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Movies – Nov 2008

November, 2008
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High School Musical 3

The diverse and peppy cast of the High School Musical franchise may well stand for the world, and for sure are popular all around it. In this third installment, the characters, led by Gabrielle and Troy, find themselves seniors on the brink of going out into the world. They have a school play to put together, a whole bunch and farewells to stomach and probably the next sequel to figure out. You should attend!

Director: Kenny Ortega
Starring: Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale
Rating: G


The Other End of the Line 

It doesn’t get more globalization than this story, depicting the travels of a call center operator based in India to a meeting with destiny in San Francisco. The reason? Why, love, the sentiment that conquers all and knows no borders. As the story goes, the call center employee meets potential love over the phone and the rest, as they typically say, is customer service history. We like this one, the premise is simply irresistible. 

Director: James Dodson
Starring: Jesse Metcalfe, Shriya, Austin Basis
Rating: PG-13


Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

There has to be at least one good animated feature film this season, and here it is. In this continuation of the Madagascar tale, the animals manage to leave the titular island only to end up on the African mainland rather than making it back to New York. Not necessarily a bad thing, since Alex the Lion now has a chance to hook up with his family members. This opens up many interesting, amusing and touching eventualities. It also features actor Bernie Mac, who recently passed away. A truly fitting celebration of his life!

Director: Eric Darnell/Tom McGrath
Starring: Bernie Mac, Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett-Smith
Rating: PG


The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas 

A bit more of a heavyweight in terms of message and content, and for sure not one to go for comedic relief, this movie shows a human side to one of the most inhuman times in our collective history. During WWII, a German boy, the son of a concentration camp commander, befriends another boy, a youngster of the Jewish faith and therefore one of the population whose lives the camp was designed to end. Does friendship transcend artificial human divisions? Yes, and much more. 

Director: Mark Herman
Starring: David Hayman, Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis
Rating: PG-13



Here’s the other big animation number for the holiday lead-up. It also shows the innocence of characters that discover the world more or less for the first time. The eponymous Bolt is an action hero canine with his own successful show on TV. He’s so in-character, he doesn’t really know there’s a whole world out there where he isn’t a superhero. That’s when his travels begin, as does his close relationship with guides Mittens and Rhino, who take him on a trip he’ll always cherish. 

Director: Byron Howard, Chris Williams
Starring: John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Mark Walton
Rating: PG


Quantum of Solace

It took some reckoning for this editor to include a Bond flick in our lineup, especially since there are quite a few other entrants, mostly of an indie and/or educational persuasion, that could use the space. However, with Daniel Craig helping reboot old 007, the series perhaps deserves another look. With Casino Royale of a couple years back now evaluated as one of the best Bond pictures ever by many reviewers, the next chapter in the story likely deserves our attention. Plus, really, Bond is a late fall/early winter tradition, and of course he is a bona fide global citizen, albeit one with a penchant for losing his temper…

Director: Marc Forster
Starring: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric
Rating: PG-13

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