1. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa: (3,900 Theaters, 89 Minutes, Rated PG): You have to hand it to Dreamworks. While Pixar might have the edge in terms of quality, Dreamworks has the edge when it comes to quantity. They have the lead when it comes to making sequels to their films between this franchise and Shrek.
This time, our animal friends are trying to get back to New York and their lives in the zoo. But, unfortunately, they end up in Africa instead, and find out their time in captivity has left them unable to relate to their wild relatives.
Of course, the best part of the last film were the penguins and, to a lesser extent, the lemurs. The creators have found a way to keep both in this second film.
2. Role Models (2,791 Screens, 99 Minutes, Rated R): On the surface, this seems like another Judd Apatow productions. After all, several of the Apatow Reperatory Players are in it (Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch and Ken Jeong) and it deals with emotionally immature men put in a situation where they have to become grow up real quick–an Apatow trademark.
But Judd Apatow has nothing to do with this, at least as per IMDB. The crative forces behind this one come from the long gone but not forgotten The State.
The film deals with two overgrown adolescents who are sentenced to a “Big Brothers” like program in lieu of jail time. They soon find out that the kids they are supposed to mentor are more than a match for them.
3. Soul Men (2,044 Theaters, 103 Minutes, Rated R): This minor comedy might have came and went if it was for the untimely deaths of two of its stars.
Bernie Mac died on August 9th from complications of pneumonia at age 50, and Isaac Hayes, who appears as himself in the film, died only one day later from a stroke at age 65.
The coincidence of both men from the same movie dying only a day apart does cast an ominous pall of the film. And foe a film that is supposed to be a comedy, that is hard to overcome.
Strangely enough, the plot revolves around two back-up singers who reunite after the death of their old singing partner. Spooky.