High school divas, Bond, Bush take center stage in fall | TahoeDailyTribune.com

High school divas, Bond, Bush take center stage in fall

David Germain, The Associated Press

Fred Hayes / Disney EnterprisesVanessa Hudgens, left, Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale and Jason Williams star in High School Musical 3."

LOS ANGELES ” Hollywood’s heavy hitter, Harry Potter, has been sidelined for fall, with the sixth adventure about the boy wizard transported from its original November release into next summer’s schedule.

Good thing the season has a deep bench, with Harry’s backup players including James Bond, a heartthrob vampire, those slaphappy kids from “High School Musical,” the yammering zoo animals from “Madagascar” and a party boy turned president.

A peek at five of fall’s must-see flicks:

James Bond picks up where he left off in “Casino Royale,” in a vengeful mood over the death of his great love and taking arms against a bad guy trying to corner the market on water. “It literally takes place 20 minutes after ‘Casino Royale’ ends,” says Daniel Craig, who returns for his second gig as Bond. “We pick the story up obviously with James Bond out for revenge, on a personal vendetta. It then gets more complicated than that.”

Based on the first installment in Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling series, this vampire romance centers on a teen (Kristen Stewart) in a love affair with a dazzling bloodsucker (Robert Pattinson) with a just-say-no policy on feeding off humans. “He doesn’t want to be a monster, he doesn’t want to kill people,” says director Catherine Hardwicke. “He loves her, but if he gets too passionate, he will want her blood. He will want to kill her.”

The Disney Channel sensation comes to the big-screen, reuniting basketball jock Troy (Zac Efron) and brainiac Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens), along with stage rivals Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) and Ryan (Lucas Grabeel). “The set decoration is insane and beautiful. To think, in the first movie, we only had a ladder,” Tisdale says. “Everything’s bigger, from details like the wardrobe, because of how big the screen is, and the musical numbers are so much bigger.”

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Voice stars Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer reunite for the further adventures of zoo animals getting back to nature. The sequel sets up a weird romance between Schwimmer’s giraffe and Pinkett Smith’s hippopotamus. “He has this crush on her and finally confesses,” Schwimmer says. “He believes he’s only got a short time to live and that he’s come down with this disease, so he’s kind of convinced he’s got to get up the nerve to tell her how he feels before he dies.”

Oliver Stone has done presidents before, No. 37 with “Nixon,” No. 35 (or at least the aftermath of his assassination) with “JFK.” But with George W. Bush (Josh Brolin), he’s having a go at a current commander in chief. “We’re telling it while he’s still in office, which has never been done,” says Elizabeth Banks, who plays Laura Bush. “The Bush family is a political dynasty. In America, it’s the closest thing we have to a political dynasty.”