For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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S7:E4: After the disheartening mediocrity of the grilling challenge, last night’s episode started off rather slowly. The cheftestants were all demoralized, shuffling robotically around the mansion in pajamas and hair curlers. Except Arnold of course who won the last challenge and had the bright, sunny energy to actually use a curling iron this morning!
The rest of us are growing weary of the Angelo-Kenny showdown. Timmy Dean glowers in the corner. “Soon.”
This Quick Fire was quite fun! Tom and Padma both have newborn babes! They want the chefs to create meals that are tasty to the buds of a real person but that can also be blended into a puree for the feeding of baby-blobs. Somewhere Jaqueline’s ghost pipes up “I HAVE JUST THE THING.” Chickens everywhere shiver and pull their blankets up around their necks.
This challenge is High Stakes meaning ten grand is on the line for the two winners. Arnold wants to use the money to help children living with AIDs in Thailand. Alex chimes in he’d use the money for something nice, maybe a hooker and an eight ball. He is so Russian. He is like a character out of Vin Diesel’s XXX. “I practice making baby, not baby food”.
After a few stomach-churning montages of food being blended into meat smoothies, judgment begins! There were many dishes Tom and Padma did not care for at all, including K-Sbrags’, who had some plating problems and served an undercooked pan-seared duck over a pool of blood.
The judges did like Kenny’s curry chicken dish, as well as Angelo’s fenugreek dish and parfait-style baby jar. Fenugreek stimulates milk production. What a cheeky bastard. Tamesha impressed Tom with her vegetable chowder with homemade licorice oil. She ended up taking home the prize along with Kenny! They’ll be rich! Filthy rich!
We’re starting to see the trendy foods of this season. Looks like we can expect a lot of lamb, ribs, and chicken, ginger, and root vegetables. Chef Eric Ripert may be scaring these guys off of seafood. They are toeing the line with heavier meats like pork and steak that they can cook off solidly instead of a fish which may take more finesse.
The elimination challenge was a team activity - groups of two chefs were asked to create a signature dish for the Hilton Hotel to be served on the Hilton menu across the world. (The Hilton has restaurants?) The idea here was to not make the dishes too complicated or expensive or intellectual. The challenge was set up tournament style, with each team cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner. After breakfast, winning teams would be safe from elimination; same after lunch, until the losers of dinner would be sent home and winners would be given fantastic Hilton prizes.
The challenge begins and Arnold dreams that one day people will see him as more than just a Louis Vuitton bag.
At the start we meet the judges for this round and oh my god Brian Voltaggioooooo! Aieeeee!! Panties fly from all directions. He frowns. Spike is also back, no surprise. He is perpetually just off-screen, waiting to scuttle back onto television at the drop of his stupid fedora hat. For FAME!
I love breakfast so much that most of my meals usually involve egg and sausage. This is no exaggeration, so I was enthused for the first breakfast challenge of the seasooon! Firstly though, Alex is making pancakes, which for some reason is really grossing me out. Prostitutes and pancakes. They had some plating problems once again but that’s boring.
Most every team made a poached egg for this challenge. I’m not sure what it is about the poaching that makes it a choice for foodies but as far as I’m concerned poaching involves no frying and no butter so what good is it?
Angelo and Tamesha made a simple egg with bacon and bread. Tamesha assures everyone that she has been to Brian’s restaurant before and knows that her egg texture was perfect! Cut to Brian making a P.U. face, “this yolk is over”.
Kenny and K-Sbrags poached an egg with herb brioche, prociutto and olive tapenade. Drooool.
Amanda and Stephen made more poached eggs with pancetta, and more hollandaise.
Andrea and Kelley made a McGriddle type concoction of bacon, cheddar and whole wheat waffle with poached eggs and some kind of mango mint smoothie, which all looked so good.
Tiffany and Timmy Dean (master of disgusting frozen breakfasts!) made a crab cake with bacon etc. Trust me, hollandaise was involved.
Amanda’s team and Timmy Dean’s team won the breakfast round with their poached egg and crab cake!
The lunch round consisted mostly of Kenny and Angelo reiterating that they were both so mad that they didn’t win breakfast as they fumed and sulked and made thin slices of beef and a weird hummus salad. Other interesting dishes were Arnold’s tuna sushi roll and Andrea and Kelly’s overcooked shitty fish. Angelo’s team (beef bits) and Alex’s team (scallops) won lunch!
The final round rolls around and Kenny can barely keep his pants on. He must cook for his life? Kenny? Kenny? He furiously glazes his beef short ribs, meanwhile Kelly and Andrea braise their short ribs with Polenta and goat-cheese which looks so delicious. Arnold and Lynne fall apart somewhat and are putting together a mussel and squid-ink pasta dish.
After hours of cooking, the exhausted chefs are informed of the outcomes. Kelly and Andrea, most forgettable pair of women in the competition, have won it all! They win dream vacations from Hilton.
Kenny and K-Sbrags had to defend their short-ribs and lack of glaze. Kenny is infuriating and overbearing when discussing food. He used the words textures and temperatures about ten times. He said sodium instead of salt. Tom has no patience for this. He is the resident intensely bald man on this show. And there is only room for one. However, very unfortunately, Arnold and Lynne were sent home for undercooked pasta and for being too lively and too boring, respectively.
Hollywood.com is on the scene at the 55th Cannes Film Festival, seeing the films and sipping with the stars. Check in every day to get the latest!
Day 2: All bets are not off as to who will be the grand winner of the coveted Palm D'Or award, but on the beach, all tops seem to be off! The smell of suntan oil wafts over the Croisette as the crowd settles in very early in the morning to get a bird's-eye view of the stars and their escorts on the sand, including George Lucas, Natalie Portman, the Arquette sisters and many more.
Yachts are multiplying overnight. Beautiful ships are moored all along the rocky shores. Troma (famous for The Toxic Avenger series) is throwing their post-screening celebration at an antique ship docked in the Old Port. During the past two festivals the bodacious Troma team shot footage all over Cannes. The resulting film is All the Love You Cannes! - An Indie's Guide to the Cannes Film Festival. One of Troma's biggest claims to fame is turning Madonna down very early in her career. When she begged to be in one of their movies they told her, "Don't call us, we'll call you!"
Last night, into the wee hours, a moonlit dinner was served on the banks of the Mediterranean to 600 of Woody Allen's closest friends in honor of his latest flick Hollywood Ending opening the Cannes Film Festival." Enjoying the French cuisine at the same table with his wife, Soon Yi, was Treat Williams and Debra Messing. (Tea Leoni couldn't come. She's so pregnant, it's possible she's delivering at this very moment!)
Maybe it was the pure temptation of the chocolate dessert, curled and imprinted to look like film, as well as a huge disc of chocolate carved like a film canister, but Messing left early.
This morning the ultra-thin comedienne was spotted sashaying through the Martinez hotel lobby on the way to her room. Messing wore a gorgeous tangerine dress that seemed better suited for a night of tango rather than an early morning stroll. Star etiquette must require that you wear a brand new ensemble every single time you leave your suite.
May 16th should just be declared George Lucas Day and let the force be with us all! As part of today's worldwide opening, his Star Wars - Episode II: Attack of the Clones, will make its legendary debut tonight as Cannes' first-ever digitally screened film. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda--I mean Ewan McGregor and Frank Oz, along with petite beauty Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen, will traverse those crimson stairs tonight.
And there is another force along the Croisette that is being taken seriously--and that is woman power! "We need to start a revolution," smiled its wanna-be leader, Rosanna Arquette, who is making her directorial debut with Searching for Debra Winger. Flanked by her sister (and her movie's star) Patricia Arquette, quite chic in her jewel-encrusted olive corduroy pants and a T-shirt painted with Rosanna's film, a documentary featuring a series of candid and intimate conversations with such actresses as Whoopi Goldberg, Sharon Stone, Meg Ryan, Julianna Margulies, Teri Garr and Jane Fonda on how they balance art, career, family and issues of ageism in the entertainment industry.
Looking stunning in white bell-bottoms and a pink-and-white halter, Rosanna made clear, "I'm not here to say I'm a great filmmaker. That's why I call it a Rosanna Arquette experience. And by the way, today is Debra's birthday!" The big news here is that the sisters were adamant that contrary to popular belief, this isn't a bitchfest in any way and the actresses were all quite supportive of each other.
Sounds like a happy Hollywood Ending to this chapter…