"Cars" 2 1/2 stars (out of four)
Stop us if you think you've heard this one: A young hotshot on his way to Los Angeles causes a crash and gets stuck in a small town. Before he can leave, he must spend several days doing community service, only to find out that he likes the simple life. The main difference here is that the characters are ... well, they're cars, hence the title. Owen Wilson takes the Fox role as a stud rookie race car who gets trapped in the forgotten town of Radiator Springs along Route 66. What sets "Cars" apart is that it's yet another stunningly beautiful Pixar production. G. 114 minutes.
"Clerks II" 2 1/2 stars
Kevin Smith checks back in with the slackers from "Clerks" to find out what they're up to a dozen years later. You'll be shocked to learn that Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) are still doing the exact same thing: standing around all day at their menial jobs, finding ways to avoid work, and talking. And talking and talking. They're just doing it in color instead of black and white. But in revisiting the characters that made him an indie darling and a cult favorite, writer-director Smith finds himself back at the top of his game, especially after his most recent offerings, the self-indulgent "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" (2001) and the soft-hearted "Jersey Girl" (2004). It goes disastrously awry in the third act - almost irreparably so - but before that, when the insults are flowing and the graphic banter is crackling, the film frequently achieves a rhythm that's hilariously infectious. R for pervasive sexual and crude content including aberrant sexuality, strong language and some drug material. 98 minutes.