For those who came of age any time between the ’50s and the ’90s, the Crayola-colored felt faces of the Muppets hold a certain unshakeable allure. Kermit’s familiar green visage is a face I grew up with, and I still have a knee-jerk tendency to break out in a smile whenever I see him or his pals. While the Muppets have never entirely left the public consciousness, they’re hardly the ubiquitous powerhouse they once were. This year’s The Muppets marks the first real introduction for a whole generation of kids who were born too late to remember 1999’s Muppets in Space, let alone 1979’s The Muppet Movie.

So if The Muppets coasts just a tiny bit on the goodwill that people like me still reserve for them, I’m pleased to say it’s still a solid enough film to appeal to the uninitiated while also pleasing old(er) fogies who recall them fondly from past decades. Which, not coincidentally, is also the characters’ goal within the storyline itself.

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We thought we’d seen the last of The Muppets parody trailers with that one parody trailer that parodied the Muppets’ own parody trailers (so meta!), but our fuzzy friends are apparently having some trouble breaking their addiction. So Kermit and company are back for one more round, with Bollywood as the latest target of their gentle ribbing. There isn’t much about this trailer that’s really new, but in typical Muppets fashion it’s adorable, self-aware, and above all, fun. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Below you’ll find a minute of the opening of Disney’s The Muppets, whcih hits screens on November 23. The scene is a fun little song and dance number that introduces new Muppet Walter and his human friend Gary, played by the film’s co-writer Jason Segel.

This is a pretty effortlessly charming little piece of film that helps sell The Muppets as a film that still has at least one foot firmly planted in the classic musical storytelling style that always made the show a small wonder. I think you’ll like it. Read More »

Though the small screen retains an unfair reputation as a lesser medium — think of all the snobby types who’ll brag about not owning a television, but would never be so dismissive about books or movies — the truth is that the medium varies as much as any other. Today’s TV Bits runs the gamut from highbrow (a literary adaptation on HBO) to lowbrow (a modeling industry reality show on The CW), with plenty of stuff in between. After the jump:

  • Noah Baumbach’s Jonathan Franzen adaptation The Corrections is a go at HBO
  • HBO will offer an early look at its highly anticipated Luck next month
  • Fox puts new eps of Alcatraz on hold while it goes back for reshoots
  • Burt Reynolds signs on to guest star on FX’s Archer
  • Summer Glau joins Tricia Helfer on TNT’s Scent of the Missing
  • The CW announces start dates for its midseason shows

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Disney has seen a very enthusiastic reception for The Muppets teaser trailers that parody romcoms, The Hangover Part II, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Green Lantern. So why not release one more? This final Muppets parody teaser takes aim at several films rather than just one — you’ll see gags based on Twilight, Happy Feet, Paranormal Activity, this weekend’s Puss in Boots, and even The Muppets.

Check it out below. Read More »

Last month, I got very excited about reports that Noah Baumbach would be adapting The Corrections for HBO. The Squid and the Whale director struck me as a perfect pick to bring Jonathan Franzen‘s unhappy family tome to life. Today’s news makes me even more certain that HBO will do right by Franzen. The project, which is being directed by Baumbach and penned by Baumbach and Franzen, has now moved into casting — and the first two choices seem like truly fantastic ones.

Dianne Wiest has signed on to play the part of put-upon wife Enid, while Chris Cooper has entered talks to play her husband Alfred, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease. More details after the jump.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Disney has offered up quite a few trailer for The Muppets, but very few of them actually tell audiences anything about the story. Small point, I know, especially when the characters have been put to such good use poking fun at romcoms, The Hangover, Green Lantern and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

But if you want to (a) see more Muppets and (b) get an idea of what this new film is actually about, then this new, supposedly final trailer, is the way to go. Check it out below. Read More »

I’ve loved all the goofy parody trailers, eaten up every plot detail, and followed each bit of celebrity casting, but at the end of the day, the real reason I’m so eager to see The Muppets doesn’t have a whole lot to do with famous stars or pop culture gags. My excitement all boils down to the something much more basic: the Muppets themselves are just plain freakin’ lovable. So I wholeheartedly approve of the new, scaled-back posters that have just hit the Web. No Academy Award nominees, no David Fincher references, just Kermit, Miss Piggy, Animal, and a couple of their other friends against a plain white backdrop. Check them out after the jump.

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Okay, the headline of this post may be a tad misleading. Only one of the two videos we have is an actual ad for The Muppets movie; the other’s just a delightful commercial for Wonderful Pistachios featuring a Muppet. But both fit the characters to a T. Miss Piggy takes on the glamorous job of working the Emmy red carpet, Statler and Waldorf get sassy about the film they’re in, and Kermit snacks on some bright green pistachios. And the TV spot for the movie actually contains some interesting new footage. Watch both videos after the jump.

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