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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College. A time to find yourself, grow, branch out, and... endure yet another love triangle. Glee's heroine Rachel Berry has been the object of many a rivalry: Finn vs. Puck, Finn vs. Jesse, Finn vs. Jacob Ben Israel. But a new basis for conflict is on the horizon: with Rachel and Finn still in love, but many miles apart, it leaves their relationship on uneven ground. Fox has announced two new cast members for the upcoming season of Glee, and one will present a bit of a conflict in the realm of the Rachel/Finn department: Dean Geyer (Terra Nova) will play NYADA student Brody Weston, who develops an interest in freshman Rachel. Also joining the Glee cast is Jacob Artist, who will play Puck's trouble-making half-brother. Both actors will appear in the series' season premiere on Thursday, Sept. 13.
More info straight from Fox: Animation Domination is lining up several impressive stars to lend their voices to The Simpsons, the Seth MacFarlane lot, and Bob's Burgers for each program during the upcoming television season:The Simpsons: Zooey Deschanel returns to Springfield as Mary, Bart's estranged wife and daughter of Cletus the Slackjawed Yokel.The Cleveland Show: Kanye West and Bryan Cranston return to the series, with newcomers Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, Sofia Vergara and Nick Offerman.Family Guy: Johnny Depp brings his Edward Scissordhands character to Family Guy; Jon Hamm, Kellan Lutz, Elizabeth Banks, Ryan Reynolds, J.J. Abrams, Christina Milian, and Dick Wolf will also make appearances.American Dad: Patrick Stewart returns to the show as Stan's boss Avery Bullock, with Sarah Michelle Geller, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Nathan Fillion, Danny Glover, and Hogwarts grad Rupert Grint also appearing.Bob's Burgers: Zach Galifianakis will play a department store owner in love with a mannequin; Nick Offerman joins this show as well, along with real life wife (and Parks and Rec ex-wife) Megan Mullally, and Parks costar Aziz Ansari. Jeffrey Tambor, Bill Hader, Sarah Silverman, and Kevin Kline also appear.A piece of unconfirmed news surrounding the HBO series Game of Thrones: Screen Crush mentions Misfits star Iwan Rheon as a possible new cast member. Rheon, who played Simon Bellamy on the outstanding United Kingdom sci-fi series, has been mentioned in attachment to the character Ramsay Snow, a.k.a. Ramsay Bolton, the bastard son of Roose Bolton.
Speaking of superhero veterans: TVLine reports that Jack Coleman, star of NBC's Heroes (as well as a recurring player on The Vampire Diaries), will be taking a role on Castle as a problematic U.S. Senator... kind of like he does on The Office.
Finally, TVLine reports that Hart of Dixie is adding Golden Brooks (Girlfriends) to its cast for the upcoming second season. She will play a recurring character who returns to Bluebell and befriends the main character.
[Photo Credit: Fox]
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A “bedtime story” is a fairly succinct way to describe Lady. Of course a bedtime story being told by M. Night Shyamalan can go into any number of weird and wild directions. The writer/director says the idea for Lady was based on a story he’d told his kids which began with “Did you know that someone lives under our pool?” and revolves around Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti) a lowly superintendent for an apartment building who inadvertently finds Story (Bryce Dallas Howard) a mysterious nymph-like “narf ” living in the pool. She’s there to complete a task and now that it’s done she needs to go home back to the Blue World. But that’s easier said than done. She only has a small window of opportunity and apparently there’s a ferocious beast called a “scrunt” lurking in the grass around the pool waiting to kill her if she tries to leave. Now Cleveland and a few of the other tenants—who find themselves intricately tied to Story’s plight—must help her escape to freedom. Thank god for Sideways. Without it Giamatti would have gone on playing under the radar without the recognition—and juicier parts—he deserves. He is truly a wonder as Cleveland a sad little man with a stutter who is quietly trying to hide from a tragic past. It’s only when Story comes into his life does he face his personal tragedy and learn to live again. Howard on the other hand who wowed most of us with her stunning performance in The Village doesn’t have nearly as much to work with as the pale water nymph. The mystical character is fairly one note—befuddled and cheerless. But the rest of the apartment tenants shine: Jeffrey Wright (Syriana) as a single dad who has a penchant for crossword puzzles; Freddy Rodriguez (HBO’s Six Feet Under) as a weight builder who only lifts weights on one side of his body; Bob Balaban (A Mighty Wind) as a pompous film critic (and as a critic I’m not at all offended when he gets his comeuppances); Cindy Cheung as a Korean college student who is key in telling the epic bedtime story; Sarita Choudhury (She Hate Me) as a quippy young woman looking for her mission in life and Shyamalan himself as her brother the person Story is meant to inspire to write something extraordinary. There’s never a dull moment with this crew around. In a way M. Night Shyamalan has become his own worst enemy having to live up to this reputation as a master of suspense and surprise twists. His last effort The Village left many of his fans feeling unsatisfied—and unfortunately he may alienate more with Lady in the Water. But the fact of the matter is he is still one of Hollywood's more brilliant minds on par with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman for originality who has an innate talent for crafting ingenious stories filled with genuine human emotions. So maybe this time around he’s made a movie more for those most ardent of his fans who simply revel in the way his mind works no matter how incomprehensible and frivolous it may seem. So what? The diehards might feel compelled to defend Shyamalan’s choices with Lady—how he has come up with an entire universe where things like “scrunts” and the “Tartutic” (simian-like creatures who form an invincible force that maintains law and order in the Blue World) and “Madam Narfs” interact with humans in the real world. If the story actually took place in the Blue World then maybe it’d be easier to swallow. But that’s sort of the genius of Shyamalan. It’s as if with Lady in the Water he’s crafted a child-like movie for those adults who remember being told wildly creative bedtime stories who then in turn tell the stories to their kids.
Six months after his breakup with Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake is finally talking about it. Timberlake told People magazine that he still can't say the words "break up" because it hurts too badly. "You get to a point where you're crying yourself to sleep at night," he said. "I feel like I'm in the middle of a soap opera. I honestly know what it's like to have a broken heart now." Timberlake appears in People's June 24 issue, featuring "America's Top 50 Bachelors."
"I want that," is what Michael Jackson told his entourage about Queen Elizabeth's golden throne while touring Britain's Houses of Parliament on Friday, Reuters reports. Jackson--with friends magician David Blaine and psychic spoon bender Uri Geller--visited Westminster, where his unannounced visit took tourists by surprise. The bizarre trio is now headed to the city of Exeter for a children's charity event organized by the local soccer club, which is headed by Geller.
Former Party of Five star Jennifer Love Hewitt is releasing her debut album, BareNaked, on Sept. 24, Reuters reports. The self-titled single from the album, which was co-written by Hewitt and Meredith Brooks, will hit the airwaves July 1.
Director Joel Schumacher is developing a remake of the 1937 film A Star Is Born for Warner Bros. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Schumacher may also direct the pic, which is being produced by Jon Peters, with Will Smith in talks to take on the starring role.
British actor Jason Statham, who played Turkish in 2000's action comedy Snatch, has joined the cast of The Italian Job by director F. Gary Gray. According to Variety, the film focuses on a heist crew out to steal gold bullion by creating the largest traffic jam in the history of Los Angeles. The film also stars Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron and Edward Norton.
Pamela Anderson may soon be sending out her résumé. Columbia TriStar Domestic Television is pulling the plug on Anderson's syndicated action/adventure series, V.I.P., Reuters reports. In a statement Thursday, Columbia Tristar blamed the show's cancellation on financial troubles.
William Shatner will host a new series of late-night movies on the Sci-Fi Channel called William Shatner's Full Moon Fright Night starting July 20, The Associated Press reports. As well as introducing movies, Shatner will re-enact gruesome scenes from that night's film.
Michael Jackson, Barry Manilow, Sting, Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson and Randy Newman were honored by the Songwriters Hall of Fame on Thursday night, the AP reports. Liza Minnelli and her husband, David Gest, accepted the award on behalf of Jackson, who is currently in Great Britain. The ceremony will air on the Bravo network Oct. 7.