Screening Room 6/8/12: “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” “Prometheus”

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When you consider that the first two “Madagascar” movies collectively took in over $1.2 billion at the worldwide box office, the next logical step is obvious: “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.” 

This time out, it’s a 3-D animated extravaganza with a reported budget north of $145 million. Still, that’s probably a safe investment for the studios.

Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett-Smith and David Schwimmer are all back as the voices of Manhattan zoo animals who hide out in a European traveling circus while attempting to get back to the States. 

Visually, it’s easy to see where the money went and the movie has a snappy pace and goofy sense of humor that should keep the youngsters’ attention. Plus, it’s sophisticated enough to please undemanding parents. 

The only downside is that, after a while, “Madagascar 3” becomes a blur of color and action that boarders on overkill. But, thanks in part to Martin Short’s contributions as a goofy sea lion, “Madagascar 3” is a pleasant enough popcorn flick that should appeal to most members of the family.

The Madagascar franchise has always been a fun watch. A colorful blast of joy loaded with groovy music and a lovable gang of talking cartoon animals. In "Europe's Most Wanted" the formula has been super-sized and who cares about counting calories when you are having this much fun.

Russ: 3 Popcorn Bags

Shawn: 4 Popcorn Bags
"Prometheus" is not a prequel to "Alien." Wink. Wink. What "Prometheus" is though, is a sci-fi masterpiece.
Director Ridley Scott flexes his cinematic muscle and the results are strong. Warning: "Prometheus" is tailor-made for hardcore sci-fi fans. If you aren't, don't be frightened. You just have to be willing to explore this fascinating slice of well-produced cinema of the highest order.  But "Prometheus" isn't an easy watch. It's intense. It's maddening. It's brilliant. It's frustrating. It throws sucka punches....And it completely satisfies.There are similarities to "Alien" but this movie can stand alone and maybe stand a second viewing. Yes, it's complicated. Very! But when you are a team of space explorers searching for the origins of the universe, things tend to get tricky and a bit scary.The non-flashy 3D is technically on par with "Avatar."A classic? Shawn thinks so...Shawn: 5 Popcorn Bags

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