Six Picks for the Week of May 16-22

L.A. Noire Xbox 360 Reviews PS3 Reviews
New game in stores Tuesday for 360 and PS3

The gaming world has huge expectations as Rockstar Games follows up its critically acclaimed Western-based Red Dead Redemption with what seems to be a L.A. Confidential-esque game that aims to blur the line between videogame and motion picture. L.A. Noire, released Tuesday, takes place in the City of Angels during 1947, and is fronted by lead character Cole Phelps, an LAPD officer who ascends through different positions in the department, encountering corruption as he goes. Phelps is played by Mad Men actor Aaron Staton and also shares his likeness due to the striking results of the new MotionScan facial animation technology.

Feel the corruption at the game’s website.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Read Reviews
In theaters Friday

After two rather forgettable back-to-back sequels, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is back to sail away with box-office dollars. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides hits theatres Friday and once again stars Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. Also returning is Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa and Keith Richards as Sparrow’s dad. New to the franchise is Ian McShane (Deadwood) as villain Blackbeard and Penélope Cruz as his daughter and former Sparrow flame. Curiously, original trilogy stars Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley seemingly had better things to do and are not returning. The new film is directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago).

Get picaresque at the official website.

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
New ride opens Friday at Walt Disney World and June 3 at Disneyland

The long-running (1987-2010) Disney Star Wars ride Star Tours is getting a makeover. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue opens Friday in Walt Disney World in Orlando and the following Friday (June 3rd) in Disneyland in Anaheim. Instead of being simply a tour to Endor, the new ride boasts visits to several interstellar locations, including Hoth, Tatooine, Coruscant, Naboo, and even the Death Star -- all in 3D! The only catch is that each time you ride, you’ll only visit three locations, making multiple trips essential in order to experience everything Lucasfilm has created. Characters featured in the new ride are C-3PO, Yoda, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and everybody’s favorite, Jar Jar Binks!

The Force may be with you at the Disney World website and the Disneyland website.

Rome by Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi Read Reviews
New album in stores Tuesday

Rome is a new concept/tribute album from producer Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley, Broken Bells) and Italian composer/collaborator Daniele Luppi. The album, released Tuesday, is inspired by the music featured in spaghetti Westerns -- especially the work of composer Ennio Morricone. The 15 tracks on the album were recorded using vintage equipment, and the record features the reunited Cantori Moderni choir, who appeared on Morricone's famous The Good, the Bad and the Ugly score. Jack White and Norah Jones provide vocals on several tracks.

Check out an interactive film on the album website (works best with Google Chrome), or listen to the entire disc streaming below:

TV Network "Upfront" Presentations
Fox and NBC on Monday; ABC on Tuesday; CBS on Wednesday; The CW on Thursday

It's time once again for the five broadcast networks to announce their fall primetime schedules, and, with them, the final say on any remaining shows still on the bubble, like Blue Bloods. Many announcements have already been leaked: Chuck will be saved once again, but V, Brothers & Sisters, and The Chicago Code are done. Similarly, news about the networks' new programming has already started to emerge, and you can expect to see Sarah Michelle Gellar, Tim Allen, and Michael Emerson return to your TVs this fall. (No, not together.) But while Fox has committed to J.J. Abrams' Alcatraz, ABC has picked up a new version of Charlie's Angels, and NBC has embraced the Steven Spielberg-produced musical Smash, the fates of other pilots are still up in the air, and we won't know until this week's presentations how all of the pieces will fit together.

We'll have complete coverage of each network's announcement and descriptions of all the new shows each day this week; look here beginning late Sunday afternoon.

Destroyed by Moby Read Reviews
New album in stores Tuesday

Everybody’s favorite bald electro vegan, Moby, returns Monday with his tenth full-length album. Destroyed is kind of a concept album for insomniacs, featuring 15 tracks that were recorded early in the mornings while Moby was on the road touring. The largely ambient album includes photographs that Moby shot of the empty cityscapes that he encountered during those times. Lead single “The Day” has a creepy and stylish video featuring a coma patient and an angelic Heather Graham.

Stream the album, read Moby’s journal, and more at Moby’s always excellent website.

Closing the book on last week

#1 Movie Weekend Box Office Champion (Estimated, U.S. only; source:
Thor 58 $34.5 million; 2nd week at #1
#1 Album #1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: SoundScan)
Adele: 21 76 7th week at #1 (3rd consecutive)
Top-Rated TV Show Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)
Dancing with the Stars [Mon] (ABC) 21.4 million viewers; week of 5/2-5/8

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