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Best bets: ‘Soloist’ hopes to strike a chord

"The Soloist" hopes to strike a chord with movie audiences. Also: "The Wrestler" and "Frost/Nixon" come to DVD.
/ Source: msnbc.com

Movies After being pushed out of Oscar season, “The Soloist,” which stars Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr., finally hits the big screen. Will this story of a newspaper reporter who meets a homeless man who’s also a musical prodigy strike a chord with viewers? There's a chance it will be too sentimental and weepy for most audiences. (Opens April 24)

James Toback directs “Tyson,” a documentary that uses original interviews, archival footage and photographs to tell the story of boxer Mike Tyson. Why so compelling? Consider Tyson’s recent statement about the film to the New York Times: “I look at it now, and I’m embarrassed I did it. There’s a lot of information people didn’t need to know.” Now that’s a must-see film. (Opens April 24)

DVDMany thought Mickey Rourke would win the best actor Oscar for his role in "The Wrestler," in which he played washed-up Randy "The Ram" Robinson striving for another chance in the ring. Rourke didn't, but his Hollywood comeback is as fascinating as Robinson's. (Out on DVD April 21.)

"Frost/Nixon" is a fascinating, if not always factual, take on British broadcaster David Frost's interview sessions with disgraced U.S. president Richard Nixon. Frank Langella is a compelling Nixon who even makes you forget he really doesn't resemble the late president, and Michael Sheen is as sharp as ever. (Out on DVD April 21.)

Composer Philip Glass is a legend in his own time, but if you're not a music scholar, you may only know his name from film scores and that classic "South Park" episode where Glass scores the kids' bizarre Christmas pageant. Critics haven't universally loved "Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts," but for all its flaws, it's an engrossing look at the man behind the music. (Out on DVD April 21.)

TVWhat would happen to the earth if humanity simply vanished, but the buildings and other structures we'd built stayed behind? "Life After People: The Series" explores that concept (which was beautifully sketched out in Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains.") The International Space Station plummets to earth, domesticated animals go wild, Big Ben stops ticking, alligators take over Houston. Absolutely fascinating. (Premieres April 21, 10 p.m., History Channel.)

Music What happens when you combine Smashing Pumpkins’ James Iha, Hansons’ Taylor Hanson, Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos and Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger? You get the new supergroup, Tinted Windows, which is releasing its first self-titled album. Schlesinger told the Village Voice, “Dude, it's just some guys that like each other and want to make some music.” (On sale April 21)

If you’ve never heard Art Brut, it’s hard to describe the way Eddie Argos talk-sings the songs or the fact that the band will not only have you dancing, they’ll make you laugh as well. This indie rock band isn’t afraid to poke holes into the pretentiousness that can permeate the music scene. The band’s latest album, “Art Brut vs. Satan,” was produced by Pixies frontman Frank Black and has songs with titles like “DC Comics and the Chocolate Milkshake” and “Mysterious Bruises.” (On sale April 21)