Kelly Osbourne was saved from a potentially fatal traffic accident by her dog on Thursday (20Mar14). Ozzy Osbourne's TV star daughter was pulled onto the floor by her pooch, Willy, during a walk and she later realised the bulldog had dragged out of the path of a car.
She posted a picture on her Instagram.com of her hugging her pet with the caption, "My dog just saved my life... we just went for a walk and I fell because Willy pulled me back from getting hit by a car!!!! Then he jumped on top of me to protect me! What a hero!"
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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Award shows are rough. Sometimes, the planets align and the most admirable nominees become thoroughly deserving winners (here's looking at you, Modern Family Season 1); other times, the industry goes into freak-out mode when an unexpected win shakes the system (even Edie Falco didn't know that Nurse Jackie was a comedy!). Then, perhaps, there's the most tragic of all award show misfortunes: the infamous Emmy oversight. These are the cases of the meritorious should-be nominees, the actors and actresses who don't make it onto the ballot, yet whose shows would lack the key ingredients that make them successes in the first place should the non-nominees depart.
What's Parks and Rec without the marvelous, mustachioed Nick Offerman? Revenge without Madeleine Stowe's perfectly icy gazes? It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia without the never-sunny-yet-always-Sweet (Dee) Kaitlin Olson?
Over the last few weeks, our writers have made their case for a host of performers who should have gotten the call from Emmy long ago, but who have yet to be nominated for their often irreplaceable roles on television's best (and sometimes not-so-best) shows. Here are some choice excerpts:
Kelly Schremph on Smash's Megan Hilty (Ivy Lynn): "Hilty brings more to the table than just her musical chops — she (or rather her multi-layered character) also brings tons of drama. Hilty provides a depth to the series in areas where everyone else falls short. She conjures up just as much emotion in her onstage performances as she does to her offstage antics. Ivy has faced a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the first season and, in doing so, has really carried a majority of the plot. Think about it — without Hilty's scene-stealing moments and grand musical numbers, would Smash really be... well... a smash?"
Michael Arbeiter on Happy Endings' Adam Pally (Max Blum): "The humor and the softer side of Max are both attributed to the glorious performance of Pally. He makes the character mean, but lovable. Hilarious, but sad. Max is more than just a wise-cracking sidekick; he's a lonely man, stuck in the only routine with which he's comfortable. The way Pally carries Max through each episode is not only entertaining — it's extremely artistic. He's constantly looking for love all the while pushing it away. And he throws in a handful of Goonies references and sardonic remarks to boot. While everyone on Happy Endings should be applauded, Pally is the reigning champion."
Kelsea Stahler on Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson): "…let us consider that Offerman’s talent extends beyond delivering hilarious one-liners with the anti-gusto that makes his brow-furrowed character who he is — though you’ve got to love the way he grumbles about anything that isn’t steak, whiskey, or breakfast food. His greatest contribution to the character is the fact that he can quite literally steal an entire episode with only a single, fleeting expression… while much of that credit goes to the writers, the creation of any great TV character is born out of a symbiotic relationship between an actor and the folks who put words in his mouth. Without Offerman, there is no Ron Swanson."
Aly Semigran on Girls' Zosia Mamet (Shoshanna): "While other actresses would have been tempted to play too over-the-top or underplay Shoshanna's less attractive qualities (a spoiled rich girl with all the luxuries of Manhattan life at her disposal whose main objective seems to be finding a man), Mamet has carefully crafted her character into a motormouth princess who you would likely avoid in real life, but whose every sped-up word on Girls you hang on to. ('I'm so happy to see you, I could murder you.') Not to mention, she's the most likable one of the bunch… Mamet has made the playful yet nuanced Shoshanna both Girls' colorfully dressed black sheep and the one viewers most want to include in their own gang."
Shaunna Murphy on Mad Men's Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper): "Shipka manages to steal every scene she's in. Though we love our Peggy, our Ken, and our Joan, it's Sally's experiences that are the most universally relatable, and it takes a very talented actor to make those experiences so emotionally powerful for the adults who went through them decades ago. Shipka makes it seem easy, and though we love Sunday night television's other female teen powerhouse (Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams as Arya Stark), it's Shipka that deserves the Emmy nomination this year. Thanks for making our own adolescence seem a little less terrifying in comparison."
Brian Moylan on Revenge's Madeleine Stowe (Victoria Grayson): "So often on television dramas you see the characters boiling over into histrionics and crying jags and pleading scenes where they're just asking for one man to love her. Never Ms. Stowe. It is all about control with her, not only of the other people around her, but over her own emotions. So often the Emmy goes to someone who is completely unhinged (congratulations on your inevitable victory, Claire Danes), but I think it's time that we bestow a trophy for the rarest of dramatic gifts: restraint."
Alicia Lutes on Veep's Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Selina Meyer): "Louis-Dreyfus has been in the game for ages, so she knows how to jump from cold to vulnerable to tedious to frazzled to sad to uppity to out-of-touch with a fluidity that is rarely seen in even the most practiced of dancers. Timing is everything in comedy, and when your comedic platform discusses the frenzied, constantly-moving multi-headed beast that is politics in America, well, you've got your work cut out for you. But not our girl Julia — oh no, no, no. She is in charge of at least one thing as Selina Meyer, and that is her comedic brilliance. There's no better sort of take-down than a comedy take-down, and home-girl is giving it to us."
Matt Patches on Awake's Jason Isaacs (Det. Michael Britten): "Issacs understands Britten in a way that makes him indefinitely malleable — a key to his ability of slipping back and forth between worlds. The perfect example of Killen's curveball-after-curveball strategy comes when Britten 'loses' his son's reality. Britten's groove is completely thrown off and Isaac sells it. Sometimes it's breakdown, breakdown, breakdown with Awake, but it always works thanks to Isaac's everyman quality. It's hard to imagine the man as the same guy who embodied the dastardly evil of Harry Potter's Lucius Malfoy."
Kate Ward on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Kaitlin Olson (Dee): "Credit Olson for being able to make you cheer for a woman you hope never to meet your entire life. She is one of the most unique actresses currently on television, playing a woman with little to no redeeming qualities outside of her ability to heavily binge drink… Not to mention the fact that Olson is one of the most gifted physical comediennes on television. Olson comes from the same school of physical comedy as former Emmy winners Lucille Ball, Debra Messing, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Add that to her spit-out-your-beer delivery of lines like "I will eat your babies, bitch!" and the actress' moxie (Olson once told me that she strongly lobbied for Dee to be just as terrible as the rest of her Paddy's cohorts, and not just act as "the girl" amongst horrible men), and it's hard not to hope that Olson will soon boast the award notoriety of comedy's most talented lady legends."
Kelsea Stahler on Shameless' Emmy Rossum (Fiona Gallagher): "Fiona’s load of issues is too much for one person, and taking on such a character is a feat for only the most talented, nimble actress. Rossum is just that. She tackles the mile-a-minute, inconsistent road of the Gallagher family rock with ease, switching from hot-and-heavy romance to motherly affection to stern, familial protector to losing her mind in the span of a single episode. She struggles with the feminist issue of being the eldest daughter and therefore being charged with the duty of taking her mother’s duty while her brothers frolic with their teenage tryst-mates. Rossum juggles the actress’ equivalent of her character’s harrowing load and she does so flawlessly."
Michael Arbeiter on Community's Danny Pudi (Abed): "While Pudi might be written off as a quirky sidekick character, he’s actually the lifeblood of Community. He’s the character with the most riveting emotional makeup, and quite often the character that commands the biggest laughs. Abed can most likely rattle off every Emmy winner in TV history. If there’s any justice in the world, he’d be adding Danny Pudi’s name to that list this fall."
Alicia Lutes on Parks and Recreation's Aubrey Plaza (April Ludgate): "In the world of comedy these days, awkward is king. And no one makes us feel more uncomfortable than Aubrey Plaza. And we mean that as a total compliment. No one has mastered the art of deadpan quite like her — and on a sitcom peppered with the hyper-enthusiasm of Leslie Knope, Tom Haverford, and her own husband (on the show) Andy Dwyer, her distaste for pretty much, well, everything is a fantastic foil for the show. To make a character like that not seem tedious and overdone is definitely no easy task, and April Ludgate-Dwyer's evolution over the past few seasons has shown her range. She is more than just the sarcastic girl, and for that we love her."
Brian Moylan on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: "That is why RHOBH is one of the best shows on television. It is like a gorgeous palace that was built on a tar pit and everyone once in awhile, the black ooze starts to bubble up all around it and all the ladies pretend like nothing is happening, like we can't see the inevitable disaster, but it's all there, all their hopes and fears, all their shattering omissions, all their deep dark regrets and bad behavior. It's all right there for us to see, and just like Willy Loman, that other great American tragic figure, demands: attention must be paid."
Kelly Schremph on Once Upon a Time's Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin): "…if there's one thing audiences love, it's a challenge. Carlyle gives us something to dissect and continually propels the plot forward with his double-crossing antics. It's impossible to determine which side he's really on, which makes him all the more enthralling and a bit of a wild card. Basically, Carlyle has the uncanny ability to spin character development into gold... The writers may be the creators, but Carlyle brings it all to life, keeping the audience on their toes right up to the very last mischievous laugh."
Aly Semigran on New Girl's Jake Johnson (Nick): "A great straight man stands back and lets the leading lady or pratfall man take the center stage, an unsung hero who effortlessly elevates the material with a biting quip or thoughtful detail. He is the ultimate secret weapon to making an ensemble tick, something Jake Johnson most certainly does every week on New Girl. It's not as obvious or sexy to nominate or reward subtle work, but if anyone is a testament to be an unassuming, unexpected delight, it's Jake Johnson."
[Photo Credits: NBC/FX/Fox]
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Though many details of The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, have yet to be revealed, there have now been multiple reports that producers have offered Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman the role of Plutarch Heavensbee — the new Gamemaker at the Capitol. Now that Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) is pushing up berries daisies, so to speak, President Snow has an open position to fill. That's where Hoffman (hopefully) comes in.
Unlike Crane, Heavensbee is a far savvier opponent in the political arena, and will play a very crucial role in the franchise's second installment. And since Hoffman just ended a highly acclaimed run playing Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman on Broadway, his schedule looks wide open to take on one of the biggest movie franchises in Hollywood (other than Twilight, of course).
Let's hope producers are able to stoke the flames and catch Hoffman's interest before it's too late because this is a casting match that will certainly leave fans hungry for more.
Follow Kelly on Twitter @KellyBean0415
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Burton wanted this Charlie to be strictly by the book--Roald Dahl's classic children's book that is. We meet Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore) a young boy who--despite living in deep poverty with his parents (Helena Bonham Carter and Noah Taylor) and both pair of grandparents--has a very positive outlook on life. His biggest dream is to meet famed chocolatetier Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp) and go inside his great chocolate factory a voluminous structure that looms over Charlie's little town. Even though great quantities of chocolate are still being made and shipped all over the world it's shrouded in mystery. No one has either gone in or come out of the factory in 15 years. But that's all about to change. Wonka announces he'll invite five lucky children to his factory--to get "all of its secrets and magic"--by hiding five golden tickets inside his chocolate bars. The ones who find the tickets get to come. And as luck would have it Charlie finds the last golden ticket. Taking his Grandpa Joe (David Kelly) along with him Charlie is dazzled by one amazing sight after another Oompa Loompas and all as he tries to warm up to the enigmatic Wonka. The others turn out to be a rotten bunch of gluttonous spoiled competitive know-it-all children whose greedy personalities lead them into all kinds of trouble. That leaves only the sweet Charlie who wins the absolute grandest prize of all: the keys to the factory itself. But will he abandon his family for all that chocolaty fame? Not a chance.
Although Burton and Depp have made three movies together so far--Edward Scissorhands Ed Wood and Sleepy Hollow--Burton admits Charlie & the Chocolate Factory was the first time he didn't have to beg the studio execs to let him cast the inscrutable actor. That's because Depp's equally unusual but highly successful Oscar turn as Capt. Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean finally changed those Hollywood mucky mucks' minds. Doesn't matter to Depp though; he's going to keep doing what he wants. And it looks like he is having the time of his life playing the infamous Willy Wonka. Rather than infusing the character with a kind wisdom like Gene Wilder did in the original Depp's Wonka is more like the book's version: childish mischievous standoffish and even a tad klutzy. He's a fellow who certainly listens to a different drummer. In other words Depp. The rest of the adults in the movie obviously pale in comparison except perhaps Indian actor Deep Roy who gets to play all the Oompa Loompas. What fun that must have been especially in performing the film's only musical numbers. As far as the kids go Highmore who also starred with Depp in Finding Neverland is quite endearing as Charlie. The rest of the relatively unknown children also do a fine job albeit a bit more snotty and unfazed than the original set. You know kinda like how kids are these days.
Here's the burning question that seems to be applying to many a film these days: why mess with a classic? The 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is certainly an undeniable gem a mixture of Technicolor elaborate sets and music that with the engaging Gene Wilder in the lead leaves a sweet and indelible impression. Is there really a need for another version? Tim Burton thinks so since he didn't really like the original at all. Burton's idea was to make a worthy version of Dahl's darker novel plain and simple. When he signed to make a Charlie redo he even forbade the writer John August who hadn't ever seen Willy Wonka from watching it lest it would cloud his judgment. Burton accomplishes what he set out to do. Charlie captures Dahl's tone succinctly--wildly imaginative slightly off-centered with a moral center but certainly more mean-spirited than 1971 version. And of course in the hands of a technically proficient director Charlie is also a marvel of sights and sounds. Burton spared no expense with his luscious sets multicolored costumes Oompa Loompas and lots and lots of rich creamy chocolate. Yummy. While some may miss Willy Wonka's magical qualities others may feel a need to run to the concession stand and grab some Snow Caps.