We don’t get many PG movies, so it is really unusual to see two in the same week, especially welcome as they are directed at the audience most overlooked by Hollywood, 8-14 year olds and their families. “ParaNorman” is from”Coraline’s’ LAIKA studios, and they have mastered the art and craft of stop-motion animation, perfectly suited to this story of a little boy who can talk to ghosts. That talent may make him an outcast at home and school but it comes in handy when zombies attack the town. “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” is a fable about a couple who cannot have children and so bury a list of the qualities and talents they would wish for in a child in their garden as a way of saying goodbye to their hope of being parents. A 10 year old who seems to have grown out of the garden shows up bearing an uncanny resemblance to the child they wished for, but he has some unexpected extras, including green leaves growing from his ankles.
Also this week we have Whitney Houston’s last film, the remake of the Irene Cara musical “Sparkle.” And the 80’s and 90’s action heroes are back in “The Expendables 2.” Stallone, Willis, Lundgren, Couture, Li, Schwarzenegger, Statham, and Norris — and a lot of explosives. That one is not screening for critics, but I plan to buy a ticket when it opens so I can tell you all about it. Stay tuned!