There have been a number of generations now who’ve grown up under the sway of Jim Henson’s Muppets. Since their creation, it’s become virtually impossible for a non-Amish child to have missed seeing Kermit the Frog and company through their movies, toys, and Sesame Street. And for the Muppets big return to cinema in 2011’s The Muppets, they’ve pitched the film to play to everyone who’s ever loved these characters. It’s a smart movie that mines nostalgia, but never does so in stupid or cloying ways. The Muppets co-star with Jason Segel (who co-wrote the film with Nicholas Stoller), Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and Rashida Jones in a tale of getting the old group back together again to save the Muppet theater from an evil oil tycoon (Cooper). Our review of the Blu-ray of The Muppets follows after the jump.
Just because the theatrical release of The Muppets has already come and gone doesn’t mean they’re done with those parody trailers. One last trailer has been released in anticipation of the film’s Blu-ray and DVD release, and it takes on one of the most anticipated movies of 2012: The Hunger Games. This parody isn’t as involved as the others, as it just matches scenes from the movie with its Hunger Games voiceover. Nevertheless, it’s still quite amusing. In case you missed it, work on a sequel is officially underway with Muppets director James Bobin and co-writer Nicholas Stoller hammering out a screenplay, though Jason Segel recently confirmed to us that he won’t be writing or starring in the follow-up.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The Muppets hits stores on Blu-ray and DVD on March 20th, and you can read a full list of all the included special features and specs right here.
The Muppets finally returned to the big screen last year in a big way with director James Bobin’s The Muppets. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who downright hated the movie, as The Muppets was a funny, loveable ode to the classic characters. Jason Segel had a huge hand in bringing them back to the big screen, as he got the ball rolling on the project as an executive producer and co-wrote the screenplay with Nicholas Stoller. Just the other day we heard that Disney was moving forward on a sequel to The Muppets, but given his busy schedule juggling How I Met Your Mother and his film projects, Segel wouldn’t have a hand in the screenplay this time around. Stoller and Bobin are writing the follow-up, but it was hard to imagine that Segel wouldn’t at least reprise his role as Gary.
Earlier today, Steve got the chance to speak with Segel at the press day for the upcoming dramedy Jeff, Who Lives at Home, and the actor confirmed that not only will he not be co-writing the Muppets sequel, he also won’t be starring in it. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
Pre-production is moving forward on a sequel to The Muppets (cue Kermit’s “Yaaaay!”), but Jason Segel won’t be attached as a writer this time around. According to Vulture, director James Bobin and original co-write Nicholas Stoller will handle the script for the sequel. However, Segel won’t have time to work on the screenplay due to his commitments to How I Met Your Mother, his burgeoning film career, and doing publicity for the upcoming comedies The Five-Year Engagement and This Is Forty. It’s a bit of a bummer since he and Stoller were so gung-ho on getting the Muppets back to the big screen, but there’s still a chance he could star in the sequel if the script has a place for him.
One of the great things about The Muppets is that Segel didn’t make the movie all about his character. Gary’s got a character arc, but the film really belongs to Walter and Kermit. While I have nothing against Segel, I can see a Muppets sequel without Gary. Now on the other hand, if Bret McKenzie doesn’t come back to do the music, then I’ll be concerned.
The Oscars are finally over. The front-runner, The Artist, won the awards race by picking up Best Picture, Best Director (Michael Hazanavicius), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), Best Costume Design, and Best Score. There were also some big upsets as “locks” like The Tree of Life for Best Cinematography and Rise of the Planet of the Apes for Best Visual Effects were no match for Hugo, which ended up taking those categories and three more (Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Art Direction). As for nice surprises…not really (unless you loved Hugo).
It was a forgettable year for the Oscars, and Billy Crystal, turning in his safe, predictable, and family-friendly routine was the perfect fit for a year that screamed “Don’t rock the boat!” Last year’s Oscars took a chance on pairing Anne Hathaway and James Franco, and the show was a mess. This year, they played it safe and the ceremony was still dull. Quite simply, there was no films to root for and the “upsets” were for the establishment. It was also funny to have the show and actors celebrate the theater when audiences are moving to OnDemand services, and studios are trying to make the theatrical release window even shorter. Hit the jump for a full list of the winners, click here for mine and Adam Chitwood’s Oscar predictions (he did way better than me), and click here for my live-blog of the ceremony.
Every day, the Academy is announcing new presenters for the Oscars, and those press releases are worthless. No one cares if Ben Stiller will be reading nominees off a card. But today, the Academy has made a terrific-yet-maddening announcement regarding a duo of presenters. Kermit and Miss Piggy will present at this year’s Academy Awards, and it will be the fifth time that Muppets have presented at the Oscars. While I’ll be happy to see them, the announcement makes me even more frustrated with this year’s ceremony. First, there won’t be a performance of The Muppets nominated song, “Man or Muppet”, which might have made sense due to set construction concerns. However, there was enough time and money to build a stage for Cirque du Soleil, who should be seen live (or at least in a movie theater) rather than your TV. And now that they’re going to have Muppets on stage anyway, it feels like the Academy is saying, “Muppets, you’re good enough to deliver a little banter and read names off a card, but no one wants to see you sing a song on live television.” At least “Man or Muppet” will probably win the Oscar.
Hit the jump for the press release.
The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards have finally been unveiled. Many of the categories have fallen in line just as most have predicted (I fared alright with my predictions, but not great), with Hugo scoring 11 nods, followed closely by The Artist with 10. The biggest surprises are War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close getting in for Best Picture, the exclusion of The Adventures of Tintin from Best Animated Feature, and The Tree of Life nabbing Best Picture and Best Director nods (hooray!). On the snub side of things, despite landing the most precursor critics awards of any other actor in the race thus far, Albert Brooks was denied a Best Supporting Actor nod for his stellar work in Drive (boo). Additionally, Tilda Swinton was overlooked for giving the best performance of the year in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and AMPAS has no love for Michael Fassbender‘s haunting work in Shame.
There’s still plenty to be happy about, as Gary Oldman has his first ever Oscar Nomination (yes, that’s right) and Melissa McCarthy is a Best Supporting Actress nominee. Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees. The 84th Academy Awards will be presented by Billy Crystal on February 26th.
If you’ve been itching to revisit the delightfully charming The Muppets over and over again in the comfort of your own home, itch no more. Disney today announced that The Muppets will be released on March 20th on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, Digital Download, and On Demand. Additionally, the studio is releasing a “Wocka-Wocka Value Pack” which includes the movie on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy plus a download card that allows fans to own all the songs from the glorious soundtrack.
Special features on the home video release include a feature called “Disney Intermission” which allows the viewer to pause the movie and watch as the Muppets come onscreen and entertain until the movie resumes playing. Also included is the extended version of Tex Richman’s Rap (sung so eloquently by Chris Cooper), a blooper reel, a look inside the making of a Muppet, deleted scenes, all the spoof trailers, and audio commentaries with star/co-writer Jason Segel, writer Nicholas Stoller, and director James Bobin. Hit the jump to check out the cover art for the different video formats and to read the full press release, which includes pricing, specs, etc.
With each passing awards ceremony, it’s looking more and more likely that we’re in for a fairly boring/predictable Oscars this year. The Artist continues to dominate the precursor ceremonies as it took home the Best Picture and Best Director prize at the Critics Choice Awards. On the acting side of things, George Clooney was named Best Actor for his work in The Descendants, and Viola Davis won Best Actress for The Help. The Artist is our clear frontrunner headed towards Oscar night, and I don’t really think anything else will be able to take it down. I can’t really complain about any of the acting wins, though for what it’s worth I think Brad Pitt gave the best performance of the year in Moneyball.
Elsewhere, Drive won Best Action Movie (though it’s really a drama) Bridesmaids won Best Comedy, and Rango was named Best Animated Feature. Hit the jump to see the full list of winners.
I was excited when I heard a new Muppets movie was in the works. I became more excited when I heard it would be a musical. And then I became ecstatic when I learned that Bret McKenzie would be the film’s music supervisor. My elation came from being a huge Flight of the Conchords fan. McKenzie is one-half of the folk-music-comedy duo (the other half being Jemaine Clement), and through their albums and HBO series, they’ve shown they can easily play with any music genre.
Earlier this week, I got to speak with McKenzie over the phone and we discussed his process on creating the songs for The Muppets, his musical and comic inspirations the possibility of a song from the movie being nominated for an Oscar, his work on The Hobbit, his future musical endeavors, a ukulele orchestra, and more. Hit the jump to check out the interview.
A trailer usually has less than two minutes and thirty seconds to dazzle the viewer and put a movie on his or her radar. The Internet allows studios to go beyond this theater-mandated time limit and not only run a longer trailer, but also ones that have been approved only for the emotionally mature online community. But no matter the runtime or how many times a character can swear, the trailer still has to grab your attention. They can sell us on a premise we didn’t know we wanted, and can find a way to make us even more excited for a movie we were already itching to see.
Hit the jump to check out my picks for Top 10 Trailers of 2011.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced today that 39 eligible songs will contend for the Best Original Song Oscar this year. Important to note is that a relatively recent rule change states that songs must be judged in the capacity that they appear in each film. In early January the voting body will get together and watch clips from each eligible movie in which the 39 songs are featured, after which they will determine the nominees. The list of eligible songs include three tracks from The Muppets, Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi’s song “Gathering Stories” (which director Cameron Crowe co-wrote) from We Bought a Zoo, and composer/songwriter/eight-time Oscar-winner Alan Menken’s “Star Spangled Man” from Captain America: The First Avenger. I’m partial to Jonsi’s work or “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, but we’ll see how the Academy’s taste stacks up towards the end of January.
Hit the jump to check out the full list of eligible songs. The 84th Academy Award nominations will be announced on January 24th.
Disney has released the music video for the song “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets. The number, penned by Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie, is one of the highlights of the movie. Sung by Jason Segel and the Muppet Walter, the music video is just the song sequence from the film, which features a Muppet version of Segel and a well-placed Big Bang Theory cameo. As I noted in our “What Awards can The Muppets Actually Win?” article, I think “Man or Muppet” stands a good chance for a Best Original Song nomination at the Oscars.
Hit the jump to watch the music video. The Muppets is currently playing in theaters everywhere.
The Muppets returned to theaters this year in a big way with director James Bobin’s aptly named The Muppets. While the film could have easily become a heavy-handed and groan-worthy kids movie, Bobin and Co. delivered a sweet, funny, and ultimately touching flick that is just as effective for 7-year-olds as it is for cold, cynical cinephiles. When the Oscar hosting gig was once again up for grabs earlier this year, a campaign to have our lovely Muppets take up the duties gained some significant traction. While producers ultimately went with Billy Crystal, the whole idea got us thinking: what awards could the film actually win? Hit the jump for our take on The Muppets’ chances in this coming awards season.
Still stuffed from all the movies Hollywood was offering over Thanksgiving? Not to worry. This weekend will give you a chance to digest some of those titles that got leftover from last weekend’s feast. As usual, the Friday after the holiday saw no new wide releases; which means that (also as usual) this should prove to be one of the lowest grossing weekends of the year. The good news for Twilight fans is that the lack of competition will allow Breaking Dawn Part 1 to claim a third weekend at number one: a feat that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 could not match one year ago. The only notable news coming from the multiplex is the increased theatre counts for both Hugo and The Descendants. We’ll have details (insignificant though they may be) tomorrow.
||Breaking Dawn Part 1
||Jack & Jill