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Muppets From Space

review by Zach B.

 

Rated G

1 hour 28 minutes

Starring the "Muppet Performers" Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Bill Barreta, Frank Oz and a supporting human role by Jeffery Tambor. Cameos by F. Murrary Abraham, David Arquette, Josh Charles, Hollywood Hogan, Ray Liotta, Andie MacDowell, Kathy Griffin, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson

Written by Jerry Juhl and Joseph Mazzarino and Ken Kaufman

Directed by Tim Hill

 

Retail Price: 24.99

Features: Live Video Commentary with Kermit, Gonzo,Rizzo and Tim Hill. Outtakes Reel, "Shining Star" Music Video by the Dust Brothers and Jeymes, Original Theatrical Trailer, Bonus Trailers, Production Notes, Talent Files

Specs: Digitially Mastered Widescreen Transfer (Aspect Ratio 1.85:1), Full Frame Digital Transfer (1:33:1), 5.1 Dolby Digital in English, 2.0 Dolby Surround in English, Scene Selection (23 Chapters), English Subtiles

 

 

No matter how old I get, I will always be a Muppet fan. Sure, they are meant for the younger set, but I can not resist the muppets, maybe because of the fact I did grow up with them. My sister and I were huge fans when we were younger, so, I will never abandon my childhood memories of the Muppets. No siree. Though the latest entry, "Muppets From Space" didn't do so well at the box office, it's still a very enjoyable romp, and goes back to the more classic Muppet formulas. I hate to say this, but the reason it did not do well (at least I think) because the Muppets are not as popular as they once were. It's all Pokémon and everything else now. The past few Muppet films (all the ones by Disney), weren't so great. They were musicals, and based on some sort of classic literature. Luckily, Columbia/Tristar, who did do the older Muppet movies, are now back with Jim Henson Pictures, set to make a few more films after this one. It's a good move, this is the best Muppet film since 1983's "Muppets Take Manhattan". Still, hopefully this film will find a better life on video.

"Muppets From Space" begins with everyone's favorite "whatever", Gonzo (my favorite!), as he thinks his family from space is calling for him. Of course, none of his Muppet friends believe him, and his story is then featured on the show "UFO Mania" with Miss Piggy and Andie MacDowell. Soon, K. Edgar Singer (the evil Jeffery Tambor) learns of this, and kidnaps Gonzo. It's Muppets to the rescue as they must retrieve their friend... and Gonzo must make his choice where he belongs.

"Muppets From Space" is great family fare, with some adult-oriented jokes for the older audience. Still, it is a lot of fun and a nice diversion. The screenplay by the usual Jim Henson writers is clever and predictable, but well written. Tim Hill, creator of Nickelodeon's "Action League Now" for the show "Kablam" does a nice directing job. The cameos are also great too. Still, the film ruins the Muppets constant joke and plotline: we never knew what Gonzo was or where he was from. Still makes up he is an alien from space. Though it is an okay origin, I think some mysteries are better left kept. One more note: No characters sing in this film, 70s funk songs just play within the film.

 

Kudos, another great anamorphic Columbia/TriStar transfer! The colors really do pop-out, and everything is really vibrant, you just want to reach out and touch it. There is no bleeding whatsoever either. Anamorphic wdescreen in a 1.85:1 ratio and Full Frame (for the younger ones) transfers are included.

 

A great mix. Everything is very clear, and the noises and loud sounds are created nicely in the 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. Pretty loud and on it's mark, it sounds very nice and lively. Surrounds are good. The 5.1 mix should please any DVD fan. Dolby Surround English in 2-channel is included as well.

 

To my surprise, "Muppets from Space" is a pretty feature packed disc. It may not be a full blown out Columbia/TriStar special edition, but should please any Muppet fan. First off, there is a Live Commentary with Kermit, Gonzo, Rizzo and Tim Hill (meaning it is MST3k style, where you see the heads and seats), which you may have heard about. It is not really so insightful about the making of the film, but truly hilarious. It is a very creative commentary, which I give high marks for. Kermit does not really participate in that much (he goes to "Virtual Snack Bar" and gets a little lost), but Hill, Gonzo and Rizzo crack jokes and everything. The disc is worth it for this feature alone. Also on the disc is an Outtakes Reel, which includes a few dozen outtakes during the making of the movie. They are all short, but some of them are pretty funny. There is a music video of "Shining Star" by the Dust Brothers Featuring Jeymes as well as the fun Original Theatrical Trailer. There are also some Bonus Trailers for other joint Columbia and Henson productions which include "The Storyteller", "The Dark Crystal" and "Labryinth" (DAVID BOWIE!). And to top it off, some interesting Production Notes and the usual Talent Files.

 

For a nice price, you get excellent sound, a beautiful anamorphic transfer, nice (and more then expected) features plus an innovative commentary track. If you're a Muppet fan or have young kids, look no further and pick up Muppets from Space. If you have kids, take some time and sit down with them and enjoy some nice friendly fare. You may enjoy it more then them.

 

(4/5, NOT included in final score)

(4.5/5)

(4/5)

(3.5/5)

(4/5, NOT an average)

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