Review: Mr. Peabody & Sherman

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Director: Rob Minkoff (Flypaper, The Forbidden Kingdo, The Haunted Mansion, Stuart Little, The Lion King)
Writer: Craig Wright, Jay Ward
Producers: Denise Nolan Cascino, Alex Schwartz
Starring: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter, Allison Janney, Stephen Tobolowsky, Joshua Rush, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann, Stanley Tucci, Lake Bell, Mel Brooks
MPAA Rating: PG
Running time: 92 min.


I should make it clear right out of the gate that I never watched Rocky and Bullwinkle. I’m familiar with the characters in a superficial pop culture sort of way but as far as the intricacies of that universe and the characters that inhabit it are concerned, it may as well be new material. So in the back of my mind, I knew that Mr. Peabody was a character that stemmed from Rocky and Bullwinkle but beyond that, he’s completely new to me and though it didn’t affect my enjoyment of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, it may have some influence on others who are familiar with the character’s origins.

Mr. Peabody is a genius dog who, upon discovering a baby boy in an alley, fought to adopt him as his son. After all, boys can adopt dogs so why not vice versa? Sadly, not everyone is on board with this idea and on his first day of school, Sherman gets into a little trouble with Penny, a smart girl who doesn’t like her intellect being one-upped by the new kid. It ends in a fight and a social worker threatening to remove Sherman from Mr. Peabody’s care. Peabody devises a plan to woo Penny’s parents, a plan that is going smoothly until Sherman and Penny take a ride in the Way Back Machine and kind of mess up the universe.

On the surface, Mr. Peabody and Sherman is a time travel comedy adventure which borrows heavily from both Back to the Future and, most notably Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Peabody invented the Way Back Machine as a learning tool for Sherman, taking him back to meet important individuals and witness historical events. Obviously, when the kids get a hold of it, things get far more complicated than that what it the messing up of historical moments and all but hovering just under the surface is also a great story of friendship, overcoming our differences and most importantly, the bond of family and the struggles of being a good parent.

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Trailer: Some Velvet Morning

SomeVelvetMorning

It’s been a while Neil Labute stormed onto the arthouse film scene with the one-two punch of In The Company of Men and Your Friends and Neighbors. After those two films, it felt that the director never quite found his place, doing horror and comedy remakes (or in the case of a The Wicker Man, a comedy remake of a horror film) with interim breaks of going back to the stage. It seems to me that he is at his best, on screen anyway, when taking rather intimate style stage plays and making them into films. Across his entire filmography however, there has been one thing more or less consistent, his interest lies in the battle of the genders. Enter Alice Eve in a red dress and Stanley Tucci in a crisp white shirt. A two character play of a man who leaves his wife for his mistress, only to have his mistress rebuff his future plans. It all seems to play out in a single location, the mistresses home, and both actors seem to be in fine form. Personally, I can’t wait to see this. It appears the wait will not have to be so long, as it is coming to VOD on December 10 and a limited theatrical December 13. I’ll be sure to make it a date movie with my wife, just for the conversation afterwards.

Trailer: The Company You Keep

Outside the Sundance Film Festival, Robert Redford is kind of a cottage industry for earnest political tinged thrillers. The Company You Keep is indeed one of these, focusing on the trials and tribulations (and family) of two Weather Underground members. It came and went without a peep at the 2012 edition of TIFF.

But.

What.

A.

Cast!

Robert Redford, Julie Christie, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Susan Sarandon, Sam Elliott, Brendan Gleeson, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Shia LaBeouf, Anna Kendrick, Brit Marling, and Stanley Tucci.

Furthermore, it’s penned by Lem Dobbs (The Limey) and scored by Cliff Martinez (Solaris, Drive)

Gambit Trailer

I want to yell at the people on youtube who are complaining that a movie called Gambit isn’t about the X-men character but that is a side note. What is more important is to let you know you should watch the trailer for the remake of the 1966 Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine comedy. First off the trailer is pretty fun but more importantly it is penned by the Coen Brothers. It was set for release in just under two weeks on October 12th but has now been pushed back into early 2013.

Teaser Trailer for “Hunger Games”

 
So I just finished reading Suzanne Collins tween novel, “Hunger Games”, not but four days ago. I knew there was a movie coming but I had no idea it was this close to release (March 2012). Well, close enough for there to already be a teaser trailer anyway.

If you’re not in the know, “Hunger Games” is essentially a mish-mash of Battle Royale, Stephen King’s “The Long Walk” and Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game.” But of course not quite written at the same intelligence level. Katniss Everdeen is thrust into a deadly government sponsored game to the death in a large arena with 23 other contestants. The rules are simple: be the last alive. There’s obviously a lot more to it than that in this fascist, dystopian future, but you get the gist.

We don’t get much from this trailer, just a good glimpse of Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) as the 16 year-old star and her character’s bow-wielding experience. But there’s enough in here to get a general feel of the picture. Personally, I was generally disappointed in the final few chapters of the novel, but with Pleasantville director, Gary Ross, at the helm and helped out by none other than the great Steven Soderbergh as second unit director, I can’t help but sort of be excited for his release of the theatrical version of “Hunger Games.” Not to mention a great supporting cast including Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz and Wes Bentley. But time will tell if Lawrence can live up to the starring role.

Take a look at the trailer under the seats. How does it compare to your expectations?

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Cinecast Episode 183 – The Jogging Gay Guys

 
Thanks to regular RowThree contributor and all around nice guy, Bob Turnbull for showing up once again on this week’s Cinecast to help us all digest the massive movie extravaganza known as this years edition Toronto International Filmfestival (aka TIFF10). Also, a hearty welcome to the longest Row Three Cinecast episode of all time. Bob and Kurt give some preview and insight into much anticipated films from Werner Herzog, Darren Aronofsky, Danny Boyle, Mike Leigh, Sion Sono, Errol Morris, John Carpenter, Sylvain Chomet, and the folks behind Not Quite Hollywood looking at the Drive-In cheapies shot in the Philippines. And then there is the really off-beat stuff like a post-apocalyptic-vampire-western-road movie, Stake Land (which is magnificent), a naughty DIY costumed hero flick from James Gun called Super and starring Ellen Page and Kevin Bacon, an Eva Green starring ethereal cloning drama from Hungary, but in English, called Womb, and a film that will make you completely reassess how you feel about Santa Claus and his elf posse when the jolly fat man is portrayed as a 25 meter tall horned demon encased in a block of ice under a Finnish mountain. But before all that, Andrew managed to catch Ben Affleck’s latest directorial effort, The Town as well as the much talked about I’m Still Here starring Joaquin Phoenix and directed by the other Affleck, Casey. Easy A also available to the multiplex crowd has Bob and Kurt heap a fair bit of love onto the film in an effort to get Andrew to give it a chance. Yes, folks, it is that good. A few other movies we watched, DVD picks (we’re all a bit drunk at this point) and the odd tangent keep this podcast unspooling and unspooling.
We hope you enjoy this latest show and as always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

 
 

 
 

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Full show notes are under the seats…
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TIFF Review: Easy A

 

 

Funny, but not unusual at a film festival, to see a documentary about the crumbling, actually, quite crumbled, American school system (Waiting For Superman) back to back with a Hollywood neo-John Hughes picture. If nothing else it underscores that the high schools portrayed in the multiplexes are gigantic and facile ‘drama engines.’ Not news to you, but it is something that Easy A has a lot of fun being and exploiting at the earnest distance of Juno and the romantic fantasy of Say Anything. or perhaps (because the film keeps coming back to it again and again) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. So I have established that this is a very meta high-school movie that that knows its Juno from its Ghost World from its “Veronica Mars” from its (judging by an elaborate schoolyard tracking shot, amongst other things) Donnie Darko. It is a high school movie written by and for people in their thirties and forties and it is flattering enough to have most of the adult supporting players, an all-star list including Patricia Clarkson, Stanley Tucci and Thomas Hayden Church, pander (and comment on their pandering) to that audience. And yet the whole glossy affair is still pretty darned endearing.
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Cinecast Episode 152 – Modern Detritus

Episode 152:

SPOILERS ALERT!
 
We take last week’s negativity and turned it upside down in an old school show between Kurt and Andrew complete with our signature tangents in which we keep it fairly positive (except for The Lovely Bones which sadly is a sizable disappointment). There is a lot of unconditional Gary Oldman love in the under appreciated Book of Eli. There is also some kudos to Jeff Bridges both his long career and his recent turn as a grizzled country singer in Crazy Heart. Some really fun DVD picks this week as well as a look back at a time when Robert Zemeckis was awesome. Thanks a bunch for downloading/streaming. Enjoy!

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UPDATE: Hurt Locker Still Leading Critics’ Awards. By a Long Shot

UPDATED: (01/05)Continuing into the new year, critics all across the country are placing their votes and announcing the “winners” of their picks for outstanding achievement in film in all of the usual categories. These are all precursors of course to the Oscars, with the pinnacle of those being The Golden Globe nominations which were announced in December.

Other than The Hurt Locker taking the spotlight in almost every case by a huge margin, early indications are not really all that surprising. George Clooney, current front-runner for a leading man Oscar leads mentions while Christophe Waltz is not surprisingly completely running away with it for his breakout role in Inglourious Basterds. Carrie Mulligan and Mo’Nique are also top winners so far in the leading and supporting actress categories respectively. Oh and even more surprising (at least to me, who hasn’t seen the film (update: I have now)), NY Critics give the best picture award to Avatar! Interesting.

Of course it’s still early, but other than The Hurt Locker taking home so many wins for best picture and best director, I’d say this is about as an exact replica of the Oscar ceremony as you’re going to see – at least for the five major categories.

Below are the Indiewire links to many of the critics choice awards around the country with the full results from the Boston and L.A. critics awards just for reference below that. Take a look below. See anything shamefully overlooked or is this about right? Does the uber-love for The Hurt Locker surprise anyone?

AWARDS and NOMINATIONS announced so far:
African-American Film Critics
Alliance of Women Film Journalists
Austin Film Critics
Boston Film Critics
British Indie Awards
Broadcast Film Critics Awards
Chicago Film Critics
Cinema Eye Honors
Dallas-Fort Worth Critics
Detroit Film Critics
European Film Awards
Florida Film Critics
Golden Globes
Golden Satellites
Gotham Awards
Houston Critics
Int’l Doc. Assoc.
Indiana Film Critics
Las Vegas Film Critic
London Film Critics
Los Angeles Film Critics
National Board of Review
National Society of Film Critics
New York Film Critics
New York Film Critics Online
Online Film Critics Society
PGA Awards
Phoenix Film Critics
San Diego Critics
San Francisco Film Critics
Screen Actors Guild Awards
Southeastern Film Critics
Spirit Awards
St. Louis Film Critics
Toronto Film Critics
Utah Film Critics
Washington D.C. Area Critics

 

 

Best Picture:
The Hurt Locker 11 wins (NY, LA, NSFC, Las Vegas, Austin, Satellites, Houston San Francisco, Boston, Gothams), 13 mentions (PGA, Globes, London, Online, BFCA, Utah, Southeastern, St. Louis, Detroit, African-American, NBR, Washington, NY Online)
Up In The Air 7 wins (Dallas, Florida, Southeastern, Utah, Indiana, NBR, Washington) 12 mentions (PGA, Globes, London, Online, Chicago, Dallas, African-American, BFCA, St. Louis, LA, Satellites, Detroit, NY Online)
Inglourious Basterds 3 wins (Toronto, Phoenix, San Diego) 14 mentions (PGA, Globes, BFCA, NSFC, Online, Chicago, Utah, Dallas, Southeastern, Detroit, NBR, Washington, NY Online)
Precious 1 win (African-American Critics) 10 mentions (PGA, Globes, Dallas, BFCA, Southeastern, St. Louis, Spirits, Washington, NY Online, Satellites)
Up 1 win (Detroit) 11 mentions (PGA, BFCA, African-American, Online Southeastern, Dallas, St. Louis, NBR, Washington, NY Online)
Avatar 1 win (NY Online) 5 mentions (PGA, Globes, London, Dallas, BFCA)
Moon 1 win (British Indie)
Hunger 1 win (Toronto)
A Serious Man 9 mentions (BFCA, Southeastern, Online, Chicago, NBR, Dallas, Gothams, NY Online, Satellites)
(500) Days of Summer 6 mentions (Globes, Southeastern, St. Louis, Spirits, Detroit, NBR)
An Education 6 mentions (PGA, BFCA, Dallas, St. Louis, NBR, Satellites)
The Messenger 4 mentions (Southeastern, NBR, NY Online, Satellites)
Fantastic Mr. Fox 4 mentions (Dallas, Southeastern, Indiana, NY Online)
Invictus 4 mentions (PGA, BFCA, St. Louis, NBR)

Best Director:
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker 14 wins (NY, LA, NSFC, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Southeastern, Houston, Satellites, NY Online, Washington, Las Vegas, Austin, Toronto) 6 mentions (BFCA, London, Online, St. Louis, Globes, Detroit)
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air 3 wins (Utah, Florida, Dallas) 7 mentions (Globes, Chicago, London, BFCA, Southeastern, St. Louis, Detroit, Washington)
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds 2 wins (Phoenix, San Diego) 6 mentions (Globes, Online, Chicago, BFCA, St. Louis, Detroit, Washington)
Lee Daniels, Precious 1 win (African-American) 4 mentions (BFCA, Spirits, Satellites, Washington)
Clint Eastwood, Invictus 1 win (NBR) 3 mentions (Globes, BFCA, Washington)
Spike Jonze, Where The Wild Things Are 1 win (Indiana) 1 mention (Chicago)
Andrea Arnold, Fish Tank 1 win (British Indie)
Pete Docter, Up 1 win (Detroit)
James Cameron, Avatar 4 mentions (London, Online, Globes, BFCA)

Best Actor:
George Clooney, Up in the Air 9 wins (NY, Dallas, Phoenix, Indiana, Florida, NBR, Houston, Southeastern, Washington) 9 mentions (Globes, Online, Chicago, SAGs, London, BFCA, St. Louis, Detroit, Satellites)
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker 5 wins (NSFC, Las Vegas, Chicago, Satellites, Boston) 8 mentions (SAGs, Online, Utah, Southeastern, Indiana, BFCA, St. Louis, Washington)
Colin Firth, A Single Man 4 wins (Austin, Detroit, San Diego, San Francisco) 7 mentions (Globes, SAGs, BFCA, LA, Spirits, Washington, Satellites)
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart 2 wins (LA, NY Online) 10 mentions (SAGs, Chicago, NSFC, Online, London, Globes, BFCA, St. Louis, Spirits, Satellites)
Morgan Freeman, Invictus 2 wins (African-American, NBR) 5 mentions (SAGs, Globes, BFCA, St. Louis, Washington)
Viggo Mortensen, The Road 1 win (Utah) 2 mentions (BFCA, Washington)
Nicolas Cage, Bad Lieutenant 1 win (Toronto) 1 mention (NSFC)
Tom Hardy, Bronson 1 win (British Indie)
Matt Damon, The Informant! 4 mentions (Globes, Chicago, Detroit, Satelllites)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, (500) Days of Summer 3 mentions (Globes, Spirits, Detroit)
Michael Stuhlbarg, A Serious Man 1 win (Satellites) 3 mentions (London, Globes, Chicago)

Best Actress:
Carey Mulligan, An Education 9 wins (NBR, Toronto, Dallas, San Diego, Utah, Chicago, Washington, Indiana, British Indie) 9 mentions (Globes, SAGs, London, Online, BFCA, St. Louis, LA, Detroit, Satellites)
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia 7 wins (NY, San Francisco, Phoenix, Boston, Satellites, Southeastern, NY Online) 12 mentions (Globes, BFCA, SAGs, NSFC, Online, Chicago, London, Indiana, St. Louis, Detroit, Washington)
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious 3 wins (Detroit, Florida, Las Vegas) 9 mentions (Globes, SAGs, Chicago, BFCA, Online, Southeastern, St. Louis, Washington, Spirits)
Yolande Moreau, Seraphine 2 wins (NSFC, LA)
Melanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds 1 win (Austin) 1 mention (Online)
Nicole Beharie, American Violet 1 win (African-American)
Shoreh Aghdashloo, The Stoning of Soraya M. 1 win (Satellites)
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side 4 mentions (SAGs, Globes, BFCA, Washington)
Abbie Cornish, Bright Star 4 mentions (Chicago, NSFC, London, Satellites)
Maya Rudolph, Away We Go 4 mentions (Chicago, Utah, St. Louis, Washington)

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67th Annual Golden Globe Nominations

I know that the thumbs snubbed at the Golden Globes each year is just something I have to deal with, but honestly, there are things to really like about this award ceremony. One, it splits up the acting awards into two groups: drama and musical or comedy. The ceremony itself is rather short and to the point which I rather like and maybe most importantly to us bloggers/readers, it’s the award show that most clearly gives us an indication of what to expect from The Academy.

So with all that in mind and still expecting the vitriol in the comments below, here are the nominees for the 2009 Golden Globe Awards. Not too surprisingly, Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air takes the cake with 6 nominations and NINE comes to the table with 5 nods.

Who do you think got snubbed and who shouldbn’t be here? I might make the case that the great Meryl Streep competing against herself is at least discussion worthy, if not kind of cheap. Presentation of the awards will be telecast live on NBC at 8pm EST on Sunday, January 17th.

MOVIES

BEST MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Up in the Air

BEST MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
(500) Days of Summer
The Hangover
It’s Complicated
Julie and Julia
Nine

BEST DIRECTOR
Katherine Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
James Cameron, Avatar
Clint Eastwood, Invictus
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

BEST DRAMATIC ACTOR
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Tobey Maguire, Brothers

BEST DRAMATIC ACTRESS
Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

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Jackson’s The Lovely Bones Trailer

The Lovely Bones Movie Still

With all this Hobbit talk, I’d almost forgotten that Peter Jackson had made another film. Almost.

Adapted from Alice Sebold’s novel by regular Jackson writers Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh, The Love Bones is part part mystery and part drama; a story of a murdered girl who helps her family solve the mystery of her death from “heaven”. Go ahead and read that sentence again if you’d like – I had quite the time putting my head around this one. The casting is excellent: Saoirse Ronan in the lead role as Susie, Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz as her parents, Michael Imperioli as the cop investigating the murder, Susan Sarandon as the grandmother and Stanley Tucci as the murderer. If the cast isn’t enough of a sell, the inclusion of Jackson should certainly help but nothing about this trailer is speaking to me. Nothing.

Susie’s heaven looks strung together, wildly beautiful yet unimaginative, the acting looks stilted and to make matters worse, it looks like we may have to rely on Wahlberg’s performace for a part of the story (not to say he can’t be good but here he sounds more like The Happening Wahlberg than Three Kings Wahlberg). The best parts of these two minutes of video are the retro clothes, Imperioli playing the cop rather than the mobster and Tucci looking nothing like his usual self.

I’m not ready to completely write this off in hopes that this is Jackson in Heavenly Creatures mode but truth be told, I’m not feeling it.

The Love Bones opens on December 11th.

Trailer is tucked under the seat or see it in HD at Apple.

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