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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"Lil' Mama especially resembled Lisa ('Left Eye' Lopes). There were times that we would talk to her and it was crazy; she looked so much like Lisa and she just embodied her spirit. It was way too much." Tlc members Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas and Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins were left stunned with the rapper's on-screen portrayal of their deceased bandmate in the new TV biopic Crazy Sexy Cool: The Tlc Story, which debuted in America on Monday night (21Oct13).
Tlc stars T-Boz and Chilli are hoping their new TV biopic Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story helps young musicians make better decisions about management and money then they did. The R&B stars, and late bandmate Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopez, were still broke after climbing to the top of the charts in the 1990s and they blame their misfortunes on a series of bad business decisions they made at the start of their career.
And the existing TLC stars are urging wannabes to watch the TV film when it airs in America on Monday night (21Oct13) for some solid tips on how not to do business.
T-Boz, real name Tionne Watkins, says, "Learn from what we went through... A lot of people have agendas... The lawyer even told us, 'We didn't think you guys were gonna last; we thought you were gonna be an overnight sensation...' but he took the money off the bill and told us sorry... Some lawyers will run your bill up, arguing over stuff."
Bandmate Chilli, aka Rozonda Thomas, adds, "You don't have your business managers friends with your investors."
Rapper/actress Lil Mama is convinced Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes was watching over her as she portrayed the tragic star in a new Tlc biopic after experiencing a series of spooky incidents on set. The Waterfalls hitmaker was killed in a car crash in 2002 and Lil Mama is bringing her back to life on TV for Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story, alongside Keke Palmer as Rozanda 'Chilli' Thomas and Drew Sidora as Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins.
They shot the film earlier this year (13) and Lil Mama, real name Niatia Kirkland, was left spooked by what she believes was the spirit of Left Eye.
She tells U.S. talk show host Wendy Williams, "Stuff was knocking over on set and every time I did a dark scene, an ambulance would pass by, or a siren, and then it (production) had to shut down and I'd get these really deep moments to think right before I shoot (sic).
"Drew and I shot a scene and she was like, 'Did you notice that every time you shoot a dark scene this happens?' And I looked at her and said, 'Yes.'"
Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story airs on VH1 in America on Monday (21Oct13).
Lady Gaga held back a new song she has handed to TLC stars Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins and Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas because she feared it sounded too much like a TLC tune. The Paparazzi singer has written Posh Life for the duo's comeback but the Waterfalls singers reveal Lady Gaga originally penned the song for herself.
Watkins says, "She was like, 'I don't want to disrespect the girls'. We were like, 'Let's sing it and see how it goes. I mean, you wrote it.' It was so funny hearing her sing like us... I was just like, 'Why not sing it then?' She was just like so excited and we're excited."
Thomas and Watkins are now hoping their new pal will join them in the studio: "She wants to, (but) you know them record company people. If it was up to the artist, all three of us are down. So we'll see what happens."
Rapper Drake turned his OVO Festival in Canada into a star-studded affair on Monday night (05Aug13) by introducing Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Tlc to the stage and reuniting Sean 'Diddy' Combs with his former protege Ma$E. The Best I Ever Had hitmaker closed out his fourth annual event with a headlining set at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in his native Toronto and he made sure fans were given a show to remember by packing in the guest appearances from his hip-hop peers Wale, Big Sean, A$AP Rocky and French Montana, as well as R&B singers The Weeknd and Miguel.
West took over the stage to perform Can't Tell Me Nothing and New Slaves, and heaped praise on Drake, crediting the rapper with inspiring the Stronger star to team up with Jay Z for their 2011 collaborative album, Watch the Throne.
He said, "Me and Hov (Jay Z) would have never made Watch the Throne if this n**ga wouldn't have been pushing on us like that (sic)."
Lil Wayne then joined Drake for renditions of their joint songs The Motto, HYFR and Love Me, before the audience was taken back to the late 1990s with a surprise set by Combs and Ma$e, who teamed up for covers of Notorious B.I.G.'s Mo Money Mo Problems and It's All About the Benjamins.
The surviving members of TLC also took part in the nostalgic gig with Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins and Rozanda 'Chilli' Thomas running through No Scrubs and Waterfalls, while Lil Mama - who will portray tragic rapper Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes in an upcoming TV biopic - also made an appearance onstage, although she did not perform.
The big gig ensured the OVO Festival ended on a high after singer Frank Ocean was forced to pull out of headlining the first night of the event due to a tear to one of his vocal cords. His absence prompted organisers to scrap Sunday's (04Aug13) line-up and instead expand Monday's show.
Surviving Tlc members Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins and Rozanda 'Chilli' Thomas recruited rapper Lil Mama to step in for the late Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes on Saturday (27Jul13) as they performed their first live show in four years. Watkins and Thomas, who last hit the stage together in Japan in 2009, revisited the R&B band's biggest hits for a set at The Mixtape Festival in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and they called on Lil Mama to join them for a rendition of No Scrubs.
The gig was good practice for the Lil Mama - the hip-hop star will portray Lopes in upcoming TV biopic CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story.
The Waterfalls singers, who lost Lopes in a car accident in 2002, are currently working on new material to be included on a forthcoming greatest hits album.
The surviving members of Tlc had no choice but to omit Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes' original rap from a new recording of their classic hit Waterfalls because they do not own the rights to her masters. Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins and Rozanda 'Chilli' Thomas recently came under fire by the rapper's relatives after recruiting Japanese R&B star Namie Amuro to sing in the place of their late bandmate to mark their 20th anniversary.
Lopes' mother was said to be "hurt" by the duo's decision to cut the tragic star from its signature tune, 11 years after Left Eye was killed in a car crash in Honduras - but Watkins and Thomas insist that wasn't the case.
Thomas reveals TLC had multiple requests to use Lopes' verse denied and tells TMZ.com, "We were forced to use (this) creative way to honour Lisa's memory and celebrate this milestone with the fans."
In a joint statement, the pair adds, "We have and always will protect our sister's legacy as TLC consists of the three of us collectively... there will never be a replacement for Lisa or any members in TLC."
According to TMZ, Thomas and Watkins reached out to Lopes' brother, Ron, before deciding to include the re-worked version of Waterfalls on their greatest hits album TLC 20, which was recently released in Japan.
At press time, it was not yet clear who owns the recording rights to Lopes' masters.
The family of tragic rapper Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes has slammed her former Tlc bandmates for re-recording their classic hit Waterfalls with a Japanese singer in the late star's place. Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins and Rozanda 'Chilli' Thomas recently teamed up with Asian R&B artist Namie Amuro for a reworking of their signature song in celebration of the group's 20th anniversary, but the news has angered Lopes' relatives, who had no idea of their plans to re-work the track.
The rapper's sister, Reigndrop Lopes, tells TMZ.com, "I did not know about it until a fan posted it online. I mean, it would have been nice if they would have given us a heads up before being surprised."
Reigndrop also reveals her mother was "hurt" by Watkins and Thomas' decision to cut Lopes from the tune, 11 years after she was killed in a car crash in Honduras.
The new version of Waterfalls features on greatest hits album TLC 20, which was released in Japan last week (begs17Jun13).