By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com November 20 2009 1:15 PM ET
The Twilight Saga: New Moon — Whether it's pale, come-hither Brit Robert Pattinson, foxy frat boy Kellan Lutz, or not-yet-legal but toned-as-hell Taylor Lautner, chances are there’s something beckoning you to theaters this weekend (and for the ladies, don’t forget Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, and Kristen Stewart). Despite calls for a boycott because of author Stephenie Meyer’s affiliation with the Mormon Church, this promises to be one of the biggest movies of the year ... and, odds are gay ticket buyers are going to make up a fair chunk of the audience.
Broken Embraces — In her fourth feature with director Pedro Almodóvar, Penélope Cruz once again pulls out all the stops, this time as Lena, a secretary and part-time call girl. With this release, shot in ’50s film noir style, Cruz is already scoring Oscar talk from critics. If that comes true, this would be her second nod for an Almodóvar film and her third in the last four years. That’s a huge step for a girl who just five years ago was branded a flash in the pan by most Hollywood critics.
The Blind Side— Come on ... Sandra Bullock as a Republican,
gun-toting, bleached-blond soccer mom who faces off against gang-bangers
and drug dealers to protect her new son, a 300-pound black boy with a
third-grade reading level? It’s her Erin Brockovich, and gay
guys love to quote that. Plus, though the trailer looks a tad
saccharine, Bullock’s getting rave reviews — even (gasp) Oscar buzz.
Star Trek — There are so many reasons to see J.J. Abrams’s first stab at the Star Trek franchise. Aside from being the film to make a star out of Chris Pine, it boasts killer special effects, yet another star-making performance by Zachary Quinto, and cameos by Winona Ryder and Leonard Nimoy.
Melrose Place Five Season Pack — So what if the original Melrose Place ran for seven seasons. Some money-hungry studio head decided to release the five good seasons in a special DVD package and then burn off the two with Lisa Rinna and that chick who’s now the mom on Gossip Girl some other time. Besides, this set has everything you need: Heather Locklear, Marcia Cross as crazy doc Kimberly Shaw, and Doug Savant as gay neighbor Matt, who never gets to do anything.
Gone With The Wind (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) — This 1939 classic film version of Margaret Mitchell’s best seller — arguably the most beloved romantic epic of them all — hardly needs a recommendation. While it’s been available on DVD for years, it has never looked more magnificent than in this high-resolution rescanning for Blu-ray, and it’s packaged in a red velvet box with a hardcover book of photos and production notes and more than eight hours of extras, including two new documentaries. The movie itself still holds up beautifully, and it’s unlikely the gods of casting were ever on better behavior than when it came to Clark Gable as Rhett Butler — the epitome of the dashing leading man — and just try to imagine anyone other than Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara — beautiful, tempestuous, vain, stubborn, foolishly in love with the wrong man, and determined to conquer every obstacle that fate puts before her. She remains cinema’s most relatable heroine. This is a must-own.
Rated R by Rihanna— The fashion-forward Bahamian beauty has been criticized for releasing a dark ballad as the first single ("Russian Roulette") from her fourth album instead of a club-thumper like "Umbrella." Rihanna should listen to her collaborator Jay-Z and just brush the criticism off her shoulder — this pop star is no one-dimensional confection; she wanted to express the pain and confusion she's been going through since the Chris Brown "incident," and it comes through clearly with songs like "Russian Roulette" and the heartbreaking "Stupid in Love." Doing a Good Girl Gone Bad, Part II would not have made sense; Rihanna has aspirations to be an artist. Rated R leads her in that direction. Out Monday.
The Fame Monster by Lady Gaga— Thanks to Rihanna and Ms. Gaga, it's a thrilling time for pop music. Gaga's eight-song follow-up to the platinum-selling The Fame is the same undeniable dance music that everyone — even straight guys — finds impossible to resist. Lead single "Bad Romance" is like caffeine for the soul, and the video is the best three-minute musical film since "Express Yourself." It's now undeniably clear who Madonna's heir apparent is. Released Monday.
I Dreamed a Dream by Susan Boyle— Speaking of Madonna, she gets covered on the British sensation's new album — "You'll See" gets the crystalline Boyle treatment. The voice of the formerly dowdy 48-year-old is phenomenal; even when she sings the Rolling Stones classic "Wild Horses," you believe it, even though the haunting ballad is about heroin abuse. Other covers include "Daydream Believer" and "Silent Night." There's also an original song: "Who I Was Born to Be." Released Monday.
Other Monday CD releases (not on Tuesdays as usual, because of the Thanksgiving holiday) include She Wolf by Shakira and Adam Lambert's For Your Entertainment (if you can get past that album cover). And available now for download is "I'm the Shit," the first single by BeBe Zahara Benet, winner of RuPaul's Drag Race.