Michael Ford
Arts and Entertainment Editor

Lord of the “Kong”

   Peter Jackson is up to his old tricks again, which is making epic movies that already have a huge following. Jackson, who is most widely known for his insanely popular “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, began filming “King Kong” on Sept. 6 in New Zealand. With a cast that includes Oscar winner Adrien Brody and Oscar nominees Naomi Watts and Jack Black, Jackson is sure to have a winner on his hands.

Get ready to be fired, again

   Donald Trump, the billionaire with the hair, is back in the second season of his bona fide hit show, “The Apprentice.” Eighteen candidates will once again attempt to win over the Trumpster, so they can live the life of luxury with a $250,000-a-year dream job. Last year’s season finale garnered a mere 28 million viewers. You will definitely want to catch all the backstabbing and conniving fun every Thursday.

Stefani goes solo

   Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, who is popular for hits such as “Don’t Speak” and “Underneath It All,” will soon release her first solo effort. If the last No Doubt album, “Rock steady,” is any indication of what’s to come, we should be in for a treat. You will begin hearing the first single, “What You Waiting For,” on radio airwaves early next month. The album is still without a title.

A “Hero” at the box office

   “Hero,” the martial art flick starring Jet Li, sat on the shelf in China for two years before making it to the states earlier this month. However, after two weeks in release, “Hero” has crushed the box office competition. The film slashed and diced its way to the No. 1 spot, beating out major new releases such as “Vanity Fair” and “Wicker Park,” which is pretty impressive for a 2-year-old movie that’s not even in English.

This week's rent:

   “Man on Fire” (2004), directed by Tony Scott. Denzel Washington is one of the few actors who can pick up any role and turn it into gold. His kidnapping drama, “Man on Fire,” is no exception. Washington plays an alcoholic named Creasy who takes a job as a bodyguard in Latin America. Although Creasy intends to keep things strictly business, he becomes increasingly attached to the girl he’s being paid to protect. If you can deal with the usual plot clichés, “Man on Fire” is definitely worth a rent.

Grade: B+

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