Hindsight is 20/20

When I was little, I would watch The Great Muppet Caper like other people eat candy.  I watched it CONSTANTLY.  That, along with Empire Strikes Back, were on steady rotation in my household from ages 5-10, ending when Tim Burton’s Batman was released.

Thinking about what I love about The Great Muppet Caper, I realized that it was the way the Muppets were treated within the film.  They were not treated as Muppets, but as people.  What I mean is, it didn’t matter that Kermit, Fozzie, and Miss Piggy were these fantastic creatures.  The Great Muppet Caper treated them as real people, and they just happened to BE Muppets.

Another way to look at it, if you took all the Muppets in The Great Muppet Caper and replaced them with humans, you would still have the same movie – a group of friends, through a series of circumstances, are able to foil the exploits of a jewel thief.  The fact that they were Muppets is what made the movie transcend from normalcy into magic.

As we fast forward to 2014, we see the release of Muppets Most Wanted.  While I really enjoyed the movie (even though it has one of the WORST uses of green screen I have ever seen  J ), it was missing the magic that The Great Muppet Caper had.

The movie poster for Muppets Most Wanted gave me hope that this film would push the Muppets into the forefront, since in the 2011 The Muppets they seemed to be secondary characters.  After having seen the film, my observations were mixed.

Muppets Most Wanted took the first step into improving the series.  The Muppets were the main characters, and I enjoyed some of the silly humor that I enjoyed in the earlier films.  The cameos in this movie were very reminiscent of the older movies as well, with actors playing characters and not themselves.

Now, while the Muppets were the main focus of this second film (technically seventh or eighth, but that’s really splitting hairs at this point), the fact that they WERE Muppets was a main focus of this film as well.  That’s where the magic goes away.  While the cameos, humor, and general silliness were all included, the magic of the Muppets being treated as the norm was missing.  If this movie was portrayed by 100% humans, it would not make any sense.  That’s where the magic of the Muppets got me hooked when I was a kid.  The fact that we were to treat and react to these characters just as real as the rest of us.

While I see Muppets Most Wanted as a great step in the right direction, I hope they are able to find and reintroduce the device that made me a big fan of them in the first place.

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Free Writing

My weekend has been filled with trips to the store for food and meds, as well as some household chores.  In that time we have been binge watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix.  It’s another of those “Damn, why haven’t I been watching this since it started?” shows.  We just finished season 3.  We’ll probably take a break since our regular shows are new this week, but I am sure we’ll be able to power through soon.

In the time she has been sick, I haven’t really found time to figure out what to write about, but I wanted to write something.  So I set my stopwatch for one hour and decided to just start writing.  Maybe something profound will come of it, maybe not.  We shall see.  I like this exercise because it keeps me writing.  At least something is getting down on the page.  I know this summer with the movies coming out, I will have lots of pop culture stuff to cover, but that’s not for awhile.  Maybe this entry will be all about me.

One cool thing happened to me via Twitter this past week.  I got a follow by the new editor-in-chief of Nerdist.com  I love the site, and read it all the time.  Not only because it’s my new hub for geek news, but I would LOVE to be a contributor for them someday.  Maybe when he is perusing the tweets, he will see my little blog here and be impressed with the stylings of one Donnie Lederer.  And if not, ah well.  I still LOVE writing.

Next week is the Emerald City Comic-Con.  I am really looking forward to it.  Stephen Amell is going to be there, but just for Saturday.  My goal is to get his autograph, get my picture taken with him and go to his panel/q&a  (For those of you not in the know, he plays Oliver Queen on Arrow). My other goal at ECCC is to get an auto graph for my dad from a cast member from Star Trek.  I have gotten him William Shatner and Patrick Stewart so far.  I am not going to say who this year’s is yet just in case he reads this.  I don’t want the surprise TOO spoiled.  :)

I am also excited for ECCC because two of our friends from Ohio are coming out visit and go to the Con with us.  Even though attending a con can usually turn into just “doing your own thing,” it’s always cool to go in a group.  Not only will my friends from Ohio joining us, be we have a group from here in Seattle joining as well.  It will be a great time.

The hits just keep coming, as three days after ECCC, I then fly to Ohio myself for my own little trip.  It’s been awhile since I have been back to visit my friends, so I figured it was due.  Among the people I get to see, I am also going to attend the Captain America double feature and watch Wrestlemania XXX.  Ever since Marvel had their Ultimate Marathon in 2012 leading up to The Avengers, I try to go to their “marathons” whenever they announce them.  I put marathons in quotes because a lot of the other movies have only been double or triple bills.  The Avengers was the only real marathon so far.  That will probably change next year when Avengers: Age of Ultron is released.  So far the ones I have been to are: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Iron Man and The Cornetto Trilogy.  I had tickets to the Thor marathon in November, but had to cancel.  I am hoping that they also have a double feature for Amazing Spider-Man/Amazing Spider-Man 2 when it comes out.  I know people had issues with the whole “re-boot” thing, but in all honesty, who cares?

Maybe that’s what I’ll talk about it this little section.  Why people get so uppity about re-boots.  I hear people saying things like they are “unnecessary” or that a re-boot will “hurt the legacy of the original.”  That is complete and total B.S.  I will try and break it down.

  • ALL movies are unnecessary.  Whether its a drama, a comedy or an action movie, if none of them were made, we would still all be alive.  Movies DIDN’T exist WAY longer than they HAVE existed.  We’d be fine.
  • Hurt the legacy of the original?  If a re-boot of a movie can have that type of effect on a movie you saw years before, then that means the original wasn’t that great in the first place.  Sometimes peoples lack of perspective is pushed to the side to make room for snap-judgment emotion.
  • A little sidebar:  George Lucas did NOT ruin your childhood because he made changes to the original Star Wars movies.  You’re being REALLY stupid for thinking that way.

Okay, having said THAT, does not mean that every re-boot is an awesome movie.  A movie can suck pretty bad, whether it’s a re-boot or an original work.  My issue is that people take the word “re-boot” and automatically pre-judge it without having given it a chance.  Hold on.  I think I just gave the definition of the internet.  My bad.

I am at the 45 minute mark, and I think I am good for now.  I need to get to bed since I have work tomorrow, as well as Tuesday-Friday.  I am looking forward to this weekend and Muppets Most Wanted.  If you read my last post, it has a lot of hype to live up to.  :)

YOUR FACE

Donnie (@dtrain1813)

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A Poster is Worth 1,000 words: Why I will like Muppets Most Wanted (Commentary)

     The_poster_of_the_movie_The_Great_Muppet_Caper

     When I was little and my parents got our first VCR (I’m 35, so I know what one is, if YOU don’t, use Google.), I would watch the shit out of movies.  Before I turned into the OCD movie obsessed person I am today (speaking of which, I will have a 365 in 365 update later this weekend), I would watch movies over and over and over again.  Among them were the following: Superman: The Movie, Gleaming the Cube, The Karate Kid Part II, Gremlins and The Great Muppet Caper.

Ahhh.  The Great Muppet Caper.  Out of ALL the movies that involve the Muppets, this is far and away my favorite.  I think the main reason why was because it was fun, goofy and 100% about the Muppets.  Yes, there were humans in the movie.  There had to be, otherwise the mystique of the Muppets disappears and they just become puppets, rather than these beings that actually are alive.  What made this movie so good was that the humans were the supporting characters, the Muppets were who took center stage.

That’s why I was a little disappointed with the release of the 2011 “re-boot” of the franchise, entitled simply The Muppets.  Yes, the Muppets were in the movie, and yes, they were a big part of the plot, but it seemed their story was more of a sub-plot, rather than the main focus.  This movie was more of the story of Jason Segal and Amy Adams
The Muppetscharacters, and it just worked out that some Muppets were thrown into the mix.  Nothing helps prove this theory than the movie poster for The Muppets.  As you can see, Jason Segal and Amy Adams are front in center, with almost every single Muppet you can think of being crammed in behind them.  It was as if they were advertising the fact that the Muppets, while IN the movie, weren’t THE movie.

 

Let’s fast forward to 2014.  In one week, we will see the sequel to this modern era of Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, released in theatres.  I have seen multiple trailers for the movie, and it looks funny.  With Ty Burrell, Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey all a part of it, it’s hard to argue against.  It’s not that star power is not what made me realize this was a movie worth seeing.  It was the poster.

Muppets Most Wanted

     Unlike the previous movie, this poster shows the Muppets FRONT AND CENTER, while the human characters hang out in the background.  Now, while being a little more noticeable that the humans in The Great Muppet Caper poster, they are still in the background nonetheless.

And when it comes to the Muppets, that’s where us humans SHOULD be.  These characters have been part of some of our lives for years and years.  While we know the truth, we refuse to embrace it.  In a world that seem very cynical (i.e. almost every You Tube video comment section beginning with FAKE!), we seem to give the Muppets a pass, and go along with the magic that they are sharing with us.  If we are willing to give them a pass, then we should also be able to trust them that they can carry their own movie without the help of human characters taking over.  If the poster for Muppets Most Wanted is any indication, I think we are going to do just that.

YOUR FACE

Donnie (@dtrain1813)

 

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Nerdist News 03/06

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Train Station for 03/05

Before I get to this week’s comics…HOLY SHIT ARROW WAS AWESOME TONIGHT.  It’s been awhile since a show like that had me tense, waiting for something to explode.  If you aren’t watching Arrow…*sigh*

Anyway, here are this week’s books:

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Captain America 18

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Green Lantern 29

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Magneto 1

Short stack this week, but next week will MORE than make up for it.

Damn, that episode was awesome.

YOUR FACE

Donnie (@dtrain1813)

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Nerdist News 03/05

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Nerdist News 03/04

Batman: Arkham Knight, Carplay, Gotham TV show

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