1. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (Warner Brothers, 3,705 Theaters, 82 Minutes, Rated PG): The conceit behind this franchise is that dogs and cats have been waging a secret war behind their master’s backs for years. Not just chasing each other around the neighborhood, but actually hi-tech war with hi-tech weaponry and so on.
Depending on your point of view, that concept could be either delightfully silly or painfully stupid. If you believe the former, then this week is for you because the silliness has been amped up a few levels.
The dogs and cats put their differences aside when faced with a common threat–a hairless feline that goes by the name of Kitty Galore. Kitty wants to conquer the world, something that will be bad for both cats and dogs.
If you think of this movie as silly fun, give it a try. If not, then don’t. But you kids will probably giggle at it all the same.
2. Charlie St. Cloud (Universal. 2,720 Theaters, 99 Minutes, Rated PG-13): When you are most famous for a Disney musical such as High School Musical trilogy and your second most famous work is Hairspray, like Zac Efron is, then trying to carve out a real, lasting, non-musical movie career will be hard.
But is having your next film be Ordinary People meets Ghost meets Nicolas Sparks-esque romance the right choice? I guess we’ll find out this week.
Efron plays a young man who lost his brother to a drunk driver. He keeps his brother’s spirit alive by playing catch with his ghost. A woman enters his life and might possibly be able to draw him out of his seclusion. But will he lose her too?
I’m not a big fan of films that mix the heartwarming with the morbid, but who knows if I am alone in this one or not. It all depends on whether or not Efron’s fans will like this genre I guess.
3. Dinner for Schmucks (Paramount/Dreamworks, 2,911 Theaters, 110 Minutes, Rated PG-13): In my opinion, Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, either separately or together, can do no wrong. I haven’t yet seen a role from either them that they haven’t been the best part of.
And this film seems to play to their strengths–Carell as a socially awkward guy who is a nice guy at heart and Rudd as slightly smarmy smart-Alec who is a nice guy at heart and reveals himself as such by the final reel.
Remade from the 1998 French film, Le Diner de Cons, it features Rudd as a budding young executive who hopes for promotion will be improved is he brings the weirdest, most socially maladjusted person to his boss’ weekly dinner party. Carell’s character, an IRS employee who makes art out of taxidermied animals, fits the bill.