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Your Thoughts: "The Muppets" Theatrical Film

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

  1. MrBloogarFoobly

    MrBloogarFoobly Well-Known Member

    Well, if it was Brian Henson, he really is the last person who should be complaining about degrading the Muppets' integrity. "Stuffed and Unstrung" is hardly high brow humor.
    CensoredAlso likes this.
  2. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Yeah go for it! I hope more fans comment on the film on their Blogs. Whether they like the movie or not, it would get some attention for the Muppets in general.
  3. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Im guessing cgi motion capture(mo cap)

    I thought 80's robot was funny...I totally remember Tab and New Coke.
    I thought the "montage" scene would have been better had they not mentioned it was a montage...something about all the super unrealistic gags took me out of the movie a bit but thats because Im used to the more grounded first three films

    Trust me, the 'fart shoes' are not the issues to have with this film, if one is to have issues. Also I thought it was PG because of some of the more serious tone at times?

    I think like Tron Legacy, this film is a primer for things to come. Muppet Movie is so perfect...the pacing, the fact it takes place in the REAL world...I prefer TMM and TMTM as they are more rooted in the real world unlike Very Muppet Christmas Movie. But yeah, this new one is pretty incredible and is its own thing.
  4. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Wait a second...I just remembered something. Werent the Muppets in jail at one point?

    The more Im letting it sink in, the more I am getting the feeling I did from seeing other films that were good...but had an even greater film within had the editing been different. (One Hour Photo, AI, etc) I think if deleted or extended scenes are ever released, I'll have to make my own edit:)

    It's funny you should mention VMX, some of the theater stuff reminded me of it...just more cinematic.

    But I have to disagree...I feel the film was way to speedy and needed to be more fleshed out. I think in this post LOTR world, audiences for even family films can handle 2 hour plus films. Some movies lag, this film went way too quickly.

    Oh gosh, that Toy Story short was simply astonishingly. Totally makes up for my utter lack of wanting to see Cars 2 or Brave and for the sour taste Toy Story 3 gave me.

    But yeah there is something about this movie Im failing at words for...its a very special film, the opening alone almost had me in tears. It had a lot of "moment out of time" parts, like the Rainbow connection. Also yes! The Piggy/Kermit dynamic was handled in a very real, adult way. Loved that.

    Happy pre bday! And hey, Im almost 34...so no need to feel old! Heck, I feel younger, look younger and feel more full of direction than I did ten years ago. The Muppets keep us young^_^
  5. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    I thought that was Joanna Newsom?(credited in the song production I think?)

    Yeah the rainbow connection, Kermit's final speech/walk out at the end, the opening intro and Paris night time conversation were some of my favorite parts. Also the part with Camilla speaking.

    I wasnt ready for it, definitely was quite a piercing amazing moment. I just wish that feeling had been consistent, as right away it's like this "whoah" moment when he pops in the vhs tape...I felt like I was the only one in the theater for that moment. And that's powerful.

    Im now kicking myself for not going to see this in a bigger city with people who had more of a vocal reaction to certain parts. Ill definitely have to see it again
  6. Puckrox

    Puckrox Well-Known Member

    I'm in the midst of typing up a super long review of the movie for my Muppet tumblr. Once it's wrapped up I'll make sure to share!

    All together, I loved it. Was it perfect? No. The beginning felt rushed, you can definitely tell a lot was cut out, and the lack of Gonzo and Rizzo was less than disappointing. But besides that? I laughed and I cried. I'm seeing it two more times in the next two days, so hopefully by the end of this weekend I'll have a very well thought out, verbalized perception of this film. :)
  7. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    This irked me a bit. To get everyone up to speed, Adding Uncle Deadly was Bobin's idea (he was more a Muppet Freak than Segel/Stoller) and after Bobin suggested it everone agreed it was a perfect place for him. It was a VERY inspired idea...but they didn't take full advantage of it by giving any kind of acknowledgement or nod as to why/how he was there...he (and Bobo) just come across as Random Muppet Henchman. Deadly has his own history with The Muppet Theatre that predates any of the other Muppets so i would have liked to have seen that brought out. At least Bobo did get his line to UD: "Do ya wonder if we're helping the bad guys?" so at least you got a semi-idea of Bobo's position (I was kind of hoping he'd get a line like that....i had initially envisioned "I really need to start seeking jobs with a different employment agency")
  8. TripleG

    TripleG New Member

    The thing about Uncle Deadly is that he was so underutilized that the only ones that seem to remember him are us die hards. So I think they just approached him in this movie as if he were a new character and see if anyone outside of the truly obsessed Muppet fans would like him.

    Overall, Deadly was one of my favorite parts of the movie. His big scene at the end was awesome.
  9. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Well we're on a similar page. Im kind of coming from this film from a different angle than a lot of people...the trailers showed this goofy slapsticky film. Sure theres that, but theres also a devastatingly, deep emotional and important film in there. But more and more Im feeling like it's like a magnificent book with some chapters randomly ripped out, or a dream you can only remember parts of.

    This film will be shocking to some, for the depth it shows. Again yeah, there's a bit (I think too much) random VMX type slapstick gags but burning bright is this important film...I just, like you feel its been heavily neutered.

    Imagine the punch this film would have packed had it had its scenes in tact, better editing and the pacing was more natural?
  10. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Since i see a lot of people citing Me Party as their least fave song in the movie, i'm going to declare my love for it. But then again i always felt that if i was to write an autobiography it would be titled "Table for One" so maybe you need a certain experience/perspective level to fully appreciate. Thematically i relate so much stronger to this song than i ever could Life's a Happy Song because that's a flat out bold faced lie in any other context outside a Muppet movie.
    Muppetfan44 likes this.
  11. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Yes, "meta". People forget there are two canons. The real canon, where you have to assume the Muppets are "real"(as they are treated on Leno, Fallon, SNL, ESPN, etc)
    and merely actors.

    Then a "loose canon" that draws from TMS, the movies, etc and mixes and matches it when convenient. This is a meta-meta film where while the film takes place in a fantasy world where you can warp in your car and you can have a 1950's isolated town everyone dances in...theres also the fact it both references all the shows and movies they have done...but also treats it loosely as a continuity. "Oooh! Not this Again!"-sweetums. I LOVE Bobo and Deadly humming original music too.

    Well it definitely connects with an older metro city humor. Ive met several random people whove seen the shows in San Francisco and LA. We have to remember, 9/10 things JHC announces never happens...so the fact they are at least having fun with Puppet Up 2.0 and the whole Henson Alternative thing is good.

    JHC has Sid the Science Kid and the even more successful Dinosaur Train, but often it feels like JHC is more a consultant or helper on other peoples films and projects. Which isnt bad, its just Henson Alternative seems like one of the few things they have left
  12. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    You and me both! For most my life my birthdays,halloween, valentines, etc have been spent by myself. Ive rarely gotten to date, been stood up a few times...so I got the whole diner scene by herself. Hardly had any friends in k-12 and college. So I could relate to how Walter felt kind of alone..I too always felt alien and not part of the tableaux of normal society. So pretty much yes, I loved Party of Me as well.

    Growing up in the early through late 80s and into the breadth of the 90s through early 2000's(I had a long childhood, lol) often all I had was my passions like the Muppets. So again, I couldnt help but tear up to the opening with Walter...I mean my relating to him was quite strong.

    The feeling felt, when the Muppets get so close but fail at the end resonated too...in that sometimes in life that happens.

    I dont like the song "Lifes a happy song"...I believe in making life what you will of it, and of being grateful. But often times life just sucks...as much as ive hit a personal creative renaissance I havent felt so low and down as I have been this year in a very long time with many setbacks and curveballs thrown. The song is a very Sesame Street, overly sacarine bit...which is fine. We need those, but its not a song i felt thrilled by.
    Muppetfan44 likes this.
  13. Puckrox

    Puckrox Well-Known Member

    Before I run off to bed I just wanted to list my favorite things about the movie:
    • Walter
    • The opening/closing numbers
    • Jim Parsons part
    • Pictures in my Head
    • The first time they all walk into the theatre
    • Everyone holding hands/Rainbow Connection
    • Any emotional speech given ("one person to love you" "you're my hero" "we're family" etc.)
    • Beau
    • Rowlf's montage bit
    • Jim's pictures that could be seen throughout the film
    • Jerry's voice!!!
    • Jason Segel's handsome face
    • Scooter going to a TED conference
    • TMS theme

    I'm sure there's more, but I'm too tired at this point.
  14. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I was so happy how this movie came out. I didn't expect the movie was going to be as good as It came out to be. I thought it was going to end up like how Muppets From Space was, but yeah, this movie diffidently is 10 times better than that.

    I might have already said this but I Can't get that darn song that Jason and Walter sings out of my head. It's that catchy, and I'm picky when it comes to music mellody. It was very show-bizzy, extremely appropriate and perfect for a Muppet Movie. Disney did Good this time! Please don't tell Mickey I said this. LOL
  15. Sam O'Rama

    Sam O'Rama New Member

    Almost cried? Geeze, my hormones must be raging because I was pretty damp by the end of the movie. I cry at figure skating though. :attitude:

    I have nothing much to add, everyone has summed it all up pretty well. A couple music nerd observations: when Hobo Joe sings "Why don't you get things started?" his voice is provided by Joanna Newsom, a harp player with a VERY singular singing voice, and I was delighted that Walter's whistling was provided by Andrew Bird, whom I've long been a fan of.
  16. brkndwnbus

    brkndwnbus Active Member

    In looking back after seeing the movie twice and basically loving it, my favorite scene/moment (at least at this time, maybe it'll change after future viewings) is when Rowlf asks Kermit why him being asked to come back wasn't in the montage, and then cutting to it. Just seeing Rowlf laying their relaxing and being asked if he was interested in getting back together with the old gang and his response of "OK" (I believe that was it) was, as Rowlf says 2 seconds later, "classic."

    I'm a sucker for simple jokes like that, and when the line comes from my favorite Muppet, it makes me even a bigger sucker. It was great to see Rowlf getting more screen time this movie (and in the SNL bits).
    newsmanfan likes this.
  17. TripleG

    TripleG New Member

    For those complaining that Gonzo didn't get enough screen time, I'll defend the amount of time he did get for this reason.

    Throughout the 90s, Gonzo had basically become the lead Muppet. With the unfortunate passing of Jim Henson, and reduced time for Frank Oz, Dave Goelz' Gonzo was basically the last full time Muppet from the big four (him, Kermit, Piggy, & Fozzie). He was most prominent Muppet in all 3 of the 90s Muppet films and even had Muppets from Space be all about him. And I haven't seen all of Muppets Tonight, but from what I recall, Gonzo, Rizzo, Statler, & Waldorf were the only regularly occurring characters from the old crew as the rest made special appearances while the show focused on a load of newer characters like Pepe, Clifford, Bobo, Andy, Randy etc.

    Basically my point is, I love Gonzo to death, but I had my fill of him in the spotlight and it is nice to see a return to prominence for Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, and even Rowlf & Scooter who were basically retired after Jim Henson & Richard Hunt's deaths.

    Gonzo had his big moments, and that made me happy. I'll be honest, the scene where The Muppets go to pick up Gonzo might have been my favorite part of the movie. It was weird to see Gonzo acting so professional and then dump all of that to become the wonderfully wacky Gonzo we all know and love. We also got to see him do his Trumpet gag in the Muppet Show theme, which was great.

    And without spoiling it, the payoff to the bowling ball gag was fantastic. When they were singing the finale, I was sitting there thinking "That can't be the end!" and then Gonzo's pay off happened and I was like "YES!"

    So yeah, Gonzo did just fine in the movie and I was happy with what they did with him.

    As for Rizzo? I have no idea why his role was almost nonexistent. I THINK he was the small Muppet sitting on top of the opposite end heavy looking beam that Amy Adams carried across the screen and I saw some Rats skating around, but Rizzo was never specifically referenced or acknowledged in anyway, which was disappointing. Granted, I was happy to see some of my old favorites who haven't had time to shine in while (Rowlf, Crazy Harry, Uncle Deadly) get there couple of moments, but it felt wrong giving a scene to Pepe, Lew Zealand, & Beauregard and not Rizzo.
  18. redBoobergurl

    redBoobergurl Well-Known Member

    My feeling exactly on a well thought, verbalized perception! I am seeing it again tomorrow and then I hope to write a blog post and have my thoughts more concise anyway! It's all positive, I know that much. And I'm already telling everyone I know to see the movie and if they need someone to go with them because no one else will, that I will go with them! I don't think I'll be getting tired of this movie anytime soon!
  19. goldenstate5

    goldenstate5 Active Member

    Hi there. Extremely long-time lurker here (I remembering lurking here before "Muppets Wizard of Oz" was released!), and it's rather appropriate that I should finally post with the release of this movie, which I saw yesterday. Yet, I think what's motivating me moreso is all the complaints I'm reading about, with how the plot fails compared to the novel and original script, so I'll address this first.

    I think one thing of note is that most of those complaining have read the novel and the script. (also of note is that I have [and still haven't] read any of that, and only went in with knowledge of the main two trailers and basic logline; this is the first time I'm ever hearing about these details) According to them, apparently the movie "makes no sense" without these details, that the editor clearly did a butcher job. While I won't make a single attempt to argue the fact that there was some judicious cutting, and a couple of flaws arise from it ("Me Party" being cut down makes it seem more superfluous than necessary), however it benefits in other ways.

    1) Tex Richman's "maniacal laugh". When he first did this in the office scene, my sister and I were dying. It was this perfect Muppety randomness that cracked us up. With an explanation, instantly the joke loses traction. "Oh... it's a character trait and not just a great subversion... nevermind." Yes, it makes Tex's reasons a bit more personal, but is this really needed? We already have two motivations: greed for oil, and gaining the Muppet name to twist it into a supposedly more popular, cynical act. Again, for the sake of greed. In regards to the overall theme of the film, that's just fine. So none of this was lost. He was still fantastic.

    2) Kermit and Piggy. This especially baffles me because I couldn't think of anything else in the movie that was wonderfully conveyed already. Who really cares exactly how they split, the fact is that: they're split. The movie pulls that off, we get a sense of how ugly their relationship has gotten and fact that both want to move on. Miss Piggy has a torn wedding photo, Kermit has the other half. No one needs the exact backstory on this, it's simple and symbolic of their torn relationship. One thing I found fascinating about this movie was that the Muppets somehow just lost their way due to become irrelevant, and this is never truly explored, yet it doesn't need to be. The raw feeling you get from the way they talk about it and how bad things have gotten (except for Rowlf of course haha), you know. That's the power of these characters, when they are down, you feel it. And you can really feel just how terrible things were without seeing it. That my friends, is something only the combo of good writing and performances can attain.

    3) Ending. Okay, I'll give some props here. When they started singing "Life's a Happy Song", I was squirming in my seat thinking, "So that's it? Tex gets the theater and destroys it? Seriously they ended a Muppet movie like that?!" Then of course the credits appear quickly tying all the plots in a neat little bow. A little rushed? Yes. Very. I think that was my only complaint, because while I really loved the "Muppet News Flash" way of presenting it, significant plot should not be shrugged off like that. It's sort of feels like a cheat. Yet, as for the actual ending, I started to understand it more. They never needed the theater or their brand name... they had each other, and even moreso, their true fans who will never give up on them. They had (as the song says) "everything that (they) need, right in front of (them)." So I think it was intentional to do it that way. I thought it was very profound that the epilogue kinda ruins it. (even though there's no way Disney would let them get away with it)

    4) The overall film. Okay, here's a complaint I really don't get: "the film was too short". Let's ignore the fact that at 1 hour and 45 minutes, it is easily the longest Muppet movie ever made. There's also the point in that this is mostly being directed at families. While John Lasseter has enough pull to allow them to permit a nearly two-hour-long-plus film about cars of all things, I doubt Segel, Stoller and Bobin can persuade them as easily. Even if they wanted to, there was no way Disney was allowing this thing to stretch any longer. The shorter you get, the better the score gets from kids, the better the returns get as the theater can show it more, etc. They made the necessary cuts that convey the same story. Yes, the film essentially had three plots with Kermit & the gang, Walter, and Gary & Mary, but the first two are woven together and the last is kinda perfunctory (but we'll get to that in my main review)... you have a pretty epic Muppet movie here already. And yet, despite the extra trimmings (a lot of those telethon segments can be derived as "filler", not too mention "Me Party"), it's kinda tight. A good tight. Do you really want a repeat of "Muppets from Space" and "Wizard of Oz", where they just went willy-nilly and went on almost complete tangets for no real reason except that they thought it was "funny"? I wouldn't. I want a movie that sticks to the plot and moves it along without getting too sidetracked.

    So, yeah, the film made complete sense to me and I read nothing before hand.

    Onto the actual review:

    "The Muppets" was a surprise. Not in that it was good, no, I was expecting that from the start. But the fact of its focus. From the very first frame, which is a murky, Super 8 recreation of the first shot of the Muppet Movie, along with the intro of the title in that Muppet Show font... I instantly got it. Whereas the marketing is touting, "The Muppets are back!", this film is more of "Remember the Muppets?" Even though the gang has never really disappeared from producing new things in the 90's or the new millennium, "The Muppets", much like the actual case for other recent nostalgic hits like "Yogi Bear" and "The Smurfs", act seriously like it has. A wave of both understanding and disappointment washed over me. I was mostly disappointed because the film was taking us into an alternate reality that both ignores some Muppet things I grew up on ("Muppets Tonight", MTI, MCC) and doesn't have the party already started. The party doesn't even exist anymore! This is the one major thing that bothered me about the film. Whether or not you think that they "lost their way" in the 90's, just flat out pretending that they vanished from existence after the 80's ended (and Jim died) did not work for me at all. Because unlike even dreck such as "Yogi Bear", they didn't. It's Jason Segel lying to the viewer, and while it may help the story, did they really need to dial it all the way back to the mid-80's? I understood that the Muppets would be broken up, and I dug this premise, I just didn't know it would be so time specific. Yet we have to understand the writers, who grew up on The Muppet Show and have a harsher eye for stuff after the 90's. And while the nostalgic intent is pure, and I don't blame them for going back to the 70's and 80's roots, the denial of anything happening afterward makes you think like it was the Holocaust or something to these dudes. It felt... bizarre.

    This was the only BIG complaint about the film. Otherwise... my god it was fun. I laughed so hard, I cried at certain points... even the film's Muppet-less (aside from Walter) first fifteen minutes has a unique sparkle to it all. Walter's backstory is genuinely sad and touching, and the "Life's a Happy Song" number has so many fun and whimsical facets that you can feel the Muppet spirit already there. Like I alluded to, a minor quibble is the fact that Gary and Mary are so detached from our main story which lead me to wonder at times "Why are we watching this?", fortunately it goes by quickly. (in my opinion, the script could have rid itself of Mary, yet I think Disney wanted a female lead, and Amy Adams does a great job) Also, it gives us the "Man or Muppet" musical number, which easily helps forgive things.

    Kermit and gang may kidnap Jack Black, but they also kidnap the film as well. I do love how Walter is still kept as vitally important and interwoven throughout this specific story. But truly our heroes keep this ship afloat, and they do a great job.

    I've been writing this for well over an hour now, and I need sleep badly. So forgive me when I have to cut this review a bit short. And I'm kinda grumpy about it since there's a lot more whining then I wanted there to be. Suffice it to say: despite, I loved this film. I can't wait to see it again, and to own it. It is the best Muppet film in quite some time. I hope it does blockbuster business so we can see another one greenlit soon.
    redBoobergurl likes this.
  20. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    There was an interview with the director which explained the reason, claiming to give it a sense of "realism". He said that some characters simply missed their cues or forgot where to go. But if that's the case (and I haven't seen the movie yet, so I'm going by what we saw in the commercials) the large shot of arches should have emphasized this more; They should have had characters running down the arches while the others were singing, looking for their spots, and maybe had two characters in one arch.

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