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Your Thoughts: "The Muppets" Theatrical Film

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Phillip, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. Puppet crazy

    Puppet crazy Member

    It's not the ending I was disappointed with, it's the editing of it.

    I would have liked to see Gonzo come in the bowling ball after the " The End" tittle, followed by the scene with Gary and Mary. It would have been less messy and rushed plus the Manamana song wouldn't have been split.
  2. Writersright

    Writersright Member

    That was kinda bad, yeah. I hope they fix that for that Blu-ray but that is wishful thinking.
  3. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    AICN nails my thoughts on the new film:

    From the words of Harry Knowles himself, a longtime rabid Muppet fan of several decades:

    Finally, a review that absolutely to the tee nails my frustration with the film
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Wow... it really seems like you genuinely liked the film, saw it too many times, and just saw the flaws after the second time.

    The review basically says "WAAAA! This isn't the first three movies! I wanted something EXACTLY like the first three movies and I didn't get it." I'm sorry, but that's what it said. Let's face it, no matter how good they try to make a film, we're NEVER going to get the first three movies. We didn't with MCC, MTI, or MFS... we didn't with any of the telefilms, we got close with this one, but no cigar...but closer than most of those ever were.

    All and all, it points to crummy overediting to fit a 90 minute easily digestible forced time frame. Everything just falls short BECAUSE there wasn't any room to finish anything, even though the original script obviously finished half the concepts off. I REALLY want a Donner cut of this movie, I want to hear a statement saying "Disney and the theater conglomerates wanted this to be fast" from the writers... but we'll probably never see that.

    Like I said, would we be any happier if Kermit was an all but personality devoid corporate mascot/contractual obligation that's barely important to the plot like in MFS, or have the characters reenacting yet another old story with some B-list actor getting even more screen time than all the humans in this movie combined? I'd shudder to think we'd even be excited with it.

    What really honks me off is the "NYyyyy-I HATE the music, it reminds me of blah blah blah" bit. Those were supposed to be a nice little nod, little fanboy nuggets for us to smile over. They could have very easily ignored the rest of those films ever existed.

    I'm sorry, but it's painfully obvious that the only people who don't like this movie are obsessive compulsive film student dorks who basically nitpick at nits that needn't be picked, when every other kiddy film out there, even some of the good ones...even some of the relatively not bad ones all seem like they're written and filmed with the entire crew on Speed, Pixie Sticks, and Red Bull all mashed together into a little paste. A couple things make this film not like a film that was made 30 something years ago, when... let's face it, only a handful of indie films and low key Oscar bait are written like that.

    Sure, the movie could have been better, but think of it this way... it could have been an unbearable, unwatchable piece of garbage that makes the Smurfs Oscarworthy. And if no one thinks that the movie wouldn't have been a little manic no matter who wrote it, they're kidding themselves.

    Oh, and I LOVE the comparison to Hugo. Oh, that pretentious movie that's going to go down like all the other overly pretentious children's movies like The Waterhorse and... uh... I can't think of another! They're just so forgotten. "Martin Scorsese...blah blah blah Magic." What's the magic? Making FRENCH kids sound British? The go to pretentious accent?
    Nasubionna likes this.
  5. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Comparing The Muppets to Hugo is like apples and oranges. They're not meant to be the same experience at all and both have their strong points.

    Yeah, I had problems with The Muppets film, but it did the trick by reigniting interest in them for North American audiences. I just hope it gets similar reception overseas. That's my only real gripe. It's losing a lot of the initial momentum before making its way across the pond. I sure hope this February release tactic is a good one. For some reason it's supposed to be a strong time for UK films.

    In the end, I hope Disney and the Muppets crew take the lessons learned by this recent film and get more veterans involved with a follow-up, stronger picture. They have the clout to do that now.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    We have a problem with film releases here that on;y the first couple of weeks to the first month count. The film saw a huge surge in ticket sales during Christmas break, which is now over, and it managed to make a lot more than we figured by then. Still, the film comes to the UK and most of Europe 3 months later, and about a month before it hits DVD. France gets it so late, they could just order the DVD and watch it on a region-free player. Hopefully that will be a smart move. I'm sure even in Europe the overstuffed December movie market would have crushed the Muppets completely.

    As for the problems with the movie, I see them too, but I don't dwell on them. It all comes down to editing. I'm not begrudging a couple missing scenes that we know were there, nor am I begrudging the presence of certain characters. Above all, I think this was a lovely fan tribute, and it didn't suffer from the "Oh YEAH! We're fans! Now let us make OUR movie" that Michael Bay, M. Night Shamalan, and the Matrix guys gave Transformers, Avatar: The last Airbender, and Speed Racer, respectively. The one complaint I hear is that they tried too hard to make it like a classic Muppet Movie... but that's just it! They TRIED!

    Still, if they're involved in the next one, I want to see more input from veterans as well. Like I said in the Frank Oz threads, I'm more annoyed that he didn't offer advice than what he felt about the movie.
    terrimonster and frogboy4 like this.
  7. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    They must be from the same part of France Jean-Luc Picard was from. ;)
    newsmanfan likes this.
  8. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    But you haven't seen Hugo, how can you judge it? It ends up being a pretty visionary(in some parts) tribute to original cinema.

    Also, just because someone isn't head over heels in love with a film doesn't mean they are x or z. Everyone loves Empire Strikes Back, but it's one of my least favorite Star Wars film and I consider Return of the Jedi my favorite Star Wars film.

    If a movie feels off, you can't help it. If you give someone food, and they make a face, it's not really their fault. People like what they like. And I never flip flopped. I always maintained this was the film I guess they needed to make. I'm not comparing this movie to the garbage aimed at kids and families these days. I'm comparing the feeling of the film to previous 79-99 theatrical films.
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I see what you mean. Honestly, I don't compare the new film to the first three because, like I said, there's no comparison. But I do compare it to every Post-Henson Muppet project. I have problems with, but enjoyed most of them. My two favorites before the film were VMX and LTS. They both managed to capture something that was lost, or not completely there in the last films... but they are polar opposites of each other in tone. VMX managed to capture the maniacal madcapness of the Muppets, LTS managed to capture the tenderness. I think the film managed to get into the middle ground quite well. That's the tone I'd like to see, or rather would see than something like MCC (artistic, but boring) or Mup Oz (there was no need to film it like it was a 60's Batman).

    I don't really find something missing with the movie other than the fact that a lot of the movie was missing due to the fact they crammed so much into 90 minutes. I've been saying this for a while, there's no problem with the movie that couldn't have been solved by more movie. It's a similar problem I have with LTS. It all the sudden hits their weird wall when they get to the North Pole, like there was 10 minutes of film missing, and the ending feels a bit too rushed. Still, for the next project, I want them to write a movie that can be told in 60 minutes, THEN add on the extra gags.

    As for Hugo... I kinda wanted to like it and I kinda wanted to see it... but there's just something there that seemed like the story behind the film was much more interesting than what the film could deliver. And I would honestly rather kids watch that kinda thing than Yogi Bear (the stories I could tell you about that screening! People watching during the film was the highlight of the event, and I wish I didn't miss the showing of Rapunzel by 10 minutes or at least had the patience to wait the hour and a half for the next showing... but I was in a bad mood that day anyway and didn't want to take it out on Rapunzel). But it seems like there's just so many movies that try to get that tone that just turn out so dull instead of artistic. Still, it's a better tone than the ADD stuff in kid's movies. But something tells me, the Muppets was going to be pretty fast pace no matter who was involved.

    Above all, it's a tick with me. I have something against critics who pan a good movie because something's not quite there, and then praise a poo film that doesn't have to try anything. It's like... I get that something feels off about a movie, but then to say that the Fast and Furious franchise is great because it's dumb...
  10. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    I can finally get involved with this thread, having finally seen the movie at an early screening...

    Honestly, its gunna take me a few days to pull together my thoughts about the movie because wow...it had so many layers of incredible. I'm looking forward to going through this thread to see people's opinions without the spoilers ruining the movie for me now!
    Bannanasketch likes this.
  11. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    I've only seen the film twice, and my budget won't allow more, but I have already reserved my dvd copy!

    Something that doesn't seem to me to have been noted enough in this thread: the astounding amount of sheer DETAIL that was put onscreen. Tiny things made me smile continually...everything from Gary and Walter's kitchen having vintage Fiestaware (ye gods! my mother has the exact same pitcher!) to the rebuilt Newsman...BLINKING! :news: I didn't catch it the first go-around, but during the telethon at my second viewing I sat bolt upright. "WHAT? He BLINKED! That wasn't a scowl, that was a blink!!" --Okay, it's silly, sure, but for each of us who truly love love loves a particular character, little things like that really warm the whole experience! Someone else much earlier remarked on the fact that Gary and Walter's map to their house has Paradise Falls on it, a nice nod to another great film about following dreams and learning to be a family again. Sure, we all saw the Wall O'Banjos and got chills...Gonzo's wearing that costume under his suit, the same one from the piano-balancing sketch! I'm sure the dvd will foster more appreciation for those sorts of details, especially background stuff, but I just wanted to say kudos to the Muppet builders and the set decorators, who worked just as hard as anyone with screentime to make this an amazing production enjoyable on so many layers!!
    Nasubionna likes this.
  12. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    One thing that I want to say in response to a few posts from the first page is that to me (from just one viewing, I may change my mind later) I didn't feel that the movie was as 'hacked up, with pieces littering the cutting room floor' as people seem to suggest. If we didn't know those scenes existed (Flashbacks, most of them) then we probably wouldn't miss them.

    The Maniacal Laugh gag works to me even without a flashback to explain it, and reminds me of when in The Goon Show people would read their actions as well as words as a form of radio comedy, "...insert evil laughter here..." I also think that Tex seems to have given the theater back more as a result of his head injury than because of the laughter situation, from the hints in the newspaper clipping (Note: LOVE that one newspaper clipping was advertising "The Nutcracker 2". Details, details). It really slows down LTS and MFS when they have the bad guy sit around explaining their back story. I just don't care about them, I'd rather see them be mean to the Muppets and get their commupance(sp?)!

    Similarly, Piggy quite quickly and simply explains the whole breakup situation during their walk when she hints that she built that house for them to have children in after tricking Kermit into marrying her. With or without the backstory, that is enough for me to get it. I, for one, would have hated to see Kermit shouting "I will never marry you!" at Miss Piggy. I'd rather leave it to my imagination...and even that kinda hurts me. *shudder* He was already quite jaded in this film without being shown to shout at someone hurtfully... I'm glad they cut it.

    Similarly, I am glad that they cut out the Fake Celebrity Awards scenes and the prison scenes because, honestly, the film already had SO many storylines that it would have slowed down the flow.

    I'd looove to see them in an extended edition (as long as we also have the theatrical edition available!) or as deleted scenes. But I don't feel they were necessary to the plot.
    CensoredAlso likes this.
  13. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    I agree; I didn't get that vibe from the movie at all.

    Exactly, if I hadn't known the back story, that's how I would have interpreted it too.

    Yeah sometimes it's more dramatically effective to refer to a past moment, rather than show that moment.
  14. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Another point that I will disagree with people on is where people suggest that "We Built This City" should have been a Muppet musical number. Now, I LOVE Muppet musical numbers (everyone breaking out into Cabin Fever in MTI is simply THE BEST) but, these Muppets were all pretty broken at that point in the movie, and something that music really does is inspire happiness, the way that it did here. If they had sung at that moment, it would either have had to be a more low-key sort of song, or else it would (to me) have seemed out of character for then to switch straight into a Night Life-esque number.

    I never liked that song before, but I do now. I think it would have taken a few days of cleaning and joking together, and singing along to stuff, having a bit of a dance, pulling some pranks (vacuum vs. Beaker!) on each other for them to get into the right spirit again to pull off that final show. So, the use of this song really did get them there.

    Speaking of the final show. The rehearsal scene had me just staring at the screen with my jaw dropped like, "Is this REAL? Am I DREAMING?" It was so funny and chaotic and referential to their real theme and I was just stunned by how well they managed to make it look like a messed up version of the theme (Crazy Harry cracked me up by poking his head out of the arches when he was supposed to be walking along.) There were so many times actually when my mouth was literally open and I was having to tell myself this was real and now and happening.
    Bannanasketch likes this.
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    All I'd want is that one scene back, and I don't think it would have slowed down the movie at all... it's, what, like 2 minutes at most? If nothing else, it would punch up the ending. Still, the pacing of the movie feels like they had a couple smaller pauses and exchanges that would give us room to breathe in between scenes.

    And there was clearly a rehearsal sequence too. But that stuff I agree was unnecessary to the film. It's just a shame that so many cameos were cut. it's just that one 2 minute sequence could have made the film a little more punched up.
  16. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I agree, the fact that they had Tex sing his bizarre rap without the payoff of the second verse seemed like a poor choice. The flashback during the song would have lent 30 extra seconds to the picture and a lot more development for the character.
    newsmanfan likes this.
  17. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Maybe it helped that I already knew that scene was cut from reading here, but I honestly didn't feel like it was missing...Although someone who said that the bowling-ball scene at the end should have been cut before he started laughing and then gone straight to the hospital clip.

    I woke up this morning and realized that Link totally sang a song in that movie and I was so into the world of it, and he was obviously so well performed, that I didn't even NOTICE that he shouldn't have been there...if that makes sense. Similarly, I had nearly finished the movie before I realized that Rowlf and Scooter were main characters again.

    Gonzo WAS strangely absent (was he in the Ninja scene? I can't remember if he had the ninja-mask over his nose. I was distracted by The Chef's mask being over his hat :p) but I laughed outloud every time I saw his arm going round and round with that bowling ball :p

    Fozzie: "Evil oil barren! Evil oil barren!"
  18. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I understand the desire for flow in a movie... I just don't see why cutting that out would have stopped the movie dead. Seems a lot of cuts would have given the picture a better flow if anything, maybe even to combat some of the pacing problems. Again, I agree Me Party feels like it should have been cut, but Amy Adams would have no part of it. But I don't see why the studio would begrudge them 30 seconds-2 minutes longer of run time... but then I heard that they cut a 7 second shadow dance from the Oogie Boogie number in NBC for no reason. It comes in right after the "I'm gonna do the best I can." You can hear a musical interlude on the soundtrack.

    I know! Link was always a major secondary character on the TV show, but he was never in the movies more than a cameo... while he had no speaking lines, he had several singing lines and a heavy background presence. I still don't get the annoyance that Rizzo and Pepe didn't have major roles when you see what characters actually got them.
  19. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Word is that they originally did cut "Me Party" from the film, but stuck it back in to beef-up Amy Adams' role and to give a girl-power portion to the movie. It was short and kind of cute so I have no problem with it other than the fact that Sarah Silverman was given nothing to do. I'm sure she could have thought up something funny.
  20. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    I agree about Sarah's part seeming really odd (it was less funny than Bob Hope in TMM, and that's saying something). But part of Sarah's humour has always been saying something normal and it sounding really mean, which is kinda what she did here. Ish.

    However, I was focusing more on the Kermit/Piggy plot than the Tex/Muppets plot, and for the Kermit/Piggy plot I felt that the Me Party certainly added something to the movie. She came back, and many may have thought that she just came back for Kermit, so that sequence makes it clear(er) that she came back for The Muppets themselves as well (even if she is fooling herself into thinking that...which personally I don't think she is.) It added a little extra depth to that storyline.

    I guess that's where it depends which storyline you were focusing on...as to whether you would have added/taken away the Tex song verse and/or the Amy song/verse.

    I really dislike the Tex verse about his childhood...and I also would have disliked to see the Muppets as child-entertainers who show up at kids birthday parties (even really rich kids). Would self-respecting singers, entertainers or artists really show up at a 10 Year Olds party?

    In fact, if I may delve further, while it would have been interesting to see the comparison of Walter who ADORED them on first sight and Tex who hated/was scared of them on first sight. Surely that would have confused the issue of whether the Muppets are something that you can latch onto as an outsider. Seeing as Tex was obviously an outsider (laughed at) and did not like them.

    Did kids really need to see a child disliking the Muppets? Would that not have confused the issue? (Also the message that if you don't find the Muppets funny then you will grow up evil...is kinda off in my opinion.)

    On top of which all I'm hearing in my head is Ed's "DON'T! LAUGH! AT! ME!" and that was cringe worthy in MFS.

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