Beacon Quick Picks

by Beacon Staff • October 4, 2006

by lynda seumo

John Grisham, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town; Available Oct. 10

If you believe in the fairness of the criminal justice system, innocent until proven guilty, the death penalty and everything else that makes our judicial system what it is, then, boy, does John Grisham have a surprise for you! In his first work of non-fiction, Grisham explores small-town justice gone terribly wrong.,Literature

by lynda seumo

John Grisham, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town; Available Oct. 10

If you believe in the fairness of the criminal justice system, innocent until proven guilty, the death penalty and everything else that makes our judicial system what it is, then, boy, does John Grisham have a surprise for you! In his first work of non-fiction, Grisham explores small-town justice gone terribly wrong. Filled with brilliant plot twists and a strong narrative voice, Grisham's legal thriller is an entertaining and interesting read, whether or not the legal lingo leaves you perplexed at times.

HARRY G. FRANKFURT, On Truth; Available Oct. 31

There are some things in life that are unequivocally true. Red lights mean stop and green lights mean go. In a world where pathological liars exist and fibbing in order to protect someone is accepted, Frankfurt, author of last year's novel On Bullshit, tries to present us with facts showing why it is more advantageous to face the truth than to ignore it. Though his premise is insightful, Frankfurt fails to touch on the more important aspects of truth, such as what it actually is. Nevertheless, it should be an interesting read for those with an hour or two to spare.

film

by caitlin Weaver

Nick Mccarthy

Employee of the Month; in theatres tomorrow

Instead of Dane Cook working in a restaurant (like in Waiting), he's working in a big-box store in Employee. He battles Dax Shepard to win the coveted title of "employee of the month," because Jessica Simpson will date whoever wins. The trailer features probably the only funny line in the film-when a golf ball hits his car, Shepard yells, "This is an '81 Honda! How dare you?" Employee seems to rely on slapstick humor and Cook's goofy charm, so maybe there's some laughs here.

Jesus Camp; Opens at Kendall Square Cinema tomorrow

This exposing documentary is for those who were disappointed that Sarah Silverman's Jesus is Magic was not about the savior. Jesus Camp, however, will probably be equally comical-and much more disturbing. The wacky trailer includes a legion of bible-thumping adolescents who claim to be training as "soldiers in God's army" at summer camp. Although the film focuses on an evangelical youth movement, the children featured in the preview most closely resemble demons. I'm most interested in the cafeteria. It probably serves Jesus wafers and grape juice-and that sounds tasty.

music

by jonathan gabso

Various Artists, Marie Antoinette Soundtrack; Available Oct. 10

The upcoming Sofia Coppola (Lost In Translation, The Virgin Suicides) biopic starring Kirsten Dunst as the title character seems to have a Generation-Y slant to it, and the soundtrack certainly matches that. Post-punk gems from the likes of Gang of Four and The Strokes cohabitate with new-wave acts like The Cure, Siouxsie The Banshees, and New Order. Not quirky enough for you? There are also left-field techno classics like Aphex Twin's "Jynweythek Ylow."

Robert Pollard, Normal Happiness; Available Oct. 10

Normal Happiness is the loudmouthed, high-steppin' former Guided By Voices front man's ninth album since his 1996 solo debut, Not In My Airforce, and his third since GBV broke up in 2004. The album is now streaming on Merge Records' Web site, and unsurprisingly, like most of his solo work, it sounds an awful lot like a 16th GBV record.

dvd

by tali Dumdai

Save the Last Dance 2; Available Oct. 10

The movie industry just doesn't know when to stop . or they've just completely run out of original ideas. Save the Last Dance 2 picks up where the first left off: Sara Johnson (Izabella Miko of Coyote Ugly, taking over for Julia Stiles) is now at Julliard with the same dilemma: she has to prove herself to the socialites while staying true to herself. How heartwarming. What this really sounds like is a rehashing of the first movie, with a little bit of Center Stage and Step Up thrown in.

A Prairie Home Companion; Available Oct. 10

Although the tagline, "Radio like you've never seen it before," is a little cheesy, this Robert Altman film looks like a winner. The cast is the first thing to attract audiences, offering up Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Kline, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly and Lindsay Lohan. While Lohan may turn viewers off, she's playing a different role than her previous movies: in this film she's a suicide-obsessed teen. The actors seem to be having a blast and that's a sign of a great movie. You may have to be in a certain mood to watch this flick, but make time for it because it seems like a classic.