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Review: The Muppets

Nov. 23, 2011by: JimmyO

PLOT: On a trip to Los Angeles, Gary and his Muppet brother Walter find that the legendary Muppets have gone their separate ways. Even more shocking is that a rich oilman has plans to tear down the old Muppet Studio to drill oil from underneath. Thus, Walter, Gary and his girlfriend Mary seek out Kermit the Frog to get him to raise money in order to save the old Muppet Theatre and bring his Muppet family together again.

REVIEW: Hear Ye! Hear Ye! THE MUPPETS are back in all their stupendous glory. And the world is a better place for it. The much anticipated Muppet extravaganza features an all-star cast including Jason Segal, Amy Adams, Jack Black, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones and a number of inspired cameos. The musical numbers are enormously catchy. And most importantly, the Muppets are just as wild, witty and wonderful as they ever were before. There is cause for celebration indeed.

THE MUPPETS is written by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, the men behind FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL. While it would have been easy to modernize these fuzzy creatures and dirty things up a bit, both Segel and Stoller remain true to who the Muppets are. In this day and age where even childrens movies suffer from being overtly crude and obnoxious, the honest to goodness heart has not faded on these great characters. In fact, it is clearly referenced that Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang are too goody-two-shoes for todays audiences. Hopefully, that is as far from the truth as one could get.

The movie follows the adventures of a brand new character in the Muppet universe. Walter is the Muppet brother to Segels Gary. The two grew up watching The Muppet Show while Walter dreamt of one day being a part of it. When Gary and his girlfriend Mary (Adams) decide to go to Los Angeles for a vacation, Gary convinces her to let Walter tag along. Once they arrive, they are off to the old Muppet Studios, only to find the Muppets have gone their separate ways, and the beloved studio is about to be torn down. When Tex Richman (Cooper) finally owns the land, hell be drillin oil and all the Muppet memories will be gone for good. The one hitch to this dastardly deed is that if the Muppets can raise ten million dollars, the studio will remain theirs. Before Gonzo can shoot himself out of a cannon, you can figure that the Muppets will band together to not only save their studio, but to bring back the old gang.

Now the plot isnt the most complex bit of storytelling ever told, but it doesnt need to be. If you are going to see a Muppet movie, you will want to see Muppets, and lots of them. In fact, there is even a rival group of puppeteerd peeps called The Moopets. Best of all, the favorites are all there and for the most part, each and every character is given a little bit of screen time. As a fan of the series, it was just dandy to see characters that you had forgotten about after so many years back on the silver screen. Even Walter seemed like a perfect fit into this blast from the past, so much so that it feels like he really does belong with these familiar faces.

Much like the previous Muppet movies, there is a sense of wonder and playfulness here. We are one hundred percent sure things will work out in the end, but its the ride that makes for all the fun. The choice of music alone is undeniably enjoyable. The original tunes will have you bouncing along, and singing a song. Lifes a Happy Song, Man or Muppet and Pictures in my Head will bring you smiles and even a couple of tears.

THE MUPPETS is a celebration of what Jim Henson created. It is inspired and full of some of the biggest laughs Ive had at a theatre in years. If the Muppets bring back memories of youth, imagine what it will do for a brand new, wide-eyed innocent crowd. This is a welcome return to what made The Muppet Show great. Piggy, Gonzo, Kermit, Beaker, and a bunch of chickens singing Cee Lo Greens Forget You add to what is one of the most awesomely entertaining movies of the year!

Extra Tidbit: Make sure you get there on time because you don't want to miss the hilarious new TOY STORY short "Small Fry" which plays right before THE MUPPETS. This is what I call a terrific night at the movies.
Source: JoBlo.com

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3:06PM on 11/28/2011
I enjoyed the movie. Thought it was a little slow, but still thought it was well done. I agree that the movie is a love letter to the show and characters (even if the original creators weren't that happy with it).

And I'm man enough to admit that I did tear up when they started singing "Rainbow Connection". :)
I enjoyed the movie. Thought it was a little slow, but still thought it was well done. I agree that the movie is a love letter to the show and characters (even if the original creators weren't that happy with it).

And I'm man enough to admit that I did tear up when they started singing "Rainbow Connection". :)
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+5
11:32PM on 11/23/2011
As someone who grew up with The Muppet Show, I found this movie to be a sweet love letter to a show and characters that once were. I'm one of those that felt that The Muppets changed quite drastically after Jim died, and I'm just glad to see the gang back together like they were when Jim was still running the show. Hopefully this movie will mark a long, and fruitful collaboration with Segel and the Muppets. He (Segel) has shown a true love of these guys (and gals...and pigs...and chickens...).
As someone who grew up with The Muppet Show, I found this movie to be a sweet love letter to a show and characters that once were. I'm one of those that felt that The Muppets changed quite drastically after Jim died, and I'm just glad to see the gang back together like they were when Jim was still running the show. Hopefully this movie will mark a long, and fruitful collaboration with Segel and the Muppets. He (Segel) has shown a true love of these guys (and gals...and pigs...and chickens...). :)
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8:36PM on 11/23/2011

pure cinematic joy

Only problem was that there were too many Muppets and too short a runtime to give them all something to do (Pepe, Rizzo, they forgot about Bean Bunny altogether, etc).
Only problem was that there were too many Muppets and too short a runtime to give them all something to do (Pepe, Rizzo, they forgot about Bean Bunny altogether, etc).
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+0
6:21PM on 11/23/2011
I loved this movie and it's easily the most fun I've had in a theater in a long time. I loved the Muppets as a kid and seeing them on screen again, doing another Muppets Show was almost magical. It's like watching a favorite musician come to town after years of being absent.
I loved this movie and it's easily the most fun I've had in a theater in a long time. I loved the Muppets as a kid and seeing them on screen again, doing another Muppets Show was almost magical. It's like watching a favorite musician come to town after years of being absent.
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5:55PM on 11/23/2011

Pretty much perfect

Quite possibly my favorite film of the year; at least up there with 'Drive' and 'Apes.' Absolutely hilarious, heartfelt, and probably the catchiest soundtrack of the year.

And Frank Oz retired from Muppeteering over a decade ago... it didn't matter how good the film was going to be (and it couldn't get much better than this)... he wasn't coming back.
Quite possibly my favorite film of the year; at least up there with 'Drive' and 'Apes.' Absolutely hilarious, heartfelt, and probably the catchiest soundtrack of the year.

And Frank Oz retired from Muppeteering over a decade ago... it didn't matter how good the film was going to be (and it couldn't get much better than this)... he wasn't coming back.
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3:21PM on 11/23/2011

I missed Rizzo.

That's the only flaw in the movie.
That's the only flaw in the movie.
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11:25PM on 11/23/2011
He was in the movie in a few scenes. He just didn't have a speaking role.
He was in the movie in a few scenes. He just didn't have a speaking role.
7:25PM on 11/24/2011
That's not the same as being present.
That's not the same as being present.
2:12PM on 11/23/2011
Damn, I'm excited to see this now.
Damn, I'm excited to see this now.
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2:10PM on 11/23/2011
97% positive on Rotten Tomatoes...can it seriously get an Oscar nomination? It's getting better reviews than the Oscar contenders...Harry Potter did too. Muppets could be this years Toy Story 3 role, with HP being this years Inception role. (If both HP & Marilyn get nominated, Emma Watson will have 2 films in the running.)
97% positive on Rotten Tomatoes...can it seriously get an Oscar nomination? It's getting better reviews than the Oscar contenders...Harry Potter did too. Muppets could be this years Toy Story 3 role, with HP being this years Inception role. (If both HP & Marilyn get nominated, Emma Watson will have 2 films in the running.)
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1:05PM on 11/23/2011

I guess I'm on my own in not liking

this movie (wait, Rick Groen from the Globe & Mail agrees with me). As a huge fan of the original Muppet Show, I thought this movie was too much about Jason Segel and didn't respect the Muppets. Frank Oz decided not to voice Miss Piggy after reading the script, and Steve Whitmire at one point wanted to take his name off the credits. Glad you liked the film, Jimmy.
this movie (wait, Rick Groen from the Globe & Mail agrees with me). As a huge fan of the original Muppet Show, I thought this movie was too much about Jason Segel and didn't respect the Muppets. Frank Oz decided not to voice Miss Piggy after reading the script, and Steve Whitmire at one point wanted to take his name off the credits. Glad you liked the film, Jimmy.
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2:43PM on 11/23/2011
It's all good man. But what did you think of the Toy Story short? I'm surprised I'm not hearing more about it in the press. I loved it.
It's all good man. But what did you think of the Toy Story short? I'm surprised I'm not hearing more about it in the press. I loved it.
3:25PM on 11/23/2011
I think Frank Oz wasn't going to do it when his pitch for a new Muppet movie got rejected by Disney a year or two before Jason Segel's pitch.
I think Frank Oz wasn't going to do it when his pitch for a new Muppet movie got rejected by Disney a year or two before Jason Segel's pitch.
2:08PM on 11/27/2011
I was worried going in that it was going to be too much of Segals/Adams story, but that wasn't the case, thankfully. They had a b thread in the film that worked and never detracted from the muppets story. I'm pretty sure their scenes only took up about 20-25 minutes of screen time and they were usually accompanied by a muppet(s).
I was worried going in that it was going to be too much of Segals/Adams story, but that wasn't the case, thankfully. They had a b thread in the film that worked and never detracted from the muppets story. I'm pretty sure their scenes only took up about 20-25 minutes of screen time and they were usually accompanied by a muppet(s).
11:32AM on 11/23/2011
I'm SO GLAD to read it was excellent. Will definitely be checking it out
I'm SO GLAD to read it was excellent. Will definitely be checking it out
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10:41AM on 11/23/2011

I am...

...SOOO excited to see this in the theaters this weekend!
...SOOO excited to see this in the theaters this weekend!
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10:17AM on 11/23/2011
I didn't grow up with the muppets, nor do I know a lot about them, but I am still eager to see this film. Your review got me excited.
I didn't grow up with the muppets, nor do I know a lot about them, but I am still eager to see this film. Your review got me excited.
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10:04AM on 11/23/2011
The Muppets currently has a 99% rating on Rottentomatoes right now. And I guarantee that one rotten reviewer came from a too cool for the room douche with no soul. Probably thought Hoodwinked 2 was hilarious.
The Muppets currently has a 99% rating on Rottentomatoes right now. And I guarantee that one rotten reviewer came from a too cool for the room douche with no soul. Probably thought Hoodwinked 2 was hilarious.
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+1
8:44AM on 11/23/2011
Can't wait! I'm too young to remember the muppets in their heyday but I'm a huge fan of Adams and Segel and this is clearly a passion project for him.
Can't wait! I'm too young to remember the muppets in their heyday but I'm a huge fan of Adams and Segel and this is clearly a passion project for him.
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8:39AM on 11/23/2011

Wow....

I never would have imagined this movie could have turned out so amazing. This could end up being the most critically acclaimed movie of the year.
I never would have imagined this movie could have turned out so amazing. This could end up being the most critically acclaimed movie of the year.
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-3
8:31AM on 11/23/2011
So glad they didn't tarnish or stoop too low to draw in crowds. Really looking forward to seeing this movie tomorrow
So glad they didn't tarnish or stoop too low to draw in crowds. Really looking forward to seeing this movie tomorrow
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