In a light week for New Blus, it’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights as The Muppets is by far and away the Pick of the Week.
Pure cinematic joy is very hard to come by. Individual scenes can provoke feelings of elation, the Stargate sequence from 2001:
A Space Odyssey comes to mind, as do many images from the work of Disney and Ghibli, but bottling this feeling and having it spread out over the entire an entire film’s runtime is incredibly rare. It’s amazing then that The Muppets makes it look so bloody easy.
I have minor reservations about the film, Jason Segel seems to want to look like an idiotic man-child in his facial expressions and Walter the new Muppet isn’t the most engaging presence, but the film is such a bundle of happiness that you just overlook these with a bright, colourful and almost entirely innocent tone which goes to show that you don’t need to have separate jokes aimed solely at adults to keep them interested, you just need broad appeal humour which knows how silly it is. Travelling by map, Nirvana via barbershop and Chris Cooper rapping are just some of the joys given by a film which only wants to entertain, no matter if you’re 8 or 80, and does so all the way through. It’s made me laugh more than virtually any other comedy this year (though I am highly anticipating a rewatch of 21 Jump Street I must say). Jason Segel and Amy Adams are fine but it is the rest of the gang who really impress, and for me especially Animal who for the first time in any Muppet film I remember is actually given a whole character arc, including much clowning about with Jack Black, who makes a very game extended cameo in the film.
Released in a less competitive market, this did far better business in the UK than in the US relatively speaking and I hope it does just as well on the small screen. Extras on the disc look OK enough with a commentary, featurettes and a blooper reel making up the contents, I wasn’t expecting too much behind the scenes stuff and I’m glad it’s not there in this case, it kinda spoils the magic…
Available for around £16 online I have no hesitation in giving this the highest recommendation, brilliant stuff.
ALSO OUT THIS WEEK
Man On A Ledge – Serviceable enough, though at times an utterly ridiculous thriller which would be acceptable for a rent.
The Sting – Overrated. There, I said it. It’s fun but I’m not calling it a classic.
J. Edgar – Still want to see this despite the very dodgy word-of-mouth.
Passport To Pimlico – Check out my review here.
The Expendables: Extended Director’s Cut – Don’t think anyone asked for this and I say that as a fan of the film.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – Horribly misguided Oscar botherer.
The Woman In The Fifth – Interesting looking Kristen Scott Thomas/Ethan Hawke effort which I will be checking out.
Rumble In The Bronx – Time for me to finally watch this methinks.