What to watch and play this week

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What to watch and play this week

Spirited Away: Seven Films by Hayao Miyazaki

The Cinematheque is launching a two-month film festival this weekend that you'll want to clear your calendar for. The seven films on the schedule by director/animator Hayao Miyazaki rank among the all-time best animated movies ever made (hell, we'd put them right up there with live-action movies too). Miyazaki is sorta like a Japanese Walt Disney, but more poetic and less cloying. The original Japanese-language films (not the crappy dubs) include his 1984 breakthrough Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind up to 2001's Spirited Away, his best film. Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, and Princess Mononoke are also on the schedule. It all kicks off this weekend with My Neighbor Totoro, which shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 9:40 p.m. Saturday, and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Miyazaki films run through the end of October at the Cinematheque.

Snow White and the Huntsman

Forget all the recent breaking news about the extracurricular stuff that happened between this movie's director and star. The real reason to see this update of the Snow White story — which comes out on home video this week — is for Charlize Theron's performance as a mad, screaming queen. She tears through every scene she's in with equal blasts of castle-high camp and what-the-fuck viciousness. Kristen Stewart's warrior princess is no match.

The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Third Season

We hear ya: It's tough keeping all these vampire shows straight. This is the one starring the dude who was in Lost for one season and is more teen-oriented than, say, True Blood. And since it's based on a book series, it plays around with more Twilight-like scope than some of its peers. All 22 episodes of season three come to home video this week along with a primer on all the vampires, witches, and werewolves stalking around.

The Evil Dead

Cleveland Cinemas' Late Shift mix of cult classics (The Big Lebowski), comfort faves (Home Alone), and horror films is the perfect midnight snack. They're gearing up for next month's 12 Hours of Terror marathon with a screening this weekend of Sam Raimi's 1981 classic about a group of friends, a cabin in the woods, and a whole bunch of unleashed hell. It shows at midnight Saturday at the Plaza Cinemas at Chapel Hill in Cuyahoga Falls.

Finding Nemo 3D

You could say it's a pretty dead week for new films when the biggest thing to get excited about is a re-release of a movie that originally came out in 2003. But Finding Nemo is no ordinary movie — it's one of Pixar's best and most timeless CGI hits. We're not all that into the whole 3D-reissue thing, but any chance to see this classic on the big screen again is OK with us. It returns Friday at a multiplex near you.

Your Sister's Sister

This indie hit, which comes out on home video this week, isn't the best of the 377 movies Mark Duplass stars in this year. But it is one of his most charming. He plays a dude still broken up over the death of his brother. So he retreats to a gal pal's cabin for a weekend, where he drunkenly hooks up with her sister. Wouldn't be so bad if he hasn't crushed on his friend for, like, ever. Talky, funny, and deeper than you think.

Airport

The 100th-anniversary Blu-rays Universal has been rolling out this year have been stuffed with classics both ancient (All Quiet on the Western Front) and kinda new (Sixteen Candles). And then there's this star-packed 1970 disaster-movie pioneer about a massive snowstorm troubling a Chicago airport and the skies above it. Dean Martin plays a pilot; Airplane! made fun of it. And it's now available on HD home video.

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