BEACON QUICK PICKS

by bryan o’toole

U2 AND NEIL MCCORMICK, U2 ON U2; AVAILABLE SEPT. 26

I have climbed through highest mountains and run through the fields, but I still haven’t found a satisfying account of one of the world’s biggest bands. Bono and company’s new book spans four decades chronicling the group’s rise from four Irish boys to spinning around the globe’s arenas and stadiums on the Vertigo tour, and everything in between that couldn’t be left behind, including exclusive photos and commentary.,LITERATURE

by bryan o’toole

U2 AND NEIL MCCORMICK, U2 ON U2; AVAILABLE SEPT. 26

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I have climbed through highest mountains and run through the fields, but I still haven’t found a satisfying account of one of the world’s biggest bands. Bono and company’s new book spans four decades chronicling the group’s rise from four Irish boys to spinning around the globe’s arenas and stadiums on the Vertigo tour, and everything in between that couldn’t be left behind, including exclusive photos and commentary. It’s one book, and U2 fans have got to do what they should: buy it.

MITCH ALBOM, FOR ONE MORE DAY; AVAILABLE SEPT. 26

Some authors like to tug your heartstrings with moving tales of life, love and loss. Mitch Albom, on the other hand, prefers to rip the reader’s still-beating heart out and crush it in front of his or her face in order to ensure that by the end of his books, his readers have sobbed through an entire box of Kleenex and called everyone they’ve ever known to profess their undying love. The Sultan of Schmaltz’s latest, For One More Day, is about an alcoholic who encounters his widow’s ghost-or dead/dying person teaches living person a lesson, the outline of his other two books.

FILM

by nick mccarthy

JACKASS: NUMBER TWO; IN THEATERS TOMORROW

It’s been five years since the release of the original Jackass movie, and Johnny Knoxville and Co. are back with even more stunts of supreme idiocy. The shenanigans of this masochistic clan of jackasses will continue as they sacrifice their bodies and dignity in an attempt to make the audience laugh and cringe. Due to its built-in audience, Jackass: Number Two is critic-proof; therefore, the marketing team has cleverly decided to spit on its critics by displaying multiple negative comments in its ads, which condemn the depravity and stupidity of the project. As the saying goes-flaunt what you’ve got.

MUTUAL APPRECIATION; AT COOLIDGE CORNER TOMORROW

If this generation of cinema has any chance of a revolution, my bets-and hopes-are that promising Boston local Andrew Bujalski will lead it, and soon. Bujalski is a skilled, contemporary hybrid of John Cassavetes, Richard Linklater and Woody Allen. Bujalski’s painfully honest portrait of female twentysomething ennui, Funny Ha Ha, was one of 2005’s best films. In Mutual Appreciation, the ostensible male companion piece, there is more focus placed on music and camaraderie in addition to Bujalski’s trademark identity crises and naturalistic style. Fortunately for independent film lovers, he has successfully crafted another candid, poignant depiction of post-collegiate confusion, and it is among the finest releases this year. He’s batting 1.000.

MUSIC

by caitlin weaver

JANET JACKSON, 20 Y.O.; AVAILABLE SEPT. 26

Janet Jackson’s new album, 20 Y.O. (as in 20 years old, the age of her breakthrough album Control), features the weak, boring “Call On Me” (featuring Nelly) as its first single. If the rest of the album sounds like this, expect it to flop. This comeback attempt, after her 2004 Super Bowl “Nipplegate” incident (she released the forgettable Damita Jo in 2004), probably will not succeed like Mariah Carey’s 2005 return to prominence. If Jackson wants to keep her old legion of fans happy and make some new fans along the way, she’ll need to change her same-old-RB-with-a-random-rapper style.

WEIRD AL YANKOVIC, STRAIGHT OUTTA LYNWOOD; AVAILABLE SEPT. 26

Weird Al is probably best known for pissing off Coolio with his parody of “Gangsta’s Paradise,” “Amish Paradise,” back in the ’90s. Straight Outta Lynwood’s songs are undeniably stupid, but some are actually funny, like “White and Nerdy,” a parody of Chamillionaire’s “Ridin'” (with the chorus, “They see me roll on / My Segway / I know in my heart they think I’m white and nerdy”). Parodies of Taylor Hicks, Green Day, Usher and an R. Kelly parody entitled “Trapped in the Drive Thru” show up as well. If you’re still 10 years old at heart, you might like this album.

DVD

by Rebecca Anne Flanagan

BENNY HILL, COMPLETE AND UNADULTERATED: THE HILL’S ANGELS YEARS – SET FIVE; AVAILABLE SEPT. 26

It’s hard to say where Emersonians are most likely to have heard “Yakety Sax”-perhaps in V for Vendetta during the uncensored anti-government episode of Deitrich’s television show or on South Park’s student-produced, robotrippingly awesome “Close Up Animals With a Wide-Angle Lens.” Or perhaps they heard it where it originated, as the theme song of 1960s BBC sketch comedy show, The Benny Hill Show. Slapstick, double entendres and other forms of so-called “British humor” may not quite be your cup of Earl Grey, but that song makes almost anything funny.

THE LAKE HOUSE; AVAILABLE SEPT. 26

Whereas 2004’s utterly predictable romantic hit The Notebook was more vomit-inducing than sob-eliciting to anyone with a functioning brain, this summer’s recoupling of Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves (last paired together tearing through city streets in a death machine in 1994’s Speed) is not the misbegotten cousin to The Notebook it was expected to be-and this movie has a magical mailbox. Even with that, Reeves’ characteristic wooden acting and the shaky concept of time-traveling working against the film, the end product is a surprisingly enjoyable one. This is the kind of DVD you need around for manicure-and-H