Latest News

What's new in entertainment

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

MOVIES:

OPENED WEDNESDAY, FEB. 14

"DADDY'S LITTLE GIRLS"

A mechanic (Idris Elba) tries to win custody of his two daughters from their irresponsible mother, but to do so he needs the help of an Ivy League-educated attorney (Gabrielle Union). Although client and lawyer come from very different backgrounds, they fall in love. With Louis Gossett Jr. and Tasha Smith. Written and directed by Tyler Perry ("Diary of a Mad Black Woman," "Madea's Family Reunion"). Released by Lionsgate. Rated PG-13.

Official movie site

 "Daddy's Little Girls" movie trailer (2:21)

What the critics say:"Even at its most preposterous, (the film) has the power to make an audience cheer."-John Monaghan, Detroit News

"Perry gets better at directing every time he tries."

-Peter Debruge, Variety

"MUSIC AND LYRICS"

A washed-up '80s pop star named Alex (Hugh Grant) gets the chance to pen a song for a famous pop diva, but he panics when he realizes he has only days to complete the assignment. He gets help from an unlikely source, Sophie, the woman who tends to his plants but happens to have a knack for writing lyrics and who may also be his soul mate. With Brad Garrett, Kristen Johnston and Campbell Scott. Released by Warner Bros. Rated PG-13.

Official movie site

 "Music and Lyrics" movie trailer (2:20)

What the critics say:

"The movie passes muster as a corny, mildly witty and often bouncy diversion."-Robert Denerstein, The Rocky Mountain News

"Here the formula satisfies."

-Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

OPENING FRIDAY, FEB. 16

"BREACH"

Chris Cooper stars in this drama based on the true story of Robert Hanssen, the FBI agent who was convicted of selling national secrets to the Russians. Ryan Phillippe plays a young FBI agent assigned to collect evidence on Hanssen (Cooper), whose staid, conventional life belies his work as a double agent. With Laura Linney, Kathleen Quinlan and Gary Cole. Directed by Billy Ray. Released by Universal. Rated PG-13.

Official movie site

 "Breach" star Chris Cooper says Eric O'Neill, the agent who helped catch Robert Hanssen, explained what Hanssen was like (:13)

What the critics say:

"The spy thriller 'Breach' is an unusually smart, tense and engaging film amid the usual dreck that lands in theaters this time of year."

-David Germain, The Associated Press

"A wonderfully taut cat-and-mouse thriller."

-David Ansen, Newsweek

"BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA"

Based on Katherine Paterson's popular children's novel, this film concerns a lonely boy and girl who become friends and invent a magical world called Terabithia, a place where they can escape their troubles. Starring AnnaSophia Robb, Josh Hutcherson, Robert Patrick and Zooey Deschanel. Directed by Gabor Csupo. Released by Walt Disney Pictures. Rated PG.

Official movie site

 "Bridge to Terabithia" movie trailer (1:57)

What the critics say:

"Far from a computer generated escapist fantasy, this film is an unpretentious and touching tale of preteen companionship and loss."

-Jessica Grose, The Village Voice

"A tenderly executed adventure-fantasy."

-Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter

"GHOST RIDER"

Nicolas Cage stars in this fantasy action film based on the Marvel Comics series. A stunt rider named Johnny Blaze (Cage) makes a deal with the Devil, a pact that forces him to become the Ghost Rider, a supernatural being with a flaming skull for a head and a motorcycle that defies the laws of physics. With Donal Logue, Sam Elliott, Eva Mendes, Wes Bentley and Peter Fonda. Directed by Mark Steven Johnson. Released by Columbia Pictures. Rated PG-13.

Official movie site

 "Ghostrider" movie trailer (1:58)

What the critics say:

This film was not available for review.

OPENING IN LIMITED RELEASE (check local listings):

"DAYS OF GLORY"

This acclaimed, Oscar-nominated war movie follows a group of North African soldiers who have been recruited to fight the Germans in Europe during World War II. Although they take the same risks as their French counterparts and acquit themselves heroically, the band of soldiers endures racism and mistreatment as they fight for a country that doesn't entirely accept them. Directed by Rachid Bouchareb. Released by The Weinstein Company. Rated R.

Official movie site

 >

What the critics say:

"'Days of Glory' is a kind of a North African 'Saving Private Ryan,' a taut, involving film that delivers all the things we look for in war movies and does so with intelligence and integrity."

-Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

"A damn good war movie."

-A.O. Scott, The New York Times

VIDEO:

"American Hardcore"

A documentary about the hardcore music scene in the early 1980s, when homegrown bands took punk rock and made it something uniquely, angrily American. Features interviews with members of such bands as Black Flag, Minor Threat, Circle Jerks, Bad Brains and D.O.A. Directed by Paul Rachman. Released by Sony Pictures Classics. Rated R. Available Feb. 20.

"Babel"

Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt and Gael García Bernal star in this film made up of four stories set in Morocco, Tunisia, Mexico and Japan. Each story is connected by the firing of a single shot from a rifle in the African desert, an event that affects an American couple, a deaf Japanese teenager and her father, and a Mexican nanny and the two children with whom she's been entrusted. Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Released by Paramount Home Video. Rated R. Available Feb. 20.

"Family Ties - The Complete First Season"

The first season of the quintessential 1980s sitcom about two liberal parents trying to raise their conservative, Reagan-loving son, a dim-bulb daughter and a younger tomboy child finally arrives on DVD. Released by Paramount Home Video. Not rated. Available Feb. 20.

"For Your Consideration"

Actor-director Christopher Guest ("Best in Show," "Waiting for Guffman") returns with another sharp satire, this time about an independent film that's suddenly being touted as an Academy Award contender. Naturally, the D-list actors and crew are ecstatic, even though their movie may actually be terrible. With Catherine O'Hara, Harry Shearer, Parker Posey, Michael McKean, Bob Balaban, Fred Willard and Jennifer Coolidge. Released by Warner Home Video. Rated PG-13. Available Feb. 20.

"Flushed Away"

The studio behind "Chicken Run" and Wallace & Gromit is behind this animated comedy about a pampered mouse that discovers a teeming animal metropolis after he's flushed down a toilet. Featuring the voices of Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Bill Nighy and Jean Reno. Directed by David Bowers and Sam Fell. Released by Paramount Home Video. Rated PG. Available Feb. 20.

"A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints"

An autobiographical coming-of-age story set in 1986 Queens about a teenager named Dito and his thuggish friends who enjoy terrorizing their neighbors until one day when Dito realizes he wants something better than his mean, petty world. Starring Shia LaBeouf, Channing Tatum, Chazz Palmintieri, Dianne Wiest and Robert Downey Jr. Directed by Dito Monteil. Released by First Look Studios. Rated R. Available Feb. 20.

"Keeping Mum"

Rowan Atkinson ("Mr. Bean") stars in this comedy as an easily distracted vicar who fails to notice that his wife is flirting with a golf pro and his son is regularly getting stomped by bullies at school. Circumstances change, however, when his dedicated and murderous housekeeper (Maggie Smith) decides to solve these problems for him. With Kristin Scott Thomas and Patrick Swayze. Directed by Niall Johnson. Released by Velocity/Thinkfilm. Rated R. Available Feb. 20.

"A Man for All Seasons"

The Oscar-winning drama about Thomas More, the English chancellor who ran afoul of King Henry VIII when he refused to convert from Catholicism after Henry created his own church that would allow the monarch to divorce his wife. Starring Paul Scofield, Robert Shaw, Wendy Hiller, Orson Welles and Leo McKern. Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Rated G. Available Feb. 20.

"Man of the Year"

Robin Williams plays Tom Dobbs, a comedian and talk show host who has made a living expressing common folks' dissatisfaction with politicians. When Dobbs decides on a whim to run for President himself, his audience takes up the cause, and ... he wins. With Christopher Walken, Lewis Black, Jeff Goldblum, and Laura Linney. Directed by Barry Levinson. Released by Universal Home Video. Rated PG-13. Available Feb. 20.

"The Prestige"

Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman star as magicians in late 19th-century London whose rivalry grows more destructive and deadly over the years. With Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie and Michael Caine. Directed by Christopher Nolan ("Batman Begins," "Memento"). Released by Buena Vista Home Entertainment/Touchstone Pictures. Rated PG-13. Available Feb. 20.

"Shut Up and Sing"

This documentary chronicles the Dixie Chicks at a pivotal point in their careers when they decided to denounce the U.S. invasion of Iraq and earned the wrath of country music fans nationwide. Their stance not only got them banned from many radio stations but also led to death threats and public burning of their CDs. Directed by Barbara Kopple ("Harlan County U.S.A."). Released by The Weinstein Company. Rated R. Available Feb. 20.





VIDEO GAMES:

"Chulip"

A bizarre, lighthearted game about a boy who wants to kiss the girl of his dreams, and to do that he needs to solve a variety of puzzles and raise the morale of the residents of his rural village. Published by Natsume for PlayStation 2. Rated T. Available Feb. 20.

"Crackdown"

An action game that has players dispense justice with weapons and fists as they take on big criminal syndicates in a sprawling, nightmarish future city. Includes a Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta. Published by Microsoft. Rated M. Available Feb. 20.

"M.A.C.H."

In the future pilots and wealthy hobbyists race and fight with advanced warplanes bought on the black market. Storyline aside, the emphasis here is on racing and fighting. Published by Vivendi Games for PlayStation Portable. Rated E-10+. Available Feb. 20.

"NBA Street: Homecourt"

Another basketball game that pits players against the NBA's best on concrete neighborhood courts. Published by Electronic Arts for Xbox 360. Rated E. Available Feb. 20.

"Sonic and the Secret Rings"

Fighting blue hedgehog Sonic is transported by a genie into the world of the "Arabian Nights" to retrieve the book's missing pages. Sonic's fast moves mean lots of specialized maneuvers with the Wii's unique controller. Published by Sega of America for Nintendo Wii. Rated E. Available Feb. 20.

"Virtua Fighter 5"

The latest entry in the Virtua Fighter series promises better game play mechanics, additional characters and a wide array of new environments. Published by Sega of America for PlayStation 3. Rated T. Available Feb. 20.

"War Front: Turning Point"

A World War II strategy game based on the premise that Hitler has been assassinated and the Third Reich is under new command, meaning a whole new timeline, different battles and experimental weapons. Published by CDV Software for PC. Rated T. Available Feb. 19.





MUSIC:

Jill Cunniff, "City Beach": The first solo album from the ex-member of Luscious Jackson is a soothing disc meant to evoke both the beach and the city. Released by Militia. In stores Feb. 20.

Erasure, "On the Road to Nashville": A live performance from the band's 2006 tour that includes such songs as “Chains of Love," "Victim of Love" and "Sometimes." Features a concert DVD. Released by Mute U.S. In stores Feb. 20.

The Frames, "The Cost": The Irish band's sixth album explores their familiar themes of desperation and struggle in this disc recorded live to capture a sound more similar to the Frames' energetic on-stage style. Released by Anti. In stores Feb. 20.

Lisa Gerrard, "Best of Lisa Gerrard": A collection of solo tracks from the former singer of Dead Can Dance. Released by 4AD Records. In stores Feb. 20.

Kidz Bop Kids, "Kidz Bop, Vol. 11": More kid-friendly songs sung by kids for kids. Released by Razor & Tie. In stores Feb. 20.

Charlie Louvin, "Charlie Louvin": The surviving half of the Louvin Brothers releases his first studio album in 10 years with help from guest performers Elvis Costello, George Jones, Jeff Tweedy and members of the group Superchunk, among others. Released by Tompkins Square. In stores Feb. 20.

Ojos de Brujo, "Techari": The nuevo flamenco group blends Indian musical styles and rap-like vocals on their second album. Released by Six Degrees. In stores Feb. 20.

Stephen Sondheim, "Company (2006 Broadway Revival Cast)": The complete score to the classic Sondheim musical sung by members of the 2006 cast that included Raul Esparza, Barbara Walsh and Heather Laws. Released by Nonesuch. In stores Feb. 20.

Various artists, "We All Love Ennio Morricone": A diverse array of artists - a really diverse array including Renee Fleming, Metallica, Bruce Springsteen and Yo-Yo Ma - pay tribute to the legendary Italian composer of film scores. Released by Sony. In stores Feb. 20.

TV:

All times are EST/PST.

Saturday, Feb. 17

"Longford": Jim Broadbent and Emily Morton star in this drama based on the true story of British Lord Frank Pakenham, the 7th Earl of Longford, and his friendship with one of Britain's most notorious criminals. 8 p.m., HBO.

Monday, Feb. 19

"Heroes": A new heroine is introduced to keep things interesting. 9 p.m. NBC.

"Star Trek: Beyond the Final Frontier: Leonard Nimoy hosts this look at the science-fiction franchise that went from failed '60s show to full-blown phenomenon. Patrick Stewart, Kate Mulgrew, Avery Brooks and the show's writers, directors and technical crew are among the interviewees. 9 p.m., The History Channel.

Tuesday, Feb. 20

"Last Call with Carson Daly": Carson Daly celebrates five years of surviving the network graveyard shift. 1:35 a.m., NBC.

"American Idol": The voting gets under way. 8 p.m., Fox.

Wednesday, Feb. 21

"Knights of Prosperity": The gang finally gets into Mick Jagger's apartment but discover - the hard way - that he's got a panic room. 8:30 p.m., ABC.

"The Marines": This documentary about one of the U.S. military's most elite forces examines the grueling training it takes to become a Marine succeed and the strong bond that develops among members of the Corps. 9 p.m., PBS (check local listings).

Thursday, Feb. 22

"American Idol": Some contestants - probably the ones you like - get the heave-ho. 8 p.m. Fox.

"The O.C.": The very last episode ever. 9 p.m., Fox.

"Ghost of Abu Ghraib": Documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy looks at the infamous U.S. military prison in Iraq and examines how torture and other human rights violations were allowed to occur. 9:30 p.m., HBO.





BOOKS:

Catherine Crier, Cole Thompson, "Final Analysis: The Untold Story of the Susan Polk Murder Case": Court TV's Crier collaborated on this nonfiction account of the bizarre 2002 murder case involving a California woman who stabbed her husband to death. Published by HarperCollins. In stores Feb. 20.

Michael Palmer, "The Fifth Vial": A medical thriller involving a student, a scientist and a detective who stumble on to an illegal transplant organ trade. Published by St. Martin's Press. In stores Feb. 20.

Luanne Rice, "The Edge of Winter": A recently divorced woman and her daughter try to stop a developer from dredging up a sunken World War II submarine off the Rhode Island coast, and manage to find age-appropriate romance in the process. Published by Bantam Books. In stores Feb. 20.

  Comments