A kids’ movie without the cheeky jokes for adults is like a big juicy BLT without the B… or the T. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted may have a title that sounds like it was made up in a cartoon sequel laboratory but when it comes to serving up laughs just think of the film as a BLT with enough extra bacon to satisfy even the wildest of animals — or even a parent with a gaggle of tots in tow. Yes even with that whole "Afro Circus" nonsense.
It’s not often that we find exhaustively franchised films like the Madagascar set that still work after almost seven years. Despite being spun off into TV shows and Christmas specials in addition to its big screen adventures the series has not only maintained its momentum it has maintained the part we were pleasantly surprised by the first time around: great jokes.
In this third installment of the series – the trilogy-maker if you will – directing duo Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath add Conrad Vernon (director Monsters Vs. Aliens) to the helm as our trusty gang swings back into action. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) are stuck in Africa after the hullaballoo of Madagascar 2 and they’ll do anything to get back to their beloved New York. Just a hop skip and a jump away in Monte Carlo the penguins are doing their usual greedy schtick but the zoo animals catch up with them just in time to catch the eye of the sinister animal control stickler Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand). And just like that the practically super human captain is chasing them through Monte Carlo and the rest of Europe in hopes of planting Alex’s perfectly coifed lion head on her wall of prized animals.
Luckily for pint-sized viewers Dubois’ terrifying presence is balanced out by her sheer inhuman strength uncanny guiles and Stretch Armstrong flexibility (ah the wonder of cartoons) as well as Alex’s escape plan: the New Yorkers run away with the European circus. While Dubois’ terrifying Doberman-like presence looms over the entire film a sense of levity (which is a word the kiddies might learn from Stiller’s eloquent lion) comes from the plan for salvation in which the circus animals and the zoo animals band together to revamp the circus and catch the eye of a big-time American agent. Sure the pacing throughout the first act is practically nonexistent running like a stampede through the jungle but by the time we're palling around under the big top the film finds its footing.
The visual splendor of the film (and man is there a champion size serving of it) the magnificent danger and suspense is enhanced to great effect by the addition of 3D technology – and not once is there a gratuitous beverage or desperate Crocodile Dundee knife waved in our faces to prove its worth. The caveat is that the soundtrack employs a certain infectious Katy Perry ditty at the height of the 3D spectacular so parents get ready to hear that on repeat until the leaves turn yellow.
But visual delights and adventurous zoo animals aside Madagascar 3’s real strength is in its script. With the addition of Noah Baumbach (Greenberg The Squid and the Whale) to the screenwriting team the script is infused with a heightened level of almost sarcastic gravitas – a welcome addition to the characteristically adult-friendly reference-heavy humor of the other Madagascar films. To bring the script to life Paramount enlisted three more than able actors: Vitaly the Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston) Gia the Leopard (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano the Italian Sealion (Martin Short). With all three actors draped in European accents it might take viewers a minute to realize that the cantankerous tiger is one and the same as the man who plays an Albuquerque drug lord on Breaking Bad but that makes it that much sweeter to hear him utter slant-curse words like “Bolshevik” with his usual gusto.
Between the laughs the terror of McDormand’s Captain Dubois and the breathtaking virtual European tour the Zoosters’ accidental vacation is one worth taking. Madagascar 3 is by no means an insta-classic but it’s a perfectly suited for your Summer-at-the-movies oasis.
Accomplished actress Janet Caroll died Tuesday following a lengthy struggle with an illness. Carroll, 71, is best known for her first feature film, Risky Business, in which she played the naïve mother of Tom Cruise's character Joel.
Although her strongest professional association might forever be her work in the 1983 classic, Carroll has been active on the big and small screens ever since. Carroll enjoyed recurring appearances on comedy series like Murphy Brown and Married... with Children, as well as on dramas like Melrose Place.
A good deal of Carroll's career took place on the stage. Her resume includes theatrical classics like South Pacific, Hello Dolly!, and Gypsy. Additionally, she appeared opposite John Lithgow in a production of Lady Windermere's Fan.
Some of Carroll's most recent contributions to the screen include the comedy film What Happens Next and a 2010 appearance on Law & Order: SVU.
The actress is survived by her son, George Brown.
[Photo Credit: Janet Carroll Official Website]
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It's not easy to decide what to wear to big events. As everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Lara Flynn Boyle knows, what seems like a good idea at the time can quickly turn into a fashion disaster. And, even with the help of their well-paid stylists, sometimes Hollywood A-listers fall prey to major wardrobe malfunctions (even sometimes of the Janet Jackson variety!). But, other times, the stars wow us with their glamorous and becoming selections on the red carpet. From Eva Longoria's stunning gown at the Moonrise Kingdom premiere to Diane Kruger's awkward shoe-string dress, these are the best and worst dressed (so far!) at the Cannes Film Festival 2012.
Hollywood.com will keep you updated on Cannes' fashion as the festival continues on until May 27.
Click Here to Launch our Cannes Best and Worst Dressed Gallery! [Photo Credit: WENN] More: Cannes 2012 in the Can: How to See the Fest's Biggest Films Cannes 2012: Pattinson, Stewart and Efron Ready to Prove Themselves
Now that Upfronts are in full swing, CBS has taken the time to release four brand new trailers, which showcase some very recognizable names. Dennis Quaid fans will be happy to see the actor starring in Vegas, a period drama set in the 1960s and based on the true story of Ralph Lamb — a rodeo cowboy-turned-longtime Sheriff of Las Vegas.
But if you're looking for a new comedy to cozy up to come next fall, you should feast your eyes on Partners, which follows the story of two best friends, Charlie (David Krumholtz) and Louis (Michael Urie), whose friendship seems to reflect that of a weird married couple (and no, the two are not romantically involved). It's written by the creators of Will & Grace though, so you know there are sure to be many, many laughs along the way. One Tree Hill's Sophia Bush co-stars (long live B-Davis!) as does former Superman Brandon Routh.
Courtroom drama buffs will want to check out Made in Jersey, a legal drama that centers around a working-class woman (Janet Montgomery) who uses her street smarts to compete with her colleagues at a top New York law firm. And there's always Elementary, which looks to give viewers a contemporary take on Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and his partner Watson, who's now a lady and played by Lucy Liu. Miller's no Robert Downey Jr., but then again, no one is.
Check out all four trailers below and see which ones will make their way into your DVR programming schedule this fall.
Made In Jersey:
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Ever since The X Factor went on a firing spree back in January, the internet has been rife with rumors about who might assume judging and hosting duties once the Season 2 commences. But, as I'm sure most of you are aware of by now, not all rumors turn out to be completely factual. (Hello, Understatement) In fact, Glee star Darren Criss recently acknowledged that the rumor surrounding his supposed involvement with the show was totally false.
Back in March, it was reported that the popular Glee star had declined an offer to become the new X Factor host, claiming he was too busy and more interested in being a performer than a host. But the actor assures his fans that the entire story has absolutely no merit. "I'm happy to say that that was not actually true," Criss told The Hollywood Reporter at the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute Ball on May 7. "It was a classic example of people running with something that they didn't bother to check facts with."
Of course, this makes you wonder how many of the other rumors surrounding the show are pure fan-fiction as well...
Singer Demi Lovato is supposedly nearing a deal to sit alongside reported judge Britney Spears on the judges' panel, but until we hear from Demi and Britney themselves, we can't be certain either of these stories are true — though it'd be awfully hard for BritBrit to say no to her reported $15 million dollar deal.
Many media outlets believed Janet Jackson was in talks to become a judge as well, until her rep confirmed the singer had turned down the offer due to scheduling conflicts. The list of possible candidates just goes on, and on, and on. But there's got to be an end in sight given that auditions are scheduled to start at the end of the month... right?
If Simon Cowell is seriously hoping to fill this gaping void he left in his show — he better do it, and do it fast. I'm sick of all this back-and-forth.
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Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson took the stand on Monday to testify in the case surrounding the 2008 murders of her mother, brother and nephew — and, understandably, it didn't take long before Hudson's emotions got the best of her.
"My name is Jennifer Kate Hudson," said the Dreamgirls star. "I'm an actress and a singer."
She continued, explaining that she had warned her late sister about William Balfour, the man who stands accused of the brutal killings and against whom Hudson was testifying: "None of us, myself, my mother, or my brother, we did not like how he treated her, and I didn't like how he treated my nephew."
With that, Hudson broke down crying and had to stop for a moment to regain her composure.
Hudson went on to explain that she knew something was wrong on the morning when her family members' bodies were found because her mother hadn't texted her and didn't reply to a message. Later her sister called her fiancé David Otunga's phone. "I remember it like yesterday, obviously," said Hudson. "[Otunga] couldn't understand what she was saying because she was so hysterical, and I grabbed the phone from him, and that's when she told me."
Balfour was estranged from the singer's sister, Julia Hudson, at the time of the murders. He's accused of shooting them in a jealous rage and has pleaded not guilty.
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Don't break out the pink balloons just yet. While various news outlets reported this week that Jessica Simpson had secretly given birth, she says she's still awaiting the arrival of her little girl.
Simpson Tweeted on Saturday, "To everyone who keeps congratulating me on the birth of my baby girl...I'm still pregnant!! Don't believe what you read ladies and gents." Sources claimed Simpson was due on April 20, but it seems her daughter wanted to avoid the notoriously, uh... laid back birthday.
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It's becoming regulation for music competition shows to hire female pop idols from the '90s and early naughts to act as judges: Idol has Jennifer Lopez, The Voice has Christina Aguilera, and The X Factor is securing a spot for one Britney Spears. But apparently, The X Factor had some more contemporary figures in mind when it was considering new blood. Nicki Minaj has announced that she was asked to join the series as a judge.
Minaj told ITV that Simon Cowell, producer of the The X Factor franchise and all-around swell guy, approached her with the possibility of signing on to the American incarnation of the series. The eccentric pop/hip hop star revealed, "I think we both decided together that it wouldn't work out. I think it was the best decision."
With Minaj's still-blossoming music career, as indicated by the success of her newest album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, was the choice to turn it down a smart move? Perhaps, though a Minaj-influenced X Factor would have been an incredibly entertaining show and the program isn't likely to falter with Britney Spears at the helm. Although, some would disagree. How about you?
Nicki Minaj: What Will Her Twitter Exit Mean For Fans?
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Janet Jackson Says No to X Factor Job
Anthony Hopkins is best-known for playing Hannibal Lecter, but he's tackling Psycho in a different way for his latest role. Hopkins plays the title role in Hitchcock, and the first photo of the Oscar-winner in costume as Alfred Hitchcock is as uncanny as anything in the director's films.
The movie, which covers the making of the 1960 film Psycho, started filming last week (appropriately, on Friday the 13th). Hopkins will be joined by Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh and Jessica Biel as actress Vera Miles.
'Karate Kid' Ralph Macchio Makes 'Psycho' with Biel and Johansson
Jessica Biel Solves Scarlett Johansson's Death in 'The Making of Psycho'
Remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rebecca' in the Works
UPDATE: Simon Cowell confirmed the news today that Britney Spears and Demi Lovato will join The X Factor.
ORIGINAL STORY: Dearest Britney Spears: Speculation is currently running wild that you are going to take a record-breaking $15 million dollar deal to serve as a judge on The X-Factor, Simon Cowell's beleaguered Tupperware container full of rewarmed American Idol leftovers. I know that the offer is very, very tempting and that you're not even in control of all your own business affairs yet, but, honey, you really need to say no to this. On a show as formulaic as X-Factor, they'll surely want you for the "Paula Abdul slot," a slot that even the great Paula Abdul herself couldn't fill. That role puts you in danger of being pegged as the faded pop star who says nice but completely idiotic things about the singers on the show. That puts you in danger of being pegged as a volatile mess that will slur encouragement while bobbing and weaving in her chair. That puts you in danger of being pegged as someone so unpredictable, something could crack at any moment that causes you to destroy yourself in a fiery wreckage on live television, luring in all the viewers that season one lacked. Reality TV is not the outlet for the triumphant Britney with a taut tummy holding a snake over her head singing "I'm a Slave 4 U." Reality TV is the outlet for the fat Britney who falls on her ass singing "Gimme More." Reality TV is the outlet for bald Britney clubbing an SUV with an umbrella. This is not the image you want to perpetuate. Sorry, Britney, but ever since your very public 2007 breakdown, things just haven't been the same. You don't go out in public all that much. You don't do the red carpets (thankfully sparing us from more denim-based disasters). You don't do anything where you might run into a reporter and have to answer an actual question. Over the past few years, you've been turned into an entertainment automaton, making a lot of people a lot of money just by going through the motions. For your last album, Femme Fatale, you wouldn't do any live interviews, only things that were taped, edited, and pre-approved by Britney Spears Industries, Inc. Either that or they were conducted over email where god knows who is writing the responses. Now you're going to be on live television twice a week speaking extemporaneously? There will be no teleprompters. There will be no scripted responses. There will be no one there to tell you what to say. And you think this a good idea? You could be setting yourself up to fail, to crash and burn for our own entertainment. You did that once already. Do you want to do it again? I didn't think so. While stars like J. Lo and Steven Tyler have revived their careers by jumping on the reality TV bandwagon, you're not the has-been that they once were. You're also not the striver desperately trying to hold onto your fame. You're a cash register that your managers, agents, and other hangers-on keep dipping their fingers into. You don't even seem like you enjoy performing anymore. It's like you're a wind-up monkey that keeps playing because it doesn't know how to do anything else. It kind of seems like you just want to cash out and raise your kids in a McMansion somewhere in Louisiana and forget all about the fame nonsense. Britney, if that's what you want, go for it. But, if you want to get back to the top of the charts, this is not the way to do it, with your new fans winking at you ironically and rolling their eyes as they can't help but dance to your latest track. Either way, The X-Factor is not the answer to your problems. Turn it down. Love, Your Fans P.S.: Next time you think about doing television again, just have another look at Britney & Kevin: Chaotic. That should solve that problem. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: Britney Spears Gets $15 Million to Judge 'X Factor'? Janet Jackson Says No to 'X Factor' Job Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger Leaving 'The X-Factor' Too