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04/15/2014 | Comments 0

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RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Comedy · The Muppets

The Muppets

Rod Lott November 23rd, 2011

Jason Segel (“Bad Teacher”) may be the best and worst man for the job of bringing Jim Henson’s Muppets back to top-of-mind pop-culture status.

As the flesh-and-blood star and co-screenwriter of “The Muppets,” opening in theaters today, he’s so reverent of the characters that he knows his stuff ... and yet is too close to it to recognize when fandom crosses the line of accessibility.

Kids may enjoy the film, but it’s really geared for their parents, who grew up watching “The Muppet Show” on TV and wearing out VHS tapes of 1979’s “The Muppet Movie” and its two ’80s sequels. Kermit the Frog and friends have been out of the mass-audience spotlight for so long, a generation raised on “SpongeBob SquarePants” has little-to-no knowledge of Swedish Chef or Statler.

Coincidentally, that’s Segel’s premise, as he and longtime virginal girlfriend (Amy Adams, “The Fighter”), take his little brother, Walter (a new Muppet) to L.A., only to find their beloved Muppets have splintered irreparably and taken separate life paths. But what if Walter could get the gang back together?

The human cast is game, with the exception of an uncomfortable Chris Cooper (“The Town”) as a villainous oil baron, so why isn’t it funnier? Too many characters of the felt variety crowd the way, making the script feel more slapdash than slapstick. Too many musical numbers exist at the sacrifice of whatever narrative glue could hold this together better.

Segel got to make his dream “Muppets” movie — just not necessarily ours.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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