If “Kill Bill – Vol. 1” was like a roundhouse kick to the head, “Vol. 2” is practically a warm hug. There’s still plenty of violence in the second half of Quentin Tarantino’s samurai-kung fu-spaghetti Western-blaxploitation megamix. There just isn’t the kind of cartoonish blood and gore that saturated the first film, which came out last fall.

“Vol. 2” ends on a note that could almost be described as heartwarming, with Uma Thurman’s character, a vengeful assassin known as The Bride, finding happiness in a traditional way. “Vol. 2” is every bit as thrilling as the first, but it also features more of the stylized, rhythmic dialogue that has become the writer-director’s trademark through films like “Pulp Fiction.” This gives the second film an emotional resonance that the first lacked, and it brings the enormity of the whole project into perspective. Rated: R for violence, language and brief drug use. Running time: 136 min. Rating: 3 out of 4 strs.
– Christy Lemire, AP Entertainment Writer
‘The Whole Ten Yards’
It’s only three feet from “The Whole Nine Yards,” but the jokes get stretched so thin in this sequel, it feels more like a mile. The 2000 original wasn’t exactly begging for a follow up – it seemed to wrap itself up in a rather tidy, satisfactory fashion – but it was surprisingly funny in an low-key, film-noir way. Bruce Willis, as a retired hit man, was supremely cool and confident. Matthew Perry, as a dentist who’s his nervous next-door neighbor, allowed the laughs to flow from his often deadpan delivery. That has been scrapped here in favor of broad slapstick and loud, shrill repetitiveness. Rated: PG-13 for sexual content, some violence and language. Running time: 97 minutes. Rating: 1 out of 4 stars. – Christy Lemire, 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. Rated: PG-13 for sequences of intense violence, sexual content, drug material and language. Running time: 86 minutes. Rating: 1 out of 4 stars.
-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. Rated: PG for brief mild rude humor. Running time: 76 min. Rating: 2 1/2 out of 4 stars.
– Christy Lemire, AP Entertainment Writer

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