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The Muppets


Oh good gracious have I been looking forward to this movie!  I didn’t even realise how much I was looking forward to it until I did my Muppet research and revisited the Muppet movie from 1979, the Muppets Take Manhattan, and a Muppet Christmas Carrol (nothing newer than that, don’t even THINK about Muppets in space or what ever it was).  These are some of the greatest kids movies of all time in my opinion.  The music stands the test of time, and the characters have proved they can.  Kermit has been around since 1955!  Let’s see you do that Yo Gabba Gabba


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                                              What the hell is going on in this picture?


But the question that bothered me, was with Jim Henson is long dead, and Frank Oz wanting nothing to do with the movie, could the Muppets bring out a great movie?


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Space; The final frontier, or where once great movie franchises go to die.....


My question was answered by Jason Segal (most famous for playing Marshall in “How I Met Your Mother”).  The man is a brilliant comedy actor, a talented musician, and a massive fan of the Muppets.  Kermit was in safe hands! Or safe hands where in Kermit.....  Either way all signs were pointing to a good movie!  And Bret McKenzie from Flight of the Conchords helping with the music?  Hell yeah! 

Our story is about brothers Gary (Segal) and Walter (who is inexplicably a Muppet.  Mum’s got some answering to do me thinks), two massive fans of the Muppets growing up, who go to LA to visit the old Muppet studio on a trip that supposed to be a 10 year anniversary trip for Gary and his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams).  When they get to LA they find the dilapidated Muppet studios that I can only assume was killed by the Muppets in Space.  Walter overhears the evil plan of Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to buy the studios and knock it down to drill for oil (a common occurrence in LA).  From there it’s off on a cross country adventure to reunite the Muppets, Blues Brothers style (but with less cocaine) to raise enough money to save the theater!

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4 fried chickens and a coke..... no not a bottle, a dime bag!

As art imitates reality, the Muppets have trouble getting on air, as they’re no longer relevant, and shows like “Punch Teacher” are killing the ratings.  Horrible TV is reining supreme, and wholesome entertainment has gone the way of the dodo.  Will the Muppets raise the required $10 million to save their theater?  Will Kermit and Miss Piggy get back together? Will whatever Gonzo is be revealed?  Seriously, what the hell is that guy?  Some questions will be answered, others not so much....

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And why is he like Hugh Hefner but with chickens?

As with any great Muppet movie, the music is brilliant.  It’s so much fun (with the exception of an old man rapping, really really could have done without that), and any time a song started to lose me, it drew me straight back in.  Any time I asked myself if the movie needed a particular song, it would give me a reason why it did (Man or Muppet started slow, but had me in stitches very quickly).  The music and dance numbers are very self aware, often poking fun at itself, but remaining spectacular at the same time.

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Cut! Do it again, an extra looked at the camera

Like the older Muppet movies, this story is laced with celebrity cameos.  Jack Black is Animal’s sponsor in Anger Management, Dave Grohl is the drummer for Fozzie’s horrible Muppets cover band “the Moopets”, and a whole heap more that basically just poke their head in just to be in it (Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopie Goldberg, even Selena Gomez for the kids!).  But it’s Jason Segal’s enthusiasm that makes the movie.  He’s so manically happy you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s a Muppet himself!  You can see how much fun he’s having, and how close to his heart this project must have been. 

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Please stop singing Mr.Segal, shooting doesn’t start for another week

This is one of few movies that really would be fun for parents to take their kids in.  It’s as much a nostalgic picture as it is a kids one.  For every moment for the kids, there’s a throwback to the old movies that will go straight over their heads, and slap the rest of us in the face like a nostalgia cop with a memory lane phone book

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Please officer! I don’t know why there’s so many songs about rainbows!

I can’t recommend this movie enough.  It’s brilliant fun from start to finish.  When you’re seeing it, keep a couple of things in mind.  Every Muppet you see is being operated by at least one person, not CGI (maybe a little blue screen here and there).  This makes the big dance numbers all the more impressive, and I’m glad they did it this way, as this is the charm of the muppets.  It still amazes me how a Muppet can portray emotion, but it’s there, and you’ll feel it.

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