VALIANT (G, 76 minutes)
Gallant British homing pigeons risk all for king and country in this computer-animated treat. At a preview attended by The Family Filmgoer, young children enjoyed the slapstick pigeon humor (eating bugs, belching the alphabet). Although the World War II setting and inspired spoofery of live-action films from that era will be lost on them, kids 6 and older will delight in the adventure and vivid characters. Valiant (voice of Ewan McGregor), a pintsize pigeon, leaves his mum to follow his idol, Gutsy (Hugh Laurie), hero of the Royal Homing Pigeon Service. Valiant and a sly street pigeon (Ricky Gervais) that he meets in Trafalgar Square both join up. Valiant falls for the nursing dove Victoria (Olivia Williams) and then he and his comrades fly off to retrieve a message from the French Resistance.
There are moderately harrowing sequences in which they brave antiaircraft fire and see the plane that dropped them crash. Swooping German falcons are the pigeons' chief threat, led by the lethal Von Talon (Tim Curry), who injects Mercury (John Cleese), a pigeon POW, with truth serum. Early scenes show other pigeons captured or downed, but no injuries are portrayed on-screen. The film contains very mild sexual innuendo and a remark that the falcons will have "our innards spread like jam on toast."
THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN (R, 111 minutes)
This bawdy, occasionally raunchy adult sex farce, about a shy guy who reaches middle age still a virgin, is not appropriate fare for teens younger than 17. Many high schoolers younger than 17 who get in the theater will roar at the sexually charged hijinks and perhaps miss the subtler points. "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" happens to be a riot, but it is also a surprisingly endearing film about innocence. It concludes that sex without love is a soulless enterprise and even argues that teens should avoid intercourse, if not other sexual experimentation. Many parents, of course, will find the movie offensive and its moralizing inadequate. The R rating reflects strong sexual language and visual innuendo, graphic talk about sex, including bestiality, and sex organs, as well as strong nonsexual profanity. There are brief excerpts of semi-explicit porn videos with toplessness, though sexual situations between characters range from non-explicit to mildly so. One scene strongly implies masturbation. Other R-rated details feature condoms and sex paraphernalia, liquor and marijuana use, and driving under the influence.
Steve Carell (who co-wrote the film with director Judd Apatow) plays Andy, a naive television-store clerk who, as a young man, was too shy to win girls and just gave up. His younger pals at work (Paul Rudd, Romany Malco and Seth Rogen, all great) sense his "problem" and try to solve it, but they think like frat boys.