What’s Hot at the Movies This Week – 11/20/08

| November 21, 2008

We had basically one big blockbuster last weekend and really all that did was push everything down one spot from the week before, leaving Zack and Miri Make a Porno out of the top five. Opening this week we have a vampire film and an animated film about a dog. How’s that for a combo?
Here are the rankings for last weekend:
1. Quantum of Solace. The latest in a long line of James Bond films was an easy mark for hitting number one at the box office. It didn’t have any new competition and 007 always does well. Bond, played again by Daniel Craig, has been betrayed by a woman, Vesper, but we know he’ll find another woman. After all, he’s Bond, James Bond. Yet he can’t give Vesper up this easy and while searching to find out what went wrong, he finds she was being blackmailed by a very powerful and dangerous organization. Read Del Harvey’s review to find out why he was just a little disappointed.
2. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. It took the work of 007 to knock this animated film down to the #2 spot. 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 why this movie has what it takes in my review.
3. Role Models. I said last week I wasn’t surprised this film was doing so well, with its Jude Apatow feel and that it stars Apatow regulars Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Elizabeth Banks, as well as Seann William Scott, but I’m surprised it’s still at #3. Two guys get in trouble and are punished to the community service of mentoring kids. Reviewer Jason Coffman covers this film in depth in his review.
4. High School Musical 3: Senior Year. With its fourth week in the top five, it’s falling, but not very quickly. I don’t know if Disney will ever release a teen musical direct to their network again, bypassing the theaters as they did with the first two High School Musicals. Back again for round three are stars Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Tisdale.
5. Changeling. I wouldn’t have given this film any chance of staying in the top five for this many weeks, pushing a comedy like Zack and Miri Make a Porno out of the top five spots, but here it is. Sure, it’s directed by Clint Eastward and stars Angelina Jolie, but still I’m surprised. Jolie plays as a mom who is reunited with her kidnapped son, only to realize it’s not her son. No one believes her, but John Malkovich comes along and helps with her search.
Opening this weekend:
Bolt. From the description, this movie reminds me a little of an animated version of Firehouse Dog. Bolt is a canine TV star who accidentally gets shipped from the Hollywood soundstage to New York City. Life without cameras around him all the time is very different, and he travels with a cat and hamster to find his way back to Hollywood and his costar, Penny. The canine costar is voiced by John Travolta, and the human costar is voiced by Miley Cyrus. Will this be the animated film of the holiday season?

Twilight. It’s a vampire romance of sorts. A young girl that doesn’t fit in moves to a new high school and expects more of the same, yet finds someone a little different, a boy. He’s a vampire, but knows a little something about not fitting in as he and his family don’t follow the normal vampire rites, not even drinking human blood. He believes he has found the woman he has waited many years for, but has to resist his urges with her. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star as the young couple. You can read Paul Fischer’s interview with Pattinson here.

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