'Your Sister's Sister' (2012): Now on DVD, this lightly twisted romantic comedy has a syntaxically challenging title, but it's a sure bet as new offerings grow slim at theaters. Starring Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and the seemingly everywhere Mark Duplass, this film uses a lush Pacific Northwest setting for a rich, intimate look at how relationships can grow more powerful the more unconventional they become.
Kurt Rosenwinkel's 'Star of Jupiter': One of top talents in contemporary jazz guitar, Rosenwinkel sounds as virtuosic as ever on this 2012 double album. But for all his fleet-fingered acrobatics and sometimes-divisive vocal harmonies, Rosenwinkel is braced every step of the way by a band that includes keyboard phenom Aaron Parks and drummer Justin Faulkner, who boasts a taut mix of grace and drive.
'Downton Abbey': It's tough to knock anything on the ever-underrated PBS, but for all the cultish devotion this series inspires, you'd think it would deliver more than lush costumes and set design. Maggie Smith's one-liners remain acidic delights, but the two bad seeds in the servants' quarters stubbornly defy any new growth or evolution, and the drama around its central couples carries a soapy bluster this show should outclass.