Friday, April 8, 2005; Page WE46
"Robots" (PG). Delightful, witty, inventive computer-animated fable set in a robot world with Fiestaware colors, Rube Goldbergesque designs; young inventor Rodney Copperbottom (voice of Ewan McGregor) leads fellow robots (voices of Robin Williams, Amanda Bynes, Halle Berry, others) in nonviolent revolt against evil robotics executive (Greg Kinnear) who aims to eliminate spare parts and old robots, reversing policy of company founder Bigweld (Mel Brooks). Mild sexual innuendo about making robot babies; flatulence gags; robot pierced with screws wears "Got Screwed" sign; Aunt Fanny robot has huge derriere; hellish underground shop where old 'bots are melted down could scare youngest.
"Dust to Glory." Visually arresting documentary, shot from all angles for a you-are-there feel, follows fall 2003 driving of the annual (since 1967) thousand-mile, all-vehicle race across Baja, Mexico's dusty, daunting terrain -- the Baja 1000 -- a brief, friendly American invasion; vehicles range from pre-1983 VW bugs to souped-up dune buggies, power trucks and motorbikes -- driven mostly by relay teams, some of them fathers and sons; director Dana Brown's narration goes heavy on cliches and dime store profundity. Scary near-misses of spectators, animals on the road; death of one spectator discussed; mildly crude language; beer.
"Frank Miller's Sin City." Visually stunning, well-acted, verbally sharp, but over-long, brutal, sadistic, sexualized rendering of stories from Frank Miller's "Sin City" graphic novels; on digital video with live actors in a special effects world made to look like the novels; Bruce Willis as a tough cop who saves a child from a rapist/killer, then resaves her when she's grown (as Jessica Alba); Mickey Rourke as an ex-con hacking his way toward the killer of a girl (Jaime King); Clive Owen as guy who saves a waitress (Brittany Murphy) from her abusive ex (Benicio Del Toro), then helps the city's hookers (led by Rosario Dawson) battle crooked cops. Violence is ultra-stylized but feels real: heads and limbs lopped off, odd-colored blood, shootings, electrocution, whipping, skulls smashed, people shoved into toilets, gun suicide; strong hint that men's privates are mutilated; explicit sexual situation; seminudity; profanity; drinking. 17 and up.