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East Meets Western

A Fistful of Dollars, the 1964 movie that arguably launched Clint Eastwood's movie career, was a western-ized remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1961 samurai movie Yojimbo. Proving that the cinematic cultural exchange goes both ways is the trailer for Yurusarezaru mono, a Japanese remake of Eastwood's Oscar winning 1992 film Unforgiven, starring Ken Watanabe (Inception) as a retired samurai tempted to get back in the violence biz by a large bounty. The trailer is at


Get behind the wheel

If people you know are hard to reach on Sept. 17, it's probably because they have immersed themselves in the latest Grand Theft Audio video game ( With a reimagined open-world concept in which players can drive any vehicle they want, go scuba diving, fly planes, go golfing, head out on rampages, rob banks and generally cause mayhem, the newest edition of the popular and controversial series will be flying off shelves this fall. Early trailers and sneak peeks of the most anticipated game of the year suggest that Rockstar Games has gone all-out in this new edition, tying together addictive and expansive online play with a new multi-character approach to the main story that will let you play from any of the three main characters' perspectives at any time in the game. This seemingly small change will not only extend the game play time, but gives the series a whole new twist.


Sharks take a bite out of summer

Remember those wide-eyed, innocent times, before Sharknado rained fin-flashing, razor-toothed doom from above, when you thought being a Prairie dweller meant safety from shark attacks? Well, fellow flatlander, those days are over. And if Space's recent broadcast of the instant camp classic wasn't enough to scare you silly, wait til 2010's Sharktopus (Tuesday, July 23 at 8 p.m. on Space) brings its terrifying tandem of teeth and tentacles to your TV screen. And then ... be very afraid.


Five days more ...

To the barricades as Cameron Mackintosh's 25th anniversary production of Les Miserables arrives at the Centennial Concert Hall July 23 for an eight-performance run. Come for the fabulous score -- think I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own and Master of the House -- and stay for the uplifting, epic Victor Hugo story about an unjustly hounded fugitive Jean Valjean. The new staging was inspired by Hugo's paintings.


Perhaps Lord Voldemort had a hand in it

Even an amateur sleuth might think it suspicious that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is unmasked as the real writer of an obscure mystery novel, The Cuckoo's Calling, a week before the trade paperback release of her first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy. Could the Sunday Times of London journalist who broke the story of the pseudonymous "Robert Galbraith" have been played like a fiddle to maximize sales for two titles instead of one?

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 18, 2013 ??65534

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