Monday, November 28, 2011

Response to negative 'Muppets' reviews

"The Muppets" was released last week and took the world by storm.
In a move that surprised even us, the film ended up with a 98 percent at Rotten Tomatoes. That is 129 fresh reviews and only three "negative" reviews as of Nov. 28 at 7 p.m.

That's a darn good percentage not just for any movie, but a family movie and a silly one at that.
Now, I won't get into my thoughts on the film (that is saved for the show), but I was reading those three lone reviews and something stuck out to me in each.

If people don't like the film, that's fine with me. Just say "I didn't get it" or "Not my kind of movie."
But in this case some big generalizations were made that kind of made me wonder. More than "heh, yeah right" but "did we see the same movie?"

Take the Chicago Reader's review (which, by the way is less than 150 words). Writer J.R. Jones makes a statement in there that says "except for a few good zingers from balcony dwellers Statler and Waldorf, there isn't much here for mom and dad."

I saw the film Wednesday and right after thought that my 6-year-old niece might not like it because a lot of the stuff might go over her head. And I was in a theater full of adults that were laughing like crazy. You think kids would "get" the '80s robot? That whole gag is totally made for adults.

How many kids would get the gag about Miss Piggy's assistant?

The Village Voice's review throws out a unique statement: "Terrified of alienating those who were raised on the originals, The Muppets panders to them instead, constantly blasting or restaging Top 40 hits from the past three-plus decades, continuing the cheap strategy that worked well on YouTube two years ago with the Muppets’ cover of 'Bohemian Rhapsody.'"

I don't get how playing a Cee-Lo Green song is trying to not alienate people raised on the originals. Maybe if it just played in the background I would think it would be used to grab kids, but the song is re-done to make it fun... for everyone. And to use the words "constantly" is a gross overreach.
Finally, the Globe and Mail makes a hilarious statement: "Several tunes, umpteen cameo appearances, scores of lame jokes and much up-beat sentimentalizing later... (deleted for spoilers sake)...but this old man in the gallery remains unconvinced."

Um, maybe I'm out of touch but, isn't that what the Muppets have always been about? Tunes, cameos, lame jokes and up-beat sentimentalizing? That's what gives it the charm it's always had. Yes Fozzie's fart-shoes are lame, but he's always been a horrible stand-up comic.

And people are supposed to leave the theater happy. It's a feel good movie.

It's not like it's supposed to be some kid friendly version of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."

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