MOVIES

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This article was published 27/7/2013 (3260 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Guns 2

Guns 2

MOVIES

BIG RELEASE: The Smurfs 2 (July 31)

BIG PICTURE: Nature's most family-friendly abomination, the Smurfs, return for more 3D hijinks. Even when I watched the original cartoon as a child, I always felt like something was a little off. As an adult, I've begun to ask myself some hard questions. Smurfette? Papa Smurf? Why is there only one girl in Smurf village, and only one senior citizen? How exactly has this species thrived? What did they do with the rest of their elderly? Does Smurfette have to go through a tedious speed-dating session at the local mushroom restaurant every time she wants to choose a new boyfriend? I haven't been this confused since I watched Inception.

FORECAST: The big blue machine's original cast is back for more fun: the cartoon-figured Katy Perry as Smurfette, Hank Azaria as the villainous Garamel and Neil Patrick Harris as the Smurfs' human sidekick. This time around, Smurfette is kidnapped by Gargamel and taken to Paris (boo hoo). His dastardly plan? For Smurfette to bond with the sorcerer's new hedonistic creations, the Naughties and trick her into turning them into real Smurfs. Will Smurfette turn her back on her boys in blue?

HONOURABLE MENTION: Guns 2 (Aug. 2). Could there be a more American movie title (other than, say, 100,000 Guns)? Denzel Washington plays an undercover officer with the DEA who is paired with Mark Wahlberg, an undercover naval intelligence officer. Initially tasked with investigating each other, they soon find themself being set up by the mob in a bank heist gone wrong. Sparks fly. Sarcastic barbs are exchanged. Tensions rise. Shots are fired. Grenades are thrown. It's your classic buddy-cop action-comedy. I have no idea if the movie is any good, but the director's name -- Baltasar Kormakur -- sounds like a Bond villain, so I guess that's something.

Robin Thicke

CP

Robin Thicke

TV

BIG EVENT: Broadchurch (Aug. 4, Showcase, 10 p.m.)

BIG PICTURE: It's The Killing... only British, capable of solving a murder case in one season -- and starring a time-travelling alien. OK, David Tennant (who plays Det.-Insp. Alex Hardy) isn't an E.T., but he's famous for his role as Doctor Who. It wouldn't be fair to the mere mortals of Broadchurch to send in a Time Lord to solve an 11-year-old boy's murder. Broadchurch may be one of the most riveting, addictive crime series I've watched in a long time. A slow-burning character study with a top-notch ensemble cast, the series is set in a small, unassuming seaside village -- a place where murder is a foreign concept and people don't lock their doors. When a boy turns up dead on the beach, the whole town is torn apart with suspicion. Det. Hardy, new in town, must battle his own formidable demons and pair up with Det. Miller (Olivia Colman), a local, sensitive cop with personal ties to the case.

Broadchurch

Broadchurch

FORECAST: It's a real whodunit. Everyone is a suspect: the vicar, the newspaper reporter, the father, the innkeeper, the sister's secret boyfriend, the cleaning lady, the child's best friend (the family dog, Prince Harry, Mick Jagger, the Loch Ness Monster... you know, everyone). I haven't seen the finale. But the killer better not end up being a Dalek, one of the absurd alien-cyborgs from Doctor Who.

HONOURABLE MENTION: The Killing (Aug. 4, AMC, 9 p.m. AMC's riveting crime drama ends its third season tonight. And the series' creators promise, for the first time, to wrap up a case in one season! Yay! Lovers of good TV can only hope it is renewed for Season 4. This is the only time you'll ever hear me root for "more killing."

MUSIC

The Smurfs

The Smurfs

BIG RELEASE ON JULY 30: Robin Thicke (Blurred Lines)

BIG PICTURE: His dad is celebrated Canadian actor Alan Thicke, best known for playing good-guy sitcom dad Jason Seaver on Growing Pains. But you know what they say: The apple falls far from your dad's sitcom character's tree. Robin Thicke is one of the hottest R&B artists in North America with one of the catchiest, most risqu© songs of the summer, the chart-topper Blurred Lines. Online parodies and covers of the song are rampant. While its suggestive lyrics and racy video, featuring topless models and farm animals (Thicke has said the video was intended to be "silly"), have come under fire from some quarters for objectifying women, the song is undeniably catchy. Early indications are the whole album follows suit, toying with everything from disco dance to funk, and tailor-made for the dance floor. Move over Justin Timberlake.

FORECAST: Thicke has always had more success on the R&B charts than the pop charts, but Blurred Lines will live up to its name as a crossover hit. As Thicke sings: "You know you want it."

HONOURABLE MENTION: Buddy Guy (Rhythm & Blues), Backstreet Boys (In A World Like This). Every R&B star, including Mr. Thicke, owes a debt to the blues. Buddy Guy is still feeling the blues better than anyone. On the other side of the musical coin: Only in a world like this are the Backstreet Boys still making albums. Sigh.

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The Killing

TRIBUNE MEDIA MCT

The Killing