Posts Tagged ‘Marie Antoinette’

Mr. Peabody & Sherman: Family flick still cuts clever for the adults in the theatre

mr-peabody-sherman-25469-1920x1080Metro Reel Guys by Richard Crouse and Steve Gow

SYNOPSIS: Based on characters from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, the movie stars the voice of Modern Family’s Ty Burrell as Mr. Peabody, a beagle who is also the world’s smartest being. Imagine “Family Guy’s” Brian with less attitude but more PhDs. When his adopted son Sherman (Max Charles) bites schoolmate Penny (Ariel Winter) Peabody tries to smooth things by throwing a dinner for Penny’s parents (Stephen Colbert and Leslie Mann). His party plan is almost derailed when Sherman and Penny hijack the WABAC device, a time machine that takes them to ancient Egypt and the Trojan War. Can Mr. Peabody rescue them before Penny’s parents notice she’s gone and the space-time continuum is irreparably destroyed?


Richard: 4 Stars

Steve: 3 Stars

Richard: Steve, Mr. Peabody & Sherman lacks the political bent of the original Jay Ward cartoon series, but it is loaded with references from literature, history and popular culture. It’s the only kid’s movie with an Oedipal joke and I can’t imagine a Minion punning, “Marie Antoinette could have kept her head if she had issued an edict to distribute bread to the poor. But you can’t have your cake and edict too.” Which means it is stuffed with the spirit of Ward, which is a good thing, even if it does veer off path with a sentimental father and son subplot. What did you think?

Steve: I agree 100% Richard. In fact, by dipping its proverbial toe into that father-son subplot, the film dares to touch on what other family films like Finding Nemo or The Incredibles have done better. Still, the movie’s meteoric pace never lingers too long on any facet of the film and its niche truly is the ceaseless nods to historical events. My favorite had to be a clever throwback to Spartacus.

RC: I know the history element sounds dangerously educational for a mainstream kid’s flick, but the movie’s trips back to ancient Egypt, the Trojan War and Leonardo Di Vinci’s studio where they discover the secret of Mona Lisa’s smile are really fun. They are made doubly so by great voice work. As the dim witted general Agamemnon Patrick Warburton really stands out. He started the confident dumb guy routine on Seinfeld and uses it to hilarious effect here.

SG: And for those who remember the old Bullwinkle series, Ty Burrell does a pretty decent job voicing the movie’s canine savant. Even more successful are the comedy’s captivating visuals especially the way director Rob Minkoff works the 3D to capture the measure of epic Trojan battles or traveling through the time-space continuum and not simply for eye-catching sight gags.

RC: The animation is top notch and like the best of Ward’s work, Mr. Peabody & Sherman realizes that the material has to work on multi levels, the surface and the satirical. Like the Lego Movie, I think this movie will appeal to kids and adults.

SG: Again, I agree. The movie is a peppy, playful ride through history for all ages. In fact, it probably won’t hurt either that most everyone in the audience will barely remember the old Bullwinkle cartoon.

Royal weddings on the silver screen In Focus by Richard Crouse METRO CANADA Published: April 27, 2011

marieantoinettePerhaps you’ve heard there’s a wedding on Friday. But no, your invitation isn’t lost in the mail or caught in a spam folder, you’re just not on the list. When Prince William and Kate Middleton walk down Westminster Abbey’s storied aisle (where William’s uncle Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson in 1986) to exchange “I do’s” you’ll be at home in your pyjamas watching it on TV with a cup of tea in your hand and a crumpet at your side. The upside? You don’t have to get them a wedding gift.

To prep for the pomp and circumstance I’ve selected a number of royal wedding movies to get you primed for the big day.

The name Marie Antoinette is synonymous with surplus and when little Ms. “Let Them Eat Cake” wed the Dauphin of France no expense was spared. Married by proxy a month before, she arrived at the site of the ceremonial wedding—at the Palace of Versailles no less—in a procession that included 48 carriages. See a recreation of the exercise in excess in Marie Antoinette, Sophia Coppola’s 2006 film. It may not get the details 100 per cent right, but if you want accuracy, watch the History Channel.

Also torn from the history books is The Duchess, the story of the 17-year-old Georgiana Cavendish (Keira Knightley), great-great-great-great-grandaunt of Diana, Princess of Wales, who weds the much older Duke of Devonshire (Ralph Fiennes).

Speaking of relatives, the life, love and marriage of Queen Victoria, (Prince William is her fourth great-grandson), are detailed in The Young Victoria starring Emily Blunt. Despite being shot by soft candlelight for a glowing historical feel, The Young Victoria isn’t Masterpiece Theatre. Accents and petticoats aside, this is a modern movie, with a modern sensibility, that mixes history, politics, romance, castle etiquette and backroom dealing into one frilly, appealing package.

In the realm of the unreal are two final reel royal weddings. Before Anne Hathaway started taking her clothes off in every movie, she was the wholesome star of The Princess Diaries. In PD2: Royal Engagement, her character, Princess Mia, must get married in order to become queen.

The most recent royal wedding to hit screens happens in Your Highness, the medieval stoner comedy starring Natalie Portman and James Franco. Prince Fabious Franco walks Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) down the aisle but the wedding is interrupted by an evil sorcerer.

Let’s hope William and Kate have better luck.