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.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
Whether or not you like the Twilight Saga movies and books, it's likely that you'll at least bear affinity for a few entries on the movies' soundtrack. From 2008's Twilight through 2011's Breaking Dawn - Part 1, the series has featured celebrated artists like Muse, Iron & Wine, OK Go, Florence and the Machine, Vampire Weekend (naturally), Cee Lo Green, Bruno Mars, and The Black Keys. Just released, courtesy of MTV, is the track listing for the forthcoming Breaking Dawn - Part 2's soundtrack.
The final chapter of the Twilight Saga will feature some of the series' most accomplished artists yet, including Green Day and film composer Carter Burwell. Newer groups also grace the soundtrack, including the likes of Passion Pit, Paul McDonald, and Ellie Goulding.
You can view the entire soundtrack listing below. Breaking Dawn - Part 2 comes out on November 21.Passion Pit, "Where I Come From"
Ellie Goulding, "Bittersweet"
Green Day, "The Forgotten"
Feist, "Fire in the Water"
The Boom Circuits, "Everything and Nothing"
St. Vincent, "The Antidote"
POP ETC, "Speak Up"
Iko, "Heart of Stone"
A Boy and His Kite, "Cover Your Tracks"
James Vincent McMorrow, "Ghosts"
Paul McDonald and Nikki Reed, "All I've Ever Needed"
Reeve Carney, "New for You"
Christina Perri, "A Thousand Years (Part Two)"
Carter Burwell, "Plus Que Ma Prope Vie"[Photo Credit: Summit Entertainment]
'Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2' Shows Off Bella's Wild Side — PICS
'Twilight' in Full Swing: 'Breaking Dawn - Part 2' Advance Ticket Sales Top 'Part 1'
Final 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2' Poster Is Immortal
From Our Partners:
’Movie 43’ Most Bananas Trailer in History
Biggest Comedy Movie Mistakes Ever
With all of the hullabaloo surrounding the upcoming not one but two Jeff Buckley biopics, it's nice to finally see some footage from at least one of them. And here to aid us in that viewing is the not-officially-approved-by-the-estate film, Greetings from Tim Buckley which stars lonely boy Gossip Girl's own Penn Badgley. The Hollywood Reporter posted the trailer from film, which ends with a "In Post-Production" tag, which means we're hopefully closer to this thing finally being released. Also, it seems as though the production team must've been antsy to get footage out before the other film, maybe? No doubt comparisons between Badgley and the other Jeff Buckley, Reeve Carney, will be plentiful. Best to get your version of the man out there first, right?
The clip has all the trappings of an indie music biopic: brooding, scraggly hair, guitars, pretty girls and flashbacks to the oft-nostalgic 60s. Oh, and of course some daddy issues for good measure. (Because what is an estranged father-son relationship without those, right?) It seems as though Badgley's interpretation of Buckley the Younger is a much freer, more human endeavor--especially considering how iconic and other-worldly his mythicized existence became after his death. Will it pay off? Only time will tell, but Greetings From Tim Buckley seems to at least have an interesting story at hand, as it crosses both Jeff's struggle with the father he never knew, as well as Tim's journey through his own revered musical career.
Oh and yes--lest there be any doubt: Badgley can definitely sing. And it sounds pretty good. We're hoping to hear more, but seeing as the movie does not have the rights to Jeff's music (that was reserved for the other film), don't hold your breath for any epic renditions of "Lover, You Should've Come Over" or "Grace." Oh well--it seems like the movie isn't really about that anyway, so hopefully the tunes won't be missed (though we know they'll all be at least a little bit missed by fans).
Looking forward to Greetings from Tim Buckley? Do you think Penn Badgley has the chops to take on the role? Sing it to us in the comments.
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
Penn Badgley Channels Jeff Buckley in NYC — VIDEO
'Gossip Girl' Actor to Play Jeff Buckley in New Film
Reeve Carney to Play Jeff Buckley in New Biopic
The Gossip Girl star has signed on to play the tragic musician in new movie Greetings from Tim Buckley and he took the stage at the Cameo Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to show off his musical skills.
Badgley played guitar and sang three tracks including Lilac Wine - a song covered by Buckley on his 1994 album Grace.
The gig also featured a solo set by The Cribs star Ryan Jarman, marking his first official show without his bandmates.
Badgley's movie about the Hallelujah singer, who drowned in a river in 1997 at the age of 30, is one of several upcoming projects about Buckley - Broadway's Spider-Man Reeve Carney is also starring in a separate biopic.
Fans of Penn Badgley were already well aware of his musical inclinations, but fans of the iconic singer Jeff Buckley were less enthused when they heard the news that the Gossip Girl star (otherwise known as Dan Humphrey) would be playing their man in one of the 922 three movies about the tragic singer. Fans of Buckley are still hyper-protective of him and his image, even 15 years after his unfortunate death-by-drowning.
RELATED:'Gossip Girl' Actor to Play Jeff Buckley in New Film
So naturally, there was a lot of skepticism and criticism bandied about regarding whether or not Badgley had the chops to take on the musical hero in Greetings from Tim Buckley. Well, Badgley attempted to put those fears and skeptic thoughts somewhat to rest with a performance this weekend in Brooklyn, New York. Badgley strode up to the stage at the Cameo Gallery in the Williamsburg neighborhood (naturally) to take on a classic song Buckley was known for covering, "Lilac Wine."
According to the audience member who snapped up the video of our very own Lonely Boy strumming away was surprised by how well he performed the tune. He explainined on his blog that he "was in awe with this guy’s vocal[s]. It was something very unexpected," which is certainly a great thing to hear when you consider Badgley's upcoming role (the film is currently in post-production, having already shot last fall).
RELATED: Reeve Carney to Play Jeff Buckley in New Biopic
As fans of Buckley ourselves, we have to give credit where its due here: Badgley does have a very similar vocal style to Buckley, and we're pleased (and relieved!) to see him taking the role so seriously.
Do you think Badgley has what it takes to emulate the rocker on screen? Check out the video below (we've also included the Buckley cover from his seminal album, Grace), and let us know what you think in the comments!
RELATED: Patricia Arquette Cast As Jeff Buckley's Mom in Biopic
[Photo Credit: WENN]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
You Might Also Like:15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes10 Insane 'Star Wars' Moments You Didn't Notice
No instead of wanting to knock her block off New York City bus driver Ralph Kramden (Cedric the Entertainer) sweetly offers to take his soon-to-be longsuffering wife Alice (Gabrielle Union) to the moon promising her he'll be making it very big very soon. Six years into the marriage Ralph is still driving a bus Alice is a waitress and the two live in a rundown tenement apartment. But Ralph hasn't given up on his dreams to take his family to the next level. He is convinced he is just one great idea away from instant wealth and elicits help from his encouraging if slightly ditzy best friend and upstairs neighbor Ed Norton (Mike Epps). He's always there to lend a hand when Ralph goes off halfcocked on another half-baked idea. But Alice has set her sights on a more practical goal: buying a duplex fixer-upper with Ed and his wife Trixie (Regina Hall). And when Ralph expectedly loses their down payment on yet another failed project he has to come up with the cash right quick before Alice sends him to the moon. Without a space suit. Let the hilarity ensue!
The one saving grace to this Honeymooners redo is the casting. Cedric the Entertainer is a perfect fit as Ralph Kramden a blustering blowhard with a heart of gold. Although the actor claims he steered away from doing an impression of the late Jackie Gleason who immortalized the role way back when Cedric still can't help but slip into the Great One's persona every once in awhile especially when yelling "Norton!" And the hilarious Epps as the bumbling but sweet Ed makes an ideal sidekick like Art Carney did in the original. Adding to the fracas is John Leguizamo. He plays a streetwise conman who hustles the boys into believing he's a dog trainer after Ralph comes up with the brilliant plan to race Ed's dog a stray they find in an alley. Don't ask. Whether it's the three of them or just Cedric and Epps you just know there had to have been a lot of extra takes. Their antics are hysterical and it looks like they are constantly trying to crack each other up. The girls on the other hand don't look like they are having as much fun. They're relegated to pointing their fingers at their husbands and warning them not to screw up. Right like that's going to happen.
The original The Honeymooners changed the course of television in the 1950s by becoming the first smash hit sitcom. Turning this slice of American history into a contemporary feature film however is definitely one of those why-mess-with-a-good-thing? scenarios. Director John Schultz (Like Mike) does an adequate job maneuvering the mix of comic talents and letting them each do their thing. But overall it's a bland run-of-the-mill comedy. The film could have easily been made without having any Honeymooner icons attached to it at all and it would have been the same. And the most amazing thing is that it is without any of the original's mean-spiritedness. I mean even for a time where America was at a supposed height of conservatism there were moments in the show in which you thought Ralph might actually haul off and smack Alice. Gleason really did have one of the best wild-eyed don't-push-me-too-far stares. In the watered-down sappy remake however Ralph is a pussycat who only wants to make his wife proud of him. Gag.