Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Muppets

It's Time to Play the Music

Director: James Bobin
Writers: Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller, from characters of Jim Henson
Cast: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones, Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, David Rudman, Matt Vogel

SYNOPSIS: Years after the height of the Muppets popularity, a young fan goes to Los Angeles to visit the deteriorating Muppets Studios. While there he learns of an evil plot to tear down the location and begs Kermit to come out of retirement for one last bid to get the gang back together for a studio-saving telethon.

REVIEW: The Flight of the Conchords and Da Ali G Show director James Bobin takes a turn to direct not only actors, but the famed Muppets themselves. Although I hear that some of the furry puppets with an M are divas and hard to work with, the rest seemed to quickly get back into the groove for their return to the big screen. Aided by a script from one of the film's own Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother) and established screenwriter Nicholas Stoller (Get Him to the Greek), we are treated with a reverent, relevant story with all of the charm of the original The Muppet Movie.

What happens when the light of your show business career dims and no one can really remember where they have seen it cast its glow? The Muppets takes a look at what happened to Kermit and his crew from the perspective of a Muppet-like young man named Walter. Knowing that he was different from the other kids and from his always supportive brother Gary (Jason Segel), Walter became glued to the television series with Kermit, Miss Piggy and the others, watching the show religiously while it airs and on VHS tape when it went off the air. Walter collected a Kermit watch and other memorabilia over the years, always hoping to make the trip out to the Muppets Studio lot. But, but the time Walter, Gary and Gary's girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams, The Fighter) make a trip out to Hollywood, Walter finds the Muppets Studios essentially shut down and in disrepair. While on the studio tour, Walter breaks off from the group to take a look at Kermit's office. When Statler and Waldorf come into the office with businessman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper, The Town) who looking to buy the property to convert it into a museum, Walter hides and overhears Mr. Richman's secret plans to demolish the site and start drilling for oil. Desperate to save the landmark studios, Walter gets Gary and Mary to help him to hunt down Kermit in an attempt to get all of the Muppets back together again for a telethon to raise $10 million dollars in order to buy back the studio.

Old fans and newcomers alike will enjoy the arm flailing antics of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear, and the rest of the gang. Although wrought with contemporary personal issues, the characters do not ever change from what we remember. Kermit and Piggy are still have relationship issues, even after all of this years. Gonzo finds success in the plumbing and plumbing accessories business but still longs for the adrenaline rush of the limelight. Fozzie still tries to kill it with his jokes that die onstage in a Reno hotel lounge backed by a Muppet tribute group, the Moopets. Even beloved drummer Animal finds himself walking away from the drumsticks in favor of anger management sessions. Looking at times like a Behind the Music or Where Are They Now? episode, the situations breed silliness and self-discovery.

On the human side, Jason Segel and Amy Adams are perfect as the sweethearts in love ready to provide a helping hand to Walter as they leave their small town of... well,...Smalltown on the start of their own adventure to the big lights of Hollywood. Neither Segel or Adams are strangers to comedic singing and dancing. Adams is well-versed in boisterous theatrics from her stint as Giselle in the real-life fairy tale Enchanted, and Segel from at least one show tune episode of How I Met Your Mother.
The music is toe-tapping with a collection of classic tracks like "We Built This City" and "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard", Muppet-sung charters like Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by the Muppets Barbershop Quartet and Ceelo Green's "Forget You" by Camilla and the Chickens, movie originals like "Man or Muppet", "Party of One", "Pictures in my Head", and "Life's a Happy Song", and the always touching "Rainbow Connection".

Filled with zany characters adults have grown to love and children will come to love, The Muppets continues to be a beloved puppetry institution originally from the mind of Jim Henson. Guest star cameos abound from Neil Patrick Harris to Whoopi Goldberg to Emily Blunt, each and all clamoring for screen time with the Muppets. And with waka waka humor not much more rude than Fozzie's fart shoes (patent pending), The Muppets is fun for the entire family.

WORTH: Matinee and DVD

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