my week at the movies: ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars,’ ‘Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer,’ ‘Hounddog,’ ‘Henry Poole Is Here,’ ‘Sukiyaki Western Django’

UPDATE: Just heard about a screener of The Rocker [opens wide August 20] that I’ll attend today. Rainn Wilson as a washed-up musician who gets another chance at fame? It could go to 11, I guess…

I like the Clone Wars stuff from Cartoon Network just fine, but I’m not so sure what to think of Star Wars: The Clone Wars [opens wide August 15]. Will it just be more of the same? Will the beauty of the animation be enough to overcome the lack of actorly performances? (At least the CGI is stylized enough that it’s not attempting to be photorealistic, which always results in creepy corpselike human faces.) And how can any of it really be all that involving when it’s all foregone conclusion? I’d hate to think I’d ever say no to more Star Wars, but this could be the first time…

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer [opens limited August 15] is a little indie about a guy who’s a plumber by day and a, well, monster slayer by night. It sounds like it should star Bruce Campbell — it doesn’t — but Robert Englund is in it. Not as the monster slayer, but I bet he ends up being one of the monsters.

Hounddog [opens limited September 5] is that flick that created such a stir at last year’s Sundance with one scene — which is apparently fleeting — in which a young girl (played by Dakota Fanning) is raped. Speculation then was that the film would never find a distributor. Looks like that speculation was wrong.

In Henry Poole Is Here [opens limited August 15, expands August 29], Luke Wilson is a sad man seeking redemption or his own soul or cookies or something. I’ll report back and let you know if he finds it.

Quentin Tarantino is back! And, frankly, Sukiyaki Western Django [opens limited August 29] sounds exactly like the kind of pretentious pseudo-retro, ersatz pulp he’s always getting up to. Turns out, though, that Tarantino is only starring in the flick: it’s from Takashi Miike. Which means it’ll be just as bloody and violent as if it were a Tarantino film, except there’ll be subtitles.

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