Archive for February 11th, 2012

February 11, 2012

The Muppets (2011 – Cinema)

“Are you one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?… Yes… yes, I am”

The fact that the new eponymously titled ‘The Muppets’ film came out nearly 3 months ago to rave reviews and blockbuster takings in the USA has left me eagerly waiting for it’s UK release.

In preporation I decided to view (For the first time) their last big screen outing 1999’s ‘Muppets In Space’. Following on from the double-wammy succeses of ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘Treasure Island’ the film unexpectedly bombed.  Such is Hollywood financial thinking that despite The Muppets franchise previously raking in hundreds of millions of Dollars it’s been a full 12 years until they’ve been given this new outing. ‘Muppets In Space’ isn’t bad, it’s just not as funny as it should be, plus where are the songs?  Now onto what I thought of the new film…

You will have the same “WTF is this film?!?!” reaction as I did when you view the first few minutes of ‘The Muppets’.  This is intentional but then you will slowly realise that this isn’t a sacharine sweet Disney Rom-Com but a zanny satire of that dire Genre.  In fact watch the spoof trailer (Below) that was used early on to market the film as ‘Green With Envy’:

This isn’t a film aimed at kids, it’s for grownups like me who have fond memories of The Muppets, hence the nostalgic 80s refrencing gags.  The main characters trip along in this “Gee, aww shucks” rainbow dream world which the filmmakers undercut with Police sirens and gunshots in the background.  A world where they burst into melodramatic song and dance numbers but then fall about exhausted afterwards.  The plot is essentially the “Get the old gang back together for one last show” thing from The Blues Brothers.  They drive all over the USA to reunite the team and even drive?!?!? to Paris (A great little satirical gag) to get Miss Piggy who has hilariously forged a new career as Plus-Sized Fashion Editor for Vogue Magazine.  Finally this is the kind of qulaity film that furry felted ones desereve.

February 11, 2012

Young Adult (2012 – Cinema)

“Let’s show him what he’s been missing… No, he’s seen me recently, he knows. But his wife hasn’t seen me in a while”

‘Young Adult’ a deliciously acidic, ashen black comedy from ‘Juno’ writer Diablo Cody. Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary, a ghost-writer of books for teenagers who decides to return to the small town she grew up in to win back her highschool sweetheart. You may be thinking you’ve seen that movie before (Possibly starring Jennifer Anniston and/or Mathew McConaughey) but the dark twist is that Mavis is a few pages short of a novel (Literary and mentally!) and her highschool sweetheart is actually happily married with a new baby.

The success of the whole movie rests on Theron’s complex central performance but she has great support from Patton Oswalt as Mavis’ unlikely new friend Matt.  Theron manages to make Mavis scary but sadly fragile, full of hidden dark depths when she is outwardly shallow, likeable when she should be unlikable.  It’s a film that had me roaring with laughter with the awful things Mavis says and does, but the end left me with an aftertaste of melancholy.  Powerfully affecting, thoughtful films aren’t usually this much wicked fun!