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I was so psyched to see a new Muppets special. There's been such slim pickings after Muppets From Space. A Very Merry, 2002, was a wee cluttered but is palpable for multiple viewings. The wholly unwatchable Muppets Wizard of Oz, however, was a stinking turd of a movie. Even this fan, who is a hardcore Muppet freak, couldn't make it through the whole thing. So I was crossing my fingers for this one.
Sigh. It was better, in the fact that I made it through the entire thing. Of course, it was only an hour, and they took so many commercial breaks that the darn thing was probably only about 35 minutes total.
Many things could have helped what felt like a half-assed hack job. "Ooh, let's make up some random crap and make the Muppets do it, never taking into consideration how the characters should really behave," the writers said, I imagine. First, who the heck is Claire? And why should we care? What is the point of introducing two new characters that no one knows and no one cares about, for a measly one-hour special? Look, I get it. You want humans. Whoopie. Do like with Nathan Lane and Uma Thurman and give them bit roles. I'm sorry, but when it's the Muppets Anything, it should be them starring. And Jane Krakowski was completely wasted here. How sad. What would have been much more believable would be if one of the letters was Robin's, Kermit's nephew. And Kermit feels compelled to get to Santa.
Which brings me to my next pointwhy the hell is GONZO the focus? He, while an interesting character, is not the main driver in the Muppets. Kermit is. He is the main character in the Muppets. That's how it is; that's the natural way of this franchise. It's just like Jerry is the main character of Seinfeld, like Carrie is the main of Sex and the City. Sure, we learn about the other three; sure, there are other bit ones introduced. But, the core remains the same, and the leader does as well. The four main Muppets are Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, and Piggy. Those are the four that everyone thinks of, and those are the four who are at the center of each story, with Kermit as the lead.
Not that I have a problem with Gonzo, oh no. I like Gonzo. He's just the second best friend in this situation, not the star. Now some may say, "But hey, wait, Gonzo was the focus of Muppets From Space. He can carry a picture!" It worked therebecause it was a plausible storyline. You couldn't do aliens with any of the other main Muppets, except maybe some of the band. Also, Gonzo was his normal self in Spacestrange, out of the box, running around like crazy. Just as he should be. In Letters, though, it's like someone gave him too much Paxil. He's got no zip, no spunk, none of his usual quirkiness. He's just slightly depressed and much too mellow for his character.
Speaking of wrong characters, we now come to my biggest sticking pointPiggy. Now, my disclosure is that Miss Piggy has been my favorite Muppet and even personal hero since I was about 2 years old. I've always seen her as a confident woman who knows what she wants and doesn't let anyone hold her back. Who, for instance, hit Kermit and brought back his memory in Muppets Take Manhattan? Who stood by her frog in A Very Merry Muppet Christmas? Who was the co-star for Kermit in the Christmas Carol? She is a strong woman, in more ways than one, and when the chips are down, she sticks by her friends. But this Piggy? Despicable. They made her a selfish brat, as they did in Oz. If this were the real Piggy, she would've stuck by her friends, especially her frog. I could picture her perfectly being jealous when Joy showed up, which would've been more natural than to just write her out in the first five minutes. Was it because her eyes look so darn funny? Was I the only one who noticed that? What, did they lose her original prototype, or something?
In fact, not just Piggy, but the whole crowd would stick by the main characters and help out. That's what Muppets always dothey support each other like a team. They carpool to California in the Muppet Movie to break into the movies. They put on each Muppet Show together. They saved their Theatre in A Very Merry by sticking by each other. It's completely wrong to think that anyone of them would walk out on each other. Sure, some tried to punk out in the Great Muppet Caper, but eventually they all came together to save the day. Besides, returning letters versus possibly getting killed? Please. One can hardly compare the two, and really fault their hesitation.
And speaking of the other characters, Family Guy was right. Wrong-sounding Muppets is the worst. Waldorf sounded so weird, Janice wasn't right, and the friend I watched with said, "Hey, wasn't Beaker's voice higher?" I understand that many of the originals have moved on, either to different projects or to that great Muppetland in the sky. I'm just surprised that these talented voice people can't bend their vocal chords a little further to sound a little more like the characters they're playing. I know it's hard. But it's disheartening to hear a character's voice come out strange, when you thought you knew that voice perfectly.
To sum up, it was OK to watch once, making it better than Oz. But I wouldn't want to see it again, making it only slightly better than Oz and not on par with what the Muppets should be putting out.
Cast Away (2000)
I seriously cannot believe people like this movie. It was, what, three hours, of Tom Hanks running around in a beard talking to himself and a volleyball? I'm not one to knock Tom Hanks-God knows he's a wonderful actor. The man could make the phonebook seem interesting-just not for three hours. Yuck. His talent was squandered on this movie. *HERE BE SPOILERS* So, was the point of the whole thing at the end about what the tide is going to bring? Because it could have been done in a shorter amount of time. The whole movie was just completely depressing-his girl, the only thing that basically kept him alive, turns out to be married and has a kid. And I can't help but think if the schmucks had looked harder for him, or if the plastic thing had floated up sooner, the poor guy could have been spared so much more. Yes, yes, he wouldn't have "learned," but truthfully what did he learn? That his girl wouldn't wait for him, that he wasn't there for his friends, that he could make fire? Yay. Go to Boy Scout camp to play "roughing it"-don't get stuck on an island for four years. With a sick tooth and an ugly volleyball.
Incredible detail. It lays out Bonhoeffer's entire life; his passion for Christ, his strivings to achieve peace among churches. He was a true hero, and more people need to hear the story of this young man brutally silenced by the Nazis a month before peace was declared. As a German and a Catholic, it was particularly hard for me to watch, since the Catholic church was also outed for signing a concordance with the Nazis in 1933. But as has always been said, it is best to understand the past to prevent repeating mistakes.
It is also interesting because of background information provided by the people in Bonhoeffer's life, such as a niece, nephew, close friend, and sister to his fiancee. Plus, for those who love the German language, many of his former students and some clergy speak in German on camera with a translation. Haunting and highly recommended.
A Garfield Christmas Special (1987)
This movie is great. We taped a long time ago when I was just a kid and my family and I have watched it every year consistently. It has never gotten old to us-it still makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but still laughing at the same time. A must watch!!! :)
Kung Pow: Enter the Fist (2002)
wonderful-laughed my ass off
My dad introduced me to this film...it made my entire family roll with laughter. The intricate hidden spoofs, the hilarity...the whole thing, while way too short, was just a gas. Sure it's not exactly the most intelligent stuff in the world, but if you give it a chance you will laugh. Soooo funny.
we used to watch this one in a collection of really old shorts when i was little...this one used to make me cry so bad! i mean yeah it was kinda cute...but it was soooo sad! i can't even hear that song...it's still stuck in my head to this day...i didn't even know what a fedora was...
The Heavenly Kid (1985)
Better than you'd think-laugh out loud hilarious...
This film is an unknown classic. I caught it one time on vacation and rented promptly afterwards. Sure, it has a few plot holes here and there, but please-what movie doesn't? Seriously, has anybody looked at the "goofs" section for other movies? Come on!
It's a teen movie which should have been released in this day and age...my generation would appreciate it much more. My friends and I were rolling on the floor during such parts as *spoiler* when Bobby and Lenny get high, or when Lenny thinks he's so studly after he's "scored". There are also sweet moments when *spoiler* Bobby reunites with his old girlfriend Emily (he died in a car crash in the '60s and has come back as an angel to protect Lenny so he can get into heaven...not exactly on the line with my beliefs...but anyways) who is Lenny's mom...and we find out later *spoiler* that Bobby is Lenny's dad. Very cute-Bobby is willing to go "downtown" (Hell) for his son...it shows true character and heartfelt love. Beautiful soundtrack, beautiful plot, beautiful movie.
Escanaba in da Moonlight (2001)
This movie is wonderful
One cannot possibly understand the pull of this movie if one is not: a) a Yooper, b) from Wisconsin or any other Midwest state, or c) knows someone from said places. My mother was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and I am 3/4 German. Currently we reside in Michigan with relatives in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa. We enjoyed this movie immensely. Not everyone will; if you do not understand the humor, you have no business commenting on it. It is like an inside joke, and if you are not laughing you obviously will never get it. Why did Jeff Daniels make this movie? Because he is a born and raised Michigander (hence the title word "da") and wanted to pay tribute to his background. If you had the chance, wouldn't you? And just because everyone won't understand it, would that stop you?