The Simpsons Movie (2007)

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The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Postby justindeimen » Wed Jul 25, 2007 3:39 am

Review:

Matt Groening brings his long running franchise back to its roots in The Simpsons Movie by making one of the warmer comedies this year. Despite the perceived and frankly exaggerated drop in quality of the television show by naysayers attempting to keep in vogue, the filmic incarnation positions itself as still being culturally relevant, a vantage point afforded from being the elderstatesman of popular culture. With the familiar dynamics of the television show surprisingly translating into an energetic cinematic experience, the scope of its subversive charm is on a much larger canvas and pointedly at itself.

Ask any fan of the television series what the most endearing aspect of the show is and they might tell you that its Homer and his dysfunctional clan. Ultimately, The Simpsons Movie boils down to familial bonds and reaches out to its extending relationships with its townsfolk. The graphic style of the movie will be familiar to everyone, but theres a new sleeker and more fluid approach that now involves more background animation as much as it does the foreground. Further reinvigorating the franchise is a new appreciation of the Simpsons family, with a creative incision into Homers advancing alienation from his wife and kids being addressed through the amplification of the characters proclivity for moronic whims and selfish inclinations. Its a theme that has been explored many times over in numerous episodes throughout the years but the decisive difference is that it works through the fishnet of film conventions to actually grow its characters personalities, and to impart new insights between them. The film rewards its longtime viewers but never punishes those that have remained unfamiliar with the protocols of the shows traditional quiescence.

Political lunacy and the ecumenical commentary of its bureaucratic agents get the full brunt of subtext and innuendos in a plot (and subplots) thats more than an excuse for the goofiness when it brims with tongue in cheek digs at the ineffectualness of the current regime. Government agencies from Washington hone in on Springfields newly attained status as an environmental Chernobyl, as the Simpsons are ousted from their town and left to fend outside their comfort zones. Its probably a minor miracle that a film so drunk on familial cords and values never submits to mushiness but thats pretty much down to the strength of the writers awareness of the material by hitting a sweet spot between real world potshots and the self-reflexive indication of its place in the pop culture pantheon by breaking the fourth wall just enough to clue us in on the joke.

In its focused state, The Simpsons Movie operates as an examination of a household held together by latent affection and as a social parable of a town in arrested development. Theres a good-natured sweetness in its tone that eschews the smugness and extravagance of most spoofs and grounds itself by constantly coming back to what has always mattered most in the series - family.
justindeimen
 


Re: The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Postby wpqx » Mon Jul 30, 2007 3:45 am

I am one of those people who gave up on the show. Years ago the thought of the Simpsons one day being canceled terrified me. Yet after suffering through season 15 were every episode became the new winner for worst episode ever I gave up. The show has continued on to the same familiar criticisms and everytime I catch a new installment I'm reminded how bad its gotten. I miss the days when Bart called his dad "Homer". When the movie was released I looked at the credits were I found that nearly all the writer's who helped make seasons 4-9 the best show ever worked on it. The film relishes in good old fashioned Simpson's jokes but stretches things just enough to let us know this is the Simpson's "Movie" and they can get away with just a few more things. Hearing Marge say "God damn" got at least a full hearty laugh from me.

The film plays with our sensibilities and combines well meaning pathos which always helped to make the show more than just a string of gags. The reason Family Guy no matter how funny will never be as great as the Simpsons is simply because it misses this step. Certain gags in the film you can see coming, after 400 episodes of the show its not hard to predict the writing styles of even a script with 12 people working on it. The film delivers however and I am recommending it to all my friends, even those like me who stopped watching the show years ago. I also like how the film didn't find it particularly necessary to include EVERY character the show has had. There could have been a chance with Albert Brooks considering his work in this film and numerous episodes he's appeared on. Watching the credits was of course a laugh seeing each and every character listed and the voices for nearly everyone covered by the core group of actors, but for those who always wondered who did Barney and Grandpa, yep it is the same guy as Homer. Definitely the funniest film I've seen this year, but I haven't seen much.
wpqx
 

Re: The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Postby arsaib4 » Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:02 am

Both of you have made this movie very tempting for the fans. I'll definitely get to it before it leaves the big-screen but much like Spider-Man 3 I'm gonna wait a few weeks.
arsaib4
 

Re: The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Postby wpqx » Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:14 am

Well the one problem is that certain films should be seen with a crowd. Granted too big of a crowd can be its own hassle, but I generally find comedies to be the best with groups. I saw it on its opening weekend and the place was pretty packed which may have helped my enjoyment. However I've seen nearly every episode with scarcely more than myself and one other person, so who knows if it does much.

In other Hollywood news, the last Bourne movie is coming out tomorrow and I certainly plan on seeing it. Much more importantly however, Killer of Sheep is opening at the Music Box tomorrow as well, so if I can get out of the burbs that's where I'll be.
wpqx
 

Re: The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Postby arsaib4 » Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:42 am

I believe we briefly discussed the release schedule of Burnett's film a few weeks ago. Did it play at the Music Box earlier? Regardless, I think you'll be quite impressed.
arsaib4
 

Re: The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Postby wpqx » Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:48 am

No tomorrow is the premiere. A friend of mine who's been in LA the past few months is coming home Tuesday and is dying to see it, but I don't know if I can wait that long. As I told her, I'll probably want to see it twice. Of course along with A Brighter Summer Day and The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith no film has been on my wishlist longer, and its hard for a film to measure up to that type of expectation.

While I'm on the subject, I hope someone somewhere gets around to releasing some of Edward Yang's films.
wpqx
 

Re: The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Postby arsaib4 » Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:40 pm

If you're willing to spend about $20, then A Brighter Summer Day is not a difficult proposition. I'll send you some info.
arsaib4
 

Re: The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Postby justindeimen » Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:39 am

So you think you could PM it to me as well, arsaib?
justindeimen
 

Re: The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Postby arsaib4 » Sat Aug 04, 2007 2:45 pm

Sure.
arsaib4
 

Re: The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Postby justindeimen » Sat Aug 04, 2007 4:39 pm

Thanks! I'm could see a few of his films being released but from what I've heard there seems to be a few hiccups in settling his estate, mainly film rights.
justindeimen
 

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