Here are our five faves of the moment in pop culture and the arts.
1 As with its three chilly, intelligent predecessors, "The Bourne Legacy" follows a field agent (Jeremy Renner) whose physiology has been re-engineered as a perfect violence engine, but whose emotions remain preoccupied with nagging moral issues of right and wrong. Tony Gilroy, screenwriter for the entire franchise who turned director this time, maintains cool control of the narrative, ratcheting up the tension along the way toward startling bursts of excitement. This "Bourne" makes the most of its inheritance and sets the stage for a long, rich genealogy to come.
2 Texas curator Andrea Mellard searched the world for the 75 photos in "The Portrait: Up Close and Personal," a vividly engaging show at the Mpls Photo Center. She welcomed subjects of all ages taken in myriad places -- from Charles Hezsely's wistful "Eyes of Blue," a close-up of a dreamy preteen girl at the Minnesota State Fair, to Sandra Chen Weinstein's "Child Shiva," a girl of similar age made up as a blue-skinned, ruby-lipped goddess in India. The girls look to be psychological twins separated by half a world of culture and geography. www.mplsphotocenter.com
3 After chronicling the Bayfront Blues Festival for more than two decades, Stillwater photographer Karl Bremer has put together a 16-month Bayfront blues calendar that's as cool as a Lake Superior front. As the fest celebrates its 24th year this weekend, Bremer captures a teenaged Jonny Lang, a wailing Susan Tedeschi and a literally smoking Dr. John. Some of the most striking photos are of departed favorites, including Luther Allison, Koko Taylor and Big Walter Smith. www.rippleinstillwater.com
4 Hard to believe that the new New Primitives album, "American Nomad," is only the second one in the Twin Cities group's 13-year run. The reggae/calypso/world-beat/rock sextet -- co-founded by dueling percussionists Stan Kipper and Chico Perez -- rolls through cover songs with an impressive zeal at its myriad gigs around town, including its weekly Thursday sets at Nye's in Minneapolis. That good-vibing energy is amplified in such new originals as the hard-funking "Didn't I Tell You" and "Rogues Moon."
5 In this summer of superhero movies, Hero Complex is the king of comic-book blogs. Spearheaded by Los Angeles Times writer Geoff Boucher, the blog delivers "pop culture unmasked" -- a daily dose of news and interviews spanning the full spectrum of geekdom, from graphic novels to video games. The best posts are the most surprising, as when legendary comic-book artist Neal Adams guest-reviewed "The Dark Knight Rises." Last week, the blog revealed the villain slated for 2013's "Thor" sequel. All in a day's work for Hero Complex. www.herocomplex.com