While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
He had been battling cancer and passed away on Wednesday (30Jun10) in London, where he had lived and worked for many years. Further details about his illness were not released as WENN went to press.
Kastner began his professional career as a literary agent, and went on to produce films based on novels including Vladimir Nabokov's Laughter in the Dark and Iris Murdoch's A Severed Head.
His other film credits included: Harper, starring Paul Newman; World War II drama Where Eagles Dare, starring Richard Burton; and The Missouri Breaks, with Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson.
Kastner made three movies with Brando and five with Burton, including 1977 psychological drama Equus.
However, he is perhaps best-known for his film adaptations of Raymond Chandler's novels, such as The Long Goodbye (1973), Farewell, My Lovely (1975) and The Big Sleep (1978).
Kastner is survived by a son, Dillon, and a daughter, Milita. He is also survived by three stepsons from his second marriage to Tessa Kennedy.
The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.
[IMG: LBilly Elliot the Musical stole the show at the 2009 Tony Awards on Sunday night, June 9, winning an astonishing 10 prizes.
The show scooped the prestigious Best Musical award, and there were statuettes for writer Lee Hall, director Stephen Daldry and its three young stars David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish.
Elsewhere, acting legend Angela Lansbury made Broadway history by winning her record-equaling fifth Tony.
Lansbury was awarded the Best Featured Actress in a Play prize for her role in Blithe Spirit, bringing her level with five-time Tony winner Julie Harris.
After accepting her award, the 83-year-old star said, "I had no plan to tie Julie Harris' record of five Tony Awards; she is the greatest actress of our time. As for my sixth, don't bet on it — but there are some roles I could still play on Broadway. I would do Off-Broadway, as long as I can keep acting — it's the only thing I know how I do."
There was also an acting award for Marcia Gay Harden for her performance in God of Carnage, which was named Best Play.
Liza Minnelli's production Liza's at The Palace won Best Special Theatrical Event.
Celebrity guests at the bash at Manhattan's Radio City Musical Hall, including Sir Elton John, Jane Fonda and Kevin Spacey, were treated to musical performances of shows currently gracing New York's theater district.
And there were tributes to Broadway stars who have died in the past year, including Paul Newman, Natasha Richardson, Bea Arthur, Eartha Kitt and theater impresario Gerald Schoenfeld.
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