Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Mr. Peabody isn't your typical canine. For one, he could talk, and he was gifted in so many aspects, but mainly focusing on his intellectual ability. His greatest challenge was adopting Sherman and becoming a good parent. Mr. Peabody teaches Sherman about different parts of history - through going in the past via the Way Back, the time travel machine. The lifestyle of the duo was challenged when Sherman started with his first day of school - as pointed out by Penny, having a dog as a father is not the norm. Their adventure only starts from there.
When it comes to their time travel stints, there was no shortage of adventures, as different parts of history was visited, and the movie took a chance to explore alternative timelines, adding to the mishaps of the trio. We get to see Mr. Peabody's intellect at work, and how his relationship with Sherman has been, their bond being the root of the movie. What's also commendable about the movie was they were given background stories, actual history of their character - from Mr. Peabody's existence down to how he had legally became Sherman's father.
The movie was filled with laughs, and there was never a dull moment. While it's a kid-friendly movie, adults would get their share of laughs as well. Funny bits aren't dumbed down, so it's still enjoyable to watch again. What made the movie click, besides the plot and the animation, are the perfect casting of Ty Burrell and Max Charles as the voice actors of the lead characters. Mr. Peabody actually reminded me of Phil Dunphy, as there are similarities between his characters. The puns! That trait is so Phil Dunphy.
Final Word: A fun movie for everyone. It's not only for those who are familiar with it; it's targeted for a wider audience appreciation.
Cast: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Stephen Colbert
Director: Rob Minkoff
Muppets Most Wanted
The Muppets are back, launching their movie - directly after the first one. Unlike the first movie where the reunion and saving of the theater were the primary focus, this one is less Muppet-centric. When the group got back together, an agent, Dominic Badguy proposed that the Muppets go on a world tour to follow the success of their reunion, an idea Kermit the frog reluctantly agreed to. What he and the rest of the Muppets didn't know was that they were to be used as a cover up to steal the crown jewels, an operation headed by Constantine, who happens to look a lot like Kermit.
Granted the atmosphere of the sequel isn't the same as the heartwarming effects the first movie had. The musical numbers are most definitely increased, though the grandeur isn't the same, with only one or two big musical numbers. It has also tried to recreate the atmosphere of the 'Man or Muppet' number with Miss Piggy and Celine Dion, but while the song was good, the effect wasn't as great. The cameos were much bigger as well, with names such as Tom Hiddleston, James McAvoy, and Christoph Waltz, to name a few.
Giving it credit, it did have a solid plot, with the flow divided into three specific groups, weaving the movie together. Besides the tour group, we get to spend some time in the Goula, the maximum security prison located in Siberia. It's headed by female prison guard Nadya, and we meet a group of very manly men - and eventually see them do spins and twirls. The prisoners themselves were a hoot - these are bad or tough guys in movies, and we get to seem belch out songs? Let me watch it! Then there's Interpol, where the investigation is being led by Jean Pierre Napoleon, who gets to have funny bits himself.
If you loved the Jason Segel helmed Muppets movie, the follow up might be slightly disappointing, as it doesn't reach the heights of the previous movie. Most of the previous movie's formula is still at work in the sequel, so when it comes to the music and laughs, it still has it.
Final Word: Not as good as the first (or the 7th, as they pointed out in the song), but there's definitely more characters (and people) involved.
Cast: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey
Director: James Bobin