Best bets: ‘Whip It’ good with Ellen Page

Sunday, Sep 27, 2009  |  Updated 11:00 PM EDT
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2009 Emmy Awards host Neil Patrick Harris will have the chance to show off his musical chops again on the 100th episode of his CBS comedy, "How I Met Your Mother," Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello reported.

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Movies
Drew Barrymore makes her directorial debut with “Whip It,” a film that stars Ellen Page as a high school misfit who finds joy on a roller derby team. Collider.com wrote, “This is Ellen Page’s movie; everything rests on her shoulders, and she pulls it off with ease and tough abandon.” And Roger Ebert added, “Page is not only a great actress, but a daring one.” (Opens Oct. 2)

The Coen brothers return with “A Serious Man.” Michael Stuhlbarg stars as a midwestern professor in 1967 who must deal with a wife who wants to leave him, a brother who sleeps on his couch and has a oozing boil, a lawsuit from a student, and a son who’s the target of a bully. Roger Ebert wrote, “It is largely about misery and bad luck, and it’s very funny.” He added, “If you aren’t Jewish when you go into this movie, you may be when you come out.” (Opens Oct. 2)

Music
“Twilight” fans might remember that film's use of “Decode” from Paramore’s last album. Hayley Williams and the band return with the new album, “brand new eyes.” Spin magazine gave the album four stars and wrote, “A zealous onstage headbanger, Williams howls like she's spent her 20 years on Earth internalizing old Judas Priest records.” (On sale Sept. 29)

Mariah Carey isn’t afraid to pull out a Foreigner cover, namely, “I Want to Know What Love Is,” to launch her new album, “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel.” She also takes time to give frenemy Eminem a little knock in “Obsessed.” Check out Em's doppleganger in the video. (On sale Sept. 29)

TV
The wave of returning TV shows continues to wash over us. Last week was the biggie as far as returning favorites are concerned, but this week offers a mix of new and old shows.

"ER" is gone, but if you need a new medical show to fill your nights with heart-pounding scenarios, try "Trauma," a new offering about paramedics in San Francisco. (Premieres Sept. 28, 9 p.m., NBC.)

All medical shows have to have their own twist, it seems. "Three Rivers" focuses on a team of doctors racing to get organs transplanted on time. (Premieres Oct. 4, 9 p.m., CBS.)

"Bank of Mom & Dad" is a reality show for the recession. Each week it focuses on a young woman (do all young men have perfect credit?) with out-of-control finances as her parents and a money coach try to get her back on a budget. (Premieres Sept. 20, 10 p.m., SOAPnet.)

Shows are starting to get it: There's a recession out there, and most viewers can identify more with "Roseanne" than the "Gossip Girl" glitz. In one new show, Kelsey Grammer plays "Hank," a CEO who gets fired and has to leave New York and return home to small town Virginia. (Sept. 30, 8 p.m., ABC.)

DVD
Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie, Kiefer Sutherland, Stephen Colbert and Renee Zellweger are among the celebrity voices filling the cast of 3-D animated adventure "Monsters vs. Aliens." Roger Ebert didn't find the 3-D necessary, but Rolling Stone called the film "an animated funhouse that delivers on its title and ups its scary-comic impact if you see it in 3-D." (Out on DVD Sept. 29.)

"Where Cathy adores a minuet, the Ballets Russes, and crepes Suzette, our Patty loves to rock 'n' roll, a hot dog makes her lose control, what a wild duet!" Identical twins, we could believe, but identical cousins? No matter, it was the premise for "The Patty Duke Show," and the first season comes out on DVD this week. "You can lose your mind, when cousins, are two of a kind!" (Out on DVD Sept. 29.)

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