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Best bets: Time to travel to ‘Australia’

Will "Australia" remind moviegoers of the sweeping epics of past days? Plus: "The Shield" ends, "Hancock" comes to DVD.
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They just don’t make sweeping epics anymore. Or do they? Writer-director Baz Lurhmann is out to prove that “Australia,” a romantic love story told on a grand scale can still attract the crowds of yesteryear. Nicole Kidman stars as an Englishwoman left in charge of an Australian ranch during World War II. With the help of a hunky local (Hugh Jackman,she must move her cattle out of harm’s way as the war crashes closer. (Opens Nov. 26)

The passing of California’s Proposition 8 (which bans gay marriage) makes “Milk” even more timely. Sean Penn stars as Harvey Milk, the country’s first gay man elected into public office. Gus Van Sant directs this look at the last eight years of Milk’s life. A definite Oscar contender. (Opens Nov. 26)

TVOne of the most amazing shows on TV is coming to an end this week. FX's "The Shield" ends its seven-season run on Nov. 25. Can there be any redeeming ending for show antihero Vic Mackey? Will show creator Shaun Ryan pull a "Sopranos" and just fade to black? Not on this show. Not in Farmington. Buckle up for a bumpy ride. And if you haven't been watching, start stocking up on the DVDs — just make sure the kids are in bed when the violence starts flowing. (FX, Nov. 25, 10 p.m.)

"Britz" is a fascinating and controversial series airing over two nights on BBCA. The show features a brother and sister, both British Muslims, who take conflicting paths in post-Sept. 11 London. Part one tells the story of the brother, Sohail, and part two is the story of his sister, Nasima. (BBCA, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 8 p.m.)

DVDRemember "The Muppet Show" and its delightful sketch "Pigs in Space"? First Mate Piggy and her pals finally have some competition: "Space Chimps" came out this summer, and is now on DVD. Roger Ebert admits it's "not in the same science-fiction league as 'WALL*E,' " but he called it "delightful from beginning to end" anyway. (On DVD Nov. 23.)

A Skid Row drunk with superpowers? He's far from "Superman," but Will Smith's "Hancock" is still out there trying to save the world despite his personal flaws. His flick, which comes packed with a surprise twist, hits DVD this week. (On DVD Nov. 23.)

It’s always hard to live up to a stellar debut album, but The Killers are ready to try again with “Day and Age.” Joe Bosso of wrote that the new record “captures the emotional anxiety of late 2008 with a startling directness. There's also plenty of rocking, stomping beats to fill dance floors.” (On sale Nov. 25)

Former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver singer Scott Weiland is back with a solo album, “Happy in Galoshes.” Weiland described the album to Rolling Stone by saying, “It’s garagey stuff and more hardcore stuff. Kind of like if Grandaddy bumped heads with Marvin Gaye.” If this oft-troubled singer can stay sober for a while, he could make a comeback. (On sale Nov. 25)