Hot town, summer in the city, this weekend’s choices are dirty and gritty:
-DVD gets brutal this week with the releases of gangsta-rapper Natalie Portman’s V for Vendetta, Spike Lee’s crackerjack caper Inside Man, teen film noir Brick, the first seasons of Rome and Prison Break and the third season of The Wire.
-At the movies, Ryan Gosling (at right, with costar Shareeka Epps) is on fire in Half Nelson as a New York City high school teacher who’s also a crack addict. Edward Norton is similarly intense as a Viennese magician in The Illusionist.
-On TV, in the tough-minded New York City schoolteacher to watch (one who’s not a crack addict) is Matthew Perry, of all people, in TNT’s biopic The Ron Clark Story (Sunday, 8 p.m.), which EW’s Alynda Wheat calls the Must Watch of the Week. More Brit than grit is outrageous import The Kumars at No. 42 (BBC America, Friday, 9 p.m.), about an Anglo-Indian family that hosts a talk show in their London home. David Hasselhoff gets grilled in tonight’s season premiere.
-Boxing insider F.X. Toole, the late author behind Million Dollar Baby, gets a few more punches in with posthumously published ringside novel Pound for Pound.
-Grungy pub rockers Heartless Bastards and their distorted guitar noises are back with All This Time. More loud guitar crunch, leavened with smart and shameless vocal harmonies, comes courtesy of pop-punk power trio Pink Spiders with their major label debut, Teenage Graffiti.
-Attention, cats: Is your kitty litter too gritty? Then follow the example of this obsessive-compulsive feline flusher. Finally, if all this grit has you riled, use this clever Web widget to make like Stephen Colbert and put everyone who irritates you ”on notice.”
addCredit(“Half Nelson: Adam Bell”)