Looks like all that experience flying the TARDIS is about to pay off for Matt Smith: he’s just joined the cast of the upcoming Terminator: Genesis in an unspecified-but-important role. Deadline reports that the former Doctor will play a character with a strong connection to John Connor (Jason Clarke), who will also play a major role in the film’s sequels. Smith is the latest nerd-friendly addition to a cast that includes Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke, Divergent villain Jai Courtney, and Dayo Okeniyi from The Hunger Games. And of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger will be back to step back into his signature cyborg armor.
The franchise is a good fit for Smith, who already has plenty of experience jumping from time period to time period and planet to planet on Doctor Who. In fact, Smith is so good at handling rifts in time and space that we could see him fitting in, no matter when or where in time you dropped him. To prove this theory, we’ve crafted a timeline of Smith’s possible time travel adventures, using the most iconic time travel-based movies and TV shows. We start, of course, with the first major civilization…
- 410 BC: Smith’s first trip goes back to Ancient Greece, where he hopes to sit in on one of Socrates’ lectures, only to find out from one of the other students that “So-Crates” had hopped into a time machine and set off for the future to help two slackers in their intellectual pursuits. (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure)- 528 AD: Smith finds himself in Camelot, where he convinces the King to make things right with his people before Merlin and Morgan Le Fay manage ursurp him. But first, there’s a little matter of jazzing up all that boring old chamber music… (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court)- 1400s: Climbing through a hole in the fabric of time, Smith arrives in Sherwood Forest, where he is recruited by Robin Hood his Merry Men, and a band of dwarves to help give to the poor. Well, he intends to, but once he finds out how insane Robin Hood is, he decides it might be better to head elsewhere and avoid getting killed. (Time Bandits)- 1621: Smith arrives in colonial America to find two talking turkeys scrambling around in an attempt to escape some hunters and put a stop to the first Thanksgiving. He decides to help them, thinking it will be funny, but discovers they’re just dumb and so he leaves it up to them to figure it out. How much trouble can two turkeys with a time machine cause, after all? (Free Birds)- 1920s: After he accidentally gets into the wrong car, Smith finds himself transported to 1920s Paris, where he hops from party to party with the Fitzgeralds and a fellow time traveler who wanted writing advice. He doesn’t remember much but he’s pretty sure someone actually had a lampshade on their head at one point. (Midnight in Paris)- 1955: There’s another mix up with cars, and Smith ends up crashing the Pine Valley prom, where he discovers that his best friend is actually his son. It takes a while to process, but his future wife is really pretty, even if there’s some weird tension there with their son. (Back to the Future)- 1959: Smith hops forward a few years, where he meets the smartest dog of all time and not-so-bright boy, and helps them work on a time machine of their own called the WABAC. They invite him to join in on an adventure, but Sherman accidentally hits the wrong button, and Smith is sent forward in time by himself… (Mr. Peabody)- 1981: To the early ‘80s, where he meets Alex Drake, who is determined to figure out how she ended up in the past (although if you ask Smith, he thinks she should be more concerned with the clown that’s following her around.) Luckily, he remembers a few things about Sam Tyler that should help nudge her investigation along, even if she probably won’t like what she discovers. (Ashes to Ashes)- 1984: Smith hops forward a few years, only to find himself caught in the crossfire of a murderous cyborg with an Austrain accent, and a human soldier who is trying to keep the cyborg from killing an innocent woman. Once he realizes that he will soon get to act out this scenario on a safe, closed, set, he hightails it out of there. (Terminator)- 1993: Somehow, Smith manages to jump to an alternate universe, and finds himself at Hogwarts castle, so he immediately searches out Harry, Ron and Hermione, and helps them save Buckbeak, then rides the hippogriff off into the sunset. It all goes smoothly, although Harry is confused as to why Smith keeps calling him “Dan.” (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)- 1994: The time turner can only turn so far, and Smith ends up a year in the future, where he agrees to help Max Walker investigate a crooked politician. He doesn't really care about the plot, he really just wanted the chance to hang out with Jean Claude Van Damme. (Time Cop)- 2004: After Smith and Walker arrive in 2004, he heads to a charming lake house to get in some R&R, only to find a guy staring forlornly at a mailbox, waiting for the flag to raise. It’s a little too sappy and maudlin for him, so he tells the guy to go chase after his love, or at the very least, to find a red pill that would put him in a more exciting sci-fi universe. (The Lake House)- 3000: Smith rockets forward to the end of the millennium, where he stumbles across a cargo-delivery company run by the most dysfunctional group of people he has ever met. Still, he lets himself get roped into drinking with the robot and his friends, and it’s the most fun he has on his whole trip. Too bad the accident-prone intern cut the party short by accidentally sending him forward in time. (Futurama)- 3978: Smith washes up on the beach of a weirdly familiar-looking planet, only to find that the natives – all of whom appear to be apes – aren’t thrilled with his presence. He manages to escape his capture and follows the shoreline in order to find a way home, only to discover, to his horror, the ruins of the Statue of Liberty. (Planet of the Apes)
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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A kids’ movie without the cheeky jokes for adults is like a big juicy BLT without the B… or the T. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted may have a title that sounds like it was made up in a cartoon sequel laboratory but when it comes to serving up laughs just think of the film as a BLT with enough extra bacon to satisfy even the wildest of animals — or even a parent with a gaggle of tots in tow. Yes even with that whole "Afro Circus" nonsense.
It’s not often that we find exhaustively franchised films like the Madagascar set that still work after almost seven years. Despite being spun off into TV shows and Christmas specials in addition to its big screen adventures the series has not only maintained its momentum it has maintained the part we were pleasantly surprised by the first time around: great jokes.
In this third installment of the series – the trilogy-maker if you will – directing duo Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath add Conrad Vernon (director Monsters Vs. Aliens) to the helm as our trusty gang swings back into action. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) are stuck in Africa after the hullaballoo of Madagascar 2 and they’ll do anything to get back to their beloved New York. Just a hop skip and a jump away in Monte Carlo the penguins are doing their usual greedy schtick but the zoo animals catch up with them just in time to catch the eye of the sinister animal control stickler Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand). And just like that the practically super human captain is chasing them through Monte Carlo and the rest of Europe in hopes of planting Alex’s perfectly coifed lion head on her wall of prized animals.
Luckily for pint-sized viewers Dubois’ terrifying presence is balanced out by her sheer inhuman strength uncanny guiles and Stretch Armstrong flexibility (ah the wonder of cartoons) as well as Alex’s escape plan: the New Yorkers run away with the European circus. While Dubois’ terrifying Doberman-like presence looms over the entire film a sense of levity (which is a word the kiddies might learn from Stiller’s eloquent lion) comes from the plan for salvation in which the circus animals and the zoo animals band together to revamp the circus and catch the eye of a big-time American agent. Sure the pacing throughout the first act is practically nonexistent running like a stampede through the jungle but by the time we're palling around under the big top the film finds its footing.
The visual splendor of the film (and man is there a champion size serving of it) the magnificent danger and suspense is enhanced to great effect by the addition of 3D technology – and not once is there a gratuitous beverage or desperate Crocodile Dundee knife waved in our faces to prove its worth. The caveat is that the soundtrack employs a certain infectious Katy Perry ditty at the height of the 3D spectacular so parents get ready to hear that on repeat until the leaves turn yellow.
But visual delights and adventurous zoo animals aside Madagascar 3’s real strength is in its script. With the addition of Noah Baumbach (Greenberg The Squid and the Whale) to the screenwriting team the script is infused with a heightened level of almost sarcastic gravitas – a welcome addition to the characteristically adult-friendly reference-heavy humor of the other Madagascar films. To bring the script to life Paramount enlisted three more than able actors: Vitaly the Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston) Gia the Leopard (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano the Italian Sealion (Martin Short). With all three actors draped in European accents it might take viewers a minute to realize that the cantankerous tiger is one and the same as the man who plays an Albuquerque drug lord on Breaking Bad but that makes it that much sweeter to hear him utter slant-curse words like “Bolshevik” with his usual gusto.
Between the laughs the terror of McDormand’s Captain Dubois and the breathtaking virtual European tour the Zoosters’ accidental vacation is one worth taking. Madagascar 3 is by no means an insta-classic but it’s a perfectly suited for your Summer-at-the-movies oasis.
Top Story: Media Lawyers Petition for Jackson Papers
Lawyers for news organizations, including The Associated Press, are desperate to get their hands on the grand jury's indictment against Michael Jackson, petitioning the judge to release the unsealed transcripts of 13 days of testimony, AP reports. At the grand jury hearing April 30, Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville disclosed that Jackson had been indicted on child molestation charges as well as a conspiracy count involving allegations of child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion but ordered only edited portions of the indictment to be released. Citing decades of court precedent, attorney Theodore Boutrous Jr. argued that indictments can be sealed only under extraordinary circumstances, which he claims has not been part of the Jackson case. "This case does not raise any of the issues that have traditionally been invoked to seal or partially seal indictments, such as the need to protect the lives of witnesses, to ensure the defendant or other potential targets did not flee, or the need to protect innocent persons from injury," said Boutrous' motion, filed in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, AP reports. Melville said he sealed the material to protect the identify of the minor child who is accusing Jackson as well as insulate prospective jurors from publicity that might prejudice them.
Idol Goes Double-Time for Finale
Fox TV and American Idol producers have announced they will give callers four hours instead of the usual two to vote for their choices in the show's finale next week, Reuters reports. Idol has come under fire recently regarding their voting process after two of the more talented performers were voted off due to jammed phone lines. The producers have defended the system, saying that "power dialers" who set up repeat calls for one contestant "can be identified and discounted," but Broadcasting & Cable magazine reported the technology isn't sophisticated enough to handle the overtaxed phone lines. "This is not a quiz show scandal," Broadcasting & Cable editor in chief Max Robins told Reuters. "They're getting the votes the best they can given the system they've got, but technology is thwarting democracy on American Idol."
Martha Stewart's TV Show Put on Hiatus
Martha Stewart's home decorating and cooking show, which wraps up its 11th season this fall, has been put on hiatus because the homemaking maven is awaiting sentencing after being convicted in March for lying to investigators about a personal stock sale. Spokeswoman Elizabeth Estroff told Reuters nearly 40 jobs will be eliminated in the TV division, leaving 35 positions. "I am deeply sorry that it has become necessary for the show to go on hiatus until my personal legal situation is resolved," Stewart said in a statement. "I hope to resume our close collaboration just as soon as I am able to do so." Stewart faces possible jail time when sentenced on June 17.
Frasier Tops Nielsens
NBC's Frasier series finale top the Nielsens with a whopping 25.2 million this week, but it wasn't quite enough to give the network the No. 1 spot. CBS won in total viewership with 11.8 million viewers, narrowly beating NBC, which took in 11.2 million. Fox came in third with 9.2 million, followed by ABC with 8.3 million, the WB with 4.1 million and UPN with 3.3 million. For the week of May 10-16, the top 10 shows included: Frasier finale, NBC; ER, NBC; American Idol (Tuesday), Fox; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS; American Idol (Wednesday), Fox; CSI: Miami, CBS; Survivor All-Stars, CBS; Frasier clip show special, NBC; Without a Trace, CBS; Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS.
The Office Doesn't Qualify for Emmys
Although winning Golden Globes for lead actor and comedy series, BBC America's hit series The Office will not be getting an Emmy nomination. Variety reports the British laffer felt short of the six episodes requirement for consideration, with only five segments available for submission. There's always next year.
Sarah Jessica Parker Reveals Secrets of Marital Bliss
Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker told Charlie Rose in an interview to air Wednesday night on CBS' 60 Minutes II that the key to her long-lasting marriage to Matthew Broderick is servitude. "I take care of him," Parker said in excerpts released in advance. "I pack for him, I shop for him, I get his groceries. He's taken care of. That's who Matthew is--people take care of him. It's practically involuntary." And if there were one thing Parker could change about Broderick, it would be … his gait. "He walks too slowly. I walk really quickly. He never hails the cab--never. I've been doing it forever, so I guess he just thinks, 'Well, she does it so well.'" Parker and Broderick were married in 1997 and have an 18-month-old son.
Elfman Eyed for CBS Comedy
Sources tell Reuters that one of the new series CBS is set to unveil to advertisers Wednesday in New York is a comedy starring Jenna Elfman. The network is reportedly finalizing a deal with Jenna Elfman to develop a midseason comedy to be co-written by Two and a Half Men showrunner and executive producer Chuck Lorre. It would reunite Elfman and Lorre, who worked together on the 1997-2002 ABC sitcom Dharma & Greg. Elfman also did a two-episode guest stint on Men in February. According to Reuters, Lorre would co-write the comedy's pilot and help supervise the pilot production, but sources stressed he has no intention of giving up his current duties as showrunner on the freshman hit Men.
Drew Carey Gets Improv Comedy on WB
Drew Carey and his pals, meanwhile, are flying the ABC coop and heading over to the youth-oriented WB network with a new improvisational comedy show. Reuters reports Drew Carey's Green Screen Show is one of six new shows the WB plans to introduce this fall as part of the primetime slate. Green Screen will co-star several of Carey's Whose Line Is It Anyway? buddies, including Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Chip Esten, Brad Sherwood, Greg Proops, and Jeff Davis, along with