Judas Priest singer Rob Halford insists there will never be a group tell-all - because he and his bandmates have too much respect for each other to open up about dark days and embarrassing moments. The Breaking the Law rocker is often asked to bare all in book form, but he admits he couldn't run the risk of upsetting his pals.
He tells Esquire magazine, "It's basically (about) trust and respect for each other. I would never say anything about Glenn (Tipton), even about the music to a certain respect.
"As far as the dirty laundry that some bands are very, very open about displaying, the most important thing for Priest is the music. We really treasure it. And I'm only speaking for myself, but once you get beyond that and you get deeper, digging in the dirt, it can really dilute what you're about and what you're trying to be with your music.
"So, we're very, very protective of that. We've also been fortunate in that we're surrounded by people outside of the band who are very protective of us as well.
"You get these tell-all book from agents and managers that don't really know the truth. We've been lucky. We're constantly asked if we're going to do a book. Well, it seems the only way you can get a book to be successful is to dig up the dirt, and I don't want to do that, personally. I think it's also part of the magic and mystery of the band, isn't it?"
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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A kids’ movie without the cheeky jokes for adults is like a big juicy BLT without the B… or the T. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted may have a title that sounds like it was made up in a cartoon sequel laboratory but when it comes to serving up laughs just think of the film as a BLT with enough extra bacon to satisfy even the wildest of animals — or even a parent with a gaggle of tots in tow. Yes even with that whole "Afro Circus" nonsense.
It’s not often that we find exhaustively franchised films like the Madagascar set that still work after almost seven years. Despite being spun off into TV shows and Christmas specials in addition to its big screen adventures the series has not only maintained its momentum it has maintained the part we were pleasantly surprised by the first time around: great jokes.
In this third installment of the series – the trilogy-maker if you will – directing duo Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath add Conrad Vernon (director Monsters Vs. Aliens) to the helm as our trusty gang swings back into action. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) are stuck in Africa after the hullaballoo of Madagascar 2 and they’ll do anything to get back to their beloved New York. Just a hop skip and a jump away in Monte Carlo the penguins are doing their usual greedy schtick but the zoo animals catch up with them just in time to catch the eye of the sinister animal control stickler Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand). And just like that the practically super human captain is chasing them through Monte Carlo and the rest of Europe in hopes of planting Alex’s perfectly coifed lion head on her wall of prized animals.
Luckily for pint-sized viewers Dubois’ terrifying presence is balanced out by her sheer inhuman strength uncanny guiles and Stretch Armstrong flexibility (ah the wonder of cartoons) as well as Alex’s escape plan: the New Yorkers run away with the European circus. While Dubois’ terrifying Doberman-like presence looms over the entire film a sense of levity (which is a word the kiddies might learn from Stiller’s eloquent lion) comes from the plan for salvation in which the circus animals and the zoo animals band together to revamp the circus and catch the eye of a big-time American agent. Sure the pacing throughout the first act is practically nonexistent running like a stampede through the jungle but by the time we're palling around under the big top the film finds its footing.
The visual splendor of the film (and man is there a champion size serving of it) the magnificent danger and suspense is enhanced to great effect by the addition of 3D technology – and not once is there a gratuitous beverage or desperate Crocodile Dundee knife waved in our faces to prove its worth. The caveat is that the soundtrack employs a certain infectious Katy Perry ditty at the height of the 3D spectacular so parents get ready to hear that on repeat until the leaves turn yellow.
But visual delights and adventurous zoo animals aside Madagascar 3’s real strength is in its script. With the addition of Noah Baumbach (Greenberg The Squid and the Whale) to the screenwriting team the script is infused with a heightened level of almost sarcastic gravitas – a welcome addition to the characteristically adult-friendly reference-heavy humor of the other Madagascar films. To bring the script to life Paramount enlisted three more than able actors: Vitaly the Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston) Gia the Leopard (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano the Italian Sealion (Martin Short). With all three actors draped in European accents it might take viewers a minute to realize that the cantankerous tiger is one and the same as the man who plays an Albuquerque drug lord on Breaking Bad but that makes it that much sweeter to hear him utter slant-curse words like “Bolshevik” with his usual gusto.
Between the laughs the terror of McDormand’s Captain Dubois and the breathtaking virtual European tour the Zoosters’ accidental vacation is one worth taking. Madagascar 3 is by no means an insta-classic but it’s a perfectly suited for your Summer-at-the-movies oasis.
When most first saw trailers for Warner Bros. summer comedy Crazy Stupid Love comparisons to its star Steve Carell’s career-defining film The 40-Year-Old Virgin were inevitable. Though I knew the movie from I Love You Phillip Morris co-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa would offer much more emotional complexity than the beloved Judd Apatow flick I couldn’t exactly blame those for making connections between the two. Both center on a rather nebbish protagonist who’s got a lot to learn about the ways of women and the rights and wrongs romance; both have its protagonist guided by an alpha male-type(s) who are taught as much as they teach throughout the flick. After seeing the film for myself I found that the most organic way to discuss the contrasts and similarities between the two was through Carell’s characters.
Crazy Stupid Love is the grown-up mature version of The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Whereas Carell’s Andy was an innocent man-child trying to avoid women when we first meet him Cal Weaver is a grown man (though his college-dorm couture would have you believe otherwise) with children who is eager to meet women after he finds out that his wife has cheated on him and wants a divorce. His goal isn’t to simply get laid as it is for Andy by the time he befriends his raunchy co-workers in Virgin. It’s about finding the confidence to move on with his life after such an upsetting event. This plot point presents all the evidence I need to support my claim but we can also use Cal’s social anchor and newfound friend as an example. Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling) is a twentysomething bachelor with money to burn and style to spare. He is the equivalent of Paul Rudd's/Seth Rogen’s characters in Virgin in that he helps Cal rediscover his long-lost mojo—but like Carell’s character he is a worldlier somewhat wiser man than those cinematic cohorts. The filmmakers don’t take their audience to strip clubs or hair-waxing establishments to show their character's transformation; rather they give Cal a convincing makeover through a full wardrobe redesign and crash-course in pick-up strategies. It may not be quite as funny to watch but it is unquestionably more believable. From characters to content Crazy Stupid Love is the sweet fun-loving uncle to the raunchy but good-natured 40-Year-Old Virgin and I highly recommend the just-released Blu-ray/DVD combo pack for all of the reasons stated above and more.
First off: the Gosling. He pretty much steals the show at every turn oozing charisma and coolness instilling some upon Cal but never becoming arrogant enough to annoy. We’ve rarely seen the Oscar-nominated heartthrob this suave on screen and it’s a shame because it’s clear that he’s destined to become a true movie star; one who can turn in provocative performances in films like Blue Valentine and crowd-pleasing ones in a movie like this. Second: the video quality. Crazy Stupid Love was gorgeously shot. Though you won’t find elaborately staged choreography the lighting is wonderfully pristine (especially in the scenes in the bar that Cal and Jacob frequent) and looks like a just-popped glass of champagne in the Blu-ray’s 1080p/AVC Mpeg-4 HD transfer. Additionally it really brings out the beauty in its entire cast from Emma Stone and Julianne Moore to newcomer Analeigh Tipton. Finally the bonus features: though they’re a bit slim the two featurettes “Steve and Ryan Walk Into a Bar” and “The Player Meets His Match” offer viewers a fun on-set conversation between the two male leads and some insight into the most interesting couple in the film (Gosling and Stone) respectively. The fourteen HD deleted scenes are also good for approximately 12 minutes of more dramedic jeer but won’t have much replay value. Luckily the film itself is so good (one of the better I’ve seen this year in fact) that it’s a totally justified purchase – one you should definitely consider.
The ensemble dramedy Crazy Stupid Love. has the makings of greatness. Its cast brims with nimble and likable actors including Steve Carrell Julianne Moore Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and its screenplay written by Dan Fogelman (Cars Tangled) is replete with moments alternately touching funny clever and heartbreaking. So why then is the end product ultimately so unsatisfying? Perhaps it’s because the film as constructed by directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa is a mess a jumble of disparate plot elements and shifting tones its whole significantly less than the sum of its parts.
Crazy Stupid Love. begins with a breakup: Emily (Moore) after 25 years of marriage to Cal (Carrell) declares to him in a busy restaurant that she wants a divorce then subsequently admits to an affair. As Cal and Emily grapple with love’s demise their thirteen-year-old son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) is feeling its first stirrings having developed a formidable crush on the family’s seventeen-year-old babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton). (He remains undeterred even after she walks in on him doing well what thirteen-year-old boys do.) Alas Robbie’s feelings appear doomed to remain unrequited as the girl only has eyes for Cal. The implications of her crush to which Cal is entirely oblivious (this isn’t American Beauty 2) aren’t made clear until much later.
Indeed the implications of much of what happens in Crazy Stupid Love. aren’t made clear until much later. The film meanders about – without clear aim or purpose – for a good portion of its running time drifting back and forth between Cal’s story and those of its supporting players as Ficarra and Requa seem more intent on laying the groundwork for a Stunning Third-Act Twist than crafting a coherent and compelling narrative.
Devastated by his wife’s revelations Cal sulks nightly at a swanky uptown bar where he earns the sympathy of its resident player Jacob (Gosling). A sharp-dressed blunt-spoken dilettante he takes on the gloomy pathologically uncool 44-year-old as a kind of apprentice upgrading his wardrobe and schooling him on his pick-up strategy which involves not so much seducing women as overwhelming them. The efforts soon pay off when Cal beds a daffy middle-school teacher (Marisa Tomei) followed by a bevy of anonymous bar babes.
But just as Cal enjoys promiscuity’s first fruits he finds himself pining for Emma whom he still loves and who has clearly come to regret her dalliance. Crazy Stupid Love. wants us to believe the two are soulmates destined to be reunited but nothing about their scenes together suggests this to be true. The best the film can offer are wistful tales from the couples’ days as high-school sweethearts – surely not the stuff of which successful marriages are made. The most telling statement on their relationship is made in the opening sequence when Cal would rather leap from a moving vehicle than listen to his wife talk.
More credible is the unexpected bond Jacob forms with Hannah (Stone) a canny law-school graduate first seen flatly rejecting him (she’s the only woman in the film to do so) earlier in the film. After her attorney boyfriend (Josh Groban) proves a bust she runs (literally) into his arms and shortly thereafter to his posh bachelor pad. But what starts out as a one-night-stand turns into an all-night conversation. Hannah first presses him to reveal the steps of his seduction routine then to catalog his list of late-night Sharper Image purchases. When he complies it feels like a requiem. Can a scrofulous cad really be redeemed over the course of one evening? He can if he’s Ryan Gosling – and if his redeemer is Emma Stone.
The charm of that scene is nearly enough to redeem Crazy Stupid Love. Then comes the Big Twist the point of which is debatable the absurdity of which is not. Afterward the film which has heretofore alternated between sharp insight and sentimental contrivance opts exclusively for the latter. The only thing missing from its sap-soaked climax is a slow-clap.
Two months before the release of Rock Star, starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston, members of the heavy metal band Judas Priest are distancing themselves from the film. Reportedly based on an August 1997 New York Times article about how Tim "Ripper" Owens, who played in a Priest cover band, wound up actually singing with the group, the movie now makes no mention of the group. "It really has nothing to do with us anymore," Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton told the Canadian entertainment Web site JAM! "This film had a good story to start with initially, but it has gone off and become a Hollywood fantasy. ... We want nothing to do with it." Last month MTV News reported that Warner Bros. and Bel Air Entertainment altered the story after members of Priest demanded creative control."
Although the upcoming (Sept. 14) movie Rock Star, starring Mark Wahlberg, is reportedly based on a 1997 New York Times article about a singer in a Judas Priest cover band who was hired by the actual band, all references to the heavy-metal group were removed from the screenplay before it was shot, MTV News reported on its Web site Friday. Andrew Revkin, who wrote the original Timesaccount and served as a creative consultant on the movie, said that the decision to make the movie without the band's involvement came after members demanded creative control. Revkin told MTV News: "If you were Warner Bros. and you were gonna throw $30 million into making a movie, would you want a bunch of middle-aged former heavy metal stars to have creative control? No." However, Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton warned: "When the final thing comes out ... if people have misconstrued it with our story, then we will have to take some legal action."