Friday, February 25, 2005; Page WE41
"Pooh's Heffalump Movie" (G). Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Tigger and Eeyore venture into Heffalump Hollow to track the dreaded beast, while Baby Roo befriends a baby Heffalump and realizes their prejudices are silly, in charming Disney animated feature (68 minutes), with storybook visuals, leisurely pace, quiet humor that keep the tone, if not the Britishness, of A.A. Milne's Pooh stories, while inventing a new one; one too many nice songs by Carly Simon could cause fidgets. Tots may get nervous seeing dark Heffalump Hollow or when Roo falls into a hole and must be saved.
"Because of Winn-Dixie" (PG). Sweet, well-acted, leisurely told, bittersweet tale with spiritual dimension (based on Kate DiCamillo's book) about lonely girl (AnnaSophia Robb) living in a trailer park with her preacher dad (Jeff Daniels); her life changes when she adopts a shaggy stray pooch (named for the supermarket where she finds it); the mutt tugs her into life-altering friendships with a librarian (Eva Marie Saint), a recluse (Cicely Tyson), a shy pet store manager (musician Dave Matthews); she learns why her mother left the family, about grown-ups with problems. One swear word; doggy-poop humor; gross, kid-type insults; upsetting scenes when officers try to grab Winn-Dixie, when he gets afraid of thunderstorms, when a surly man remarks he once shot a dog.
"Hitch." Slick, glib, irresistible, perfectly cast romantic comedy with Will Smith as Alex "Hitch" Hitchens, a "date doctor" who teaches shy New Yorkers like Albert the accountant (Kevin James) how to woo women; then Alex meets a smart, gorgeous gossip columnist (Eva Mendes) who makes him forget he vowed never to fall in love himself. A relatively chaste PG-13, but with much verbal sexual innuendo, some of it crude and misogynistic; a man is kicked in the crotch and slammed against an anatomically correct bronze bull; fairly strong profanity; character gets high on antihistamines. Teens.
"Constantine." Keanu Reeves stars as psychic who sees angelic and demonic spirits cloaked in human form, kills the bad spirits on a crusade to redeem his own soul in an earthly tug of war between Satan (Peter Stormare) and Gabriel (Tilda Swinton). Visually striking tale infused with religious mysticism (adapted from "Hellblazer" graphic novels), but wildly disjointed, nonsensical; Rachel Weisz as cop who seeks Constantine's help to save her dead twin sister from hell. Violent, but not gory for the genre: worm-snake-and-bug-infested demonic creatures; a man smashed by a car; two suicides, one implying cut wrists, blood; characters shown drowning, getting electric shock, coughing up blood; profanity; smoking, drinking; mild sexual innuendo. High schoolers.