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The Muppets
BLU-RAY disk
03.23.2012 By: Mathew Plale
The Muppets order download
Director:
James Bobin

Actors:
Jason Segel
Amy Adams
Chris Cooper

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A Muppet named Walter and his brother Gary (Segel) set out to reunite Kermit and the gang for a telethon to raise $10 million and save Muppet Studios from a maniacal oil baron (Cooper).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
It’s time to time replay the music, It’s time to relight the lights, It’s time to get things restarted…

After years of mediocre movies, specials and random TV appearances, lifelong fans Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller went to Disney and pitched an idea to bring Jim Henson’s Muppets back to the spotlight. The result is the greatest Muppet movie yet, dropping The Muppet Movie and The Muppets Take Manhattan to the second and third spots.

The Muppets, directed by James Bobin, introduces a new Muppet, Walter, who lives with his human brother Gary (Segel). They’re inseperable. When Gary kicks off a musical number, Walter is there to finish his lines. And when Gary plans to take girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) to Los Angeles for their anniversary, Walter gets a ticket. How else will he see Muppet Studios?

Turns out, Muppet Studios has been out of business for years and is now used for weekday tours. On the tour, Walter overhears oil baron Tex Richman’s (Chris Cooper) evil plot to buy the studio, tear it down and start drilling. {Maniacal laugh! Maniacal laugh!} The only way to stop him, of course, is for Walter to track down the Muppets and convince them to put on a telethon to raise $10 million. But it’s been so long and the gang has split up.

Kermit lives alone in a mansion with an ‘80s robot; Fozzie plays in a Muppet cover badn with Dave Grohl; Gonzo sells luxury toilets; Animal attends anger management meetings with Jack Black; Miss Piggy works as editor of Vogue in Paris; and Rowlf, well, his story isn’t so interesting.

What follows is a hysterical and clever adventure, loaded with nods, winks and parodies of movie clichés such as time-saving montages and Indiana Jones-esque map-traveling. (How else could you gather the gang and trot the globe in 103 minutes?)

But the greatest parts of The Muppets are all of the self-references and tributes to decades past. Some are obvious, like the angle-for-angle recreation of The Muppet Show’s intro and the tradition of cameos and guests (Alan Arkin, Zach Galifianakis, Mickey Rooney, and plenty others show up; Billy Crystal, Lady Gaga, Mila Kunis, and plenty others were cut for time even a montage couldn’t save). But even some diehard Muppet fans may have missed the brief return of Mad Man Mooney, the car salesman played by Milton Berle in The Muppet Movie.

And when the gang enters the decrepit Muppet Theater to ghosts and echoes of past segments (remember Veterinarian’s Hospital?) and past hosts (remember Bob Hope?), it’s a magical nostalgia.

You can’t be reintroduced to the Muppets. Once you see Gonzo’s daredevil act and hear Fozzie’s bad punch lines, you can replay them for years. What Segel, Stoller and Bobin have done is help bring the Muppets back on stage where they belong. Since there is now The Muppets, there can never again be a world that has forgotten the damage of Miss Piggy’s karate chop or the words to “The Rainbow Connection.”

This is exactly what Henson and his greatest creations deserve--except Chris Cooper’s rap.
THE EXTRAS
Audio Commentary with Jason Segel, James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller: The trio responsible for bringing the Muppets back to the big screen deliver an amusing, light track, reminiscing about the production, reviving the brand and much more. The guys have a great chemistry, which adds to the overall fun of the commentary.

Scratching the Surface: A Hasty Examination of the Making of The Muppets (15:56): This playful piece looks at the production of The Muppets, using on-set footage and interviews with the Muppets and some of the guest stars. As the title states, this featurette is far from comprehensive, but is plenty amusing.

The Longest Blooper Reel Ever Made (In Muppet History) (8:33): Yes, even puppets flub their lines.

A Little Screen Test on the Way to the Read-Through (3:19): Gary, Walter, Kermit, and company head to the cast read-through.

Explaining Evil: The Full Tex Richman Song (2:38): Undoubtedly the weakest song in The Muppets, “Let’s Talk About Me” is presented in its entirety, complete with more showgirls and insight into why Richman despises the Muppets.

Deleted Scenes (10:01): There are eight here, which can be viewed separately or as a whole. They are: “Walter’s Extended Nightmare,” “‘Life’s a Happy Song’ The Missing Verse,” “A Hero in Hollywood,” “Credit Card Club,” “Muppets in Jail,” “Bowling for Beaker,” “The Strip Mall Awards,” and “The Complete Muppet Telethon Opening & More.” We get a few more cameos (including Billy Crystal, Kathy Griffin and Wanda Sykes), but they’re not as good as fans would hope.

Also included as special features are the Theatrical Spoof Trailers.

DVD/Digital Copy

This “Wocka Wocka Value Pack” also includes a Digital Full-Length Original Soundtrack.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
The Muppets is loaded with so many thoughtful nods and references that it is undoubtedly the greatest tribute to Jim Henson and his creations there could be. Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller deserve all the praise they’ve received for developing the film, which will introduce a new generation of fans who, like the older crowd, will sing to “The Rainbow Connection,” laugh at Fozzie’s jokes, cheer Gonzo’s stunts, rock with Animal’s drumming, and fear the wrath of Miss Piggy. On the technical side, the high-definition transfers present wonderful detail in the puppets, costumes and sets, as well as in the many musical numbers. This is a superb release for what many--myself included--consider to be the best Muppet adventure ever.
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1:08PM on 03/23/2012
My only complaint was Chris Cooper's character, the rap was bad.
My only complaint was Chris Cooper's character, the rap was bad.
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