Movies offered up some light entertainment this week, but the meatier stuff came courtesy of a television classic and a new series based on the swinging 1960s.
“Madagascar 3” — My boys have loved these flicks (about a lion, giraffe, hippo and zebra), and this third one offers more yuks, as a quartet of zoo animals try to make their way back to New York’s Central Park. The group boards a circus train in Europe and finds their efforts to get home waylaid, thanks to their penguin companions. The kids should like it and adults will enjoy the eclectic sort of cast that one could only find in an animated film. The regular cast of Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Chris Rock are joined by Bryan Cranston, Frances McDormand, Martin Short and Sacha Cohen.
“Moonrise Kingdom” — A New England town is thrown into uproar when two local teens go missing as a large storm bears down, in this thoughtful comedy from the makers of “The Darjeeling Limited.” This film features some incredible photography that makes just about every set look like a Rockwell painting. The story is engaging enough and the film rocks an incredible cast that includes Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Harvey Keitel and Edward Norton.
“Mad Men: Season 5” — AMC’s smash series about the advertising business and the 1960s offers its most compelling season yet. The story lines chart infidelity, depression and rampant sexism, as the backstabbing antics of the firm play out while the country is fighting in Vietnam and reeling from racial disharmony. The series continues to mix black humor with a frank depiction of a time where things were glossy on the outside but beginning to break down all over.
“Columbo: The Complete Series” — Universal Studios is offering a real bargain with this series of tele-films boxed together for under $200. Peter Falk stars as the rumpled gumshoe who is able to get on the nerves of the most careful of murderers. His stumbling persona always manages to get the bad guys to underestimate him, but it is his eye for small details that always catches the bad guy. The set includes all seven seasons of the classic show which always attracted topnotch guest stars like Robert Conrad, Jose Ferrer, Robert Culp and even Robbie the Robot.
Next week brings something for the ladies, with the release of “Magic Mike.”