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March 15, 2009|Denise Martin

If you talk about only one thing this week, talk about "The Great Buck Howard"

John Malkovich stars as an aging magician -- excuse him, mentalist -- who hires a twentysomething layabout (Colin Hanks) as his assistant as he attempts a career comeback. People forget how funny Malkovich can be, but believe me: Even while it's taken more than a year for this 2008 Sundance comedy to make its way to audiences, Buck Howard ranks right up there with the actor's performance in "Being John Malkovich." (Friday)

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And while we're talking about Sundance, let's talk about: "Sin Nombre"

It's heavy, but worth it. After murdering his gang's leader, a teenager joins a family of Honduran immigrants making the dangerous trek across Mexico to the United States, while avoiding a fellow gang member who has been sent to kill him en route. The movie received raves this year at Sundance for first-time feature director Cary Joji Fukunaga. (Friday)

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Even if you saw the movie, go see and talk about: "Frost/Nixon" at the Ahmanson Theatre

To hear critics who saw it on Broadway tell it, nothing compares to watching the sparks fly as two actors re-create the flashing moment in history. Stacy Keach stars as the embattled former president and Alan Cox ("John Adams") the British talk show host with the playboy reputation. (Now playing)

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Forget the "Twilight" DVD. Real vampire fans are talking about: "Let the Right One In"

Based on the Swedish novel of the same name, the quiet horror film is more coming-of-age than blood and guts. The action follows Oskar, a lonely 12-year-old who befriends and falls for a pale, serious girl who arrives in town at the same time a series of inexplicable murders is taking place. You won't find any of that dazzle-me-Edward stuff here. (Available now)

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The remake of "Fame" doesn't come out until September. In the meantime, you can talk about: MTV's "Taking the Stage."

Don't worry. This isn't the performing arts edition of "The Real World." Instead, Nick Lachey -- you know him as Jessica Simpson's ex -- is behind the network's latest reality offering following students from his alma mater, Cincinnati's famed School for the Creative and Performing Arts, as they chase dreams that include dancing with the Alvin Ailey company and playing packed houses on Broadway. (Thursday)

-- Denise Martin

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