NEW THIS WEEK
-- A TRULY HUMOROUS ANIMATED 3-D TALE, BUT WITH HUMOR GEARED MORE TO ADULT FUNNYBONES:
THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS PG -- Many of the verbal jokes and even the sight gags in this laugh-out-loud British animated comedy -- an ingenious blend of stop-motion puppetry, computer animation and 3-D -- will, alas, go over kids heads. The film comes from some of the people who brought us Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (G, 2005) and Chicken Run (G, 2000), and the humor is along those lines, but a bit more ironical. The cheeky tone and historical references are more likely to amuse grown-ups and will require a lot of parental explaining for kids younger than high-school age. Yet theres little in the film that is inappropriate for those 10 and older, save a lone throwaway line uttered by The Pirate Captain (voice of Hugh Grant), who reminisces about how he used to enjoy running people through and killing babies. Its British-style wit, but may give American parents and kids pause. It is 1837. The British Empire rules the waves, except for a few pirates still out pillaging. Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) hates pirates. Out on the high seas, The Pirate Captain and his merry crew are headed to Blood Island, so the Captain can enter the Pirate of the Year contest. Hes a rather unsuccessful pirate, so he goes back out to pillage more ships. He encounters a scientist named Charles Darwin (David Tennant), who notes that the Captains pet parrot Polly is actually a rare Dodo bird. Darwin brings the Captain and his crew to London for a science contest and things get quite out of hand.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The dialogue includes very mild sexual innuendo as with a character named The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate, who is a female crew member in disguise. A few mild curses such as hells barnacles! are heard. The Pirate Captain and his beloved bird Polly nearly fall into a ships propeller. A subplot about rich people who like to eat the meat of rare, exotic animals could disturb kids.
-- A PG-13 WITH R-ISH TENDANCIES SPOOFS WITH CONSIDERABLE SUCCESS THE WAY MEN AND WOMEN THINK ABOUT LOVE AND ONE ANOTHER:
THINK LIKE A MAN PG-13 -- This is an adult romantic comedy despite the PG-13 rating, and better suited to high-schoolers and grown-ups. Parents may find it too sexually charged and occasionally profane for middle-schoolers. Based on comedian Steve Harveys advice book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, it follows the romantic follies of four guy pals who represent key problems women have with men: Talented chef Dominic (Michael Ealy), whose low income and lack of ambition dampen hotshot executive Laurens (Taraji P. Henson) feelings for him; overgrown kid Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara), whose live-in girlfriend Kristen (Gabrielle Union) is tired of his sci-fi toy-and-poster decor; playboy Zeke (Romany Malco), who thinks its dumb to open the car door and show respect to Mya (Meagan Good) when all he wants is sex; and mamas boy Michael (Terrence Jenkins) who cant tear himself away from his strong-willed mother (Jenifer Lewis) to pay full attention to Candace (Regina Hall) and her little boy. The fifth friend Cedric (Kevin Hart), divorced and miserable, watches as his pals try to manipulate the ladies. The women get copies of Harveys book and start using his advice to trick the men into stepping up. Then the men get the book and try to fight back. Though the message is about being more genuine in relationships, the film is so slick and full of sexual innuendo, it seems at times to contradict itself.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The movie includes several steamily implied but nonexplicit sexual situations, implied drug use, moderate drinking, midrange profanity and a lot of sexual innuendo.
-- A CONSISTENTLY FUNNY -- RIGHT TO THE END -- COMEDY ABOUT MODERN RELATIONSHIPS:
THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT R -- Too sexually explicit and comically profane to recommend for under-17s, The Five-Year Engagement is nevertheless a deeply humane and refreshingly comedic adult take on the difficulties of maintaining love when careers pull people apart. Tom (Jason Segel) is a gifted San Francisco sous chef. His fiancee Violet (Emily Blunt), a British transplant, is a budding social psychologist. They met, were told in a flashback, at a New Years Eve costume party where Violet came as Princess Diana and Tom came as a pink superhero bunny. It was love at first sight. Violet doesnt get the university job shed hoped for near San Francisco. Instead, she gets an offer from the University of Michigan. They postpone their wedding and Tom gamely follows her there, but hates it and sinks into a depression. Seeing how happy Violets sister (Alison Brie) and Toms former colleague (hilarious Chris Pratt) are together, Violet and Tom again set a date. That falls through when Tom learns the professor (Rhys Ifans) Violet works with has kissed her. It takes the five years of the title for the two to realize they need to be together. You cant tell from that plot summary, but The Five-Year Engagement unfolds a place thats just off-center enough to be a riot.
THE BOTTOM LINE: In a cringe-making moment of comic mayhem, a child accidentally fires a loaded crossbow and Violet gets an arrow in the thigh. We see Tom shoot a couple of deer -- with a gun and then a crossbow -- on Michigan hunting trips. The film includes a couple of very explicit sexual situations and an instance of nonsexual backview nudity. The language is often highly profane and sexually explicit. Characters drink.
(c) 2012, Washington Post Writers Group.