The Muppets (2011)
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Muppet comedy offers memorable laughs, musical numbers.
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Top Critic Reviews
Self-aware and plugged in like the Muppets of yore, Jason Segal's update of the franchise for a new generation is charming, funny, and true to its roots, fan fiction though it may be. Hard to describe, other than to say that if you've ever liked the Muppets at any point in your life, you won't say "Oh, man, did they destroy that!", which will feel refreshing when you consider the reboots and re-reboots that abound in contemporary Hollywood. Ribald but still fun for the whole family, one of the movies from 2011 that you absolutely must see.
- danperry17, Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Not the gross disaster I was led to believe by some passionate friends, The Muppets is an ode to the begotten ways of the muppets (Marinette-puppets) that have been with with us for nearly fifty years. Originally created by puppeteer Jim Henson, the world of Henson studios has branched out into Sesame Street, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and films such as The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. The Muppets references many of these facets and has a tone that respects the ways of the old gang while also making them fresh for an entirely new generation of fans. The muppets really needed a reboot, and after twelve years without a theatrical release they won big time with a script by uber fans Jason Segel and Nicolas Stoller. The film warrants comparisons to the first film entitled The Muppet Movie (1979), as this as well is studded with a plethora of guest cameos, contains many songs, and makes in-jokes, references, and stays true to the original vision of these now remembered childhood icons. The take on this is that the muppets have been forgotten by society, and the group has to reform in order to keep their studio from the evil clutches of Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) who wants to drill there for oil. It's a kitschy premise, but one that is mocked throughout. The tone is surprisingly dark for a children's film, which I generally liked, because it wasn't as waylaid as previous films which didn't have the same care and effort. Segel truly is a fan boy, and it's clear he's having a ball while shooting every scene. He and the cast did a bang up job of letting most of the screen time be dominated by the legends themselves, which I found refreshing. His and Amy Adams' performances were a bit hollow in spite of their forced enthusiasm, and though they remained cheery focal points, they didn't add much to the story. (That hurts me to say with Segel's appreciation and love so obvious and abundant.) The songs weren't all great, as evidenced by an evil villain rap from Chris Cooper, but I think they will mostly hold up in the future. It was sincerely enchanting throughout and a great way to introduce kids to a set of performers that haven't truly held the hearts of America since their groundbreaking show in the seventies. I'm glad to see the muppets looking fresh and unyielding to cop outs, thank God.
- FrizzDrop, Tuesday, October 23, 2012
It's interesting that 2011?s THE MUPPETS sets up with a plot about bringing the Muppets back to fame, whilst the film itself is also a marvelous attempt to do the same. Yes, Jim Henson was the creator of Sesame Street as well as The Muppet Show. There is certainly a difference between the two franchises. Sesame Street was his attempt to teach younger kids in an appealing way, with friendly monsters. You won't be finding anyone like Elmo or Big Bird in THE MUPPETS, for those who aren't familiar with that separate universe. Henson created the Muppet universe to entertain more, educate less, appeal to kids as well as adults. This is a nice throwback to the wholesome humor Jim Henson loved to deliver to us. There's a distinct divide between silly, frivolous quips that will make those under the age of seven giggle, as well as more poetic humor and pop culture references that only older kids and adults would get. It's been quite a long time since I've seen such a joyous family movie. The songs, better yet, helped this film to succeed as a great musical. It even looked like a Broadway musical at many points (and believe me, it pokes fun at these qualities, as well), with ensembles breaking out singing the same thing for an unexplained reason; someone posing sprightly front and center, a bright light shining on them, whilst no one else in the room is paying any attention; et cetera. The Oscar-winning duo "Man or Muppet" between Jason Segel and Peter Linz is astonishing, if nothing else, and the initially obscure appearances of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (in barbershop quartet style) and Cee-Lo Green's "Forget You" (in chicken-clucked style) are both two I would go back and watch the film again for. What am I saying? I might go watch this film again just to feel like a nice, innocent little child for an hour and a half. A pleasant experience. Read the rest of the review at themoviefreakblog.com
- spielberg00, Wednesday, June 13, 2012