New films in theaters this week:
— “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (rated PG), a clay-animated feature based on the Roald Dahl book and starring the voice of George Clooney.
— “Ninja Assassin” (rated R), a revenge-thriller based on the best-selling series of video games.
— “Old Dogs” (rated PG), a buddy comedy starring Robin Williams and John Travolta as a middle-aged dad and uncle, respectively.
Poster art courtesy Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Like its thematic predecessor, 2007’s surprise hit “Wild Hogs,” the Williams-Travolta team-up comedy is filled with offensive stereotypes and hateful humor, as well as painfully stupid slapstick.
And the blood-splattered “Ninja Assassin,” which was produced by the Wachowski brothers, is so over-the-top violent and gory that it will turn the stomachs of many. Fans of the game may enjoy its plentiful actions, though.
Poster art courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures
The week’s best film, by far, is “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” The animation is top-notch and gives this tale a very different feel. But be warned that some of the thematic material may be upsetting to young viewers and that its low-key and off-beat comic sensibilities aren’t for everyone. However, Clooney is hilarious as the voice of the title character.
Which, if any, of these movies fit into your holiday and weekend viewing plans?