Thursday, March 29, 2012


Over the weekend, we watched the newly-released-on-Blu-Ray "The Muppets" starring Jason Segel as Gary and Amy Adams as Mary, and, of course, the title characters including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie, and the whole gang. There is also a new Muppet character, Walter, whom the story appears to be about until Miss Piggy makes an appearance.

The musical numbers were hit-and-miss. "Life's a Happy Song", sung by Gary and Walter (brothers... go figure that one out) and a host of other folks, including Adams, was so-so. I liked the energy of it, and Adams glowed (she always does), but Segel seemed uncomfortably self-aware and not quite wholly there, which made me uncomfortable. By the end of the movie, he seemed more in character, but at the beginning of the film he seemed to be balancing a "no one's going to buy this brother business" and "I'm in a movie with the Muppets!" awareness. It's still fun and entertaining, though. See what you think:

I suppose I should issue a spoiler alert here... you've been warned.
I love Kermit, always have, and I have always despised Miss Piggy. This movie did nothing to improve my feelings either way. I thought the Muppets going to Paris was great, but the whole "Kermit broke Piggy's heart" business was too grown up for the Muppets! I always liked how in the past Piggy thought they would get married and Kermit seemed blissfully unaware, or maybe more aware than he let on, but not ready... there used to be blissful innocence in their relationship, but this film kind of shot that down...

Anyway, as the film progressed, we got to see what the Muppets have been up to, and I loved that Gonzo was a wealthy plumbing supplier, especially. The scene with Animal in anger management was funny, but I the whole "no drumming" and then he, of course, ends up drumming (and there is no closure-- what happened because he drummed? Did he lose his mind? Did he get angry again? Did he handle it just fine???) was kind of over-done. I loved Animal just the way he was. He's Animal-- he's supposed to be wild and crazy! His best scene was when he knocks on the trailer and Jack Black (who attended Anger Management with him) answers the door and asks him what he's doing there. Animal says, "Acting... naturaaal... in control." Awesome.

I was disappointed by the film overall. It was just okay, and I wanted it to be great. My younger kids (9 and 12) really enjoyed it, so I guess it's a win. I was surprised by the warm fuzzy of the opening Muppet Show theme, though. Hearing that and "The Rainbow Connection" made me feel so happy. I used to love "The Muppet Show" and "The Rainbow Connection" was the first song I taught myself to play on the piano, plus I have always loved hearing Kermit sing it.

Oh, and the new song, "Man or Muppet" was genius. Very funny, very well filmed, with Jim Parsons doing a cameo performance as the dream-human version of Walter. Hilarious.
The celebrity cameos make the movie worth watching, including Neil Patrick Harris, the aforementioned Parsons and Black, Zach Galifianakis, Alan Arkin, Ken Jeong, James Carville, Whoopi Goldberg, John Krasinski, and others. They were really fun.

The question is, would I recommend this movie? Sure. It's a decent, entertaining movie. It's not the best thing from the Muppets, though. If you want that, go back and rent the original "Muppet Movie" from 1979. Though, we may not recognize most of the cameos from that movie, would we?

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