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Wednesday, September 25. 2013 The Montmorency CourtLy Tribune ' 15 (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc. New DVDs reviewed in this column will be released Oct. 7, 2013 PREVIEWS the bluest of the Monty Python movies. Across several bizarre vignettes, the film ponders the meaning of life through an absurdist lens. Most of the bits can't be discussed in much detail here, just know that this movie is the most offbeat and ridiculous film in a franchise of weirdos. It also has the catchiest songs. PICKS OF THE WEEK "Much Ado About Nothing" (PG-13) - Shot on a shoestring budget in less than two weeks, the best romantic comedy of the summer almost looks like a home video project. It sort of is: Joss Whedon (yes, the director of "The Avengers") di- rected this Shakespearean adaptation around his California home. The modem setting, costumes and black-and-white filter give the story a film-noir feel, which goes perfectly with the pithy back-and- forth of Shakespeare's original text. The plot follows an evil scheme to dis- credit a fair young lady and stir up chaos between families. However, two attrac- tive singles who outwardly hate each other, all while being oblivious to the sexual tension between them, hijack the plot. You don't have to pretend to like this just to make your English teacher happy; it's actually enjoyable. "The Purge" (R) - In a dystopian future, far far away, society has gotten so screwed up that we give a free pass to all crimes for one night every ye.ar. This night is called the Purge, and only rich folks have the means to protect themselves from the chaos. Or so they think. Ethan Hawke's Fran Kranz & "Much Ado About Nothing" DOG OF THE WEEK "After Earth" (PG-13) - In this father- son snorefest, Will Smith plays the coolest Space Ranger in space as Cypher Raige (cool name, brog, while his 14-year-old son Jaden plays the less-talented Space Ranger, Ktai Raige. It's been 1,000 years since humans migrated off the earth for the welcoming embrace of space. Smith and son's spaceship crash lands on the now-hostile planet earth, leaving audi- ences with daunting task of watching Wilt Smith remotely guide his son through a Family is targeted by a-particularly persis-- tedious jungle adventure. --The-m0'ie is pi:oduced, written and tent bunch of masked bandits who want funded by Will Smith, his family and to lynch a man they let into their fortified friends. So nobody was around to tell home. The movie takes that odd little premise and tries to load a lot of social themhowlamethiswas.Theonlyoutside commentary on top. It's just not sturdy talent they got was the director: M. Night enough to hold. Shyamalan. Yeesh. "Monty Python's the Meaning of Life" (R)- Now making its Blu-ray release, it's 1. What was the name of the cantina in Marty Robbins' 1960 song "El Paso"? And who was the girl the gunslinger fell in love with? 2. Name the two albums released in 1970 by blues-rock group Ten Years After, 3. Which group released "Walking on the Moon"? 4. Who released "Hungry Like the Wolf"? 5. Name the song that contains this lyric: "For six long days and weary nights they tried to find her trail, Churchill told the people 'Put ev'ry ship a-sail.'" Answers 1. Rose's Cantina, and Felina. 2. "Cricklewood Green" and "Watt." They charted at No. 14 and No. 21, respectively. 3. The Police, in 1979. The song's video was filmed at Kennedy Space Center, even though it didn't even chart in the U.S. 4. British new wave band Duran Duran in 1982. The song was ignored until the video got heavy rotation on MTV, which shot it to the top of the charts. 5. "Sink the Bismark," by Johnny Horton in 1960. The Bismark was a German battleship (more correctly known as Bismarck), the largest ever built. When the Bismarck sank the British battlecruiser HMS Hood in 1941, the Royal Navy went after her with a vengeance. by cindy elavsky anyQc u: One of my favorite shows is AMC's "Hell on Wheels." Can you give me es about the season finale? - Holly F., via email Well, I don't want to give too much ay and spoil the surprise! But I did speak recently with series regular Kasha Kropinski (who plays Ruth), and she gave me a little tease as to what to expect as the season winds down. The South African beauty (who is a total sweetheart!) told me: "People are going to be totally and utterly shocked by what happens in these last few episo des. It is totally left field what transpires. I think that people already have created an idea of what they think is going to happen. But I don't think anyone could come up with what actually tran- spires. "Some new relationships develop; some unexpected relationships come to frui- tion. Expect some death and destruction, as usual -- it is ,Hell on Wheels,' after all. I don't think that's a spoiler at all. Just hold onto your socks because they might blow off." : I was heartbroken when you an nounced that TNT had not renewed "Monday Mornings." I spent 46 years as a registered nurse, mostly in a hospital, in various areas. This was the only hospital- based showlhave been able to watch past the first episodes. I appreciated the doc- tors being challenged about decisions and outcomes. - Elizabeth B., via ernail I have received quite a few letters xpressing dismay over the cancela- tion of "Monday Mornings." This series hit home with a lot of viewers, but appar- ently not enough for the numbers people at TNT. I miss the days when networks gave shows longer that one season to build an audience, and gain momentum and a following. Imagine if "The Office" had debuted this season instead of 10 years ago: With the low numbers the show's first season brought in, it would 1. Insidious: Chapter 2 (PG-13) Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne .2. The Family (R) Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer 3, Riddick (R)Vin Diesel, Karl Urban 4. Lee Daniels' The Butler (PG-13) Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey 5. We're the Millers (R) Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis 6. Instructions Not Included (P6-13) Guillermo Rios, Leticia Lopez Margalli 7. Planes (PG) animated 8. One Direction: This Is Us (PG) Liam Payne, Harry Styles 9. Elysium (R) Matt Damon, Jodie Foster 10. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (PG) Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario "Kindred and Wings" By Philippa Ballantine Reviewed by Ealish WaddeU Centuries ago, the Valaeri race on the world of Cahaero was nearly wiped out by a genocidal ruler. Talyn, a displaced and desperate Valaeri survivor, accepted a life of exile and hatred to became the ruler's pet assassin. After 300 years of butchery, she thought she _was deadened to all emotion ... until she met Finn, and had to cast him away. Finn himself is finding out at he's not the simple orphan bard he always thought he was, and is much more vital to this world's future than he ever could have imagined. Now he is on a journey to locate his captive brother and uncover his own buried past, but he can't seem to forget about Talyn. Theirs are but two of the paths soon to converge in a momentous confrontation that will become the stuff of legend, when long-buried secrets of past and present come together to not only reveal the truth of that terrible day long ago, but also to prevent an even worse ca- tastrophe from destroying them all. Ballantine has a talent for subtle have been canceled in a flash. Just imag- ine all the great television we'd have missed out on! : I feel like I've been waiting forever. %When will "Awkward" remm with newpisodes? - Nicole F., Athens, Ca. MTV's hit comedy returns from its ummer hiatus on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 10:30 p.m. ET/PTwith 10 new episodes to round out the third season. Kasha Kropinski READERS: It's time for another con- test! In honor of "China Beach" finally being released on DVD, I'm giving away four copies of the first season to four lucky readers. There are four ways to win, and you can enter once via each method. You can send me a letter. Cindy Elavsky, King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853- 6475; or you can also enter at letters@cindyelavsky.com; follow mon Twitter at twitter.corn/celebrity_extra to get details; and like my FB page for de- tails http:l /www.facebook.com/pagesl Celebrity-Extra/152752278792. All those who enter are eligible for the grand-prize drawing to win a box set of the entire series! Get your entries in and/or post- marked by Oct. 31. Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or e-mail her at letters@cindyelavsky.corn. Recommended Reading world building. Rather than dumping all the elaborate backstory at once, she reveals it piece by piece in ways that feel organic and natural. And this is truly an excitingly unusual world. Gods and monsters walk Cahaero and the spaces around it, manipulating mortal and im- mortal residents alike for their own hidden purposes. Uncer- tainty and chaos lie in the very bones of the constantly chang- ing earth, but they are to be wel- comed and celebrated as much as feared. "Kindred and Wings" cont- ues the epic tale begun in "Hunter and Fox," which to- gether make a compelling, imaginative fantasy duet. This satisfying sequel puts a period to one chapter of this world's his- tory, while leaving the door open for new adventures.