Richard and CTV NewsChannel anchor Andrea Bain talk about the latest movies coming to VOD and streaming services, including the Dakota Johnson-Tracee Ellis Ross musical drama “The High Note,” the Midnight Madness ready “Dreamland,” the rom com riff of “All About Who You Know” and the implausible twists and turns of “Inheritance.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the Dakota Johnson-Tracee Ellis Ross musical drama “The High Note,” the Midnight Madness ready “Dreamland,” the rom com riff of “All About Who You Know” and the implausible twists and turns of “Inheritance.”
“Inheritance,” a new movie starring Lily Collins and Simon Pegg and now on VOD, is a thriller that treats logic like a Whac-A-Mole game. Every time things almost make sense logic is bashed on the head and quickly disappears back into its hole.
The long strange journey begins when richie rich Archer Monroe (Patrick Warburton) dies of a sudden heart attack. He leaves behind widow Catherine (Connie Nielsen), politician-wannabe son William (Chace Crawford) and lawyer daughter Lauren (Lily Collins). At the reading of the last will and testament Lauren is dealt a bad hand after papa’s money is doled out to her mother, brother and various charities. Lauren is left a small stipend of $1 million and a for-her-eyes-only video directing her to an underground bunker. There she finds, and becomes responsible for, daddy’s dirty little secret.
In the fortified cavern she finds Morgan Warner (Simon Pegg wearing what looks like a “Fraggle Rock” wig), restrained by shackles in a windowless pit where he has rotted away for thirty years after witnessing Monroe commit a serious crime. He tells her he’s been here “longer than you’ve been alive.”
Question is, what does an idealistic prosecutor do when confronted with a terrible situation that could affect everything she and her family have worked for?
The silly plot twists and turns aren’t the only things hard to understand in “Inheritance.” It boggles the mind that this could be billed as a thriller. According to Wikipedia, by definition a thriller can be “characterized and defined by the moods they elicit, giving viewers heightened feelings of suspense, excitement, surprise, anticipation and anxiety.” The only mood this leaden story elicited in me was boredom. Early on I was hopeful for a so-bad-it’s-good experience from “Inheritance.” Then the thudding realization hit that I was simply in store for an implausible, missed opportunity of a movie that instead of moving me to the edge of my seat made me want to lean back and take a nap.
Jay Ward Productions gave us some indelible characters. Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right and George of the Jungle sprung from the inventive mind of the TV producer. Good TV, but generally really bad movies.
Blame Brendan Fraser. Blame ham fisted adaptations that valued slapstick over satire. Blame Rick Moranis for not bothering to learn “world’s greatest no-goodnik.” Boris Badenov’s Pottsylvanian accent.
No matter how you slice it, no good ever came from trying to harness the anarchy of Ward’s storytelling on the big screen.
“Mr. Peabody & Sherman” is the first of the Ward adaptations that isn’t afraid to embrace the heady but puerile parody and puns that characterized his most famous work, “Rocky and His Friends.”
Mr. Peabody and Sherman, the world’s smartest being and his son, appeared on that show in the weekly Peabody’s Improbable History segment. Now they’re on the big screen, voiced by “Modern Family’s” Ty Burrell and Max Charles.
It’s the origin story of Mr. Peabody, a beagle in the world of humans—imagine “Family Guy’s” Brian with less attitude but more PhDs. He’s a Harvard grad, a Nobel Prize winner, advisor to heads of state and in his spare time he invented planking and auto tune.
With his adopted son Sherman he’s also a time traveller, taking the WABAC machine—“It’s not WHERE we’re going, but WHEN!”—to various spots in history and it’s Sherman’s firsthand knowledge of George Washington that really kicks off the story.
On his first day in school his version of the George Washington legend annoys classmate Penny (Ariel Winter). After a showdown in the lunchroom, Sherman bites Penny which gets the attention of the school councilor Mrs. Grunion (Allison Janney). She’s disgusted that a dog was allowed to adopt a boy and threatens to take the Sherman away.
Peabody counters with a charm offensive, throwing a dinner party for Penny’s parents (Stephen Colbert and Leslie Mann) and Grunion. His plan is almost derailed when Sherman and Penny hijack the WABAC machine, whirling through space to ancient Egypt, the Trojan War and Leonardo Di Vinci’s studio where they discover the secret of Mona Lisa’s smile.
Can Mr. Peabody rescue them from their time travels before Penny’s parents notice she’s gone and the space-time continuum is irreparably destroyed?
“Mr. Peabody & Sherman” lacks the political bent of the original cartoon, 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.”
It’s stuffed with the spirit of Jay Ward, which is a good thing, even if it does veer off path with a sentimental father and son subplot.
The voice work is fun—there are few animated pleasures greater than hearing Patrick Warburton’s confident dumb guy routine—and 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.