Tuesday, November 29, 2011

11-26-11; Mean, Green and Back on the Big Screen

THE MUPPETS (2011) **** 98 mins. D: James Bobin. Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones, Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson.

After discovering that the Muppets Studio is in jeopardy, Walter, his brother Gary and Gary's girlfriend set out to find the Muppets before it's too late.

After a nearly 16 year long absence, the Muppets make a welcome return to the big screen in this entertaining family-comedy-musical. Segel's love for the franchise shows in the story he co-wrote. The Muppets have gone their own separate ways and it is hilarious seeing just what they've been up to. The Muppets have grown older as has their audience. The film doesn't forget that as it is geared towards the fans and the generations who will meet them for the first time.

Now what's a Muppet movie without a musical number? The songs are light and funny and performed with aplomb. Chris Cooper is a sight to behold when he gets his own number. Cooper's best known for his dramatic work and it's great to see an actor of his stature cut loose and be silly.

As expected there are cameos aplenty, some work some don't. There are plenty of gags and thankfully they are not pop culture heavy like the Shrek franchise. Let's say "Traveling by Map" is the only way to travel.

"The Muppets" stands as one of the best Muppet films, right behind the original.


A new Pixar short plays before the film.

SMALL FRY (2011) *** D: Angus MacLane. Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch.

After not seeing any playtime as a display model, a pint-sized, kids meal version of Buzz sneakily switches places with the real Buzz so that he can finally enjoy being played with. Meanwhile, while trying to find his way back Buzz encounters other discarded toys.

This new short featuring the gang is a mixed bag. It is still somewhat entertaining but covers the same ground. It's okay as a short but sadly feels a bit long because of the lack of originality.

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