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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While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
Movie director Brett Ratner will take a step down to the small screen to helm the pilot episode of an upcoming Fox thriller.
Ratner, who previously directed the pilot episode of Prison Break for the same network in 2005, will also produce the series, from The Playboy Club and Bones writer/producer Karyn Usher.
The untitled show is about a teenaged girl who follows in her father's footsteps to become a CIA operative -- and meets a mysterious man along the way..
Ratner is a few months removed from the Academy Awards debacle that saw him quit as producer of the ceremony's telecast after using a gay slur.
Hit-Girl and “It” girl Chloe Moretz may have nabbed roles in two new films. The 13-year-old starlet is being considered to star in Old St. Louis, a father-daughter bonding story by David O. Russell, and The Rut, which is another father-daughter bonding story, but from indie darling Karyn Kusama.
Old St. Louis will star Vince Vaughn as an absentee father and traveling salesman, whose “life changes when his daughter becomes part of his life.” Russell, whose next film The Fighter, is due out in December, is also writing the script for St. Louis. Vaughn and his sister Victoria Vaughn are producing through their Wild West Picture Show Productions. Karyn Kusama is both writing and directing The Rut, a drama about a daughter who must use the hunting skills her father taught her to survive after he goes missing.
Moretz, who has been acting since she was seven, got her big break this year with a scene-stealing role in Matthew Vaugh’s action flick Kick-Ass as the profane and violent costumed vigilante Hit-Girl. Moretz is rabidly becoming the go-to actress for children’s roles that actually require acting; she’s next starring in the American remake of Let The Right One In, and in Martin Scorsese’s 3D Oscar-bait Hugo Cabret. Since Dakota Fanning hit puberty and ran off to join Twilight, Hollywood is in need of a new child star. So far, it seems like you could do a lot worse than Chloe Moretz.
Sources: LA Times, Deadline
Source: Entertainment Weekly
After the success of Valentine's Day and He's Just Not That Into You, its safe to say that ensemble rom-coms are prized possessions for producers and studios at the moment. No wonder, then, that 20th Century Fox is aggressively moving ahead with What's Your Number?, the Mark Mylod directed comedy based on Karyn Bosnak's book 20 Times A Lady that has Anna Faris set for the lead role and Matt Bomer playing her dream guy.
The plot centers on Delilah (Faris) who treks through her sexual past to find Mr. Right, exploring the idea of sexual quotas and whether such numbers matter. Chris Evans is already attached to play her womanizing next door neighbor, while Ari Graynor will play her sister, whose wedding serves as a backdrop to much of the proceedings.
Today, Entertainment Weekly reports that Zachary Quinto and Andy Samberg are in talks to join the production as a pair of additional exes. Filming is expected to begin in May, so confirmation on their involvement should be coming within the next few weeks. We'll keep you up to date on all of the casting news, as there are a lot more roles to fill in this New Regency production.
20th Century Fox and New Regency's R-rated comedy What's Your Number? has roped Anna Faris and Chris Evans, says Variety.
The film is adapted from Karyn Bosnak's book "20 Times a Lady," which is described as follows:
How many men does it take to find true love?
Delilah Darling's magic number was supposed to be twenty. She always thought she'd find the perfect guy by the time she'd slept with twentyof them. But when she wakes up naked in her disgusting boss's bed after a drunken night out, she's filled with regret -- and realizes she's hit her self-imposed limit. Unwilling to up her number but unable to imagine a life of celibacy, Delilah does what any girl in her situation would do: she tracks down every man she's ever slept with in a last-ditch effort to make it work with one of them.
Bosnak originally scripted the film, but her draft has been rewritten by Jennifer Crittenden and Gabrielle Allan.
Mark Mylod will direct, while Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson are producing.
Actor Jim Carrey has joined the $13 million comedy Pierre Pierre. The film is a politically incorrect story about a self-indulgent French nihilist who moves a stolen painting from Paris to London.
Jason Reitman, the Oscar-nominated director of 2007’s breakout hit Juno, is attached to direct, according to trade papers Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.
The script for Pierre Pierre, written by Edwin Cannistraci and Frederick Seton, set off a bidding war in Hollywood before being purchased by Twentieth Century Fox specialty division Fox Atomic for $1 million.
Carrey, who is currently shooting A Christmas Carol for director Robert Zemeckis, will next appear--by voice only--in the animated version of Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!. The film also features the voices of Steve Carell, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, Dane Cook and Isla Fisher, among others.
After that, he’ll star in Yes Man, from The Break-Up director Peyton Reed. In the film, Carrey plays a man who has challenged himself to say yes to everything for a year. Zooey Deschanel, Danny Masterson and Terence Stamp also star.
As for Reitman, he will next produce the cheerleader-from-hell comedy-thriller Jennifer's Body, which Karyn Kusama (Girlfight) is directing. The script for Jennifer’s Body was written by Juno’s Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody.