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Best bets: Travolta takes on ‘Pelham’ remake

John Travolta and Denzel Washington remake the subway thriller. Plus: New Sonic Youth CD, "True Blood" sucks up another season.
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It may be hard to believe that Denzel Washington is stepping into a role once played by Walter Matthau, but in “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3,” that’s just what he does. Will the hijacking of a New York subway train play — or even make sense — in the post-9/11 era? Some have doubts. But it should be fun watching John Travolta ham it up as the bad guy. (Opens June 12)

What happens when you combine David Bowie’s son Duncan Jones (formerly known as Zowie Bowie) and character actor extraordinaire Sam Rockwell? In “Moon,” Rockwell plays an astronaut who’s spent three years on the moon, but just as he’s about to head home, he begins to hear and see strange things. And there’s something about his replacement that’s oddly familiar. This film got a great response at the Sundance Film Festival and currently has 100 percent rating on (Opens June 12)

Music Is there a rebel alive who doesn’t love Sonic Youth? The noise-rockers are back with their latest album, “The Eternal.” Rolling Stone magazine gave the album four stars and wrote, “’The Eternal’ sums up almost everything this band has done over three decades, punk sneers and psychedelic guitars pimping over a proudly pretentious belief in art rock.” (On sale June 9)

Another album to get a four-star review from Rolling Stone magazine is Rhett Miller’s new self-titled release. The magazine wrote that the Old 97s frontman “made his strongest set yet,” and added, “his wise, barbed lyrics are what elevate things.” If you haven’t checked out Miller before, it’s time. (On sale, June 9)

TVIt's summer, and most of us are trying to stay cool and keep out of a hot kitchen, but that doesn't mean you can't watch others cook. In the tradition of the addictive "Top Chef," the new cooking competition show "Top Chef Masters" pits 24 world-renowned chefs against each other, with winners receiving donations for their charities. Neil Patrick Harris, Zooey Deschanel, Jeff Lewis from "Flipping Out," and the two "Lost" executive producers, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, will judge. Random! (Premieres June 10, 10 p.m., Bravo)

The "Twilight" vampires aren't the only ones out there sucking. "True Blood," the creepy, bloody, enthralling HBO series about a world where vamps have found their place among us, returns this week. (Season two premieres June 14, 9 p.m., HBO.)

"The Closer" returns for its fifth season this week, with Kyra Sedgwick as junk-food loving Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson. (Premieres June 8, 9 p.m., TNT.)

"The Shield"
was one of those shows that was so good people evangelized about it to their friends, urging them to tune in or pick up the DVDs. Fittingly, it ended on a dark and troubling note. If you missed the final season on FX, you can now get caught up via the seventh and last batch of DVDs. (Out on DVD June 9.)

"All in the Family," "Sanford and Son," "Maude," "The Jeffersons"... the TV world could use another Norman Lear these days. Until his heir apparent shows up, at least there's a 19-disc box set, "The Norman Lear Collection," that will highlight the first seasons of Lear's classics. (Out on DVD June 9.)