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THE SMART LIST

`Stars' swirl, reptiles save the world

March 18, 2007|Deborah Netburn

What you will be taking about: Heroes in a half shell. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back to charm the pants and dollars off a whole new generation of kids. The absurd characters have had some serious traction -- created as a fairly dark comic book by two young artists in 1984, the pizza-loving, artist-named turtles have already had a couple of animated television series and two live-action films. Now Warner Bros. is releasing "TMNT," a new CGI animated film based on the characters. "Go Ninja! Go Ninja! Go!" (Friday)

What you should be talking about: A dude named Panda Bear. Panda Bear is the alias of Noah Lennox, one-fourth of the artsy, but ultimately pop, music group Animal Collective. This week he releases his second solo album, "Person Pitch" -- an affecting mix of folk, ambient lull, noise and melody. It's weird without being off-putting, mellow without being boring. Online folks have been freaking out for it for weeks and there are already album of the year murmurings. (Tuesday)

What you might want to talk about: Heather Mills on "Dancing With the Stars." The show's fourth season starts up this week with a new cast of random celebrities. Notable competitors include country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, talk show host Leeza Gibbons, and, intriguingly, Mills, who, per the show's website, will be the first person with an artificial leg to compete. She's also the first person with an artificial leg to marry a Beatle (Paul McCartney). Way to break boundaries, Heather! (Monday)

What's always interesting to talk about: Horror movies and the collective consciousness. This week brings the release of "The Hills Have Eyes II," a remake of Wes Craven's 1985 original and co-written by Craven and his son Jonathan. Early reports say the film has a lot of gross-out moments (the killers are crazed humans who mutated during atomic testing), but even if you don't have the stomach to see it, it's worth thinking about the plotline: Young National Guard trainees get sent into a situation much more dangerous than they are expecting and for which they are ill-prepared. (Friday)

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-- Deborah Netburn

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