New films this week:
— “Bolt” (rated PG), the latest, digitally animated cartoon from Disney, starring the voice of John Travolta.
— “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” (rated PG-13), a World War II era, coming-of-age tale involved the Holocaust.
— “Synecdoche, New York” (rated R), a fantasy rumination on theater and dying, from screenwriter Charlie Kaufman.
— “Twilight” (rated PG-13), the movie version of LDS author Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling vampire romance novel.
Like Kaufman’s other films, “Synecdoche, New York” is pretty bizarre. But despite its good cast (which includes Philip Seymour Hoffman), it’s too dour and depressing.
And Disney’s “Bolt” is being shown in both the 2-D and 3-D formats, depending on the theater location. The animation is top-notch, and Utah State University graduate Mark Walton steals the show as the voice of an unhinged hamster. But it’s more exciting than funny, and starts off rather slow.
As for “Twilight,” it could have benefitted from stronger direction. The action sequences look a little ridiculous, though leads Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are good, and some occasional humor keeps it from becoming too dark and too series.
The week’s best movie is the well-acted “Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” also based on a novel. While its ending is shocking, it’s in keeping with the tone of the source material — as well as the tragic nature of the Holocaust.
Which, if any, of these movies figure into your weekend plans?