The Muppets

BlogalongaMuppets: Men Or Muppets?

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I am definitely one of these two. Possibly both.
Back in September I had me a thought,
That some kind of tribute for Muppets I’d sort,
I’d seen what some Bond fans had managed to muster,
And maybe I’d manage a bit of that lustre,
A shining reflection on Jim Henson’s creatures,
By collecting together reviews and some features
On Fozzie and Piggy and Kermit The Frog:
A new Muppet Blogalong born on my blog.
My idea was frankly a well-trodden route:
I’d stolen the concept from blogger The Suit.
They call him Incredible, blogger on Odd Job,
And once when I met him I bought him a Hob Nob.
His Muppet opinions were channeled through Beaker,
And I’ve had considered that Muppet much meeker
But then his opinions were given quite freely,
With wall to wall swearing and barely a “mee-mee.”
My next was a Movie-Con Forumite chum,
But watching the Muppets has oft made him glum.
On Twitter he goes by the name EthanRunt,
But most who have met him think he’s just a lovely fellow actually. (Ahem.)
His posts showed a talent for cool Photoshopping
(I wish I was that good at pasting and cropping.)
He even made up his own Muppet, a snail:
It’s just such a shame that most films made him wail.
Then came Tim Brandon, from blog Mild Concern,
 Another who thought from the Muppets he’d learn,
And learn he did quickly, that he liked their songs,
But Michael Caine’s dancing is all kinds of wrongs.
Book-ending his journey were films he’d not seen,
The first Muppet movie, on which he weren’t keen,
And also the last one, which prompted a quiz o-
ver where was his favourite – the rat they call Rizzo?
Then at the last mo came Joe Cunningham – freak!
He rattled the lot off in under a week!
(Making me look bad – forever my headline
Is I’ve missed another Blogalongabond deadline.)
The Razzmatazz gave on each film a top five,
Even on Muppets From Space – that’s a jive
Turkey of epic proportions – I mean it!
(At least he could claim that he’d sat down and seen it.)
The one thing that couldn’t by any be doubted
Is that thorough opinions on Muppets we’d outed,
All giving opinions on each Muppet opus
As a method of allowing each one to cope as
The wait for the new film stretched longer and longer –
And then the Yanks saw it! In November! That’s wronger
Than even the worst of the series. But surely
I’d not know for certain which film ranked most poorly?
Well ha! I exclaim! Au contraire! I can prove
Which movies left most of us feeling the groove,
Which sent us to hell, and which lifted to heaven,
For all of the bloggers have ranked out of seven
Each Muppety saga, and as you can see
On which is the best, all but I can agree.
I love Christmas Carol, but some Muppets it missed;
But the final result leaves me happy, not pissed.
So now it’s all over, until there’s a sequel
Which, rumour would have it, might lose Jason Segel.
But for now, our adventures have reached a conclusion
And Muppets and blogging are no longer a fusion
That I hope has been all things, at least celebrational;
I’ve certainly no doubt it’s been Muppetational.
But even if Muppets have made you go “blech!”
Then just wait for the sequel – when bloggers will Trek…

Coming later this year: BlogalongaTrek. Starting in June, with Star Trek: The Motionless Picture, I’ll be reviewing a Star Trek film a month until the release of the twelfth in the series, next May. Given that only five of the eleven so far have been any good, and two of them are quite, quite awful, it’s sure to be an epic journey through pleasure and pain; even more so for me, as I only own the first seven on VHS. They are the last remaining videotapes I own. Join me, either by contributing here or by your own blogs, for the journey where quite a lot of people have gone before. Blogalong V: BlogalongaTrek, starting June this year.

But thanks again to all of my excellent bloggers, it’s been a fascinating journey, where we mainly learned that nostalgia isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be – unless you make a film about it. And that no-one thought Muppets From Space was any good.

Twinklytoes Review: The Muppets

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The Movie Evangelist proudly welcomes its first disciple, Twinklytoes, who will be contributing reviews to give a second opinion to counter mine. We’ll either be the new Siskel and Ebert or the new Cannon and Ball, but hopefully you’ll enjoy reading someone’s opinions other than mine. First up, her review of The Muppets: it’s a different take than the one I offered, to say the least…

Well I can safely say that watching The Muppets is an experience that I shall not repeat in a hurry. The only thing unpredictable about it was the level of stupidity they achieved and the highlight was the end credits. Although even those were blighted with intolerable singing. Right from the off it was apparent that this movie could win an award for being even more irritating than High School Musical. If you haven’t seen the horror that is HSM – trust me, that’s a hard award to win.

I’m not sure what it was that irritated me so much about The Muppets movie. Maybe it was the cheesy grins, pathetic songs, terrible 60’s dance moves, obvious predictability or the fact that I wasted good money on seeing it? Who knows.  What I don’t understand is how, in the name of all that is good and holy I appear to be the only one to despise this movie. The world appears to have turned into place populated by lovers of wailing puppets and cheesy, predictable story lines.

At the end of the movie (that didn’t come a moment too soon) the ‘baddie’ said ‘Stop singing!’ I have never agreed with someone so much in my life. So if you are planning on going to see this spectacular display of stupidity -take my advice. Get that hard earned cash and just throw it down the toilet, it would be much better spent that way.

The Half Dozen: 6 Most Interesting Looking Trailers For February 2012

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So another February rolls around, and as usual I get a year older. This would also normally be a cracking month for movies, coming as it does at the end of the first of the film seasons of the year, Awards Season. But something’s gone wrong this year – the only Oscar Best Picture nomination coming out this year in February is Extremely Tom Hanks And Incredibly Mawkish, and there’s not a huge amount of other films that would have been in contention on the lists either. Consider that last February’s Half Dozen featured True Grit and Animal Kingdom, my favourite film of the year Confessions, and films like The Fighter, Rabbit Hole and Paul didn’t even make the list. (Admittedly West Is West did, and with hindsight that was a mistake, but you hopefully get my point.)

So this year it’s slimmer pickings, but that’s partly due to the quality of the Oscar nominations, and the fact that a lot of the best films this year were (a) British, so came out last year, and (b) completely overlooked, because they didn’t have Colin Firth in them. (Even more shockingly, one of those films was (a) outstanding and (b) DID have Colin Firth in, which just goes to prove that there’s no justice in Oscar world.) But, as much as I love the Muppets, I think the odds of this list providing three of my top 10 of the year are non-existent. Hopefully March will be better, with the Julia Roberts Snow White comedy movie by Tarsem Singh and the sequel to Clash Of The Titans. Hmm…

The Muppets

There was a large part of me that did contemplate making February an all-Muppets special, as they did rattle through enough parody trailers last year to easily fill a Half Dozen post. But if you’re not already looking forward to this, especially after the last six months of BlogalongaMuppets, then there is no hope for you.

The Woman In Black

Who would’ve thought, when teeny-tiny Daniel Radcliffe was starting out in the Harry Potter series, that we’d be seeing him on screen in ten years in leading man roles, able to carry a film on his own shoulders? Who’d have also thought that, ten years later, Daniel Radcliffe would still be teeny-tiny and be afflicted with UGS (Unconvincing Grown-Up Syndrome; fellow sufferers included, until very recently, Leonardo DiCaprio)? Still, proof positive that if you take anyone and surround them with the cream of British acting talent for ten years, they will eventually learn how to act.

A Dangerous Method

There are a small group of directors that, if you just showed me a poster with the title of the film and the name of the director on, I would happily fork out my cash for that film without knowing anything else. That list currently includes the likes of Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, The Coens, Paul Thomas Anderson, Michael Haneke, Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson, and could well see the likes of Tomas Alfredson and Steve McQueen being added in the next few years. David Cronenberg is on that list; the fact that the next names on the poster would be Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender is just cherry and icing on top of a quite sufficient cake.

Position Among The Stars

Hollywood spends an absolute fortune on special effects, and more often than not fails to make them in any way special. Turns out all they needed to do was to get a young Indonesian boy to walk across a very high and extremely rickety bridge. The fact that Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world, yet most of us would be able to name little about it beyond possibly its capital city, might be reason enough to watch this, but the images should be strong argument to hunt

EDIT: This copy of the trailer was pointed out to me by the lovely folks at distributor Dogwoof. Now if they can only sort out distribution in the Fens so I can see the film as well. Hint hint.

Elephant White

From the sublime to the ridiculous, a reminder that the most interesting trailers of each month aren’t necessarily the best ones. Watching this trailer will tell you something about yourself as a person; if you think I’ve taken leave of my senses for including it, then fair enough, but if you think there’d be nothing better than grabbing a six-pack of your favourite beer, settling down on a Friday night and watching Kevin Bacon being cock-er-nee with elephants and huge, huge guns, then I think we may have a lot in common. (I’m not sure that’s a good thing, but it’s a thing, anyway.)

Blood Car

I would also define interesting as “Why in the name of all that is holy is a five year old film with the girl from My Girl and Uncle Buck as second lead getting a cinema release in this country?” Especially when you’ve actually watched the trailer.

BlogalongaMuppets: It’s Time To Play The Music

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"Writing about six Muppet movies? That'll be painful." "Not as painful as watching them!" "Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha..."

When the history of mankind comes to be written, and man’s greatest achievements come to be listed, it won’t be fire, or the Pyramids of Giza, or the indoor toilet that stand proud at the top of the list. (It’ll probably be the iPhone, won’t it.) But standing in such illustrious company will be two things that could be the greatest combination since bread and slicing: James Bond films, and Blogalongabond. Illustrious and industrious blogger The Incredible Suit had one of those life-changing moments of inspiration in January of this year, upon realising that the release of Bond 23 was but 23 months away, and that blogging about all of the films would result in an average of precisely one a month.

Since then, BlogalongaBond has averted many potential tragedies, including (a) being called BlogalongaBond, which is a silly name, but no-one seemed to actually mind; (b) Bond 23 being brought forward by a month, which caused two days of mild panic before Mr Suit took the sensible decision to ignore it and carry on regardless; and (c) the fact that ITV are currently showing the films at the rate of one a week, which is generating lots of traffic now, but in about three weeks will create an unrealistic expectation in the readership of about two dozen varied bloggers. Well, I’m not writing one a week, you can forget it – it’s enough of a struggle writing one a month.

Despite this calendar based challenge proving such a struggle that I lasted precisely six months before I missed my first deadline, I always had a feeling that if a similar excellent film series lent itself to a similar calendar-based challenge, that it would be a shame to miss the opportunity. As if by chance, I found myself watching The Muppets Take Manhattan on the Bank Holiday last week, and got to wondering how many Muppet films there’d actually been. If you can’t see what’s coming next, then you’ve really not been paying attention…

Yes, The Muppets, the confusingly titled seventh theatrical release featuring Jim Henson’s creations arrives in theatres in America in November this year, but isn’t unleashed onto the British public until February 10, 2012. Just as many great TV series had their spin-offs, so has BlogalongaBond spawned another, which makes this the Frasier of cinematic blogging endeavours – or possibly the Joanie Loves Chachi of cinematic blogging endeavours if it all goes horriby wrong. You wouldn’t let that happen, would you?

What with us being in September now, that means that the BlogalongaSchedule looks like this:

  • September – The Muppet Movie
  • October – The Great Muppet Caper
  • November – The Muppets Take Manhattan
  • December – The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • January – The Muppet Treasure Island
  • February – Muppets In Space
  • Also February – The Muppets

Which works out nicely as one a month, as long as you don’t mind doing what the Bond bloggers must do and writing about the new one in the same month as the last old one. But surely a little detail like that won’t let you stand in the way of the chance to watch all of the Muppet movies, will it?

In case you’re new to this, follow these simple steps to become part of the collective:

  1. Watch the movie for the month in question.
  2. Write about that movie on your blog.
  3. Post a link to that blog post on the Facebook page, which you’ll find here.

If you’re feeling industrious, and particularly into the Muppets, you could also share your thoughts on any of the following in addition to the regular schedule:

  • The Muppet Show regular episodes
  • Sesame Street
  • Fraggle Rock
  • Muppet Babies
  • It’s A Very Muppet Christmas Movie (TV movie)
  • The Muppet Wizard Of Oz (also TV Movie)

or the host of other Muppet related TV and video events from The Tale Of The Bunny Picnic to Kermit’s Swamp Years. But mainly, the point is to blog about the films. So you’ve got 24 days to track down and watch The Muppet Movie. You up for it?

Just in case you’re still not entirely convinced, allow me to present some clips, both classic and modern, to help seal the deal.

The Swedish Chef

Bunsen And Beaker

Pigs In Space – With The Cast Of Star Wars

The Muppet Movie – The Rainbow Connection

OK Go sing The Muppets Theme

Go on, you know you want to!