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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Using the formula so many unsuccessful romantic comedies have employed before it (looking at you Valentine's Day) What to Expect When You're Expecting wrangles a cast of big name stars but drops them in roles perfectly aligned with their sensibilities. Paired with a relatable central concept — one way or another we've all seen a side of pregnancy — director Kirk Jones (Waking Ned Devine) pulls off a comedy that's sweet poignant and most importantly funny. The experience of having a baby presented in the film isn't glorified or glamorized nor is it a one-person job resting on the women's shoulders making What to Expect a blockbuster comedy that delivers a little something for everyone.
Taking place primarily in Atlanta What to Expect bounces back and forth between a handful of couples with babies on the brain: Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) and Gary (Ben Falcone) are desperately trying to get pregnant while Gary's NASCAR legend father Ramsey (Dennis Quaid) is (frustratingly) having no problem with his trophy wife Skyler (Brooklyn Decker); Weight loss TV personality Jules (Cameron Diaz) takes home the top prize at a celeb dance-off at the same time she discovers she's carrying her dance partner Evan's (Matthew Morrison) child; Holly (Jennifer Lopez) and Alex (Rodrigo Santoro) are finally ready to take the plunge into the world of adoption but the actual process turns out to be an uphill battle; and Rosie (Anna Kendrick) a food truck owner has a wild night out with her competition (and former flame) Marco (Chace Crawford) that puts them both in a difficult situation. If you guessed she's pregnant you'd be correct.
What to Expect's DNA is a closer to match Woody Allen's Every Thing You Always Wanted to Know About Sex *But Were Afraid to Ask than anything out of the generic rom-com playbook. The screenplay from Heather Hach and Shauna Crossm is sharp with even the silliest and most expected gags landing thanks to the comedic talents of Banks Diaz Kendrick and the wicked rapport of the "Dude's Group " sporting Chris Rock Thomas Lennon Rob Huebel Amir Talai and Joe Manganiello. Even Decker who outshines her costars in Battleship holds her own taking the bubbly blonde to a whole other level
The movie makes a bold move to mix the less shiny moments of pregnancy in with the broad comedy and the results are mixed. Rosie and Marco's struggle with their accidental pregnancy takes a dramatic turn that doesn't feel earned in the grand scheme of things. Kendrick handles it with grace but pregnancy in its darkest moments require breathing room and with so many stories to juggle What to Expect can't afford it. Jennifer Lopez is the movie's biggest weakness a thread that never digs deep (or illicit laughs) from the roller coaster ride of adoption. The couple's predicament forces J.Lo to stick mostly to pouting and is completely overshadowed by the movie's highlights.
Thankfully those highlights are plentiful. Whether Diaz is spoofing Biggest Loser with her satirical take on TV personalities Banks is having a meltdown during her keynote at a baby expo or Rock is delivering a profanity-laden soliloquy on why dads need to man up What to Expect keeps laughs coming. Hollywood rarely gives birth to a comedy that's both hilarious and honest. What to Expect hits both chords defying expectations.
300 and Che star Rodrigo Santoro will play Jennifer Lopez's husband in new movie What to Expect When You're Expecting. Cameron Diaz, Anna Kendrick and Brooklyn Decker will also star in the adaptation of Heidi Murkoff's pregnancy guidebook.
War epic 300 and sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest are leading the nominations for the 2007 MTV Movie Awards with five and four nods apiece.
Both films have been nominated for the Best Movie award, alongside Blades of Glory, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and Little Miss Sunshine.
300 star Gerard Butler is up for Best Performance and Best Fight, while Lena Headey and Rodrigo Santoro have been nominated for Breakthrough Performance and Best Villain, respectively.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest actors Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley have also both picked up nods for Best Performance, while Bill Nighy is up for Best Villain.
The full list of 2007 MTV Movie Awards nominees is:
Blades of Glory
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Little Miss Sunshine
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Johnny Depp--Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Keira Knightley--Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Will Smith--The Pursuit of Happyness
Emily Blunt--The Devil Wears Prada
Abigail Breslin--Little Miss Sunshine
Columbus Short--Stomp the Yard
Jaden Smith--The Pursuit of Happyness
Justin Timberlake--Alpha Dog
Best Comedic Performance:
Emily Blunt--The Devil Wears Prada
Sacha Baron Cohen--Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Will Ferrell--Blades of Glory
Ben Stiller--Night at the Museum
Cameron Diaz & Jude Law--The Holiday
Will Ferrell & Sacha Baron Cohen--Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Columbus Short & Meagan Good--Stomp the Yard
Mark Wahlberg & Elizabeth Banks--Invincible
Marlon Wayans & Brittany Daniel--The Little Man
Tobin Bell--Saw III
Jack Nicholson--The Departed
Bill Nighy--Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Meryl Streep--The Devil Wears Prada
Jack Black & Hector Jimenez vs. Los Duendes (Wrestling Match)--Nacho Libre
Gerard Butler vs. 'The Uber Immortal' (The Spartan/Persian Battle)--300
Sacha Baron Cohen vs. Ken Davitian (Naked Wrestling)--Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Will Ferrell vs. Jon Heder (Ice-Rink Fight)--Blades of Glory
Uma Thurman vs. Anna Faris (Super Girl Fight)--My Super Ex-Girlfriend
Best Summer Movie You Haven't Seen Yet:
Evan Almighty (released June 22)
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (released June 15)
Hairspray (released July 20)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (released July 13)
Rush Hour 3 (released Aug. 10)
Transformers (released July 4)
MTVu Best Filmmaker on Campus:
Robert Dastoli--Southwestern Orange County vs. The Flying Saucers (University of Central Florida)
Maria Gigante--Girls Room (Columbia College, Chicago)
Josh Greenbaum--Border Patrol (University of Southern California)
Alexander Poe--Please Forget I Exist (Columbia University)
Andrew Shipsides--Bottleneck (Savannah College of Art & Design)
COPYRIGHT 2007 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.
It's official -- the famed festivities here have begun, even if the obligatory red carpet wasn't ready until the late afternoon. But a lack of carpet didn't stop the sun and stars from converging in the daylight this morning when Uma Thurman and Gerard Depardieu arrived with their posses for a screening of "Vatel," which opened the 53rd Cannes Film Festival.
The wind ravaged the Mediterranean waters (magically sparing Uma's golden locks) as cameras flashed and fans clapped. In this day of cutting-edge digital media, it's still fun to revel in the old-fashioned glamour of the young and beautiful (not to mention statuesque and blonde) Uma co-starring with the rugged, debonaire (you gotta throw in some French when you're on the Riviera) andmuch, much older Gerard.
The excitement here never dies. The next big stir was the dramatic arrival of the jury members who will bestow Cannes' career-making Palme d'Or (the Golden Palm Award.) This year's jury president is filmmaker Luc Besson ("The Fifth Element"). Among his 10 cohorts are Kristin Scott Thomas and Jeremy Irons.
The other must-watch Cannes category (with 22 films mostly by first-time directors) is Un Certain Regard. It opens today with the touching and femme-filled "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her." Rodrigo Garcia, son of Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, directs the likes of Cameron Diaz, Glenn Close and Calista Flockhart in this series of slightly interwoven vignettes. Other films to look forward to are "Famous," directed by and starring Griffin Dunne (multitasking is so chic), as well as "I Dreamed of Africa" starring Kim Basinger and Vincent Perez.
Uma, meanwhile, is ringing in the millennium in style, since she has not one, but two films here. The second is the lusty Merchant Ivory film "The Golden Bowl," which is a competition entry. Co-star Nick Nolte is flying in for that premiere later.
Just one question: Where's Ethan?