Role Models

directed by David Wain

After playing parts like jerky camp counselor (circa early ‘80s) Randy in Wet Hot American Summer, the mustachioed, panda-hating Brian Fantana alongside the “Frat Pack” in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and an array of characters for the Apatow gang’s movies (the watch-less Koonoo in Forgetting Sarah Marshall being his latest), one thing is certain: Paul Rudd has always been funny. With Role Models, however, Rudd graduates from one-liners to give the audience a hilarious comedy that is up to par with Apatow’s best. Directed by funnyman David Wain (who also directed Rudd in Wet Hot American Summer and last year’s The Ten), Rudd co-stars with Seann William Scott as two energy drink reps who are forced into a community service program after an energy drink binge leads to their arrest. With Wain backing away from his usual screwball comedy for a more audience-friendly one and the great pairing of Rudd’s straight-faced sarcasm with Scott’s goofiness, this could be the must-see comedy of the season.

Repo! The Genetic Opera

directed by Darren Lynn Bousman

For all you movie lovers looking for something new, how about a horror rock opera that tells the story of a future in which an epidemic of organ failures has led to a multi-billion dollar biotech company’s program which allows people to pay for an organ transplant as if it were a car loan? The only problem is that failure to pay results in the company’s hired assassins tracking you down and taking the organs back… like repo men. Oh, and if this doesn’t sound scary enough, Paris Hilton has a role in the movie, too. With reviews of the movie being overwhelmingly positive, this may be the best post-apocalyptic rock opera since, well, ever!

Soul Men

directed by Malcolm D. Lee

One of Bernie Mac’s last roles before passing away this year, Soul Men proves to be a great reminder of what made the actor a Hollywood favorite: His unique comedic style that seemed to work within all genres. The story centers on two soul-singing legends who, after not speaking to one another for more than 20 years, agree to one last performance in honor of their recently deceased bandleader. Though the story may be a little contrived at times, with Mac and Samuel L. Jackson playing the leads in this dramedy-musical, there are plenty of laughs to be had and some bittersweet moments that are sure to surprise audiences.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath

Those expecting to spend a relaxing day at the local cinema this weekend can think again as the perfect storm that is Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa hits theaters. The analogy may be a bit much, but as the latest from DreamWorks Animation, the sequel to 2005’s beloved Madagascar, with a cast that includes Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett Smith all reprising their roles as zoo animals whose cages and pampered lives have been replaced with the African wilderness and the dangers which exist therein, the analogy is not too far off. While the story may be silly enough for kids, with Alec Baldwin, Bernie Mac and lending their voices to the sequel, adults won’t feel left out either.