Vin Diesel joins 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' voicing a superhero, plus more movie buzz

Vin Diesel at the premiere Universal's

Vin Diesel at the premiere Universal's "Fast & Furious" at Universal CityWalk Theaters in Universal City, Calif. (March 12, 2009) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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WHO Vin Diesel

THE MOVIE "Guardians of the Galaxy"

THE DEAL The "Fast and Furious" star has officially joined this new Marvel Studios superhero movie, Variety reports. Diesel will voice a giant tree character named Groot, though the movie is live-action. "Guardians of the Galaxy" could launch a whole new crop of superheroes into the market, including Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora and Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon. It's due in theaters Aug. 1.


THE DEAL Spike Jonze's drama about a lonely man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with the voice of an operating system (Scarlett Johansson) could be a slow-burning success. The movie, released to just six theaters nationwide Friday, posted last weekend's top theater average of $60,246, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Her" has been little publicized compared to late-year blockbusters like the latest "Hobbit" and "Hunger Games" installments, but the movie has impressed critics and was recently named the year's best picture by the National Board of Review. Warner Bros. has scheduled "Her" for wide release Jan. 10.


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THE DEAL Because nothing says Christmas like a Japanese animated sci-fi action flick, right? At any rate, this is the rare chance to see 1988's "Akira," long a home-video favorite, on the big screen. A chaotic blend of pulp themes -- the dystopian future, biker gangs, supernatural powers -- the movie helped popularize Japanese animé and also set a blueprint for live-action films like "The Matrix."

INFO Friday and Saturday at 11 p.m. at Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. Tickets are $11. 631-423-7611,

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