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What's new in entertainment

A look at what's new in movies, books, music, television, video games and DVDs for the weekend.

MOVIES:

"AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE COLON MOVIE FILM FOR THEATERS"

The bizarre Cartoon Network show comes to the big screen in an adventure that explains the origins of its fast-food heroes - the wise Frylock (a sarcastic, levitating box of french fries), the scheming Master Shake (a milkshake) and the naive, gullible Meatwad (a talking beef patty). Directed by Matt Maiellero and Dave Willis. Released by First Look. Rated R.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

"(The filmmakers) remained true to their twisted vision, and that's exciting to see."

-Christy Lemire, The Associated Press

"A perversely entertaining movie."

-Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"DISTURBIA"

A "Rear Window"-type thriller about a young delinquent named Kale (Shia LaBoeuf) who's serving a sentence under house arrest when he observes what he thinks may signs of a murder next door. Worse, his shady neighbor (David Morse) may be a serial killer in search of more victims. With Carrie-Anne Moss. Directed by D.J. Caruso. Released by Paramount Pictures. Rated PG-13.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

"A modest but squirmingly fun suspenser that brings Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rear Window' into the era of vidcams and cell phones."

-Justin Chang, Variety

"Better and more likable than today's average thriller."

-John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

"PATHFINDER"

A Viking boy is raised by a Native American tribe after he survives a shipwreck. Years later he finds himself conflicted when he learns his long-lost countrymen are planning a bloody raid on his adopted people. Starring Karl Urban, Russell Means, Moon Bloodgood and Clancy Brown. Directed by Marcus Nispel. Released by 20th Century Fox. Rated R.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

This film was not available for review.

"PERFECT STRANGER"

After a friend is murdered, a reporter (Halle Berry) goes undercover at the ad agency where her dead pal worked to find out whether a shady executive (Bruce Willis) was involved in the case. But the intrepid reporter soon learns powerful people don't like the press poking into their business. With Giovanni Ribisi, Gary Dourdan and Patti D'Arbanville. Directed by James Foley. Released by Revolution Studios. Rated R.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

"This slack, overworked entertainment .. is a rote compendium of Internet paranoia clichés."

-Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

"'Perfect Stranger' is such a bad Halle Berry film, it has you longing for 'Catwoman.'"

-Phil Villarreal, The Arizona Daily Star

"YEAR OF THE DOG"

Devastated by the death of her pet, a dog-loving officer worker (Molly Shannon) tries to fill the emotional void by latching on those around her in this comedy that won over audiences at this year's Sundance Film Festival. With Peter Sarsgaard, Regina King, John C. Reilly and Laura Dern. Directed by Mike White. Released by Paramount Vantage. Rated PG-13.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

"A satisfying and funny, if ironic, comedy intended for lovers of both the beast and/or sophisticated laughs."

-John Anderson, Variety

"'Year of the Dog' ambles with both light humor and dark insights."

-Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter

MOVING INTO WIDE RELEASE:

"THE HOAX"

Richard Gere stars in this drama based on a true story about author Clifford Irving, a writer who sold a tell-all biography of Howard Hughes to a big publishing house in the 1970s, only to discover he'd been manipulated by the reclusive Hughes into telling lies about the billionaire's dealings with the Nixon administration. With Michael J. Burg, Julie Delpy, Hope Davis and Marcia Gay Harden. Directed by Lasse Hallström. Released by Miramax Films. Rated R.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

"A provocative and blackly comic portrait of a con artist who is ultimately a pawn in a much larger and more intricate conspiracy than even he can fabricate."

-David Ansen, Newsweek

"(Director) Hallström cleverly blends the details of Irving's hoax with the American need to believe the tallest of tales."

-Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

OPENING IN LIMITED RELEASE (check local listings):

"RED ROAD"

This Scotland-set thriller was a hit at least year's Cannes Film Festival. A woman whose job involves watching the streets of Glasgow through surveillance monitors sees a man from her past and begins to stalk him, although the connection between them is not readily apparent. Her pursuit builds to a tense confrontation with a man she hoped never to see again. Starring Kate Dickie and Tony Curran. Directed by Andrea Arnold. Released by Tartan Films. Not rated.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

"It's dynamite, the kind of sexy, paranoid, creepily atmospheric picture that invades all your senses at once."

-Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com

"A nervy and taut thriller."

-Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter





VIDEO:

"Freedom Writers"

Hilary Swank stars in this drama based on the true story of Erin Gruwell, a teacher who encouraged her at-risk students to complete an ambitious writing project to steer them away from the dangerous influence of the streets. With Imelda Staunton, April Lee Hernandez, Scott Glenn and Patrick Dempsey. Directed by Richard LaGravenese. Released by Paramount Home Video. Rated PG-13. Available April 17.

"The History Boys"

Adapted from the hit play, this film is set in 1983 at a Yorkshire school for boys, where the students are under pressure to win a spot at Britain's most prestigious universities. With the help of two instructors (Richard Griffiths and Stephen Campbell Moore) who have radically different approaches to teaching, the boys try to navigate their goal of gaining admission with the growing realizations of who they are as individuals. With Frances de la Tour and Samuel Barnett. Released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Rated R. Available April 17.

"The Last King of Scotland"

A young Scottish doctor arrives in 1970 Uganda and, through luck and happenstance, becomes the personal physician to its new dictator Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). Initially charmed by the African leader, the doctor soon realizes that Amin's plans for Uganda mean bloodshed on an enormous scale. And Amin won't let him leave. Directed by Kevin Macdonald. Released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Rated R. Available April 17.

"Notes on a Scandal"

A teacher (Cate Blanchett) at an English school carries on an illicit affair with a student that's discovered by a lonely older colleague (Judi Dench), who agrees to keep the younger woman's secret - but at a very steep price. With Bill Nighy. Directed by Richard Eyre. Released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Rated R. Available April 17.

"Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show"

A selection of choice episodes from the caustic HBO comedy set behind the scenes of a fictional talk show hosted by Larry Sanders (Garry Shandling), an insecure, self-absorbed comedian. The frequently hilarious supporting characters include Sanders' pit bull producer (Rip Torn), clueless second banana (Jeffrey Tambor) and a staff that's just as shallow and neurotic as Larry. Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Not rated. Available April 17.

"Smokin' Aces"

A dark comedy about a sleazy magician named Aces (Jeremy Piven) who agrees to testify against his mob cronies, a decision that makes him a marked man for hired killers, bounty hunters and vampish women hoping to cash in on his death. With Ben Affleck, Ray Liotta, Taraji Henson, Ryan Reynolds, Andy Garcia and Alicia Keys. Directed by Joe Carnahan. Released by Universal Home Video. Rated R. Available April 17.





VIDEO GAMES:

"Bust-A-Move Bash!"

Players try to destroy attacking bubbles with either the Wii remote or Nunchuck controller. Published by Majesco for Nintendo Wii. Rated E. Available April 17.

"Eureka Seven Vol. 2 New Vision"

Based on the animated TV show, this game has players compete in sporting tournaments and fight enemies in aerial combat. Published by Namco Bandai Games America for PlayStation 2. Rated T. Available April 17.

"Pocket Pool"

A virtual billiards game that includes such variations as 9 ball, 8 ball, Rotation and Snooker, plus unlockable adult content that make this a title for those over 18. Published by Eidos Interactive for PlayStation Portable. Rated M. Available April 17.

"Raiden III"

After a hiatus of 11 years, this new title in the Raiden series updates the game with 3-D graphics and a two-player mode. Published by UFO Interactive Games for PlayStation 2. Rated E. Available April 17.

"Valhalla Knights"

A fantasy role-playing game that takes place in a dark land in which the hero/heroine must reclaim lost memories and banish evil forces. Includes different race and job classes and real-time combat. Published by XSEED for PlayStation Portable. Rated E-10+. Available April 17.





MUSIC:

Avril Lavigne, "The Best Damn Thing": The singer takes a lighter approach after her last album, the darker, more introspective "Under My Skin." Released by Arista. In stores April 17.

Cowboy Junkies, "At the End of Paths Taken": The Junkies put a spin on their brand of Gothic Americana by mixing a string section and grungy guitar leads. Released by Zoe Records. In stores April 17.

Nine Inch Nails, "Year Zero": Nine Inch Nails, aka Trent Reznor, describes this new effort as "more of a sound collage" than his more recent albums. Released by Nothing Records. In stores April 17.

Pam Tillis, "Rhinestoned": The veteran singer performs by well-known country songwriters, including Dan Dugmore, Jon Randall and Jim McBride. Released by Thirty Tigers. In stores April 17.

Watermelon Slim and the Workers, "The Wheel Man": Chicago bluesman Magic Slim and piano great David Maxwell join Bill "Watermelon Slim" Homans for this disc of gritty songs about crime, lust and tough times.Released by Northern Blues. In stores April 17.





TV:

All times are EST/PST.

Friday, April 13

"Painkiller Jane": Kristanna Loken stars in this new series about a woman who is completely invulnerable to any kind of injury. 10 p.m., Sci-Fi Channel.

Saturday, April 14

"Adventures in Doggy Daycare": A reality show about an upscale day care for dogs, so upscale it costs some owners around $12,000 a year. 9:30 p.m., WE.

Sunday, April 15

"Robin Hood": As you hurry to finish your taxes you can watch a marathon of episodes about a hero who stuck it to the rich and gave to the poor. 1 p.m. BBC America.

"The Staircase Murders": Treat Williams stars this drama based on the true story of Michael Peterson, the North Carolina writer accused of killing his wife. With Samaire Armstrong and Kevin Pollack. 9 p.m. Lifetime.

Wednesday, April 18

"Lost": Desmond wants Charlie to accompany him on a trip into the jungle, and since Desmond always manages to keep Charlie from getting killed, Charlie may just accept. 10 p.m., ABC.





BOOKS:

Carol Higgins Clark, "Laced: A Regan Reilly Mystery": Private investigator Regan Reilly and her policeman husband Jack honeymoon at in Ireland and stumble across a haunted castle and jewel thieves. Published by Simon & Schuster. In stores April 17.

Lee Iacocca, "Where Have All the Leaders Gone?": The former Chrysler chairman offers opinions of presidential contenders and questions who will fill what he sees as a current gap in leadership. Published by Scribner. In stores April 17.

Alexander McCall Smith, "The Good Husband of Zebra Drive": Smith's beloved detective heroine Precious Ramotswe investigates the suspicious deaths of three patients at a hospital, and her husband has decided to try being a sleuth as well. Published by Knopf Publishing Group, In stores April 17.

J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Children of Hurin": This story rescued in pieces by the late author's son Christopher tells a story set in Middle-earth before the classic "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. In stores April 17.

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