(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Movie: Muppets Most Wanted
Where You Can Stream It: Disney+
The Pitch: A direct sequel to The Muppets, but a lot sillier.
Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: I loved The Muppets, the 2011 movie that essentially rebooted the Muppet franchise and introduced a new Muppet, Walter. After that film – which was funny, and charming, and featured great songs – I was ready for more. And yet, when a sequel arrived in 2014, the reaction seemed muted. No one seemed to downright hate Muppets Most Wanted, but the general consensus seemed to be that the movie was a step-down, especially since Jason Segel, who co-wrote and starred in The Muppets, wasn’t involved. This lukewarm reaction kept me from giving the film a shot – until now. And I know I’m not alone – many people seemed to have completely skipped Muppets Most Wanted. And I’m here to tell you that Muppets Most Wanted is good, actually. Read More »
(Welcome to Movie Mixtape, where we find cinematic relatives and seek out interesting connections between new releases and older movies that allow us to rethink and enjoy what’s in our theaters as well as the favorites on our shelf. In this edition: F. Gary Gray’s The Fate of the Furious.)
The amount of movies you could watch alongside The Fate of the Furious is insane. The franchise has shifted drastically since its humble beginnings in 2001 as a street racing action flick where the biggest thing at stake was a warehouse filled with VCR/TV combos. So drastically, in fact, that the family has crossed a half-dozen genre lines, dropped cars from planes, and winked so thoroughly at superhero status that they belong in a Marvel cross-over.
The eighth incarnation of the Vin Diesel-fueled, Rock-improved series is either the best or worst of the films so far. It features Dominic Toretto (Diesel) being blackmailed by Cipher (Charlize Theron) to work against The Family (gasp!) and the rest of the world. The crew gets all the sexy vehicles and high tech gadgets they need to save us all, but will Dom ever be invited back to the family barbecue?
Hard to say. So let’s find some gems to binge alongside F8.
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To help promote the home video release for Muppets Most Wanted, Disney Movie Anywhere is premiering a six-part original series called “Disney Drive-On with The Muppets” for a limited time beginning August 1, 2014 (today!).
After being left in charge of the Muppets’ office by Kermit, Pepe the King Prawn takes on the responsibility of “mentoring” Walter on the business of Hollywood. Still considered the “new guy” with the Muppets, Walter is given low-level jobs working alongside his fellow Muppets at their office in the famed Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. He quickly learns there is a lot more to making movies than he thought! Developing projects may not always be so glamorous, but Walter is still excited to tackle new challenges, and discovers life on the Disney Lot is certainly a fun and funny adventure.
What happens when Kermit The Frog leaves the office and Pepe the king prawn is left in charge? Watch the first episode of Disney Drive-On with The Muppets now embedded after the jump. It follows Walter’s first day working on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, CA.
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Posted on Friday, March 21st, 2014 by Angie Han
The Muppets are nothing if not self-aware, and Muppets Most Wanted opens with a promising joke. Picking up just moments after the last movie left off, Kermit and company launch into a jaunty, toe-tapping musical number that acknowledges all the pitfalls of a follow-up. “We’re doing a sequel,” they sing. “That’s what we do in Hollywood / And everybody knows that the sequel’s never quite as good!”
But all the knowingness in the world can’t save the Muppets from the actual pitfalls of doing a sequel. In the end, Kermit’s early admission feels more like a warning than a joke. Muppets Most Wanted isn’t bad; in some parts, it’s very good. Still, it struggles to match the highs that the first one hit so easily.
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Even if you take away his two Muppet movies, writer/director James Bobin is a guy you want to talk to. He helped shape Sacha Baron Cohen’s legendary Da Ali G Show and the HBO show Flight of the Conchords, and is helming the next Disney Alice in Wonderland film, Alice Through the Looking Glass. He also helped bring The Muppets back to the big screen in the 2012 hit and co-wrote and directed this week’s hilarious sequel, Muppets Most Wanted. This James Bobin fellow has it going pretty well.
We were lucky enough to speak to Bobin and discussed a myriad of topics. In addition to an Alice tease, we discussed the self-referential nature of Muppets Most Wanted, having to change elements of the story when songs have already been finished, the canon of the Muppets, the rules for shooting and working with the Muppets, action sequences, dance and much more. If you’re a fan of the Muppets, or filmmaking in general, I think there’s a lot to learn here. Read our full interview below. Read More »
“I interviewed Kermit the Frog.” That’s a sentence I’ll probably be bragging to my kids about when I’m old and gray. On the occasion of the Muppets latest film, Muppets Most Wanted, I sat down with the frog, myth and legend to discuss the sequel. We talked about his isolated role in the story, the incredible spot on casting of his doppelgänger Constantine as well as his co-stars including Ty Burrell, Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais.
But this is Kermit the effing Frog. A Hollywood icon. I also talked to him about his movie going habits, his thoughts on the current state of cinema and if he feels blockbusters will cripple the system. We talked about the on demand generation, his favorite films of 2013 as well as director James Bobin‘s next film, Alice in Wonderland 2.
We also talked about other roles Kermit has been up for, including potential roles as the Hulk or Rocket Raccoon in the Marvel Universe and if he contacted J.J. Abrams about Star Wars Episode VII. It was an eclectic, 9 minute discussion which you can not only read, but listen to, in its entirety, below. Read More »
You all know how much I love watching behind the scenes footage. I’m the one often posting dumps of b-roll set footage on /Film. Well the only thing that beats behind the scenes set footage, and that is behind the scenes Muppets footage. After the jump you can watch 20 minutes of Muppets Most Wanted behind the scenes footage. There’s nothing better than watching the Muppeteers performing the Muppets in character on set, improving in between takes and playing off the moment.
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Posted on Friday, March 7th, 2014 by Angie Han
The Muppets have never been ones to resist a good pop culture parody, and the newest Muppets Most Wanted posters take on a whole slew of beloved films.
Kermit does his best James Bond for amphibian versions of Skyfall and The World Is Not Enough, while his devious doppelganger Constantine gets in on the action with a Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy send-up. The two then come together in a Muppets-ized poster for — what else? — Face/Off.
Meanwhile, the gang is also capitalizing on the John Travolta‘s “Adele Dazeem” gaffe with a brief new promo. See all the posters and watch the video after the jump.
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Posted on Thursday, February 27th, 2014 by Angie Han
2011’s The Muppets was a rousing success, earning big box office returns and strong reviews to completely reinvigorate the flagging Muppets brand. So naturally, Disney’s now following it up with a sequel. Because “that’s what we do in Hollywood,” as Kermit sings in the latest trailer. So cue the Muppets sequel song…
The newest promo for Muppets Most Wanted features tons of new footage along with our first listen at the charming opening number, “We’re Doing a Sequel.” The lyrics claim that “everybody knows the sequel is never quite as good,” but they could’ve fooled me — so far, Muppets Most Wanted looks every bit as lovable as its predecessor. Hit the jump to check it out.
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Posted on Friday, February 14th, 2014 by Angie Han
Rio 2 and Muppets Most Wanted have some sweet V-Day messages for you. Also after the jump:
- Jed Whedon explains why there hasn’t been a Dr. Horrible sequel.
- Kurt Russell talks Fast & Furious 7 and the Expendables series.
- Elizabeth Banks reveals a little detail about Pitch Perfect 2.
- Speaking of which, Brittany Snow will also be back with the Bellas.
- What would an I Am Legend follow-up have been about?
- Check out the new toy line for Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Read More »