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'Harry Potter' casts his final spell

The young wizard is back to say goodbye. Also this week: "Winnie the Pooh" is safe for all ages; Roseanne Barr returns with a nutty reality show.
/ Source: TODAY.com

Movies
Oh, nothing really big in movies this week, just the culmination of the biggest movie franchise in recent memory, about a young wizard dubbed "entertainment champion of the world" by TODAY.com contributor Michael Ventre. Nothing to see here, please move along. KIDDING, of course: The eighth and final Harry Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2," opens this week, and you won't be able to escape hearing about it. Fortunately, early reviews are extremely positive. As Dave White, another TODAY.com contributor, notes, this is the rare franchise where the films just got better and better as they went along. Goodbye, Harry, and thanks for all the magic. (Opens July 15.)

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, J.K. Rowling and the rest of the "Potter" cast gather in London to celebrate the eighth film and the end of a decade of work.

If you've got kids too young for the scary world of Harry, fear not. This week also sees the opening of that rare children's film that doesn't have even the slightest potential for tears or bad dreams. Even toddlers can see "Winnie the Pooh" with no fear. The film combines three A.A. Milne stories, and Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit and all those beloved creatures from the Hundred-Acre Wood return. Adults will love it, too. Here's a fun game: Listen to Winnie the Pooh and Tigger talk and see if you can tell that the same actor (Jim Cummings) is voicing both. (Opens July 15.)

Books
More than a few fans of HBO's "Game of Thrones" hungrily sought out George R. R. Martin's books after the all-too-brief first TV season ended. Martin has four enormous novels out in the series already, and now this week, the fifth arrives. "A Dance With Dragons" continues the saga of the Starks, the Lannisters, Daenerys Targaryen and the rest of the characters. Best to read this one slowly, savoring every one of its 1,040 pages. Six years passed between the last novel and this one, and who knows when the sixth book, "The Winds of Winter," will hit shelves?

TV
It's probably a statement that's been made by more than one person: "Roseanne's Nuts." But in this case, it's also the name of comic Roseanne Barr's new reality show. Barr, her son and boyfriend are now running a 40-acre macademia-nut and livestock farm in Hawaii, and the show covers the challenges and rewards of that business. And knowing Roseanne, she won't bother to edit herself for the cameras, so "nuts" might just describe each episode. (Premieres July 13, 9 p.m., Lifetime.)

DVD
In the animated film "Rango," Johnny Depp voices an opinionated chameleon, a once-pampered pet who finds himself serving as sheriff in an Old West town that's desperate for water. The film is little advanced for the youngest kids (rated PG rather than G), but is beautifully put together. Roger Ebert gave it four stars and called it "some kind of miracle." (On DVD July 15.)

"The Lincoln Lawyer" is no designer-suited dandy. Mickey Haller is a criminal-defense attorney who operates out of his car, and he's not above cutting a deal or cutting a corner. When a high-paying Beverly Hills client turns out to be not exactly what he seems, Haller finds his own life forever affected. The amiably scruffy Matthew McConaughey plays Haller just as novelist Michael Connelly wrote him. Leonard Maltin calls the film "well-crafted" and "well-cast." (On DVD July 12.)