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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Let's start with HannahWe open this season of Girls in the traditional way: on Hannah lying in bed, nestled in the comforting arms of her most cherished loved one and principle source of security — this time, that's Adam. The grid-evading oddball has moved back into Hannah's life, taking the wheel on her road toward self-betterment (as Hannah tells her therapist, a fumbling Bob Balaban, Adam is "making sure" she is eating healthy and taking her medication) and watching her embrace new productivity in the face of her editor's optimism. Hannah's Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, as it none too shockingly turns out, is predicted to be a big sell by the maniacally pragmatic David (John Cameron Mitchell, who, far more shockingly, is 50 years old), who delights in the revelation of her ailment over a pair of edible chocolate cups. Romantically, professionally, and creatively, things are looking up for Hannah.
The one speedbump that Hannah does hit on this road trip to personal improvement comes when Adam's recent ex Natalia (Shiri Appleby), who you'll remember from perhaps the darkest and most disturbing cene on the series yet to date, confronts the pair in Ray's coffee shop with accusations of Adam being a selfish, heartless, and overall unreliable human being. Hannah manages to shake off the residual jolts from this particularly jarring conversation, but the viewer keeps them in mind. While Adam might have played the villain in his relationship with Natalia, we can see him enduring her fate — being left to grieve alone — as Hannah eventually ascends to whatever venture comes along with a more attractive path.
Which brings us to AdamAt this point, Adam seems to be the dominant voice of wisdom for each of our main characters this year — in the first two episodes alone, he chauffeurs Marnie through her breakup with Charlie, establishes the image of romantic ideality for the impressionable Shoshanna, and offers Jessa a helping hand in the kicking of her addiction. But the permanence that his arguably questionable bits of advice (we've got to remember that the source has exhibited his own tremendous character flaws, despite his broad-shouldered air of nobility) is yet to be witnessed. Adam probably isn't going to turn Jessa off drugs entirely, instill in Marnie a refurbished self-esteem, or drill into Shoshanna's head what it means to be in a healthy, adult relationship. And worst of all for Adam, he's probably not going to keep Hannah from succumbing to her own demons... and unleashing them upon him and everybody else.
Onto MarnieMarnie, a victim of actor Christopher Abbott's suspended interest in his Girls character Charlie, is dealing with a sudden breakup, bled of her lasting self-efficacy by her venomous mother (Rita Wilson). Peaking visibly in the embodiment of defeat, Marnie breaks down at Hannah's dinner party over the very idea of Charlie, reciting the story of their split (they were planning to make frozen pizzas, and then… it was over) and wallowing in her ever loosening grasp on her sense of self.
It's not a particularly optimistic set-up for Marnie, both in-universe and out. We've seen her struggle with issues of loss and loneliness before, and things don't look to be "picking up" in any drastically different way. Yes, she's got a new apartment in Manhattan, but a pretty significant change is in order to keep our interest in the character's journey, however humane and relatable (albeit regularly contemptible) it may be. The first two episodes do very little to set her on any narrative path, so we're hoping that next week switches up the game in some fashion (be it a "happy" one or otherwise).
And now, JessaStuck up in rehab in the boonies, Jessa is succeeding in alienating everyone around her. Playing the "bad guy" in her regular group therapy meetings, Jessa uses her wicked clever streak to diagnose and castigate her fellow patients, earning their scorn and her counselors' disapproval. While there is no doubt in any fan's mind that Jessa would behave as such in this kind of setting — nor that this behavior would result in a wealth of ill repute among the rehab inmates — what stands out as a bit too "stylized" is just how unique the rehabilitation establishment is making her out to be. Jessa' counselor condemns her as a rare case: someone who makes less and less sense the more you get to know her. But if the character is supposed to represent a sub-community of free spirit addicts who thrive on their own narcissism and obsessive detachment, then why is she being treated like such a one-of-a-kind figure? Surely, this is exactly what the Jessas of the world want to hear. To have a psychiatric professional utter these words seems damningly toxic for Girls' intention of breaking down its characters as products of an ill-fitting regime.
In the second episode of the season, Jessa — having been booted from rehab for inappropriate sexual advances on another patient, played by Orange Is the New Black's Taystee (Danielle Brooks) — awaits the arrival of Hannah, Shoshanna, and Adam (the only one of the lot old enough to rent a car). The road trip faces Adam's concerted belief system against Hannah's lack thereof, culminating in the reveal that Jessa is (despite Hannah's insistence) in lasting dire need of help. While she maintains her psychotic stoicism, Jessa does appear to have taken some pain away from her rehab experience. In some form, she believes she was helping Laura/Taystee, a closeted lesbian, achieve a new sense of honesty. Furthermore, the one friend she feels she had made at the establishment, a middle aged British addict, was only consumed by his sexual cravings for her. Although Jessa does not seem at all willing to accept Adam's (a fellow addict) offers for help, she is newly marred. And maybe that will institute some kind of new exploration for her.
Finally, ShoshannaHer own experimental phase in high gear, Shoshanna is pretty much where we left her post-breakup with Ray. She's attending to her desires for adventure, primarily of a sexual nature, but is convincing herself that her studies will not go neglected... that proclamation coming shortly after we see her falling asleep at the library. But these hints, as well as Shoshanna's determination to graduate and escape the shackles of school life, suggest that Girls is setting up her professional future to be particularly nightmarish. The anxiety-ridden character is likely to achieve a new understanding of the cold hand of reality once her tenure at NYU comes to a rest, which means a new plateau of confusion and terror for the girl we once saw accidentally smoke crack and run around Bushwick without pants.
Ray was barely in these episodesHe called some girl a "feisty shiksa," and told Hannah that she was pathetic, but that's about it.
What did you think about the episodes? Sound off in the comments section!
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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.
Love Never Sleeps. Reports are stating that Carey Mulligan is now engaged to her musician boyfriend, Marcus Mumford after only dating for 5 months (in the land of Hollywood though that's like equivalent to 5 years, right?). The Mumford & Sons singer supposedly popped the question last weekend in England during an intimate, romantic holiday at Babington House in Somerset. An on-looker claimed that “Carey looked like the cat who had got the cream. She was wearing a beautiful ring and didn’t seem to mind who saw it." The observer added, "They were stuck together like glue. She was doing most of the talking and he was hanging on her every word.” The couple first met after Carey went to see his band perform in Nashville, Tennessee, earlier this year.
It seems like Ms. Mulligan didn't need that much time to grieve from her former love interest and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps co-star, Shia LeBeouf, whom she only recently split up with. Marcus has previously dated folk singer Laura Marling until he met the Public Enemies actress. The heart wants what it wants. Congrats to the happy couple!
Source: Radar Online