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‘Wire’s’ life in newspaper biz is Can’t Miss TV

“Zodiac” on DVD and the Danny Glover film “HoneyDripper” are  also among the week’s best offerings.
/ Source: contributor


THE WIRE: Clark Johnson, Brandon Young, Michelle Paress, Tom McCarthy. photo: Paul Schiraldi
THE WIRE: Clark Johnson, Brandon Young, Michelle Paress, Tom McCarthy. photo: Paul SchiraldiPaul Schiraldi

Sorry, folks. I’m a little late with this one. “The Wire” is quite simply the best show on television, and has been for a while. Now it has entered its fifth and final season, and the season premiere airs Jan. 6. But my head was wrapped in holiday paper and soaked in eggnog, so I failed to tout it early enough. If you have HBO, you know the first episode will continue to air this week and also is available on HBO On Demand. Usually, each season is unique for a particular backdrop — politics, education, life on the docks. This time it’s the newspaper business. Creator David Simon is coming home. Give this show your attention and also a proper send-off. You’ll miss it when it’s over, and no mentions in Can’t Miss will bring it back. (HBO, Sunday, 9 p.m.)


Image: Scene from Honeydripper
Eric Abrams, John Sayles

With a title like “Honeydripper,” you would probably expect a film to have a slow pace, especially with a thoughtful and idiosyncratic indie legend in John Sayles at the helm. His latest stars Danny Glover as the owner of a nightclub called the Honeydripper in 1950s Alabama who has fallen on hard times. To infuse the place with some cash as well as some cachet, he advertises an appearance by a local music celebrity named Guitar Sam. The only problem is that he can’t locate Guitar Sam. As the big event nears, another musician steps up with a solid-body electric guitar, claiming to be as good as Guitar Sam. It’s a story to savor like a sweet blues solo, thanks to one of the best filmmakers working today or any day. (Emerging Pictures, in theaters now)


Image: Seven Moons CD case

Jack Bruce and Robin Trower. The names bring back a flood of old-school rock 'n' roll memories. Bruce had established himself as one of the pre-eminent jazz bass players in the world before he teamed up with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker to form Cream in the late ‘60s. Trower was the lead guitarist for Procol Harum before he went solo and formed his own group. The two had collaborated in the late ‘80s on a couple of albums, and now they’re at it again with “Seven Moons.” There’s quite a bit of Hendrix-style guitar combined with spiritual and philosophical lyrics on cuts such as “Distant Places of the Heart,” “So Far to Yesterday” and the title cut. Old rockers never die, they just … well, actually, they do, but fortunately these two haven’t. (V-12 Records)


Image: Zodiac DVD case

“Zodiac” had one flaw: Anyone who was familiar with the true-life story of a serial killer loose in the San Francisco Bay Area in the ‘60s knew how the story ended. But with this film, it’s more about the journey than the destination. Director David Fincher does an excellent job of re-creating the events that terrorized an entire region and fascinated a nation. “Zodiac” is now out on DVD in a “2-Disc Director’s Cut” edition with a lot of special features, including commentary by Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr. and James Ellroy, as well as a behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the film and another feature about the actual Zodiac case and investigation. It’s a story worth revisiting, even without a Hollywood ending. (Paramount Home Entertainment)


Image: In Defense of Food book cover

A lot of you have made New Year’s resolutions, and many of those have to do with diet. “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto” by Michael Pollan is not a license to eat whatever you want and therefore sabotage whatever good intentions you have at this early point in the year. Basically, Pollan cuts through a lot of the hype put forth by the food industry and explains in plain language what you should be eating and what size portions you should be serving yourself. He emphasizes buying quality food that’s good for your body, but also eating less of it. That may sound like common sense, but he also describes different types of edibles that you think might be acceptable, but are instead having a detrimental effect on your health — and, by extension, your New Year’s resolutions. (Penguin Press)