238 of 255 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2011
At the end of the day, the underlying subject of this movie is: "We are The Muppets: If modern society decides we are no longer funny and popular, we're ok with that. We are just here to entertain for those who will appreciate."
I'm not a professional critic, so there's no need for me to bore everyone with an over-analyzed, granular review. What I can say is I (like many folks) have been a die hard Muppet fan since I was a kid in the early 80's. Jim Henson was a genius and the world became a slightly darker place when we lost him. I lost touch with The Muppets over the years as they tried to re-envision themselves and relate to a new generation. Though still popular, it wasn't the same to me. This new film is the closest thing that I have seen in attempting to return to their truly zany days when you had Henson, Oz, Hunt, and Nelson leading the charge.
Jason Segel (who co-wrote the screenplay) didn't have to do his research. It's obvious he has been a fan of the Muppet-brand of humor for a long time. There were so many subtle homages to the classic essence of Henson and The Muppets that will fly under the radar of many, and yet they still managed to write a genuinely, caring story that will hold the attention of a new generation. Also, in the tradition of classic Muppet movies, keep your eyes peeled for "blink and you'll miss them" cameos by movie stars of all generations.
Additionally, I would like to point out that it was refreshing to see a plethora of classic, overlooked Muppets from the past getting their time in the spotlight in this movie: Lew Zealand, The News Anchor, Marvin Suggs, Uncle Deadly, along with the ALWAYS hip Electric Mayhem just to name a few.
I will close this review by saying, the absolute best part of seeing this movie was NOT looking around and seeing adults and kids in the theater laughing together at the same moments, but sitting next to a woman about my age with her two kids. (**Very minor spoiler) - - During a scene in which Walter is looking around the old Muppet theater, old pictures on the wall featuring Jim Henson and other Muppet history came into view. I heard the mom next to me sniffle, and I too wiped a few tears away. Her daughter leaned over and whispered, "....why are you crying?". Her mother turned to her and said, "...you wouldn't understand." I couldn't have said it better.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I wanted to start this review by saying that this release, is not only great on Blu-Ray, it represents great value for money.
BD disc, DVD for the car or other room, digital copy AND soundtrack, available as a download code in MP3 format (no actual soundtrack CD is included)
The story of the movie is simple, and as I'm sure others have noted, mirrors today in a World where the Muppets, are old hat, forgotten, and no longer recognized.
The story of getting back together for one "big" show, to raise money for the side plot, is curiously topical, as this movie in itself has launched the Muppets back from their relative obscurity.
I loved the simple story, and I remember enjoying the Muppets from their beginnings, in what really is a long time ago.
Over the years they morphed into Elmo, Fraggle Rock and innumerable Jim Henson exploits to keep up with the times, but Kermit and the gang were always at the heart, the original, still the best.
The fairly thin plot deals with Kermit and new friends tracking down the old gang, and trying to get the show on, to stop evil oil baron Chris Cooper (who is enjoying chewing scenery every second he's on screen) from tearing down their theater and studio.
A whole host of well known actors pop up in funny cameos to pad out the story, and Jack Black as the kidnapped celebrity host is a blast!
It's plain fun, good songs, dance routines and sillyness, and I loved it!
I suspect this movie will probably appeal more to older parents, and original fans, who will enjoy taking a whole new generation through the magical ride of the Muppets.
I gave it 5 stars, clean family fun, with enough to keep the adults and kids laughing together.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2012
There are two reasons why I love this product. First, because of the content itself, and second the amazing job they did in this Blu-Ray release.
The Muppet movie is surprisingly (and consistently throughout) hilarious. Just like the old Muppets, it is full of subtle, unhighlighted in-jokes, references, and celebrity cameos. In fact, I am not sure what percentage of people who saw the movie understood all the references. I'm sure although I caught a bunch I didn't catch them all. All the jokes are funny for all ages, and had me thinking of silly moments and chuckling for weeks after (Such as "Why does everybody forget about Hobo Joe!?")
From a moral message standpoint, the Muppets shines out like many good Disney movies with a story about following your dreams, growing up, and never giving up. I don't have kids yet, but years from now I can't wait to sit with them and watch The Muppets together.
This is also one of the best formatted Blu-Rays I've ever watched, and I really appreciate the extra work they put into it.
From the start, there is a message saying which button to press to skip the ads. It's a little touch that makes me not mind the fact there are a bunch of trailers that auto play. Although, some of the trails were pretty nice, I do like being able to watch the new Brave trailer in high definition. the extra features are totally worth watching as well. Such as the mini-documentary (edited in such a way to reference the original Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy British miniseries) that is full of behind the scene footage featuring the "off-screen Muppets" that supposedly helped film the movie.
There a tons of little secrets and quirks as well. I recommend at some point during the movie when you feel like taking a break to pause the movie for a while, and enjoy the "Intermission" show that comes on. I mean, on what other Blu-Ray can you say that you can sit down and watch the pause screen for 10+ minutes?
On top of all that, for one price you get the Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital versions of the movie, in addition to the full Soundtrack. That's a pretty good value, I specifically really enjoy getting the Soundtrack for free as the music in the movie is so good/funny I was planning on purchasing it anyway.
I highly recommend all Blu-Ray owners, or potential future Blu-Ray owners buy this three disc combo pack.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
After what seemed like a lifetime without anything up to their usual standards coming from the Muppets (even their attempt at a Muppet Wizard of Oz film was somehow botched), a very serious fan approached Disney Studios with a desire to make a movie that would restore the fantastic, felt funnymen to their former glory. That man was actor Jason Segel ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall"), and that film would come to be known as "The Muppets".
The plot initially sounded like a bad idea. The Muppets have to reunite to put on a show in order to save the Muppet Studios from a greedy oil tycoon who wants to tear it down for drilling. Seemed like something we'd seen a hundred times before, even in "It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie", let alone the Blues Brothers". But, hey, that's sort of the joke. Even the oil tycoon here is played as a complete parody of the greedy businessman villain role, and in this film, it all works! The plot, of course, is meant to harken back to those old Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland "let's put on a show" classics, Mickey even doing one of the many brief celebrity cameos in the film. It's all very nostalgic and charming, which is a big part of what this film means to be and achieves wonderfully. This movie is about the Muppets, and putting on a show is what they do best. It's also a very smart film about reclaiming something you've lost while still staying true to yourself and what you love. It's about not giving up, but trying your best and facing the outcome either way. And, to be totally blunt, it's about how The Muppets lost their fame and how they try to gain it back. And, in a way, the film makes its own true story.
To get into detail here, Walter is a puppet born into a human family (no, we don't see how). His human brother Gary (Jason Segel) is also his best friend. Growing up, Walter was clearly a bit different, and this was a struggle for him until he discovered the original Muppet Show. Walter and Gary became big fans, but especially Walter. Kermit was his hero. After we see this bit of Gary and Walter history, we come to present day, in which Walter and Gary are adults, and Gary is planning to propose to his girlfriend, Mary (the beautiful and adorable Amy Adams), on an anniversary trip they are taking to Los Angeles. Mary is a bit disappointed that Walter is coming along, though she doesn't let it show. But, Gary has promised to take Walter to tour the Muppet Studios, and so they all plan to have a great time together. Once there however, they discover the Muppet Studios is a wreck, and the tour is a dud. Walter sneaks away from the group and into Kermit's old office though, and there he overhears a business deal selling the Muppet Studios to greedy oil tycoon Tex Richman (Chris Cooper). He then hears Richman brag to his lackeys that, rather than make a museum out of the place, he really intends to tear it down and drill for oil! A traumatized Walter returns to Gary and Mary with the news, and the three friends seek out Kermit the Frog to save the Muppet Studios from destruction. Unfortunately, Kermit has lost touch with the other Muppets, and so begins a quest to gather them up and put on a telethon (if they can get a celebrity host) to save the Studios and the very Muppet name!
The whole film is hilarious and heartwarming, with scenes that will bring tears to nostalgic eyes and even newcomers. This truly is an "old school" Muppet film (complete with a recreation of the Muppet Show opening and very true to the show yet very modern sketches), and it is successful on all fronts. The cast is perfect, the cameos and return of classic Muppets are delightful, and don't get me started on the songs. They were done by none other than "Flight of the Conchords" genius Bret McKenzie, and if you're a fan of that show, you'll be able to tell (if you're not familiar, trust me, it's a good thing, a very good thing). One of them even took home the Oscar for Best Song, and deservedly so. "Man or Muppet" is simply brilliant, as are the visuals that go with it. It's probably everyone's favorite scene in this film full of great moment after great moment, and tons of wonderful music.
Now, I'm not saying the film is flawless. It is brilliant, wonderful, a joyous and touching experience, but here is a little list of the only things I could possibly nitpick about off the top of my head. First, the old complaint about the Muppets' new voices still rings true. Kermit sounds better than he has in a while, though I've also gotten more used to him, but now we have to deal with the loss of Frank Oz, who just turned into a tremendous jerk at some point (if what I hear is true) and had to be replaced. Now, we have a Miss Piggy that sounds more manly than ever and a Fozzie who only sometimes sounds like Fozzie. It's tough, but you'll deal with it. This movie is too good not to. Second issue, there is one song in this film the villain performs. It's a rap, and it's not really a necessary song, and it could be funnier. Still, it's okay. The problem? On the Blu-Ray's deleted scenes, we can see the full scene/song rather than the edited version that is in the final film, and ya know what, it is so much better and it actually gives the song purpose. It tells us why he really hates the Muppets, explains his "maniacal laugh" joke (he actually doesn't know how to laugh, which has to do with why he hates the Muppets but isn't the whole story), and it has funnier lyrics than we get in the shorter version. So, yeah, cutting that song short was a mistake. Thirdly, where was Robin? Or Bean Bunny? And not a single line for Rizzo? Robin is too important to have zero lines, and Rizzo by now is too. I realize they had a lot of Muppets to try and stick in here, and there was a desire to give screen time to those that haven't had any for a while, and that is much appreciated, but I wish Rizzo had at least one joke, much like the one given to Pepe. That was perfect handling of Pepe, whom I enjoy but has gotten way too much spotlight in past several years. Rizzo perhaps was becoming too important too, but he deserved at least a joke. As for Robin and Bean, Robin is classic, and Bean I just don't want to see totally disappear. He takes me back to Jim's last years with us. And finally, the complaint so popular with internet reviewers, the ending of the film resolves a few loose ends rather quickly and in a way that, some might say, cheapens the overall message. I can see how they kinda had to do it that way. I mean, it didn't have to be such a contrived, quicky-quick way of going about it, but they certainly couldn't leave things the way the were. Maybe if the Muppet name hadn't been part of the contract, but that's how it is and, again, it's not something I can't live with. And, those are really the only things I can nit-pick about this still completely fantastic film. But, the real question now is, what will they do for the next big Muppet film? They're already planning it, Segel's co-writer from this one, Nicholas Stoller, is back on board to write and James Bobin, director of this film, will return to direct as well, but no Jason Segel. I've heard entirely that he was the heart and soul of this project and it's truth to the classic Muppets, so here's hoping Stoller and Bobin had a healthy hand in that as well, in reality. I'm really wondering what sort of plot they'll have though. This time it's going to have to be a lot more original, probably.
Now, about the "Wocka Wocka Value Pack" Blu-Ray, DVD, Digital Copy, and Soundtrack release. First, I'll say that I would have been quite satisfied with just the Blu-Ray and DVD. I don't even need the DVD, but I think it's nice to have in the more basic format if I wanna take it to watch at someone else's house or something. A lot of people don't have Blu-Ray players even today. I couldn't care less about digital copies. I don't have anything to play them on and wouldn't want to watch a movie on a tiny screen anyway. As for the soundtrack (which is also only a digital version), I already bought it on CD. BUT, with the online coupon from DisneyMovieRewards, the price made it cheaper than buying the non-Wocka Wocka version, so that's cool. Anyway, naturally, great, anamorphic picture, great sound, and the extras here are brilliant (incidentally, I found at least one Easter Egg). The "Making Of" documentary is done in a clever, British educational film style. Very funny, and as with all the bonus features, the Muppet performers stay in character. Even in the blooper reel, which is also fantastically entertaining. There are plenty of deleted scenes too, full of cut cameos. As I mentioned before, we get the great, full length Tex Richman song as a bonus feature as well. There's also a great screen test that doubles as a comedic short film about screen tests, all those great Muppet movie trailer parodies (save for that most recent "Hunger Games" one to promote this Blu-Ray), and certainly the most significant bonus feature, the audio commentary with writer and star Segel, co-writer Stroller, and director James Bobin. The audio commentary is one of those really fun commentaries, even if the Muppets don't take part (a Muppet commentary would have been fun too though). Segel's endless, joking Disney plugs are pretty delightful. There's a ton of joking, but we do get insight into the film as well.
Oh, and before I forget, this Disney Blu-Ray is equipped with something new, "Disney Intermission". This new enhancement has its good and bad points. Basically, when you press pause in a film, the screen switches to an intermission mode in which you are entertained by teasers from the bonus features. This is actually a great idea, and you can press pause a second time to pause the intermission mode if you don't want to see it (ENTER takes you back to the film). The issue you might have with it though, is if you are pausing the film to get a better look at something. Luckily, you CAN turn off the "Disney Intermission", and I assume that would remedy this issue after a bit of a hassle.
All in all, this film is a must, and I believe it's something Jim Henson would smile down upon. It's of course particularly good for the Muppet fanatic, but, hey, I know someone who had never seen the Muppets before this and absolutely loved it, so I say everyone should see this! It's really great stuff! But, if I sat here pointing out all the great scenes and cameos, I'd be here all night and you wouldn't get any surprises! The Blu-Ray release is fantastic, so pick it up and see it for yourself!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2012
Okay, so my older son is a die-hard Muppet fanatic and he always has been. Needless to say, he was ecstatic the first night the movie came out in theaters, and just as much so when it came out on DVD. Me and my husband grew up on the Muppets as well, so we were excited for the grand revival of this great franchise.
This movie is amazing. It's funny, it's heart-warming, and it reminds us all why the Muppets were the international superstars they were, and are becoming again. My word, Jason Segel did an amazing job. There are no faults whatsoever in this movie. My son, now 16, bought the movie and watched it as soon as he got home from the store in our family room.
I have two little ones as well, one 7 and one 5. Both have pretty severe special needs which cause them to be unable to sit through a full-length movie without losing control. They grew up without the Muppets, and it was amazing to see what happened when they walked into the family room and sat down on the couch in front of the television.
They were entranced. They sat through the entire film, then asked to watch it again once it was done. I figured, hey it was awesome to find something to keep them entertained for a bit while I could get some housework done. Little did I know how big of an impact the movie would make on my kids.
I was in the kitchen one day and I overhear in the family room my little 5-year-old's voice: "It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights..." She was singing the Muppet Show theme song, which was re-created for this movie. She wasn't watching the movie at the time, but while she was playing with dolls she was singing the unmistakable tune. It hit me how big of an impact they were making on my kids, just as much as they had made for me. I used to sing that song while I was playing, back when the Muppet Show was a huge weekly phenomenon.
We were watching the movie the next night, and I asked my 7-year-old son, "What's your favorite character?" Up until the movie came out, if a child was interested in the Muppets at all, they would probbly answer with the basics (Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie...). However, my son answered "Deadly." Deadly is the gloomin evil assistant to the villain in the film, who eventually turns to the good side at the end of the film (sorry for the spoilers). Deadly was first introduced as a supporting player in The Muppet Show and wasn't seen since then up until this movie. The fact that my son chose him (His reason: "He turned bad to good.") is an amazing thing o view, seeing as I grew up with characters like Deadly. They were all back, looking great, with new voices (from past puppeteers who have retired or passed on...) and thriving as ever. It was a beautiful thing to hear.
So, in conclusion, this movie is great. If you have little kids who have not grown up with the Muppets, get this movie. The Muppets area timeless group of entertainers who can keep an adult just as well as a kid entertained and satisfied as the credits roll.
Get the movie. You will be glad you did.