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Best bets: ‘Funny People’ looks for laughs

Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen star as comedians and best pals in "Funny People." Plus: Shark Week swims onto the Discovery Channel; the British "Life on Mars" comes to DVD.
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MoviesHollywood’s favorite filmmaker, Judd Apatow, returns with his third film, “Funny People.” Adam Sandler stars as a comedian suffering from what he believes to be a fatal disease — until it goes into remission. Seth Rogen co-stars as a not-quite-as-funny comic who becomes both his assistant and best pal. The premise sounds a bit maudlin, but Apatow is one of the few directors who really knows how to balance laughs with heart. The movie also features the comic talents of Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman, Sarah Silverman and Norm McDonald. (Opens July 31)

The documentary “The Cove” shocked and thrilled critics at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, taking home the Audience Award in the process. The film tells the story of former “Flipper” trainer Richard O’Barry, who is determined to end dolphin slaughter in Japan and gets director Louie Psihoyos involved in his fight. Cinematical wrote, “Wow. Just wow. This is easily one of the most powerful, heartfelt and (yes, I'll say it) important ‘nature’ documentaries I've ever seen.” (Opens July 31)

MusicIf you think heavy metal is dead, Angus Khan has something to say to you. Band member Dirty-D told that the band's new album, “Black Leather Soul,” is “ass-kicking, face-melting, blistering hard rock with dashes of punk ‘tude and glam flashiness.” And the site went on to say that the music is “a breath of fresh air for lovers of KISS, Aerosmith, AC/DC and good old-fashioned biker rock.” (On sale July 28)

Andreas Kleerup, known as Kleerup, has already had big success on the Swedish album chart, but now it’s time for Americans to learn that there’s more to Swedish music than ABBA. Slant magazine said that Kleerup “has a sweet tooth for towering pillars of synthesized sound” and called the album “superb pop.” Even the ever-picky gave the album 7.7 out of 10. (On sale July 28)

TVDuh-DUH. Duh-DUH. You can hear the "Jaws" music already: Shark Week returns to the Discovery Channel Aug. 2. Among the six shows premiering is one called "Blood in the Water," which tells the true story of the 1916 multiple shark attack in New Jersey that ended up inspiring Peter Benchley's "Jaws" novel, which of course became the movie that scared us all out of the ocean. (Shark Week begins Aug. 2, 9 p.m., Discovery Channel)

It's either going to be a satisfying romance that regular folks can relate to, or an exploitative mess that may as well have been called "The Fatchelor." Horribly titled dating show "More to Love" stars a 300-pound bachelor and 20 plus-size women competing for his love. The pilot looked remarkably like the regular "Bachelor," except on that show, they don't display each woman's weight on your TV screen as she gets out of the limo. Ouch. (Premieres July 28, 9 p.m., Fox)

DVDWhile the American version of "Life on Mars" drew a cult audience who were disappointed when it was canceled last spring, the British show is reportedly even better. Stephen King called it "one of the greatest limited run television series I've ever seen," and added, "it blows the American version out of the water." The show ran two seasons in Britain, and the first British season hits DVDs in the U.S. this week. (Out on DVD July 28.)