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
During this time of year, guys everywhere start putting on their thinking caps to come up with romantic ideas to impress a woman, whether it's someone that he's just met or the person he's been married to for 20 years.
While many men struggle with the intricacies of romance, the dudes of television have a whole team of writers helping them figure things out. Thanks to those scribes, a little television watching can provide a steady stream of lessons that will help even the most clueless guy navigate the wild waters that Nathan Fillion's Rick Castle and John Krasinski's Jim Halpert have already traversed.
Let Your Partners Be Themselves (and Make a Big Deal of Their Birthdays)When your significant other is the person that the term "adorkable" was coined for, a certain amount of quirkiness is to be expected… but even if you're not dating Jess from New Girl, you have to let your lover be her or himself. Jake Johnson's Nick has grown to love Zooey Deschanel's alter ego because of her individuality. Even when he doesn’t understand what's going on entirely, he tries. After learning that Jess has always been disappointed by her big birthday expectations, Nick didn't just plan a surprise party… he rented a theater and made a movie to honor his girl. Sometimes you have to go big or go home.
Be Patient and Maybe Eventually Your Partner Will Do SomethingAfter Castle bided his time for four seasons, it was finally Beckett (Stana Katic) that made the move after she had a near death experience. Television history is littered with similar examples. Most of our favorite TV fellows have difficulty reading romantic signals — when in doubt, stand there and look stupid long enough and sooner or later they'll tell you what to do (or just do it themselves).
Don't Let Your Partner's Intellectual Superiority Intimidate YouOn Bones, David Boreanaz's Special Agent Booth is a highly accomplished FBI operative. He's a man's man and quite good looking to boot. Even with all of that, however, there's no getting around the fact that he's in love with someone who is smarter than he is. Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel) is too brilliant for anyone to compete with… so Booth doesn't try. He appreciates the fact that Bones is intelligent. Instead of trying to match intellects or stressing out about it, he just tries to get her to like pie. Lesson? Pick battles you might have a chance to win.
Bring Your Partner Coffee (or Some Sort of Beverage)Castle always brings Beckett coffee in the morning. Sometimes he makes her coffee. They rarely show Beckett actually drinking the coffee. For all we know she prefers tea, but Castle brings her coffee every day because it makes her smile. If you find something that makes your partner smile every day, then you keep doing it.
"You Know Nothing" Can Still Mean "I Like You"Everyone knows that adolescents sometimes act poorly towards each other in order to mask other feelings. On Game of Thrones, Rose Leslie's Ygritte's catch phrase is "You know nothing, Jon Snow." Of course, then she saved his life and seduced him. So, even in adulthood, if someone is tormenting and mocking you, it doesn't mean that she or he doesn't dig you.
Alec Baldwin turned to police for help after becoming "alarmed" by the actions of an alleged stalker, who was arrested twice last year (12), a court has heard. Canadian actress Genevieve Sabourin, 40, is facing trial in New York next week (beg11Nov13), amid accusations she bombarded the former 30 Rock star with emails, and made unwelcome visits to his Manhattan home after they enjoyed dinner together in 2010.
Baldwin insisted his initial meetings with Sabourin were purely business, but the actress, who violated a restraining order against her last autumn (Nov12), claims otherwise.
Pre-trial hearings began in Manhattan Criminal Court this week (begs04Nov13), and on Thursday (07Nov13), officials heard testimony from Detective Francis Brennan, who revealed Baldwin was even forced to get rid of his old cell phone in an effort to stop Sabourin from contacting him.
Brennan said, "(Baldwin had) been alarmed since she's been showing up at functions unannounced and he was in fear for his safety... He said he received hundreds of text messages on his phone and he was receiving emails from her basically telling him to leave his wife and to live with her. He got rid of his phone - the phone she kept calling."
Sabourin, who has protested her innocence, rejected a plea deal which would have kept her out of jail in April (13), and she now faces up to 90 days behind bars if convicted.
Baldwin and his wife, new mum Hilaria, are both expected to testify at the trial next week.
Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch is to play illusionist Harry Houdini's wife in a new Dublin, Ireland play. The actress, who played Luna Lovegood in the Potter movie franchise, will team up with British actors Jamie Nichols and Stuart Brennan onstage at the Gaiety Theatre next month (Oct13).
The 22 year old tells the Irish Independent that it will be a "strange" making her stage debut at a theatre she has always loved.
She says, "Theatre was always something that's been in the back of my mind and my parents were really keen for me to do it; so the little girl in me just wants to make them happy. I've been to the Gaiety plenty of times, since I was five years of age, so it will be a bit strange to be up there, on the other side of things, actually on stage. But I'm looking forward to it and it's definitely something I'd like to do more of."
"Just read Cory Monteith memorial episode. Most beautiful thing. Thank you, (Glee Co-creators) Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan." Glee star Jane Lynch is moved after reading the script for an upcoming tribute episode for tragic castmember Cory Monteith.
Being an aging actress in Hollywood is tough. But Karen Black had it more difficult than most. This past March, with her money from her '70s golden age starring in films like Easy Rider and The Great Gatsby all spent, she took to Kickstarter to fund her treatment for ampullary cancer. She almost doubled her goal of $32,000 before she stopped accepting donations in June. But late Thursday afternoon, word broke that Black had died of her disease. She was 74.
Black starred in some of the greatest films of the '60s and '70s. In her memory, here are clips from five of her greatest performances.
Easy Rider (1969)
Black played a prostitute named Karen in Dennis Hopper's counterculture road movie. Even in a relatively small part you couldn't take your eyes off her.
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Her best known role may be as Rayette Dipesto in Bob Rafelson's study of Boomer individualism. The whole movie is a showcase for Jack Nicholson's "me me me" scenery chewing, but Black's quiet presence is striking. If Jack is like the wild tetherball, flailing about in all directions, she's like the pole, grounded and steady.
The Great Gatsby (1974)
Isla Fisher opted for a more comical take on Tom Buchanan's lover Myrtle in Baz Luhrmann's Gatsby flick. Almost 40 years earlier, Black played Myrtle as a deluded dreamer with a crazed look in her eyes. She really is kind of terrifying in this scene.
As doomed country singer Connie White, Black showed how imprisoning fame can be in Robert Altman's masterpiece. There's no video available online showing just her work in Nashville, but she discusses the film in the above interview.
Family Plot (1976)
In Alfred Hitchcock's last film, Black donned a platinum blonde wig for a largely mute role as a jewel thief. She exudes steely malice, especially when tangling with Bruce Dern, who'd previously played Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt | Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @Hollywood_com
More: ‘Private Benjamin’ Star Eileen Brennan Dies at 80 ‘Law & Order’ Tough Guy Dennis Farina Dies Cory Monteith’s Death Due to Alcohol, Heroin
From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
Hollywood actress Goldie Hawn has expressed her sadness following the death of her Private Benjamin co-star Eileen Brennan. The 80 year old passed away at her home in Burbank, California on Sunday (28Jul13) after a battle with bladder cancer, and the news has prompted an outpouring of grief among her famous friends and colleagues.
Hawn appeared opposite Brennan in 1980 comedy Private Benjamin and she was among the first to pay tribute to the late actress, writing in a post on her Twitter.com page, "We have lost my old friend Eileen Brennan. No one ever made me laugh more! Now I cry. Please keep singing darling on high. Rest."
Brennan also appeared in U.S. drama series 7th Heaven, and a number of her co-stars on the show have expressed their sadness publicly.
Beverley Mitchell writes in a post on Twitter, "So blessed to have worked with Eileen Brennan. She was incredible as Mrs. Bink. 7th Heaven she will be missed! Thank you for the memories," while Stephen Collins tweets, "RIP to the great Eileen Brennan, who graced 7th Heaven as the wonderfully strange Mrs. Bink. What a talent, what a career, what a life."
Actresses Elizabeth Banks and Eliza Dushku have also offered tributes to Brennan, along with Neil Patrick Harris, who writes, "Rest in peace, Eileen Brennan. Your performance of Mrs. Peacock in Clue was one of the funniest I've ever seen. You'll be quoted forever."
TV and movie veteran Eileen Brennan has lost her battle with bladder cancer at the age of 80. The Last Picture Show and Private Benjamin star passed away at her home in Burbank, California on Sunday (28Jul13), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
She portrayed a brothel madam in 1973's The Sting and Peter Falk’s secretary in Murder by Death, but she is perhaps best remembered as tough captain Doreen Lewis in Private Benjamin - a role that earned her an Oscar nomination.
On TV, she appeared in comedy skits on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and in All in the Family.
Last year (12), Brennan told America's Globe magazine she was ready to die after beating breast cancer and an addiction to prescription pills and surviving a near-fatal car accident.
She said, "I've had a wonderful, simply wonderful life and career, and I'm also at a point where leaving this place behind is just fine and dandy with me... I'm ready any time... Just let it be quick and painless."
And Brennan admitted life had become quite a lonely existence as a housebound pensioner, adding, "I'd like to go to the store and see the fruit and vegetables and how colourful they all are, but I don't go. I have no way of getting there. I sit on the porch, and I read the newspapers and watch the squirrels play."
The actress also told the publication she felt she had been living on borrowed time since she was run over by a car while leaving a dinner with her Private Benjamin co-star Goldie Hawn in 1982.
The horrendous accident left her with serious leg injuries, multiple facial fractures, a broken nose and it dislodged an eyeball from its socket.
She explained, "To be honest, I have no idea how I survived. I should be dead, really. Sometimes I wish I was."
Brennan claimed the accident robbed her of her life and she became hooked on strong painkillers that finally led her to rehab at the Betty Ford Clinic in California.
Slipknot star Shawn Crahan is to make his directorial debut with a movie adaptation of graphic novel Officer Downe. Joe Casey has revamped his own comic book about a Los Angeles police officer who crooks can't kill for the big screen and Slipknot's manager Cory Brennan will executive produce.
Crahan is not new to the world of directing - he has helmed many of his band's music videos.
You probably know Olivia Wilde as Dr. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley, the bisexual doctor with Huntington's disease who worked for House. Or you recall her from the action movies TRON: Legacy or Cowboys & Aliens. But while Wilde is a talented actress, she also has a passion for getting behind the camera.
"I want to make more documentaries," Wilde tells Hollywood.com Tuesday at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere for her short documentary The Rider and The Storm, which she executive produced. "I want to work with these guys [the movie's directors David Darg and Bryn Mooser, both pictured with Wilde above] again."
Wilde is drawn to documentaries because of the way these films tell stories. "Documentaries are the most powerful ways to tell stories and to teach people about things that are happening in the world," she says.
The Rider and the Storm follows Timmy Brennan, a New York iron worker whose house was completely destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, as he trys to recover his lost possessions in the ruins of his home. "This film is so powerful, [so] it's really important for people to see," Wilde says. "And I want to make more films like that. I'm really lucky to be able to come on as a producer on this film and to work with amazing directors is just wonderful. It's an honor."
Brennan's story hit close to home for Wilde, who is a New Yorker and was actually in the city when the deadly storm touched land and devastated communities around New York and New Jersey. "[During] Hurricane Sandy I was in lower Manhattan without power and water," Wilde says. "We were cuddling with our dog to stay warm."
Thankfully for Wilde, losing power and water for a while is the worst she experienced of Sandy. "We had it easy compared to the people in Breezy Point, and in the Rockaways, and in Red Hook, and in many other communities," she says. "So I really wanted to help bring the world a story of what actually happened to people when Sandy hit. And these guys made an incredible film."
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
More:Mad Madness Covered — Gallery 18 Reasons It's Impossible to Rood for 'Burt Wonderstone'Review: 'Burt Wonderstone' Needs a Few More Tricks
From Our Partners:Eva Longoria Bikinis on Spring Break (Celebuzz)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)