Monitor Picks

You'll believe a man can fly ... again

At first, the teaser trailer for Superman Returns - with its scenes of a teen Clark Kent in a barn - seems little more than a big-screen episode of "Smallville." But then the curly forelocked superhero effortlessly leaps over a cornfield in a single bound (a precursor to hurdling tall buildings in Metropolis). Not even Lex Luthor could stop this film from being the film to see in 2006. Visit www.supermanreturns.com

Arrested in its prime time

Admittedly, Arrested Development isn't for everyone. The absurdist sitcom's characters include an aspiring Blue Man Group actor, a mama's boy who resembles Captain Hook, and a hokey magician who thinks he can make harbor-side boats disappear a la David Copperfield. Sadly, the edgy show was just canceled by Fox. Weep with laughter by renting the DVDs.

A classic, updated

In the new Elements of Style Illustrated, ($29.95) a droopy-eared dog inexplicably accompanies the phrase: "Well, Susan, this is a fine mess you are in" - demonstrating the rule for wrapping commas around a name when it's used in "direct address." The cheerful illustrations by Maria Kalman may not make you a better grammarian, but they certainly lend the slim volume, now fitted with a red cloth cover, style and charm.

Frills attached

Seinfeld: Seasons 5 and 6 contain several seminal episodes (the puffy shirt; Kramer's first name is revealed). More significantly, it's when the 1990s comedy cemented its role as America's cultural watchdog (in "The Jimmy," it pokes fun of athletes who refer to themselves in the third person, for example). Now out on DVD, the collector's set comes with a mini version of that pirate-like garment.

A TV icon, as endearing as ever

Now that Leave It To Beaver is finally on DVD, boomers can introduce their kids to the tribulations of Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver, his brother Wally, and TV's definitive sycophant, Eddie Haskell. The set even comes packaged in a lunchbox.

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