtaking Gorge Amphitheater, located by the Columbia River Gorge. In true indie fashion, this year’s festival will be wind-powered and carbon-neutral. The Memorial Day weekend lineup features the likes of Band of Horses, My Morning Jacket, The National, Caribou, Broken Social Scene, Massive Attack, Pavement, Why?, Ween, LCD Soundsystem, Vampire Weekend, and comedian Patton Oswalt, as well as Pacific Northwest favorites Nada Surf, The Long Winters, Minus the Bear, Quasi, and The New Pornographers.
Editor's Note: Due to the Memorial Day holiday, 6 Picks is taking next week off. We'll be back on June 6th.
Closing the book on last week
|Most Popular Title on Metacritic.com|
|Red Dead Redemption  95||Week ending 5/22/2010|
|#1 Weekend Box Office (Estimated, U.S. only; source: Boxofficemojo.com)|
|Shrek Forever After 58||$71.3 million; 1st week at #1|
|#1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: Billboard.com/Nielsen SoundScan)|
|Justin Bieber: My World 2.0 70||1st week at #1|
|Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)|
|American Idol [Wed] (Fox)||19.6 million viewers; week of 5/10-5/16|