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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David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
After garnering widespread praise (and an Oscar nomination for screenwriting) for his 2000 directorial debut You Can Count on Me Kenneth Lonergan was in-demand. In September 2005 the writer/director began production on a follow-up feature: Margaret which touted Anna Paquin Matt Damon Mark Ruffalo Matthew Broderick Allison Janney as well as legendary filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) as producers. The movie wrapped production in a few months time. The buzz was already growing.
Now six years later the movie is finally hitting theaters. So…what took so long?
The journey to this point hasn't been an easy one and it shows. If a film's shot footage is a block of granite and the editing process is the careful carving that turns it into a statuesque work of art Margaret feels like it was attacked by a blind man with a jackhammer. The film is a cinematic disaster a mishmash of shallow characters overwrought politics and sporadic tones. The story follows Lisa Coen (Paquin) a New York teenager who finds herself drowning in chaos after distracting a bus driver (Ruffalo) causing him to hit and kill a pedestrian (Janney). Initially Lisa tells the police it was all an accident but as time passes regret takes hold and the girl embarks on a mission to take down the man she now regards as a culprit. That's just the tip of the iceberg–along the way Lisa deals with everyday teen stuff: falling for her geometry teacher (Damon) combating her anxiety-ridden actress mother losing her virginity dabbling in drugs debating 9/11 and the Iraq War cultivating a relationship with her father in LA and more. There are about eight seasons of television stuffed into Margaret but even a two and a half hour run time can't make it all click.
For more on Margaret check out Indie Seen: Margaret the Long Lost Anna Paquin/Matt Damon Movie
S3E5: Right now, Parks and Recreation is in its golden period. Every week, the show consistently gives us funny, clever gags while still managing to sneak in heartfelt, genuine moments with the characters. In television history, shows will go through periods like this, but typically, they won't last for more than a season or two and honestly, that trend will probably continue with Parks and Recreation. If "Media Blitz" is any indication, the show doesn't plan to slow down any time soon.
"It's actually 34.2%." -Ben
"34.2%. I'm Ben, the numbers robot." -Leslie
The word about the Harvest Festival isn't spreading as quickly as the Parks Department originally hoped. According to reports, only 35 percent of the town's population (or as Ben says, 34.2 percent) is aware of the event. So to get word out, Leslie plans a "media blitz," which entails Parks Department members talking to all parts of the media -- and their first target is the Pawnee's top morning drive-time radio show, DJ Ira and the Douche, which, for viewers, is everything we want it to be and more.
"I eat running the permits desk for an hour for breakfast." -Andy
Meanwhile, April accepts Chris' offer to intern for him in Indianapolis -- which is LITERALLY the best news Chris could hear. This, obviously, saddens Andy, so he Andy does the only thing that Andy knows how to do and that's harass the person he likes until they do what he wants. In order to make April stay, he commits to doing all of the things that she hates to do every day for one month, which includes giving her sister rides, working the permits desk and rubbing Donna's feet (which April tossed in as a favor to Donna). It was fun to see Andy completely sacrifice himself for a woman again, especially since we haven't seen this type of desperation since early season one when Andy lived in the pit outside of Ann's house. The best part? It WORKED. April decides to stay and she kisses Andy. They're finally together.
"Nice job, man. Was that your first time talking to other people? Because it felt that way. You embarrassed me in front of the Douche."-Tom
So Tom, Ben and Leslie all go to do their interview with Ira and the Douche (who absolutely own their scenes with all the whistles, buzzes, and sound bytes that come with morning talk shows) and to be frank, the interview is a disaster. Ira and the Douche bring up Ben's past as an 18-year-old mayor and since Ben hasn't faced that situation in 17 years, he's unprepared. He freezes, not having any clue what to say, and totally and completely fumbles every word that comes out of his mouth. Ira and the Douche quickly jump on him even further, accusing him of bringing bankruptcy to Pawnee, and before you know it, the entire town believes that Ben wants Pawnee to go bankrupt.
This whole scene is, well, hilarious. It represents Parks and Recreation at its finest, dealing with both absurd characters while maintaining the realism of their actions in a small town. Plus, Adam Scott plays the "straight-man" character so well (see Party Down) that any time he breaks from it -- even if it's just for a moment -- it makes the scene even funnier.
"You are going to love this. Verosion Tea really supercharges the bacteria in your colon. Plus, it smells interesting. Waft it." -Chris
Ann has been paranoid about Chris leaving for a couple episodes now. She's dropped numerous obvious hints that she wants him to ask her to move to Indianapolis, but still nothing has happened. Plus Chris has been pestering April about interning for him, so there's been a hint of jealousy from Ann. She finally just decides to bring it up with Chris, and of course, he's more than willing to talk about it.
Ann and Chris' relationship has developed into one of the most interesting parts of the show and the reason, specifically, is Chris. He started off as such a weird dude, and most of us (at least I) couldn't imagine why anyone would want to be around him, let alone date him. But something about his optimism has not only infected me as a viewer (seriously, if Chris was real, I'd want to hang out with him), but it's affected Ann. She's now taking "Vitamin D" to feel happier, exercising all the time, and even speaking in a similar rhythm to Chris. Hopefully they figure out a way to continue to develop this relationship (which they probably will, since Rob Lowe is a full-time cast member now) so we can get to see Ann Perkins(!) become the female version of Chris.
"I'm Perd Hapley, Channel Four." -Perd
"More like Turd Crapley." -Ben
Now, back to the media blitz. After the horrendous (but hilarious) performance on DJ Ira and the Douche, Ben's meltdown continues. While doing an interview with Perd Hapley, his freak-out becomes more outrageous, as he seems to return to the distraught 18-year-old that he was at the time of his mayorship (talking about how he had just had his heart broken by his girlfriend). Leslie quickly tries to put the fire out with an interview with the newspaper, but ends up saying she has a "work with benefits" relationship with Ben. It's all quickly spinning out of control, so they go to the one place that controls all of Pawnee's media, the only place that can fix their problems -- Pawnee Today with Joan Callamezzo.
On the show, while appearing like he's about to meltdown again (and being labeled a "human disaster"), Ben finally finds his voice and defends himself as a stupid 18-year-old. It works and afterward, it appears as if the Parks Department has successfully done damage control, all while getting the word out about Harvest Festival.
If there's a gripe I have about this episode, it's that everything is resolved a little too quickly. What was different about Pawnee Today from the radio show that let Ben find his voice again? Obviously, the show is only a half-hour long (plus, it's a comedy), so I can't be too hard on them for pulling the switch that quickly, but at the same time, the entire episode spent so much time building it up and showing us how Ben has lost his mind only to suddenly say, "Welp, just kidding; everything is cool." It's a small concern, but a concern nonetheless.
Like many stars, the Iron Man actress insisted on staying out of the sun and covered up for summer trips - but then she learned her caution was costing her good health.
In her latest Goop.com online newsletter to fans and friends, the actress has opened up about her secret health battle and advised others how to make sure they get just the right amount of sun with a little help from top doctor Frank Lipman.
Paltrow writes, "I suffered a pretty severe Tibial plateau fracture a few years ago (requiring surgery) which lead the orthopaedic surgeon to give me a bone scan, at which point it was discovered I had the beginning stages of osteopenia.
"This led my western/eastern doctors in New York to test my Vitamin D levels, which turned out to be the lowest they had ever seen (not a good thing). I went on a prescription strength level of Vitamin D and was told to… spend a bit of time in the sun!
"I was curious if this was safe, having been told for years to stay away from its dangerous rays, not to mention a tad bit confused as we are all well schooled in the dangers of overexposure to the sun."
Paltrow admits she took Dr. Lipman's advice and has now reversed her Vitamin D diagnosis, and she has called on the expert to offer readers tips on how to enjoy the summer sun's rays "sensibly".
He writes: "Numerous studies have shown that optimising your Vitamin D levels may actually help prevent as many as 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung, breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancers. And the best way to optimise Vitamin D levels is through safe, smart and limited sunscreen-free exposure to the sun."
MTV's hit reality series The Osbournes could return to the airwaves as early as next month. MTV president Brian Graden told The Associated Press "all systems are go" for the second season. The upcoming episodes are expected to feature Sharon Osbourne's battle against colon cancer as she undergoes chemotherapy treatments. The Osbournes, which chronicles the lives of heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne, his wife Sharon and their two teenage children, daughter Kelly and son Jack, became the biggest hit series in MTV's 21-year history. A spokeswoman for MTV, however, said there is still a possibility the show could still be postponed until January.
Screen Actors Guild president Melissa Gilbert said she will seek a higher profile on labor issues for the union's 98,000 members, Variety reports. "There's a terrible misconception that there are only 5 actors and they all make $20 million per picture," Gilbert said while meeting with officials at an AFL-CIO headquarters Tuesday. "That's a very, very small percentage of our membership. Most of us are journeymen laborers who can barely earn a living as actors; when the job is finished, we're fired."
An 87-year-old man found stabbed to death near Interstate 15, about 25 miles north of Las Vegas, has been identified as former child actor Jay R. Smith, the AP reports. Smith was in about three dozen of the Our Gang short comedies from 1925-29, better known as The Little Rascals to TV audiences. Police said a homeless man who had been staying in a shed next to Smith's house was being sought for questioning in the death. Smith died from multiple stab wounds.
Nicole Kidman will star in Paramount Pictures' remake of the 1975 thriller The Stepford Wives, Variety reports. The film revolves around a group of husbands who transform their wives into robots who cater to their every need. Director Frank Oz (The Score) will helm the project.
A judge has ruled that Jamie Johnson, a New York University film student and the heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, may release a documentary film featuring other wealthy offspring. Born Rich includes interviews with fellow children born with a silver spoon, such Georgina Bloomberg, the daughter of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Luke Weil, whose father ran the online gaming site Autotote, had filed a lawsuit to block the film's distribution, alleging he was "tricked" into taking part in a project that "embarrassed" and "humiliated" him and his family.
Fox is close to signing on New York-based radio personality and recording artist Angie Martinez as a fourth judge in the second American Idol installment, according to Variety. Martinez will join judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.
Canadian profiler Kim Rossmo, who is helping investigators track down the Beltway sniper, will have his story turned into a TV movie, Variety reports. will recount Rossmo's rise from Vancouver beat police to criminologist with a new and unique system of tracking serial predators.
Boy band 'N Sync is revisiting the bad old days when they actually had to fly coach and sleep in cheap hotels in their video The Reel 'N Sync. The one-hour video, shot and edited by band member Joey Fatone, includes clips from hundreds of hours of low-fi footage in his personal video archive. Surprisingly, the video features no 'N Sync songs.