Metropolis could've been the most influential silent movie of all time with little effort. After all, its 1926 release had few peers in size and scope, so if director Fritz Lang merely took a dump in the middle of the movie's beautiful sets, he still might have inspired sci-fi classics such as Blade Runner and 2001. Fortunately, the architecture and special effects are complemented by visual metaphors and societal commentary that remain relevant and poignant to this day. What's more, recent digital remastering has cleaned the grainy film and restored minutes of lost footage, and you can catch the rebirth of the classic's original glory this Friday at the Palace Arts Center's Dinner and a Movie series, 300 S. Main St. in Grapevine. The dinner treatment may not seem appropriate to Metropolis fans, though. Despite the movie's German heritage, the Oktoberfest dining of Weinberger's Deli doesn't quite match Lang's bleak look at a mechanized future. Then again, if the food actually fit the movie perfectly, guests would see their wiener schnitzel replaced with, say, gruel, so we'll let the inaccurate cuisine slide. Tickets are $20 with a three-course meal or $4 for only the movie. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. Call 817-410-3100. --Sam Machkovech
At 8 years old, I had a white-hot burning desire for fame. Any fame would do, as long as it was sudden and soon: S.E. Hinton wrote The Outsiders at 16; Tatum O'Neal won an Oscar at 10. But the easiest, most assured route to childhood fame seemed to be through music. The Jacksons did it. The Chipmunks did it. Childhood delusions of grandeur have surely exploded since Aaron Carter hit the scene. After starting his career at 7, Carter became the first solo teen artist to have four singles in the Top 40 at once. Also, he dated Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan. The younger sibling of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, Carter had a natural segue into the biz, but he's stayed there by persistence and pluck. And also Pepsi, which invited him to play the KidAround festival at Addison Circle Park, 4790 Addison Circle at Belt Line Road, benefiting The Family Place. Other activities include BMX exhibitions, batting cages, children's stories and face painting, but for most the main attraction will be Big A himself, performing Sunday at 4 p.m. The fest is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $5 in advance at Tom Thumb or $8 at the gate. Call 214-443-7764. --Sarah Hepola
Whole New World
Just as Aladdin, Mulan and Pocahontas before it, Disney's new 45-minute live-action film Sacred Planet strives to give its audience an authentic image of what life is like in other countries. We jest. Sacred Planet does give urbanites the chance to see areas of land and groups of people that, after a few generations, will no longer exist. Disney's just cheery like that. Sacred Planet will be showing at the Omni Theater in the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, 1501 Montgomery St., through December 31. Call 817-255-9300 or visit www.fortworthmuseum.org. --Mary Monigold
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When Edward P. Jones' first novel, The Known World, was published, it won the Pulitzer Prize. Find out if he has a dazzling personality to back up that writing talent when he and a host of other authors appear Friday and Saturday at the Tulisoma (We Read) South Dallas Book Fair and Arts Festival. The event happens at the African American Museum, 3536 Grand Ave. in Fair Park; the South Dallas Café, 3136 Grand Ave.; and the Martin Luther King Library, 2922 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Event hours are 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. both days. Call 214-943-0142. --Paul Kix
Czech in at the annual Westfest
Not too long ago, a couple of Westfest representatives stopped by with a stack of brochures and such about their annual Czech heritage celebration, which kicks off on September 3 and runs through the Labor Day weekend. I had absolutely no need for them. See, I grew up in West, and my grandmother helped found Westfest 29 years ago. I don't need a cheat sheet. For many of the early years of this shindig, my parents ran a booth there that sold beer bread sandwiches. It was a lucrative little enterprise, paying for vacations and additions to our house and so on. But it was also backbreaking work. Eventually, I helped out at the booth, lugging 50-pound bags of ice from one end of the fairgrounds to the other. And that was the easiest job they had. I should also mention that if you ever want to stop drinking beer for a really long time, have someone cook about 100 loaves of beer bread in your kitchen sometime. There are no words for that smell. My parents inevitably gave up the booth, but they stayed around, volunteering in one of the beer tents. I did my part by drinking that beer and dancing to Denton's Brave Combo--who've been playing Westfest almost from the beginning--as well as doing traditional Czech polkas with the Junior Historians, a high school folk dancing group. Good times. I've run in the Kolache 5K, eaten from every booth there, even bought a few things from the arts and crafts tent. I know all about Westfest. It's probably about time some of you got to know it, too. Call 254-826-5058. --Zac Crain