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Hollywood Pins Its Hopes on Wizard, Ape

Harry Potter doesn't just have the fate of the magical world on his shoulders. This time, the teen wizard's trying to save Hollywood, too.

In this year of mediocre studio flicks, with movie attendance at its slowest pace since the mid-1990s, audiences might kill for a big film that really delivers.

The fourth movie on J.K. Rowling's novels is said to be the best yet, with Harry imperiled by an unseen nemesis from beyond and also struggling with some teenage rites of passage.

Along with "Harry Potter," the other 900-pound gorilla on the holiday schedule is Peter Jackson's epic update of "King Kong", starring Naomi Watts as the beauty who becomes the bait to capture a giant ape.

The season's other film highlights include an old-guard music legend and an up-from-the-mean-streets rapper.

Joaquin Phoenix belts out country classics as the late Johnny Cash in "Walk the Line", a portrait of the singer's early success, drug addiction and long courtship with the love of his life, June Carter (Reese Witherspoon).

And hip-hop star Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson makes his film debut with "Get Rich or Die Tryin'", the story of a drug dealer turning his back on crime in favor of a rap career.

November 07, 2005 |

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