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Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Muppets

(Guest Review by Russ)

Q: What’s the movie about?

A:  When a greedy oil tycoon (Chris Cooper) threatens to take over the old Muppet Show Theater, Kermit the Frog teams up with two human fans (Jason Segal and Amy Adams) to reunite the old Muppet gang and put on a show to save the theater.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Jason Segal, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones, Alan Arkin, Jack Black, Jim Parsons, Sarah Silverman, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Gonzo, Beaker, Swedish Chef, Scooter, Miss Poogy
Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. It’s a Disney-fied version of the Muppets and if you enjoyed the old Muppet Show there are a few moments in this movie that will remind you of the off-beat wackiness of that show’s best moments. Short of that, this version of The Muppets skews more “kiddie” and simplistic than past Muppet versions. The Toy Story short that screens first will remind you of how well Pixar has created ‘kid films’ that appeal equally to adults. Unfortunately, it makes us acutely aware of how much The Muppets does not walk that line.
Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: It’s not bust-out-loud laugh inducing, but there are some good chuckles here and there. I do seem to recall Miss Piggy being funnier than she is in this movie though.
Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: I’m pretty sure it wanted to and it tries really hard. But the only thing that effort elicited in me was a discussion with my friend afterwards about past films that have made us cry. (My top #1: Rudy.)
Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: I can’t think of a single one unless some union gives them out for puppeteering: The Puppet Union?

Q: How is the Acting?

A: I can’t stand Jason Segal so it’s unfortunate he’s the main human driving this story. Amy Adams is normally great in most films she’s in, but sort of wasted here. Thankfully more screen time is given to the Muppets than any human and they all act as well as you remember any Muppet acting. Back to Jason Segal though: one of the best things about the Muppets was their interaction with human guest stars on their show. To that end, I wish they had a more interesting – or funnier – human at the center of this story. Jack Black would have been much better, because all his scenes with the Muppets are way funnier than Jason’s.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: I didn’t really notice it much in either a good way or bad, so I guess it disappeared enough and got out of the way enough to be considered… “meh.”

Q: How is the story/script?

A: The general idea of the story is spot on because it calls for the Muppets to reunite and put their show on again. And the Muppet Show was a truly great show. The problem is it takes a little too long to get there and everything leading up to it isn’t very funny. Or, well, not as funny as the actual show. There’s also a big deal made out of the basic plot points, which really dumbs down the movie in a needless way. Lastly, most of the original songs aren’t very good; although a barbershop quartet rendition of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit captures the irreverent brilliance of what the old Muppet Show was like on a weekly basis.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: The Muppets Trailer

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