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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Even without having read Mark Helprin's novel Winter's Tale, I have the unshakable feeling that Akiva Goldsman's film adaptation does not do the story justice. Speckled throughout the moreover colorless movie are hints of an intriguing idea — a fantasy epic about an angel-demon bureaucracy coexisting with the human race throughout the span of 20th century New York City, operating within the parameters of a didactic miracle-granting system — an idea that doesn't come close to its full potential. In 118 minutes, we barely scratch the surface of the world in which an apparently immortal Colin Farrell finds himself. We see him cavort with Russell Crowe, a malicious gang-leader with netherworld origins, seek guidance from a mystical Pegasus, and carry out his destiny as the savior to a mysterious red-haired girl. But we never truly understand why any of this is happening. Not that it gets particularly confusing; on a plot level, it's all quite simple. But that's the problem — it shouldn't be.
The central conceit of the film is that everyone is put on this Earth with a divine "mission" to uphold. Farrell's gives us the narrative of Winter's Tale, introducing the various rules and officers of the supernatural regime along the way. Abandoned as a baby and brought up under the criminal regime of a Manhattanite from Hell (Crowe), Farrell ascends from orphan to petty thief to horse whispering renegade to whimsical lover of a dying Jessica Brown Findlay to ageless messiah... all without much clarity on the nature of the story (or stories) he's occupying, save for two ham-fisted scenes of exposition — one with Graham Greene (not the dead author) and one with Jennifer Connelly, who shows up halfway through the movie for some reason.
Warner Bros Pictures via Everett Collection
The world that Farrell is woven into has so many bright spots: we're on board for miracle quests, a magic-laden New York City, flying horses, and one of the biggest stars in Hollywood giving a cameo as the epitome of evil. Everything we see is fun, but it all flutters away as quickly as it arrives. We don't want quick bites of the way angels and demons do business with one another on the streets of Manhattan, we want the whole meal. A more thorough exploration of Helprin's world wouldn't just be doubly as interesting as the thin alternative we're offered in Goldsman's adaptation, it'd also fill in all the comprehensive gaps in Farrell's emotional throughline
We don't really understand so much of what happens to Farrell. Even when we're offered tangible explanations, we have no reason to understand why the Winter's Tale world works in such a way that Farrell might survive a 300-foot fall, develop amnesia, or sustain youth for a full century. What's more, we don't understand why Farrell's tale as a cog in this mystical machine is any more important than anyone else's. Or, if it's not, and we're simply asked to watch him carry out his quest as a glimpse into the vast, enigmatic system that Winter's Tale is ostensibly founded upon, we ... we don't understand enough of that world itself.
Warner Bros Pictures via Everett Collection
We're never invited close enough to any of the movie's attractive features for them to matter. So even when the movie does offer entertaining bits — in its fantastical elements, its detail of New Yorks old and new, or Farrell's admittedly charming romance with Findlay — we're not engaged enough to really connect with any of them.
Still, the flying horse is pretty cool.
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Yes, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is still in theatres, but we're already ready for more (especially as that ending was one helluva cliffhanger). What can we look forward to in the next installment of the trilogy quartet?
Less Josh Hutcherson – we know from the books that Peeta's only really in the second half of the story (fans are already speculating that Mockingjay Part I will end on [SPOILER ALERT] Hijacked Peeta's hands closing on Katniss' throat). Jennifer Lawrence also mentioned that she misses having Josh Hutcherson around on set. Sorry Peeniss shippers!
More Liam Hemsworth – now, Everthorne shippers, on the other hand, are in luck – Gale's going to be around a lot more in this movie. In fact, we're all in for a treat, as Hemsworth has given us such thrilling and nuanced performances in the past! (Sarcasm is hard to get across in print, isn't it?).
More Sam Claflin – this one, I'm genuinely excited for (and for more than just superficial reasons, ahem). As is director Francis Lawrence – in an interview with TIME Magazine, he gave credit where credit was due in terms of Sam Claflin re: physical appearance and level of charmingness, but noted that what he really liked was "the emotional side of him." We'll also get some more of Finnick's backstory, something that was missing from Catching Fire.
(Even) more emotional turmoil – Katniss' severe PTSD is one thing on the page in first person narrative, and it's almost certain to be quite another on the big screen: we're guessing that it's going to be fascinating to watch with the Lawrence2 acting/directing team does with all the heavy themes. In his recent Reddit AMA Francis Lawrence even noted that one of the biggest challenges of the film will be "tracking her [Katniss'] emotional trajectory." Judging from Catching Fire, we know they'll do it with aplomb, no matter how difficult.
Bonus: Jennifer Lawrence will sing! (?) – when asked if Katniss will be singing "The Hanging Tree" in Mockingjay, Francis Lawrence coyly demurred, but noted that it was "one of my [his] favorite scenes in the book."
With The Hunger Games: Catching Fire being released today, there is no better time to check out all the amazing films this talented cast has previous appeared in, including the first Hunger Games . Luckily, it's now easier than ever to watch these movies instantly! With Redbox Instant by Verizon, members can enjoy all the instant streaming they can handle as well as four DVD Redbox kiosk rentals per month, and the best part? The first month is free. So, in honor of Catching Fire and Redbox, we've compiled a list of films available that all you Hunger Games fans must see.
Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen)Silver Linings Playbook (kiosk)– Check out the role that won Lawrence her first Oscar! In Silver Linings Playbook, Lawrence brings out her funny, kooky, and super talented side when she takes on the role of Tiffany, a young woman grieving the recent death of her husband. When Tiffany meets Pat (Bradley Cooper) they duo find ways to help each other overcome their mental, physical, and emotional ailments, typically to the delight of audiences as Cooper and Lawrence are hilariously sweet in this must see film.
Like Crazy (streaming)– Before Lawrence moved into the blockbuster arena, she started out with roles in indie films such as this critically acclaimed gem. In Like Crazy, Lawrence plays Sam, the breezy on and off girlfriend of Jacob (Anton Yelchin), an introspective man who is struggling to decided if he should stay in his long-distance relationship.
Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne)Empire State (kiosk)– Between filming The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, Hemsworth took on the role of Chris in Empire State. Based on a true story, the film follows Chris and his best friend Eddie (Michael Angarano) as they rob an armored truck, and the trouble they get in when a veteran NYPD detective (Dwayne Johnson) becomes suspicious of them.
The Expendables 2 (streaming)– In this big-budget Hollywood blockbuster, Hemsworth takes on the role of Billy the Kid, an ex-military sniper who joins Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Jason Statham's characters on their quest for revenge.
Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark)Epic (kiosk)– In this delightful animated film, Hutcherson voices Nod, a rookie warrior who falls in love with the main character, M.K. (Amanda Seyfried) on her journey through the Bomba forest.
Fragments (streaming)– A unique ensamble drama, the film centers on a group of strangers who form a bond after they all survive a random diner shooting. A young Hutcherson takes on the role of Jimmy Jaspersen, a boy who is present during the shooting and becomes reclusive after seeing a man die.
Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket)The 40 Year Old Virgin (kiosk)– In this hit comedy, Steve Carell stars as Andy, a 40 year old man who has never had sex. When he meets Banks' character Beth, Andy tries to seduce her with hilarious and awkward outcomes.
What to Expect When You're Expecting (streaming)– This comedic film adaption of the best-selling pregnancy guide follows many different women who face the typical pitfalls the come with having babies. Banks plays Wendy, a woman who has tried to get pregnant for years, and when she finally does, absolutely hates all the painful, gross, and unexpected things that happen when you're nurturing a baby.
Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy)
Seven Psychopaths (at kiosk)– In this British comedy, Harrelson plays Charlie Costello a.k.a. Psychopath No. 3, who is basically the bad guy in a film about bad guys. However, this film is exceptional due to the wonderful cast and Harrelson's typical sarcastic wit.
Rampart (at kiosk)– In this drama, Harrelson takes on the role of David Brown, a dirty LAPD veteran who must face the consequences of his professionally inappropriate actions that have caused trouble for his department and his family.
Donald Sutherland (President Snow)Panic (streaming)– This eerie film focuses on Alex (William H. Macy), a hit-man who is slowly becoming uncomfortable with his line of work. As a result, he begins attending therapy where Alex discovers the his traumatic childhood relationship wit his father (Sutherland), a dominating and threatening man who steered Alex into the "family business."
Fierce People (streaming)– In this quirky drama, Sutherland plays an aging billionaire who introduces a young man into the life of the ultra-rich, and shows him just how steep a price it costs to live in the upper-crust world.
Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman)Jack the Giant Slayer (kiosk)– Based on the English fairytales "Jack the Giant Killer" and "Jack and the Beanstalk," the film follows Jack, a young farmhand that must save the kingdom's Princess after he accidentally opens a portal to a world of giants. Tucci plays Lord Roderick, the King's advisor who has evil plans of taking over the kingdom.
Big Night (streaming)- This critically acclaimed film, which Tucci directed and starred in, follows the tale of two immigrant brothers' struggles on the New Jersey shore in the 1950s.
And, of course, you can see all these actors in The Hunger Games, which is available via instant streaming (oh, go ahead, watch it over and over, we won't judge). Plus, make sure you check out the thousands of other instant movies available with your free Redbox trial.
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Fashion icons aren’t born, folks. They are made, and the red carpet plays a key role in that process. Right now the high fashion faves are fairly easy to spot. Kerry Washington, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Anne Hathaway, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Lawrence – these are the ladies from which we’ve come to expect big things. But there are a few up-and-coming actresses who are catching the eyes of fashionistas the world over. Start paying attention to these ladies because you may be bearing witness to the making of a fashion star.
Chloë Grace Moretz
Chloë’s not quite a household name, but she’s getting there. With starring roles in films like Carrie and Kick Ass 2, Moretz had a big year hitting up the red carpet. Fashion bloggers love her look because she always manages to rock age-appropriate styles, but stays in high fashion with designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino and Chanel. This is no small feat, but with bright colors and pastels, Ms. Chloë works the red carpet like a 16 year-old star should.
This year’s new Juliet also had plenty of reasons to attend red carpet events, with the premieres of her new movies, Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and Ender’s Game. She’s one of the youngest actors to ever be nominated for an Academy Award (because she was amazing in 2011’s True Grit), and now she’s winning the hearts of the fashion critics. Steinfeld takes a lot of risks with her style, and it doesn't always pan out perfectly, but you get the sense that she plays an instrumental role in her look. Rocking the likes of J Brand, Thakoon, Alexander McQueen and Topshop, Steinfeld and Moretz both manage to look simultaneously youthful and elegant when they step on the scene.
During her world tour promoting The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Collins quickly became a red carpet favorite. Also unafraid of taking risks, Collins has rocked some majorly sexy looks throughout the year. She looks absolutely stunning in gowns that have sheer or mesh patterns, and we love what she did for the crop top as well.
Many of us first came to know Ashley as the sexy little English girl stirring up trouble in the Hamptons on Revenge. But fashion lovers know her for her bold red carpet looks and her amazing blog Ring My Bell. Getting lost in the gorgeous vortex that is her closet will soon become your new favorite pastime. Madekwe is always stunning, rocking a lot of red lip and some seriously plunging necklines. If you want to know how to do grown and sexy—with a little bit of punk—Smashley’s your girl.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Lady Sybil is back, ya'll — well, the actress who played her is, at least. In the trailer for the romantic fantasy Winter's Tale, Downton Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay is romanced by Colin Farrell (although we wish she were still madly in love with her Irish rebel back at the Downton estate), and... time-travel is involved?
The Warner Bros. film, which is based on Mark Helprin's 1983 novel of the same name, follows a thief named Peter (Farrell) who falls in love with a dying woman named Beverly (Findlay). (Side note: Why is Findlay always dying?). Decades later, we find an un-aged Peter in New York City with no recollection of his former life. Yes, it appears that we've got another time-traveling romance on our hands (we're looking at you, About Time), or as IMDB says, a story of reincarnation.
The trailer makes the film's plot seem a little bit scattered, but what we can discern from the two-and-a-half minute peek is that Jennifer Connelly eventually steps in to help forgetful, time-jumping Peter remember who he is and what happened to him and Beverly. Oh, and Russell Crowe plays a mobster with a gigantic scar on his face who's out to kill Peter, and Peter's mystical horse might be able to travel through time as well. Yup, that's all we can put together. Take a look at the trailer and try and figure out if you can solve the Winter Tale mystery.
Winter's Tale, which is directed by Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind), is set to hit theaters on Feb. 14, 2014. If the film is being released on Valentine's Day, it has to have a happy ending, right?
Married country stars Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert reigned supreme at the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday night (06Nov13) after picking up Male and Female Vocalist of the Year awards. Shelton also took home Album of the Year for Based on a True Story.
Florida Georgia Line were another winning duo - they claimed Vocal Duo of the Year and Single of the Year for their crossover hit, Cruise.
'King of Country' George Strait was honoured with the biggest prize of the night, Entertainer of the Year, marking his third win in the category, but his first since 1990.
He remembered his late father, who died in June (13), in his acceptance speech, saying, "My dad's been having some pretty good conversations up there."
Country music sweetheart Taylor Swift became only the second artist ever to be presented with the Pinnacle Award, and she was left speechless when Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, George Strait and Keith Urban all took the stage to salute her. Swift opened for each of the acts earlier in her career.
The Love Story singer eventually said, "They told me this was going to happen, but I didn't know it was going to be all this. My parents aren't just crying, they're bawling at this point."
She then honoured the country artists who have helped her throughout her career, stating George Strait, "taught me to play the songs your fans want to hear" and McGraw and Hill, "have a style that is a pinnacle I will never reach."
The evening was also filled with a plethora of performances, including sets from Luke Bryan, who opened the show, Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, Tim McGraw, and co-hosts Carrie Underwood and Paisley.
In addition, some of country's biggest names teamed up for special collaborations - Lambert joined Urban; Swift hit the stage with Alison Krauss and Vince Gill, Hunter Hayes and Jason Mraz teamed up and and the Zac Brown Band performed with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.
Alan Jackson and George Strait also came together for a tribute to the late George Jones, while Kenny Rogers was feted for his tremendous career by Jennifer Nettles, Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts.
The full list of winners at the 2013 Country Music Association Awards is:
Entertainer of the Year: George Strait
Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
Male Vocalist of the Year: Blake Shelton
Vocal Group of the Year: Little Big Town
Vocal Duo of the Year: Florida Georgia Line
Album of the Year: Based on a True Story by Blake Shelton
Single of the Year: Cruise by Florida Georgia Line
Song of the Year: I Drive Your Truck by Lee Brice
Musical Event of the Year: Highway Don't Care by Tim McGraw feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban
Music Video of the Year: Highway Don't Care by Tim McGraw feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban
New Artist of the Year: Kacey Musgraves
Musician of the Year: Mac McAnally
Pinnacle Award: Taylor Swift
Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award: Kenny Rogers
We don't have time to be excited for Mockingjay yet, we're still too busy being excited for Catching Fire!
There's no rest for a diehard Hunger Games fan, as before even the second chapter of the franchise hits theaters, we're finding behind-the-scenes photos for the third! These new pics from the set of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (the penultimate entry in the movie series) showcase stars Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth skulking, sniping, and just enjoying a nice relaxing Sunday on the water.
Despite the sunny ambiance of these phots, the third book in Suzanne Collins' series has hero Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) spending a good deal of time underground. As part of a movement to regain civility for her oppressed nation, Katniss explores unknown districts of Panem and encounters new characters (such as Julianne Moore's Alma Coin). We're not certain where filmmakers will split Collins' Mockingjay to produce two movies, but we look forward to both films nonetheless.
In the meantime, we wait for Catching Fire, which hits theaters Nov. 22.
More:Buy Your 'Catching Fire' Tickets Now!The Official Soundtrack for 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'Jennifer Lawrence Burns Bright in New 'Catching Fire' Poster
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Halle Berry is celebrating after a bill banning paparazzi harassment was signed into law in California on Tuesday (24Sep13). The Monster's Ball star and Jennifer Garner both testified last month (Aug13) in support of Senate Bill 606, which imposes tougher penalties on photographers who constantly tail public figures and their kids, and also makes it easier for parents to sue for damages over harassment.
Pregnant actress Berry, who is also mother to daughter Nahla, five, has expressed her thanks to Governor Jerry Brown for signing the law, which comes into effect on 1 January (14).
In a statement, she says, "I started this fight with a great deal of hope and a bit of uncertainty so I cannot express my immense gratitude that Governor Brown has recognised, and acted to remedy, the plight of children who are tormented because of the identity or prominence of their parents. On behalf of my children, it is my hope that this is the beginning of the end for those overly aggressive paparazzi whose outrageous conduct has caused so much trauma and emotional distress."
Berry also thanked fellow Hollywood mum Garner and British soul singer Adele for joining her in the fight to protect their kids: "I am forever in awe of the support I got within my community from the enormously talented musician Adele to fellow actor Jennifer Garner who travelled with me to Sacramento to share her children's stories, experience and her desire to give them a better life.
"I'm grateful to Nia Vardalos and the numerous parents who work as actors, musicians, as well as professionals in medicine, mental health, lawyers, judges and cops who have experienced their children being harassed, tormented or otherwise put in dangerous situations due to their parent's profession and therefore lent their support. It is for all of us that I rejoice today and hope that this fight will continue and that the proper enforcement of this law will truly make a positive impact on the daily lives of all children."