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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Want to achieve an awesomely retro updo like Adele? Then it's time to ditch your shampoo. The Grammy-winning songstress tells Glamour that the secret to her bouffant 'do is only washing her hair with water. "I washed my hair with shampoo for the first time in two months," she said during the interview.
That might sound a tad grody, but compared to some other celebrity beauty tips it's nothing. Here's a guide to the Hollywood beauties with the weirdest grooming habits:
In addition to eating apples or strawberries after a meal in hopes that the acid in them will lighten surface stains, Catherine Zeta-Jones has replaced her conditioner with two products most of us try to keep out of our hair. "I do condition my hair with honey and beer," she says. "I smell like the bottom of a beer barrel for days afterwards but it's very good for the hair."
You might expect Nicole Polizzi's beauty regimen to go something like: "Apply self-tanner. Pouf hair. Repeat." But, But, Snooki's skin care tips are even odder. “Some exfoliates have rocks in them and it makes your skin really smooth, and cat litter is a good substitute,” she says. “I haven’t broke out at all yet!”
In the '90s, it was a constant reminder that drinking milk "does a body good," but Cindy Crawford took things a step further. The supermodel reportedly spritzed her face with dairy throughout the day to give her skin a dose of proteins and vitamins.
Jessica Simpson is a big fan of the overshare, but perhaps she should have kept this one to herself: She doesn't like brushing her teeth. She explains, "Because my teeth are so white and I don't like them to feel too slippery, but I do use Listerine and I do floss everyday. But, I don't brush them everyday. I'll use a shirt or something. I know it's gross but I always have fresh breath. It's really weird but I have great breath."
Demi Moore says she likes to stay on the "cutting edge of things that optimize your health and healing" — by using a technique popular with the Founding Fathers. "I was in Austria doing a cleanse and part of the treatment was leech therapy," she says. "These aren't just swamp leeches though — we are talking about highly trained medical leeches. These are not some low-level scavengers — we're talking high-level blood suckers." Supposedly letting the "high-level blood suckers" have at her helped "detoxify" her blood.
[Us, Daily Mail, Access Hollywood, Daily Glow, USA Today, Daily Mail]