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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Summit via Everett Collection
You can imagine that Renny Harlin, director and one quadrant of the writing team for The Legend of Hercules, began his pitch as such: We'll start with a war, because lots of these things start with wars. It feels like this was the principal maxim behind a good deal of the creative choices in this latest update of the Ancient Greek myth. There are always horse riding scenes. There are generally arena battles. There are CGI lions, when you can afford 'em. Oh, and you've got to have a romantic couple canoodling at the base of a waterfall. Weaving them all together cohesively would be a waste of time — just let the common threads take form in a remarkably shouldered Kellan Lutz and action sequences that transubstantiate abjectly to and fro slow-motion.
But pervading through Lutz's shirtless smirks and accent continuity that calls envy from Johnny Depp's Alice in Wonderland performance is the obtrusive lack of thought that went into this picture. A proverbial grab bag of "the basics" of the classic epic genre, The Legend of Hercules boasts familiarity over originality. So much so that the filmmakers didn't stop at Hercules mythology... they barely started with it, in fact. There's more Jesus Christ in the character than there is the Ancient Greek demigod, with no lack of Gladiator to keep things moreover relevant. But even more outrageous than the void of imagination in the construct of Hercules' world is its script — a piece so comically dim, thin, and idiotic that you will laugh. So we can't exactly say this is a totally joyless time at the movies.
Summit via Everett Collection
Surrounding Hercules, a character whose arc takes him from being a nice enough strong dude to a nice enough strong dude who kills people and finally owns up to his fate — "Okay, fine, yes, I guess I'm a god" — are a legion of characters whose makeup and motivations are instituted in their opening scenes and never change thereafter. His de facto stepdad, the teeth-baring King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), despises the boy for being a living tribute to his supernatural cuckolding; his half-brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) is the archetypical scheming, neutered, jealous brother figure right down to the facial scar. The dialogue this family of mongoloids tosses around is stunningly brainless, ditto their character beats. Hercules can't understand how a mystical stranger knows his identity, even though he just moments ago exited a packed coliseum chanting his name. Iphicles defies villainy and menace when he threatens his betrothed Hebe (Gaia Weiss), long in love with Hercules, with the terrible fate of "accepting [him] and loving [their] children equally!" And the dad... jeez, that guy must really be proud of his teeth.
With no artistic feat successfully accomplished (or even braved, really) by this movie, we can at the very least call it inoffensive. There is nothing in The Legend of Hercules with which to take issue beyond its dismal intellect, and in a genre especially prone to regressive activity, this is a noteworthy triumph. But you might not have enough energy by the end to award The Legend of Hercules with this superlative. Either because you'll have laughed yourself into a coma at the film's idiocy, or because you'll have lost all strength trying to fend it off.
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A representative for Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown has dismissed reports suggesting the 20 year old has quietly wed her fiance Nick Gordon. Brown, who announced her engagement in July (13), sparked speculation the couple had secretly tied the knot after she described Gordon as her "hubby" in a Twitter.com post on Wednesday (06Nov13).
The suggestive post read: "Well off to sleep with my hubby @nickdgordon prayers before bedtime. godbless you all, till next time chaps".
However, a spokesperson for Houston's only child with R&B veteran Bobby Brown has dismissed the marriage speculation to Eonline.com.
The rumours emerged one month after Gordon gifted his bride-to-be with a new diamond ring to replace her old sparkler.
Showing off the impressive piece of jewellery with a photo on her Facebook.com page, she simply wrote, "Upgrade".
Brown grew close to Gordon, who was informally adopted by Houston when her daughter was 12, following the superstar's death last year (12).
Bond star Sir Roger Moore has been diagnosed with diabetes. The British actor fell ill last month (Sep13) and spent a week passing out, shedding weight, and feeling "terrible", so his wife Kristina took him to an emergency room at a hospital near their home in Monaco.
After a series of tests, he was told he has diabetes and has unknowingly suffered from the condition for some time.
Moore tells U.K. TV show This Morning, "I have got the dreaded Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks came out with the fact he has diabetes, and about four or five weeks ago I was falling asleep and just feeling terrible and dying of thirst and literally passing out.
"My wife took me into emergency at Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco and I was straight on a slab... and I have diabetes. And I've obviously had it for quite a long time... During that week where I was falling asleep, my wife said I was losing a kilo a day. So I have had to have all my trousers taken in."
Former boxing champion Joe Calzaghe has split from his professional dancer girlfriend, four years after meeting her in a TV contest. The undefeated Welsh fighter and Kristina Rihanoff have gone their separate ways. The pair met when they teamed up on Britain's Strictly Come Dancing show in 2009.
Calzaghe tells Britain's The Sun, "Kristina and I have had several terrific years together. She is a wonderful woman but we have mutually and amicably decided to go our separate ways.
"Various demands on time have meant we have spent less and less time together. That will become more so in the coming months, so it seems wise to end our relationship now as friends."
"I love you mommy There will Never Be Another I have YOUR blood running through my veins & I intend2make (sic) thee (sic) best of what YOU'VE given me". Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown sends a message to the late superstar two days before what would have been her 50th birthday on Friday (09Aug13).
Rapper Big Boi has played down reports suggesting he is set to join the cast of British reality show Celebrity Big Brother, insisting he never gave producers an official answer. The Outkast star reportedly signed a $450,000 (£300,000) deal with network bosses at Channel 5 to appear in the fly-on-the-wall reality series, which will begin airing later this month (Aug13), but Big Boi claims the announcement he'll be a part of the show is premature.
In a statement issued to the Wall Street Journal, the hip-hop veteran explains: "They (Big Brother producers) reached out to my team a while back. I was on my way back from Canada, they started saying I was set to be on there... and it wasn't true."
However, Big Boi isn't ruling out the TV gig completely, adding: "I don't know. I've been on the road... They were talking to my team but I don't know what happened after that. I never said yes or no, ever."
If the rapper signs up for the show, he will join British celebrity contestants including Five singer Abz Love and model Sophie Anderton. Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown is also reportedly on board for the 12th season of the series.
Big Boi wouldn't be the first hip-hop star to take part in Celebrity Big Brother - Coolio and singer Sisqo have both previously featured on the U.K. programme.
Outkast rapper Big Boi is set to follow in the footsteps of fellow hip-hop stars Coolio and Sisqo after signing up to appear in the latest series of the U.K.'s Celebrity Big Brother. The star, real name Antwan Patton, has inked a $450,000 (£300,000) deal with bosses at Britain's Channel 5 network to join the fly-on-the wall reality TV show, which will begin airing later this month (Aug13).
A source tells Britain's the Sun, "Producers always like to mix things up with an American star and they hope Big Boi will do the business this year."
Big Boi will join other celebrity contestants including Five singer Abz Love and model Sophie Anderton. Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown is also reportedly on board for the 12th season of the show.
Whitney Houston's mother has reached out to the tragic singer's daughter in a heartfelt open letter, urging the 20 year old to rethink her marriage plans. Cissy Houston and Bobbi Kristina Brown fell out after the gospel singer wrote a book about her daughter, which her granddaughter called "disrespectful" - and now they rarely speak.
Cissy is now trying to mend her relationship with Brown by offering her relationship advice in the form of a letter she has released to media outlets.
In the statement, grandma hopes the 20 year old will one day read her book, Remembering Whitney, and "understand that I just wanted to let the world see some of My Nippy".
But she also risks pushing her granddaughter further away by addressing her engagement to Nick Gordon, which Bobbi Kristina confirmed in July (13).
Cissy writes, "Krissi, all I want for you is your good health and your happiness. Do I want you to get married in the near future? No, I don't. I think you're too young and I wish you'd wait. But that's because I'm Grandma. I'm supposed to worry about you. I'm supposed to wonder if Nick or ANY man is good enough for you. My Baby's Baby."
Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown is engaged to marry her boyfriend Nick Gordon. The 20 year old grew close to Gordon, who was informally adopted by her mum when he was 12, after the death of the superstar in 2012, and now the young couple is set to wed.
Announcing the news in a post on her official Facebook.com page, she writes, "YES, we me nick (sic) are engaged."
And she took aim at critics of the romance, adding, "I'm tired of hearing people say 'eww your (sic) engaged to your brother or if Whitney was still alive would we be together or would she approve of this.' Let me clear up something, we aren't even real brother and sister, nor is he my adoptive brother. My mom never adopted him. In fact, mommy was the one who even said that she knew that we were going to start dating. My mom knows me better than any of you.
"A lot of yall are saying that yall are only saying this all out of love. Which is bull because if that was so, all you would want is for me to be happy (sic).
"People need to seriously stop judging my relationship. Pretty sure it's my own decision who I want to be with. Yes, my relationship may not be perfect. We will have rough patches, just like every other relationship. And we have had our rough patches. You may or may not agree with my relationship. You may or may not respect it. Judge me, go ahead. Your opinions are yours and mine are mine. It is my life and not yours. The decisions I make have nothing to do with you."
Gordon and Brown, whose father is singer Bobby Brown, has sparked engagement rumours in the past - she was photographed on two separate occasions wearing a diamond sparkler on her ring finger, but her representative denied the claims both times.