Six Picks for the Week of October 31-November 6

  • Publish Date: October 30, 2011
  • Comments: ↓ 0 user comments

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Read Reviews
New PS3 game in stores Tuesday

Pick 1The game of the year race heats up on Tuesday with the arrival of the third chapter in Naughty Dog's acclaimed PlayStation action-adventure series that is frequently compared to the Indiana Jones movies. (Even Indy himself has been caught playing Uncharted 3 in recent weeks; see the video below.) At press time, the first batch of reviews for Drake's Deception are off the charts, with the previous installment's 96 score still within reach. The new game traces Drake's journey deep into the desert in search of the mythical lost city Iram of the Pillars in a storyline that is based on the real-life Lawrence of Arabia's (T.E. Lawrence) early career as an archaeologist.

There's more treasure to be found at the official site.

Hell on Wheels
Series premiere Sunday at 10p on AMC

Pick 2Can AMC do for westerns what it has done for zombie apocalypse stories? The cable network's newest original series—admittedly, more "midwestern" than actual western—focuses on the rise of the railroad industry in Nebraska in the period immediately following the Civil War. Anson Mount (City by the Sea, Cook County) stars as a former Confederate soldier who seeks revenge against the Union soldiers who murdered his wife; the cast also includes Common, Ben Esler (The Pacific), and Colm Meaney (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), and the series comes from Joe and Tony Gayton (Faster).

All aboard the official show site.

Ceremonials by Florence + The Machine Read Reviews
New album in stores Tuesday

Pick 3Working exclusively with producer Paul Epworth, who produced some of the better tracks on their hit 2009 debut album Lungs 79, England's Florence and the Machine return Tuesday with their highly anticipated sophomore album Ceremonials. Fans of the previous album should find plenty to like this time around, with Florence Welch's soulful, richly arranged, and frequently epic songs influenced by painter Frida Kahlo and author Virginia Woolf.

Welcome to the Machine's official site.

Tower Heist Read Reviews
In theaters Friday

Pick 4We'll get this out of the way first: yes, it's an Eddie Murphy movie. In Friday's action-comedy Tower Heist, Ben Stiller leads a group of condominium workers—including Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Michael Pena, and Gabourey Sidibe—who enlist a criminal played by Murphy as they try to take revenge on the financier who lost their pension, a very Bernie Madoff-like Alan Alda. Brett Ratner returns to feature film directing for the first time since 2007’s Rush Hour 3 44 (we know you missed him), while his future Oscar host Murphy attempts to make a decent live-action comedy for the first time in over a decade.

Grab what you can at the official movie site.

Lulu by Lou Reed and Metallica Read Reviews
New album in stores Tuesday

Pick 5What part of "Lou Reed and Metallica" do you not understand? (OK, all of it.) Certainly one of the year's odder musical pairings, Lulu is based on a pair of works by German expressionist playwright Frank Wedekind (the same plays which served as the source for the silent film classic Pandora's Box), and has its origins in a batch of songs the 69-year-old former Velvet Underground frontman penned for a Berlin theater production. (Heavy metal legends Metallica were brought in later after they met Reed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.) Of course, Reed has tried "metal" before; Lulu, however, promises to be at least slightly listenable. But while Reed claims that this album is the best thing he ever recorded, early reviews suggest the opposite might be true.

Not convinced? Stream the entire album at the official album site.

The SMiLE Sessions by The Beach Boys Read Reviews
New box set in stores Tuesday

Pick 6It's not as polished as Brian Wilson's solo take (2004's SMiLE 97) on the same material, but that's not the point. One of the most legendary "lost" albums in rock history, SMiLE was originally recorded by the Beach Boys in 1966 and 1967 as the group's follow-up to Pet Sounds, but was never completed or released. Now, for the first time, the studio recordings from the original sessions are getting an official release, and a comprehensive one at that. Compiled from the 45-year-old master tapes with the participation of original band members Wilson, Al Jardine, and Mike Love, the SMiLE Sessions double-CD is designed to approximate the album as it was originally intended (with plenty of bonus tracks), while a comprehensive 5-disc box set adds dozens of alternate takes and mixes and even studio chatter, offering hours of good vibrations (and literally over an hour of "Good Vibrations") for die-hard fans.

There are even more reasons to smile at the official Beach Boys site.

Closing the book on last week

#1 Movie Weekend Box Office Champion (Estimated, U.S. only; source:
Puss in Boots 65 $34.0 million; 1st week at #1
#1 Album #1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: SoundScan)
Adele: 21 76 13th week at #1 (1st consecutive)
Top-Rated TV Show Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)
NCIS (CBS) 19.4 million viewers; week of 10/17-10/23

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