Saw The Muppets and Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, will post Sherlock review later.
Muppets hit the nostalgia button for me hard (so many obscure Muppets!), but at the same time, I think it has some of the same problems as what happened in Muppets from Space and Muppet Wizard of Oz. I know people have their opinions and my opinion rarely follows the general consensus, but it just felt that they tried too hard to be "hip" at times instead of letting the Muppet charm flow naturally.
Muppets aren't hip. Muppets are a class unto themselves. You deviate from that and try to change them into something "cool", they lose something in the transition.
I know you're not supposed to take it seriously, it's a freakin Muppet movie, and they've mentioned more than once that the 4th wall is more like a transparent sheet of sugar glass, but still I can't shake this feeling that it just fall short on the awesome Muppet movie list. It's sweet but I just don't feel it has enough substance to really make me feel happy. The Muppet Movie was awesome. Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island was awesome.
Even though there were funny parts, those movies had genuine dark and heartwarming moments. It took itself and it's humor seriously. It took the characters and their meaning seriously.
This... not quite.
*Here follows the ramblings of a Muppet fan, thar be spoilers ahead!*
Why was it necessary to have human protagonists? Seriously, you guys are taking away valuable screen time from the guys I've come to actually watch for.
I gasped when I saw the rusty Electric Mayhem tour bus. Could it really be the one and the same actual bus?
Gasped again when I saw Uncle Deadly, who was probably the first of the obscure Muppets to return.
Got bright eyed during the Pictures in My Head segment, especially when Electric Mayhem played. Oh god guys, how I missed your jams...
Steve was brilliant in that song and it was the only song that was instantly beloved when I saw it on screen. (the rest of the songs take a bit warming up to.)
I gasped when Rowlf talked. And squeaked. And got all bright eyed. Oh Brown Ears, how I've missed you and your Cottleston Pie...
Robin doesn't get any lines? I honestly wouldn't mind if Robin had replaced Walter as the guy that brought the Muppets back together. It would mean all the more since Robin has always looked up to his Uncle and the rest of the Muppets and would give Robin a chance in the spotlight to find his true talent. And now I've made myself a little bit sad at the missed movie of Awesomeness.
Walter sorta annoys me, but who knows? I'm known to change my mind.
I honestly wonder what Frank Oz would say about this movie? Or Jerry Nelson?
I wonder how come the Sesame Street Muppeteers didn't get to help out with the movie? I was at least hoping Kevin Clash would bring along Clifford and his wicked awesome shades.
I was severely disappointed that the Electric Mayhem didn't get their own number. And I was hoping they'd include Janice with another one of her awkward silence one liners. Actually I was hoping a lot more for the Electric Mayhem.
Some more Floyd and Animal interaction would've been nice, especially at the bringing back Animal scene. Wasn't Floyd supposed to be Animal's caretaker and all? Wouldn't he be a little bit miffed that some lady think she knows what's best for Animal more than him?
And how come the chickens get to do an awesome song cover and not the Electric Mayhem?!
The only thing that sorta cheered me up (and this is me being a stupid fangirl here) is that Zoot and Janice appeared close together more than Floyd and Janice. Don't get me wrong, I ain't hatin on Floyd and Janice, just that I found early Muppet Show Zoot and Janice as a flirty couple so plum adorable.
Gonzo's Factory exploding seems kinda off to me. You'd have thought that something outrageous like having the factory flood with bubbles and then explode would be more his style.
In fact, I was hoping Gonzo to be more weird in this movie. He was actually... pretty mild in weirdness. :\
Kinda surprised at how little screen time some of the important Muppets had. Like Bunsen. Wouldn't he have a spare nuclear battery made of potatoes for when the power get's cut? Gonzo had way too few lines and I don't think I've heard Rizzo speak at all. You'd have thought that Rizzo would've stuck around as Gonzo's right hand man or something. At least Pepe had a speaking part.
Also the lack of mingling and character interactions and funny background events. Everything seems to be chopped joke by joke instead of flowing naturally and bouncing off each other. The magic of the Muppets was that they were so extremely natural in their conversations and interactions.
Some of the actual puppets looked a little iffy. I kept getting constantly distracted by Fozzie's "graying" eyebrows and Gonzo's constant half lidded sleepy eyes, Doctor Teeth's glasses are way too low and thus can't be used as "eyelids" properly, and Sam really needs a trim around the "ears".
I don't know if MahnaMahna showed up proper, but what I've seen of him so far, has he lost the mechanisms that let him blink?
Kinda sad that Trumpet Girl (I call her Alice in my headcanon) is missing from the band pit and Lips is once again a background character. But heck, we got freaking Nigel back! *squee* I don't think I've seen Pops though...
Ok something positive or else I'll sound that I hated the movie, most of the new voice replacements were amazing. Scooter and Floyd especially.
Wayne and Wanda were hilarious, especially when one remembers that Sam had declared them as a "clean and wholesome" act back in the day.
And the return of Link and Dr. Strangepork was awesome as well.
Why is Bobo always cast as the villain? Why couldn't the villains all be humans? At least Uncle Deadly you could sorta take seriously as a villain.
Soooo Walter's talent is whistling? Was this ever hinted at all? Is it really amazingly necessary to make it a solo? Seriously? Couldn't they have built it up to another heartwarming song that isn't Rainbow Connection? Heck, I would've loved a finale version of Pictures in My Head except it ends on a happier note. Or even a medley of all the new songs as the closing number of the show.
Piggy as usual annoyed me. Does that mean the wedding in Muppets Take Manhattan is canon? Blech.
That rap gave me Muppet Wizard of Oz flashbacks. And not the good kind either. Just... so much awkward pain.
Too many covers, not enough original music that stirs the soul. And why on earth would Dr. Teeth let a cassette player play a song for him rather than have the band play it themselves? Muppets don't leave songs unscathed, they do it their own way!
Not enough penguins being thrown. But I am pleased that Exploding Harry is still around.
And is it just me, or has a lot of stuff shown in the trailers been cut from the movie?
All in all, while lovingly made, it still seems to be a fanboy movie from a fanboy perspective.