Despite Ron Perlman’s merry, self-deprecating presence as the title demon, this latest comic-book adaptation gradually flames out amid the usual chaos of too-loud explosions and too-numerous computer-animated beasties. Adapted from Mike Mignola’s comics by writer-director Guillermo del Toro, “Hellboy” is the story of a demon infant unleashed by lunatic Rasputin (Karel Roden) but intercepted and raised by a kindly occultist (John Hurt). Perlman’s Hellboy grows into a wisecracking blue-collar monster fighter, who leads the battle against Rasputin’s plot to bring about Armageddon. Selma Blair co-stars as Hellboy’s sort-of girlfriend, a human firebug, and John Myers plays an FBI ally. PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and frightening images. 122 minutes. Two stars out of four.

– David Germain, AP Movie Writer

‘Home on the Range’

Ordinarily, an animated movie about talking, singing cows, which contains the tag line “Bust a moo,” might be udderly (sorry, couldn’t help it) cringe-inducing. But “Home on the Range” is so darn cute, and features such an impressive array of vocal talent, it’s hard not to be lassoed in. As Disney movies go, it’s not extraordinary enough to be deemed an instant classic; the story from the writing-directing duo of Will Finn and John Sanford is weak and the pacing drags a bit in the middle. But kids will enjoy the colorful characters and grown-ups will chuckle at many of the jokes. Featuring the voices of Roseanne Barr, Judi Dench, Jennifer Tilly, Randy Quaid and Steve Buscemi. PG for brief mild rude humor. 76 min. Two and a half stars out of four.

– Christy Lemire, AP Entertainment Writer
‘The Prince & Me’

This fluffy romantic comedy, in which Julia Stiles plays an American college student who falls in love with the prince of Denmark, is just begging for “Hamlet” puns. Despite its cliches, which spiral wildly out of control as the film finally approaches its overdue conclusion, “The Prince & Me” doesn’t really deserve to suffer such critical slings and arrows. That’s mainly because of Stiles’ intelligence and presence and the chemistry she shares with her charismatic co-star, Luke Mably. The two meet cute at the University of Wisconsin, where she’s a serious pre-med student and he’s posing as a party boy named Eddie. PG for some sex-related material and language. 111 min. Two stars out of four.

– Christy Lemire, AP Entertainment Writer
‘Shaolin Soccer’

This is light, silly, goofy and deranged – part “Enter the Dragon,” part “Hoosiers,” and part “Naked Gun.” It may not always choose the right parts, but at least it tries. Stephen Chow, the film’s co-writer, director and star, plays Sing – a vagrant who learned the ways of shaolin with his five brothers and inspires a down-on-his-luck former soccer star (Ng Man Tat) to coach a team using spectacular martial arts techniques. How spectacular? Forget bending it like Beckham – Sing can turn soccer balls into fireballs shaped like cougars as they race into the goal. Don’t look for much reality here. The villains conk the good guys with wrenches, break bottles over their heads and burn their clothes off in scenes that turn this fantasy sports story into a live-action Chinese version of “Looney Tunes.” PG-13 for action violence. 87 mins. Two and a half stars out of four.

– Anthony Breznican, AP Entertainment Writer

“Walking Tall”

– The Rock’s update of the 1973 vigilante tale is nothing but vicious blood sport. The filmmakers were careful to camouflage the effects of the violence so younger teens will be spared the trauma of knowing the results when a 4-by-4 club of hard wood connects with a skull. But despite its PG-13 rating, the movie carries a spirit of gleeful savagery that is contemptible. The Rock plays a U.S. Special Forces soldier who comes home after eight years to a town overrun by drugs, gambling and corruption. After some run-ins with the hoods in charge, he gets himself elected sheriff, brandishes his big fat club and starts cleaning up the town by busting heads. PG-13 for sequences of intense violence, sexual content, drug material and language. 86 minutes. One star out of four.

– David Germain, AP Movie Writer

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