RISE OF THE GUARDIANS
1 1/2 stars
This, unfortunately, is the worst animated movie to ever wear the DreamWorks logo. Based on a children’s book series, a team of Bunny (Easter variety, voiced by Hugh Jackman), North (aka Santa, Alec Baldwin), Tooth (Fairy, Isla Fisher) and the silent Sandman. They need the help of newcomer Jack Frost (Chris Pine) to defeat Pitch, short for Pitch Black, the night-terror voiced by Jude Law threatening to rid the children of the world of the belief in magical figures. It’s harmless enough, but not good. PG (thematic elements and some mildly scary action).
Bond is back for his 23rd installment, and this is more like it. Daniel Craig returns as 007, charged with rescuing the world from a computer savvy adversary, perhaps the most singular Bond villain in a decade, played by Javier Bardem. Sam Mendes directs stunning action sequences, and the return of Dame Judi Dench and various other recastings works well this time around. While “Quantum of Solace” largely failed, this installment returns Bond to its rightful, highly entertaining place, while also exploring some new territory. PG-13 (intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language and smoking). 2:23. 3 1/2 stars.
THIS IS 40
2 1/2 stars
In the latest film from Judd Apatow, Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) reprise their roles from “Knocked Up.” They’ve reached age 40; there are money problems; Pete’s label is on the verge of insolvency; their sex life has cooled; Debbie becomes pregnant again. Rudd and Mann are incredibly skilled comedic actors, and there’s a lot to like here, with Albert Brooks and John Lithgow supporting to boot. But Apatow seems to hesitate going deep enough, starting out well and bravely, and then settling for less and less. R (sexual content, crude humor, pervasive language and some drug material).