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.
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are currently in the Maldives on their honeymoon as more details of their fairy tale wedding come to light.
The celebrity couple exchanged rings during the ceremony designed by Cartier, which were made of white gold with diamonds.
Holmes' off-the-shoulder Giorgio Armani-designed gown featured an ivory silk train adorned with Valenciennes lace and Swarovski beaded crystal embroidery.
She had on an ivory tulle floor-length veil and ivory silk shoes and carried a bouquet of flowers also designed by Armani featuring calla lilies wrapped in leaves of galas and steelgrass.
Holmes' sister and Matron of Honor, Nancy Blaylock, wore a black charmeuse, silk-layered evening dress, with an empire waist and floor-length skirt.
Her off-the-shoulder neckline was made of black lace.
The best man was Cruise's best friend, David Miscavige.
The couple's daughter, Suri, seven months, and Cruise's children with ex-wife Nicole Kidman--Isabella, 13 and Connor, 11--were present.
According to Us Weekly magazine, Connor carried Suri down the aisle who wore various layers of organza and chiffon.
According to designer Giorgio Armani, the baby's dress was "inspired by her mother's bridal gown."
Following the ceremony, guests were treated to cocktails and specially prepared Italian hors d'oeuvres, followed by a multi-course meal.
At the wedding reception, which was accented with red roses, the bride wore an asymmetric champagne Giorgio Armani Prive evening dress of silk organza decorated in Swarovski crystal beads.
The couple's five-tiered white chocolate wedding cake was decorated with marzipan roses and was studded with white chocolate chips and featured white chocolate mouse and white chocolate cream filling.
Holmes' first dance was with her father to “What a Wonderful World” and the newlyweds' first dance was to “Songbird” by Fleetwood Mac.
According to news show Entertainment Tonight, Holmes did not toss her bouquet.
The couple left Rome on Sunday for the Maldives in the Indian Ocean for their honeymoon.
Article Copyright Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Top Story: Debra Messing Expecting First Child
Will & Grace star Debra Messing and her husband of three years, screenwriter Daniel Zelman, are expecting their first child next summer, The Associated Press reports. The network isn't saying whether the hit NBC sitcom will work her pregnancy into the show, or hide her midsection behind props. The Emmy-winning actress, who appeared in last year's Woody Allen comedy Hollywood Ending, will make her leading feature debut in the upcoming romantic comedy Something Borrowed. She also stars opposite Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston in Along Came Polly, which hits theaters early next year.
P. Diddy Runs NYC
Hip-hop mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs completed the 26.2-mile New York marathon Sunday in the official time of four hours, 14 minutes and 54 seconds--despite suffering leg cramps for about half the distance. Combs, who called the endeavor "Diddy Runs the City," said in a diary about the marathon published in the New York Post that he trained for less than two months and had an injured right knee. His goal? To best Oprah Winfrey 's 1994 U.S. Marine Corps marathon time of 4 hours, 29 minutes. Combs said he raised a total of $2 million for New York's public schools, children suffering from HIV and AIDS and his own charity to foster social programs, Reuters reports.
Rappers Into Energy Drinks
Ice-T, Russell Simmons and Nelly, meanwhile, are hoping the energy drink market will translate into dollars. All three hip-hop entrepreneurs launched their own brands of energy drinks this year: Nelly's Pimp Juice, Simmons' Def Con 3 and Ice-T's Liquid Ice. Ice-T is also launching Royal Ice malt liquor in what he hopes will be a resurgence of the beverage back to the mainstream. Malt liquor, also known by the endearing pseudonym "liquid crack," has twice the alcohol content of beer with concentrated sweeteners to accelerate the intoxication process.
Laura Innes Honored by Gay Rights Group
Actress Laura Innes, who plays the gay character Dr. Kerry Weaver on the NBC's hit medical drama ER, received this year's Artistry Award from the gay rights organization Power Up, which promotes the visibility and integration of gay women in entertainment, the AP reports. The organization also honored the Bravo Network for its commitment to diversity and two-time Emmy winner Judith Light. She has been a strong supporter of gay issues since she portrayed the mother of Ryan White, the child who was rejected from school and friends when they learned of his contracting the HIV virus, in the 1989 ABC movie The Ryan White Story.
Phil Spector's Bail Extended
Phil Spector's $1 million bail was extended a second time to Jan. 9 while the district attorney's office considers whether to charge him in the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson, the AP reports. Spector, 62, was arrested Feb. 3 after the body of Clarkson, 40, was found in the foyer of his Alhambra, Calif., home. Record producer Spector has denied killing Clarkson and suggested in an Esquire magazine interview that she may have shot herself. But in a report submitted Sept. 16, sheriff's detectives concluded Spector shot Clarkson.
Bernie Mac Shelved for November Sweeps
If you tuned in to catch the season premiere of The Bernie Mac Show Sunday night on Fox, you probably wondered what happened. That's because the network pushed the show's third season premiere to Nov. 30. Bernie Mac, which was moved from its Wednesday 9 p.m. slot to the coveted post-Simpsons Sunday 8:30 p.m. period, was scheduled to launch yesterday but Fox opted to run repeats of The Simpsons for the four weeks of sweeps instead. Networks often air reruns of their strongest shows to boost ratings during sweeps periods, which are used by local stations to set ad rates.
Sinead O'Connor Retires ... Really
Sinead O'Connor, who just released a two-CD set titled She Who Dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High Shall Abide Under the Shadow of the Almighty, said she is retiring from music in order to concentrate on her theological studies and pastoral healing. This is not O'Connor's first attempt at retirement: She first tried to sabotage her music career in 1992 by ripping up a photo of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live and has since announced her retirement from the music industry twice.
Role Call: Brother Bear Creative Team Pacts With Disney
Disney has signed an exclusive deal with Brother Bear directors Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker and producer Chuck Williams, to assure that their next yet to be determined project will roll out under the Disney banner. The animated feature, which took in about $18.5 million at the box office in its first two days since opening nationwide Saturday, marks the directorial debut for Blaise and Walker and the producing bow for Williams.
Forget about fireworks, this Fourth of July weekend saw conniving machines dominate the box office.
Expectedly, the action-packed Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines debuted in the top spot, terminating the competition with a $44 million* haul over the weekend. Since its release July 2, T3's five-day cume is $72.5 million.
The third Terminator installment did much better than its predecessor Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which opened in July 1991 at $31.7 million and set a new record for its star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has not had a hit film in years. His previous best opening was Batman & Robin with $42.8 million in 1997, the Associated Press reports.
"The nervousness is gone. Finally the baby's born, and it's in the public's hands," the film's co-producer Andrew Vajna told Reuters. T3 was reportedly budgeted at between $150 million and $175 million.
T3 didn't manage to beat Men in Black II's July 4 record, however, which became the biggest Independence Day opener ever last year with $52.1 million. T3 stands as the fourth biggest Fourth of July opener; the 1997 Men in Black comes in second with $51 million and the 1996 Independence Day takes third with $50.2 million. The 2000 The Perfect Storm rounds out the top five with $41.3 million.
But never underestimate blonde power. The other notable newcomer this weekend was Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, which giggled its way into second place with a total of $22.9 million, and since opening July 2, has seen $39.1 million over a five-day period. The sequel clearly out-pinked the original Legally Blonde, which opened July 2001 at $20.3 million.
The heavenly Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle zoomed in at No. 3 with $14.2 million, while the delightful Finding Nemo kept its head above water in fourth place with $11 million. The mean green The Hulk rounded out the top five with $8.2 million. The other wide release this week, the animated swashbuckler Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas made it to the list at No. 6 with a disappointing $6.8 million.
This Fourth of July weekend's overall take of $126.9 million from its top 12 films couldn't quite surpass last year's record-breaking haul of $139.1 million.
THE TOP TEN
Warner Bros.' R-rated Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines debuted in first place with an ESTIMATED $44 million at 3,504 theaters. Its per theater average of $12,570 was the highest of any film opening wide this week. Since opening last Wednesday, its five-day cume is $72.5 million.
The third installment picks up ten years after John Connor stopped Judgment Day and saved mankind from mass destruction. Now, Skynet is at it again, sending the T-X, the most sophisticated cyborg killing machine, back through time to finish the job. Connor's only hope for survival is to join forces with his former assassin: The Terminator.
Directed by Jonathan Mostow, it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes and Kristanna Loken.
Give the girl two snaps! MGM's PG-13 rated Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde opened in the second spot with an ESTIMATED $22.9 million at 3,350 theaters ($6,836 per theater). Since opening July 2, its cume is $39.1 million.
In this sequel, Harvard's fave hot-pink grad goes to Washington to defend animal rights and keep four-legged critters out of the hands of evil cosmetics testers.
Directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, it stars Reese Witherspoon, Sally Field, Regina King, Bob Newhart and Jennifer Coolidge.
Sony Picture's PG-13-rated Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle dropped two places to third in its second week with an ESTIMATED $14.2 million (-62%) at 3,485 theaters (+26 theaters; $4,075 per theater). The sequel, which has the angels using their special talents to keep valuable information from getting into the wrong hands, has made $67.2 million so far.
Directed by McG, it stars Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Bernie Mac.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
Buena Vista/Disney and Pixar Animation Studios' G-rated computer-animated feature Finding Nemo fell a spot to fourth place in its sixth week with an ESTIMATED $11 million (-21%) at 2,901 theaters (-431 theaters; $3,790 per theater). Its cume is approximately $274.9 million.
Directed and co-written by Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton, it features the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe and Brad Garrett.
Universal Pictures' PG-13 The Hulk fell three notches into fifth place in its third week with an ESTIMATED $8.2 million (-56%) at 3,291 theaters (-383 theaters, $2,492 per theater). Its cume is approximately $117 million.
Directed by Ang Lee, it stars Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott and Nick Nolte.
DreamWorks' animated PG-rated Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas debuted in a weak sixth place with an ESTIMATED $6.8 million at 3,086 theaters ($2,492 per theater). Since opening July 2, it's taken in $10 million.
Inspired by the ancient tales of the Arabian Nights, Sinbad, the most daring and notorious rogue ever to sail the Seven Seas, is faced with his greatest challenge of all--forgoing his self-serving ways to save the life of his best friend.
Directed by Patrick Gilmore and Tim Johnson, it features the voices of Brad Pitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Joseph Fiennes.
Fox Searchlight's R-rated sci-fi thriller 28 Days Later dropped a few points in its second week to come in at No. 7 with an ESTIMATED $6 million (-40%) at 1,407 theaters (+147 theaters; $4,314 per theater). With only a $8 million production cost, the contemporary thriller about a fast-spreading virus that causes human rage on the people it infects has more than doubled its investment with a cume of $20.6 million.
Directed by Danny Boyle, it stars Cillian Murphy, Naomi Harris, Brendan Gleeson and Megan Burns.
Paramount Pictures' PG-13-rated actioner The Italian Job moved down a notch to eighth place in its sixth week with an ESTIMATED $4.2 million (-22%) at 1,584 theaters (-437 theaters; $2,699 per theater). Its cume is approximately $84 million.
Directed by F. Gary Gray, it stars Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Seth Green, Mos Def and Edward Norton.
Universal Pictures' PG-13 Bruce Almighty dropped three rungs to No. 9 in its seventh week with an ESTIMATED $4 million (-35%) at 1,929 theaters (-722 theaters; $2,074 per theater). Its cume is approximately $228.7 million.
Directed by Tom Shadyac, it stars Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston and Morgan Freeman.
Universal Pictures' PG-13-rated car culture sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious showed the least improvement this week, diving five spots down to 10th place in its fifth week with an ESTIMATED $2.4 million (-61%) at 1,779 theaters (-1038 theaters; $1,349 per theater). Its cume is approximately $119.3 million.
Directed by John Singleton, it stars Paul Walker, Tyrese, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser and Devon Aoki.
Focus Features' PG-13 rated mystery Swimming Pool managed to open with a respectable showing of an ESTIMATED $289,964 in 13 theaters, averaging $22,305 per theater. Also opening July 2, its total five-day cume is $375,809.
The story revolves around an uptight British mystery author who takes some time off to stay in the South of France. Her relaxed vacation is interrupted, however, by the arrival a sexually charged young woman, and their growing relationship sets off an increasingly unsettling series of events, including a possible real-life murder.
Directed by Francois Ozon, it stars Charlotte Rampling, Ludivine Sagnier and Charles Dance.
The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $126.9 million, up 12 percent from last week's take of $112.5 million but down 8 percent from this weekend last year, when key films grossed $139.1 million.
Last year, Sony's PG-13 rated Men in Black II premiered at the top of the heap with $52.1 million over the three-day weekend, with a five-day total of $87.2 million at 3,557 theaters ($14,661 per theater); Sony's PG-13-rated Mr. Deeds dropped to No. 2 in its second week with $18.4 million at 3,231 theaters ($5,698 per theater), while Buena Vista's PG-rated animated adventure Lilo & Stitch stayed in third in its third week with $12.6 million at 3,222 theaters ($3,922 per theater).