Set during summer vacation, "Wimpy Kid" Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon), the cele-

brated hero of the popular children's book series, is looking forward to hanging out with his friends. But then he realizes that his parents' (Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn) plans for family togetherness in the great outdoors don't include watching his beloved video games or reading comics.

So Greg joins his best friend Rowley Jefferson (Robert

Capon) slurping fruit smoothies at Rowley's fancy country

club, but it doesn't quite work out the way he'd planned. Then the beach trip that he was looking for-ward to is canceled because the Haffleys don't

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have enough money - which leaves Greg enduring embarrassing calamities at the

town's public pool. A camping trip with Rowley's parents goes horribly wrong and their "V.I.P. lawn care service" is a bust. Plus, Greg must endure manipulative Roderick (Devon Bostick), his obnoxious older brother, who is obsessed with his

heavy metal band called Loded Diper.

Scripted by Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky and directed by David Bowers, the movie is based upon author/cartoonist Jeff Kinney's third and fourth books, combining episodic storylines because actor Zachary Gordon is growing up; now a teenager, his voice is changing.

In case you're curious, the term "dog days" is related to Sirius, the brightest star in the heavens, which the ancient Egyptians called the Dog Star

in honor of their god Osiris, whose head resembled that

of a dog. For about 20 days, beginning in late July, Sirius rises and sets with the sun, so Egyptians and Romans con-cluded that the presence of Sirius, added to the heat of the sun, created a stretch of hot, sultry weather - hence the "dog days of summer." However, scientists have since proven that the excess-

ive heat is not due to the added radiation from this faraway star; instead, it's a direct result of the earth's tilt.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" is a family-friendly 5, as Greg's angst takes a more adolescent turn.