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.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
On Thursday night, The Sound of Music Live! somehow managed to pull in 18.5 million viewers. Yes... seriously. So, if you weren't one of the 18.5 and you don't have a Twitter then you should probably know that the show didn't have such an amazing viewership because it was good. Nah, it was actually pretty awful. Carrie Underwood's singing was perfection, but that girl has no acting ability whatsoever. Plus, Stephen Moyer took on the role of Captain Von Trapp. Yup, you read that right. Vampire Bill from True Blood played the iconic Captain Von Trapp. But hey, not all was lost. The show actually made for a hilariously awesome Thursday night due to the combination of this drinking game and the invention of live tweeting. So, in honor of this totally absurd remake, we're taking a look at the best celebrity reactions.
The Nazis probably would have left them alone if they didn't yodel. No one likes yodeling. #SoundofMusic
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) December 6, 2013
Nazi's where total dicks #justsaying #SoundofMusic #SoundofMusicLive
— Cameron (@CameronDiaz) December 6, 2013
Mr Von Trap is strange. Not that I have 100% credibility
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) December 6, 2013
The Sound of Music Live is tonight and Carrie Underwood’s “favorite things” should be people who haven’t seen Julie Andrews in the original.
— Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers) December 5, 2013
Is it my 10 yr old samsung or is the lighting a little to "period"? #TheSoundOfMusicLive #seemsdark
— Carson Daly (@CarsonDaly) December 6, 2013
The Sound of Music: the feel good family musical of the year about leaving your fiancée to boink the nanny.
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) December 6, 2013
Tonight they will finally put back the original scene where Von Trapp sucks the blood out of Maria. #soml
— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) December 6, 2013
This Nazi looks like a young Al Gore. #TheSoundOfMusic
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) December 6, 2013
Wow there's so much fake fun happening! #SOML
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) December 6, 2013
I'm glad Carrie wore her sensible pumps for the hike to Switzerland. #Phew #SoundofMusic #WeOut
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) December 6, 2013
And, although not celebrities exactly, these tweets also made our list.
Ladies, if you're in the woods and some dude in knickers starts singing about how young you are, RUN #TheSoundOfMusicLive
— The Soup (@TheSoup) December 6, 2013
YOU ARE 16, GOING ON 17 AND I'M ASSUMING YOU'D LIKE PIZZA FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY DINNERRRRRRR #BuyDiGiorno #TheSoundOfMusicLive
— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) December 6, 2013
Ruh roh, no one cast sexual chemistry in #SoundOfMusic
— Crushable.com (@crushabledotcom) December 6, 2013
If Britney Spears can get through 2007, we can get through the Sound of Music live
— samir mezrahi (@samir) December 6, 2013
| Follow @lexi_smail
What goes behind the making of a music legend? Apparently, a gun and some bullets. In the first full-length trailer of HBO's upcoming biopic, Phil Spector, we see Al Pacino morph into the infamous record producer turned murderer.
RELATED: Al Pacino Will Play Phil Spector in Biopic
In 2009, the real-life Spector was convicted of second degree murder for the 2003 shooting and death of actress Lana Clarkson. The trailer gives us a brief glimpse into the story behind the trial Spector (played by Pacino) had to endure following Clarkson's death. But even with Helen Mirren playing defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden, it seems unlikely that Spector will get off the hook in this tragic series of events.
RELATED: Phil Spector Biopic Takes a Few Stabbings
The trailer also shows a glimpse into the complicated, yet passionate relationship that Spector shared with his attorney throughout all his tribulations. Love, death, and passion — what else can we ask for?
Phil Spector airs on HBO March 24.
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
[Photo Credit: Phillip V. Caruso/HBO]
You Might Also Like:
Biden? Ford? Surprisingly Hot Young Pics of Politicians
Who Wore This Crazy Hat?
Stars Who Changed Their Look After Love
Sharlto Copley Is One of 'Four'
District 9's Sharlto Copley is in talks to star in I Am Number Four, the Heat Vision blog reports.
DreamWorks is adapting the upcoming young-adult science fiction book by James Frey and Jobie Hughes. Copley would star alongside Alex Pettyfer in the title role of Four.
Pettyfer's character is one of nine aliens who escape their home planet before its annihilation by a rival species and hide out on Earth disguised as human high school students.
Copley is playing a man who hailed from the alien world's serving class but now is Four's adult guardian and mentor.
Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar wrote the screenplay, HV notes.
D.J. Caruso is directing and Michael Bay is producing with Steven Spielberg. Chris Bender and J.C. Spink are executive producing with David Valdes.
“A real movie.” That’s the phrase that one of my industry sources used to describe Eagle Eye (Dreamworks/Paramount), which debuts this Friday at 3,500 or so locations and on more than 4,500 screens. The movie reunites Hollywood’s hottest young star, Shia LaBeouf, with his director from the surprise hit Disturbia, DJ Caruso, and industry tracking is pointing toward a spectacular opening.
It is very hard to bet against LaBeouf, whose last 2 movies, Transformers and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, have grossed a combined $635M domestic and $1.5B worldwide. Prior to those sure-fire blockbusters came Disturbia, a nifty little Hitchcockian genre pic released last spring demonstrating the 22-year-old actor’s real appeal. He’s the classic everyman and, while some compared his performance to Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, I agree with New York Daily News critic Elizabeth Weitzman, who wrote he is, “More John Cusack than Jimmy Stewart.”
Eagle Eye turns the Disturbia premise on its ear. In this yarn, LaBeouf isn’t “the watcher,” he’s “the watched.” According to tracking data, Under 25’s are buying into the surveillance paranoia suggested in trailers and TV ads. It feels very contemporary. Your BlackBerry can kill you--or at least tell “them” where you are at every moment. Technology is ubiquitous, and there is no escape. In reality, Caruso is really mining the great Alfred Hitchcock again. Think of a modern-day North by Northwest riff with LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan instead of Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint.
Director Caruso’s first mainstream box office success was Taking Lives, starring Angelina Jolie ($11.4M opening--$32.2M cume), but then he took a step back with the critical and commercial failure Two For the Money ($8.7M opening--$23M cume), starring Matthew McConaughey and Al Pacino. He struck paydirt with Disturbia, which opened with $22.2M then showed real playability to the tune of $80.2M domestic, and now he has LaBeouf in tow again. Eagle Eye will almost certainly be the director’s all-time biggest opening with something in the $28M range.
Females 25 Plus are showing great interest in the Warner Bros. romantic tear-jerker Nights in Rodanthe at over 2,500 locations on Friday. This is the 3rd film together for Oscar nominees Richard Gere and Diane Lane. Their first pairing was 24 years ago in Francis Ford Coppola’s troubled The Cotton Club ($2.9M opening--$25.9M cume). 18 years later, they teamed up with much better results in Adrian Lyne’s Unfaithful, which represented a breakout performance for Lane.
Not only did the actress, married in real life to actor Josh Brolin from the forthcoming W., earn her first Oscar nomination for Unfaithful (who can forget the remarkable sequence on the subway ride after her first dalliance with Olivier Martinez?), she also became the benchmark for graceful aging in Hollywood. Lane remains among the most beautiful actresses in the business and, contrary to Meg Ryan currently starring in The Women, she “appears” to have avoided the “cosmetic enhancement trap.”
Unfaithful scored $14M on opening weekend and generated a nifty $52.7M in its US theatrical run. Countless more have seen it on DVD and cable, and it is fair to say that older women are excited about seeing Lane and Gere together again. Add the fact that Nights in Rodanthe is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, like the 2004 surprise hit The Notebook, and you have the makings of a good solid box office performance. The $10M-$13M range seems about right for Rodanthe, and I am calling for the high end of that range.
Last week’s winner Lakeview Terrace (Sony) will likely be #3 this weekend, down about 55% to $6.75M, while Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna (Disney) will battle the Coen brothers’ strong-holding Burn After Reading for 4th. St. Anna is the 3rd new wide release this week, but it will open at a decidedly limited 1,100 or so locations. Lee has never been a movie hit-maker, but he had been more “commercially tone deaf” than usual for well over a decade until 2006’s Inside Man ($28.9M opening--$88.5M cume).
Spike has never been “Mr. Warmth,” but he has made some critical press blunders in advance of the release of Miracle at St. Anna. Picking a fight with industry icon Clint Eastwood is not smart. Complaining that he is a victim of “West coast bias” in Oscar voting is a mistake. Hollywood is talking about his new James McBride-penned WWII saga for all the wrong reasons. It remains to be seen just how strong the critical reaction to Miracle at St. Anna will be, but early reviews are on the negative side (33% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes as of Wednesday morning). Tracking is so-so and moviegoers have shown very little interest in war-themed films in the last couple of years, but the picture should be able to deliver $5,000-$5,500 per location for approximately $5.8M.
There are 3 more limited releases of note this week led by actor-turned-director Clark Gregg’s Choke (Fox Searchlight), based on Chuck Palahniuk’s bestselling novel. On about 400 screens, the edgy pic, starring Sam Rockwell and Academy Award winner Anjelica Huston, could grab $4,500-$5,000 per location for an opening weekend approaching $2M.
Meanwhile, The Lucky Ones (Lionsgate), a new movie from director Neil Burger (The Illusionist) opening on 400 or so screens, will play a bit softer than Choke. Iraq War veterans, played by Oscar winner Tim Robbins, Rachel McAdams (The Notebook) and Michael Pena (Crash), on a cross-country road trip dealing with a nation divided by a controversial war is a premise badly in need of excellent reviews to succeed, and the movie is running at only 36% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes as of Wednesday morning. Still, a PTA of $2,000-$2,500 is possible for a weekend gross of something shy of $1M.
Finally, Crane Movie Company is attempting to roll out a new vehicle featuring Sean Faris, the star of Never Back Down. There isn't much traction for the almost-as-generically-titled rugby movie Forever Strong, and it seems that an estimated $350,000 is in the cards.
FINAL PREDICTIONS FOR THE WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER 26
1. NEW – Eagle Eye (Dreamworks/Paramount) – $28M
2. NEW – Nights in Rodanthe (Warner Bros) - $12.9M
3. Lakeview Terrace (Sony) - $6.75M
4. NEW – Miracle at St. Anna (Disney) - $5.8M
5. Burn After Reading (Focus) - $5.7M
6. Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys (Lionsgate) - $3.8M
7. Righteous Kill (Overture) - $3.7M
8. My Best Friend's Girl (Lionsgate) - $3.5M
9. Igor (MGM) - $3.1M
10. The Women (Picturehouse) - $3M
*NEW - Choke (Fox Searchlight) - $2M
*NEW - The Lucky Ones (Lionsgate) - $900,000
*NEW – Forever Strong (Crane Movie Company) - $350,000
Go to our Box Office section for recent weekend movie analysis.
Brandon Lang (McConaughey) had a promising career to look forward to as a pro-football quarterback until he blows out his knee dashing those dreams. Now sidelined he decides to put his football expertise to good use by getting involved in sports gambling. Brandon toils around in anonymity for a while working for a small-time betting company but it's not enough for him. In steps sports-betting magnate Walter Abrams (Al Pacino) who gets wind of Brandon's talents and enlists him to work for his company taking him under his wing. Like everybody else Walter has his vices: he curses like Pacino secretly smokes and gambles large amounts of money. Plus he has a nefarious side that is inexplicably introduced once never to be manifested again. Under Walter's tutelage Brandon sheds his rugged image and his name--becoming known as John Anthony--and seemingly rescues the company. Yet all good things must come to an end as the story unravels into topsy-turvy matrimony and familial sap. "Huh?" would be the right reaction.
Two for the Money is perfectly cast but it's only because the actors seem reluctant to branch out into more daring directions content with staying in their safety zones. Luckily for McConaughey his football scenes are minimal because he can't pull the whole quarterback thing off convincingly. But when it comes his two movie personas--the casual Brandon and the hard-nosed businessman John--the actor shines. Or maybe that's the body oil slathered over his torso for the shirtless workout scenes. And honestly who else could pull off a line like "Me-me-me-me-ow-ow-ow-ow"? Pacino and Rene Russo as Walter's beleaguered wife don't fare as well even though they perform as expected. Pacino plays his usual vaguely corrupted boss man substituting his trademark yelling with merely talking loud (there is a difference). But it's the same Pacino we've come to know and therein lies the problem. Stuff like this just further obscures the days when he actually acted. Same can be said for Russo who deliberates before choosing a role (her last film was the 2002 Big Trouble) but then merely replicates the same character over and over.
For director D.J. Caruso--a relative newcomer in the directing arena but no stranger to film sets--the budgets keep getting exponentially larger and the profits smaller. Caruso was behind such flops as 2002's The Salton Sea and 2004's Taking Lives each of which failed to live up to expectations despite star power. Two for the Money perpetuates the trend. McConaughey's charisma and Pacino's venerability and swagger only have so much room to roam as a result of the fatal flaws that plague the story. What starts out as a somewhat compelling look at the world of sports betting a $200 billion a year industry turns into a run-of-the-mill feel-good drama. The continuity issue subtly sabotages the final act of Caruso's film in an attempt to leave you smiling. It doesn't work.