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Best bets: Action knows no age in 'RED'

Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman are "Retired Extremely Dangerous" in the new film. Plus: "School Pride" is a home makeover show for educational institutions; "How to Train Your Dragon" hits DVD.
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MoviesNot that long ago, action heroes were never allowed to age, but now things have changed. Sylvester Stallone led "The Expendables" to a box-office triumph, and now Bruce Willis plays a former black-ops CIA agent who comes out of retirement to save his own life. The film is called "RED," but it doesn't refer to the color, but instead to the stamp on Willis' personnel file — Retired Extremely Dangerous. Willis recruits his old pals, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich — although Malkovich doesn't make it on to the poster — to help him out. You go, older-than-average action stars! (Opens Oct. 15.)

The plot of "Conviction" would never be believable if it wasn't based on a true story. Hilary Swank plays Betty Anne Waters, an unemployed single mother who sees her brother wrongfully locked up for murder. She never gives up on him, pushing herself to earn a GED, bachelor's, master's and finally a law degree, all while raising her sons and working as a waitress. Is it a spoiler to say they wouldn't be making this movie if she hadn't helped him prove his innocence? Sure to be a heart-tugger. (Spoiler warning: There's a .) (Opens Oct. 15.)

TVIt's kind of sad that our schools have to rely on a reality show to get the improvements they need, but perhaps it's better than nothing. NBC's "School Pride," with "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Cheryl Hines as executive producer, will go into falling-down schools in Los Angeles and work like the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" teams to get them back in shape. Readin' and writin' and renovation. (Premieres Oct. 15, 8 p.m., NBC.)

"The Wire's" Idris Elba played a magnificent Stringer Bell, the M.B.A.-seeking drug lord. Now Elba stars as "Luther," a brilliant detective who investigates gruesome crimes and follows his own moral code. And he gets to use his own beautiful British accent in this one. (Premieres Oct. 17, 10 p.m., BBCA.)

We're familiar with anorexia and bulimia, eating disorders that once were dirty little secrets never talked about. The new show "What's Eating You?" investigates disordered eating that we still don't talk about. These are people who are obsessed with certain food behaviors, whether it's putting artificial sweetener on everything to eating ant-covered trash and chalk. Sure to be a talker show along the lines of "Hoarders," but like that show, not for the queasy. (Premieres Oct. 13, 10 p.m., E!)

DVDVikings and dragons and more, oh my! The animated film "How to Train Your Dragon" was released in theaters in 3-D, but you don't need the funny glasses to enjoy this one. Entertainment Weekly called it "a Harry Potter film with less clutter" and admired the relationship between young Viking Hiccup and the dragon he befriends. (Out on DVD Oct. 15.)

As winter approaches, thoughts turn to skis and snowboards. Get ready to hit the slopes by watching Warren Miller's "Dynasty." It's not the 1980s giant-shoulder-padded soap opera, but instead a breathtaking love letter to extreme snow sports and the experts who live for them. (Out on DVD Oct. 12.)

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is's movies editor.