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Ed Norton’s ‘Incredible Hulk’ is a Can’t Miss

Ed Norton is one of the best actors today, but not only does he play the new Hulk, he helped write the script. Also not to miss are the new Alanis Morissette CD and "John Adams" on DVD.
/ Source: msnbc.com contributor

Movies

When you see the Incredible Hulk burst out of his skin, you can then imagine what it must have felt like to be a producer working with Edward Norton. Ed is one of our finest actors, but he’s also infamous for putting on other hats as well during a movie’s production, especially that of writer. As a result, more of him will be on the hot seat than usual when box office returns from “The Incredible Hulk” start rolling in. This is, after all, only five years after director Ang Lee took his shot at filming the Marvel Comics superhero — and lost. Maybe Ang should have let that “Hulk” star, Eric Bana, re-write the script. (Universal Pictures, opens Friday)

Television

Director Roman Polanski arrives for the award ceremony at the 61st Cannes Film Festival May 25, 2008. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier (FRANCE)Jean-paul Pelissier / X00211

Roman Polanski has become synonymous with two things: great cinema and underage sex. Unfortunately, the latter has overshadowed the former. Polanski was once convicted of unlawful intercourse with a minor, but it wasn’t that simple. He agreed to a plea bargain, got tipped off that the judge in the case was going to disregard it and come down harder on him, and so he fled to France. Thirty years later, the case is reexamined in “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” part of the HBO documentary film series. This doesn’t make him look like an angel, but it does show how society and the media can sometimes complicate justice — like they still do. (HBO, Monday, 9 p.m.)

Music

If you like Alanis Morissette, you probably root for her to be unhappy, which no doubt brings you pangs of guilt. Why? When Alanis is glum over a breakup with a beau, she usually writes some wicked lyrics, like she did with the smash album “Jagged Little Pill.” When she’s on top of the moon in love, her edge gets lost somewhere along the way. Now she’s back after another busted relationship — this time actor Ryan Reynolds moved on to Scarlett Johansson — with a new CD entitled “Flavors of Entanglement.” She opens up the vault a little and lets out some personal pain on songs such as “Not As We” and “Torch.” How about this for a compromise: Let’s fix her up with somebody cool, but not until after another couple of albums. (Maverick)

DVD

If John Adams had known that someday he’d be the subject of a best-selling book and a seven-part miniseries produced in part by Tom Hanks, perhaps he would have been a little less stubborn and difficult. After all, in “John Adams,” the HBO production starring Paul Giamatti, he is a loyal family man and a freedom fighter, but he’s also a big pain in the neck sometimes. If you missed it on its first run or don’t have the cable channel, “John Adams” is out this week on DVD with a making-of featurette; a look at the book’s author, David McCullough; and a glimpse at the historical facts that are on display in the series. If John Adams were alive today, the producers probably would have banned him from the set of “John Adams.” (HBO Video)

Books

The mob had its tentacles into everything — even Cuba. Before Fidel Castro staged his revolution, American gangster kingpins Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano saw Cuba as more than a place to get a good mojito. They had visions of casinos, hotels, celebrities and dancing girls, with money cascading into their bank accounts from waves of tourists — much like Hyman Roth and Michael Corleone planned in “The Godfather, Part II.” But Castro and his rebels and their drab green outfits decided they wanted the Batista government out, and they spoiled the party. Author T.J. English chronicles the connections between the mob and Cuba in “Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba … and Then Lost It to the Revolution.” Note to Fidel: Think how much fun you could have had if you had just joined the Mafia. (William Morrow)