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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A kids’ movie without the cheeky jokes for adults is like a big juicy BLT without the B… or the T. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted may have a title that sounds like it was made up in a cartoon sequel laboratory but when it comes to serving up laughs just think of the film as a BLT with enough extra bacon to satisfy even the wildest of animals — or even a parent with a gaggle of tots in tow. Yes even with that whole "Afro Circus" nonsense.
It’s not often that we find exhaustively franchised films like the Madagascar set that still work after almost seven years. Despite being spun off into TV shows and Christmas specials in addition to its big screen adventures the series has not only maintained its momentum it has maintained the part we were pleasantly surprised by the first time around: great jokes.
In this third installment of the series – the trilogy-maker if you will – directing duo Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath add Conrad Vernon (director Monsters Vs. Aliens) to the helm as our trusty gang swings back into action. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) are stuck in Africa after the hullaballoo of Madagascar 2 and they’ll do anything to get back to their beloved New York. Just a hop skip and a jump away in Monte Carlo the penguins are doing their usual greedy schtick but the zoo animals catch up with them just in time to catch the eye of the sinister animal control stickler Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand). And just like that the practically super human captain is chasing them through Monte Carlo and the rest of Europe in hopes of planting Alex’s perfectly coifed lion head on her wall of prized animals.
Luckily for pint-sized viewers Dubois’ terrifying presence is balanced out by her sheer inhuman strength uncanny guiles and Stretch Armstrong flexibility (ah the wonder of cartoons) as well as Alex’s escape plan: the New Yorkers run away with the European circus. While Dubois’ terrifying Doberman-like presence looms over the entire film a sense of levity (which is a word the kiddies might learn from Stiller’s eloquent lion) comes from the plan for salvation in which the circus animals and the zoo animals band together to revamp the circus and catch the eye of a big-time American agent. Sure the pacing throughout the first act is practically nonexistent running like a stampede through the jungle but by the time we're palling around under the big top the film finds its footing.
The visual splendor of the film (and man is there a champion size serving of it) the magnificent danger and suspense is enhanced to great effect by the addition of 3D technology – and not once is there a gratuitous beverage or desperate Crocodile Dundee knife waved in our faces to prove its worth. The caveat is that the soundtrack employs a certain infectious Katy Perry ditty at the height of the 3D spectacular so parents get ready to hear that on repeat until the leaves turn yellow.
But visual delights and adventurous zoo animals aside Madagascar 3’s real strength is in its script. With the addition of Noah Baumbach (Greenberg The Squid and the Whale) to the screenwriting team the script is infused with a heightened level of almost sarcastic gravitas – a welcome addition to the characteristically adult-friendly reference-heavy humor of the other Madagascar films. To bring the script to life Paramount enlisted three more than able actors: Vitaly the Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston) Gia the Leopard (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano the Italian Sealion (Martin Short). With all three actors draped in European accents it might take viewers a minute to realize that the cantankerous tiger is one and the same as the man who plays an Albuquerque drug lord on Breaking Bad but that makes it that much sweeter to hear him utter slant-curse words like “Bolshevik” with his usual gusto.
Between the laughs the terror of McDormand’s Captain Dubois and the breathtaking virtual European tour the Zoosters’ accidental vacation is one worth taking. Madagascar 3 is by no means an insta-classic but it’s a perfectly suited for your Summer-at-the-movies oasis.
So, under no circumstances would you or I go to Miami, right? I mean why would you, when for only a couple more dollars and maybe being in the vicinity of an irrationally mean seeing-eye dog, you could go to Colorado or Washington? (Which are apparently so beautiful that NOBODY TALKS ABOUT THEM!) So okay, awesome; we’re in agreement that there’s no reason to go to Miami, unless Cirque Du Soleil promises it will no longer travel anywhere and instead, will just cement themselves there. Because think about it – everything Miami has you can get somewhere else. Jacuzzis? You can get those in Hudson, New York. Botox? You can get that shit in Montana. Huge diamonds? NICOLE RICHIE FOR QVC, BITCHES. So honestly, there’s absolutely no reason to go to Miami and since I’ve now proven that using the completely minimal skills I gained from Mr. Chametsky’s logistics class, I’m hereby obsessed with The Real Housewives of Miami. But chances are you’re going to be a bit of a harder sell than I was, so let’s go through last night’s premiere and see if you can get with the program. Literally! HAHAH!
“I think I collect people because the more outrageous or eccentric a person is, the more I gravitate towards them.” – Lea
We first met Lea, who described her hobby as “collecting people,” but from the looks of how she spends her days, she helps people pick out clothes for their children and throwing fundraisers where Dennis Rodman is invited. She lives in a beautiful house with her son who looks older than her husband (who was a lawyer at a trial in the 80s for which she was SEQUESTERED?!?!?!?!?!, and their house is decorated with chandeliers that look like hookahs and Fabergé eggs that open up to allow the glass elephants that they house to breathe. She says her job is to go around making sure the people at parties are having a great time and if they’re not, then she just gets plastered and takes credit for saving the whole thing the next day.
“I’m married to Scottie Pippen. – Larsa”
Larsa's biggest problem is that people speak Spanish to her, even though she doesn’t speak it and only looks Hispanic because her parents are Assyrian and Lebanese. So clearly, this girl is the one to watch out for because she’s ROOTED in some kind of identity vs. self conflict! She credited Miami as fulfilling her fantasy of having a boat in her family’s backyard, but she doesn’t really get to enjoy it because she has trouble finding time to care for her kids, her family’s attorneys and the family’s accounting, all while looking cute and shopping with her friends because Scottie Pippen will only stay with her if her ass is tight and she keeps finding chubby yoga instructors who swear up and down that Scottie Pippen is still an athlete.
“Frederic has known me since the time I was married, but could never act on it.” -Adriana
JAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCKKKKKKPOT! FUCKING BRAVO, YOU GUYS! Excuse me while I get on the phone with 1-800-Flowers and send Andy Cohen MY FUCKING FIRSTBORN! We met Adriana poolside, with her kid and husband who both need haircuts. She talked about how she studied French art in college, but then thought she couldn’t make a living being an art dealer, so then she went to law school, only to realize she missed French art. She’s very confident in her place in Miami, since she’s not outnumbered by blond-haired bitches with blue eyes
“I want to make a toast to the fact that in 2010, I am closing this chapter.” – Christi
Christi explained that she is Cuban-America, so she takes credit for Miami. She also talked about being married for 11 years (even though she is only 29), over which she cared for three children and two step-children. She is now divorced and instead, has a psychic who she seems to have no problem serving alcohol to.
“I mean the world to them, because I mean, they can’t even decide what they’re going to eat unless they ask me.” – Alexia
Alexia told us that everyone calls her the Cuban Barbie, but she doesn’t much care for that because Barbie couldn’t talk, and Alexia is so much more than a doll who never knows where the fuck her fucking shoes are. She also said it was a shame that Barbie couldn’t talk, because nobody could ever figure out if she was actually really smart or actually really dumb, which I guess means that Alexia is thankful for her freedom of speech and that we don't have to work very hard to figure out her intelligence. We met her when she was having lunch with her boys, as she was educating them on what “grass-fed filet mignon” meant.
“I’m anti-plastic surgery until it gets really, really bad.” – Marysol
Marysol is also from Miami, and she owns a public relations firm. She cannot tell the difference between Monday and Friday, and is proud to have run with Madonna and Sylvester Stallone when they were living down there in the eighties. She is divorced, and only gets asked out by younger men, but finally decided to settle down with a younger man named Phillipe, who may or may not have to have her dry cleaning to her before 9 AM every day. Occasionally, Marysol goes over to her mother’s house to see what her mother thinks about her daughter’s life, and I can’t really say anything more about that because IT’S THE CREEPIEST FUCKING THING EVER and I haven’t the slightest idea why it would even OCCUR to anyone to do that, especially when the only indication that your mother is actually a person is the fact that she uses her mouth to drink her red wine.
“We’re not going to be much help.” – Larsa
The last part of the episode was dedicated to a gathering at Lea’s house that revolves around learning to cook while they have some cocktails. But it’s instantaneously clear that these women try to learn to cook about as hard as your roommate tries to shut the fuck up while she watches her yoga videos on a Saturday morning. This poor chef guy, right, is hired under the idea that he’s going to be teaching these women how to cook, and he comes with actual tasks for them to do (like shrimps to de-shit and string beans to cut and toss and whatever), and these women get so hyped up about writing shit like “sex pot” and “sexy chef” and “beauty queen” on their chef hats! It’s the chef’s fault, really.
But then, Adriana launches into this great story about how during hurricane Katrina is hitting Miami (while her husband was in Brazil on a business trip), she gets a phone call. Adriane deems it relevant to describe to the other women the condition of her body after she extricated herself from the shower to answer the phone, and then tells them that the woman calling informed Adriane that she was also married to Adriane’s husband. Larsa took this opportunity to explain to all the women that THAT IS EXACTLY WHY SHE MANAGES ALL OF SCOTTY PIPPEN’S SHIT, AND IT’S SO HE DOESN’T CHEAT ON HER WITHOUT HER FINDING OUT ABOUT IT IN A TEXT MESSAGE THAT THEIR SAVINGS ACCOUNT BALANCE HAS CHANGED.
Yes, this is a show you should watch. Fuck The Wire already.
Charlie's Angels actress Farrah Fawcett has died. She was 62.
The five-time Golden Globe-nominated star passed away on Thursday morning at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California. Her longtime partner Ryan O'Neal and best friend Alana Stewart were by her bedside when she passed away.
Her son Redmond, who is serving a jail sentence for drug charges, was not present.
Born Ferrah Leni Fawcett in Corpus Christi, Texas, the star started out as a model and actress in TV commercials, before getting her big break playing butt-kicking Jill Munroe in the hit TV series Charlie's Angels.
She quit the show after just one year and attempted to reinvent herself as a serious actress in movies like 1986's big-screen adaptation of Broadway play Extremities and 1984's TV film The Burning Bed. That role, as a battered wife, earned her the first of three Emmy Award nods in her career. She was also praised for her work in Small Sacrifices in 1989, garnering her both an Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination.
Fawcett later went on to make guest appearances on popular programs like Ally McBeal, Spin City and The Guardian.
She was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995.
The actress was also a popular fashion icon and became a pinup in the 1970s and '80s, with her tousled hairstyle sparking an international trend.
But her career wasn't without controversy -- she was heavily criticized in 1995 when she agreed to pose nude for Playboy magazine at age 48, despite previously refusing to appear naked in any film or publication. The raunchy spread went on to become the best-selling issue of the 1990s, selling over 4 million copies worldwide, and Fawcett graced its pages again in 1997.
Her love life was rarely out of the limelight either. She wed The Six-Million-Dollar Man star Lee Majors in 1973, but the couple separated six years later, finalizing their divorce in 1982. That same year, she embarked on a romance with actor Ryan O'Neal. They went on to have a son, Redmond, in 1985, but split in 1997.
Fawcett also dated producer James Orr, but the relationship turned sour in 1998 when he physically abused her after she turned down his marriage proposal. The star has since reunited with O'Neal and enjoyed an on/off relationship.
Fawcett suffered a health setback in October 2006 when she revealed she had been diagnosed with anal cancer. She underwent treatment, including chemotherapy, and the disease appeared to be in remission by her 60th birthday in February 2007.
A statement released at the time read, "This is an extraordinarily happy day for me and my family. I hope that my news might offer some level of inspiration to others who unfortunately must continue to fight the disease."
However, the illness returned just three months later in May, when a malignant polyp was found in the area where she had been treated for anal cancer. She decided to travel to Germany to undergo revolutionary new treatment that has yet to be made available in the U.S.
Fawcett, who turned her battle with cancer into the documentary series A Wing and a Prayer, suffered another health setback in April this year when it emerged that the cancer had spread to her liver.
The extent of her illness was discovered during a stay in a Los Angeles hospital in early April as she underwent treatment for complications resulting from an undisclosed medical procedure. The surgery had left her with abdominal bleeding and a hematoma (internal sac of blood), but her doctor Lawrence Pinto insisted the operation was not directly linked to her cancer.
O'Neal recently revealed that he had proposed to Fawcett as she fought for her life and that she had accepted, but the couple never made it down the aisle.
It emerged on Wednesday that Fawcett was nearing the end of her cancer battle and had a Catholic priest read her her last rites as family and friends prepared for the worst.
She is survived by O'Neal and their son Redmond, now 24.
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