Tots on Up

"The Jungle Book 2" (G). Well-drawn, better than workmanlike sequel to Disney's 1967 animated classic continues Rudyard Kipling-inspired tale of jungle boy Mowgli (voice of Haley Joel Osment), reprises original songs between forgettable new ones, flawlessly mimics original voices; now living with loving humans in village, Mowgli sneaks back for jungle visit with old pal Baloo (John Goodman) the bear; evil tiger (Tony Jay) stalks him. Tots may cringe at yellow-eyed tiger, hissing snake, elephant stampede; separation from human family could upset some kids.

PG-13's "Gods and Generals." History-filled but overly reverential, nearly four-hour Civil War epic, intended as prequel to 1993's "Gettysburg" (PG), this time focusing on Southern Gens. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (Stephen Lang) and Robert E. Lee (Robert Duvall) with a nod to Northern hero, Lt. Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels); stiff scenes full of pious dialogue try patience, then harrowingly reenacted battles explode. Little on-screen gore, but too intense for younger teens.

"Daredevil." Ben Affleck as Marvel Comics vigilante hero brought to life in intermittently exciting, awfully derivative action adventure that owes too much to "Spider-Man" (PG-13, 2002), others; he's idealistic lawyer Matt Murdock by day, leather-clad vigilante by night, obsessed with justice for evildoers, his persona shaped in long prologue by childhood accident that blinded him, murder of his father. R-ish knife violence, runnings-through; rare profanity; muted sexual situation; implied nudity. Not for preteens.

"How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days." Kate Hudson as magazine writer, Matthew McConaughey as advertising man hit on each other, both with ulterior motives, in glib, contrived romantic comedy that takes deft measure of today's brittle young singles' longing for emotional connection. Strong sexual innuendo; milder sexual situations; profanity; toilet humor. Not for preteens or middle-schoolers.

"Shanghai Knights." Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson as Chinese kung fu fighter and Wild West ne'er-do-well in labored, unfunny sequel to 2000 martial arts buddy comedy "Shanghai Noon" (PG-13), now in Victorian London, tracking murderer of kung fu fighter's father; use of modern slang, rock soundtrack in old-timey tale no longer seems cute. Fights, swordplay, stabbing; crass sexual innuendo; crude language. Not for preteens.


"Old School." Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell in crude, slapdash comedy about male arrested development, playing thirtyish pals who rent a house near a college and start a fraternity, complete with boozy rush parties and coeds. Female toplessness, male near-nudity; graphic sexual language, visual innuendo; muted sexual situations; drinking; profanity. 16 and older.

"Dark Blue." Kurt Russell as rogue homicide detective stressed to snapping point in bleak tale of police corruption set against fallout from Rodney King incident in 1992 Los Angeles -- hardboiled cop reality laid on so thick, film nearly becomes a parody. Bloody gun killings; sexual situation; sexual language; topless dancers; strong profanity; racial slurs. 16 and older.

"The Guru." Genial but bawdy culture clash comedy about ambitious dance instructor from New Delhi (Jimi Mistry) who finds fame in Manhattan as a phony, turbaned sex guru; with Heather Graham as reluctant porn star whose gentle advice he uses in his act, Marisa Tomei as rich girl who "discovers" him and several sparkly production numbers a{grv} la India's Bollywood movies. Graphic sexual language, strong innuendo; milder sexual situations; near-nudity; profanity, ethnic insults. 17 and older.

"The Quiet American." Gripping, subtle, atmospheric film based on Graham Greene novel, with Michael Caine in powerful turn as dissolute British journalist in 1952 Vietnam, befriending American aid worker (Brendan Fraser) whom he suspects of secret agenda against Communist-led insurgency; both men vie for journalist's Vietnamese mistress (Do Thi Hai Yen). War violence, explosion that graphically maims innocents; non-explicit brothel scenes; mild sexual situation; opium; profanity. 16 and up.