Patton Oswalt, Finest Hour

Patton Oswalt, FINEST HOUR
Some years back, Oswalt predicted that contented domesticity would dull his comedic edge, a sadly prescient fear. This latest special (and CD) feels like a pale imitation of his former caustic brilliance, at times even evoking Ray Romano with a better vocabulary. Unfortunately, this is nowhere near his finest hour.

Entourage Season 8

A show that was never great goes down in flames in a final season so contrived (E and Sloane split!), forced (Johnny Bananas!), inane (Turtle’s a millionaire!), unconvincing (Ari quits!) and predictable (Vince marries Sophia!) that I honestly thought it was going to all be a dream. Nope. Just putrid.


The Tillman Story

This documentary on the cover-up and exploitation of football star Pat Tillman’s friendly fire death in Afghanistan is heartbreaking on many levels. Aside from the illumination of even more Bush Administration malfeasance, this documentary shows how nuanced thought and conviction of non-conventional belief is considered anathema in modern American culture.

DC Universe: Legacies

DC UNIVERSE: LEGACIES by Len Wein and many artists
This epitaph for the pre-reboot DCU attempts to encapsulate 75 years of history, retroactive continuity and character acquisitions. The book starts strong, but falls apart in the post-CRISIS crossover-event eras, clumsily summarizing convoluted storylines in a few pages. Ironically, LEGACIES ultimately illustrates how overarching continuity is mainstream comics’ worst enemy.

Stuyvesant: Fret Sounds

Stuyvesant, FRET SOUNDS (Dromedary Records)
Mixing breakneck melodies and righteous sloppiness in a classic Minneapolis mode (“St. Cloud” even gets a shout-out), Jersey’s own Stuyvesant hits its stride with this new collection of witty, fuzzy bluster, highlighted by the absolutely terrific “Duly Noted.” A big, big record from some awfully nice guys.