Slumdog Millionaire finally fell off the top five after having been there for the last few and having risen there very slowly. This is a movie that was released before Thanksgiving, after all. It speaks of the power of the film as well as the power of the Academy Awards and how nominations affect the viewing public. Just as impressive, Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino is still the top five, having been there for eight weeks. Yet, no Oscar nominations for him!
1. Taken. This is the type of movie it took to knock the segway-riding rent-a-cop off the top position. This action thriller stars Liam Neeson as a former government operative that is given ninety-six hours to find his teenage daughter (Maggie Grace) who was kidnapped while on vacation in Paris. He uses all the skills he’s been honing over the years to track the kidnapper, and thinks it’s the work of an Armenian sex trafficking ring.
2. Paul Blart: Mall Cop. After three weeks at the box office, it just this week fell from the top, and that speaks a lot for the comedy of Kevin James. He should be glad he finally stepped away from the sitcoms and being in Adam Sandler’s shadow. He speaks about that in his interview with Paul Fischer, and about co-writing and starring in this film about a rent-a-cop that rides around a mall on a Segway, then finds himself using his skills just like a real cop.
3. The Uninvited. I’m a little surprised that the two thrillers opening this weekend landed in the top five, but not the comedy, New In Town. This one stars Emily Browning, Elizabeth Banks, Arielle Kebbel, and David Strathairn. Browning stars as a girl that is locked up in a psychiatric facility after her mom dies. When she is eventually released, she comes home to find the nurse that had attended her mother has moved in and become engaged to her father. She works with her sister to try and show her dad the truth behind his fiancée.
4. Hotel for Dogs. I can’t say it enough, how thrilled I am that this is still in the top five after three weeks, even holding its spot this past week. My daughter the dog lover may have possibly liked this even more than Marley & Me, but I wasn’t sure how that would translate to the rest of the public. Two orphaned kids, trying to keep their own dog hidden from their foster parents, hide him out in an old hotel with a few other dogs, then get the idea to house all strays here so they aren’t destroyed within 72 hours at the pound. Read my review to read about the strong message in the film of good vs. evil.
5. Gran Torino. Hopefully this is making it up to Clint Eastwood for the Oscar snub, that this movie is still in the top five after eight weeks at the box office. He produced, directed, and starred in this film as an aging Korean War veteran, retired and widowed, being forced to confront his prejudices. He’s held on to these prejudices for so long, yet he doesn’t have a choice but to change in the face of the current times as many of these people he despises have now become his neighbors.
Opening this weekend:
Coraline. From the same people behind The Nightmare Before Christmas, this animated film stars the voice talents of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, and Ian McShane. Coraline is a young girl that’s bored in her new home, then finds a secret door with an alternate version of her life on the other side. This alternate life is like her real life, just a little better. It then becomes not so perfect when her other parents try to force her to stay. Find out why Neko Pilarcik thinks everyone should see this film.
He’s Just Not That Into You. It seems like every actor and actress is in this film, but it’s really just Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Bradley cooper, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, Kris Kristofferson (who seems a little out of place in this list), Justin Long (even more out of place after his breakup with Barrymore), and ironically Jennifer Connelly and Kevin Connolly (note the different spellings). These twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings are trying to make it through the dating life unscathed to possibly move on to marriage in this romantic comedy.
The Pink Panther 2. Steve Martin is joined again by Jean Reno and Emily Mortimer in this followup to the 2006 hit, again taking on the part originated by Peter Sellers. He’s assigned in this one to investigate stolen treasures from around the world, including the Pink Panther Diamond. Also appearing are Alfred Molina, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Andy Garcia, Lily Tomlin and John Cleese.
Push. Interestingly, this is the second Dakota Fanning movie opening this weekend. She stars in this action thriller along with Chris Evans, Camilla Belle, Djimon Hounsou, Maggie Siff, Scott Michael Campbell. In the world of psychic espionage, some, through artificial means, have the ability to move things with the minds, see into the future, and kill people without ever touching them. Evans and Fanning work against time to save the future of civilization.