A new West End adaptation of Hollywood thriller Fatal Attraction has received a frosty reception from critics, with reviewers branding the production "horrible", "pointless" and "amateurish". The 1987 movie has been transformed into a play with Mark Bazeley in the role of the adulterous husband played by Michael Douglas, and Natascha McElhone taking on Glenn Close's part as his bunny-boiling lover, with Kristin Davis as the betrayed wife.
The show opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in the British capital on Tuesday night (25Mar14), but it failed to win over critics, who attacked the plot changes, the script and the concept.
Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail newspaper writes, "Though I give Fatal Attraction three stars - this new stage version is decently acted and coolly staged - I hated almost every minute of it. What a horrible, heartless story."
The Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer brands the show "pointless", adding, "Though some of the changes to the film may intrigue or infuriate Fatal Attraction obsessives, and the new final twist is undoubtedly ingenious, they are hardly ground-breaking and hardly justify the trouble and expense of a trip to the West End."
Michael Billington of The Guardian was also unimpressed with the show, concluding, "There is something pathetic about the commercial theatre's increasing reliance on movies for source material... It puzzles me why people should be expected to cough up to see a transplanted screenplay; and, even though (writer) James Dearden has made some adjustments to his 1987 script for Fatal Attraction, it remains an essentially hollow experience."
The Times critic Dominic Maxwell gave the play a lowly one star out of five, and branded the show, "a bad idea, poorly executed," adding, "It's amateurish... It's risible." Maxwell also criticised producers over the iconic 'bunny boiling' scene, revealing he could "see the bunny still alive and well in its cage" when it was purported to be in a saucepan onstage.
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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As far as a successful adaptation of a novel to a movie goes, Lifetime’s Flowers in the Attic at least gets it right in hitting all the important plot points of the book. Father dies: check. Children move to their grandmother’s house and are cooped up in the attic for years: check. The oldest children, Cathy and Chris, develop an incestuous relationship: check (and yikes). Children learn of their mother’s deceit: check. Children escape: check.
The casting of Flowers in the Attic was spot on; the actors chosen to play the Dollangangers certainly look the part of the perfect family, which causes their friends to refer to them as Dresden Dolls. Heather Graham portrays the mother, Corrine, while Chad Willett plays Chris Sr. As for the eldest son, they managed to find an actor, Mason Dye, who looks very much like a younger version of his father. Kiernan Shipka narrates the story as the eldest daughter, Cathy, while Ava Telek and Maxwell Kovach play the twins. However, it’s Ellen Burstyn as the feared grandmother who really pulls out all the stops in her role. Burstyn is the biggest name attached to the film and she certainly proves to be the heavyweight of the cast.
I have to give the movie credit for not shying away from the more controversial aspects of Flowers in the Attic. As the two-hour TV movie follows the twists and turns laid out like a road map by the novel, Cathy and Chris develop their romantic relationship for which the book is most famous. Although, as fans of the book can tell you, the night Cathy and Chris finally get together (yeah, they go all the way) is much less violent than in the original story. Flowers in the Attic makes the relationship as uncomfortable for the audience as possible.
However, despite the casting and the accuracy of the adaption, Flowers in the Attic still falls flat. It’s difficult to make the audience feel as if years are passing throughout a two-hour movie. It’s hard to take lines like “We’re not children anymore, can’t you see that?” seriously when the actors don’t look as if they’ve aged a day. Earlier in the movie, Chris tells Cathy that she should hope to develop curves like a dress form — when clearly the audience can see that Shipka already has all those curves.
Even more than the unrealistic dialogue, though, is the fact that the audience never really gets to know the characters. The movie is so busy checking events and plot points off the list that it never stops to take a breath. The end result is a movie that might look like a good adaptation — they did cover everything — but feels too rushed and harried. You could say Flowers in the Attic is much like the dolls that Cathy references in the opening monologue: pretty and seemingly all there, but with no substance.
Getty/Warner Bros. via Everett Collection
Every year, people all over the entertainment world pull together their lists of the best performances, actors, directors, film, and shows of the year, making special note of all of the newcomers who managed to breakthrough into the mainstream with exceptional projects in 2013. However, when we were running through out lists of the best breakout actors of the year, we happened to notice that many of our new favorite television characters bore some strong resemblances to some of our favorite characters from classic sitcoms.
With that in mind, we've picked 10 of our favorite breakout television stars of 2013 and cast them in roles from our favorite shows of yesteryear.
Joe Lo Truglio as Barney Fife from The Andy Griffith ShowAs the weird, bumbling, food-obsessed Det. Charles Boyle, Joe Lo Truglio has been stealing scenes week after week on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and we think he could continue to put all of that strange ineptness to use as Barney Fife, the nervous, incompetent deputy to Andy Griffith's Sheriff Andy Taylor. Lo Truglio's proven that he excels at making life more complicated for others, and he would be able to portray the perfect mix of heart and humor.
James Wolk as Wally Cleaver from Leave It to BeaverJames Wolk specializes in characters that are charming, popular and intelligent, which makes him the perfect pick to play the Beaver's charismatic older brother. Sure, he's a lot older than Wally was on the show, but it's hard to think of an actor who would be better at portraying a character described by all of the girls as "the most," because as Zach on The Crazy Ones, Wolk is the most charming, funny and attractive actor on TV right now.
Tatiana Maslany as One of Charlie's AngelsIt's not quite a sitcom, but Charlie's Angels had the right combination of action and comedy that would make it the perfect vehicle for Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany. On the show, she's proven that she can handle whatever twists and turns come her way, as well as being able to hold her own in a fight, but Maslany is also funny and charming enough to handle the show's more humorous moments with ease. Plus, with Maslany at the forefront, this would finally be a Charlie's Angels reboot worth watching.
Andre Braugher as Lou Grant from The Mary Tyler Moore ShowAndre Braugher's been a well-respected television actor for a long time now, but as Captain Ray Holt on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, he proved that he can handle comedy just as well — if not better — than he does drama. We think he'd be perfect to take on the role of Lou Grant, Mary Richards' tough but loving boss on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He's already got plenty of experience keeping a group of goofballs in line, and it would finally give him the chance to break out and play something other than a cop for a change.
Malin Ackerman as Samantha from BewitchedJust try and put the terrible Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell film out of your mind for a second, and instead picture Malin Akerman as the loveable witch struggling to balance her magical powers and her role as a normal housewife. Ackerman's honed her comedy chops on the new sitcom Trophy Wife, and her perky-yet-sarcatsic demeanor makes her the perfect choice to take on Samantha. Plus, she's proven that she's great with phsyical comedy, which will come in handy when it's time for her to wiggle her nose.
Nicole Beharie as Agent 99 on Get SmartA beautiful, intelligent, highly skilled agent tasked with balancing both her bumbling, confused sidekick and a top secret mission? It may sound like Nicole Beharie's Sleepy Hollow character Abbie Mills, but it's actually Agent 99 from the sitcom Get Smart, which proves that Beharie would be the ideal choice for the role. She's got the looks, smarts, and comedic chops to take on the slapstick spy comedy, but also has plenty of experience with the more action-intensive elements. On top of all that, she's a compelling actress, who would be able to give the character enough depth to keep her from being a complete caricature. Just add Tom Mison as Maxwell Smart, and you've got yourself a show.
Albert Tsai as Dennis from Dennis the MenaceAt only nine years old, Albert Tsai has become one of the biggest breakout stars of the year through his role as the quirky, hilarious Bert, one of Kate's stepsons on Trophy Wife. When it comes time for Tsai to properly break out, say into feature films or a reboot of a classic sitcom, we think there would be no better vehicle for him than as everyone's favorite troublemaker Dennis the Menace. He's got enough charm to keep Dennis loveable, despite his antics, but would also be able to give the character a much needed dose of weirdness.
Corey Stoll as Fred from I Love LucyAs Rep. Peter Russo on Netflix's House of Cards, Corey Stoll did most of the show's heavy emotional lifting. If he's looking for some lighter fare, we think he'd do a great job as Fred Mertz, the stingy husband of Lucy's best pal Ethel. Since Fred fought in World War I and lived through the Great Depression, it gives Stoll enough gravitas to ground the character, while also giving him plenty of screwball plots and slapstick comedy to keep things light and up-beat — plus, no Kevin Spacey around to manipulate all of his actions. It's a win-win.
Rebel Wilson in Her Own Version of The Carol Burnett ShowRebel Wilson's show Super Fun Night may not have done as well as many were expecting, but she's still had a pretty stellar year. We think that the best way for her to capitalize on that would be her own Carol Burnett-inspired variety show. She's already got plenty of experience writing sketches, and even created and starred in several sketch shows and comedies in Australia. And since she showcased her musical talents in last year's Pitch Perfect, she's become the ideal candidate to bring back the variety show format to a younger generation.
Michael Ealy as Lionel from The JeffersonsThough his new sci-fi drama Almost Human has only just begun airing, Michael Ealy has become one of the most popular new television stars, due to the perfect combination of good looks, charm and talent. We think all of those qualities would serve him well as Lionel Jefferson, the smart, kind, wise-cracking son of George and Louise. Ealy's already proven that he has enough charm to take on the part, but Lionel's complicated relationship with his father and his wife, Jenny, would give him plenty of opportunities to showcase his acting talent. With Ealy on board, there's no doubt that Lionel would become much more than just a funny supporting character.
Julian Assange brought the world of espionage to its knees with a new brand of spying. Whereas in the early days of James Bond you needed a truckload of fancy gadgets, now the cloud is the ultimate tool of the spy trade. Assange only needs a few taps on a keyboard to do more work than 007 could do in a week with any fast car or silenced pistol. This all means that being a spy is probably loads easier nowadays thanks to all the cool technology we have lying around. You don't even have to go anywhere, or do any of that tough secret agent stuff like fighting other spies or sneaking around in vents. So what fictional spies' jobs would be easier if they took place in 2013?
Get SmartMaxwell Smart, the bungling secret agent behind the original Get Smart television series, used to use the incredibly unwieldy communication device known as the shoe phone in order to communicate secret messages. But it's a long time since the swinging '60s and these days, an agent probably has about 12 different micro-communication devices hidden all across his person, none of which involve lifting their shoe to your their to use.
Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyIn Tinker, Talor, Soldier, Spy, George Smiley is tasked with finding a double agent buried deep within the senior management of MI6. While this took forever back in George Smiley's era, nowadays, whoever the mole turned out to be would have definitely slipped up and posted some sort of incriminating evidence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, or any other one of the innumerable social networks we use to blast our secrets across the World Wide Web.
The Lives of OthersIn 1980s East Germany, Gerd Wiesler is tasked with spying on a playwright and his wife, so he bugs his apartment with numerous microphones and other surveillance equipment before hiding away in an attic to observe their lives. But if the Berlin Wall never fell, and this story happened today, there would be no need to bug the apartment because everyone is completely surrounded by cameras at every waking moment. Our cell phones, laptops, tablets, and other gadgets make government spying amazingly easy.
Mr. and Mrs. SmithBrad and Angelina would have figured out each other’s secret lives as secret agents a lot quicker if Facebook was widely used back in 2005. Think of how many relationships were destroyed thanks to Mark Zuckerberg's social media network. That movie would have ended a lot sooner.
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There’s absolutely nothing wrong with preferring to not get married and just stay in a committed relationship with your partner instead, which is what many people in Hollywood choose to do. It’s one thing to just be dating, though, and a whole other thing to get engaged, which implies that you will be marrying. Some celebs seem to like the title of “fiance” more than turning it into “spouse,” and would rather be engaged for years than actually tie the knot.
Lebron James of the Miami Heat recently married his high school sweetheart, Savannah Brinson, after a 2 year long engagement (and a relationship since high school), and John Legend finally married girlfriend of 4 years and fiancé of 3 years, Chrissy Teigen, on the same day as James and Brinson, no less. Though they finally got hitched, there are still some celebs who aren’t yet ready to put a wedding ring on it.
Jessica Simpson & Eric Johnson Jessica Simpson has been engaged to retired NFL-er Eric Johnson since 2010 and they already have 2 kids together, Maxwell Drew and Ace Knute Johnson. To be fair to Simpson, though, it is difficult to try on dresses and plan out weddings when you've been pregnant and/or popping out kids for most of the relationship.
Taran Killam & Cobie Smulders Cobie Smulders and Taran Killam are actually married now, but they still took their sweet time doing it. Engaged in 2009, the pair waited for 3 years (and the birth of their daughter) to finally tie the knot.
Kate Hudson & Matthew Bellamy Like her parents, Kate Hudson is living the non-married life with Muse frontman Matt Bellamy. Unlike her parents, though, Hudson has been engaged since 2011. There’s been no date set for their wedding as of yet, but we hope these crazy kids can make it last.
Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have been together for 8 years. Though they initially claimed that they wouldn’t get married until gay people were allowed to marry too, the couple announced their engagement in 2012. Considering it took them 7 years to even get engaged, it’ll probably be another 7 for the actual wedding. Don’t hold your breath, peeps!
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British actor Matthew Rhys has seen off competition from stars including Dan Stevens, Eddie Redmayne and Hugh Dancy to win the coveted role of Mr. Darcy in a Pride And Prejudice spin-off. The Americans star has been given a lead role in an upcoming BBC period drama called Death Comes to Pemberley, which is adapted from the Pride and Prejudice sequel written by P.D. James.
Downton Abbey star Stevens was said to be in competition for the part, along with Redmayne, Dancy and Thor's Tom Hiddleston.
Rhys insists he is looking forward to putting his own spin on the character, and hopes he won't be compared to Oscar-winner Colin Firth, who played Mr. Darcy in a famous BBC adaptation of the Jane Austen classic.
He says, "Of course I am stepping into the shoes of others who have played the part, but I don't think there will be too many comparisons with Colin Firth. Mine is a different Darcy who has mellowed and has kids."
The female lead of Elizabeth Bennet will be played by Anna Maxwell Martin. Filming on Death Comes to Pemberley is due to begin in the U.K. over the summer (13).
What do Eddie Murphy, Bette Midler, Paul Newman, and Angie Dickinson have in common? No, they all haven't been at the same party at Brett Ratner's house. They are all winners of a Golden Globe. No, Murphy didn't get one for Pluto Nash he got one in 1982 as the New Star of the Year. The what now?
The Hollywood Foreign Press Agency started giving out the Most Promising Newcomer award in 1948, four years after their inception, to the person they thought was going to be hottest new thing to take Hollywood. The first winners were Richard Widmark and Lois Maxwell, people your grandparents might not even remember. From 1954 to 1965 the award was given out to three to four men and women who the European journalists thought were going to take the world by storm. In 1966 the award switched again and went to an actor and actress for a specific movie and, possibly because so many newcomers didn't show any promise, was renamed. The first winners were Robert Redford for Inside Daisy Clover (I'm sure he was!) and Elizabeth Hartman for A Patch of Blue.
Those first winners highlight exactly the problem with this specific category: more often than not the winners wound up being duds. Sure Robert Redford is one of the biggest stars in the world but Elizabeth Hartman? Let's look at 1969 Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey were given a pair of trophies for their portrayal of Romeo & Juliet. Whiting retired from films by the mid-'70s and Hussey went on to star in some crappy horror films and then become a crazy agorophobic who had a hard time leaving the house. These are your New Stars of the Year, ladies in gentleman.
By 1983 the Globes were sick of giving this award to turkeys and gave out the final salutes in the category to Ben Kinglsey and Sandahl Bergman. All in all, the awards have a pretty lousy track record. Of the 59 actors and 58 actresses given the honor, I count only 17 actors (Richard Burton, Anthony Perkins, Paul Newman, James Garner, George Hamilton, Warren Beatty, Terence Stamp, Peter O'Tool, Omar Sharif, Albert Finney, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, James Earl Jones, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eddie Murphy, and Ben Kingsley) and 14 actresses (Shirley MacLaine, Natalie Wood, Jayne Mansfield, Sandra Dee, Angie Dickinson, Jane Fonda, Ann-Margret, Patty Duke, Mia Farrow, Tatum O'Neal, Jessica Walter, Diana Ross, Jessica Lange, and Bette Midler) who achieved any sort of lasting modicum of celebrity (gauged by, well, whether or not I know who the heck they are). That's a 28% and 24% success rate predicting the promisenessness of newcomers. You have better odds playing Scratch-a-Millions from your local lottery system.
I reached out to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for a comment on why the category was struck from the record and if they ever hope to bring it back. They didn't return my request for comment. They're probably still embarrassed about just how lousy their crystal ball is.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images]
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Does size matter? Significant others of the world may have varying answers, but in Hollywood, it doesn't hurt to have a long… list of credits. A rising star sparks with an audience in a handful of films, then quickly becomes the talk of the town. If they're lucky, they "attach" themselves to projects out the wazoo, hoarding potential vehicles that could be their next big hit if the stars eventually align.
That's the game Michael Fassbender is currently playing and thus far, it's serving him extremely well. Fassbender (who, as we learned in Shame, knows that size goes a long way) skillfully spun his success from breakout roles in indies like Hunger, Fish Tank, and Centurion into a hefty helping of starring roles both big and small. In the last two years, Fassbender rode the prestige wave to blockbuster parts in X-Men: First Class and Prometheus, with Shame earning him praise on the awards circuit. And the love for Fassbender hasn't cooled — along with the movies that have actually made it to screen, the actor has paired himself with a lengthy list of in-the-works projects.
This week, Variety recently announced his latest, Frank, an Irish comedy that sees the actor playing an eccentric rock star. The film is at the other end of the spectrum than something like X-Men, but that's Fassbender's style. He loves to work, and directors, producers, and everyone Hollywood loves to work with him. Even The Counselor and Twelve Years a Slave co-star — and one of the undeniable kings of Hollywood — Mr. Brad Pitt, who has leveraged his success into producing his own projects and is is highly selective of the material he tackles. Of course, he's still currently attached to 11 films in various stages of development.
And it seems Fassbender is taking a page from Pitt and his A-list contemporaries: Leonardo DiCaprio has eight acting projects in development, with two in the can (Django Unchained and 2013's The Great Gatsby) and one shooting (Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street); Pitt's wife, Angelina Jolie, is shooting Maleficent and has four could-be films on deck; Tom Cruise has four films, including the questionable Top Gun II (which he developed with the late Tony Scott); after Thor 2, Natalie Portman has five; and while Will Smith reportedly has 12 movies in development, admittedly, some seem implausible (a Flowers for Algernon remake?).
So where does Fassbender stand? With 11 projects in production, the actor's future is looking more and more like his Counselor and Twelve Years a Slave co-star's. Consider the projects he currently has in the works:
X-Men: Days of Future Past: A no-brainer sequel to the comic book movie success that's set for a July 18, 2014 release date.
Assassin's Creed: An adaptation of the popular video game would put Fassbender in the shoes of a legendary killer. The project was long-gestating but the recent announcement of Fassbender's involvement put the movie into high gear. Yes, he's making projects happen now.
At Swim-Two-Birds: Actor Brendan Gleeson's directorial debut that mixes Fassbender in with the likes of Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy, and Gleeson himself.
Genius: From writer John Logan (Hugo, I Am Legend, Rango), the movie would star Colin Firth as editor Maxwell Perkins and chronicle his budding friendship with author Thomas Wolfe (played by Fassbender). Oscar-potential written all over it.
Jane Got a Gun: The producers of the movie couldn't confirm Fassbender's involvement when they sealed the deal for Natalie Portman to star in the Western, to be directed by Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin), but insiders say he's a near lock.
Londongrad: The real-life story of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, whose poisoning in 2006 spawned an international investigation. Fassbender would play Litvinenko, and it's the kind of dramatic material that, if it gets the go ahead from the studio, shows confidence in the actor's ability to draw audiences into less-than-marketable fare.
Mountains Between Us: Fassbender would team with Miss Bala director Gerardo Naranjo on a drama that follows man and woman attempting to survive in the wilderness after a plane crash.
Right as Rain: Game of Thrones showrunner David Benioff adapted the George Pelecanos novel about a detective who investigates the murder of a black cop by a white cop only to discover an underbelly to the entire situation.
The Sycamores: Although stagnant for a few years, Fassbender remains attached to the project described as "a King Lear-esque murder mystery about an ill-fated family reunion set under the swirling skies of 1970s Northumberland."
An Unititled Celtic Warrior project: Fassbender will also act as a producer for the film, which will see the actor play a superhuman warrior who helps his tribe fight against a rival group.
Prometheus Sequel: Rumors peg a sequel to this summer's sci-fi movie for 2014/2015. Fassbender could theoretically return. Whether he'll have time….
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: Relativity Media]
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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]