Showtime’s post-9/11 Cat & Mouse Game (who’s who?) is an absolutely riveting, refreshingly unpredictable tale of intrigue and paranoia, on scales both large and small. Claire Danes and Damian Lewis both impeccably portray a sense of tortured conviction and emotional isolation (although Mandy Patinkin’s peevish sanctimony can feel distractingly affected).

The Green Hornet

Unlike The Spirit, The Green Hornet was always a half-assed character, so this dull, ill-conceived, lazily written and utterly charmless adaptation isn’t exactly an aberration; It’s just a waste of time. Seth Rogen and Cameron Diaz remain teeth-grindingly grating, while Christoph Waltz seems rightly embarrassed to be here.


Big Lake: Do You Love Me? Yes / No

Big Lake, DO YOU LOVE ME? YES / NO (Evil Island Fortress)
The debut offering from Jersey City’s Big Lake (aka Lysa Opfer) may only be five songs, but they are five huge pieces of deep, lush, mesmerizing songwriting, channeling an evocative gamut of emotions and displaying a fully-realized musical voice. True, I am biased. But I’m also tellin’ the truth!


A Very She & Him Christmas

She & Him, A VERY SHE & HIM CHRISTMAS (Merge Records)
Zooey Deschanel’s charming singing in ELF became wan and cloying in every subsequent manifestation. Turns out Christmas music is the genre that best suits her vocalizing, as this low-fi collection of Xmas songs with M. Ward is a lovely, if sometimes precious little candy cane in a beautiful package.

Batman: Year One

Using Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s classic run as a direct template, this animated film will please the fanboy faithful who demand these things be literal translations rather than loose adaptations. Bryan Cranston as a young Lt. Jim Gordon is genius casting in this decidedly adult, often violent tale.