All posts tagged: Benedict Cumberbatch


Film Review: “Penguins of Madagascar”

Don’t blame the filmmakers of Penguins of Madagascar for the recent troubles at Dreamworks Animation. The movie may feel like the company just cashing in on the most popular characters of their Madagascar franchise (the animated TV show certainly did), but this movie is original and funny, two words I didn’t think I’d be writing about it. Moreover, I liked Penguins of Madagascar more than Big Hero 6, Disney’s Academy Award nominated blockbuster. The film opens in fine fashion with a prologue that explains how the four penguin heroes met at children. Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller) and Rico (Conrad Vernon), break away from their colony and rescue a lost egg from hungry leopard seals. All of this is done while Werner Herzong provides commentary and a human documentary crew films – quite funny. The egg hatches and turns out to be cuddly Private (Christopher Knights). After escaping a fiery boat explosion, the four young penguins drift off to sea on an iceberg, their future uncertain. Jump ahead ten years and the action picks …


PopSmarts: A Reputation For Difficulty

We who take it as a vocation to criticize the efforts of others must take great care to keep our own behavior above reproach. It is particularly bad form to take a fellow critic to task when he or she makes a judgment that seems eccentric or even outright mistaken. Judge not, lest ye be judged; because we all do it — oh, boy, do we ever — and what goes around comes around, and karma’s a bitch, and I would rather not have the razor-sharp critical mind of a Laura Miller or a Matt Zoller Seitz turned to the task of enumerating my failings, thankewverymuch. Which presented me with a bit of a dilemma recently while I was catching up on recent (-ish) films. I had occasion to watch the 2011 adaptation of John LeCarré’s thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I was immensely impressed, so much so that I did something that I hardly ever do; I immediately rewatched it. Three times in the space of twelve hours, in fact. It’s a remarkable piece …