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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Country music star Lee Brice has become a father for the second time. The A Woman Like You hitmaker announced on Sunday (08Dec13) that he and his wife Sara have welcomed a newborn son.
Taking to Twitter.com, Brice wrote, "A week ago I didn't think I could be any happier. I was wrong. Our brand new baby boy Ryker Mobley Brice was born healthy. My heart is full."
He also posted a photo of himself cradling the the tiny tot, and added, "Sara is the strongest and most amazing woman I know. She did so good and he is perfect."
The birth of his son comes just two days after he receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Country Solo Performance for his song I Drive Your Truck.
Brice and his wife, who wed in April (13), also have a four-year-old son, called Takoda.
Olympic gold medal-winning skier Bode Miller has been forced to hand his infant son over to his ex-girlfriend after a judge in New York awarded her temporary custody on Monday (25Nov13). Miller and his former partner Sara McKenna have been locked in a legal battle for custody of their child since before he was born in February (13), with the skier demanding the mother move to San Diego, California so he can be close to his son.
The nine-month-old boy had been living with Miller and his wife, Morgan Beck, since a judge awarded him temporary custody earlier this year (13), but he had to hand the youngster back to McKenna on Monday after a judge in New York gave her temporary custody of the boy until the next court hearing on 9 December (13).
Both parties are seeking a co-parenting arrangement.
The little boy is called Sam by his mother, but his father has named him Nate.
Daft Punk bassist Nathan East has recruited pals Stevie Wonder, Sara Bareilles and Michael Mcdonald to work on his first solo album. The acclaimed musician has worked with popular artists such as Michael Jackson, Beyonce and Andrea Bocelli during his 30 years in the music industry, and now he's heading into the studio for an album of his own.
East will be releasing a yet-to-be-titled record next year (14), which will contain both original songs and covers.
He has already tapped Wonder, McDonald and Bareilles for the record, but is still hoping to enlist Eric Clapton and Anita Baker, who he's also worked with in the past.
East is also in talks for creating an accompanying documentary about the process of making the album.
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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TV personality Sharon Osbourne has apologised to the hosts of U.S. talk show The View for telling them to "go f**k themselves" in a recent interview. The rock matriarch was asked what makes her show, The Talk, different from newswoman Barbara Walters' magazine series, The View, when she appeared with her co-hosts on late night host Arsenio Hall's programme on Wednesday (06Nov13).
Co-host Julie Chen began with a diplomatic answer, and said, "We do not discuss politics. We do not debate. You know I always say The View has changed over the years as the players have changed," but Osbourne quickly interjected, saying, "Stop being polite. Cut to the f**king chase. This is the situation. The situation is... Barbara: Idolise her, divine, she is super-human. I love Barbara Walters. The rest can go f**k themselves."
However, on Thursday (07Nov13), Osbourne realised she went too far and took to the airwaves to offer an apology.
She said, "I have to own this, I'm fully responsible for myself... and unfortunately I was inappropriate and I was trying to be funny at somebody else's expense.
"I want to apologise to (The View stars) Jenny (McCarthy), Sherri (Shepherd) and Whoopi (Goldberg), who are all accomplished self-made women who have amazing careers; they have achieved so much... Please understand it was irreverent behaviour and no disrespect (was) meant. I'm not a person that is mean... and I apologise."
The View, which has been a daytime staple in the U.S. since 1997, is currently hosted by Walters, actress Goldberg, former Playboy model McCarthy and comedienne Shepherd.
The Talk debuted in 2010 and features Osbourne, U.S. journalist Chen, actresses Sara Gilbert and Aisha Tyler and comedienne Sheryl Underwood as hosts.
Actor James Franco was among the passengers caught up in the drama at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Friday (01Nov13) after a gunman opened fire at security officials inside a terminal. The unidentified shooter targeted a Transport Security Administration (TSA) official at a Terminal 3 checkpoint at around 9.30am local time, prompting police to evacuate the building and surrounding areas.
Authorities grounded all flights at LAX as they hunted down the suspect, who was shot and reportedly killed shortly after cops conducted an airport-wide manhunt.
Officials have since confirmed that one TSA employee was killed in the incident, while another was wounded.
Franco took to his Instagram.com blog on Friday to share a photo of himself on a plane, suggesting his flight had been one of the many grounded during the emergency.
In the accompanying caption, the 127 Hours star simply wrote, "At lax Some s**tbag shot up the place."
Meanwhile, reality TV stars Grant Imahara and Tory Belleci from U.S. show Mythbusters were among those evacuated from Terminal 3, sharing photos of the chaos on Twitter.com.
Celebrities also flocked to Twitter to express their shock at the developments as the news of the shooting broke, with Kelly Osbourne tweeting, "WTF (what the f**k)!!! I really hope everyone at LAX is ok and the LAPD get that shooter fast!"
Josh Groban wrote, "Oh no. LAX. News isn't saying much. How horrible...hope it's resolved soon", and singer Sara Bareilles added, "I'm horrified by the shooting at LAX. I feel so saddened by why so many people turn to violence. Only love can take the place of hate."
Actress Alyssa Milano, comedian Patton Oswalt and singer Ashley Roberts have also commented on the incident online.
Singer Sara Bareilles shocked a trio of nurses during a TV interview about their rendition of her song Brave by appearing via Skype during the chat. The nurses from the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital appeared on CNN earlier this week (begs28Oct13) to discuss how a video of them performing the track with their young patients had gone viral, attracting almost a million views in a month.
They were happily chatting to the anchor when Bareilles suddenly butted into the interview, appearing on screen via Skype.
She told the team how their video had moved her to tears, saying, "I was sent this video by a friend of a friend who lives in Minnesota and I watched it late at night and immediately my eyes welled up.
"And it's moments like this that remind me of the importance of music and I can't think of a more perfect incarnation of this song."
When news broke about the Jonas Brothers breaking up, there was a surprising groundswell of passion from their fans, fans who were devestated that not just their favorite band, but the band they based their entire lives around, had split. These fans are now entering into a whole new post-Jonas phase of pop culture participation. It's a long standing tradition that on the eve of some big event — be it a graduation or a new job — a considerate well-wisher will bestow unto the party in question Dr. Suess' Oh the Places You'll Go. The book expresses not just wishes of good luck, but conveys the spectacular possibilities ahead. The combination of reassuring advice and whimsical rhyme is the perfect antitdote to the hysteria of uncertainty. So if you find yourself experiencing palpitations at the thought of losing Joe, Nick, and Kevin, read on:
So the JoBros broke up and you're all very sad,But as you read my advice, please, don't get mad.There's a whole lot of entertainment out there.And I'm sure as time passes you'll find plenty to spare!You can scratch the itch of whatever you miss,About the three brothers (whose last name is Jonas.)
Perhaps you love bands made up only of boys,Whose crushworthy faces could be plastered on toys.It's no longer the '90s, when we all had that affection,But there's one band that's perfect for you: One Direction.Sure, they're not Jonases when push comes to shove,But they easily top the charts with their songs about love.
Now, say what you loved about these Brothers of Jo,Was the way they were able to seamlessly goFrom their careers as muscians to TV stars on E!Then there's one show that would be perfect for... ye.Consider The Wanted Life, on Fridays, at 10. You'll never need more backstage drama again.
But if instead what you loved was the Disney ChannelAnd how it made the J.B.s into something quite substantial.Stay far away from the Selenas and MileysThey may once have been Disney, but got out of it slyly.For while Miley can shock all the world with her tongue,You would prefer to watch something more wholesomely fun.When the sun sets, turn on your TV and delight —Enjoy something on late that's known as "Nick at Nite." There corny old sitcoms take on a new glow,You'll certainly find a brand new favorite show.
Now if it's siblings you're after, ones who love singingThere's plenty around that I won't bother bringing. But if you desire ones who could pass for twins,Then Tegan and Sara will gladly fill in.They're identical in all but the fewest of ways,And their songs will be stuck in your head for days.
I hope you now know there are multiple options,No need to stick to a strict Jonas Bro doctrine.And if you need more, we'll be glad to provideSo you're all able to take this sad news in stride.
Katy Perry closed out her debut at the fabled Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday night (23Oct13) by staging a Roar sing-along with her special guests. The pop superstar organised and headlined the girl power We Can Survive concert for breast cancer awareness and invited the likes of Ellie Goulding, Tegan & Sara and Kacey Musgraves to perform at the gig.
And, as a special thanks to fans who sold out the venue, Perry staged an all-star sing-along of her latest hit, inviting all the musicians to join her onstage and belt out Roar.