Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Muppets

I knew I was forgetting something - I completely and utterly dropped the ball on posting my Muppets post.  The teaser trailers and spoofs were really fun and it truly re-ignited my joy of the Muppets. Which is why I was a little taken aback that some of the former puppeteers, like Frank Oz, came out against the film. Supposedly Frank saw the script and bolted saying that he thought it was disrespectful to the characters. He didn't seem to go much further than that, he then said he didn't want to take anything away from the film. Call me crazy, but he didn't really have to say much more to damage the film in my mind. Especially when you say that the filmmakers were disrespectful to the characters. I admit that when I read that quote I started to have some second thoughts about going to see it and especially taking my son Nathan. I wouldn't want his first Muppet Movie experience to suck just cause Disney whored out a great franchise for the greenbacks. Thankfully I saw another interview with Jason Segal, the writer and actor in the new movie. He truly loves the Muppets and this was his love letter to them. So I decided to see for myself, and I discovered that it was silly a little schmaltzy but most of all it was the Muppets and it was damn fun.
The movie begins with two brothers Gary (Jason Segal); a human and Walter (voice: Peter Linz); a muppet. Walter eats, drinks breathes everything Muppets and apparently he doesn't realize he is one. Gary decides to take a romantic vacation with his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams); also a human, to L.A. Gary decides to bring Walter along so he can accomplish his childhood dream of going to the Muppet's studio. When they get there they find that the place is a mess and that the Muppets have all been dislocated. Kermit is moping in his haunted mansion, Fonzie is telling bad jokes in Reno,  Ms. Piggy is the editor of Vogue in Paris,  Gonzo is a plumbing magnate. So once they get the gang back together they have to win the studio back from the evil clutches of Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) who wants to own the Muppets Studio in order to drill for oil. So apparently Fox Business channel had some kind of issue with the Muppets and this oil plot line. Apparently some idiot host on that show made some kind of implication that the Muppets were Communists and they are subverting our children with one would call hate speech towards, apparently, defenseless Oil Execs. Really, Fox Business, the Muppets are Communists? Did you watch the movie? Apparently you missed the plotline where like any good Socialist the Muppets put on a show to raise capital to buy back the studio. They also do it through a corporate TV studio. Sounds like Commie swine to me.
This was truly the Muppets I remembered as a kid, obviously modernized to some degree but the characters all seemed the same. So I guess I'm not sure what Frank Oz was talking about. This is truly a fun kids flick there are plenty of sight gags and silliness for the children and there are some subtle jokes in there for the eldest of us. Wasn't too fond of any of the new songs and Amy Adams needs to learn to turn down the cheeze factor a few notches. But otherwise if you have to choose between the massive glut of kids flicks, be it Arthur Christmas (lame), Hugo (boring and possibly depressing), Happy Feet 2 (Annoying) and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Obnoxious, stupid and mind numbingly bad) then the answer is clear. Have a Muppets Christmas, or Muppet Hanukkah, and take the little ones to see something non-3D, barely any CGI, just good old fashioned puppets.
Grade: 3 Buckets

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