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Best bets: ‘Mad Men’ returns for third season

The "Mad Men" of Sterling Cooper return to TV. Plus: "District 9" hits theaters; "The Class" comes to DVD.
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TVThose "Mad Men" (and women, although the show would call them "girls") of the Sterling Cooper advertising agency are back again, with all their secrets and worries. This season will include a third baby for Don and Betty, fallout from the ad agency takeover, and more 1960s glamour and drama. (Premiere Aug. 16, 10 p.m., AMC)

DVD“The Class” scored so high on, a site that pulls reviews from all over the Web, that its score was dubbed one of "universal acclaim." It also received the Palme d'Or, the highest prize for films competing at the Cannes Film Festival, and surprised many when it did not claim the Oscar for best foreign-language movie. The French film about a teacher at a tough Paris middle school features real students playing the kids, and Francois Begaudeau, the real-life teacher upon whose book the film is based, plays a version of himself. Slate 's Dana Stevens said "this unassuming movie will nail you to your seat." (Out on DVD  Aug. 11.)

MoviesThere are no big stars in “District 9,” but don’t be surprised if this little sci-fi film is an underdog hit at the box office. The film is a faux documentary about aliens who come to earth and are relegated to a slum in South Africa. Director Neil Blomkamp told at Comic-Con that he wanted to balance a serious look at race and xenophobia with an entertaining sci-fi film. Sounds like this filmmaker is going to make his debut in spectacular fashion. (In theaters Aug. 14)

Director Hayao Miyazaki has devoted fans. Movies such as “Howl’s Moving Castle and “Spirited Away” have stolen the hearts of kids and adults. Now he returns with “Ponyo,” a re-telling of Hans Christian Anderson’s “Little Mermaid,” except this time it’s about a goldfish princess who longs to be human after being rescued by a 5-year-old boy. No 3-D here, just Miyazaki’s standard gorgeous traditional animation. (In theaters Aug. 14)

MusicAfter doing some crooning, Queen Latifah makes a return to hip-hop with her new album, “Persona.” According to Rolling Stone magazine, she almost called the album “The L Word” “just to mess with people’s heads.” “L was gonna stand for love though, or La,” she joked. The CD features guest vocals from Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, Jadakiss and was produced in part by Dr. Dre. (On sale Aug. 11)

Country singer George Strait returns with a new album, “Twang.” This time it’s a family affair; four of the songs on the new album were written by Strait’s son George Jr. (aka Bubba). “It makes papa proud to have my son contributing to the creation of this record,” Strait told (On sale Aug. 11)