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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This year marks the 30th anniversary of Apple's landmark Super Bowl ad that helped not only signal a revolution in the personal computer marketplace, but set an advertising standard that is still on display. With Ridley Scott's Orwellian "1984" spot, Apple ushered in the age of the bigger-than-life Super Bowl commercial. The clamoring for ad space to run on the big game's broadcast has allowed broadcasters to charge $4 million for 30 seconds of time (in 1984 the figure was $450,000).
In the intervening years, Super Bowl ads have become a genre unto themselves. As the game approaches, companies have begun teasing their ads to build excitement for their campaigns.
Bud Light: What do Arnold Schwarzenegger dressed as a 1970s tennis player and practicing ping-pong have to do with Don Cheadle leading around a llama and Reggie Watts DJ'ing a bachelorette party? The beer company is hoping that enough people are intrigued by the idea to tune in and find out.
Apple: The computer giant did an update of their iconic ad on its 20th anniversary and it is expected that there will be another version this Sunday. Whatever their plan is, the company is keeping it under wraps.
Dannon: Honda had success with Matthew Broderick reprising his Ferris Bueller capers. Dannon apparently feels that just as many people hold similar affection for Full House. The yogurt maker is running a series of ads featuring John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier.
Toyota: The car manufacturer's planned ad for its Highlander brand involves the Muppets and Terry Crews. Crews, the former football player and Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor, picks up Kermit and crew after their bus breaks down.
Jaguar: The luxury car maker is doing a Super Bowl ad for the first time and tapped Sir Ben Kingsley, along with Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers) and Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes), in a homage to British villians.
Go Daddy: After years of ads that objectified women and promised even more skin if viewers would go the web hosting company's website, this year spokeswoman Danica Patrick is turning the tables by running around with a bunch of male bodybuilders.
Butterfinger: To help launch its new Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups, Nestle's ad features Peanut Butter and Chocolate in couples therapy.
Designer Tom Ford sent Hayden Panettiere a bouquet of white roses after discovering she had paid to wear one of his creations to the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday (12Jan14). The actress wowed the red carpet in a black-and-white Tom Ford number and was more than happy to reveal she had bought it "off-the-rack" rather than send her stylist chasing the designer for a freebie.
She explained, "It's the first time I've ever worn him, because I've been begging... I feel sexy in it, I feel comfortable in it, and I'm in Tom Ford. I would wear a plastic bag if it was designed by him."
Ford, who dressed Naomi Watts for the Globes, was so taken by Panettiere's dedication, he sent her a floral gift and a note thanking her for her kind words about him.
Tweeting a photo of the bouquet and message, the actress wrote, "Such an honor to wear one of this man's masterpieces! Thank you for my beautiful flowers!"
Ford's note read: "Dear Hayden, You looked beautiful last night. Thank you for your kind words. Much love, Tom."
British stars Keira Knightley and Jude Law are nominated for acting prizes at the 2013 European Film Awards for their roles in period blockbuster Anna Karenina. Knightley, who played the title role, will go up against Naomi Watts (The Impossible), Veerle Baetens (The Broken Circle Breakdown), Barbara Sukowa (Hannah Arendt) and Luminita Gheorghiu (Child's Pose) for the Best Actress prize.
Law will compete for the Best Actor trophy against Johan Heldenbergh (The Broken Circle Breakdown), Fabrice Luchini (In the House), Toni Servillo (The Great Beauty) and Tom Schilling (Oh Boy).
The Best Film nominations include The Best Offer, Blancanieves, The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Great Beauty, Oh Boy And Adele: Chapters 1 & 2.
Veteran French actress Catherine Deneuve will be presented with a lifetime achievement award at the prizegiving in Berlin, Germany on 7 December (13).
The Impossible star Tom Holland and Scottish actor Paul Brannigan have landed on the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' inaugural list of Breakthrough Brits. The pair join actors James Floyd and Ade Oyefeso, comedienne Sharon Rooney, and writer/director Rowan Athale among the 17 newcomers selected for the BAFTA recognition, which is presented in partnership with fashion house Burberry.
Teenager Holland, who portrayed Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor's eldest son in the tsunami drama, says, "I'm honoured to have been recognised for my work by two very prestigious organisations such as BAFTA and Burberry. It's fantastic to be among this brand new talent and to meet some really inspirational people."
The talent was handpicked by a jury which included director Shane Meadows, Les Miserables' Eddie Redmayne and The Invisible Woman star Felicity Jones, the winners will be celebrated at a special ceremony in London on 21 October (13).
When shots rang out on a November morning, the whole world was changed forever. The assassination of John F. Kennedy sent shockwaves throughout the entire country, but the new film Parkland focuses on the select few men and women who saw it happen. The film seems not to be so much about President Kennedy or his life, but more specifically on the unsung men and women who sprung to action after his death.
Parkland showcases, from multiple perspectives, the race to save the President's life, the events of the investigation, and the life of the family of Lee Harvey Oswald. In a cast littered with Hollywood talent, Paul Giamatti plays the man who mistakenly captures the assassination on tape, Tom Welling and Billy Bob Thornton play secret service agents attempting to catch the shooter, and a scruffy Zac Efron plays a doctor tasked with saving the Commander-in-Chief's life.
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The cast also includes Marcia Gay Harden, Jackie Earl Haley, James Badge Dale, and Jacki Weaver. If the trailer is any indication, Parkland looks like the type of meaty historical drama that will have Oscar voters buzzing early next year. At the very least, the film looks to have the 1960's aesthetics nailed right down to the skinny ties and classic cars.
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A treasure trove of lost images of the Rolling Stones are to be exhibited in London after the photographer's son stumbled across the collection following his father's death. Eric Swayne, who briefly dated George Harrison's first wife Pattie Boyd, took the shots at his studio in the 1960s and his son Tom didn't even know about the snaps until he found them while cleaning up his dad's home after he passed away in 2007.
The never-before-seen photos will go on display at the Proud gallery in Chelsea from 13 June (13).
The collection features images of Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts, as well as photos of Richards' girlfriend Anita Pallenburg, model Chrissie Shrimpton, Boyd and actress Catherine Deneuve.
Swayne's son says, "They're just test shots for a friend, a whole series of them (Rolling Stones trio) fooling around in dad's flat with Chrissie Shrimpton."
"Keith (Richards) said we sound like a dodgy firm of lawyers 'Waits, Watts & Wood'. We're ready for business..." Ronnie Wood contemplates a legal career with Rolling Stones bandmate Charlie Watts and pal Tom Waits, the group's Sunday night (05May13) guest onstage in Oakland, California.
Tonight, Justin Timberlake will dive head-first into the Saturday Night Live five-timers club — joining Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, Christopher Walken, Chevy Chase, John Goodman, Tom Hanks, Drew Barrymore, Bill Murray, and Danny DeVito as the most random member of the bunch, since he's, you know, a musician. But to anyone who has seen his prior hosting stints, his non-comedian status has never stood in his way — Timberlake has arguably been the best host of this last decade. He's up for anything and everything, including dressing up like an omelette and putting his you-know-what in a box.
So to celebrate what's sure to be a memorable night, let's take a trip down memory lane with the 5 best skits from one of SNL's most surprisingly badass hosts.
1. "D**k in a Box" (2006): Timberlake and Andy Samberg made history with this one, winning a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. It currently holds more than 38 million YouTube hits, and my Aunt Lee once made the entire family watch it on Christmas. Thanks for the awkward, Aunt Lee!
2. OmletteVille (2003): This is arguably the first JT skit that got everyone talking. "This boy is really talented!" exclaimed my mother, clearly ignoring the six NSYNC concerts I made her take me to. The skit has since been repeated multiple times (Homelessville, Plasticville, Liquorville...) but it's his original egg-inspired get-up that still warms the heart and soothes the soul.
3. The Barry Gibb Talk Show (Recurring): Timberlake was hosting for the first time when this now-classic sketch debuted. He played the quiet Robin Gibb to Jimmy Fallon's Barry MotherF**king Gibb, and somehow hilarious history was made. He's returned to play Robin four times since — three times as host, once when former girlfriend Cameron Diaz took the stage. If it doesn't show up tonight, we will miss those crazy-cool medallions.
4. Motherlover (2009): After the success of "D**k in a Box", Timberlake and Samberg re-united to love each others' moms (played by Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson) for a musical sketch that is now the plot of the upcoming Naomi Watts/Robin Wright film Two Mothers.
5. What's That Name (2011): This random 2011 sketch pit Timberlake against musical guest Lady Gaga in a name-remembering game show, with disastrous results. Gaga, who is known for being extremely responsive to her fans, knew everyone — while Timberlake could not properly identify former NYSNC-mate Chris Kirkpatrick. Ouch!
BONUS Single Ladies Video (2008): He may not have been hosting (that honor went to Paul Rudd), but the best skit of the night came when Timberlake joined Samberg and Bobby Moynihan as Beyonce Knowles' "back-up" dancers from the then brand-new "Single Ladies" dance. Hilarity ensued.
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We heard a couple of great (and a heap of so-so) victory speeches at the Academy Awards on Sunday night. Winners in all of the competitive categories gushing over their cinematic triumphs, humbly claiming that they were not duly prepared for such an honor. But we all know that's hogwash — everybody, no matter how unconfident he or she is in an Oscars win, prepares a few notes before the ceremony. We have proof of that: the scrawlings of all the big-name losers who thought that they just might be taking home the trophy.
Thanks to a friend in the awards show janitorial community, we've nabbed a few of the tossed-out note pages from the men and women who aspired to take the stage on Sunday. Brief jottings to remind them who to thank, who to scorn, and what new causes to pretend to be totally into and knowledgeable about. Check out these totally, indisputably not fake notes below, and yearn for a world where these folks actually had a chance at the mic.
The notes from Steven Spielberg's would-be Best Director speech for Lincoln...
The scribblings from Joaquin Phoenix's prepared Best Actor speech for The Master...
The mission statement of Naomi Watts' Best Actress speech for The Impossible...
The rambling thoughts of Robert De Niro before the Best Supporting Actor speech he would have given for Silver Linings Playbook...
The poignant deliberations of Quvenzhané Wallis in preparation for her Best Actress speech for Beasts of the Southern Wild...
The thoughts of Emmanuelle Riva, were she to win Best Actress for Amour...
(Translates to "Forget the speech — let's get drunk")
The furied passion that could have fueled Tom Hooper's Best Picture speech for Les Miserables...
And finally, what we might have heard from Jessica Chastain, had she taken Best Actress for Zero Dark Thirty...
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter.
[Photo Credit: Hollywood.com Illustration(8)]
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