{film} The Muppets

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Just when I thought The Muppets (2011) was more conservative in its message than I had expected it to be, I was corrected by none other than Fox Business Network. Ah, yes, the anti-corporate and anti-oil messages. How un-American!—yes, I rolled my eyes while typing that, and re-reading it. I had come across the video of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy respond to Fox Business’ Eric Bolling’s accusations; which led me back to the accusations (and here for HuffPost article).

It isn’t the first time I haven’t watched the same exact film as someone else… Notice, however, no mention of the detriment witnessing the kidnapping of celebrities might have on our children. Unless Bolling thinks they’re not real people either, but a consumer product…hmm, I suppose that is capitalistic thinking there; it certainly isn’t communist. Ah, hell, I said the 8-letter C-word. Can you still read this? Okay, let’s proceed.

“With the help of three fans, The Muppets must reunite to save their old theater from a greedy oil tycoon.” synopsis via IMDb.com

Sean, Natalya, and I finally emptied the couch and went to the dollar movie where N and I watched Sean more than the actual film. Delight looks good on him. We had a good time.

notes on the film and experience:

Full-theater, multi-generational, good energy–well, after that really long Toy Story cartoon, which I think was meant to lull the small children into their seats.

I love Dave Grohl. His impersonation of Animal for the Moopets was awesome fun.

Lovelier, and the best part of the film: The Muppets barbershop quartet of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” still laughing about that. Beaker was wondermously employed. You can hear it here, sans Jack Black’s horror-stricken exclamation: “What is that–Nirvana?…You’re ruining one of the greatest songs of all time!”

Jack Black: I’m being held captive by these weirdos!
Statler: Now you know how we’ve felt for the last forty years.

Jack Black was perfect casting. He has such widespread multi-gen audience appeal. He had to be his persona, and it suited the film situations ideally.

Mary (Amy Adams): “It’s never me and him. It’s always me and him, and him.” a great conflict in the narrative.

Bro-mance star Jason Segel vs. heterosexual romantic Jason Segel; he’s played both, and they come into conflict here; notice the film ultimately (though gently) favors the latter.

a great moment: Rowlf: ” I thought my storyline was very intriguing.”

Amy Adams wasn’t looking as thin as she tends to, and I am wondering if it was intentional: more classic/nostalgic figure in keeping w/ costuming and/or her doubling w/ Miss Piggy’s character as Mary/Gary have parallel relationship issues as Kermit/Piggy.

I adore Adams. Carl V asked in his review: “Does anyone look cuter in June Cleaver fashions than Amy Adams?” not really.

Love that Miss Piggy is the plus-size editor for Vogue: Paris. I love the consistency in character.

“Steve Whitmire voiced Kermit so well that several times during the movie I could not believe that it wasn’t Jim Henson voicing his iconic frog.”–Carl V. –so true.

Statler: If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were reciting some sort of important plot point.
Waldorf: I hope so. Otherwise I would’ve bored half the audience half to death.
Statler: You mean half the audience is still alive?

I always found Waldorf and Statler to be funny; oh, but they were brilliant once more.

“Maniacal laugh… maniacal laugh.” Chris Cooper was fantastic (of course) as villain: Tex Richman. He even pulled off that rap-number; a near thing, I felt like the whole theater was holding its breath.

Yes, Kermit and company did “Rainbow Connection”–Yay!!

Walter: “Am I a Muppet, or am I a man? If I’m a man, I’m a Muppet of a man.” While I appreciated the song and its accompanying musical number, it was really long. The pacing of the film was a bit problematic overall.

It was evident the actors were enjoying themselves, as well as the audience. There was great energy and silliness. The meta was hilarious, few can pull it off as well as they did.

The Muppets is good sweet positive family fare. It doesn’t hold back on the bad jokes, it tugs at the heart strings, and it is packed to its felt gills with nostalgia.”–Carl V. –again, spot on.

The remarkable thing about the Muppets, then and now, is what distinctive personalities and presences they have. When the “The Muppet Movie,” the first in the series, came out in 1979, there was astonishment that — ohmigod! — Kermit was riding a bicycle! How could a Muppet do that? Today, characters can do anything in the movies, but these Muppets are still played by Muppeteers, and they’re still endearing. ~Roger Ebert (Nov. 2011 review)

Ebert is right, there is a wonder that is still intact. They are still endearing.

Still basking in that marvelous marketing campaign, and equally fun film.

Starring: Jason Segel (Gary), Amy Adams (Mary), Chris Cooper (Tex Richman), Rashida Jones (Veronica)Jack Black (himself); and Walter, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, the Great Gonzo, Animal, Statler and Waldorf, Swedish Chef, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker, Sam Eagle, Rowlf the Dog, Scooter, and Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem Band.

Directed by James Bobin; written by Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel; director of photography, Don Burgess; edited by James Thomas; music by Christophe Beck; choreography by Michael Rooney; production design by Steve Saklad; costumes by Rahel Afiley; produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman.

Running time: 1 hour 38 minutes. Rated PG for some mild rude humor.

IMDb link. Wiki page

Roger Ebert’s Review. Carl V. of Stainless Steel Droppings Review.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Carl V. says:

    Wow, do I get paid by the quote?!?! 😉

    Couldn’t be more happy to see someone whose opinion I value greatly adore the newest Muppet movie as much as I did. Your review is spot on, both on its joys and its (mercifully few) imperfections.

    It is funny that you mention Amy Adams’ weight because I was thinking the same thing but didn’t write it or even mention it to anyone. I can’t ever recall if Mary and I talked about it. But I saw her in interviews before and after so it must have been either a fluke thing or something purposeful that ended as soon as filming was done.

    If you haven’t seen it you all might get a kick out of this interview:

    1. L says:

      thanks, Carl.

      we’ll have to come up with a quote bartering system. 🙂 which may mean mine would show up randomly and irrelevantly in the middle of one of your posts..hmmm…or we could deal in cookies or something like that. one cookie per line of quote?

      the interview, was indeed, very funny. very well done. the thing about the muppets is how natural everyone acts with/around them. thanks for sharing this video.

      you were being a gentleman about Adams’ weight. Sean didn’t want to say anything either but I brought it up first. I think we are used to men adjusting their weight for roles, and are unsure of women because of the social pressures. I think it was role driven, but I haven’t read/heard anything on the subject.

      1. Carl V. says:

        My first thought was wondering if she was pregnant, to be honest with you. Truth be told I didn’t find her less attractive for it. She’s a cutie, and the costume designer deserves mad props for the outfits. I think your role driven idea makes sense. In some ways I’m relieved I haven’t heard a lot about it as we are far too weight conscious, rather than health conscious, as a society.

        I’ve written this before, but I believe the real genius in what Henson created and what these talented people continue is that people do act naturally around them. That people aren’t looking at the puppeteers and are instead interacting with the Muppets themselves. I’ve heard/read interviews where the interviewers themselves were amazed at how they just naturally fell into doing that because there is so much life coming out of these felt creations.

thoughts? would love to hear them...

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