November 30, 2011
Posted by Mancow Muller at 5:05 AM
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I'm not gay in the modern sense of the word. I'm not gay and I'm not headed that way. Shakespeare might say to me, "Me thinks thou do protest too much." Some of my chums explain to me they can't acknowledge someone like, say, a Brad Pitt is attractive because they aren't gay. Hmmm? I'm not attracted to Mr. Jolie either, but I can acknowledge rather securely as a flaming heterosexual that he's attractive. I know this because I've witnessed women's reaction to him while watching 'Troy', for example.
What does this have to do with the first Muppet Movie in 12 years? Jason Segal. Huh? Yes. He is so very distractingly ugly on the big screen it was almost a movie killer. His mole-covered visage isn't so repulsive on the small screen in "How I Met Your Mother." But on the big screen? Well, there are hybrid automobiles that are smaller. When I meet Jason Segal I will say to him, "Dude, you are a star. Have some of those moles burned off." Honestly, its vomit inducing. I felt like Austin Powers "Moley mole mole mole." I know "real" people are out-of-shape, ugly and mole covered but that's not what I want to watch on the big screen. It's not Wal Mart, it's a movie!
The other woman, Amy Adams, has almost eaten herself out of romantic leading lady status. But for now, in this land inhabited by Muppets, she's doing what she does best, acting like a Disney character come to life. And talk about charming? She almost has enough to cover the void that is Jason Segal.
But nobody watches The Muppets for the humans. How about those Muppets? The tactile experience alone is worth the price of admission. Kermit, Jim Henson's mom's moss colored old coat brought to life, pops off the screen. He has more charisma and acting range than Jason Segal and I'm not being cute here. And Fozzy looks furry like your favorite teddy bear, resurrected for you in Heaven, alive.
The voices are different because Jim Henson is dead and Frank Oz is too old but it's not too distracting. Gonzo, Ms. Piggy, Scooter and others could have been left behind. More screen time for Rowlf the dog (the very first Muppet), the henchman bear, Sam, Eagle, the Swedish chef, Beaker and others would have been okay by me. However, this is just a personal taste issue. The old wisecrackers from the balcony Statler and Waldorf are wasted and too neutered. Didn't they used to be mean?
Some have complained that the promised star cameos are weak sauce, and they are right. This movie is more Charo than Vincent Price, Bob Hope, or Alice Cooper. Big names used to beg to work with Miss Piggy. Here they are reduced to work with (ehem) Jack Black. Maybe bigger named cameos would have kept it from being bested by the worst installment yet in the Twilight series by 20 million dollars in its opening weekend.
Still, seeing the Muppets in this era of violence and seizure-inducing CGI with my children was wondrous. The 80's Reference Robot was hilarious. The newest whistler Muppet Walter, not so much. Still, watching the ol' gang sing "Rainbow Connection" brought a bit of a tear to my cynical eye. The Muppets was like a Thanksgiving for me-great to see everybody and catch up but when it's time to go you can't wait to get the hell outta there.