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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British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson allegedly took drugs on a daily basis and kept it a secret from her ex-husband Charles Saatchi, a court has heard. The sensational claim was made in Isleworth Crown Court in Middlesex, England on Tuesday (26Nov13) ahead of the fraud trial of two women, Italian sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, who worked as personal assistants for the pair for over a decade.
They stand accused of using a credit card belonging to the couple between 2008 and 2012 to lavish themselves with gifts.
A judge presiding over the hearing allowed the Grillos' lawyer to read an email as part of their defence, in which Saatchi told his ex-wife that the defendants "would get off" because Lawson was "so off your head on drugs you allowed them to spend whatever they like."
In the email, Saatchi added: "Yes, I believe every word they said."
Lawson's legal team have vehemently denied the accusations, branding the claims "totally scurrilous".
The couple split earlier this year (13) after pictures seemingly showing the art dealer grabbing the TV star by the throat appeared in the press.
Beyonce's mother Tina Knowles has moved on from her marriage split by striking up a romance with actor Richard Lawson. The pop superstar's mother filed for divorce from manager Mathew Knowles in 2009 after he was accused of fathering a lovechild with another woman.
They were officially divorced in 2011, and now two years later Tina has gone public with her new relationship.
The fashion designer walked the red carpet at the Angel Ball in New York City on Tuesday (29Oct13) with Lawson, best known for his roles in Poltergeist and 1980s sci-fi series V.
Pearl Jam and Sir Paul McCartney have been beaten to the top of U.K. albums chart by young singer/songwriter John Newman. The 23-year-old Brit edged out the rock veterans to claim number one with his debut release Tribute, leaving Pearl Jam trailing in second with Lightening Bolt and The Beatles legend taking third place with New.
In the U.K. singles countdown, OneRepublic score their first British number one with Counting Stars, replacing last week's chart-topper, Miley Cyrus' hit Wrecking Ball, which slips to two.
Rounding out the top five are boyband Lawson with Juliet, James Blunt with Bonfire Heart and Rap God by Eminem.
British group Lawson made an emotional appearance in Liverpool, England on Saturday (05Oct13) when they brought their namesake on stage in front of thousands of fans. The boyband named themselves after Dr. David Lawson, the surgeon who saved member Andy Brown's life in 2007 after completing a 15-hour operation to remove a brain tumour.
Brown and his bandmates paid tribute to the doctor by introducing on to the stage during their show at Liverpool's Echo Arena, with bassist Ryan Fletcher breaking down in tears during the touching moment.
Taking to Twitter.com after the gig, drummer Andy Pitts wrote, "What a moment and an honour to bring on stage the man that inspired our name and saved Andy's life, Dr David Lawson."
Australian actor Josh Lawson has signed up to a popular international dating site. The 32 year old was left heartbroken last year (12) when his girlfriend Rachael Taylor dumped him for fashion photographer Lincoln Pilcher.
But Lawson has found new hope by creating a profile page on Tinder.com in a bid to find eligible single girls living in his area.
A representative for the actor insists he is not on the site for personal reasons but is using it for research on his latest film, The Little Death, which focuses on sex and fetishes among modern day couples.
Liam Gallagher has hired the top lawyer behind Sir Paul McCartney's divorce from Heather Mills in the wake of his lovechild scandal, according to a U.K. report. The former Oasis star hit headlines last month (Jul13) when it emerged he is locked in a court battle with an American journalist who claims he fathered her young daughter.
Neither Gallagher nor his wife, former All Saints star Nicole Appleton, have commented on the scandal, but their marriage seems to be heading to an end after Gallagher hired Fiona Shackleton, the lawyer behind a string of celebrity divorces.
A source tells The Sun, "Hiring Fiona Shackleton is a huge statement of intent from Liam. Divorce had been mentioned but until now nobody knew he would actually go through with it. Now the wheels are in motion.
"Nicole will be devastated. Shackleton is one of the best. She is incredibly shrewd in the courtroom. On top of that, she represented Liam's all-time hero Paul McCartney. There is every chance this could turn nasty and it looks like Liam will not be giving up his massive fortune easily."
Shackleton helped McCartney keep most of his estimated $800 million (£533 million) fortune intact when his second wife Mills was awarded $36.4 million (£24.3 million) in 2008. The lawyer also represented Madonna during her split from Guy Ritchie and has recently overseen the quick divorce of her cousin Nigella Lawson and advertising mogul Charles Saatchi.
Gallagher wed Appleton in 2008, seven years after the birth of their son, Gene.
Boyband Lawson have given British model Kelly Brook a boost by recruiting her to star in their latest video. The brunette beauty split from her boyfriend Danny Cipriani earlier this month (Aug13) after the rugby hunk was allegedly caught messaging other women and she has now thrown herself back into work to get over her heartache.
Frontman Andy Brown became pals with the Piranha 3D star when they met at British festival V Festival last year (12) and she was top of his list when it came to recruiting a leading lady for their promo, which started production on Thursday (15Aug13).
A source tells Britain's The Sun, "The lads wanted a glamorous leading lady and couldn't have asked for anyone better than Kelly. Andy met Kelly last year and V Festival and they've kept in touch. It's not a bad thing to keep her mind focused after all the shenanigans with Danny."
Nigella Lawson has been branded "cold-hearted" by her stepdaughter who claims the TV chef has "abandoned" her since splitting from her father Charles Saatchi. The British beauty split from advertising mogul Charles Saatchi in June (13) after photographs emerged showing him grabbing Lawson's throat during an argument over lunch at a London restaurant, and their divorce was given the green light last month (Jul13).
Saatchi's daughter Phoebe, who became Lawson's stepdaughter at the age of seven, has now accused the celebrated chef of cutting contact with her in the aftermath of the split.
The 18 year old tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "Nigella has not spoken to me since she left our house on that Sunday when the newspaper story appeared. She has behaved in a very cold-hearted way. She has been my mother since I was seven or eight and has just abandoned me."
Mark Hutchinson, a spokesman for Lawson, says of Phoebe's statement, "We continue not to comment on personal matters."
Nigella Lawson's divorce has been approved by a judge, just weeks after the celebrity chef hit headlines over a domestic bust-up. The British cook split from advertising mogul Charles Saatchi in June (13) after photographs emerged showing him with his hand around Lawson's throat during an argument over lunch at a London restaurant.
He was later cautioned by police for assault and he filed for divorce earlier this month (Jul13), claiming the couple drifted apart over the previous year.
On Wednesday (31Jul13), a judge at the High Court in London issued a decree nisi, paving the way for the couple's official divorce. They must now wait for six weeks for a decree absolute, which will formally end the marriage.