Sunday, April 22, 2012

I can't believe I fell for Muppet Man!

Some characters from our childhoods deserve to fade into obscurity. Heathcliff, the Gummi Bears and Richie Rich are three that were either terrible ideas, or terribly executed, or possibly even both. Barney is thankfully extinct, as are Alf and Inspector Gadget (seriously - there was only one script for this show, one!). But for every lame cartoon that we endured (The Littles, anyone?), there were some legitimate classics that have been relegated to reruns or Youtube clips. Sometimes they're dredged up and modernized, like The Smurfs [review] and Alvin & the Chipmunks to mixed results. But sometimes, they're brought back and it just works. Obviously, I'm talking about the 1980 masterpiece, Popeye, starring Robin Williams.

I almost saw this theatrically nine times.
Maniacal laugh.

The Muppets is a welcome return of characters many of us remember fondly. I'm not sure which form the show was in when I watched it, but I'm positive I watched a green and white knee-high stocking full of the Muppet Babies. That said, I was genuinely looking forward to the 2011 big screen return. Then, the reviews started coming in, and I started to get pretty excited. Well, as excited as a thirty-two year old guy can get for a talking puppet movie anyway.

As usual, the hype worked against this one for me. This is a fun movie, but somehow I was thinking I was in for a classic. Segel writes and stars, and in my opinion, the guy is bankable. The weird preview of his puppet fascination in Forgetting Sarah Marshall was quite cool and charming. Obviously, dude's got passion. It translates to the screen, but it's all rather good - not great. But maybe that's where the alleged greatness comes from, actually. The movie doesn't pander, doesn't suck in the least. And considering how many of these revisits go, that's certainly saying something. And the bottom line? It's the freakin' Muppets. I mean, I got to spend some more time with my main man Rowlf, not to mention the always awesome Swedish Chef. That guy's like a slightly cooler version of my dad. Speaking of, I remember when I asked him what a muppet was. His reply:
Well, it's not quite a mop, it's not quite a puppet...

Okay, let's break this one down. Here are the Yays, Boos and Matty's, Beaker-and-Bunsen style.

Who is the blue guy? Seriously, what is he? A bird? An owl? The devil?
  • The opening dance number was great.
  • Walter's reaction to hearing the news? Let's just say, he's not pleased.
  • 80's Robot. He's probably the coolest robot ever. Suck on that, ED 209.
  • Fozzie's bootleg Muppet Show is rad.
  • Quite possibly the best scene in the movie? Rowlf's flashback sequence! Classic.
  • Hobo Joe. Don't forget that guy. Don't.
  • PUNCH TEACHER is my new favorite TV show.
  • The fart-shoes are pretty great. Especially their second appearance.
It's like when the Griswald's get to Wally World. Sans moose punching.
  • Miss Piggy. She is the worst character, hands down. Granted, she is a bit of a pioneer. Yep, pretty sure she was the first thing I ever hated.
  • Jack Black. I love JB, but he misses the mark here. I always thought that JB + Muppets would be unsolvable due to awesomeness overload. Turns out the answer is...shrug.
  • Cars 2 poster! Boo! Hiss! Back off, Disney. We're trying to have fun here, you self-promoting bastards. Once would've been too much.
  •  Chris Cooper. I like this guy, but he wasn't um, dastardly enough. I guess.
  • Walter's final act? I don't know, maybe it's a reference I didn't get, but it wasn't as cool as I'd hoped it would be. Oh well, I might've cracked a smile. And speaking of smiles, here's the debut of the...
I wish one of my brothers was a Muppet. Or normal. I'd settle for normal.
(the ridiculous things my son said during)
  • Miss Piggy's a MAN?
  • I didn't know a car could go underWATER!
  • Mom. MOM! [points] Butt shoes!
He lost interest about half way through (about the same time the popcorn bowl was empty) but did request/demand that we immediately watch it again. I s'pose he liked it, no?
Matty and I finished this one minutes before I darted out the door for a 10:25 theatrical showing of....well, I guess you'll have to come back for that one. Or scroll up. One of those. Mahna mahna, 

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