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The Hot Sheet

The Hot Sheet


Michelle Pfeiffer gets her cougar on with Rupert Friend (pictured), the return of Regina Spektor and Felicity Huffman's trip down the rabbit hole round out what's hot in entertainment for the week.

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- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: Giant robots fight other giant robots. And if for any reason you decide to let this upset you, or make you think that western civilization is somehow stripped of meaning or worth, then you haven't eaten enough Milk Duds yet. Another box and you're totally going to "get it."

- My Sister's Keeper: In real life the sad fact that children sometimes die of cancer doesn't always lead to warmth and wisdom. That's why we have movies, to make the ugly stuff of life feel like an attractive option. But get out your handkerchiefs because it looks like you'll need them.

- Cheri : Director Stephen Frears reunites with his DangerousLiaisons star Michelle Pfeiffer and gets all French period again. This time it's the 1920s and the story is based on the Colette novel and -- oh wait, sorry, time to let all you costume drama maniacs catch your breath. Here's a clip from the film.

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- Dirty Kingby The Cliks (Tommy Boy): Hard rocking (yet with a soft edge) Toronto-based trio the Cliks are only on their second album and already they've made plenty of waves in the music world. After opening for big names like the recently reunited '70s glam legends New York Dolls and goth gods the Cult, as well as playing on the True Colors Tour, the Cliks have managed to dazzle a veritable mosaic of listeners from all walks of life. On Dirty King, the group's instantly alluring guitar-driven power pop vibe is shaken up by lead singer Lucas Silveira's soulful yearning, resulting in what sounds like the thrill of Iggy Pop at his meanest infused with the powerful emotional immediacy of Gwen Stefani circa Tragic Kingdom. The album switches from snarling swagger and foot-stomping rock to beautifully harmonized ballads seamlessly, refusing to be typecast as one genre or another. The fact that Silveira is perhaps the first out trans man to gain wide exposure in the music media is just the icing on the cake for this impressively solid band. Watch the video for "Oh Yeah" off of Snakehouse :

- Dragonslayer by Sunset Rubdown (Jagjaguwar): Spencer Krug is one of the hardest-working men in indie rock today. Between leading the highly acclaimed Wolf Parade, or tending to his prolific "side project," the equally revered Sunset Rubdown, Krug has released six full-length records in the past five years -- and that doesn't even factor in the three other bands he lends his talents to. But Krug and his merry band of followers are showing no sign of fatigue, as Sunset Rubdown's Dragonslayer may just be the band's most fully rounded offering yet. Ranging the gamut from jaunty, minimalist electronica to tremendously powerful rock havoc, the potpourri of musical ambition present here pays off: The album's jarring eclecticism is also its best asset. Vocally, Krug's unmistakably taut warble is provided a perfect counterpoint in the form of Camilla Wynne Ingr, a brilliant backup singer whose smoky, sugary tenor sounds like a playfully teasing retort to Krug's sincere musings.

- Far by Regina Spektor (Sire Records): Quirky Soviet-born singer-songwriter Regina Spektor is a classically trained pianist whose music is both triumphant and fragile, like Joni Mitchell with a splash of Fiona Apple thrown in for good measure. After years of underground buzz, Spektor finally cracked the top 20 in 2006 with the brilliant Begin to Hope , an album that ended up providing the soundtrack for everything from JC Penny commercials to Showtime's edgy sitcom Weeds . Spektor's upbeat piano pop may have broad appeal, but it's her unique lyrics and arresting vocal acrobatics that set her apart from the pack. Far is the perfect follow-up to Spektor's earlier success: Despite collaborations with a flock of mastermind producers (including legendary ELO frontman Jeff Lynne), the album retains the core sense of improvisational whimsy that makes Spektor's ditties so delightful. Some of the subject matter embedded within this upbeat, cozy set of songs: lost wallets, meat markets, singing dolphins, '80s dance anthems, and laughing at God.

Get cozy on the couchaEUR|

- Pick Up the Mic : Alex Hinton's compelling documentary about the evolution of queer hip-hop -- featuring fascinating interviews with rappers, promoters, and other folks in the scene -- is must-see material even if you're not a fan of the music. DVD extras include over 40 minutes of deleted scenes and extended segments.

- Phoebe in Wonderland: One of the best films of the year so far marks a notable directorial debut for queer filmmaker Daniel Barnz (whose husband, Ben Barnz, produced) and features one of the best gay characters in ages -- a little boy who insists on being cast as the Red Queen in a school production of Alice in Wonderland . The top-drawer cast includes Elle Fanning, Patricia Clarkson , Felicity Huffman, Bill Pullman, and Campbell Scott.

- Confessions of a Shopaholic: This adaptation of the chick-lit hit is a big ball of fluff, but it's the perfect DVD for a day when you're too tired to get off the couch and go shopping yourself. Isla Fisher is a comic delight, and Big Gay Sketch Show regular Stephen Guarino steals a scene or two as well.

- Our City Dreams: Chiara Clemente's documentary focuses on five female artists in New York City, including Nancy Spero, whose work examines the polemics of sexual identity. The movie is both an appreciation of amazing artists and a love letter to the inspiration that the Big Apple continues to provide.

- Prison Break: Season Four - Wentworth Miller and folks check out of prison for good with this explosive final season.Look later this summer for a wrap up, two hour movie, but in the meantime, fans of the series won't be let down by this killer, engaging series.

Head to the bookstoreaEUR|

David Inside Out by Lee Bantle: Lee Bantle tells a deceptively simple story in David Inside Out. It's the kind of book adults would read before becoming them -- one that resurfaces when angst seems nostalgic and memories get glossy. Bantle's conversational, teenage prose powers readers through the story of David Dahlgren, a young gay teen who snaps an elastic on his wrist to fend off "inappropriate urges" and love that feels anything but.

- Clean Start by Patricia Margaret Page: Page recreates a 1960s Paris, where whispers of Bohemia fuel a French machismo as women watch their men watch other women. Page's characters are woven into complex relationships that seem all-to-human, push the norms of gender, and further contextualize the complications of married love.

- Homo erectus: 200 Bawdy Limericks by Clifford Simpson: Clifford Simpson shows readers a hilariously filthy mind that brings the old Limerick form into a contemporary light through 200 well-crafted rhymes. What's nasty and rhymes with Robinson Crusoe?

- At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream by Wade Rouse: Picture What Not to Wear 's Clinton Kelly going Into the Wild. Wade Rouse evokes Thoreau in pointy-toed black leather boots in a memoir that follows him from the city to rural Michigan. The woods seem uncomplicated to Rouse, his partner Gary, and their dog Marge. But the citified gay guy finds that personal growth doesn't come without its pains.

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- Two Men Talking returns to Barrow Street Theatre June 22: Paul Browde is a Manhattan psychiatrist. Murray Nossel is an Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker. They met at age 12 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and became sworn enemies. Brought together by chance in New York years later, they worked their way back to a deep friendship, the ups and downs of which they reveal in Two Men Talking , a bravura exercise in storytelling, song, and gay personal history that they perform once a month at an off-Broadway theater in the West Village. The performance on June 22 will be their first in New York since returning to the school where they first met to do four shows for students. Beautifully directed by Dan Milne, Browde and Nossel share an astonishing depth of honesty, trust, and self-awareness about homophobia, bullying, HIV, and the exhilarating urgency of telling your own story.

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