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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Norman Winter, a publicist who represented music icons including Michael Jackson and Bob Dylan, has died. Winter passed away on Thursday (22Aug13) in Las Vegas due to complications from Lewy Body disease. His family declined to reveal his age, but he was believed to have been in his 80s.
He worked closely with the King of Pop to promote his legendary Thriller album, and also helped Jackson acquire some of the The Beatles' song catalogue and negotiate his endorsements with Pepsi.
Throughout his career, Winter also worked with a whole host of music greats such as Neil Diamond, Dr. Dre, Garth Brooks, Paul Anka, Queen, Barry White, AC/DC, Marvin Gaye, Usher, Billy Joel, and Jackson's sister Janet.
Jackson's longtime attorney John Branca says, "We are so sad to hear of the passing of our dear friend Norman Winter. Norman was a unique, one of a kind character who was dearly beloved. He was of great help and service to Michael and our team during the Thriller period."
Winter is survived by his wife Joy, daughters Jennifer and Elizabeth and brother Alfred, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Toby Keith's star-studded Oklahoma Twister Relief show at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma on Saturday (06Jul13) broke attendance history at the venue - the event, attended by 65,000 music fans, drew the highest tally of paying guests ever at the stadium. Keith performed alongside Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson Ronnie Dunn and Sammy Hagar.
Nearly 1,300 revellers were treated for heat-related problems at Toby Keith's Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert on Saturday (06Jul13). The singer organised the benefit gig at the Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma and took to the stage alongside fellow country greats Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and Willie Nelson in front of a 60,000-strong crowd.
However, scores of concert-goers were forced to seek medical attention after falling ill in the extreme heat with 170 people requiring further treatment and 21 taken to local hospitals, according to Norman Regional Health System spokeswoman Kelly Wells.
Money raised from ticket sales will benefit the United Way of Central Oklahoma organisation which has established a fund to aid victims of the tornadoes and violent storms that ripped through the state in May (13), killing dozens of people.
Country music star Toby Keith returned to the rubble of his home town with a local Oklahoma TV crew earlier this week (beg01Jul13) to pay tribute to a beloved weatherman who kept him up to date with the May (13) storms. The Beer For My Horses singer was in Oklahoma the night before the tornadoes hit and had to watch the destruction of the 20 May (13) storm on an iPad app in a Nashville, Tennessee studio.
He quickly halted his recording plans and headed home to make sure his family and friends in Moore were OK - and he returned to the town with meteorologist pal Gary England this week as he prepared for his benefit concert in Norman this weekend (06Jul13).
Keith told the News9 weatherman, "I've got the News9 app on my iPad and so I got in the studio and started working and flipped it on.
"We sat and watched it (storm) as it crossed the interstate and 4th Street; I said, 'It's gonna get my sister...', and so we said, 'We have to start making arrangements to get back.'"
Keith told England that the frequent Oklahoma storms always bring back bad memories from his childhood: "We didn't have the storm shelters we have today... We had bunk beds and mum would wrap the mattresses around (them), put one on top, and we would just get in. We rode some out.
"There was (sic) big pieces of sheet rock and stuff coming through your window in the bedroom and the house was rattling... Those are bad memories."
The singer then thanked local news veteran England for his tireless storm reporting, insisting, "We lean on you for this," and adding, "You save a lot of lives."
Keith's tornado benefit concert on Saturday will feature performances from Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Ronnie Dunn, Trisha Yearwood and rocker Sammy Hagar.
Toby Keith turned down the chance to play a home state benefit gig to aid Oklahoma storm relief organisations a week after tornadoes ripped through suburbs of Oklahoma City - because he needed more time to reflect on the damage. Fellow Oklahoman Blake Shelton reached out to Keith and invited him to headline May's (13) Healing in the Heartland concert, which raised over $6 million (£3.9 million) for local charities, but the Beer For My Horses singer wasn't ready to perform alongside stars like Usher, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Shelton and his wife Miranda Lambert.
And, as he prepares for Saturday's (06Jul13) benefit gig which he has organised, Keith tells Country Weekly, "The first concert they did, that Blake and those guys did, was wonderful because it was a TV show and it pumped a lot of money in quick and fast.
"I just couldn't do it five or six days after (the storms) because it was just too soon for me to be downtown playing music. I had, you know, stuff to deal with here."
Keith's mega fundraiser in Norman, Oklahoma will feature performances by Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Ronnie Dunn, Trisha Yearwood and rocker Sammy Hagar, while another state native, Carrie Underwood, will appear via satellite from the Grand Ole Opry stage in Nashville, Tennessee.
Oklahoma native Carrie Underwood has signed on for Toby Keith's upcoming tornado relief concert on 6 July (13). All 80,000 tickets for the benefit in Norman, Oklahoma sold out in less than three hours on Friday (21Jun13), and now those lucky enough to grab a seat will be treated to a set from the former American Idol star, who dedicated her song See You Again to the victims of the May (13) storms in her home state at the 2013 CMT Music Awards on 5 June (13).
Her performance will be aired via satellite from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee during the show, which will also feature Keith, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks and Ronnie Dunn.
Proceeds will benefit the United Way of Central Oklahoma's tornado relief fund.
Tickets for Toby Keith's upcoming Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert sold out in less than three hours on Friday (21Jun13). The 6 July (13) gig at the Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman will feature performances by Keith, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Trisha Yearwood, Ronnie Dunn and Sammy Hagar.
After learning all 80,000 tickets had been sold, Keith went online and posted: "As of this time, there are no #TKOKrelief tickets avail (available). Once we finalize production, it is possible that there will be addt'l (additional) tix (tickets) released!"
Blake Shelton's televised Healing in the Heartland concert in Oklahoma City in May (13) helped raise more than $6 million (£3.9 million) for the recovery effort in Moore, Oklahoma, which was left ravaged by a deadly twister.
Kings of Leon and The Flaming Lips will co-headline another show benefiting victims of the storms on 28 July (13).
Garth Brooks, Toby Keith and Ronnie Dunn are joining forces for a second Oklahoma tornado relief benefit. Two days after Blake Shelton's televised Healing in the Heartland concert in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night (29May13) raised $6 million (£3.9 million), state natives Brooks and Keith have confirmed they'll be part of pal Dunn's upcoming gig in Norman, Oklahoma.
The former Brooks & Dunn star tells Tulsa World, "I talked to Garth, and he agreed that we'd keep our heads down until Blake's thing was done and until Toby took the lead.
"We'd be the second wave of efforts to help people because there is a need for a second wave. There will be a need for months and months to come."
Details of the gig are still sketchy but it is expected to take place around the Independence Day weekend in early July (13).
In a tweet on Friday (31May13), Dunn wrote, "Big day working to put another Okla. benefit together. Garth good to go with a date. Toby is good (?) waiting to announce."
Aw, another year? Really? More taxes, annoying celebrity Instagram photos, and Taylor Swift boyfriend scandals? That's not what we signed up for when we totally bought into that Mayan Apocalypse thing, universe. We just don't know if we can take another Swifty break-up. We'd take the Rapture any day.
Still, there are some legitimate reasons to be excited that we made it out okay, even without John Cusack's help. From the return of a beloved, quirky sitcom to one of the most badass blockbuster concepts ever, behold our top 10 reasons to be excited for 2013:
Pacific Rim: Pacific Rim is a Guillermo del Toro-directed sci-fi thriller, where the likes of Jax from Sons of Anarchy (Charlie Hunnam), Stringer Bell from The Wire (Idris Elba), and Charlie from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Charlie Day) team up to create giant, man-controlled robots to fight the alien monsters who sprouted from a crack in the ocean. If you're not already peeing yourself, we can't help you.
Man of Steel: What our world needs most — even more than its own Superman — is a good movie about Superman. After the disastrous Superman Returns incident of 2006, we were hesitant when it was announced that Henry Cavill (The Tudors) would put on the suit for yet another remake. But when we learned that Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark... you get our drift) would produce, and when the stellar cast assembled, we felt better. Then the trailer came out, and now we're just ridiculously excited.
Star Trek Into Darkness: We really enjoyed the franchise's first go-round back in 2009, and having J.J. Abrams back at the helm — as well as American Horror Story baddie Zachary Quinto as Spock — gives us confidence for the sequel. Oh, and Benedict Cumberbatch plays the villain, so there's that.
NEXT: Small-screen wondersReally Good TV
The Following: We've already seen the pilot for the new Kevin Williamson drama, which stars James Purefoy as a behind-bars serial killer with a terrifying worldwide following (get it?) and Kevin Bacon as the FBI agent who has no choice but to stop him. It. Is. Terrifying. Also, it's unlike anything you've ever seen on network TV. Do give it a shot — unless you enjoy sleeping at night.
Arrested Development: New episodes of Arrested Development seven years after its cancellation? Come on! This must be an illusion, Michael. But it's true — production began last summer, and 12-15 episodes (featuring cameos by beloved guest stars like Liza Minnelli, Henry Winkler, Mae Whitman, and Judy Greer) will premiere on Netflix early this year. But one major question remains — whatever happened to Steve Holt?
Bates Motel: A weekly look into the relationship between Psycho's resident psycho (Norman Bates) and his mother, starring the kid from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Freddie Highmore) and movie star Vera Farmiga? Sounds pretty cool. Add some enticing trailers and the fact that it's produced by Lost guru Carlton Cuse, and we're sold.
The Americans: FX has proven itself to be a go-to network for quality drama (we're talking to you, Sons of Anarchy, Justified, and American Horror Story), and the idea of a show about Cold War KGB agents posing as everyday Americans is pretty awesome — especially when you throw in Keri Russell as the main agent, who is in an arranged marriage with another agent (Matthew Rhys). Oh yeah, and they have kids who have no idea that their parents could be activated at any second.
NEXT: From the page to the screen (finally)
Our Favorite Books, As Movies
The Great Gatsby: “He smiled understandingly — much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced — or seemed to face — the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.” Sigh. We love you, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and we're hoping that Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Baz Luhrmann and co. do you justice. If not, that'd be a bigger crime than hitting Myrtle with a car.
Ender's Game: Here's a reason to stick around until November: A big-screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card's devastating sci-fi novel Ender's Game! The story of a brilliant boy whose childhood is stolen when he's picked to save the world from aliens has been haunting parents and kids alike for generations, and we can't wait to see what director Gavin Hood can do with it.
World War Z: Sorry, Walking Dead — we love you, but Max Brooks' World War Z is arguably the greatest work of zombie fiction in the land. The things human beings will do for survival — and they ultimately do survive — when faced with fear, abandonment, and uncertainty are explored via multiple eyewitness accounts told to a U.N. employee in the novel. The film is taking a different approach — the U.N. employee (played by Brad Pitt) isn't trying to explore the catastrophe after the fact, he's the tried and true action hero trying to save the day. We like the first idea better, but are excited to see what Marc Forster has done with the source material.
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