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Media Mix

A Quick Take on New Releases for Sunday, March 25, 2007


  Title Basic Story Sample Grab What You'll Love What You Won't Grade
Book
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The Alibi Man

By Tami Hoag

Bantam

$26

A troubled former detective in glitzy Palm Beach, Fla., is lured back into the sleuthing game after her fellow groomswoman at a horse farm is found strangled and dismembered in a nearby swamp.

"I didn't want to know the person who had become a corpse ravaged by an alligator. But somehow this trouble had managed to find me, and there wasn't anything I could do about it."

The protagonist vows to find the killer

Best-selling author Hoag knows just how much sleaze, drugs and corruption to infuse into her books to make them suitably hard to put down.

Hoag tends to over-explain obvious points. Worse, astute readers will solve the mystery well before the end of the book.

Reviewed by Sara Cardace

C-
Book
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The Year of Fog

By Michelle Richmond

Delacorte Press

$20

Six-year-old Emma disappears while out with her soon-to-be stepmother, Abby. Richmond's gripping novel tells the harrowing tale of the desperate search to find her.

"I have no idea what I'm looking for, no inkling of where I should look, what street, on what day, and at what time. Emma is everywhere, and she is nowhere."

A bewildered Abby expresses her helplessness

Richmond makes the reader feel the gamut of emotions, from the initial disbelief and blind hope to the nagging guilt and gnawing despair.

Though fictional, this meticulously documented, often morbid journal drives one unshakable point home: It could happen to anyone.

Alexis Burling

A
CD
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Big

Macy Gray

Geffen

$13.98

The breathy singer attempts to resuscitate her flagging career with an eclectic album featuring a gaggle of celebrity guests, including Justin Timberlake.

"It's been a long time since I had you near my dear / Come on inside get away from the cold wind that's blowing / Gonna let you know that / I'm so glad you're here."

"I'm So Glad You're Here"

Fans of the Black Eyed Peas will instantly groove to the infectious Will.I.Am-produced "Treat Me Like Your Money."

The album suffers from its wildly disparate styles: For every song you enjoy, there will be another you hate.

S.C.

C+
CD
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Myths of the Near Future

Klaxons

Geffen

$9.98

London's latest next-big-thing explodes onto these shores with a high-energy album that fuses big beats, fuzzed-out metal guitars and tortured-rocker vocals in one bombastic mix.

"All ships of sense on hyper ocean / All kites of chaos still in motion / My culture vulture such a bad hand / I'll steal you from the year 4000."

"Frailty's Rainbow"

For those bored by the same-sounding bands populating today's indie landscape, the trio's wild mix of influences and utterly unique sound will feel undeniably fresh.

The album's huge, propulsive push is relentless, so all but the most enthusiastic listeners may need to take a breather every so often.

S.C.

A
DVD
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Children of Men

Rated R

Universal Studios

$29.98

In a grim near-future world where all humanity has become infertile, Theo (Clive Owen) must escort a miraculously pregnant woman (Claire-Hope Ashitey) across a hostile country.

"As the sound of the playgrounds faded, the despair set in. Very odd, what happens in a world without children's voices."

Theo breaks down the existential crisis of his time

The astonishing cinematography breathes life into the gray, monotonous and hopeless society the film portrays.

Though fascinating, the accompanying featurette, in which an international panel of philosophers reflects on problems portrayed in the film, doesn't lift the oppressive mood.

Justin Rude

A
DVD
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Color Me Kubrick

Not Rated

Magnolia

$29.98

The offbeat comedy stars John Malkovich as Alan Conway, a real-life huckster who posed as Stanley Kubrick despite not having the firmest grasp of the director's work.

"It's '3001: A Space Odyssey.' "

Conway reveals the new film he's working on

Malkovich's Conway is a delightfully weird creature whose unlikely wardrobe choices are the movie's biggest scene stealers. Kubrick fans will delight in the numerous homages.

A film that could have made real statements about the desire for fame and recognition is sadly light, and the thin bonus offerings don't help.

J.R.

C
Game
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Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

Xbox 360

Rated Mature

Ubisoft

$59.99

In the not-so-distant future, a secret military team is dispatched to the first front in a growing war with Mexico.

New elements, such as a battlefield medic who can heal your wounds, take the difficulty down a notch from the game's predecessor in a good way.

Let's put this in the bluntest possible terms: The explosions are really, really cool.

Although the action-packed payoff is top-notch, the emphasis on strategy over gunfire will frustrate players with itchy trigger fingers.

Christopher Healy

B+
game
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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07

Nintendo Wii

Rated Everyone

Electronic Arts

$49.95

The world's best-selling golf video game gets retooled for Nintendo's popular new system.

In addition to traditional course play, this version offers eight new arcade modes, including battle golf and target practice.

No other sport is as suited for the Wii's gesture-based controls. Driving down the fairway is as simple as pulling your arms back and thwacking the virtual golf ball.

Expect your arms to ache after all that swinging.

Evan Narcisse

B+

PHOTOS: Courtesy
Adapted from version orginally published in The Washington Post



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