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Arts and Entertainment

New Movie Friday: Sea Monsters, Hunky Warriors, Cuban Rappers & More

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The Host - Korean director Joon-ho Bong has created one of the scarier horror films of the year not to mention Korea's most successful domestic release ever. A mutant beast created by U.S. military negligence emerges from Seoul's Han River and snatches the daughter of a vendor who runs a small snack bar on the river's banks. The film is riddled with a sense of urgent dread but Bong also manages to poke fun at monster movie clichés. Count on an English-language remake (probably stripped of the political overtones). If you have a multi-region DVD player you can already catch The Host on the Region 3 DVD.

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300 - The ancient Greek battle of Thermopylae is recast as a large, glorious, hyper-violent, effects-driven action film that's based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller (Sin City). Scores of hunky shirtless men with rock-hard abs abound (Gerard Butler, Rodrigo Santoro and David Wenham). Various critics have tried to read the political slant of the film, but is it a pro-Bush paean to war or an entertaining condemnation of war's horrors? Who knows.