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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While many TV lovers were tuning into The Bachelorette finale and watching Emily Maynard accept Jef Holmes' proposal, younger TV fans were tuning in to watch the 2012 Teen Choice Awards on Sunday. And it was a big night for teen favorites like Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth's The Hunger Games in the movie category, while Justin Bieber stormed the Fashion and Music sections.
See below for the complete list of the 2012 Teen Choice Awards winners:
Choice Movie: Action — Abduction
Choice Movie Actor: Action — Taylor Lautner, Abduction
Choice Movie Actress: Action — Zoe Saldana, Colombiana
Choice Movie: Sci-Fi/Fantasy — The Hunger Games
Choice Movie Actor: Sci-Fi/Fantasy — Josh Hutcherson, The Hunger Games and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy — Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games
Choice Movie: Drama — The Lucky One
Choice Movie Actor: Drama— Zac Efron, The Lucky One
Choice Movie Actress: Drama — Emma Stone, The Help
Choice Movie: Comedy — 21 Jump Street
Choice Movie Actor: Comedy — Channing Tatum, 21 Jump Street
Choice Movie Actress: Comedy — Emma Stone, Crazy, Stupid, Love
Choice Movie: Romance — The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
Choice Movie Actor: Romance — Zac Efron, The Lucky One
Choice Movie Actress: Romance — Kristen Stewart, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
Choice Movie Voice — Taylor Swift as Audrey, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
Choice Movie Chemistry — Jennifer Lawrence and Amandla Stenberg, The Hunger Games
Choice Movie Liplock — Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, The Hunger Games
Choice Movie Hissy Fit — Charlize Theron, Snow White & The Huntsman
Choice Movie Villain— Alexander Ludwig, The Hunger Games
Choice Movie Scene Stealer: Male — Liam Hemsworth, The Hunger Games
Choice Movie Scene Stealer: Female — Ashley Greene, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
Choice Movie Breakout — Rihanna, Battleship
Choice Summer Movie: Action — The Avengers
Choice Summer Movie: Comedy/Music — Katy Perry: Part of Me
Choice Summer Movie Star: Male — Chris Hemsworth, Snow White & The Huntsman and The Avengers
Choice Summer Movie Star: Female — Kristen Stewart, Snow White & The Huntsman
Choice TV Show: Drama — Pretty Little Liars
Choice TV Actor: Drama — Ian Harding, Pretty Little Liars
Choice TV Actress: Drama — Lucy Hale, Pretty Little Liars
Choice TV Show: Fantasy/Sci-Fi — The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Actor: Fantasy/Sci-Fi — Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Actress: Fantasy/Sci-Fi — Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Show: Action — CSI: Miami
Choice TV Actor: Action — Adam Rodriguez, CSI: Miami
Choice TV Actress: Action — Linda Hunt, NCIS: Los Angeles
Choice TV Show: Comedy — Glee
Choice TV Actor: Comedy — Chris Colfer, Glee
Choice TV Actress: Comedy — Lea Michele, Glee
Choice TV: Animated Show — The Simpsons
Choice TV: Male Personality — Simon Cowell, The X Factor
Choice TV: Female Personality — Jennifer Lopez, American Idol
Choice TV: Reality Competition Show — The X Factor
Choice TV: Reality Show — Punk’d
Choice TV: Male Reality Star — Paul "DJ Pauly D" DelVecchio, Jersey Shore and The Pauly D Project
Choice TV: Female Reality Star — The Kardashians, Keeping Up with the Kardashians
Choice Summer TV Show — Teen Wolf
Choice Summer TV Star: Female — Troian Bellisario, Pretty Little Liars
Choice Summer TV Star: Male — Tyler Posey, Teen Wolf
Choice TV Villain — Janel Parrish, Pretty Little Liars
Choice TV Female Scene Stealer — Candice Accola, The Vampire Dairies
Choice TV Male Scene Stealer — Michael Trevino, The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Breakout Show — The X Factor
Choice TV Breakout Star: Female — Hannah Simone, New Girl
Choice TV Breakout Star: Male — Beau Mirchoff, Awkward
Choice Male Artist — Justin Bieber
Choice Female Artist — Taylor Swift
Choice Music Group — Selena Gomez & The Scene
Choice R&B/Hip-Hop Artist — Nicki Minaj
Choice R&B/Hip-Hop Song — “Starships,” Nicki Minaj
Choice Rock Group — fun.
Choice Rock Song — “Paradise,” Coldplay
Choice Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Artist — David Guetta
Choice Single by a Group — “We Are Young,” fun. featuring Janelle Monáe
Choice Single by a Female Artist — “Eyes Open,” Taylor Swift
Choice Single by a Male Artist — “Boyfriend,” Justin Bieber
Choice Male Country Artist — Hunter Hayes
Choice Female Country Artist — Taylor Swift
Choice Country Song — “Sparks Fly,” Taylor Swift
Choice Country Group — Lady Antebellum
Choice Summer Song — “Call Me Maybe,” Carly Rae Jepsen
Choice Love Song — “What Makes You Beautiful,” One Direction
Choice Break-Up Song — “Payphone,” Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa
Choice Summer Music Star: Female — Demi Lovato
Choice Summer Music Star: Male — Justin Bieber
Choice Summer Music Star: Group — One Direction
Choice Music: Breakout Artist — Carly Rae Jepsen
Choice Music: Breakout Group — One Direction
Choice Fashion Icon: Female — Katy Perry
Choice Fashion Icon: Male — Justin Bieber
Choice Female Hottie — Miley Cyrus
Choice Male Hottie — Ian Somerhalder
Choice Female Athlete — Serena Williams (Tennis)
Choice Male Athlete — David Beckham (Soccer)
Choice Book — “The Hunger Games” trilogy, Suzanne Collins
Choice Comedian — Ellen DeGeneres
Choice Twit — Demi Lovato
Choice Web Star — Sophia Grace and Rosie
Choice Video Game — Just Dance 3
Choice Social Network — Facebook
Katy Perry Adds Rapper to Her Resume — VIDEO
Justin Bieber Reaches 25 Million Twitter Followers
2012 Teen Choice
At some point in the early years of the 21st century a bunch of Hollywood executives must have gotten together and decided that animated films should be made for all audiences. The goal was perhaps to make movies that are simultaneously accessible to the older and younger sets with colorful imagery that one expects from children’s films and two levels of humor: one that’s quite literal and harmless and another that’s somewhat subversive. The criteria has resulted in cross-generational hits like Wall-E and Madagascar and though it’s nice to be able to take my nephew to the movies and be as entertained by cartoon characters as he is I can’t help but wonder what happened to unabashedly innocent animated classics like A Goofy Movie and The Land Before Time?
Disney’s Winnie The Pooh is the answer to the Shrek’s and Hoodwinked!’s of the world: a short sweet simple and lighthearted tale of friendship that doesn’t need pop-culture references or snarky dialogue to put a smile on your face. Directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall found some fresh ways to deliver adorable animation while keeping the carefree spirit of A.A. Milne’s source material in tact. Their story isn’t the most original; the first part of the film finds Pooh Piglet Tigger and Owl searching for Eeyore’s tail (a common plot point in the books and past Pooh films) and hits all the predictable notes but the second half mixes things up a bit as the crew searches for a missing Christopher Robin whom they believe has been kidnapped by a forest creature known as the “Backson” (it’s really just the result of the illiterate Owl or is it?).
The beauty of hand-drawn animation all but forgotten until recently is what makes Winnie the Pooh so incredibly magnetic. There’s an inexplicable crispness to the colors and characters that CG just can’t duplicate. It’s a more personal practice for the filmmakers and should provide a refreshing experience for audiences who have become jaded with the pristine presentation of computerized imagery. The film is bookended by brief live-action shots from inside Robin’s room an interesting dynamic that plays up the simplicity of youth ties it to these beloved characters and brings you right back to memories of your own childhood.
With a just-over-an-hour run time Winnie the Pooh is short enough to hold the attention of children but won’t bore the parents who will love the film mainly for nostalgic musings. Still it’s the young’uns who will most enjoy this breezy bright and enchanting film that proves old-school characters can appeal to new moviegoers.
According to a TV Guide poll, fans want Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears to move on in their love lives--meaning no going back to Sean "P. Diddy" Combs or Justin Timberlake, girls. Now that Lopez has split from her husband, Cris Judd, 73 percent of those polled don't want to see Lopez return to Combs, while 59 percent hopes Spears moves past Timberlake.
The Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellen and actress Sharon Gless of Showtime's Queer As Folk fame will act as the grand marshals of San Francisco's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Parade on Sunday, July 7. They'll ride in a pink Cadillac.
Woody Harrelson is off the hook--for now. The London taxi driver who claimed the actor trashed the inside of his cab last month has dropped the charges, according to Reuters. Harrelson's alleged odd behavior in the cab was followed by a chase through the streets of London, where police finally apprehended the Cheers star. Harrelson was reported to have paid the taxi driver $800.
Comedian Chris Rock and his wife welcomed their first child, daughter Lola Simone, on Friday in New York.
Tom Arnold, the host of Fox Sports Net's Best Damn Sports Show Period and the man formerly married to Roseanne, has gotten hitched again. On Saturday, June 29, he wed girlfriend Shelby Roos at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson was the victim of a home burglary in the posh Notting Hill district of London, Scotland Yard revealed on Monday. Apparently, the robbery happened on May 23, and an investigation is being carried out. A Scotland Yard spokeswoman would not give any details "at the victim's request" on what was stolen, Reuters reports.
Fans of the late martial arts great Bruce Lee may be pleased to learn that American Movie Classics will be airing a documentary about him, Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey, Tuesday night. In it, 33 minutes of finished footage from Lee's last film, Game of Death, will be shown, presented according to an original outline by Lee. The film was released in 1978, five years after Lee's death at age 32, but some considered it a joke because he appeared in only 11 minutes of the film.
More celebs are joining folk singer Bob Dylan on his first foray into acting. Ed Harris and Giovanni Ribisi have joined the cast of Masked & Anonymous, about a wandering troubadour/ex-con who performs one last concert. Other cast members include Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett and Jeff Bridges.
Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon are looking to work together in Clint Eastwood's new film Mystic River. Eastwood will direct the film, about three childhood friends brought together after 25 years when the daughter of one of the friends is murdered.
George Michael is back--large and in charge. His latest song, "Shoot the Dog," released Monday, is a political satire and by far his most controversial yet: He describes British Prime Minister Tony Blair as President George Bush's poodle. Nice image.