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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Stars including Bill Nighy, Jls and actress Amanda Holden have helped raise $525,000 (£350,000) for cancer charities by auctioning off prizes. The celebrities all donated lots to the Sir Bobby's Breakthrough Charity Auction, founded in memory of legendary England soccer coach Sir Bobby Robson, who died of cancer in 2009.
Nighy offered up a lunch date with one lucky fan, and pulled in $6,000 (£4,000), while tickets to one of JLS' farewell concerts in December (13) sold for $3,825 (£2,550).
Amanda Holden's VIP tickets to U.K. talent show Britain's Got Talent went under the hammer for $5,175 (£3,450).
Altogether the auction raised around $525,000 - $225,000 (£150,000) more than the previous auction in 2011.
Sir Bobby's widow, Lady Elsie Robson, says, "We're extremely grateful to everyone who has so generously supported Sir Bobby's Breakthrough Auction.
"We'd like to thank everyone who donated or bid on an auction item. The money raised will help us continue the work Bob began when he launched this charity five years ago."
Funds raised from the auction will go towards the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, and cancer wards at Suffolk Hospitals in England.
British TV star Amanda Holden needed therapy to help her deal with her heartbreak following the loss of her second child in 2011. The actress was seven months into her second pregnancy when her baby boy with husband Chris Hughes was stillborn in February, 2011, and now she has opened up about her grieving process.
She tells Good Housekeeping magazine, "I only very recently felt like I needed to see a therapist. I saw somebody five or six times. To know your baby might not be born alive is incomprehensible. We called him Theo. He was nearly three pounds - bigger than some babies in the prem (premature) ward...
"Chris and I were very private and we grieved at night. We went to bed and we talked and talked. Chris never cried. I did all the crying."
Holden, 42, has since welcomed a little girl named Hollie, now 18 months, and admits she would like to add another child to her brood, which also includes her seven-year-old daughter Lexi.
She adds, "Probably - but only if I knew for sure there would be a successful outcome. I know everyone loves their children, but Hollie is the most loving thing. I tell everyone to have a baby. Forget your career - you can do it at the same time."
Baywatch star Alexandra Paul has been granted a restraining order against a fan who has allegedly been following her around Los Angeles. The actress has accused German national Nicole Albrecht of showing up at her home, leaving gifts and notes at the property, and even following her into a bathroom at a local pool.
She also claims that Albrecht grabbed her in a gym car park and chased her during a hike.
Paul, who played Stephanie Holden on Baywatch, reported her alleged stalker to cops in May (13) and now a judge has granted a restraining order against Albrecht, who has to remain at least 25 feet (7.6 metres) away from the star and her family.
A judge will review the case on 12 September (13) to decide whether or not to make the order permanent.
Unseen stories by iconic writer J.D. Salinger are to be published for the first time, five years after his death, according to an upcoming biopic. The reclusive author achieved legendary status for penning 1951 classic The Catcher in the Rye, but it was the only novel he ever published prior to his death in 2010.
Although he released 13 short stories in addition to his novel, rumours have swirled for years that a secret file of unpublished Salinger works is stored at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire, and now producers of a new movie claim the books are to be released.
The biopic, which is titled Salinger and is due out next month (Sep13) in conjunction with a book about the writer, contains allegations the author left instructions with the executors of his estate to publish five works in 2015.
At least one of the stories is said to feature the character of Holden Caulfield, the infamous anti-hero of The Catcher in the Rye.
Screenwriter Shane Salerno, who has worked on the upcoming movie, tells The New York Times, "He's going to have a second act unlike any writer in history. There's no precedent for this."
Some Philistines claim that gravel-voiced wifebeater aficianado Vin Diesel is a purveyor of wooden acting. Well, "wooden" acting could be exactly what's required for one of his next roles: the tree-like Groot in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy. Though not officially a done deal yet, Diesel has been very transparent about the fact that he's in talks with Marvel for a major role in one of their upcoming films. Here are seven reasons why we think Groot may have Diesel's name carved all over it.
1. Diesel Posted a Comic Book Image of Groot on His Facebook Page — The Fast & Furious actor posted an image of the walking/talking tree from the most recent Guardians of the Galaxy comic series for the pleasure of his 45 million Facebook fans. But what's more, he made it his cover photo...only to take it down quickly thereafter, even removing the original post. Could Marvel have intervened because Diesel wasn't supposed to let this dribble of information slip?
2. He's Been Teasing his Marvel Involvement for Awhile — Back in June, Diesel said that Marvel Studios had "requested a meeting" with him. Then, at the Comic-Con panel for Riddick last month he said that fans could expect a "major announcement" from Marvel by the end of the month. But July passed and we weren't treated to any such announcement. In the meantime, he kept throwing out teases like a shot of him standing in front of an old Avengers comic-book cover. Something is brewing...
3. Groot Has Been a Major Part of the Guardians of the Galaxy Team Since Its Relaunch in 2006 — Groot was originally conceived as a villain by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1960. He was a tree-like alien scientist who experimented on humans. Groot could absorb wood to gain strength and heal, and he could psychically possess other, non-sentient trees. But in the 2006 Guardians relaunch, Groot was reimagined as a key member of the spacefaring superhero squad, and since that's the version of Guardians' lore that's serving as the basis for the movie it makes sense he'd be included. In fact, Marvel has already released the following concept art for the character. No other voice actor has been attached to the part, however.
4. It's An All-CGI, Voice-Heavy Role — There aren't too many hairless, musclebound characters left in Marvel lore who Diesel could play, really, so it makes sense that the studio would want to take advantage of one of his other assets: his voice. That basso profundo roar could be a way to give Groot an instant personality...except for the fact that most people, unable to understand his language, can only hear him say "I am Groot." But imagine what Diesel could do with those three words!
5. Groot Suits Diesel's Sensibility — Groot is a character whose imposing physical presence often overshadows his keen intellect. He is a supremely intelligent scientist, but he doesn't often get the credit he deserves. Kind of like Diesel, if you think about it. Most of the time he's billed as just a testosterone-fueled heavy, but he does have acting ability and also something more ineffable: awareness. He's an action star with an internal life. Even the great Sidney Lumet said in 2006, when promoting his Diesel-starring film Find Me Guilty, that the actor was "as accomplished as any I've worked with in my career." And that's a career that includes Henry Fonda, Al Pacino, William Holden, Albert Finney, and many others, so he knew what he was talking about.
6. Groot Is One of the Good Guys — ...But he's not exactly a "nice guy." Kind of like Diesel in every movie ever.
7. Guardians of the Galaxy Would Fit Into His Production Schedule — Diesel is about to start production on next summer's Fast & Furious 7, followed immediately by a film called The Last Witch Hunter. That might make shooting Guardians of the Galaxy difficult, since it's coming out August 1, 2014, but Groot will be an all-CGI character. Diesel will have a brief window to record his dialogue, but that's easier than showing up on set. Also, his recording sessions will probably just involve him reciting dozens of different variations on "I am Groot."
What do you think of Diesel's possible casting as Groot? And do you think he or any other members of the Guardians team might also show up for The Avengers: Age of Ultron?
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
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Singer Susan Boyle delighted fans during the opening night of her concert tour in Scotland on Tuesday (02Jul13) by impersonating her mentor, music mogul Simon Cowell, as part of a bizarre tribute. The star, who shot to fame in 2009 when she auditioned for Cowell on U.K. TV show Britain's Got Talent, thanked her mentor for launching her career before performing an impression of his judging technique.
Speaking on stage at the Eden Court venue in Inverness she said, "If it wasn't for one man - one special man - I wouldn't be here doing what I'm doing. I'll always be grateful to him - he believed in me from the very beginning."
Then, resting her hand under her chin in the style of Cowell, she quipped, "Now Susan, you're a little tiger now aren't you? I'll tell you what, she has potential, doesn't she?"
Boyle went on to perform impressions of fellow judges Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden, much to the audience's amusement.
Following on from her first full-length concert on Tuesday, the star will perform in Aberdeen on Thursday (04Jul13) before heading to Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland, as well as and Blackpool in England.
Hip-hop star Meek Mill fought back tears on Saturday (29Jun13) as he addressed mourners at the funeral of his rap protege Lil Snupe, who was murdered in his native Louisiana last month (Jun13). The 18 year old, real name Addaren Ross, was shot and killed at an apartment complex in Shreveport on 20 June (13), just months after he was signed to Mill's Dream Chasers Records label, and the Ima Boss hitmaker was left devastated by the tragic loss.
Mill was among the guests who turned out to pay their respects to the slain teen on Saturday and spoke to the hundreds gathered outside the Jonesboro-Hodge High School prior to the service to express his heartbreak at the youngster's untimely death.
He told the crowd, "I'm never one to talk (at funerals)... I saw something in him. His demo tape spoke to me. I saw myself in him."
Police recently arrested and charged 36-year-old Tony Holden with Snupe's slaying, slapping him with counts of first degree murder, armed robbery and illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
A man has been charged with the murder of rising rapper LIL SNUPE earlier this month (Jun13). Tony Holden turned himself in to authorities on Tuesday (26Jun13) and has been charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and illegal possession of a firearm. Lil Snupe, real name Addarren Ross, was gunned down in Winnfield, Louisiana on 20 June (13).
Rocker Alice Cooper is set to form an unlikely golfing alliance with actor Eric Mccormack after the former Will & Grace star's wife purchased the charity experience for his 50th birthday. The TV star celebrated the age milestone in April (13) and his wife, Janet Holden, set up a golf day with his teen idol to mark the occasion.
But McCormack fears he will embarrass himself with his sub-par skills.
He says, "It's like a charity thing, so Alice doesn't know this yet, but it's going to be the worst game of golf you could ever have, but (I'm) the biggest fan, a huge fan from my teens."