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
A man who is believed to be Michael Jackson's illegitimate son has tested 99.9 per cent positive as a DNA match to the King of Pop. Brandon Howard, who bares a striking resemblance to a young Michael, is the 31-year-old son of singer Miki Howard, who was managed by the Thriller hitmaker's father Joe Jackson back in the 1980s.
He underwent a paternity test some time ago to prove the Thriller hitmaker was his dad, but reportedly kept the results between himself and a few friends and family members.
FilmOn.com boss Alki David uncovered the scandal and set out to make the information public after obtaining the superstar's DNA from an old dental impression he bought at auction from a Beverly Hills doctor.
He had lab technicians compare the genetics from the orthodontic device to that of Howard's, which he had also discovered, and had the results read out during a livestream on FilmOn.com on Thursday (06Mar14).
Jackson's longtime pal, actor Corey Feldman, was present for the big reveal, as a doctor confirmed, "The probability of parenthood is 99.9 per cent."
Howard was not in attendance at the event and has since posted a video online distancing himself from the whole controversy.
In the footage, the singer, who goes by the name B. Howard, says, "Number one, I did not call TMZ or anything like that, didn't put out a story, nothing. Number two, I have never self-proclaimed to be Michael Jackson's son. Number three, I am definitely not suing the (Jackson) estate, I've been taken care of very well, and also I make my own cash.
"Number four, it is true I did a DNA test but it had nothing to do with any of this, I swear on my life..."
Meanwhile, Feldman has defended Howard in a series of posts on his Twitter.com blog, in which he suggests he was aware of Howard's existence all along.
In messages posted before the DNA results were announced, he wrote, "PLEASE UNDERSTAND: (Howard) didn't talk 2 (sic) the press! He never asked 4 (sic) $ (money)! And he has STILL NOT CLAIMED he is MJs kid (sic)!
"SOME SLEEZBALL FOUND OUT ABOUT THE TEST AND MADE UP A STORY AND SOLD IT 2 (sic) TMZ! That's the WHOLE STORY!!! It was meant 2 B (sic)PRIVATE INFO!"
Jackson died in 2009.
The actress filed legal papers at Los Angeles County Superior Court citing "irreconcilable differences" for the split.
Marcil, who married the CSI:NY star in 2010, has also asked the court to award her spousal support and legal fees, according to TMZ.com.
The actress previously dated Corey Feldman and has a son, Kassius, with her former Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Brian Austin Green, who is now married to Megan Fox.
Last year director Garry Marshall hit upon a devilishly canny approach to the romantic comedy. A more polished refinement of Hal Needham’s experimental Cannonball Run method it called for assembling a gaggle of famous faces from across the demographic spectrum and pairing them with a shallow day-in-the-life narrative packed with gobs of gooey sentiment. A cynical strategy to be sure but one that paid handsome dividends: Valentine’s Day earned over $56 million in its opening weekend surpassing even the rosiest of forecasts. Buoyed by the success Marshall and his screenwriter Katherine Fugate hastily retreated to the bowels of Hades to apply their lucrative formula to another holiday historically steeped in romantic significance and New Year’s Eve was born.
Set in Manhattan on the last day of the year New Year’s Eve crams together a dozen or so canned scenarios into one bloated barely coherent mass of cliches. As before Marshall’s recruited an impressive ensemble of minions to do his unholy bidding including Oscar winners Hilary Swank Halle Berry and Robert De Niro the latter luxuriating in a role that didn’t require him to get out of bed. High School Musical’s Zac Efron is paired up with ‘80s icon Michelle Pfeiffer – giving teenage girls and their fathers something to bond over – while Glee’s Lea Michele meets cute with a pajama-clad Ashton Kutcher. There’s Katherine Heigl in a familiar jilted-fiance role Sarah Jessica Parker as a fretful single mom and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as the most laid-back cop in New York. Sofia Vergara and Hector Elizondo mine for cheap laughs with thick accents – his fake and hers real – and Jessica Biel and Josh Duhamel deftly mix beauty with blandness. Fans of awful music will delight in the sounds of Jon Bon Jovi straining against type to play a relevant pop musician.
The task of interweaving the various storylines is too great for Marshall and New Year’s Eve bears the distinct scent and stain of an editing-room bloodbath with plot holes so gaping that not even the brightest of celebrity smiles can obscure them. But that’s not the point – it never was. You should know better than to expect logic from a film that portrays 24-year-old Efron and 46-year-old Parker as brother-and-sister without bothering to explain how such an apparent scientific miracle might have come to pass. Marshall wagers that by the time the ball drops and the film’s last melodramatic sequence has ended prior transgressions will be absolved and moviegoers will be content to bask in New Year's Eve's artificial glow. The gambit worked for Valentine's Day; this time he may not be so fortunate.
The Lost Boys star joined comedian Eddie Griffin, actor Mickey Rooney and members of the Jackson family at the Beverly Hilton hotel event, held a day after the first anniversary of the Thriller star's death, and he was in a forgiving mood.
Feldman told attendees that he and Jackson hadn't spoken for the last eight years of the pop star's life and now the actor deeply regrets not taking his phone calls as he attempted to "reach out" and mend their broken friendship.
He said, "Michael and I were friends, really close friends for about 18 years... (but) it was eight years before he passed away that we didn't speak; we had a bit of a falling out and, when we had that falling out, I held a grudge... and eight years passed and suddenly he was gone.
"Michael made efforts to reach out to me during that period of time... I did not. I was holding firm.
"But, what I learned is that forgiveness is the most important thing in this world. I can never ever let go of the fact that I didn't get the chance to say goodbye, or give Michael a hug or tell him again that I loved him, so I'm taking that opportunity right now, to say, 'Michael, I forgive you, I hope you forgive me and I love you.'"