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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Actress Lily Collins has confirmed rumours she has a new man in her life and insisted the Australian hunk makes her "very happy". The Mirror Mirror star was recently rumoured to have struck up a new romance with actor Thomas Cocquerel and now Collins has revealed they are indeed a couple.
Collins tells Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, "He is gorgeous. And he is making me very happy."
The actress, who is the daughter of musician Phil Collins, previously dated her The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones co-star Jamie Campbell Bower. They split last year (13).
Actress Lily Collins has sparked rumours she is dating Australian actor Thomas Cocquerel after the two were seen out on a date in Los Angeles on Wednesday (05Feb14). Collins, 24, posted a picture of herself along with Cocquerel and actor Samuel Nolan while they were watching the Super Bowl together at the weekend (01-02Feb14), and, on Wednesday, the pair were photographed exiting Craig's restaurant together.
A source tells Us Weekly magazine, "They just started seeing each other. A friend introduced them. It's new. He is an all around great guy. She's happy."
Collins, who is rocker Phil Collins' daughter, previously dated her The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones co-star Jamie Campbell Bower from 2012 to 2013. She was also linked to Zac Efron in 2012 and Taylor Lautner from 2010 to 2011.
3rd Rock From the Sun is by far one of the best sitcoms in television history. It’s the perfect blend of the outlandish sitcom premises of the 1980s and the ensemble driven comedies of the 1990s. In the '80s, sitcoms had wildly illogical premises – a Buckingham Palace butler moves in with a Pittsburgh family (Mr. Belvedere), an alien moves in with a family (Alf), or a scientist makes a robotic daughter (Small Wonder). The '90s were chock full of ensemble comedies like Seinfeld until Friends brought about the dark ages of sitcoms. 3rd Rock merged the two and lasted a shocking six seasons and resulted in multiple Emmys and Golden Globes for the cast and crew.
Dick Solomon (John Lithgow) is the High Commander of an alien expedition to Earth. The creatures have been given human bodies and it brings a lot of humorous hi-jinks. Sally Solomon (Kristen Johnston) is the Security Officer and the one chosen to be “the woman” and is conveniently stunningly attractive. The Information Officer and oldest of the group gets placed in the body of a teenager in the form of Tommy Solomon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Harry Solomon (French Stewart) was not intended to take the trip but joins the crew and acts as the communicator to their home planet. Solomon teaches at the local college and has a very tense relationship with Dr. Mary Albright (Jane Curtin) and secretary Nina Campbell (Simbi Khali).
The series is genius. It finds the humor and irony in the mundane things we take for granted. The Solomon family has a unique perspective on the simplest of human customs and experiences. The cast is also full of amazing actors. Not only are Lithgow and Curtain comedy veterans, but since the series Levitt has proven himself to be an A-list actor. Stewart and Johnston are also still on television in the series Mom and The Exes, respectively.
The series has some pretty great recurring guest stars including William Shatner as their alien leader, Jan Hooks as Harry’s love interest, and John Cleese as a rival alien for Dick. The series also features appearances by Roseanne Barr, Phil Hartman, Christine Baranski, and Jane Lynch.
3rd Rock is worth a thorough binge watching for jokes that stand the test of time, an ensemble of amazing actors, and episodes that, for lack of a better term, are light years ahead of some series that are currently on television. All six seasons of the series are available to Hulu Plus subscribers.
Veteran musicians Def Leppard have dismissed reports suggesting they are seeking to sue One Direction over similarities between their new single Midnight Memories and the rockers' classic Pour Some Sugar On Me. An article printed in Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper earlier this month (Dec13) alleged the members of Def Leppard had instructed their lawyers to investigate the claims and compare Midnight Memories' three-chord hook to their own composition on their 1987 hit.
However, guitarists Vivian Campbell and Phil Collen have spoken out to deny they are planning to pursue legal action.
Campbell tells Billboard.com, "The One Direction one is very similar in structure, but it's all good...
"The chords are one-four-five. Those are the blues. You don't get more basic than that. I think what's more reminiscent of the Leppard thing is the production, the sound, the vocals, the reverb and the way it's assembled.
"That is very flattering that all of a sudden these kids think it's a cool sound. I think a lot of people of their generation aren't going to connect their music to ours."
The One Direction boys are no strangers to allegations of copyright - another single, Best Song Ever, was said to have been strikingly similar to The Who's Baba O'Riley tune upon its release this summer (13), but songwriter and guitarist Pete Townshend refused to launch a lawsuit against the young stars, insisting, "The chords I used and the chords they used are the same three chords we've all been using in basic pop music since Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Chuck Berry made it clear that fancy chords don't mean great music - not always."
Veteran Motorhead frontman Lemmy fears his current health problems are karma's way of punishing him for the "good times" he enjoyed during his rock and roll heyday. The Ace of Spades hitmaker, 67, has been forced to take it easy since suffering a "severe haematoma" and undergoing heart surgery to have a pacemaker fitted earlier this year (13), issues which recently prompted the band to postpone its European tour until next year (14).
However, Lemmy admits the personal problems have triggered feelings of depression.
The former hellraiser, who famously boasted about sleeping with more than 1,000 women during his youth, tells the New York Times, "I just feel really down. I'll never get a job again. I'm paying for the good times, I suppose. It's a mixture of all the things I ever did - and I did plenty."
The Motorhead star, who also suffers from diabetes, has quit smoking and cut back on his heavy drinking, telling the publication, "I drink wine and that's it."
Longtime bandmate Phil Campbell admits his friend is really struggling through the health crisis.
He tells WalesOnline, "The main problem is that he's displayed such a hard persona all his life (and) it makes it difficult for him to let people in. He's like the John Wayne of rock - always wanting to soldier on and handle things on his own."
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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Motorhead rocker Phil Campbell has opened up about his bandmate Lemmy's health issues, insisting he is doing well after having a pacemaker fitted earlier this year (13). The Ace of Spades hitmaker has been out of action since undergoing heart surgery, with reports in June (13) suggesting he had a implantable cardioverter defibrillator fitted.
Campbell has now confirmed the news, but has assured fans the 67-year-old frontman is well on the road to recovery.
He tells WalesOnline.com, "Lem had a pacemaker fitted earlier in the year because he'd been suffering from irregular heartbeats, and then his diabetes started playing him up.
"But his ticker's (heart's) fine now and he's made sufficient changes to his lifestyle and diet in order to combat the diabetes, it's just that he felt he wasn't 100 per cent ready to go back on the road just yet.
"As a result we put the dates back a little bit to enable him to build himself back up to full fitness."
Lemmy's ill health has prompted the band to postpone their European tour until 2014 to allow the singer enough time to be stage ready.
Actress Lily Collins vowed to keep her private life under wraps after witnessing the global furore over her rocker dad Phil's infamous "fax divorce" when she was a child. The former Genesis singer split from his second wife, Lily's mother Jill Tavelman, in the early 1990s and their 12-year marriage was formally ended in 1996.
The messy split made headlines around the world in 1993 when it emerged Collins was using fax messages to communicate with his estranged wife as they thrashed out details of the divorce.
Now model/actress Lily, who was just four years old at the height of the scandal, has revealed she is determined to keep her own love life as secretive as possible.
Collins, who is dating Twilight actor Jamie Campbell Bower, tells Glamour magazine, "I don't feel the need to profess anything publicly or confirm something that in a normal situation you wouldn't have to speak about. If I'm out and I'm photographed with someone, then it is what it is...
"That's always been my natural feeling. My family went through a lot of public situations and I saw that side of it from a very young age."
Motorhead were forced to cut short their set at a festival in Germany last week (beg29Jul13) as ailing frontman Lemmy was too weak to continue with the gig. The performance at the Wacken Open Air Festival on Friday (02Aug13) was the band's first appearance since they cancelled a number of European shows due to the lead singer's recent health problems.
Lemmy recently underwent heart surgery and was later diagnosed with a "severe haematoma", a localised collection of blood outside the vessels, and ordered to rest.
He made his stage comeback in Wacken and battled through five songs before bowing out. Lemmy returned to deliver The Chase is Better Than The Catch before leaving the stage again.
After the performance, festival organisers released a statement blaming Lemmy's health woes on soaring temperatures at the event. The statement reads, "Motorhead rocked the Black Stage for more than 30 minutes and Lemmy gave everything to play an amazing show. He's keeping well, but the temperatures and circumstance led to the point that continuing the show would have led to a loss of quality. They did everything humanly possible to play this gig. Thank you so much, guys."
The rockers are scheduled to tour the U.K. in November (13).