Written and Directed by: Tommy Wirkola Starring: Gemma Arterton, Jeremy Renner, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare Rated: R for strong fantasy horror violence and gore, brief sexuality/nudity, and language There’s something ever-appealing to me about fantasy-action films. The good ones don’t take themselves seriously and are pure fun, and the bad ones are so deliciously campy that it’s hard not to love them anyway. “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” is in the first group. It’s silly almost to the point of being deranged at some points (someone explain to me how they made insulin injections in the middle ages, please), but the leads are so engaging and the story so fast-paced that it’s easy to just sit back and take the ride. The film starts with the familiar story: a man wakes his small children in the middle of the night, takes them out in the woods, and abandons them. They find a witch’s cottage, are
Directed by: John Turtletaub Starring: Nicholas Cage, Jon Voight, Ed Harris, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Helen Mirren, Harvey Keitel Rated: PG for some violence and action. Parental Notes: This is a fairly idiotic film, but it is innocuous for most youngsters. There’s a little violence and some peril, but it is not at all graphic and is in the grand dumb-action-movie style.
Written and Directed by: Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino Starring: Rose McGowan, Kurt Russell, Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin, Michael Biehn, Marley Shelton, Rated: R for strong graphic bloody violence and gore, pervasive language, some sexuality, nudity and drug use. Parental Notes: This is not a kids movie. It’s packed with graphic, over-the-top violence of all sorts, from zombies’ heads exploding to people being ripped apart in car accidents. Think “Kill Bill” but without the swords.
Directed by: David R. Ellis Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Julianna Margulies, Nathan Phillips Rated: R for language, a scene of sexuality and drug use, and intense sequences of terror and violence. Parental Notes: This is a fine movie for teens and mature preteens, provided they can handle aggressive snakes and people dying somewhat gruesomely from snakebite. It’s not a good movie for youngsters.