Friday movie roundup – Nov. 7

First of all, thank you to everyone who offered condolences about my grandfather earlier in the week. I’ve had a nice few days in California with my family, celebrating Grandpa’s life, enjoying one another’s company, and seeing how many “too soon” jokes we could make. (Turns out it was a lot.) Grandpa loved to see the whole family assembled — he had six children, 18 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren — so I’m sure he would have appreciated such a large gathering in his honor.

Now then. Back to work. The biggest wide release this weekend is the oddly titled “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa,” whose goofy slapstick and talking monkeys Grandpa probably would have liked. (He was a sucker for physical comedy.) It’s better than the first one, though still not terrific. My review is at Cinematical.

“Role Models,” on the other hand, is quite funny, a ribald and self-aware comedy about two guys (Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott) who are court-ordered to volunteer as Big Brothers to a couple of troubled kids. Grandpa would not have cared for the bawdy language in this one, I can tell you that. Back when he was in the Navy, sure. But not as a respectable family man. Me, I found it hilarious.

The other wide release is “Soul Men,” Bernie Mac’s final screen role. (Coincidentally, he also provided a voice in “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.”) This film was apparently only shown to critics in the largest markets. At any rate, not Portland. What up with that?

My travels prevented my recording the “In the Dark” podcast this week, but you can subscribe to the feed using this URL. To sign up for the “In the Dark” e-mail, check here. And no, Grandpa wouldn’t have understood a single word I just said.