I know, that headline is trouble. You're always treading dangerous ground when you insist on defining what makes a good this or the right kind of that, as if there is no room for change or improvement when it comes to classic properties. Of course there is — Jason Segel's 2011 Muppet film approached the concept from an entirely different direction. It didn't hit all of its marks, but it prevailed overall in its conceit: make a movie not about Muppets, but about Muppet fandom. But Muppets Most Wanted, in absence of a clear mission statement and fueled largely by the monetary glimmers of the sequel game (the film's opening number admits this outright), has fewer marks readily available to hit. Landing in the ambiguity between the classic Muppet adventure formula and Segel's post-modern Henson appreciation party, Most Wanted feels like a failure on both counts. It doesn't know which kind of movie it wants to, or should, be. So it doesn't really be anything.
On the one hand, there's the half-cocked "get-the-band-back-together" through line, mimicking but not quite accomplishing the spirit of the 2011 picture. None of the Muppets are particularly likable or charming in this turn, and even fewer of them actually given anything to do. Kermit loses his s**t in the first act after a spat with Piggy and a barrage of insubordination from his troupe (provoked by the nefarious Dominic Badguy, Ricky Gervais), storms off in a huff, and gets swept up in a case of mistaken identity when his criminal doppelganger Constantine pulls the old switcheroo, landing Kermit in a Russian gulag. You'd think this would be a good opportunity for the second tier of Muppet favorites — Piggy, Fozzy, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf, et al — to go on a search and rescue... but save for a very brief sequence at the tail end of this achingly long film, none of the other Muppets are giving anything to do. They just hem and haw and perform the occasional "Indoor Running of the Bulls" while Dominic and Constantine scheme, rob banks, and bicker.
Meanwhile, Kermit has some fun in prison — a far more endearing plot that sees him befriending the merry convicts, organizing a penitentiary revue, and even winning the heart of the vicious warden Nadia (Tina Fey). If only we could spend more time with real Kermit and less time with fake Kermit and his second banana Gervais, an effectively boring pair.
On the other hand, though, there's the Muppet shtick that fans of The Great Muppet Caper and Muppet Treasure Island — and yes, The Muppet Show itself — will deem the movie's best material: CIA Agent Sam Eagle and Interpol Agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) hot on the trail of Constantine and Dominic. Here, we get a different type of Muppet movie entirely from what Segel and the A-plot in Most Wanted are opting: the old fashioned vaudeville act, with Sam standing as an independent entity from his googly-eyed brethren, on a goofy, musical prowl with Burrell that fuels the film with its best and most consistent chuckles. Their "Interrogation Song" number is outstanding, exemplifying the many talents of Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie, who wrote all the music for this and the previous film.
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Unfortunately, Muppets Most Wanted isn't sure that it wants to be The Great Muppet Caper, beheld so stubbornly to its Segelian roots. There's a palpable compulsion to stick with this agonizingly self-aware, nostalgia-crazy, brimming-beacons-of-the-past-in-a-callous-today theme that doesn't work a fraction as well as it did in the 2011 film. Without a legitimate celebration of any of our favorite characters, how could it? With so much going on in this movie, and such a lengthy runtime at just under two hours, it's a sure sign of failure that we walk away feeling like we spent barely any time with the Muppets.
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Jennifer Lopez has given a huge boost to up-and-coming rapper Becky G by filming a cameo appearance for the teenager's new music video. The 16 year old, real name Rebbeca Marie Gomez, wrote her debut single in tribute to Lopez's 2002 hit song Jenny from the Block, and was thrilled when the superstar gave her seal of approval.
Lopez brought her boyfriend Casper Smart to the Los Angeles shoot last month (Mar13), and Becky G insists it was a "dream come true" to work with her idol.
She tells Just Jared, "It was such a dope (good) and fun experience to work with an idol of mine. Jen has always been an inspiration to me so to have her blessing on my remake of Jenny from the Block was part of my dream coming true. Becky from the Block is my life story and for her to have listened to it and be in the music video means the world to me. Hanging out with her and sharing a lot of laughs will be something I will never forget."
In the video, Lopez and Smart are seen cruising along in a luxury convertible, and Becky G hops in the backseat.
Everywhere you look, everywhere you go--there's a Full House reunion! OK, so maybe not everywhere you look or go, but there was a 25th anniversary get-together with the San Francisco family this weekend and nearly everyone was there!
Candace Cameron-Bure (D.J. Tanner), Bob Saget (Danny Tanner), John Stamos (Uncle Jesse Katsopolis), Jodie Sweetin (Stephanie Tanner), Dave Coulier (Joey Gladstone), Lori Loughlin (Becky Katsopolis), Andrea Barber (Kimmy Gibbler), and Scott Weinger (Steve Hale). The Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, who took turns playing Michelle Tanner, were not in attendance.
Feel old yet? Well, here's something that will definitely do that: the reunion was in honor of the 25th anniversary of the series, and People, the party included cake and a dance party featuring the music of the oh-so-appropriate New Kids on the Block.
Several of the cast members tweeted from the day--including a video of said singalong as well as pictures of TV BFFs Gibbler and DJ.
Love me some cake and love me some @candacecbure! #TVBFFs #Full twitter.com/andreabarber/s…— Andrea Barber (@andreabarber) September 22, 2012
my contribution to #FullHouse25Years a drunk gibbler, me and deej singing step by step.yfrog.com/7e1rzlzpwkorxn…— John Stamos (@JohnStamos) September 23, 2012
Love my Full House family. Full heart. @candacecbure @bobsaget @davecoulier @johnstamos @jodietweetin @scottweinger twitter.com/andreabarber/s…— Andrea Barber (@andreabarber) September 23, 2012
Do you miss Full House? Surprised that the Olsens weren't there? Let us know in the comments!
[Photo Credit: Andrea Barber's Twitter]
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After garnering widespread praise (and an Oscar nomination for screenwriting) for his 2000 directorial debut You Can Count on Me Kenneth Lonergan was in-demand. In September 2005 the writer/director began production on a follow-up feature: Margaret which touted Anna Paquin Matt Damon Mark Ruffalo Matthew Broderick Allison Janney as well as legendary filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) as producers. The movie wrapped production in a few months time. The buzz was already growing.
Now six years later the movie is finally hitting theaters. So…what took so long?
The journey to this point hasn't been an easy one and it shows. If a film's shot footage is a block of granite and the editing process is the careful carving that turns it into a statuesque work of art Margaret feels like it was attacked by a blind man with a jackhammer. The film is a cinematic disaster a mishmash of shallow characters overwrought politics and sporadic tones. The story follows Lisa Coen (Paquin) a New York teenager who finds herself drowning in chaos after distracting a bus driver (Ruffalo) causing him to hit and kill a pedestrian (Janney). Initially Lisa tells the police it was all an accident but as time passes regret takes hold and the girl embarks on a mission to take down the man she now regards as a culprit. That's just the tip of the iceberg–along the way Lisa deals with everyday teen stuff: falling for her geometry teacher (Damon) combating her anxiety-ridden actress mother losing her virginity dabbling in drugs debating 9/11 and the Iraq War cultivating a relationship with her father in LA and more. There are about eight seasons of television stuffed into Margaret but even a two and a half hour run time can't make it all click.
For more on Margaret check out Indie Seen: Margaret the Long Lost Anna Paquin/Matt Damon Movie