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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.



An impressive array of acting talent - Vanessa Redgrave, Glenn Close, Natasha Richardson, Toni Collette and Meryl Streep - is on display in this adaptation of Susan Minot's novel. A dying woman (Redgrave) remembers the love that got away and a tragedy that permanently changed her life in this drama that alternates between the past and present. With Claire Danes, Mamie Gummer, Hugh Dancy and Patrick Wilson. Directed by Lajos Koltai. Released by Focus Features. Rated PG-13.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

"This is one of the rare movies that are too sensitive for their own good."

-David Denby, The New Yorker

"A pretentious, maudlin pile of goo."

-Christy Lemire, The Associated Press


Bruce Willis returns for the fourth film in the "Die Hard" action series that began in 1988. This time Det. John McLane is after a group of tech-savvy terrorists who want to bring down America's security infrastructure on the Fourth of July. With Justin Long, Maggie Q and Timothy Olyphant. Directed by Len Wiseman. Released by 20th Century Fox. This film is not yet rated.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

"'Live Free or Die Hard' is indeed a worthy successor to the original - not perhaps quite as good, but close."

-Rob Salem, The Toronto Star

"There’s still some 'Yippe-ki-yay' left in this franchise."

-Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star


Disney and Pixar's new animated comedy is about a rat named Remy who dreams of being a professional chef. After Remy takes up residence beneath a swanky Paris restaurant, he befriends a garbage boy named Linguini, who recognizes the rat's culinary talents and realizes the two could have a future collaborating on cooking - as long as no one finds out. Featuring the voices of Patton Oswalt, Brad Garrett, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Janeane Garofalo and Peter O'Toole. Directed by Brad Bird. Released by Disney/Pixar. Rated G.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

"The master chefs at Pixar have blended all the right ingredients - abundant verbal and visual wit, genius slapstick timing, a soupcon of Gallic sophistication - to produce a warm and irresistible concoction."

-Justin Chang, Variety

"Unique and unmissable."

-Peter Travers, Rolling Stone


Filmmaker/provocateur Michael Moore takes on the health care industry in this documentary that compares the U.S. medical system with those in countries that provide their citizens with free medical care. Released by The Weinstein Company. Rated PG-13.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

"Moore's most assured, least antagonistic and potentially most important film."

-Jack Mathews, New York Daily News

"As both harangue and movie tragicomedy, 'Sicko' is socko."

-Richard Corliss, Time Magazine


"Dora The Explorer - Summer Explorer"

The well-traveled little girl enjoys summer-themed cartoon adventures with her monkey pal Boots. Kids can answer questions and choose what happens next in the story, creating an interactive learning experience. Released by Paramount Home Video/Nickelodeon. Not rated. Available July 3.

"Driving Lessons"

A 17-year-old boy (Rupert Grint of the "Harry Potter" films) forms an unlikely friendship with an eccentric older actress (Julie Walters) in this comedy from Britain. With Laura Linney and Nicholas Farrell. Directed by Jeremy Brock. Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Rated PG-13. Available July 3.

"Eureka - Season 1"

This three-disc set includes the entire first season of the Sci-Fi Channel show about a secret town inhabited by geniuses, plus deleted scenes and webisodes. Released by Universal Home Video. Not rated. Available July 3.


A psychiatrist (Aaron Eckhart) tries to learn more about his family's past and the suicide of his father (Nick Nolte), a popular children's author, in this drama bolstered by a strong supporting cast that includes Jessica Lange, Ian McKellen and Brittany Murphy. Directed by Joshua Michael Stern. Released by Miramax. Rated PG-13. Available July 3.

"The Patriot -Extended Cut"

The bloody Revolutionary War drama starring Mel Gibson gets added scenes for a Blu-ray release. With Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs and Tom Wilkinson. Directed by Roland Emmerich. Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Rated R. Available July3.


"Dead Reefs"

An immersive adventure game that has players guide an investigator who's looking into some strange goings-on on an island where an order of monks was once slaughtered by pirates. Published by DreamCatcher Interactive for PC. Rated T. Available July 3.

"Deal or No Deal"

Play the TV game show at home. 'Nuff said. Published by Jack of all Games for Nintendo DS. Rated E. Available July 3.

"Ninja Gaiden Sigma Collector's Edition"

This special edition of the fighting game adds three new chapters, new weapons, dozens of characters and more missions. Published by Tecmo for PlayStation 3. Rated M. Available July 3.

"Vampire Rain"

An action game that has players hunt and kill vampires while employing a variety of special weapons; success is based on stealth and tactics as well as a talent for wiping out bloodsuckers. Published by Microsoft for Xbox 360. Rated M. Available July 3.

"Vegas Casino High Five"

This game offers a first-person perspective inside a virtual casino, where players can try their hand at Blackjack, Slots, Roulette, Texas Hold 'Em and other games. Published by SVG Distribution for Nintendo DS. Rated T. Available July 3.


12 Girls Band, "Shanghai": The group of young Chinese instrumentalists fill their second U.S. album with an eclectic array of songs, from Sting to Handel to Celine Dion. Released by Manhattan Records. In stores July 3.

Sara Bareilles, "Little Voice": After touring with Aqualung and Mika, the singer-songwriter makes her much-anticipated album debut. Released by Epic. In stores July 3.

Kelly Rowland, "Ms. Kelly": The second album from the former Destiny's Child singer features guest appearances by Eve and Snoop Dogg. Released by Sony. In stores July 3.

"The Pirate Queen (2007 Original Broadway Cast)": The score to the Broadway show about an Irish pirate captain who ran afoul of Queen Elizabeth I. Released by Sony Classics. In stores July 3.

Velvet Revolver, "Libertad": Having managed to keep going when many predicted they would self-destruct, the star-heavy band (Scott Weiland, Duff McKagan, Slash) defy expectations with this boisterous sophomore album. Released by RCA. In stores July 3.


All times are EDT/PDT.

Sunday, July 1

"Concert for Diana": Princes William and Henry are behind this big celebration at London's Wembley Stadium to celebrate what would have been the Princess of Wales' 46th birthday. Performers include Elton John, Nelly Furtado, Duran Duran, Rod Stewart and Joss Stone. Live coverage begins at 8 a.m. on VH1; NBC will air taped highlights at 8 p.m.

Tuesday, July 3

"NOVA scienceNOW": This special looks at the gene that causes overeating, potential killer asteroids and scientists' efforts to create a new element. 8 p.m., PBS (check local listings).

"Coma": This documentary follows four people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries as they heal - or in some tragic cases, don't - during the course of a year. 9 p.m., HBO.

Wednesday, July 4

"Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular": "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks and fellow contestants Blake Lewis and Melinda Doolittle appear in this special telecast from New York. 9 p.m., NBC.

"Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular": Craig Ferguson hosts this concert special with the renowned orchestra. Special appearance by rocker John Mellencamp. 9 p.m., CBS.


Fiona Neill, "Slummy Mummy: The Secret Life of Lucy Sweeney": A London mom finds herself drawn to a fellow parent in this comic novel by London Times columnist Neill. Published by Penguin Group. In stores July 3.

James Patterson, "The Quickie": A New York policewoman plans revenge against her apparently unfaithful husband, a plan that quickly spirals out of control. Released by Little, Brown & Company. In stores July 3.

James Rollins, "Judas Strain": Rollins' team of science commandos try to thwart a conspiracy involving a gruesome bacteriological plague. Published by HarperCollins. In stores July 3.

Colin Thubron, "Shadow of the Silk Road": Author Thubron traces the ancient roads that brought diverse cultures in contact and changed the course of history. Published by HarperCollins. In stores July 3.