Swiftpicks 10 things not to miss from A&E editor Tim Swift

November 09, 2008|By Tim Swift

TV

Jill Snyder :

on 'Top Chef':

The cable's best cook-off returns this week for its fifth season with a chef from Mount Vernon's Red Maple in the running. Sadly, we don't see much of Snyder in this week's opener (bossy Euro-trash chefs hog most of the airtime). But here's hoping she's one of those stealth contestants who comes out of nowhere midseason to win. Airs at 10 p.m. Wednesday on Bravo.

FILM

Judi Dench as M.:

in 'Quantum of Solace':

While the latest James Bond flick doesn't skimp on Bond Girls (see our cover), there's also a Bond Woman who's front and center. In Quantum, M. - 007's underappreciated boss lady - finally moves from a supporting player to a major character. And Dench doesn't squander the extra screen time as she spars with rogue agents, including Bond himself. In theaters Friday.

ART

'Painful Death:

/Painless Life':

One of Baltimore's most inventive and irreverent artists, Joyce J. Scott continues her work with beaded sculptures and other found objects with a new show this week at the Goya Contemporary. Never one to shy away from controversial subjects, Scott evokes the struggles of Darfur and Bosnia in the pieces on view. Opens Saturday.

For more: goyacontemporary.com

CONCERT

Conor Oberst:

Oberst - the frontman for Bright Eyes and an indie-rock darling - stops in D.C. this week to promote his latest solo effort. His new South of the Border-inspired songs strive for a sense of machismo, but this emo-prince is just too darn sensitive. Yet, he's earned enough good karma from Bright Eyes to warrant a listen. Show starts at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the 9:30 Club.

For more: 930.com

COMEDY

Lisa Lampanelli:

The Obama victory has people talking about things like a "post-racial" America. Maybe they should check out Lampanelli's show this week for a raunchy reality check. She isn't afraid of taboo subjects like race. Sure, you'll laugh, but you'll probably also cringe. Show starts at 8 p.m. Friday at the Meyerhoff.

For more: ticketmaster.com

GAMES

'Call of Duty::

World at War':

After a brief foray in modern times, the Call of Duty series returns to its World War II roots with its latest sequel, World at War. New technology in Call of Duty 4 was great, but there's nothing more satisfying than shooting at Nazis. Playing as an American GI or a Russian soldier, gamers can relive pivotal WWII battles. Out on most systems Tuesday.

THEATER

'Boom':

Sci-fi on the stage is unusual to begin with, but add some comedy and things get really weird. While Boom is a little raw, the post-apocalyptic tale has plenty of moments of inspired silliness. My favorite: A one-night stand takes an expected turn when the girl finds a stockpile of tampons and diapers. Opens Wednesday at D.C.'s Woolly Mammoth Theatre.

For more: woollymammoth.net

TV

'Batman::

Brave and the Bold':

After all the gloom and doom of The Dark Knight, it's refreshing to see the brighter side of Batman again. Starting this week, Cartoon Network is teaming the Caped Crusader with lesser-known heroes like Red Tornado and my personal favorite, Aquaman. The resulting animated adventures are fun without being campy. Airs at 8 p.m. Friday.

BOOKS

'A Mercy':

by Toni Morrison:

Set in 1682 Maryland, A Mercy tells the story of a trader who reluctantly accepts a young slave girl as payment of a debt. She's spared a possibly worse fate but is still left abandoned. Called "a fitting companion" to Morrison's critically acclaimed Beloved, A Mercy explores how compassion can have unintended consequences. In stores Tuesday.

DVD

'Hellboy II:

The Golden Army':

When it arrived in theaters this past summer, most saw Hellboy II as yet another superhero movie. But Guillermo del Toro's sequel is more of a fantastic monster mash than anything else. It boasts a cornucopia of creatures, and you'll probably never have warm and fuzzy feelings about tooth fairies again. In stores Tuesday.

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