‘The Muppets’ – What Did You Think?

After a long promotional runup that included a never-ending string of parody trailers, photo shoots and gleeful audio experiments, The Muppets is finally in theaters. Jason Segel‘s loving ode to Jim Henson‘s puppet troupe combines some winking modern showmanship with a whole lot of love for the Muppets and what they have always represented in pop culture. Because the Muppets mean a lot to many of our readers, it is possible that the film has a difficult standard to live up to.

So the question is: did director James Bobin, co-writers Segel and Nicholas Stoller, songwriter Bret McKenzie, co-stars Amy Adams, Jack Black, Chris Cooper and all the Muppet puppeteers manage to craft a modern Muppet vision that jibes with the classic image of the characters? Tell us what you thought in the comments after the jump. As always, spoilers are fully cleared to go in this discussion. Read More »

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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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Frequent collaborators Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller may have toned down their raunchy humor for The Muppets script, but they could be diving back into adult-themed material with Sex Tape. Stoller is in talks to direct the raunchy comedy, written by Kate Angelo, while Segel has been offered the male lead. Though neither has officially signed on just yet, given the material and their proclivity for working together, it seems reasonably likely they’ll ultimately board the project together.

Less certain is who’ll play Segel’s co-star, should he sign on. Though Reese Witherspoon is Sony’s top choice, the A-list actress is apparently a long shot. Happily, the studio already has a shortlist of other strong candidates, which include some of the usual suspects. More details after the jump.

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A few lucky movie fans were surprised yesterday with an 8-minute extended trailer for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but sadly, the video has yet to be released for the general public. On the bright side, the rest of us can now make do with “The Girl with the Froggy Tattoo” — yup, another amusing parody teaser for The Muppets. Watch Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the rest of the gang get gritty and tough after the jump.

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International Poster For ‘The Muppets’

It has been fun to watch Disney remind audiences about The Muppets as it prepares to release a new feature starring Jim Henson’s classic characters. There have been some creative, playful trailers and a poster that was a little bit unusual as Muppet depictions tend to go — Muppets with legs! But this new international poster is a pure and simple old-school look at the crew, with no humans allowed. You’ll probably love it.  Read More »

In January, I had the awesome opportunity to visit the set of The Muppets. Over the course of the week, I’ll be posting some of the round table interviews we conducted on set with the cast and crew. We’ve posted interviews with Jason Segel, Amy Adams, and today we bring you an interview with co-writer Nicholas Stoller (who also directed Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek). Here is a short excerpted quote:

We wanted to do a complete return to those first movies and to The Muppet Show. From the beginning we wanted to have that tone. When you watch The Muppet Movie, it hasn’t aged at all. It could have been made yesterday. It feels like an episode of The Simpsons in a weird way, without any cynicism. I would say that’s the only difference. It’s pretty amazing. Most things from 1980 feel like they’re from 1980. [laughs] It just doesn’t. It feels really present. So we really wanted to do that and be really self-referential. But also have that heart and that sweetness that those original movies had.

After the jump you can read the entire interview. Enjoy!

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

OK, this is getting ridiculous. The latest bit of news on the John Gotti biopic front (Gotti: Three Generations just lost Nick Cassavetes as director earlier this week) is that Lindsay Lohan is no longer in consideration to play Victoria Gotti. Producer Marc Fiore told People that talks with her reps had stopped, but didn’t offer much by way of explanation. That seems to be the way it goes with Lindsay Lohan these days.

More to the point, how things seem to go with her these days is ‘crazy,’ and the story has already taken another turn. Just as I was about to publish this, TMZ comes out with the report that Lindsay Lohan is in the film after all, but now playing John Gotti Jr.’s daughter-in-law Kim, rather than Victoria Gotti. A smaller part? Probably. The report also links her to another movie called Mob Street. There are reports of reconciliation between her and producers, and, well, let’s see how long this lasts.

After the break, Jacki Weaver goes comic and 21 Jump Street adds another. Read More »

Nicholas Stoller is preparing to direct his third film, Five-Year Engagement, which will be an unrelated follow-up to Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek and mark his return to directing after a screenwriting detour for The Muppets (yay) and Gulliver’s Travels (yay, paycheck!). This film, a romantic dramedy of sorts, stars Jason Segel and Emily Blunt as a couple in, as the title suggest, a long run-up to marriage. Yesterday Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men, Scream 4) was cast as Emily Blunt’s sister.

Now Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) and Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man) are boarding, too. Read More »

Briefly: Over the past year Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek director Nicholas Stoller has been pondering his next directorial effort, saying that it was likely to be a relationship dramedy called Five-Year Engagement. Now he is really moving forward with that film. He’s got Emily Blunt and his frequent collaborator Jason Segel on hand to play a couple. And he has now added Alison Brie from Community and Mad Men to play the sister of Emily Blunt’s character. Read More »