Ry Cooder's 'The Prodigal Son,' the iScanner app, and more top picks

 The podcast 'Drawn' explores various aspects of animated movies and TV shows, biologist Lena (Natalie Portman) signs up for a mission into a mysterious anomaly at a meteor crash site in 'Annihilation,' and more top picks.

Ry Cooder

Cooder goes gospel

Deep into a career now spanning more than five decades, musicologist/guitar virtuoso Ry Cooder can still surprise. The man who brought us the groundbreaking “Paris, Texas” movie soundtrack and the barrier-destroying “Buena Vista Social Club” self-titled album has now gone full gospel. On his latest, The Prodigal Son, Cooder combines his rediscovered love for sacred music with a pointed rebuke to those who he believes have defaced America’s honor and revered institutions. And for an artist whose gruff vocals have always defined his singular sound, his unaffected crooning on much of “The Prodigal Son” turns the medicine to sweet nectar.

Scan easily

Scanning documents can often be part of everyday transactions, but it’s difficult if you don’t have the proper equipment. With the iScanner app, you can scan whatever you need to as well as add an e-signature. It’s free for iOS and Android. 


Measure in love

During the celebration of acclaimed Broadway productions at the recent Tony Awards, drama students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, site of a mass shooting in February, took the stage and performed Seasons of Love from the musical “Rent.” You can see the lovely segment at http://bit.ly/seasonsoflovetonys.

Animated discussion

The medium of animation has changed how we think about art. The podcast Drawn explores various aspects of animated movies and TV shows, including a recent episode about how they have depicted the future (think “The Jetsons”). Some clips on the show might not be suitable for the youngest listeners. You can find it at www.drawnpodcast.com.


Strange environment

In Annihilation, biologist Lena (Natalie Portman) signs up for a mission into a mysterious anomaly at a meteor crash site after her husband (Oscar Isaac) comes back from the same place badly hurt. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer particularly praises actress Gina Rodriguez’s performance as one of Lena’s comrades on the mission. “Annihilation” is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

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