Posts Tagged ‘gonzo’

Life’s a Piece of Pie or A Muppetational New Chapter

January 7, 2012


I grew up with the Muppets.  Between the Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, the Muppet Babies, the Muppet movies, and Henson’s work in other films and television shows, I would definitely say the Muppets had a big part in raising me.  So, of course, hearing that a new movie was in the works was equal parts wonderful and terrifying.  Wonderful because I thought the Muppets always had the potential for an amazing comeback, and terrifying because with Hollywood’s track record there was a decent chance they would screw it up.

Also, I’ve never been clear on Disney’s intentions with the Muppets, other than being able to pick up a few more bucks from selling new editions of the old works.

Fortunately, Jim Henson’s creations were in very good hands with Jason Segel.  He, along with the talented men and women behind the Muppets, created a movie that fits right in with the Muppet Movie, the Muppets Take Manhattan, and the Great Muppet Caper.  I’m so glad he fought to get this project.  If you had any doubt, perhaps you missed his performance of “Dracula’s Lament” from Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

My biggest fear of this revival was that they were going to “modernize” the Muppets; take away their peaceful attitudes and make them more cynical.  As it turns out, that was a plot point to the movie and the Muppets were trying to fight it along with their new friends Gary (Jason Segel) and his brother Walter (a puppet who is the Muppets’ biggest fan).

This movie is full of Muppet standards; corny jokes, running gags, breaking of the 4th wall, and all those fantastic things we’ve come to expect from the Muppets over the years. And of course there is some brilliant music from Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords)

If you haven’t seen this movie, what is wrong with you?  Afraid you’re too old?  Don’t be.  That’s the beautiful thing about the Muppets, when done right, they never pander to a younger audience.  There is stuff for both old and young.  How many kids today are going to get references to Kermit’s “butler,” 80s Robot?

Seriously, you are missing out on some great moments by not seeing this movie.  Go.  Now!

William, the Movie Nerdfighter

who forgot exactly how much he loved the Muppets until this movie and Disney’s Muppet Vision 3-D reminded him.

Absolutely Gonzo

September 6, 2008


I must start this review by saying that Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is one of my heroes.

Honestly and truly, he is one of the people who has made and shaped me through the years.

So, you know I went in to “Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson” not expecting to learn anything new about the man, but expecting to see how director Alex Gibney handled the life of this remarkable individual. This force of nature.

And he handled it quite exceptionally, I’m happy to say.

Now, one complaint I heard form several people outside after the screening was the running time. Most said, “it ran a little long at parts.” But what they fail to consider is that this man wrote about his life in a series of books that catalog so much incredible detail, it is hard to tell his story any other way.

This documentary is a very detail oriented portrait of the man who inspired me to do what I love regardless of the risk. He also inspired me to become an ordained minister (mail-order, the same way he was).

Some will complain that this is a spoiler, but since it’s a matter of public fact I’ll say it:

When the time came to discuss Hunter’s suicide, I teared up. It was a very painful moment for me to hear his family and friends talk about losing him. They had a connection with him that I wish I could have, and in another life probably would have. He went out on his own terms, but I fear he went too early.

Jimmy Buffet is one of the friends interviewed for the movie, and he sums it up best:

“I think he could have wielded a pretty effective sword against what’s going on right now.”

 

And I definitely have to agree.

I almost wrote a very gonzo-esque version of this review, and I still might.

So, do yourself a favor and see this movie when you get the chance. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never read any of his books, or even if you’ve seen the movies based on his life. Just watch it so you are more aware of the misadventures of this true american independent.

 

 

William, the Movie Nerdfighter
who’s planning a trip to the Owl Farm to see the incredible memorial erected for the good Doctor