Screen gems: What’s ahead in movies and on TV for the week of May 19


Big screen

Opening Friday

Fast and Furious 6 (PG-13): Justin Lin returns for a fourth time to direct Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson and the rest of the rubber-burning crew. This is the rare kind of movie franchise that gets better with each new film.

Frances Ha (R): Director Noah Baumbach ( The Squid and the Whale, Greenberg) goes low-budget, black-and-white French New Wave with this whimsical study of a young woman (Greta Gerwig) trying to survive in New York.

Epic (PG): Beyonce Knowles, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz and Josh Hutcherson provide the voices for this 3D animated fable about a teenage girl who is magically transported into an alternate universe.

The Hangover Part III (R): For the final chapter in his hugely successful trilogy about guys behaving badly, director Todd Phillips shakes things up by doing away with weddings and bachelor parties altogether. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha are all back for more punishment.

Rene Rodriguez

Small screen

Life Below Zero (10 p.m. Sunday, National Geographic Channel): Ever wonder what kind of people would choose to live on the frozen Alaskan tundra north of the Arctic Circle? The kind on this new reality show.

American Masters: Mel Brooks — Make Noise (9 p.m. Monday, WPBT-PBS 2): A documentary on the writer-producer who — from Your Show of Shows to Get Smart to The Producers — defined American comedy in the last half of the 20th century.

The Ghost Army (8 p.m. Tuesday, WPBT-PBS 2): One of the most fascinating and least known stories of World War II, that of a U.S. Army unit armed only with inflatable tanks and sound effects. Its assignment: Fake out the Germans about where Allied troops planned to strike next.

Voces: Rebel (10 p.m. Friday, WPBT-PBS 2): The title of this unusual documentary is a bit of clever wordplay. Its subject, a Havana-born New Orleans social aristocrat named Loreta Janeta Velazquez, was not only loyal to the Confederacy during the American Civil War, but fought in its army as a man.

Glenn Garvin

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    Screen gems: What’s ahead in movies and on TV for the week of July 27

    The week ahead at the movies and on TV

 <span class="cutline_leadin">LAST STORIES AND OTHER STORIES</span>. William T. Vollmann. Viking. 704 pages. $36.


    Tales of worldy travels take ghostly turn

    Among contemporary American authors, William T. Vollmann’s project is unique. There is simply no other writer on the map who purchased a Thai sex slave, tried to fight with mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan and almost died in the Arctic Circle. And that’s just for starters. Vollmann has traveled to war zones, pored over the U.S.-Mexico border and made a study of the world’s destitute. His mammoth curiosity encompasses questions of war, morality, economics, lifestyle, gender, aesthetics, art and music.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">A WINDOW ON ETERNITY: </span>A Biologist’s Walk Through Gorongosa National Park. Edward O. Wilson. Simon & Schuster. 149 pages. $30.


    Naturalist’s book gives hope for wildlife preservation

    Naturalist uses an African park to illustrate his beliefs that endangered creatures can be preserved.

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