What’s Hot at the Movies This Week – 11/13/08

| November 13, 2008

These days it seems that any animated feature worth its salt always ends up on the top of the charts, and usually for several weeks. They just seem to do a great job these days of using top talent for the voices and combining it with writing that will appeal to all ages. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Madagascar feature appears this coming weekend as the top selling movie as well, especially since most of the movies opening this week are opening more centralized, such as just in New York or just in New York and L.A. What has me really stunned is that the Samuel L. Jackson/Bernie Mac comedy Soul Men doesn’t appear in the top 5.
Here are the rankings for last weekend:
1. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. In its first week, this Dreamworks sequel has managed to top the charts. Featuring the vocal talents of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter, Bernie Mac, Sherri Shepherd, Alec Baldwin, and Will.i.am, it’s an impressive lot. Last time they were shipwrecked after being shipped away from a New York Zoo, and this time they’re trying to make it home to New York, but a plane crash lands them in Africa as they reconnect with their roots. Read what this movie has to land it at #1 in my review.
2. Role Models. It’s not surprising that this film is doing well, given its Jude Apatow feel and that it stars Apatow regulars Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Elizabeth Banks, as well as Seann William Scott. Two guys get in trouble and are punished to the community service of mentoring kids. I think if I were going to make a movie these days it would either be an animated feature or an Apatow-style comedy. Reviewer Jason Coffman covers this film in depth in his review.
3. High School Musical 3: Senior Year. With its third week in the top five, we have to realize Disney knows what they’re doing.. I don’t even think they needed to make a quality movie. All they needed to do was bring back stars Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Tisdale, and have the words High, School, and Musical in the title.

4. Changeling.
Directed by Clint Eastwood and based on actual events, this film stars Angelina Jolie as a mom who is reunited with her kidnapped son. During the media frenzy, she realizes it’s not her son. No one believes her, but John Malkovich comes along and helps with her search. Despite it being in the top five for the second week in a row, I’m guessing it’s not on Jennifer Anniston’s list to see after trashing Jolie in an interview recently for being outspoken about starting her relationship with Brad Pitt while he was still married. Just a guess.
5. Zack and Miri Make a Porno. This extremely funny flick makes it to its second week on the charts, making it the second comedy of this type to appear in the top five. I’m refining my statement from above. If I were going to make a movie today, it would either be an animated feature, or be an Apatow-style comedy that starred Seth Rogen. I’m not sure how it it happened, but he’s kind of become Hollywood’s It Boy. Myself and Andrew Dowd help break it down in our reviews.
Opening this weekend:

Quantum of Solace.
The only film opening with a wide release this week, Daniel Craig is back as Bond, James Bond. He’s been betrayed by a woman, Vesper, but it’s 007, so we know he’ll find another woman at some point during the film. Regardless, he sets out to find out what happened with Vesper and finds she was being blackmailed by a very powerful and dangerous organization. Also stars Judi Dench.

The Dukes.
This film opens in New York this weekend, but will have a wider release next weekend. It looks like an interesting little indie. Written, directed, and starring Robert Davi, it also stars Chaz Palminteri, Peter Bogdanovich, and Frank D’Amico, and Alphonse Mouzon. A doo wop group had everything going for them when they were much younger, and years later, realizing they never quite realized their dreams, they need the cash. They turn to burglary, but find many other things along the way than just money.

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