'Waltz With Bashir':
With vibrant, almost-trippy visuals, Ari Folman turns what could have been a stodgy documentary on its head. In the animated film, Folman interviews his old Israeli army comrades, trying to recall memories so disturbing that he has blocked them out. An Oscar nominee for best foreign film, Waltz is both haunting and beautiful. In theaters Friday.
'Years of Refusal' :
Keeping up the momentum of a comeback that began in earnest with 2004's You Are the Quarry, the enigmatic British singer returns with a solid set of songs that plays to his strengths: a polished but punkish croon and grudge-laced lyrics. It's certainly not a Smiths reunion, but we need something in the meantime. In stores Tuesday.
Performers from America's top historically black colleges and universities join the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra this week for a night of intensity, pageantry and, most of all, percussion. Inspired by the hit film of the same name, DRUMLine Live mixes classic funk and soul with current hip-hop hits. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Meyerhoff.
For more: bsomusic.org
'American Rust' :
by Philipp Meyer:
In his debut novel, Meyer paints a grim yet compelling portrait of modern life in the rural hills of Pennsylvania. Amid shuttered steel mills and double-wide trailers, the Baltimore native crafts a tense, downbeat drama with a heavy helping of social commentary. In stores Tuesday.
Single Carrot Theatre takes on the unsettling work of rising playwright Tracy Letts, who just won a Pulitzer Prize for his dark August: Osage County. This gritty comedy is just as bleak; Joe has an outcast contemplating killing his mom for much-needed cash. Opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Load of Fun Gallery in Station North.
For more: singlecarrot.com
'Body of Lies':
One of last fall's most underappreciated films gets a second life on DVD this week. In this riveting spy thriller, Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe spar as CIA agents plotting to take down an elusive Islamic terrorist. Lies is worth overcoming your "Iraq-no-phobia" for. In stores Tuesday.
'Street Fighter IV':
Time to brush up on your Hadoken skills. The classic game gets an upgrade with sharper visuals and enhanced gameplay, but it mostly stays true to its 2-D roots. The result is an update that more than holds its own against modern fighting games while satisfying our nostalgia needs. Out Tuesday on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Taking a page from surrealism, graphic novels and cartoons, Maryland Art Place is keeping it unreal this week with a new show of whimsical, fantasy-inspired pieces. Fourteen artists offer a wide range of work that evokes everything from Alice in Wonderland to modern anime. Opens Thursday at Maryland Art Place.
For more : mdartplace.org
While best known for her 2002 hit "Wish I Didn't Miss You," Stone has been a force in the hip-hop and R&B; world since the early '80s. This uplifting neo-soul singer takes full advantage of her lengthy experience in the music world, mixing the fresh and familiar in her songs. Shows at 5 and 8 tonight at Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis.
For more: ramsheadtavern.com
'Stealing Lincoln's Body':
Abe's 200th birthday month has brought on a flood of tributes and documentaries, but this may be the strangest. The History channel recounts the bizarre plot to hold Lincoln's body for ransom. While the extraneous digital effects are so-so, the real draw is this strange-but-true tale. Airs at 9 p.m. tomorrow.