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'Captain America' smashes into theaters

The patriotic superhero and founder of The Avengers gets his own big-screen movie. Also this week: "Entourage" returns; "Friends with Benefits" tries to stand out from "No Strings Attached."
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July 4 is over, but waves of red, white and blue are about to wash over theaters. "Captain America," the most patriotic superhero around, is charging into cinemas this week. The story's familiar: Steve Rogers desperately wants to fight for his country during World War II, but he's deemed 4-F by the U.S. Army. That is, until they take Rogers into a special program and transform his puny body into that of a super soldier. Chris Evans (who said he needed therapy to handle the role) plays Cap, with Hugo Weaving as his legendary enemy, the Red Skull. Think other heroes have evil villains? The Red Skull is actually a Nazi. Now that's someone who's got to be taken down. (Opens July 22.)

Hey, didn't we already see "Friends with Benefits"? No, that was "No Strings Attached," and starred Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. "Friends" stars Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. But yes, the plot outline is basically the same — friends try to become lovers and keep it strictly physical. For some reason, we're buying the light-hearted, always-game Kunis in this role more than we did the elegant Portman. (Opens July 22.)

Sure, people get stood up at the altar. But Hugh Hefner? Kind of. A new Lifetime one-hour special, "Hef's Runaway Bride," talks to the Playboy founder about why his lavish wedding to Crystal Harris last month just didn't happen. (July 19, 10 p.m., Lifetime.)

"Entourage" returns this week for its eighth and last season. Star Adrian Grenier says his character, Vince, will be new and improved this time around, fresh out of rehab and aiming to get back on top of his entertainment career. And if you are already mourning the disappearance of the four friends from your TV set, never fear. Grenier says a movie will "absolutely" happen. (July 24, 10:30 p.m., HBO)

Grenier says 'Entourage' movie will happen

So you saw the "Harry Potter" final film and are now looking for more? Lifetime offers up a TV movie, "Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story." Rowling's story is a fascinating one — her creation of the young wizard took her from life as a struggling single mom who'd received public assistance in her native Britain to one of the world's richest woman. It's inspiring and sweet — she owes much of her success to her late mom, who never lived to see her daughter's worldwide success. (July 18, 8 p.m., Lifetime.)

In "Limitless," Bradley Cooper plays a writer who just can't put words on paper. That is, until his ex-wife's brother slips him a super-secret drug that makes him smarter and way more successful. As with any drug-induced improvement, the results aren't lasting and he has to find a way to keep getting his hands on more of the medicine. The ending may not be what you're expecting. Rick Groen of the Toronto Globe and Mail dubbed it "a fun Hollywood flick with a good head on its shoulders." (On DVD July 19.)

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is's movies editor.