'Madagascar' to Trample 'Role Models,' 'Soul Men' in Deadly Multiplex Stampede

STV · 11/07/08 11:50AM

Welcome back to Defamer Attractions, your guide to everything new, noteworthy and/or intolerable this week at the movies. Another competitive fall weekend yields perhaps the season's biggest blockbuster alongside David Wain's studio breakthrough, not to mention choice candidates for the weekend's biggest disappointment and must-see indie gem. As always, our opinions are our own, but what can we say? We're just in a giving mood!WHAT'S NEW: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa revives the DreamWorks zoo-animal-on-the-loose franchise this weekend in the hopes of pulling down as much as $60 million — which it might manage, considering High School Musical 3's slowed box-office pace in its third week. Universal deftly counterprogrammed David Wain's R-rated comedy Role Models, featuring Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott as would-be mentors to McLovin and a black kid whose best jokes you've probably already seen in the commercials. That shouldn't stop it from pulling down around $12.6 million while the screeching Madagascar throngs tear down the multiplex around it. Also opening:Stranded: I've Come From a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains, the reenactment-heavy doc about cannibal survivors of a 1972 plane crash in the Andes; the Holocaust drama The Boy in the Striped Pajamas; and the goth horror-musical Repo! The Genetic Opera. THE BIG LOSER: Maybe "loser" is too harsh an estimation of Soul Men's fate, but let's face it: If it weren't the final entry in both Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes's filmographies, it wouldn't likely fare in the top five on any weekend outside the dumping grounds of January or August. But as cynical, posthumous curios go, it'll draw, coaxing up to $9.5 million and possibly cracking the top three. Whatever sells, we suppose.

Scientology a Prime Suspect in Gossip Columnist's Isaac Hayes Postmortem

STV · 08/11/08 06:55PM

After getting through a remarkably quiet week without a single controversy or racketeering lawsuit, the Church of Scientology was dealt another bruising body blow with Isaac Hayes's death over the weekend. As much as the Church is expected to miss the singer/songwriter's hot buttered soul and totemic cultural presence, Hayes's "friend" and generally unreliable Fox source Roger Friedman notes in today's touching eulogy how the Church wrung every last cent from subpar live performances after his 2006 stroke. And seeing as such allegations clearly wouldn't be insidious enough to defend his late pal's honor, Friedman stops a gold chain link short of blaming the Church outright for Hayes's death:

Isaac Hayes Makes Two, And We Can't Seem To Dig It

Seth Abramovitch · 08/11/08 09:41AM

As if the surprise death of Bernie Mac wasn't showbiz tragedy enough, before the weekend was through we'd also be robbed of music legend Isaac Hayes. What can we say about the wocka-chicka- wocka-chicka-popularizer that hasn't already been said?The guy was an innovator, a soul-butterer, a sex-machine to all the chicks, a chocolate-salty-balls-haver. And the guy never changed: Here he is performing in Chicago in 1973 (rocking a cape, gold link harness, and orange leggings), and looking as if he hadn't aged a day at the Hollywood Bowl 34 years later. The only piece of the puzzle that never seemed to fit was his devotion to Scientology, which would lead to his acrimonious departure from South Park after nine seasons voicing the beloved Chef, and at least one regrettable LP release ("The Joy of Creating - The Golden Era Musicians and Friends play L. Ron Hubbard," featuring the musical talents of fellow adherents Chick Corea and Doug E. Fresh (!)). The rule of threes suggests the grim reaper isn't yet done with his dirty work. Sam Jackson just wrapped on Soul Men, co-starring Mac and Hayes. Just keep a third eye on any hungry smart-sharks sneaking up behind you, Sam, is all we're saying. [With thanks to Dr Ned, M.D. for the photo.]

Isaac Hayes, Legend of Soul

ian spiegelman · 08/10/08 03:22PM

Some weekend. Isaak Hayes died today at his home in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 65. His wife found him unconscious next to his treadmill, which was still running. Paramedics could not revive him and he was pronounced dead shortly after 2:00 p.m., according to the Shelby County Sheriff's Department. Among the highlights of his career, Hayes won an Oscar for his extraordinary theme to 1971's Shaft. And won over a whole new generation of fans with his role as the beloved Chef on South Park. Cause of death has not been reported yet, but foul play is not suspected. I'll update as details come in. [CNN]