Muppets Most Wanted

Yay! After some rather dismal movie trips (“a bad day at the movies is still better than a good day at work” – K.S.), I got to take my wife and granddaughter to Muppets Most Wanted.

Muppets Most Wanted

Muppets Most Wanted (2014) – Rated PG

Flush with their revival’s success, Kermit the Frog and his friends are approached by Dominic Badguy to go on a world tour. Unknown to them, this is all part of the sinister plan of Constantine, the world’s most evil frog, to become the greatest thief of all time. After making sure that Kermit is jailed as himself, Constantine impersonates him to use the Muppets’ tour as cover for his scheme. While Sam the Eagle and Inspector Jean Pierre Napoleon investigate, the Muppets find their boss seems strangely changed even as Kermit desperately attempts to escape to stop the impostor.

One Line Review: More fun than good but isn’t fun what you are looking for?

Huge credit needs to be given to Jason Segel for reviving this franchise. The Muppets was not perfect but was highly humorous, full of heart, and was the first to feature a human character that mattered. It was the best Muppet movie since the original, The Muppet Movie. After The Muppet Movie, subsequent Muppet outings were increasingly dependent on gimmickry and had less heart.

Obviously a successful relaunch begets a sequel and thus Muppets Most Wanted was born. I hesitate to call Muppets Most Wanted a good movie but it is certainly an enjoyable one, particularly if you have a little one with you.

James Bobin, who directed The Muppets, returns as director as well as co-writing Muppets Most Wanted with Nicholas Stoller (who was also a writer on The Muppets). They clearly have a love for The Muppets. There are nods to earlier Muppet films and several nods to the original television series.

Comedians Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, and Tina Fey are the main non-Muppet actors and they handle the comedy well, delivering good lines and pratfalls without taking too much from the Muppets themselves. There are a slew of hilarious cameos with my favorite being Danny Trejo. Look for Tony Bennett, Sean Combs, Ray Liotta, Salma Hayek, Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, and a host of others.

Besides focusing on Kermit and Miss Piggy, the script finds ample time to highlight Sam the Eagle, Animal, The Great Gonzo and Walter. Fozzie seemed a little shortchanged.

Muppets Most Wanted is not as good as The Lego Movie but it is a lot of fun. If you go, don’t forget to submit your ticket stubs for Disney Movie Rewards points.

Best part: The Seventh Seal joke

Worst part: The preview scene where Danny Trejo says “wokka-wokka” wasn’t in the movie (unless I missed it when I took the four-year-old to the bathroom).

 

Weekend Update – How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother (2005-2010)

Playing around with traditional sitcom structure, this Emmy-winning comedy about desperate bachelor Ted’s epic search for his soul mate tells the story largely through flashbacks, as an adult Ted recounts to his kids how he met their mother. As Ted bounces from one red herring to another, his best friends Marshall (Jason Segel), Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) help keep him grounded.

The family finally finished the decadent Nip/Tuck. We were planning on moving on to Breaking Bad but last week How I Met Your Mother debuted on Netflix. You can now watch the first six seasons on instant Netflix commercial-free and that is exactly what we started this weekend. We had never seen the show but had heard good things about it. So far, 12 episodes into Season 1, it is hilarious.

The ensemble cast is wonderful. We love Alyson Hannigan from her turn as Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and she is great here even if she is constantly upstaged by Neil Patrick Harris as Barney. Jason Segel is quite good as well and the height differential between Jason and Alyson is used to good comedic effect. Josh Radnor and Cobie Smulders round out the cast of five and are also quite capable but while they appear to be the central couple, the other three are more interesting (again so far – we are only halfway through the first season).

Bond Update: I reviewed Netflix’ cornucopia of Bond films recently while bemoaning the fact that none of the Brosnan Bonds were represented. Well new month, new Bonds – Goldeneye, The World is Not Enough, and Tomorrow Never Dies are now available for your viewing pleasure.