Joshua Alston

Rattling His Chains

There's no polite way to describe Craig Brewer's "Black Snake Moan," so let's get it over with. Samuel L. Jackson stars as Lazarus, an old black bluesman who tries to cure Rae (Christina Ricci) of nymphomania by tethering her to his radiator with a steel chain.

Tea: Red Alert on Aisle Six

Choosing between black, white and green teas has always been a bit confusing--but now you'll be seeing red. Red tea, that is. The South African import is gaining popularity in the United States, thanks to new launches from Snapple and Honest Tea (which debuts its blend this spring).

Family: Sleeping With Dino

Which sounds cooler: "pass the popcorn" or "pass the pterodactyl egg"? If your kids are begging you to take them to the hit family film "Night at the Museum," you can do them one better--an after-dark museum adventure of their own.

Stepping Out of Line?

During the making of "Stomp the Yard," the new movie set in the world of black fraternities and their traditional style of step-dancing, producer Will Packer made authenticity his top priority. "I was on the set every day screaming about how everything had to be real," Packer says. "I went and put up all my old pictures, paddles and paraphernalia so that everybody could get a feel for this." As a 13-year member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Packer wanted to share his passion for the country's oldest...

Sympathy for the Devil

Dexter Morgan is a natural-born lady-killer. He's suave and sun-kissed, charming, gainfully employed, great with kids and sweet to his girlfriend. All things considered, Dexter would make a perfect standing lunch date, at least for anyone who considers a congenital desire to commit murder an acceptable character trait.That's the premise of Showtime's new dramatic series "Dexter." Michael C.

Lessons of Jonestown

In November 1978, 913 people died in a shocking mass murder-suicide, and 28 years later, the Jonestown Massacre still remains the most chilling example of faith turned against the faithful.

Music to Sample

Beyoncé, 'B'Day' Every day is a "B'Day" for the diva (far right), whose new CD celebrates young womanhood and all its drama. The single "Deja Vu" reruns her unshakable bootyliciousformula.

Television To Surf

'Justice' The trend this season is to make dramas more serialized, like "24," but don't tell Jerry Bruckheimer. The super producer's latest crime procedural explores the behind-the-scenes machinations of a team of lawyers who handle high-profile cases.

Showstoppers Spectacle

'Treasures: The Arts in Latin America, 1492-1820' The period between the landing of Columbus and Simón Bolívar's fight for independence is a big chunk of time--which produced a big lode of art.


Hanks dons another creative hat to produce the animated feature "The Ant Bully." He spoke with Nicki Gostin.My son brought a book called "The Ant Bully" home from the school library, and as we were reading it I thought, "This would make a wonderful movie." So the next day I optioned it.

Newsmakers: Rufus Wainwright

This week Rufus Wainwright re-creates Judy Garland's legendary 1961 Carnegie Hall concert--right in Carnegie Hall. He talked with NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin.Rufus Wainwright: About five years ago they reissued the album.