Beacon Quick Picks

by Bryan O’Toole

THOMAS HARRIS; HANNIBAL RISING; AVAILABLE NOW

Harris, who has devoted the majority of his career to chronicling the clever cannibal Hannibal Lecter, goes further into the well with a look at the budding killer’s adolescence. And if you haven’t had enough of mediocre movies desecrating the legend of The Silence of the Lambs, an adaptation of this book scripted by Harris hits theatres next February, with French actor Gaspard Ulliel taking over the role made famous by Sir Anthony Hopkins.,LITERATURE

by Bryan O’Toole

THOMAS HARRIS; HANNIBAL RISING; AVAILABLE NOW

Harris, who has devoted the majority of his career to chronicling the clever cannibal Hannibal Lecter, goes further into the well with a look at the budding killer’s adolescence. And if you haven’t had enough of mediocre movies desecrating the legend of The Silence of the Lambs, an adaptation of this book scripted by Harris hits theatres next February, with French actor Gaspard Ulliel taking over the role made famous by Sir Anthony Hopkins. If you must read it, make sure to stock up on enough fava beans and Chianti beforehand.

HARRY SHEARER; NOT ENOUGH INDIANS; AVAILABLE NOW

Shearer-perhaps best known for his voices on “The Simpsons” and playing cucumber-smuggling rock god Derek Smalls in This Is Spinal Tap-makes a foray into fiction writing with his first novel, a comedic look at a town that successfully lobbies to become a Native American tribe and causes havoc with a neighboring reservation. Considering Shearer’s vocal prowess, there’s a good chance that you could hear Ned Flanders or Montgomery Burns orating when Shearer visits the Coolidge Corner Theatre on Monday to read from “Indians.” Tickets are $2 and available at the Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard Ave.

FILM

by Alexandra leach

APOCALYPTO; IN THEATRES TOMORROW

Mel Gibson’s newest movie has all the right stuff to be a Mayan Passion of the Christ. The film’s hero must escape persecution, the characters all speak an indiscernible ancient language, and there’s controversy surrounding Apocalypto’s production, making it seem like Gibson needs to lay off the sauce and start helming fresher projects. But however unoriginal the movie may turn out, the director’s latest might be worth the price of admission just to see if its cast of total unknowns can hold up to the epic scope and hype of the film.

UNACCOMPANIED MINORS; IN THEATRES TOMORROW

When a bunch of kids get snowed in at an airport during the holiday season, wacky hijinks are pretty much required to ensue. Much like other children-ditch-their-parents-to-have-their-own-fun movies such as Home Alone and its slew of sequels, Unaccompanied Minors promises to provide many a laugh to kids under 13. The movie could be salvaged, though, by appearances from funnyman Lewis Black, Hollywood player turned MTV “Yo Momma” host Wilmer Valderrama and Tyler James Williams, better known as the kid from “Everybody Hates Chris.”

MUSIC

by Jonathan Gabso

GHOSTFACE KILLAH; MORE FISH; AVAILABLE DEC. 12

The Wu-Tang Clan’s resident Iron Man, the formidable Ghostface Killah, is back once again. More Fish, his second release of 2006, is a collection of rarities from his other release this year, the groundbreaking bridge between hip-hop’s mainstream and its underground that was Fishscale. In addition to serving as a companion to that record, More Fish also serves as a prelude to the forthcoming work of Ghost’s new collective, The Theodore Unit, which includes his son, Sun God. For those unfamiliar with the solo work of Ghostface, this album should be purchased along with Fishscale, which stands as one of the best albums of the year.

IKUE ASAZAKI; YURIMUN; AVAILABLE DEC. 12

Show patience with this record, grasshopper, and you shall be rewarded greatly. Currently available only via import from Japan, the new album by 70-year-old Japanese traditional musician Ikue Asazaki contains a set of serene minimalist compositions that revolve around her voice, which has a comforting and slightly rough grandmotherly tone to it. It may be extremely hard to find, however, considering her only exposure in the United States was the use of her sorrowful ballad “Obokuri-eeumi” in the popular anime “Samurai Champloo.” Consider this a bit of a hidden gem from the Land of the Rising Sun.

DVD

by Katie Greer

THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA; AVAILABLE DEC. 12

Based on the best-seller by Lauren Weisberger, The Devil Wears Prada is a deliciously clever comedy about Andy Sachs, a journalist who winds up working as an assistant to the meanest fashion editor ever to exist. As Andy, Anne Hathaway is admirable but nothing too remarkable, and she is quite obviously upstaged by Meryl Streep, who plays the fabulous and cruel Miranda Priestly, Andy’s boss. Though the work environment Andy ends up in is almost absurd, Streep depicts Miranda with such a quiet yet purposeful malice that it makes the entire scenario seem not only possible, but totally real. It is worth the rental fee, if not the purchase price, just to see the performance that Streep might well be nominated for in the coming months.

TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY; AVAILABLE DEC. 12

Unsurprisingly, Talladega Nights is another pseudo-biopic captained by Will Ferrell, who does little to disturb his funny-man image in this comedy about race-car driver Ricky Bobby. Like many of Ferrell’s movies, this is full of hilarious one-liners and completely insane characters, including Ricky Bobby himself. Talladega Nights also includes a comical performance from Sacha Baron Cohen, echoing his role of Borat as another confused foreigner, this time Ricky Bobby’s French rival, Jean Girard. As long as you don’t expect anything more than cheap laughs and over-the-top stereotypes, Talladega Nights will not disappoint.