I don’t see many movies in the theaters. Mostly because I’ve grown to strongly dislike—nay, almost loathe—the movie-going experience. From rude audience members who somehow deem it necessary to talk or text during the film to outrageous ticket prices, I just don’t find myself heading down to the ol’ cinemaplex like I used to. However, I do have one particular theater that I absolutely love: the one in my home town.
Every time I go back to visit my family, I try to make time to catch a flick there. Not only is it a gorgeous theater, but the prices are right (and the nice projector doesn’t hurt either). I was lucky enough to catch not one, but two movies when I was back for Thanksgiving: The Muppets and Real Steel. OK, so I consider myself more lucky to have seen The Muppets than Real Steel, but still.
The Muppets was written and starred Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother). While the more recent Muppet movies have had our favorite furry puppets recreate classic tales ( like A Christmas Carol, Treasure Island, and Muppets from Space), this film hearkens back to the first Muppet movies in terms of original story and tone. In The Muppets, we meet Walter (a new Muppet character) who lives in a small town with Gary (Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend, Mary (Amy Adams). While Walter has a great life, he doesn’t seem to fit in. But Gary and Walter watched a lot of The Muppet Show growing up and Walter relates to it (and may say it changed his life). So, when Gary and Mary take a trip to Los Angeles, Walter joins them in hopes of visiting Muppet Studios. Of course things can’t be that easy, and Walter finds himself spearheading an effort to save the Muppet Studios from an evil oil executive (Chris Cooper) by getting the Muppets back together for one last show.
Now I had been looking forward to this film for some time and was worried that it wouldn’t live up to my high expectations. In a way, I was right—though I don’t know if any movie would have been able to meet those high standards. That said, I still enjoyed the movie. I left the theater with a smile on my face—which is more than I can say about Real Steel.
Most of the jokes in the film were typical Muppet humor, so if you didn’t like the original Muppet Movie, chances are this one won’t tickle your funny bone either. I liked that The Muppets went back to their roots. I loved the cameos (some more than others) and I thought the story was good. I also enjoyed the super-sweet combo of Segel and Adams. Yes it was slightly over-the-top, but this is a movie where Muppets “live” amongst humans so I think realism can be safely tossed out the window.
If I had to change one thing about The Muppets, it would have been the Pixar short that screened before it. Now I love the idea of including shorts before movies and I wish more films would do this. However, the latest Pixar short film was just “meh.” It seemed like a mini version of the Toy Story films and lacked much of the originality and heart that I’ve come to expect from the short Pixar films.
I absolutely loved going to The Muppets in the theater I grew up with. It seemed only fitting that I saw this film—which was reminiscent of the 1979 original—in the same cinema where I saw many of my favorite childhood films. I admit, many of the songs were catchy and I found my toes tapping along with them. I guess that should be a good indication I enjoyed The Muppets.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
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