Mr. Peabody is doubtlessly the most intelligent and most accomplished dog on the planet, and undeniably outshines the human race too. However, despite his achievements, he is determined to maintain a normal life for his adopted human son Sherman by inviting round Penny a classmate of his with whom he wants Sherman to be friends. She has other ideas, however, and only shows interest when Sherman agrees to show her Mr. Peabody's WABAC - a time machine in which they travel into the past despite being expressly forbidden. When Peabody finds out, he realises that their actions have ripped a hole in the space-time continuum and they are forced to return to the past to re-write history and save the universe. Along the way they meet some of the biggest legends of history, including Leonardo Da Vinci and Sigmund Freud, who help them on their quest.
'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' is a brilliantly funny animated movie based on the characters from the 'The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show' in the sixties in the 'Peabody's Improbable History' segments. It has been directed by Rob Minkoff ('The Lion King', 'Stuart Little', 'The Haunted Mansion') and written by Ted Key ('Hazel', 'The Million Dollar Duck', 'Gus') and Craig Wright ('Dirty Sexy Money', 'Underemployed'). 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' is set for release in the UK on February 7th 2014.
After being ambushed while working as a driver in Iraq, private contractor Paul (Reynolds) wakes up in the dark, and his lighter shows him that he's inside a coffin-shaped wooden box. There's also a mobile phone in there, and soon Paul is communicating with the kidnapper (Perez), who demands that he make a video plea for ransom. Paul also contacts both his company's emergency manager (Tobolowsky) and a government agent (Paterson) who promises to help. But time is running out as Paul uses up both the breathable air and his phone battery.
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And in the end, the film compellingly explores the nature of relationships while quietly moving us to all kinds of tears.
The movie jumps headfirst into the action without any necessary build-up or labored background. We meet Louise, a headstrong waitress, and her younger, flighty friend Thelma (Geena Davis) as they finalize plans for their road trip. Nothing more or less complicated than that. Where they are going is fairly vague; why they are going is more telling: their explicit purpose in taking a trip is to escape from the men in their lives. Jimmy (Michael Madsen), Louise's longtime casual partner, is a gruff mechanic who loves Louise, but doesn't know how to show it. Darryl (Christopher McDonald), Thelma's husband, is a plain loser, a carpet salesman with a cheesy mustache, bouffant-fro, and a lack of respect for his wife.
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Stephen Tobolowsky - Actor Stephen Tobolowsky Los Angeles, California - wearing a neck brace as he leaves a medical building with his wife insisting to the photographers that he is fine Tuesday 5th August 2008
Blame the source material. The repetitive and one-dimensional Garfield is loosely based on Jim Davis' repetitive and one-dimensional comic strip. For those unfamiliar with the 'toon, Garfield's a tubby tabby with a taste for lasagna. He barely tolerates his wimpy owner, Jon Arbuckle (Breckin Meyer), and engages in a love-hate relationship with Odie, a dopey but earnest pooch.
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Make this 16.
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Indie flick The Operator is a hybrid black comedy/Hitchcock thriller about a real cad named Gary (Michael Laurence) -- a lawyer, quite naturally -- who "reaps what he sows" after telling off a vengeful telephone operator. Gary cheats on his wife (and his mistress), gambles, spends the savings on a fancy car, and represents dirtbags at the office. When the stress of his life gets too much to bear, he lets a poor Ma Ball employee we known only as Shiva (Jacqueline Kim) take the brunt of his wrath, which she turns back upon him in spades.
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As the opening credits roll, we meet Stacy (Brittany Murphy), a young college grad heading out into the exciting world of low-budget television production. She dreams of one day working with her childhood idol, Diane Sawyer. And her mother loves Carly Simon. I don't know why the part about Carly Simon is important, but it's a recurring theme throughout the film. If her mother ever actually got any screen time, perhaps the Carly Simon thing would become at least marginally relevant to the story. But no dice. Even so, we're treated to several inexplicable Carly Simon moments that have nothing to do with anything, really, and don't add anything of substance to the film.
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Hitting the nail on the head of mother-daughter relationships -- and doing so with amusing savvy and imaginative good humor -- Disney's "Freaky Friday" remake is such a sublimely fun-for-all matinee delight that it cleansed my palate of the sour taste of every bad movie I've seen this summer.
Yes, it's a live-action Disney family movie -- which has traditionally been enough to send shudders down the spine of anyone over the age of 11. But director Mark S. Waters ("Head Over Heels") eschews the studio's history of pandering triteness in favor of sharp writing, credibly clever characters and terrific performances.
Magnetic Linsday Lohan (whose charm also carried the studio's 1998 "Parent Trap" remake) and a revitalized Jamie Lee Curtis couldn't be more ideally cast as exasperated teenager Annabell Colman and her harried, head-shrinker mom Tess, both of whom are given new insights into their contentious relationship when their bodies are swapped through a fortune-cookie hex.
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