I’ll read anything by Tim Ferriss — The bestselling author of the Four Hour series of books (Workweek, Body, and now, The 4-Hour Chef) is part genius, yet equal part mad man. In his books, Ferriss explains how to hack your life to happiness by accomplishing more with less work. Some of his insane theories have changed the way I live my everyday life, while some of the others are much less practical (but still a fun to read about).

His latest book, The 4-Hour Chef, is probably my least favorite of his trilogy, focusing on cooking (something I’m not great at and have very little interest in). But the book tries to tackle more than cooking, promising to teach how to become world-class in any skill in record time. This is the area that interested me the most, and these chapters alone make the book worth buying (and for those of you who own a tablet, the Kindle download version is less than $5).

To help promote the release of The 4-Hour Chef, Tim offered to let us publish an excerpt from the book featuring his favorite cooking-related movies and television shows. Read that short excerpt after the jump.

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This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.

Buy It

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE
(DVD available as single-disc and 2-Disc Digital Copy Special Edition)
The Harry Potter franchise has marked a rare occasion in cinema, or perhaps even a first. To my knowledge, there is no other long-running, self-contained film series in history where the later entries have improved considerably on their predecessors. As the young Harry Potter has matured, so too have the films depicting his wizarding adventures, turning what initially began as a family friendly adaptation of, essentially, fluff wish-fulfillment silliness, into an artistically rendered journey of kids attempting to balance their growth into adults against the never-ending onslaught of horrors that plague their lives. Cuaron’s Prisoner of Azkaban may remain the champion when it comes to telling the best Potter story that stands on its own, but considering that The Half-Blood Prince is clearly an intermediate chapter that was designed to align the necessary pieces for the final chapter, director David Yates should be applauded for the masterful way he’s managed to sidestep that issue by maintaining a strong focus on progressing the emotional core of the story instead of becoming bogged down in the notably less compelling central plot conflict, as well as gratuitous CGI-heavy action set pieces and wand battles. It’s because of this that, against all odds, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince turned out to be my favorite entry in the series yet, delivering a strangely perfect blend of character-based melodrama, genuinely hilarious moments of comedy, and a palpable sense of dread in every frame. If I wasn’t quite convinced that Yates was capable of tying up the films in a satisfying way after Order of the Phoenix, this most recent effort has convinced me that there’s no other man more qualified for the job.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: 2-disc DVD – Featurettes on the cast and crew and the life of author J.K. Rowling, additional scenes, a sneak peek at the Universal Orlando Resort’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, and a digital copy of the film. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as a Maximum Movie Mode with the stars, director and producers.

BEST DVD PRICE*
Target Best Buy Fry’s Walmart
$15 $15.99 $14.77 $9.98
Amazon – $9.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $19.99 at Fry’s and Amazon, $22.99 at Best Buy, and $26.99 at Target (see below).

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s Walmart
$19.99 $17.99 N/A $15
Amazon – $15.99

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Movie Trailer: Nora Ephron’s Julie and Julia

Julie & Julia

Since the leaked Transformers 2 trailer was taken down, I thought I’d bring you something equally as exciting (yes, that is sarcasm). Columbia Pictures has released the trailer for Nora Ephron‘s (Bewitched, You’ve Got Mail, Michael, Sleepless in Seattle) Julie & Julia on Moviefone. The film is actually an adaptation of two bestselling memoirs: Julie Powell’s Julie & Julia and My Life in France, by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme. 

“Based on two true stories, Julie & Julia intertwines the lives of two women who, though separated by time and space, are both at loose ends…until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible. ”

Up front and center are the performances by Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Check out the trailer after the jump and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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Academy Award’s 2009 Movie Preview

sherlock holmes oscars

During the credits of the 81st Academy Awards, video clips were shown for many of the films that will hit theaters in 2009. You might have turned off the television after Slumdog Millionaire won Best Picture and missed everything. Or maybe you just want to see the awesome Terminator Salvation footage or the first look at Public Enemiess again. If so, don’t worry, we have the whole 3-minute clip embedded after the jump.

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