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Three things we’ll be talking about this week

1. The last feature James Cameron directed was a little film called “Titanic.” Needless to say, expectations for his latest film, “Avatar,” are high. The film, opening Friday, marks Cameron’s return to the sci-fi genre, where he made his mark with the “Terminator” films, “Aliens” and “The Abyss.”

2. Let the madness begin. Not March Madness. College football madness. The first bowl games of the season – the New Mexico, the St. Petersburg presented by Beef ‘O’ Brady’s (really) and the R+L Carriers New Orleans bowls – will be played this weekend, building up to the National Championship Game Jan. 7.

3. For many people, the holiday season is not complete without a trip to see “The Nutcracker.” The classic ballet comes to the INB Performing Arts Center this weekend, performed by Ballet Memphis with an assist from the Spokane Symphony.