The Simpsons Movie

The Simpsons Movie

****
2
10%
*** 1/2
5
25%
***
8
40%
** 1/2
4
20%
**
1
5%
* 1/2
0
No votes
*
0
No votes
1/2 *
0
No votes
0
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 20

Franz Ferdinand
Adjunct
Posts: 1259
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Contact:

Postby Franz Ferdinand » Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:01 pm

I could honestly see this movie winning the Animated Film Oscar simply for its continued cultural relevance and a sense of "well, they have won pretty much every award in the field of television, why not an Oscar as well?"

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5036
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Postby anonymous1980 » Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:18 am

Sabin wrote:What I'm going to need from 'The Simpsons Movie' is one moment (ONE!!!) as heartfelt as when Bart gets an F, when Lisa says goodbye to her substitute, or when Homer goes to bed batting .100 after tucking Bart, Lisa, and Maggie in and helping them all. 'The Simpsons' did suburban malaise better than any show since 'All in the Family' and the past decade has been damn near impossible to watch. Just unpleasant.

I think you'll get it, Sabin. I hope.

But I also have to say the heart and soul of episodes like "Bart Gets An F", "Marge Be Not Proud" and "I Love Lisa" (just to name a few) is what differentiates The Simpsons from Family Guy.

User avatar
Damien
Laureate
Posts: 6331
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 8:43 pm
Location: New York, New York
Contact:

Postby Damien » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:27 am

Akash wrote:Damien, is this the one modern "cartoon-movie" you might enjoy?

I have wonderful memories of The Simpsons from its first 6 or 7 years, but I actually haven't seen it since, gosh, I don't know when -- probably not in this century. So no, since I don't watch it for free, I'm not gonna be seeing it in a theatre for money -- although this one's only a goshdarned cartoon.

Akash, I did enjoy Monster House and the Beavis and Butt-head movie.
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 7139
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Postby Sabin » Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:23 am

What I'm going to need from 'The Simpsons Movie' is one moment (ONE!!!) as heartfelt as when Bart gets an F, when Lisa says goodbye to her substitute, or when Homer goes to bed batting .100 after tucking Bart, Lisa, and Maggie in and helping them all. 'The Simpsons' did suburban malaise better than any show since 'All in the Family' and the past decade has been damn near impossible to watch. Just unpleasant.

I want one moment in 'The Simpsons Movie' that makes me feel like a better person. The show used to do that and the old episodes continue to do so. Give me one moment, and then eighty-nine minutes of laughter, and I'm happy.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

Akash
Professor
Posts: 2037
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 1:34 am

Postby Akash » Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:17 pm

3 out of 4 stars and a general rave from Slant's Ed Gonzalez. If it's good enough for him, then I'm really excited about it! No show has been as consistently rewarding over a long period of time as The Simpsons.

Damien, is this the one modern "cartoon-movie" you might enjoy?

The Simpsons Movie
by Ed Gonzalez
Posted: July 27, 2007

Despite popular belief, The Simpsons still matter. The humor may not be the same as it was, but it hasn't dissipated so much as it shoots out from the show's idiosyncratic experimentations with form and function. Those who've stayed the entire course have watched the show transform into something almost avant-garde: Its cutting social commentary and hilarious gags used to coast off cleanly delineated narrative through-lines, where now the show's humor ricochets onto audiences off strange acts of storytelling tyranny. It's not quite Dadesque, but it's close. An episode from 2000 titled "Pygmoelian" largely concerns Moe getting plastic surgery but also features Bart and Lisa chasing a pink elephant around town and straight into a meeting for gay Republicans—a seemingly arbitrary bit of nonsense that connects succinctly with the theme of identity in which a person changes their face only to realize the efficiency of their old one. We may now consider this great episode a metaphor for The Simpsons Movie.

Because this movie has been a long time coming, its lack of actual movie-ness comes as something of a surprise. So, not quite cowabunga, but it's still good, it's still good! I was smitten as soon as Ralph Wiggum, pop culture's purest and funniest expression of the id personified, appeared from inside the zero in the 20th Century Fox logo to sing along to the studio's theme music, only to be taken aback by how little Matt Groening & Co. exploit the fact that the Simpsons are now tearing up the world in widescreen. Homer isn't far off the mark for calling us a sucker for paying money to see what we can get on the small screen for free (just as you'd be a sucker for reading the rest of this review before seeing the film), but even if The Simpsons Movie doesn't overplay its hand, trying as it does to appease fans of the show both old and new (the narrative though-line is as straight as an arrow, but the gags are as queer as all get-out), it is surprisingly aggressive in its engagement with our contemporary political malaise.

The movie begins with an Itchy and Scratchy sketch during which Itchy leaves his fellow astronaut Scratchy on the moon and returns to Earth to be elected ruler of the free world, with Hillary Clinton as his second in command. Itchy is cleverly seen as a distillation of 50 years of American political rectitude and aggression, from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush. But while The Simpsons TV program celebrates Itchy's butchering of Scratchy as an ongoing commentary of "wholesome" Walt Disney family values, TV violence, and the dangers of parental complacency, the movie considerably ups the political ante, afflicting the mouse with a rather humane sense of remorse for his natural-born enemy. This connects to a later scene, during which President Arnold Schwarzenegger (essentially Rainier Wolfcastle with brown hair) inspires our pity, regretting having delegated authority to his advisor, the string-pulling Cheney-esque monster who attempts to shoot Homer in the face by the end of the film, and not reading the literature that damns the people of Springfield to life inside a huge dome.

The Itchy and Scratchy sketch is also a lubricant of sorts, easing one into the elaborate political discourse of the film, which begins with Green Day drowning in Springfield's lake after lecturing the town's citizens about global warming. (The hymn played at their funeral service is a cunning joke only the band's fans and naysayers will get: "American Idiot: Funeral Version"!) This premise seems predicated on a line from my favorite episode of the show ("Lisa the Vegetarian"), during which Homer declares, "Rock stars—is there anything they don't know?" The movie, like that episode, also features a pig in a very crucial role. Homer gives the hog a home, then a name (first Spider Pig, then Harry Plopper), before storing the animal's feces (and some of his own!) in a silo that he dumps into Springfield's newly conserved lake, thus transforming the town into an environmental hellhole. Before you can say "Katrina!," Springfield is under the EPA's lock and key.

The members of the Simpson clan fulfill familiar roles as agents of chaos and change within this nightmare: Lisa, strident in her political conscious and weak-kneed in the face of romance, tries to bring Springfield's environmental woes to the attention of the city's clueless citizens; Marge, a busybody with a tragically less refined sense of direction, senses warning in one of Grandpa's psychotic ramblings; Maggie, whose wordless gifts of physical and mental ingenuity go largely unnoticed by the adult world, saves the day in unexpected places; Bart, whose newfound fondness for Ned Flanders is an excuse for a dynamite string of Freudian teasings (one joke aptly ends in a display of yellow balls—hello, PG-13 rating!), unconsciously catalyses everyone to action; and Homer, still a hypocritical dumbass, is ostracized by his neighbors for their tragedy and must arrive at a place of selflessness, no doubt fleeting, in order to redeem everyone.

Springfield's crisis is both political and pop in its allusiveness, a parallel to New Orleans and an extended reference to John Carpenter's Escape from New York, with people stalking the streets like zombies and Moe boasting about his self-appointed position as the town's Emperor. Equally delicious: The immigrant Simpsons being given $1,000 when they arrive in Alaska for "allowing the oil companies to ravage the state's national beauty" and the National Security Agency getting results—finally!—from spying on everyone's phone calls. The movie understands how the nightmare of our current political state of affairs manifests itself in different areas of our social-economic life, which the writers convey through zesty hit-and-run bits of comic absurdity. My fav is the movie's rebuke of right-wing opinions about the root cause of homosexuality, when Ralph witnesses two dudes kissing and immediately yells out, "I like men now!"

The more things change the more they stay the same: No TV show has ever acknowledged with such persistence the complicated role institutions like the church play in our daily lives and the wide-ranging emotions—skepticism, love, disrespect, hope—that are crucial to keeping families alive and going, and like the show, the movie complements its biting religious ribbing with its completely sincere belief in spiritual need. Schwarzenegger, seeking salvation, accepts his duty as President and tries to read the literature in front of him but is still unable to save Springfield from annihilation, the news of which sends Reverend Lovejoy's sheep to Moe's Tavern and the town's drunkards to church—a sight gag that cuts deeper than no other in the film.

The movie's subversive streak is not as acutely pointed as that of the great "Homer Bad Man" episode from 1994, nor does it ever break your heart like 1995's "Marge Be Not Proud," which ends with Bart understanding the importance of repentance, but it's funny because it's true, and like the show's recent 24 spoof, it uses its pop savvy and narrative circuitry to stress the bonds that tie families together. One joke the show has long driven into the ground is the sight of Homer choking Bart with his hands. In the movie, Homer's rage and its effects on Bart allow for the bittersweet understanding of compliance as a major part of our social conditioning. Sight gag transforms into gag reflex when Bart loses Ned's favorite fishing pole and instinctively reaches for his neck, expecting the same punishment from his daddy substitute that he always gets from Homer. These bold yellow characters continue to verify our strength as people, families, and a nation, and their agelessness continues to stress that their journey, like ours, is an eternal act of learning. It may not be the Best. Movie. Ever. but it is the Best. Simpsons. Movie.—so far.

http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/film_review.asp?ID=3089

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5036
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Postby anonymous1980 » Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:19 am

I just saw it. I liked it. A lot.

(See full review on the Official Review Thread)

User avatar
Sonic Youth
Laureate
Posts: 7432
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 8:35 pm
Location: USA

Postby Sonic Youth » Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:12 pm

The Simpsons Movie

By Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter


"The Simpsons Movie" is everything a fan of the 18-year-old animated Fox television series could ask for. But then, Homer Simpson opens the movie by calling everyone in the audience "giant suckers" for paying to see what they get for free on TV. Looks like the world is full of giant suckers. Maybe some will download the movie or buy a pirated version just to feel better about being suckers. Even calculating theft into the equation -- along with the possibility that more than a few nonfans might want to catch the Simpsons on the big screen -- "The Simpsons Movie" looks like a winner for 20th Century Fox and Gracie Films.

In going for boxoffice gold, the Simpsons' trusted and loyal crew -- the multitude of writers, producers and director David Silverman are series veterans -- have labored long and hard to make a movie that hearkens back to the vintage years of the series. It's caustic, irreverent, constantly amusing and a tiny bit rude. Not a lot, though. This isn't the "Beavis and Butt-Head" or "South Park" movie. It's almost -- dare I say it -- charming.

For awhile, nothing much happens, so you might think you are watching a TV segment blown up large. Grandpa makes a prophesy while speaking in tongues in church, but no one can understand what he said. Then Homer gets it into his mind to acquire a pet pig. Cue the pig jokes, some of which have already appeared in trailers.

Meanwhile, a cute subplot finds Lisa, the family conscience, campaigning to clean up the hugely polluted Springfield lake. Against all odds, she succeeds, and the lake is declared off-limits to all dumpers. Even the local mafia agrees not to dump bodies there.

But Homer hasn't paid any attention. So when it comes time to get rid of the pet pig's poop, you know where he is going to pitch it. The result is the worst pollution in the U.S. This causes Environmental Protection Agency head Russ Cargill (nicely voiced by Albert Brooks) to convince President Schwarzenegger -- you have a problem with an Austrian accent? -- to put a giant unbreakable glass dome over the entire town.

Boy, are the town folks mad at the Simpsons now. A mob chases the family from its home. Using a sink hole discovered by baby Maggie, the family escapes the dome and moves to Alaska. Cue the Alaska jokes, which are among the weaker ones in the movie, before everyone goes back to Springfield. Now Homer actually can save the town, which Cargill means to blow up.

Laughs come in all sizes -- large, medium, small and failed, the latter happening only seldom. While little has been gained in bringing the Simpsons to the screen, other than a bigger canvas requiring a much larger army of animators, it's still fun to enjoy the crew in this new setting.

All the regular voice actors -- which include Dan Castellaneta, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer performing multiple roles, as well as Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith -- are in fine form. The animation is still stiff TV animation but why mess with a familiar look? By the way, Tom Hanks puts in a good-natured cartoon appearance, and this pretty much sums up the Simpsons' first foray into movies: It's good-natured.
"What the hell?"
Win Butler

User avatar
Sonic Youth
Laureate
Posts: 7432
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 8:35 pm
Location: USA

Postby Sonic Youth » Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:05 pm

The Simpsons Movie
By BRIAN LOWRY
Variety


After 18 years and 400 episodes, “The Simpsons” has developed a wide array of potential moviegoers, from those who still watch to those who once watched to those who don’t watch anymore but now have kids that do. The question is how many will feel inspired to ante up for something so readily available for the price of enduring commercials and Fox’s incessant on-air promotion. Happily, the long-gestating movie itself offers a fine incentive, and Fox’s inspired marketing campaign (7-Eleven becoming Kwik-E-Mart? Genius) should ensure enough curiosity to stuff the studio’s pockets, as it were, with dollars from doughnuts.

Put simply, if somebody had to make a “Simpsons” movie, this is pretty much what it should be -- clever, irreverent, satirical and outfitted with a larger-than-22-minutes plot, capable (just barely) of sustaining a narrative roughly four times the length of a standard episode.

On its face, this is no small accomplishment. The conundrum of expanding a TV program (particularly of the animated variety) to feature size and scope has always posed a tricky proposition -- one conquered by the coarse laughs of “Beavis and Butt-head Do America” and “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut,” but resulting in disappointment with, well, just about everything else.

Neither of those other properties, however, possesses the mass appeal of “The Simpsons,” and the credited team of 11 writers (all of them at one time producers on the show) have incorporated plenty of knowing flourishes the audience will surely appreciate -- among them an especially smart bit at the outset, directly addressing why anyone would pay “to see something we get on TV for free.” Along the way, the writers gleefully bite the hands that feed them at Fox, dismiss Disney as an evil empire, and lampoon U.S. government functionaries as inept buffoons who celebrate finally catching somebody they’re pursuing.

Seizing on an environmental theme, the plot hinges on rampant pollution of the local lake, with the thoughtlessness of family patriarch Homer (Dan Castellaneta, who provides no fewer than 10 different voices) yielding an epic screw-up, imperiling the entire town of Spring-field.

Under ruthless bureaucrat Russ Cargill (Albert Brooks, credited as A. Brooks), the Environmental Protection Agency declares the commu-nity a quarantined disaster area, prompting the local citizenry to literally march on the Simpson residence with torches and force the whole brood into retreat. It thus falls to Homer to find a way to save the town, in the process redeeming himself in the eyes of his wife Marge (Julie Kavner) and son Bart (Nancy Cartwright), who has grown to feel so neglected by dad that he takes refuge with Bible-thumping neighbor Ned Flanders (Harry Shearer).

There are multiple side plots as well to help flesh out the story, from Grandpa making anominous prophecy to Homer adopting a pig to daughter Lisa (Yeardley Smith) being smitten with a guitar-playing Irish youth who shares her passion for environmentalism.

For all of that, the movie drags in places. Yet as is invariably the case with “The Simpsons,” the smaller, practically throwaway gags often provide the biggest laughs, whether it’s Tom Hanks’ earnest cameo as himself, a “Titanic” riff or Bart’s sure-to-be-talked-about skateboarding sequence, yielding a fleeting but riotous glimpse of animated genitalia. (Despite a PG-13 rating, the humor seldom feels more scabrous than an average episode.)

Technically, the movie capitalizes on its enhanced aspect ratio without altering the show’s fundamental look, though there are moments of computer-generated scale that clearly embrace the feature canvas, employing more than the typical TV toolkit.

“The Simpsons Movie” clearly represented a marketing challenge, and, given the build-up, Fox appears to have been equal to that task. As for magnifying the series without losing its deeply ingrained charms, the producers have mostly passed that test as well, proving their 18-year-old child was ready to go out and face the big bad (theatrical) world.
"What the hell?"

Win Butler


Return to “2000 - 2007”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests