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Here are this week's audio clips from the world of music, television, books and film:

MOVIES:

OPENED WEDNESDAY, JULY 25

"ARCTIC TALE"

The producers of "March of the Penguins" are behind this big-screen nature documentary that follows a young polar bear and a young walrus as they face the dangers of growing up and the hazards created by global warming. Directed by Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson. Released by Paramount Classics. Rated G.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

"It's a respectable attempt to get kids who like cuddly animals thinking about death and destruction on a global scale."

-Gregory Kirschling, Entertainment Weekly

"Its undistinguished storytelling is a big letdown."

-Kevin Crust, The Los Angeles Times

OPENING FRIDAY, JULY 27

"I KNOW WHO KILLED ME"

A college student (Lindsay Lohan) is kidnapped and tortured by a serial killer. After escaping, she awakens in the hospital doubting her own identity and convinced that the young woman who was kidnapped is still in danger. With Julia Ormond, Neal McDonough and Brian Geraghty. Directed by Chris Sivertson. Released by Columbia Tristar. Rated R.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

This film was not available for preview.

"NO RESERVATIONS"

A master chef (Catherine Zeta-Jones) whose intensity intimidates everyone suddenly finds herself raising her young niece (Abigail Breslin) and attracted to an easygoing sous-chef (Aaron Eckhart) in this romantic comedy. With Patricia Clarkson and Jenny Wade. Directed by Scott Hicks. Released by Warner Bros. Rated PG.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

"Everyone involved is so pedigreed, so capable, they make the experience go down easier that it ordinarily might."

-Christy Lemire, The Associated Press

"No amount of hollandaise sauce can kick up this oxygen-starved comedy."

-Roger Moore, The Orlando Sentinel

"THE SIMPSONS MOVIE"

In this big-screen treatment of the TV show, dumb suburban dad Homer (voiced by Dan Castellaneta) must save the world after inadvertently causing a catastrophe. That's all the tight-lipped producers are saying about the story. With the voices of Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Harry Shearer and Hank Azaria. Directed by David Silverman. Released by 20th Century Fox. Rated PG-13.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

"If somebody had to make a Simpsons movie, this is pretty much what it should be - clever, irreverent, satirical and outfitted with a larger-than-22-minutes plot."

-Brian Lowry, Variety

"'The Simpsons Movie' sweetly cradles one great American family."

-Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

"WHO'S YOUR CADDY?"

A comedy about a rap mogul named C-Note (Antwan "Big Boi" Patton) who is denied membership to a stuffy country club. Undeterred, C-Note uses his clout to get in to the club, where he and his posse to turn everything upside-down. With Jeffrey Jones, Andy Milonakis, Faizon Love and Terry Crews. Directed by Don Michael Paul. Released by Dimension Films. Rated PG-13.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

This film was not available for preview.

MOVING INTO WIDE RELEASE FRIDAY, JULY 27

"SUNSHINE"

Cillian Murphy stars in this science-fiction thriller about a team of scientists trying to keep the sun from dying with the help of a new device, but the stress of the long journey from Earth begins to jeopardize the mission and their sanity. With Rose Byrne, Michelle Yeoh, Chris Evans and Troy Garity. Directed by Danny Boyle ("28 Days Later"). Released by Fox Searchlight Pictures. Rated R.

Official movie site

What the critics say:

"An extraordinary film, operating simultaneously at visceral, psychological and spiritual levels as it takes us on a voyage into space with the fate of mankind at stake."

-Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter

"'Sunshine' works despite feeling both over-familiar and over-ambitious."

-Nathan Lee, The Village Voice





VIDEO:

"20 Million Miles to Earth"

This science-fiction tale from 1957 boasts visuals by legendary special effects artist Ray Harryhausen. An American spaceship crashes in Italy, having inadvertently brought a creature that grows from a jelly-like mass to a towering, reptilian monster. Starring William Hopper, Joan Taylor and Frank Puglia. Directed by Nathan Juran. Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Not rated. Available July 31.

"300"

Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller ("Sin City"), "300" uses a lush, stylized combination of live action and computer-generated images to tell the story of the Battle of Thermopylae, in which 300 Spartan soldiers faced an invading Persian army in 480 B.C. Facing overwhelming odds and certain death, Spartan King Leonidas and his men vow to kill as many enemy soldiers as they can. Cue stylized bloodshed. Starring Gerard Butler, Dominic West, Lena Heady, Rodrigo Santoro and David Wenham. Directed by Zack Snyder ("Dawn of the Dead"). Released by Warner Home Video. Rated R. Available July 31.

"Firehouse Dog"

A celebrity dog named Rex bolts from the movies and winds up in an urban firehouse, where a fireman's son takes a shine to him. The well-trained and athletic Rex proves he's got serious skills when it comes to saving people, but soon his old masters come looking for him. Starring Josh Hutcherson, Bruce Greenwood and Bill Nunn. Directed by Todd Holland. Released by 20th Century Fox. Rated PG. Available July 31.

"Hot Fuzz"

This action movie spoof from the creators of "Shaun of the Dead" follows a hotshot young cop (Simon Pegg) who's so hated by his peers that he's transferred to a seemingly sleepy English village where's he partnered with the slob son (Nick Frost) of the local police chief. The quiet is disrupted when a killer dressed in a Grim Reaper outfit starts offing the local populace, and it's up to the two mismatched cops to save the day. With Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Edward Woodward and Timothy Dalton. Directed by Edgar Wright. Released by Rogue Pictures. Rated R. Available July 31.

"Lonely Hearts"

John Travolta and James Gandolfini star in this period crime drama about two detectives on the trail of a couple known as the "Lonely Hearts" killers (Salma Hayek, Jared Leto), who prey on elderly widows in the 1940s. Based on a true story. Directed by Todd Robinson. Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Rated R. Available July 31.

"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. Available July 31.

"Popeye The Sailor: 1933-1938, Volume 1"

The mumbling sailor was first introduced to American movie audiences in 1933, eventually becoming one of the more enduring cartoon characters. This collection features about nine hours of short cartoons, mostly black-and-white, as well as some pre-"Popeye" works by animation pioneer Max Fleischer. Released by Warner Home Video. Not rated. Available July 31.





VIDEO GAMES:

"Bratz Ponyz"

This game has almost everything fans like in the Bratz universe - fashion, makeup, travel - plus ponies. Published by American Game Factory for Nintendo DS. Rated E. Available July 31.

"Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars"

Smash up your rivals as a crazy taxi driver who will do anything to get a good fare - and a good tip. Includes 32 mini-games to let players improve their driving skills. Published by Sega of America for Sony PSP. Rated E-10+. Available July 31.

"Glory Days 2"

Action and strategy mix as players fly combat missions while directing tanks and soldiers on the ground.Published by Eidos Interactive for Nintendo DS. Rated E-10+. Available July 31.

"Mario Strikers Charged"The ever-popular Mario is joined by other characters in the series for this game that has players form teams to play a soccer-like sport. Published by Nintendo of America for Nintendo Wii. Rated E-10+. Available July 30.

"Pool Party"

Play 13 types of pool as a virtual hustler, including 9-ball, 8-ball, Rotation and Snooker. Published by South Peak Interactive. Rated E. Available July 31.

"World Championship Cards"

Play Bridge, Gin Rummy, Solitaire, Cribbage, Hearts and Spades using a customizable character. PlayStation 2 version compatible with PlayStation Portable for online play. Published by Crave Entertainment for PlayStation 2 and Sony PSP. Rated E. Available July 31.





MUSIC:

Common, "Finding Forever": the hip-hop star's seventh album features guest appearances from D’Angelo and Devo Springsteen. Released by Universal Music Group. In stores July 31.

Korn, "Untitled": Singer Jonathan Davis says fans should be allowed to call this album without a title whatever they want. Okay, how "Untitled"? Released by Virgin Records. In stores July 31.

Yo-Yo Ma, "New Impossibilities": The virtuoso cellist and his Silk Road Ensemble join the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in performing this collection of works by Asian and Middle-Eastern composers. Released by Sony Classics. In stores July 31.

Mandisa, True Beauty": The "American Idol" finalist makes her album debut. Released by Sparrow Records. In stores July 31.

Paul Potts, "One Chance": The former phone salesman who impressed British TV audiences on the show "Britain's Got Talent" makes his album debut with a collection of well-known classical and pop songs. Released by Sony/BMG. In stores July 31.

Various Artists, "String Quartet Tribute to Celtic Woman": Songs from the popular vocal group rendered by violin, viola and cello. Includes such favorites as "Mo Ghile Mear," "Nella Fantasia" and "The Blessing." Released by Vitamin Records. In stores July 31.





TV:

All times are EDT/PDT.

Friday, July 27

"1 vs. 100": Fabio guest stars on the show that pits one contestant against 100 in a battle of the brains game. Guess which camp Fabio falls into. 8 p.m., NBC.

Saturday, July 28

"Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance": The third season of the reality/contest show has the plus-size diva putting contestants through a boot camp and the chance to compete in a fashion show. 8 p.m., Oxygen.

Sunday, July 29

"Ocean of Fear: Worst Shark Attack Ever": The Discovery Channel's popular "Shark Week" kicks off with this two-hour documentary. "Jaws" star Richard Dreyfuss narrates this detailed account of what happened to the crew of the USS Indianapolis, which sank in the Pacific during World War II and left hundreds of men at the mercy of innumerable sharks. 9 p.m., Discovery.

Tuesday, July 31

"Murder": A reality series in which regular folks play detective as real crime scenes are replicated in great detail based on solved homicide cases. 10 p.m., Spike.





BOOKS:

Pema Chodron, "Always Maintain a Joyful Mind: And Other Lojong Teachings on Awakening Compassion and Fearlessness": Famed religious teacher Chodron examines the Tibetan meditation practice of Tonglen and how people can employ it in their lives to achieve a greater degree of peace. Published by Shambhala Publications. In stores July 31.

Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth A. Scarborough, "Third Watch: Acorna's Children": The tenth book in the Acorna fantasy series has Acorna's twin daughters traveling through time to seek the source of a plague that threatens their civilization. Published by HarperCollins. In stores July 31.

Karin Slaughter, "Beyond Reach": Slaughter revisits her Grant county, Ga. crime series with this thriller that has medical examiner Dr. Sara Linton confronting a network of meth trafficking and white supremacist groups. Published by Dell. In stores July 31.

Harry Turtledove, "Settling Accounts Book IV: In at the Death": Turtledove's series of novels about an alternate history of the United States picks up with the South's final defeat - at the end of World War II. Published by Random House. In stores July 31.

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