Six Picks for the Week of May 2-8

Thor Read Reviews
In theaters Friday

The Marvel Comics movie juggernaut kicks off this Friday with the first of its two big summer offerings, Thor. Directed by Kenneth Branagh (Henry V), the film stars Chris Hemsworth (Kirk’s dad in Star Trek) as the mighty titular Norse god (or alien in the film version) who lands on Earth, flirts with scientist Natalie Portman, deals with his villainous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), and helps set up the Marvel team-up movie The Avengers due out next Summer (before that, Captain America: The First Avenger opens this July). For the record, Vincent D’Onofrio will always be Thor in our book.

It’s hammer time at the official website.

Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 by Beastie Boys Read Reviews
New album in stores Tuesday

After a lengthy absence (their last non-instrumental album, To the 5 Boroughs, came out in 2004), the Beastie Boys’ Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 drops Tuesday after originally being scheduled for release in September of 2009 under the title Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 1. The album was postponed after MCA (Adam Yauch) was diagnosed with cancer. He has since recovered and the new 16-track album (with a tracklist almost identical to the scrapped Part 1) features guest spots from Nas and Santigold.

Make some noise and stream the album at the official website.

Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes Read Reviews
New album in stores Tuesday

Seattle folk rockers Fleet Foxes return with their sophomore album, Helplessness Blues, coming out Tuesday on Sub Pop. The harmonic group follow up their critically acclaimed self-titled debut with another set of songs that already have critics gushing. Lead singer and songwriter Robin Pecknold’s meticulous tinkering in the studio prevented the album from coming out in 2010, but after hearing the album’s 12 polished songs, we’re guessing it was worth the wait.

Stream the album at the official website.

The Beaver Read Reviews
In theaters Friday

Jodie Foster once again (finally!) dons her director hat and returns with her first film since 1995’s excellent Home for the Holidays. Of course, the film is now known best as Mel Gibson’s first project to land in theaters since his infamous personal meltdown. Gibson stars as a down-and-out toy company CEO who uses a beaver puppet to communicate with his wife (Foster) and his kids. The film’s screenplay by Kyle Killen occupied the top slot of the 2008 Black List, a ranking of the best unproduced screenplays.

Check out the nice beaver at the official website.

Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden
Concert airs Saturday at 9pm on HBO

Calling all little monsters! The never-ending Gaga saga continues as she gets closer to the release of her second full-length album, Born This Way. This Saturday night, HBO subscribers can watch as Lady Gaga’s long-running Monster Ball Tour hits Madison Square Garden. The special was filmed during the February 21st and 22nd shows at the legendary venue. Expect lively renditions of insanely popular tunes “Poker Face,” “Bad Romance,” and “Paparazzi.”

Put your paws up at the official website.

Hobo with a Shotgun Read Reviews
Opens in NY and Austin Friday; other cities starting 5/20

What began as a fake trailer made to promote Robert Rodriguez’ and Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse has now sprung into a full-on feature-length exploitation splatter flick (not unlike Rodriguez’s Machete) with a lead performance from genre legend Rutger Hauer. Hitting theaters Friday in limited release, Hobo with a Shotgun stars Hauer as the hobo who’s looking to raise money to buy a lawnmower in order to start a business. When he witnesses the good people of Scum Town being oppressed by bad guy The Drake, the hobo grabs a shotgun and “delivers justice one shell at a time!” Here’s hoping that the hobo isn’t limited to using a shotgun and eventually wields a lawnmower, Dead Alive-style.

Say hello to my boomstick at the official website.

Closing the book on last week

#1 Movie Weekend Box Office Champion (Estimated, U.S. only; source: Boxofficemojo.com)
Fast Five 69 $83.6 million; 1st week at #1
#1 Album #1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: Billboard.com/Nielsen SoundScan)
Adele: 21 76 5th week at #1 (1st consecutive)
Top-Rated TV Show Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)
American Idol [Wed] (Fox) 22.5 million viewers; week of 4/18-4/25

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