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]
A decade-long gap between sequels could leave a franchise stale but in the case of Men in Black 3 it's the launch pad for an unexpectedly great blockbuster. The kooky antics of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) don't stray far from their 1997 and 2002 adventures but without a bombardment of follow-ups to keep the series in mind the wonderfully weird sensibilities of Men in Black feel fresh Smith's natural charisma once again on full display. Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the threequel another space alien romp with a time travel twist — which turns out to be Pandora's Box for the director's deranged imagination.
As time passed in the real world so did it for the timeline in the world of Men in Black. Picking up ten years after MIB 2 J and K are continuing to protect the Earth from alien threats and enforce the law on those who live incognito. While dealing with their own personal issues — K is at his all-time crabbiest for seemingly no reason — the suited duo encounter an old enemy Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) a prickly assassin seeking revenge on K who blew his arm off back in the '60s. Their street fight is more of a warning; Boris' real plan is to head back in time to save his arm and kill off K. He's successful prompting J to take his own leap through the time-space continuum — and team up with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to put an end to Boris plans for world domination.
Men in Black 3 is the Will Smith show. Splitting his time between the brick personalities of Jones and Brolin's K Smith struts his stuff with all the fast-talking comedic style that made him a star in yesteryears. In present day he's still the laid back normal guy in a world of oddities — J raises an eyebrow as new head honcho O (Emma Thompson) delivers a eulogy in a screeching alien tongue but coming up with real world explanations for flying saucer crashes comes a little easier. But back in 1969 he's an even bigger fish out water. Surprisingly director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Etan Cohen dabble in the inherent issues that would spring up if a black gentlemen decked out in a slick suit paraded around New York in the late '60s. A star of Smith's caliber may stray away from that type of racy humor but the hook of Men in Black 3 is the actor's readiness for anything. He turns J's jokey anachronisms into genuine laughs and doesn't mind letting the special effect artists stretch him into an unrecognizable Twizzler for the movie's epic time jump sequence.
Unlike other summer blockbusters Men in Black 3 is light on the action Sonnenfeld utilizing his effects budget and dazzling creature work (by the legendary Rick Baker) to push the comedy forward. J's fight with an oversized extraterrestrial fish won't keep you on the edge of your seat but his slapstick escape and the marine animal's eventual demise are genuinely amusing. Sonnenfeld carries over the twisted sensibilities he displayed in small screen work like Pushing Daisies favoring bizarre banter and elaborating on the kookiness of the alien underworld than battle scenes. MIB3's chase scene is passable but the movie in its prime when Smith is sparring with Brolin and newcomer Michael Stuhlbarg who steals the show as a being capable of seeing the future. His twitchy character keeps Smith and the audience on their toes.
Men in Black 3 digs up nostalgia I wasn't aware I had. Smith's the golden boy of summer and even with modern ingenuity keeping it fresh — Sonnenfeld uses the mandatory 3D to full and fun effect — there's an element to the film that feels plucked from another era. The movie is economical and slight with plenty of lapses in logic that will provoke head scratching on the walk out of the theater but it's also perfectly executed. After ten years of cinematic neutralizing the folks behind Men in Black haven't forgotten what made the first movie work so well. After al these years Smith continues to make the goofy plot wild spectacle and crazed alien antics look good.
It was fun while it lasted. After nine months of dating, Nick Jonas and his much-older Australian pop star girlfriend, 27-year-old Delta Goodrem, have decided to call it quits. Goodrem's rep confirmed the news in a brief statement, saying, "Nick and Delta have decided to mutually end their relationship. At this point in time, they are both focused on their careers as they go on different paths. They remain friends and wish each other the best for the future."
Jonas, 19, began dating Goodrem shortly after she split from Irish boy band singer Brian McFadden, whom she was with for seven years. For his part, Jonas was romantically linked to to Miley Cyrus from June 2006 to December 2007.
But Jonas has plenty of projects on his plate to keep his mind off the recent breakup. In fact, he's starring in Broadway's How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in a role previously played by actor Daniel Radcliffe and Glee's Darren Criss. Additionally, he's also scheduled to make a guest appearance on NBC's recent hit Smash on Feb. 27. Jonas Brothers fans must be thrilled.
Click on the picture above for more photos of Nick Jonas.
The 39 year old was taken to a medical facility during the taping of Australia's Got Talent last weekend (12Mar11) after suffering a severe migraine, and medics found his blood pressure was at a dangerously high level. He was treated with medication and allowed home after several hours under doctors' watch.
And following the scare, Sandilands has announced he will not act as a judge on a new season of the Aussie version of Simon Cowell's hit show after realising it's "too much work".
He told fans, "I'm not doing it. Not because I didn't like it. I thought the show was great and it was great fun to do but it's just too hectic, it's too much. It's too much work, you know I don't like a lot of work.
"So I've told (X Factor broadcaster) Channel Seven, 'No. Thank you so much for the great opportunity but I'm not doing it.'"
Sandilands judged The X Factor alongside singers Ronan Keating and Natalie Imbruglia, while he sits on the Australia's Got Talent panel with Dannii Minogue and Brian McFadden.
The 39 year old, who is a judge on the syndicated TV hit alongside Dannii Minogue and Brian McFadden, gave his co-stars a scare over the weekend when he had to stop shooting the audition stages of the show when he was struck down with a migraine.
According to Sydney's The Daily Telegraph, medics came on to the set and realised his blood pressure was at a dangerously high level and decided to take him to a nearby medical facility.
He received medication at the hospital after several hours under doctors' watch.
A spokesperson for Sandilands says, "Kyle got through most of the day's taping but was feeling unwell and couldn't finish the day. He's home and resting up."
Sandilands' health issues came to light Down Under when he starred in a celebrity version of Big Brother in 2007 and had to leave due to suffering migraines and vomiting.
The star took to her Twitter.com page on Wednesday (22Dec10) to ask her online fans for advice on how to deal with the ailment, writing: "What does it mean if you suddenly have violent toothache in about ten teeth at the same time?"
She was bombarded with replies and the pain subsided after she took painkiller Ibuprofen but she was back online later in the day, adding: "Agonising few hours..... dentist tomorrow."
Hurley isn't the only star suffering with her teeth - former Westlife singer Brian McFadden underwent root canal surgery on Tuesday (21Dec10).
The actor, who is famous in his native U.K. for playing hardman Phil Mitchell in hit drama EastEnders, was quizzed by cops on Wednesday (03Nov10) following a complaint from his ex-girlfriend Dr Rachel Sidwell, the mother of his daughter Amelie.
He was later released on bail and is expected to return to a police station early next year (11).
A spokesperson for Scotland Yard says, "On Wednesday, November 3 officers from Haringey (London) arrested a 51-year-old man in connection with alleged harassment to cause violence against a female. He has since been bailed until a date in January 11."
Kutcher has revealed he met with his Just Married co-star late last year (09) and admits Murphy was the only actress he wanted for the role he had in mind.
Unfortunately, she died before he had the chance to start the top secret project.
He says, "We were casting a TV show that we were producing, and I wanted her to play this role in it, and she came in and I got to see her probably about two months before she passed away."
Murphy died from pneumonia at the age of 32 on 20 December (09), and her ex has paid a full tribute to the actress in a new TV interview with U.S. news anchor Cynthia McFadden, admitting he still can't make sense of her death.
In the Nightline interview, which will air in America on Thursday (13May10), Kutcher says, "I just celebrate who she was. She was, like, the person who walked in the room and she was always the first person to dance. You know when you go to a party and everybody is standing around, and the music is going and you know sooner or later everyone is going to dance. She was always the first person to dance.
"I just try to connect to that and celebrate who she was and how she was, and not make sense of it."
The former Atomic Kitten star was at the centre of a media storm last year (09) when a U.K. tabloid printed pictures of her snorting the illegal drug.
Katona lost several lucrative work contracts after the scandal, and she accepted an official caution from police for possessing a controlled substance.
The star has now spoken out about her drug habit, revealing she would lock herself in the bathroom of her home with her now estranged husband Mark Croft, and take cocaine while her young children, with her singer ex-husband Brian McFadden, played downstairs.
She says, "I'd lie in bed for three days in a row doing cocaine with Mark. We did coke in our en-suite (bathroom). The kids knew if the bathroom door was locked they mustn't come in. The children would be downstairs with a nanny and she knew not to let them up to our bedroom at those times. Our relationship was just about coke. Mostly, we'd have three-day sessions and not eat. I'd play online bingo, look up stories about me to make me feel worse, and watch cartoons."
Katona reveals she often suffered "fits" when she took too much cocaine, and her worsening health convinced her to kick her habit for good.
She adds, "I'd take so much coke I'd have a fit. Then I would come round and do another line. I had to stop, I had to get out. If I carried on doing what I was doing, I'd be dead."
Dickinson was fired from Banks' beauty contest America's Next Top Model amid reports the two former catwalk stars never got along.
Banks has not spoken about her decision to get rid of the ageing supermodel, but was asked about things Dickinson has said about her in a recent TV news interview.
When quizzed by interviewer Cynthia McFadden whether Dickinson and fellow sacked judge Paulina Porizkova were jealous of her, Banks refused to answer, but smiled and replied, 'Is that what you think?'
And the veiled hint has made the older model seethe.
In a new interview on TV news show The Insider, Dickinson sarcastically says, "Damn right I'm jealous... Everybody's jealous of the great Tyra."
But she insists she has no issues with the way she was dumped from Banks' hit show: "There's no problem - Tyra hires people, uses them and then boots them out and then hires the next person - I guess for a nominal fee."
But she does take issue with her ex-boss' claims that she's not much of a diva, adding, "She is the biggest diva on the planet next to me."