Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Time to Play the Music...

**Disclaimer: I'm going to try not to issue any spoilers in this post, but just in case I slip you are officially warned that there MAY BE a spoiler in the words below.**

Steve and I are incredibly picky about what movies we will or won't fork over the admission price of a ticket for. The reality is that we have a decent home theater system, a Blu-Ray player and a Netflix subscription - so there's really not a ton of need for us to be putting money into the price of a movie ticket. Having said that, once in a while a movie will come out that will get one or both of us incredibly jazzed to see on the big screen. Usually these movies will be one of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films or a highly anticipated comic book flick (you should see Steve's eyes light up when he sees the preview for "The Dark Knight Rises" that's coming out in May 2012). It has to be something that will really sound and look fantastic in the theater in order for us to fork over the ticket cost - and we are rarely disappointed.

Such was the case last night when we headed to Chunky's Cinema & Pub to catch "The Muppets". When we first heard that the movie was coming out, as big fans of Muppet movies we knew we would try to make an effort to get to the theater to see it; when Steve found out that it had a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes - an extreme rarity, and now down to a 97% rating since its debut - that changed it from "try" to "do - there is no try" to get to the theater for it.

We arrived at Chunky's, ordered our food, enjoyed conversation over our dinner, ordered some popcorn, and then settled in as the lights dimmed for previews and the highly anticipated feature. It starts off with an opening number in Smalltown, USA complete with dancing, Muppets, singing, and happiness. Is it campy? Sure. Would you expect less from a Muppet movie? Absolutely not; the opening definitely helped the viewer to get reacquainted with the Muppet franchise and to establish a sense of nostalgia essential to getting the full enjoyment of the film. When the main characters Walter, Gary, and Mary head to LA and find themselves appealing to Kermit to "get the gang back together", you know that awesomeness is on its way. This is only confirmed when, after being asked how they'll accomplish getting everyone together, Kermit looks at the camera and says "Didn't you see the first movie? We drive!". 

With celebrity cameos from Jack Black, Jon Krasinski, Whoopi Goldberg, Neil Patrick Harris, and many others - this movie holds true to the original "Muppet Show" concept and Muppet movie genre as any successful re-birthing of a franchise should. Fozzie's bad jokes make you cringe, the geezers in the balcony are still at it picking on the Muppet crew, and Kermit's eternal optimism inspires not only the characters in the film but those in the audience as well. At different points of the movie I found myself laughing, tapping my toes, and invariably smiling. If you enjoyed any of the Muppet movies - especially the first one - I highly recommend making the effort to get out and see this movie. The sense of nostalgia that it invokes is worth spending the money on a ticket and the time in the theater.

Before I close... I should make a confession. There is a point in the movie where the original Muppet Show theme song is performed. I not only sang it... I danced in my chair. I chair danced. There, I said it.

"It's the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational..."

Anyways... if you've got a soft spot in your heart for the Muppets, see this movie. You won't regret it.

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