Author

Caren Weiner Campbell

If you watch movies with a horse-obsessed preteen girl – or happen to be one yourself – DreamWorks’ romantic drama about the life and loves of a feisty mustang (with the voice of Matt Damon!) is aimed right at you. Unfortunately, the rest of us will likely find the equine adventure pretty dull; despite lush, kinetic animation and a galloping plot, Spirit comes off as static and plodding. Trivia bonus: Our horsey hero’s Lakota friend is voiced by Daniel Studi, son of Cherokee actor Wes (”The Last of the Mohicans”).

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Frankie Muniz, Paul Giamatti, ...

After Big Fat Liar’s incorrigible fibber, Jason Shepherd (Frankie Muniz), writes – and misplaces – his overdue homework composition, he can’t convince anyone of the truth: It’s been pilfered by Hollywood producer Marty Wolf. (Get it?) So the Buelleresque Jason follows Wolf to L.A. to expose him and get his revenge. Setting this story of trust and betrayal among movie folk was a sly move; you sense that by playing Wolf so gleefully as a selfish, dastardly sadist, Paul Giamatti is dishing out a little payback of his own.

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Turning the Beat Around CBS' cop drama Cagney & Lacey burst onto the crime scene 20 years ago.

In the early ’80s, it was an arresting development: female copswho showed neither gams nor gloss as they brought down perps inNew York City’s 14th precinct. When Cagney & Lacey debuted March25, 1982, viewers met ambitious single woman Chris Cagney (MegFoster) and her partner, married mom Mary Beth Lacey (TyneDaly). Directed by Daly’s husband, Georg Stanford Brown, thatfirst episode showed the unglamorous pair busting drug smugglersand a serial killer – and led to the transformation of a TV genre.

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INXS: The Devils Inside

It was a dramatic death, even by rock star standards. On Nov. 22, 1997, Michael Hutchence, frontman for the Australian band INXS, was found in his suite at Sydney’s Ritz-Carlton hotel, his nude body suspended from a door hinge by a leather belt around his neck. Blood tests revealed the presence of alcohol, cocaine, and prescription drugs. There was no note.

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Nominated for an Oscar last year, this gentle Belgian farce focuses on Jean (De Pauw), who’s determined to see his daughter, Marva (van der Gucht), parlay her singing talent into stardom. Trouble is, she’s pudgy and self-conscious. What’s a stage father to do? (Felony kidnapping, for starters.) Writer-director Dominique Deruddere maintains a light touch throughout this trifle, managing to keep all her characters lovable even when they’re acting despicable, all the while taking an affectionate poke at the moviegoer’s obsession with celebrity.

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After her beloved husband (Cremer) suddenly disappears during their seaside vacation, an English professor (Rampling) almost gets swept away by the undertow of her own wishful, nostalgic fantasies. Director Francois Ozon (Criminal Lovers) presents this spooky tale with great intimacy: His camera stays on Rampling’s face as she hauntingly conveys loss, grief, loneliness, and a forlorn sort of deluded courage. Watching it, you’ll want to hold your loved one’s hand just a little tighter.

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This stylish and hilarious archive features dozens of Rogers look-alikes (each with an appropriate moniker, such as ”Trekkie Kenny,” ”Sportswriter Kenny,” etc.) – but there’s more. Creator Jaimie Muehlhausen, a graphics designer, suggests places you might spot your own faux Kennys (gun shows, Home Depots, churches); offers aspiring Kennys some hair, clothing, and attitude tips; and spotlights a Kenny of the Month.

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The Hundred Acre Wood gang’s all here for this assortment of brief tales, in which plush, Muppet-like embodiments of Pooh and his pals enact silly adventures and sing cheerful little songs. So resolutely nonthreatening are the conflict-free stories (in which, for example, Pooh goes on a walk and gets confused about his whereabouts) that this anthology should be cozy entertainment for toddlers – and nobody else.

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(www.sixtiespop.com) Shagadelic doesn’t even begin to describe this Union Jack-filled tribute to swinging London and the British Invasion during the very gear ’60s. Amateur pop historian David ”Digger” Barnes has compiled scads of fab facts about the era’s stars, tunes, flicks, and TV shows, then topped off the mix with his own interviews of such personalities as Herman’s Hermits’ Peter Noone and the Animals’ Hilton Valentine. Yeah, baby!

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