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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True love: something that for a long time seemed only reserved for fairytales — until ABC's The Bachelor and The Bachelorette series came around. Finally! Regular people (who are very attractive and vetted through a long and involved casting process) could find fairytale love! Love that was real and true, just like in the movies!
...at least, that's what we all hoped. But, it turns out, televised matchmaking doesn't work out so well. The Bachelor/Bachelorette couples who remain happy in love are in the minority (to say the least), and the recent breakups of Jef Holm and Emily Maynard as well as Ben Flainjk and Courtney Robertson are just icing on the cake. Who would've thought, right? How is it possible that hand-picked attractive people from around the country going on extravagant dates can't find true love over the course of six weeks? It's shocking, really.
Don't believe us? Check out the numbers and über-fancy statistics, below.
The Bachelor Relationship Rundown
Bachelor Season 1:
Alex Michel and Amanda Marsh — Broke up after 10 months. The beginning of the reinvention of love.
Bachelor Season 2:
Aaron Buerge and Helene Eksterowicz -— Broke up 5 weeks after the finale. Woops.
Bachelor Season 3:
Andrew Firestone and Jen Schefft — Broke up 7 months after the finale. No spare tires for this relationship!
Bachelor Season 4:
Bob Guiney and Estella Gardinier — Broke up 1 month after the finale. What about Bob, indeed!
Bachelor Season 5:
Jesse Palmer and Jessica Bowlin — Broke up 1 month after the finale. It's hard to make a relationship work when your names are THAT similar.
Bachelor Season 6:
Byron Velvick and Mary Delgado — Broke up after 5 years. They became engaged in November 2004 and, while they did endure some domestic squabbles, they didn't officially end their relationship until December 2009.
Bachelor Season 7:
Charlie O'Connell and Sarah Brice — Broke up after two attempts at making it work: May 2005 - September 2007 (28 months), then again November 2008 - April 2010 (19 months). Total: 47 months together; certainly nothing to balk at!
Bachelor Season 8:
Travis Stork and Sarah Stone — Broke up after 1 month, probably because of all the stork jokes.
Bachelor Season 9:
Lorenzo Borghese and Jennifer Wilson — Broke up after 2 months, which makes zero sense because this guy was A REAL-LIFE PRINCE so, like, Happily Ever After was guaranteed, I thought! Isn't that in the Ye Olde Royal Contract?
Bachelor Season 10:
Andy Baldwin and Tessa Horst — Broke up after 4 months. Guess he wasn't a total Baldwin.
Bachelor Season 11:
Brad Womack chose NO ONE because he hates everyone.
Bachelor Season 12:
Matt Grant and Shayne Lamas — Broke up after 2 months. Lorenzo Lamas reportedly weeped for years.
Bachelor Season 13:
Jason Mesnick and Melissa Rycroft — Broke up at the reunion.
Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney — Got together at the reunion (yikes!) and married in February 2010. They're still together and expecting a baby! Mazel!
Bachelor Season 14:
Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi — Broke up after 3 months, and were totally casual and not-at-all mean about it (haha just kidding it was the ugliest break-up on TV maybe ever)!
Bachelor Season 15:
Brad Womack and Emily Maynard — Released an official "we broke up" statement after 3 months (though reports say it ended much earlier).
Bachelor Season 16:
Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson — Broke up after 7 months, when Ben realized that the entire planet really didn't like his decision-making skills..
And the Bachelorettes — How Did the Ladies Fare?
Bachelorette Season 1:
Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter — Married for 8 years and counting! With kids! What a bunch of weirdos.
Bachelorette Season 2:
Meredith Phillips and Ian McKee — Broke up after 1 year. Does anyone remember this season?
Bachelorette Season 3:
Jen Schefft and Jerry Ferris — Broke up 3 weeks after he proposed. Woops!
Bachelorette Season 4:
DeAnna Pappas and Jesse Csincsak — Broke up after 4 months, probably because Jesse's last name was really hard to spell.
Bachelorette Season 5:
Jillian Harris and Ed Swiderski — Broke up after 1 year, probably because she was Canadian.
Bachelorette Season 6:
Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez — Broke up after 15 months. And, somehow, Roberto did not become the next Bachelor (sorry, Sean Lowe, sure you'll be great).
Bachelorette Season 7:
Ashley Hebert and JP Rosenbaum — Engaged with plans to marry (on live TV! The way it was meant to be done, obviously) in December of this year after 14 months. Hooray for them!
Bachelorette Season 8:
Emily Maynard and Jef Holm — Broke up after 5 months and lots of marionette fights.
Failed relationships: not just for the normals anymore! So what have we learned from all of this? Well, namely it seems like Brad Womack has a terrible track record but loves television. And so does his second-go-around winner/ex-fiancée, Emily Maynard. (Maybe those two crazy kids were meant for each other after all!)
After compiling the numbers and doing a little bit of Bill Clinton's favorite thing (no, not ladies — dirty minds, all of you!), arithmetic, we have put together this handy guide for understanding love, Bachelorstyle.
Here Are Some Fancy Math Facts:
Mean Length of Relationships:13.6 months
Median Length of Relationships:4 months
Mode Length of Relationships:1 month
Analysis:So while the marriages and successes may have thrown us off a bit (13.6 months: what are these people, monogamists?), it generally seems to be that 4 is every bachelor and bachelorette's lucky number. Unless they're one of the five couples who only like quickie, one-month-long relationships.
It seems that the one thing we cantake away from this is that we, as a nation, need to completely rethink our definition of "true love." Obviously, these very attractive and well-groomed pseudo-celebrities know what true love is: they were on a TV show and are good-looking! Duh! So, maybe we should reevaluate what true love really means. If all of these love experts have relationships with an average shelf-life of 1 - 4 months, maybe that's how long true love really lasts! Maybe we've been fooled all of this time by the movies, the Disney princesses, the happily ever afters. Maybe true love can only last a brief period of time (I mean, forever is like, so many years).
[Photo Credit: ABC]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
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Theatrics slapstick and cheer are cinematic qualities you rarely find outside the realm of animation. Disney perfected it with their pantheon of cartoon classics mixing music humor spectacle and light-hearted drama that swept up children while still capturing the imaginations and hearts of their parents. But these days even reinterpretations of fairy tales get the gritty make-over leaving little room for silliness and unfiltered glee. Emerging through that dark cloud is Mirror Mirror a film that achieves every bit of imagination crafted by its two-dimensional predecessors and then some. Under the eye of master visualist Tarsem Singh (The Fall Immortals) Mirror Mirror's heightened realism imbues it with the power to pull off anything — and the movie never skimps on the anything.
Like its animated counterparts Mirror Mirror stays faithful to its source material but twists it just enough to feel unique. When Snow White (Lily Collins) was a little girl her father the King ventured into a nearby dark forest to do battle with an evil creature and was never seen or heard from again. The kingdom was inherited by The Queen (Julia Roberts) Snow's evil stepmother and the fair-skinned beauty lived locked up in the castle until her 18th birthday. Grown up and tired of her wicked parental substitute White sneaks out of the castle to the village for the first time. There she witnesses the economic horrors The Queen has imposed upon the people of her land all to fuel her expensive beautification. Along the way Snow also meets Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) who is suffering from his own money troubles — mainly being robbed by a band of stilt-wearing dwarves. When the Queen catches wind of the secret excursion she casts Snow out of the castle to be murdered by her assistant Brighton (Nathan Lane).
Fairy tales take flack for rejecting the idea of women being capable but even with its flighty presentation and dedication to the old school Disney method Mirror Mirror empowers its Snow White in a genuine way thanks to Collins' snappy charming performance. After being set free by Brighton Snow crosses paths with the thieving dwarves and quickly takes a role on their pilfering team (which she helps turn in to a Robin Hooding business). Tarsem wisely mines a spectrum of personalities out of the seven dwarves instead of simply playing them for one note comedy. Sure there's plenty of slapstick and pun humor (purposefully and wonderfully corny) but each member of the septet stands out as a warm compassionate companion to Snow even in the fantasy world.
Mirror Mirror is richly designed and executed in true Tarsem-fashion with breathtaking costumes (everything from ball gowns to the dwarf expando-stilts to ridiculous pirate ship hats with working canons) whimsical sets and a pitch-perfect score by Disney-mainstay Alan Menken. The world is a storybook and even its monsters look like illustrations rather than photo-real creations. But what makes it all click is the actors. Collins holds her own against the legendary Julia Roberts who relishes in the fun she's having playing someone despicable. She delivers every word with playful bite and her rapport with Lane is off-the-wall fun. Armie Hammer riffs on his own Prince Charming physique as Alcott. The only real misgiving of the film is the undercooked relationship between him and Snow. We know they'll get together but the journey's half the fun and Mirror Mirror serves that portion undercooked.
Children will swoon for Mirror Mirror but there's plenty here for adults — dialogue peppered with sharp wisecracks and a visual style ripped from an elegant tapestry. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve and rarely do we get a picture where both the heart and the sleeve feel truly magical.