Monday, March 19, 2012
One of our favorite movies of 2011, the triumphant return of Jim Henson's The Muppets, will be out on Blu-ray/DVD tomorrow (March 20). Fans of the Muppet's have had to wait 12 long years since the last movie (the Galactic disappointment Muppets From Space) and thanks to writer/star Jason Segel and our favorite motley crew of felt friends, it was worth the wait.
Let's be honest, since 1984's The Muppets Take Manhattan Kermit and crew have not had it all that great. There's an entire generation (or 2) that are almost completely oblivious to who the Muppet's are aside from the random commercial or guest spot on an awards show. Luckily we all have something to sing about thanks to this sequel/reboot, that works as a brilliant continuation of The Muppet's universe. It brings us back to the same Muppets of the first few movies, and probably most importantly to their groundbreaking origins in The Muppet Show. Miss Piggy as the egocentric muscle of the group, check! Fozzie Bear as Kermit's right hand comedy man, check! A Muppet movie not starring Gonzo and Rizzo, Double check!!!!
Jason Segel, who has said in numerous interviews to have been extremely inspired by The Muppets at a young age, co-wrote a movie that not only acts as a continuation and clever homage to fans of the 1970's show and movies, but just as importantly introduces The Muppet's to a new generation of kids who have no idea who they are (and a lot of the comedy stems from our characters being long out of vogue). References to past Muppet movies, funny Musical numbers and a really endearing reproduction of the classic The Muppets Show will make any long time fan feel genuinely satisfied.
The new Blu-ray combo release dubbed the "Wocka-Wocka Value Pack" (yeah Fozzie!) is a great collection for any fan of The Muppets. The set comes packed like a cannon full of the Great Gonzo, sporting a Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copy disc along with a copy of the movies soundtrack available via a download card. The special features on the Blu-ray are really impressive, there's "The Longest Blooper Reel Ever Made (In Muppet History-We Think)", that is actually pretty long for a blooper real and has some really funny moments. There's also 8 deleted scenes, that come off pretty astonishing because you realize how many big celebrity cameos (a hallmark of The Muppets productions) were left on the cutting room floor.
There's a fun faux making of doc starring The Muppets and the human cast and crew and a cute short called "A Little Screen Test on the way to the Read Through" starring Jason Segel. There's also the full version of Chris Cooper's Tex Richman Song (Rap), a commentary with the writers and director, and the cherry on top, a collection of the parody trailers made to promote the film (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo never seemed so funny).
The Muppets are important to so many people for various reasons. For some it's great memories, for others it's the clever non-cynical humor, and if nothing else they just make you happy. The new Blu-ray release, with it's special features, digital copy and soundtrack is made for fans of this great long standing legacy. The movie by itself is worth getting because frankly it could not have been better (believe me I've seen The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island), and this new combo release might help you find that long lost rainbow connection.
Be sure to tune into our radio review of The Muppets Blu-ray this Thursday and Friday at Noon (PST) on Indie 100, with replays throughout the week on The Point.