New films this week:
— “Azur & Asmar: The Princes’ Quest” (rated PG), a digitally animated fantasy from France. (Dubbed)
— “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (rated PG-13), a remake of the classic, 1951 science-fiction thriller. Keanu Reeves stars.
— “Delgo” (rated PG), an animated fantasy starring the voices of Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
— “Morning Light” (rated PG), a documentary feature about the 2007 Transpac yacht race.
— “Nothing Like the Holidays” (rated PG-13), a dysfunctional Christmas comedy-drama starring Freddy Rodriguez and John Leguizamo.
— “Slumdog Millionaire” (rated R), filmmaker Danny Boyle’s fable about an Eastern Indian television game show contestant. (With English subtitles)
“Morning Light” was not pre-screened for local critics, but has received mixed reviews at best.
The two animated films are less than enthralling as well. The animation and voice performances in “Delgo” are pretty shoddy. And while “Azur & Asmar” is supposed to look unreal, the character work is inexpressive, as is the English-language dubbing.
As for the “Day the Earth Stood Still” remake, it’s much dumber than the original film was. The icy, aloof performances of Reeves and Jennifer Connelly don’t help either.
The national reviews have been mostly positive for “Slumdog Millionaire.” But there’s also a certain mean-spiritedness and nastiness to the film, as well as some sexual language, which is off-putting.
Arguably, the week’s best film is “Nothing Like the Holidays.” Much of that has to do with its excellent ensemble of actors, which includes Rodriguez, Leguizamo, Elizabeth Pena and Alfred Molina.
Which, if any, of these movies fit into your weekend viewing?