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
At long last, they come face to face. It seems as though the Roberts Rivalry has been going on for decades. In reality, though, the Roberts themselves have barely been going on for decades. I'm of course referring to Emma Roberts, American star of films like It's Kind of a Funny Story and The Art of Getting By, and Craig Roberts, a Welsh newcomer to the big screen, who won audiences with his starring role in last year's Submarine. It seems the thespians Roberts will be either setting aside what has to be a bloodthirsty enmity, or scheming diabolically with the "Keep Your Enemies Closer" maxim, as they will be teaming up in the developing Derick Martini film I Am My Family Secret.
One might wonder why I assume there's such a heated discord between this duo. It can't simply be because of their shared surname. Well...it's mostly that. But there are a few uncanny similarities we can't help but derive theories from. Craig's breakout role was in a film called Submarine—Richard Ayoade's blissful adaptation of Joe Dunthorne's terrific novel. Five years prior, Emma Roberts starred in a movie titled Aquamarine. Now, you can't tell me this is just a coincidence. Moving further: Emma played the lead in Nancy Drew back in 2007. This past year, Craig snagged a part in Jane Eyre. Both movies about woman who uncover closely-guarded secrets! Other connections can be drawn (Emma's upcoming Adult World to Craig's Kiddo; Craig's Being Human to Emma's Hotel for Dogs), but I think I've made my point perfectly clear.
Martini's new movie, I Am My Family Secret, focuses on a pair of brothers who happen upon a shocker that their parents have been hiding from them. No word on what roles will be filled by the Robertses. This will not be Emma's first time working with director Martini. 2008's comedy/drama Lymelife starred the young actress alongside Alec Baldwin, Jill Hennessy, Cynthia Nixon and Rory and Kieran Culkin.
Though ostensibly successful 2009’s The Final Destination represented to many a horror franchise on its last hackneyed legs. Rote uninspired and humorless it scored a (modest) hit only by virtue of the novelty -- and added ticket price -- of its 3D transfer. Two years later Final Destination 5 arrives with a slightly tweaked formula a beefed-up storyline actors you might actually recognize and genuine honest-to-goodness 3D. It’s still schlock mind you -- but artful schlock and a marked improvement over the preceding entry.
The story begins in familiar fashion with a cursory introduction to the characters followed by a grisly premonition that sees them perish wholesale. An assortment of cubicle-dwellers at a paper factory are being bused to a corporate retreat when one of them Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto perpetually bug-eyed) dreams of a massive bridge collapse in which he and his co-workers are impaled beheaded bisected crushed by cars singed by tar -- however many ways a suspension bridge can kill a person the film’s opening set-piece explores it gruesome detail. Sam awakens duly horrified and demands the bus be evacuated. Seconds later the employees watch in horror from the sidelines as Sam’s vision comes to fruition.
You know what happens next. One-by-one death stalks the survivors who meet their fate in a series of elaborately-staged incidents. Some are relatively straightforward; others involve fiendish head-fakes and red herrings. The range of victims is older and more colorful than in previous Final Destination films in which death preyed exclusively on attractive nubile teenagers but the end result is invariably the same. (Not to give anything away but those considering acupuncture or laser eye surgery would be wise to avoid the film entirely.) As death’s scheme becomes achingly evident Sam his lachrymose girlfriend Molly (Emma Bell) and his increasingly unhinged buddy Peter (Miles Fisher) become increasingly desperate. Enter the ever-ominous Tony Todd returning to the franchise after (wisely) taking the previous film off offering a potential way out. But is it genuine or just another of death’s cruel tricks?
Director Steven Quale a James Cameron protege hired principally for his 3D expertise takes full advantage of the added dimension delivering some of the most vivid and immersive 3D sequences in recent memory. Unlike The Final Destination which seemed little more than a amalgam of crude one-liners Final Destination 5 feels like a real movie one with a discernible plot an element of suspense and a handful characters who are more than just punchlines. Most of the actors are surprisingly competent save for Fisher a credible doppelganger for Tom Cruise (he parodied him 2008’s Superhero Movie) who imbues every line with couch-jumping intensity.
Final Destination 5 ends with a twist that while genuinely unexpected feels like a Hail Mary for a franchise that can’t forestall its inexorable descent into stale irrelevance despite the best of efforts from Quale. Its trademark formula has simply lost its potency -- a problem no amount of cosmetic upgrades however welcome can fix. That the film is bracketed by two pointless and time-consuming montages -- the first an animated sequence that hurtles various hazardous objects at the audience the second a greatest hits compilation of memorable kills from previous Final Destination films -- is a telltale sign that the saga’s creativity is on life support. Perhaps it’s time to pull the plug.
UPDATE: A rep for Dimension Films has confirmed that Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin will appear in Scream 4.
Wes Craven never fails to bring good looking gals to the set of his Scream movies and nothing is different with the highly-anticipated fourth installment of his genre-redefining franchise. The director has reassembled some of the survivors of his initial trilogy, including Neve Campbell's Sidney Prescott and David Arquette's Dewey Riley, in addition to populating the cast with young stars like Emma Roberts and Hayden Panettiere, but that's not where the girl power ends in this production.
Though the film has been shooting for close to two months now, USA Today reports that there may be a few secretive last minute additions to the roster. The paper's Cindy Clark says that Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell will appear in the fourquel in undisclosed roles, which has led to speculation that the pair of blond's may start the film off strong and sexy with a particularly exciting death scene. There is no evidence to support that, but I can't deny that I'd love to see Sarah Marshall and Sookie Stackhouse exploring the depths of their sexuality in the back seat of a car before getting hacked to pieces by Ghostface. An even more interesting turn of events would be finding out that Bell and Paquin are behind the mask this time around...
Scream 4 also stars Courteney Cox, Rory Culkin, Nico Tortorella, Anthony Anderson and Marielle Jaffe and will hit theaters on April 15th 2011.
Source: USA TODAY
For a woman best known for her work on the small screen, Lauren Graham has a pretty impressive filmography. With titles like Bad Santa, The Pacifier, Flash of Genius, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and Evan Almighty under her belt, she's been seen by millions of moviegoers and has hundreds of millions of dollars in box-office to her name. She's gonna have a whole lot more of that after she finishes shooting her new project - Wes Craven's anticipated Scream 4.
Shock Til You Drop broke the news earlier this morning, following Graham's appearance last night on The Tonight Show where she confirmed that she'll be playing mother to Emma Roberts' Jill Kessler. The funny thing about this recent addition to the cast is that the two ladies just finished another film together - Focus Features It's Kind Of A Funny Story. Coincidence? Probably not.
Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette all return to the highly successful franchise and will be joined by Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Lake Bell and more. Filming is set to begin on June 28th for an April 15th, 2011 release.
Will Smith scored another No. 1. His latest film, the tearjerker The Pursuit of Happyness--in which he stars as a struggling single dad opposite his real-life son, Jaden Smith--debuted at the top of the North American box office this weekend with $27 million.
"Audiences around the world love [Will Smith]," Rory Bruer, head of distribution at Sony told The Associated Press, whose past hits with Smith include the Men in Black flicks and last year's romantic comedy Hitch. "Everyone who sees Will Smith or meets Will Smith feels like he could be their best friend. He has that type of charisma that resonates throughout whatever room he's in."
Happyness also managed to best the fantasy dragon tale Eragon, which opened in second place with $23.4 million. Charlotte's Web, a live-action adaptation of the children’s classic, premiered in third with weak $12 million.
The big musical Dreamgirls, starring Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson, opened to big numbers at three theaters in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. It took in $360,000, a strong start to its nationwide release on Christmas. Also opening limitedly was George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh's latest collaboration, The Good German, which debuted in five theaterswith a solid $78,572.
The Top 12 movies grossed $112.2 million over the weekend, down 8.33 percent from last year’s draw of $122.2 million but up 28.96 percent from last weekend’s total of $87 million.
The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: Universal’s King Kong, which opened at No. 1 with $50.1 million in 3,568 theaters, averaging $14,050 per theater; Buena Vista’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which dropped to second place in its second week with $31.8 million in 3,680 theaters, averaging $8,652 per theater; and 20th Century Fox’s The Family Stone, which dropped to opened in third place with $12.5 million in 2,466 theaters, averaging $5,077 per theater (Click here to read last year's box office report).
BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES
(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)
No. 1: The Pursuit of Happyness (Sony, PG-13)
• Gross: $27 million
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 2,852
• Per-theater average: $9,467
No. 2: Eragon (20th Cent. Fox, PG)
• Gross: $23.4 million
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 3,020
• Per-theater average: $7,765
No. 3: Charlotte's Web (Paramount, G)
• Gross: $12 million
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 3,566
• Per-theater average: $3,372
No. 4: Happy Feet (Warner Bros., PG)
• Gross: $8.5 million (-34%)
• Weeks opened: 5
• Theaters: 3,335 (-315)
• Per-theater average: $2,555
• Cume to date: $149.4 million
No. 5: The Holiday (Sony Pictures, PG)
• Gross: $8.2 million (-36%)
• Weeks opened: 2
• Theaters: 2,614 (unchanged)
• Per-theater average: $3,137
• Cume to date: $25.3 million
No. 6: Apocalypto (Buena Vista, R)
• Gross: $27.9 million (-49%)
• Weeks opened: 2
• Theaters: 2,465 (unchanged)
• Per-theater average: $3,133
• Cume to date: $27.9 million
No. 7: Blood Diamond (Warner Bros., R)
• Gross: $18.3 million (-28%)
• Weeks opened: 2
• Theaters: 1,910 (unchanged)
• Per-theater average: $3,283
• Cume to date: $18.3 million
No. 8: Casino Royale (Sony, PG-13)
• Gross: $5.7 million (-36%)
• Weeks opened: 5
• Theaters: 2,437 (-724)
• Per-theater average: $2,339
• Cume to date: $137.5 million
No. 9: The Nativity Story (New Line, PG)
• Gross: $23 million
• Weeks opened: 3
• Theaters: 2,574 (-509)
• Per-theater average: $1,826
• Cume to date: $23 million
No. 10: Unaccompanied Minors (Warner Bros., PG)
• Gross: $10.2 million
• Weeks opened: 2
• Theaters: 2,775 (unchanged)
• Per-theater average: $1,324
• Cume to date: $10.2 million
Dreamgirls (Paramount, PG-13)
• Gross: $360,000
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 3
• Per-theater average: $120,000
The Good German (Warner Bros., PG-13)
• Gross: $78,572
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 5
• Per-theater average: $15,714
Actress Alexis Bledel and her boyfriend, former co-star Milo Ventimiglia, have ended their relationship.
The couple were together for three and a half years before calling it quits. Ventimiglia's representative tells People magazine, "He is currently single."
The pair fell in love on the set of hit TV series Gilmore Girls. Ventimiglia, who turns 29 on Saturday, joined the show in 2001 as bad boy Jess, and became the boyfriend of his real-life partner's character, Rory.
The actor will play Rocky Balboa Jr. in the upcoming Rocky sequel.
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.