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MOVIES: Opening Friday, "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "National Treasure" (PG adventure starring Nicolas Cage); Nov. 24, "Christmas With the Kranks" (PG); Dec. 12, "Ocean's Twelve"; ; Dec. 17, "Lemony Snicket Unfortunate Events" (PG, Jim Carrey as evil Count Olaf) and "The Aviator" (PG-13, Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes); Dec. 22, "Phantom of the Opera."

NEW ON VIDEO/DVD: Arrived Tuesday, "Chronicles of Riddick" and "Elf"; coming Tuesday, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," "The Terminal" and "Sleepover"; Nov. 30, "Spider-Man 2" and "Hero" and "Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius" (golf movie starring Jim Caviezel); Dec. 7, "The Bourne Supremacy" and "Dodgeball"; Dec. 14, "I Robot," "Princess Diaries 2" (boxed set) and extended version DVD of "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King."

THEATER: Through Nov. 28, the Rockettes in Radio City Music Spectacular, Shea's Performing Arts Center; "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," Theatre of Youth; Jan. 4-9, "The Producers," Shea's; Feb. 24-April 3, "Disney's the Lion King" at Shea's.

CONCERTS: Friday, 6 p.m., all-age show (Show Authority Zero, Bangarang, Eden's Row, Amy Ryan & the Operatives, Eighty HD, Rex Banner), Xtreme Wheels Indoor Skate Park, 356 Hertel; Nov. 24, Standard of Living, Wide of the Mark, Molotov Cocktail, Xtreme Wheels; Nov. 27, 2 p.m., Battle of the Bands (Drawback, Pyrolixious, Global Dissent, Lobotomy, Wide of the Mark, The Disease, Now in Stores, The City Creeps, In August, Led Astray), Xtreme Wheels; Dec. 17, Kissmas Bash, HSBC Arena.


In America we are fortunate enough to have the constitutional right to free speech. And just how do Americans exercise this right? Well, some do through music. "American Idiot," Green Day's newest CD, is a perfect example of the right to freedom of speech. The well-known title track, where Billie Joe Armstrong calls America "one nation controlled by the media" proves to be the most daring example on the CD. Other tracks worth mention are "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," a touching narrative about depression and loneliness, and "Holiday," another politically daring song in which Billie Joe makes reference to crushing free speech in the lines "pulverize the Eiffel Towers, who criticize your government." Overall, this CD measures up to the likes of Green Day's past work including "Dookie" and is a CD that old and new fans of Green Day will enjoy. So exercise your right to free speech and good music and buy this CD.

Review: 3 1/2 stars (Out of 4) /Alison Crabtree, Amherst High School


"I can escape what's going on in my head. I'm able to see a different world."

-- Actor Chad Michael Murray ("One Tree Hill"), on why he loves acting, in M magazine.

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