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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Fans of military and political literature likely know the name Paula Broadwell for her book All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, a biography of the man who until this weekend was the head of the Central Intelligence Agency. Those who knew of Broadwell knew her as an accomplished woman: ridiculously well-educated, worldly, motherly, and outrageously driven. Now, the world knows her as one thing: the sexy younger woman in a scandal. She may as well be the desperate [insert miscellaneous job description here] at the start of a Katherine Heigl rom-com, pining after the unattainable object of her affection. She could be the sexy, alluring journalist, the forlorn woman lusting after a powerful man, or even the irresistible grad student who's a little too hot for teacher (or distinguished General). Unfortunately, even in politics, the broad strokes of pop culture often prevail. The problem is that while pop culture gives us a few buckets in which to dump Broadwell, in reality, she’s nothing like those women and perhaps that's why she's become so interesting to us.
Once considered someone so accomplished that her résumé practically needs to be presented as novella, Broadwell is now known as little more than a lovesick schoolgirl, enduring the treatment of your average celebrity home-wrecker. Just this morning, The New York Daily News uncovered a photo from Petraeus’ Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on the General’s nomination for the director of the C.I.A., pointing to the smile on Broadwell’s face as Petraeus and his wife, Holly, walk past and characterizing the look as “locked on to her target like a Smart bomb.” Many depictions of the author have focused on her physical beauty, referring to her fashionable wardrobe, toned arms, and her past status as her high school’s Homecoming Queen.
Of course, part of the blame goes to the thing that broke the story in the first place: Broadwell’s emails to the Florida woman who brought the emails to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s attention. According to The New York Post, the emails included such high school girl fight hits as “back off” and “stay away from my guy,” rendering Broadwell a character not unlike Erika Christensen in Swimfan with a touch of Bridget Jones desperation. In the wake of the scandal, encounters between Broadwell and Petraeus have been described as “disconcerting” or “inappropriate.” One aide noted that Broadwell seemed to have special candor with the General. “Those who worked for him never tried to leverage our relationship with him. It seemed to a lot of us that she didn’t have that filter,” the aide told The Washington Post.
The result is a depiction that is expectedly unflattering, even if it is incomplete. She is, after all, a married woman who had an affair with a U.S. official. But in just a few short days, Broadwell lost her reputation as the woman who had it all, as Inspired Woman Magazine touted in February 2012: “Finding a balance between her professional and personal life is something Broadwell seems to excel at, just like everything else she attempts.” She has multiple degrees hailing from Westpoint, Harvard’s JFK School of Government, and the University of Denver’s school of International Studies, in addition to being a research associate at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership and a doctoral candidate. The proceeds from her book on Petraeus, titled All In, were donated to a cause she's worked tirelessly to support: benefits for injured veterans of the war in Afghanistan. Even as she endures a scandal, she's still showing her proclivity for charity, giving her chance to participate in a charity parachute jump to veteran David Bixler, who lost both his legs in Afghanistan. But now, she’s “the other woman.” And unfortunately, the picture most of us have seen of the “other woman” is one that reeks of desperation, loneliness, and pining, while her partner in crime is merely "disgraced."
Yes, Petraeus is enduring his fair share of shame – losing his post as the head of the C.I.A. isn’t exactly a slap on the wrist – but he’s not the one who was caught sending juvenile emails. The former C.I.A. director has been displayed as regretful and one who hangs his head in shame while Broadwell’s persona is that of a swooning teenager, mooning over her idol.
But, despite the boxes our pop culture experience provides for women in Broadwell’s situation, she truly doesn’t conform. In reality, she’s 40 years old. She’s in the thick of her career. She’s got two grown children. She’s not exactly a desperate singleton racing after an impressive public figure. She’s pretty extraordinary herself. Unfortunately for the author and accomplished scholar, there’s no pop culture box for the kind of woman she’s become in the wake of this scandal and that makes her all the more fascinating, which means her days as the focus of our ardent attention are far from over.
Of course, now that we’ve established that she’s not some wine-guzzling sad singleton chasing a married man, like the character even Homeland’s genius Carrie Matheson is sometimes reduced to, what we’re faced with is a much harsher reality. Someone who had it as good as Broadwell did can still find herself in a compromising situation. It brings the issue a little closer to home when the comforting and often comical illustrations of the other woman are rendered pretty useless. Suddenly, those broad pop culture strokes are feeling a little less like a disservice and more like a security blanket.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
[Photo Credit: The Charlotte Observer/AP Photo]
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The 21 year old has landed the coveted accolade after impressing movie bosses with her turn in the High School Musical franchise, and her more recent roles, including the upcoming film Beastly.
Her co-star in the fantasy movie, Alex Pettyfer, has been named the Male Star of Tomorrow, with ShoWest managing director Robert Sunshine branding the pair "outstanding young talents".
Katherine Heigl will receive the Female Star of the Year award at the annual ceremony.
Hudgens and Pettyfer follow a long line of impressive Star of Tomorrow recipients, including Chris Pine, Shia LaBeouf, Hayden Christensen, Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp.
Teen comedy Superbad is leading the nominations for the 2008 MTV Movie Awards after picking up five nods, including Best Movie.
The high school comedy, directed by Greg Mottola, also scooped nominations for the film's stars Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, who will compete in the Breakthrough Performance category along with their co-star Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Hill is also up for Best Comedic Performance.
But Superbad will be going up against Oscar-winning Juno--which Cera also stars in--for the Best Movie prize, while the actor is also recognized for his efforts in the teen pregnancy film with a nomination for Best Male Performance.
Meanwhile, the big-screen adaptation of Transformers is nominated for three gongs: Best Movie, Best Male Performance for Shia LaBeouf and Breakthrough Performance for Megan Fox. And Enchanted star Amy Adams also received a trio of nods for the Disney film--Best Female Performance, Best Comedic Performance and Best Kiss for her smooch with Patrick Dempsey.
The winners for the 17th Annual MTV Movie Awards will be unveiled on June 1 at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, California.
The full list of nominees is as follows:
I Am Legend
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Best Comedic Performance:
Amy Adams - Enchanted
Johnny Depp - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Jonah Hill - Superbad
Seth Rogen - Knocked Up
Adam Sandler - I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Best Male Performance:
Michael Cera - Juno
Matt Damon - The Bourne Ultimatum
Shia LaBeouf - Transformers
Will Smith - I Am Legend
Denzel Washington - American Gangster
Best Female Performance:
Amy Adams - Enchanted
Jessica Biel - I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Katherine Heigl - Knocked Up
Keira Knightley - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Ellen Page - Juno
Nikki Blonsky - Hairspray
Chris Brown - This Christmas
Michael Cera - Superbad
Zac Efron - Hairspray
Megan Fox - Transformers
Jonah Hill - Superbad
Christopher Mintz-Plasse - Superbad
Seth Rogen - Knocked Up
Alien vs. Predator - Alien vs. Predator: Requiem
Hayden Christensen vs. Jamie Bell - Jumper
Matt Damon vs. Joey Ansah - The Bourne Ultimatum
Sean Faris vs. Cam Gigandet - Never Back Down
Tobey Maguire vs. James Franco - Spider-Man 3
Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan vs. Sun Ming Ming - Rush Hour 3
Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men
Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd
Topher Grace - Spider-Man 3
Angelina Jolie - Beowulf
Denzel Washington - American Gangster
Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey - Enchanted
Briana Evigan and Robert Hoffman - Step Up 2 the Streets
Shia LaBeouf and Sarah Roemer - Disturbia
Ellen Page and Michael Cera - Juno
Daniel Radcliffe and Katie Leung - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Best Summer Movie So Far:
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Sex and the City
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
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