Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here. Okay... it’s starting to look like I am going to have to admit to being dead wrong about two things, two film-related events that I was absolutely, positively sure would never occur. First was the release of THE SIMPSONS MOVIE, and the other was the release of INDY 4. And based on the evidence of yesterday’s INDY 4 press conference, that’s not only happening, it might even be amazing. And, of course, THE SIMPSONS MOVIE opens today in the US, and it’s been opening all over the world for the last few days. We’ve got a huge mess of reviews for you today. First, though, I assume you’ve done this already, right?
I just wanted to give you a heads up that Burger King is launching Simpsonizeme.com, a cool website that turns people into their own, unique Simpsons character. The site includes hundreds of personalization options to play with, and you can choose to send your new look to a friend, create wallpapers and backgrounds, or buy merchandise with your image from an online store. Let me know if you have any questions or would like any photos Simpsonized. Thanks!
It’s freaky. I couldn’t handle my own Simpsonized image, and I snuffed him with a pillow while he was napping a few days after his unfortunate creation. Maybe you’ll have better luck with yours. In the meantime, here’s the first of the many, many reviews we’ve got running this morning. And, of course, I want you all to chip in as you see the movie this weekend, if you see the movie this weekend. I’ll be hitting the first show at the Winnetka Theater near my house. This first guy is a longtime occasional spy:
Hey guys, the Filmcoyote back once more. Saw The Simpsons Movie last night in England and haven’t noticed any reviews popping up on the site yet despite it having opened now in a bunch of countries so thought I’d drop a line. Immediate reaction: very funny but not brilliant. Is it everything I had hoped for? No, it isn’t. And it can’t be denied that many of the funniest bits are in the various trailers. That said I had incredibly high expectations on this one. I will see it a couple more times and I think I will come to appreciate the slower parts more the more I see it. Warning: some spoilers ahead The funny: make no doubt about it The Simpsons Movie does bring the funny. The first 20 minutes are pretty much gold. An opening Titanic-riff is hilarious. The Spider-pig thing is still funny no matter how many times I’ve sent he trailer. The Bart skateboarding bit is brilliantly done. We all know now that you briefly see Bart’s junk but because you know it’s coming the build up to this moment makes it hilarious. We’ve all seen a ‘hide the genitalia’ joke before, perhaps Austin Powers most famously of recent years, but here it is played to excellent effect with the penis gag tipping you over the edge. Then you get a great Flanders moment, a great Wiggum moment and a great Nelson moment all in quick succession – you’ll see where Nelson picked up his “Ha Ha”. There are also great moments for other characters, such as Grandpa and a riotous scene in the church. When you hear “gay, gay, gay” you’ll be on the floor. Essentially everything is working on all cylinders until the family escapes the angry mob after them because the EPA has put a bio-hazard glass dome over the town after Homer dumps a silo of pig crap into Lake Springfield . Once the family is outside the dome it starts to go wrong, or at least slow down. And this is where expectations come into play. I guess it’s not fair of me to expect them to sustain the laugh-out-loud first 20 minutes for 87 minutes, and they do keep a smile on your face throughout, but taking the family away from Springfield is damaging. Here the plot kicks in and the pathos joins it and Homer must redeem himself. There are heartwarming moments and heartbreaking moments but the belly laughs go on hiatus for long stretches. That’s not to say there are not some great moments in the middle section. Bart’s malevolent clapping, genius. The Tom Hanks cameo, hilarious. Brockman’s botox. Two key moments between Albert Brooks EPA guy Russ Cargill and President Schwarzenegger, especially the numbers bit (you’ll know). But it can’t sustain the laughs. Should I ask it to? Maybe not. The thing is as I think about today more quotable lines and great sight gags leap into my mind and remain there than any film I’ve seen in ages. When I walked out last night I’d had a good time but was a little disappointed. This morning it’s kind of hard to remember what was disappointing as all these great moments flood back. Certainly taking the family out of Springfield is the big problem for me. The family are funny but it’s their interaction with incidental characters that often provided the shows best moments and while some have great moments others feel underused. Krusty’s barely in it. Burns has one nice moment but it’s in the trailer and you don’t even get a trademark “Exxxcellent”. I don’t think any of the school guys get more than a background glimpse or a stray expository line. And it doesn’t feel necessary to have done this story as broad as they have. There’s a whole movie in the Bart-Flanders relationship and Homer having to wrestle back his son’s affections but this storyline is relegated to some nicely played stuff at the beginning and an almost tacked on reminder at the end. By going away from Springfield they lose this arc for 45 minutes and that’s a real shame. I felt this could have been the focus, and just as heartwarming, but keeping it smaller, more personal. Also in a battle with the EPA wouldn’t the wonderfully power-crazed despot Mr Burns be more involved. He really should have been. Still I can’t help feeling I’m niggling. It is very funny and the more I think back the more great bits I remember. The voice cast is on top form and Albert Brooks’ delivery is perfect. I found it a little difficult to accept the better level of animation, the computer animated bits didn’t feel quite Simpsons. At the end of the day though it is the best film I’ve seen this summer and while I would have liked it to be awesome it is very funny. Stay into the credits too there are a couple of very funny credits gags. I hope though if they do another movie they involve other regular characters much more and keep the action in Springfield.
Man, it gives me warm fuzzies just to think that maybe it’s really this good. Maybe it’s really fun. I don’t want them to release a mediocre SIMPSONS film. I want a really good SIMPSONS film, as does every fan the show’s ever had. Let’s see if this next guy agrees or not:
Hey, doesn't seem to be many reviews out for this yet so here's my thoughts. The most fun I’ve had at the cinema all year. Yes, that’s how I’d sum up the greatness that is The Simpsons Movie. It is just plain uninterrupted fun, filled to the brim with jokes, self-references and imaginative humour. I laughed constantly for it’s 80 minute running time, probably on average a decent laugh-out loud joke every 30 seconds. Finally a movie this year that delivers on it’s promise! Don’t get me wrong if you’re not already a Simpsons fan there’s nothing overly new here that’s going to entice you in. It really is just three episodes back to back (be that 3 very good episodes) and it does exactly what it says on the tin. It reminded me how funny and dynamic the Simpsons is. I’ve been a fan since the first series (when I was five years old) and I still watch it today some 17 years later (as do most fans). I think it’s agreed that the best episode are in the first ten seasons (which I love), where each episode has an obvious story (maybe two) that it wants to tell, ever since then it’s gone a bit downhill. I don’t know why, but it seems to be that the focus of one or two solid stories has been lost and they just try to cram lots of crazy situations/jokes into an episode now with out the heart, and so it lost some of it’s appeal to me. With the movie though you get the best of both worlds, here you have a core story that the movie focuses on completely (with a few side stories that interweave around it) and lots of genuinely funny jokes and situation mixed in as it goes along (that add to it rather than just being there for the sake of it). I also particularly liked the fact that the movie stays centred on the Simpson family. Yes, pretty much every character who’s ever been in an episode makes an appearance (be it speaking or just in the background) but only in the context of the story. They could have just crammed every character into it and it would have ended up being a complete mess, but here they have the perfect balance between the Simpson family and making sure all the other favourites get a look in. I love the look of the film, the added budget really gives the movie a polish and a sheen. Whether it be with the extra shading or the cgi cel-shaded backgrounds that really do look incredible when they move and spin around. Everything just has an added bit of quality about it to differentiate it from a regular episode. I really did think this movie was genuinely funny throughout, and therefore I won’t write about any of the jokes as this movie is definitely best viewed fresh with no spoilers. If you’re a fan of the Simpson brand of comedy it is hilarious. I can’t remember a film where I have laughed constantly from beginning to end, my cheeks were sore afterwards. Not every gag is going to make you rupture your appendix but they’ll make you giggle, and none of the jokes fall flat. The whole audience I watched it with were having an excellent time. After about half way through I thought to myself “I hope they keep this up for the whole film”, and they did! The jokes keep coming and the story moves at a brisk pace (no fat to be trimmed). The humour here is a mix of genre’s (as with the series) you have clever and imaginative stuff, slapstick, dry and few pop-culture references, but all of it works and isn’t out of place. Thoroughly recommended to anyone who is a fan of the Simpsons and I’ll definitely be seeing again. 9/10 If you use this call me Ripblade and you can check out some other movie reviews here
See? Two good ones in a row. Now, keep in mind... I’m running every single review I’ve got sitting in the inbox right now, in no order at all. Try this next one on for size:
Hi, I'm writing for the first time to the site and I wrote this about The Simpsons Movie. I hope you use it. Hi guys, I just came back from an early screening of "The Simpsons Movie (in 2-D)" at a Cinemark nearby and I thought I could send some word about it since I haven't read anything about the movie in this site so far (besides that early review you posted on April I think). Well, right to the point then, THIS MOVIE ROCKS BIG TIME!!!! The great thing about this movie is that it's actually a movie instead of a long episode. It has a storyline, and a coherent one I might add (in Simpsons universe, of course), it doesn't lack of any emotion, comedy or great moments. Now, I'm not going to give you spoilers, but here are a few facts: I think almost every single character that have appeared in the series appears in the movie. Every secondary character has at least one moment in the movie. It's not South Park, on the contrary, it doesn't change at all the style of the series (not a musical). There are plenty of jokes on pop-culture. It doesn't feel to short or long. (running time is like 80 min). The focus stays on the family during the movie. There are no musicals at all. You don't have to be a Simpsons expert to enjoy it. Of course there are inner jokes for the fans. I think you will want to see it again. Why didn't this happen before? I hope this gets you to see the movie, beacuse it's damn hilarious. Love the site, hope this could give an idea of the movie. Nachotroncoso. P.S.: I'm from Chile and I got to see the movie early because here movies open on Thursdays, but sometimes they do early screenings on Wednesdays.
For a dude from Chile, that was pretty well-written in English. There’s a real enthusiasm in these reviews... and a note of relief, too, isn’t there? Can you blame them? If it’s really that good, it must be a rush. At its best, THE SIMPSONS is still one of the single greatest comic creations in pop culture. This is why I didn’t want to do this... I didn’t want to get myself all psyched up for this film. I’ve tried to just keep it out of mind since the first announcements of it. But now, what I’m reading, it makes me really hope. Warning, though... there’s a huge spoiler at the end of this guy’s review:
Hey Harry (or Mori, as is usually the case these days), I've just got back from a screening of The Simpsons Movie, which opened nationwide here in the UK today. Having seen the finished film, exactly as it will arrive in theatres stateside in two days time, I thought you guys might appreciate a spoilerific review. I'll begin by saying that while I'm not the worlds biggest Simpsons fan (South Park is much more my cup of tea) I have grown up with characters over the last two decades and, like most people, I have a great affection for them. I've been looking forward to the prospect of a Simpsons movie since it was first rumoured many years ago and as I drove to the screening this afternoon I found myself worrying that my expectations may have become too high. I'm glad to say that, while those feelings remained with me as I left the theatre, the film provides solid entertainment film that will likely stand-up to many repeat viewings. The tone of the film remains very much in keeping with the series, the gags generally come thick and fast and help to keep the plot moving - the whole thing is underpinned, as usual, with a number of heartfelt family moments. The film opens with a scene from an Itchy & Scratchy movie that, whilst funny, was disappointingly bloodless, before jumping into the main plot. A Titanic spoof in which Green Day sink into a lake playing violins provided the first of many laugh out loud moments for me in the first third of the movie - Other highlights include Grandpa's fit in the church and Comicbook Guy filming it on his phone, Lisa's Inconvenient Truth spoof and a nice little gag with Lenny & Carl in the same scene. One of the few criticisms I have of the film is Lisa's subplot involving her new Irish boyfriend. Whilst Homer & Marge's plot forms the driving force of the narrative and Bart's subplot with Flanders provides some sweet funny moments (a scene involving a cup of cocoa, and another where they go fishing) as well as having a nice pay-off during the films climax, Lisa's subplot seemed the most forced - It had little relation to the plot and seemed to exist solely so that every family member had something going on. Whilst I appreciate what the writers were trying to do, Lisa's subplot slowed down the film and could easily have been cut. I think the thing that will provide the film with great re-watch value is all the sly references to the series. I went with two mates to see the film and when we left, we'd all noticed different things - My personal favourite was a scene, glimpsed in the trailer, near the end of the film where Homer and Bart cross the Springfield Gorge on a motorcycle and the ambulance from the classic episode 'Bart the Daredevil' is still there. These little easter eggs are exemplary of the attention to detail for which the series is reknowned and I'm glad they made the transition to the screen so well. The only other criticisms that I can level at the film are that: 1) Whilst the gags are relentless during the first and last acts of the film, there is a definite lull during the middle where humour, though obviously not drying up completely, is cast aside in favour of some emotional moments between Homer and the rest of the family. 2) Though I'm glad to say that the scene in which Bart's wang is revealed does not seem forced in a 'let's do something shocking because this is the movie' kind of way and actually provided one of the biggest laughs - A scene in which Bart passes out after drinking a bottle of whiskey comes off much less well. 3) The scenes with President Schwarzenegger didn't work for me or the audience I saw the film with. Perhaps it's something that was lost on UK audiences but I can't see that making fun of Arnie because he's a supposedly 'stupid Republican' is going to go down much better stateside to be honest. Thankfully there are only two of these scenes in the movie and they're both relatively short. All in all I was very impressed with the film. As I've already mentioned, I think the film will stand-up well to repeat viewings and I'm looking forward to testing this out over the weekend. Though the plot involving Homer polluting Springfield wasn't all that, it provided an excellent basic structure from which to hang some genuinely funny moments. I'd place The Simpsons Movie third in my list of favourite TV-cartoons-that-have-been-made-into-films after South Park and Beavis & Butthead. I don't think the film's ever going to live up to everyone's expectations but it's definitely good fun, I laughed my ass off, and at the end of the day what more can you ask for from a film like this? P.S. - Tom Hanks cameo is really funny stuff, especially his little bit during the credits. If you use this then please call me theyetiiswaiting.
They can’t all be good reviews... can they?
Hi guys, You’re probably going to get a deluge of these – if you haven’t already – but as it’s opening today in the UK (don’t complain about it being a US product, you got our very British Harry Potter earlier than us and we didn’t moan) and the only review I can see anywhere is on MSN I thought I’d share my thoughts on The Simpsons Movie, which I saw at a print run-through yesterday. So the first question is, is the film old-school classic Simpsons or modern-day average entertainment Simpsons? Well, it’s a bit of both (Homer’s still a bumbling buffoon as per the later seasons) but with the quality results thankfully erring toward the former. A quick synopsis – Lake Springfield is at risk of turning into a very nasty mess of toxic waste thanks to everything from the nuclear waste dumped there to Fat Tony’s dead bodies. Luckily Lisa manages to convince the town to clean it up – which works until Homer manages to turn it right back round with help from his new pet pig. The EPA – led by Albert Brooks’ underused villain Russ Cargill – use this as an excuse to throw a giant dome around Springfield and removing any knowledge of its existence. Naturally the townspeople revolt against the family leading to them having to learn to bond together, save Springfield and… well, a bit more learning how to bond together. That’s about the first half hour and by far the best in terms of laughs, although it’s mostly just a series of skits for 30 minutes. It helps set up the world of The Simpsons fine but the jokes rarely seem part of a bigger plot. Bart’s skateboarding nude provides enough laughs – including the best line of the whole film from Ralph Wiggum (naturally) – as do the various glimpses we get of the supporting cast, especially in the extended opening titles. It’s a shame then when the plot moves away from them as the fate of Springfield and its residents is only glimpsed every now and again. With a supporting cast that large it makes sense for the producers to concentrate on the Simpson family – it is, after all, their name above the title – but I think the half-hour of seeing all the cast in their widescreen glory will be the part of the film fans enjoy the most. (Speaking of, the animation gets a bit of getting used to – seeing The Simpsons look the same but spruced up a bit is a little odd but it looks good – the only gripe being that they went for the widest ratio possible but then don’t seem to be able to fill the background enough) Crucially, the plot works for 87 minutes. It doesn’t feel hugely epic and, just out of familiarity’s sake, it feels odd once it’s past the half way point to still be watching a Simpsons story, but it’s absolutely fine. There are a lot of laughs to be had, mainly involving Homer’s new pet pig (a relationship that is sadly dropped too soon) and there’s a lot more risqué humour than the TV show, some good (Bart’s nakedness), some not so good (a vision of a giant woman uses her breast to guide the way). The film also sticks with the show’s irreverent digs at society and there are a couple of attempts at post-modernism which work and make you wish for more. All the family get their moment to shine, even if Lisa’s used mostly as a means to get the plot started and Bart’s subplot about being disappointed with his father doesn’t seem to work as dramatically as it should (every moment Maggie gets though is perfect). Overall, it’s a fine comedy. Fans will gripe (no scenes inside the Kwiki Mart or Nuclear Power Station? No Sideshow Bob?!) about what they wanted in the film but didn’t get – after 18 years you’re not going to get everything – but the writers and producers have done as good a job as they were going to do – better than they should considering the current seasons. It does just about feel like a film and it has more than enough laughs for you to pay to see it at a cinema. It’s not up to the level of South Park : Biggerl, Longer & Uncut – which remains a classic film even away from the TV series – but it’s a worthy addition to the Simpsons legacy. If you use this then Buddy Ackerman will suit me fine.
Okay... I’m going to walk into it just hoping for a decent comedy for 80 minutes. Nothing more. That should pitch my expectations about right...
Hey Guys, Hadn't seen any early reviews online for the Simpson's movie so I thought I'd drop by with my thoughts on their big screen outing. I got myself into a media screening on Monday here in the UK, tight security etc, sign documents wavering your rights to an attorney blah blah bling, blah blah blah. Oh and by the way, why do people always have to crap on about getting to sneak preview screenings? Is it so bloody necessary that we have to hear everyone's life story when all we want to know is if the film is shit or not? Here's the deal. No spoilers, no giving away nice little surprises, just general impressions. So that you know where I'm coming from, I will sum up a handful of films with short reviews. Transformers - I'd rather remove my own intestines and hang myself by it than watch it again. Spiderman 3 - How convenient, How dull. Shrek the Third - I'm sorry did you say something funny? Cause I ain't laughing, nor is the rest of the audience. Incredibles - How can you not love every inch of that film? Alright that's enough, you get the idea. The Simpson's Movie is fast and furious. If there is a slow part, it's no more than a minute. There's a lot going on and most of the characters get screen time in some form or another, and those moments are often very funny. Yes, it's a bloody funny film, fan or no fan you'll find reason to laugh. I was expecting dialogue to be pushed a little more (ala Southpark) but it's kept relatively clean and it's not an issue. It just proves that you can keep things PG and still be funny. It's probably fair to say it's funnier than the series has been in a long while, but there is also a weariness from a show that's clocked up 400 episodes. I get the impression that a lot of people think it's not funny anymore and hasn't been in a long while, but it's only because we've become so familiar with the characters, rather than a lack of jokes. The Movie is like giving the show a new lease on life. For a fan, it's a joy to see Homer and the Gang on the big screen and the creative team have done it justice. The animation pops, it's a beautiful 2D animated film, full of colour and life. The music from Hans Zimmer is spot on and adds shed loads of value, always sitting there in the background and never overpowering. In fact there were moments I wanted to hear more of the music because it sounded so good. No offence to Alf Clausen but he's busy doing season 18.. or is it 19?The voice over cast seem to go into new realms here. Maybe it's just hearing the gang on a big cinema sound system, but there is something new to their voices. In one scene involving Marge pleading to Homer's sensibilities (what little he has) we hear her speak in a way we have not heard before. Clearly everyone involved has realised what a daunting task it is to recreate a near to 20 year old show on the big screen. Everyone stepped up to the plate admirably. My hat goes off to Matt Groening and Al Jean for creating a lot of disinformation about the story, and there's no way I intend to spoil it for anyone, nor undo their hard work to keep the film a surprise for people. A few years back I had the privilege of interviewing Matt Groening and the topic of the film was discussed. The interview was supposed to have lasted ten minutes and it went for forty. I've got a lot of time for the creative forces behind film and TV. They're the ones who have interesting things to say.... and now I'm becoming self absorbed... Anyway, he's a top geezer. Bottom line... For any Simpson's fan, you'll have a great time here, for the casual viewer, equally so. I haven't seen Ratatouille yet as it hasn't been released here, but The Simpson's Movie is by far the best and funniest animated film I've seen since The Incredibles. Those films being directed by Brad Bird, one of the original driving forces behind the Simpsons. There's one true test of a films worth, and that's when you start talking about moments in the film that make you start chuckling hours or days later. A day later I'm still remembering one of dozens and dozens of very funny moments and laughing about it. There's a lot to take in so I'm up for a second viewing, plus I would love to see it with a full audience as I was at a screening with only 7 people so you don't get that experience of watching the Simpson's with a large group of people all laughing collectively. For that reason, I strongly recommend seeing the film on the big screen sooner rather than later. It'll make it that much more rewarding. Oh yeah, don't eave the cinema when the credits start rolling. There's a couple of additions worth waiting for. Cheers The Veritas
Oh... thanks for the warning on that one. It’s nice to know when you should stay seated. That way you miss nothing. It’s crazy... I expected more venom just on general principle. I thought you guys would overjudge this thing to death, but instead... you sound pleased. Could it be? Really?
Oh my god I've just seen Bart Simpsons penis on the big screen and it was pure genius. About an hour ago I witnessed the hopes and dreams of every true Simpsons fan become a reality as the promise of a word perfect old school longer Simpsons episode finally comes to the big screen. If like me you thought that the past few seasons have been a shadow of its former glory you will be in hog heaven with this particular outing. Now don't get me wrong there's always laughs to be had in the new episodes but the quality of the stories, the zaniness and the development of the characters have been lacking somewhat and even the most die hard Simpsons fan down knows this deep down in his fanboy heart. In fact it seemed like they rehashed the same old plot week in week out with Homer always doing something wrong, Marge getting pissed off and he has to win her back with a romantic gesture and after a while it gets a little tired and we wonder just why Marge is still with this fruit loop. I quickly came to the conclusion that the writers must feel constrained by the time limits of a TV show in which they have to attempt to write a fresh story week in week out. I’m thrilled to announce this film delivers where the newer episodes fail and that is definitely to do with the running time...characters are allowed to breath and the story flows naturally you really feel like you have walked into the end of an episode at times and that you shouldn't be watching. From the start of the credits your laughing and the laughs just keep building and building, and yes you really do get to see Bart’s wiener in classic Simpsons style. One major character dies... oh we'll miss you. Realizations are made by the main characters and the growth that is sorely lacking in the series is achieved, you actually feel and understand why Marge loves Homer and puts up with his crap. You understand why Homer is... well Homer. Ned Flanders is actually handled like a well adjusted human being with his annoying character traits becoming more endearing as Ned is allowed to show a side of him we are only allowed to glimpse in the episodes. The characters all feel like themselves again you feel like your in the company of best friends long gone and the smile on my face couldn't have been any wider. Hell even Lisa is likeable again. The plot is brilliant and manages to keep you enthralled. Anything Simpsons with Albert Brooks in has to be seen to be believed I cant begin to describe how hilarious I find all of his Simpsons incarnations. Anyway enough gushing from me if you use this credit it to: Lloyd Marlow.
And another, this one from a guy who actually went to the premiere of the film:
Hello Harry. I'm a long time reader, but this is the first time I've sat down to write anything that you might think about using. I was at the Chicago premiere of Hot Fuzz, but so was Capone, so I didn't bother you with that. Anywho, the lack of anything similar to this on your main page suggests that this time I may now have a tasty tidbit which might tantalize your theatric taste buds! Two short days ago my wife and I drove from Illinois and pulled into Vermont for the premiere of The Simpsons Movie and I was lucky enough to snag myself a pass. So here I am. Let me say this first of all: Springfield VT is not, and I repeat, NOT the home of The Simpsons. It was a nice enough town with nice enough people. Yet for Matt Groening to have to stand there and say that The Simpsons hailed from a place where they spelled Woo Hoo "Whooo hooo" and D'oh "Dow" just didn't feel right. As I looked around the crowd, I could see about 40 or 50 die hard fans. It seemed everyone else was there to support the town rather than the event. That's fine. Maybe I'm just tragically bitter that Illinois came in second, or maybe I'm sleep deprived from the 30 hour round trip. Whatever makes me less of a jerk. Secondly, and this probably goes without saying, I'm a pretty hardcore when it comes to the show. Maybe, just maybe, I'm a little biased when it comes to my review. Therefore non-fans and people who are unhappy with episodes from 2000 onwards may want to take this with a pinch of salt. Others can take my words to heart. I desperately would like to spill my guts about every little detail, but I feel that would be unfair to the film makers and the films 4 year production. So you'll have to go for your spoilers elsewhere. I'll start with an area where I've heard people voice concern. I know there are worries that the movie might feel less like a feature and more like 3 and a half episodes strung together. I say (with gusto) that it's the former. Rather than a main plot accompanied by one or more side stories it has one central storyline focusing heavily on the family. The townspeople of Springfield take a backseat, only accentuating the story when necessary. i.e. where they are crucial to the tale or have a gag worth delivering. The whole look and sound of the film is much more theatric, with a spiffy new widescreen animation style and lines of dialog being delivered with much more emotion than I've ever heard in the show. I'm thinking in particular of a scene where Homer is watching a video that Marge weepily recorded for him. Hey, even Maggie gets to be part of the action! Any movie where a baby fights a monkey is okay by me! That brings me to the next difference between the formats, the difference between its primetime TV-PG and it's theatrical PG-13. *sigh* Yes, we do get to see Bart's doodle. I sigh not because I think it's wrong (although people who might find it sexual are wrong on a few levels. Side note to these people: Seek help!), I sigh because it's a genuinely funny setup and knock-down and I know that it's going to be turned into an issue by certain kinds of people, overbearing parents and the religious right mostly (You people seek help too). That, along with a risqué Disneyesque parody and a little language and a certain hand gesture that you wouldn't find on fox at 7pm probably sealed its upgrade to pg-thirteendom. They definitely could have pushed the rating a little further, but they didn't need to, and I'm glad they didn't. The story is grand in scale and while it has a familiar feel, it takes us past anything we've seen on the show and ends up feeling new and fresh. The characters do show a side to themselves that we've never (or rarely) seen before which lends to a feeling of emotion that some people feel has been missing from the show. Sure there's still some silly gags slotted here and there throughout, but never did I find myself thinking that a joke was too cheap or too worn. The voice work was very well done, with Albert Brooks once again reassuring me that he's the best guest to ever lay down lines at the Fox studio. Hank Scorpio can't be beat, but Brooks' character in the movie, Russ Cargill, is a laugh riot and a close second. Also finding itself with a guest spot is Green Day. The role is short, but oh so sweet. There is another immense A list guest star that surprised me with his presence, but as he's not common knowledge, I'll just keep his identity under wraps. But prepare to laugh at his off the wall 'as himself' cameo. It's also worth mentioning Harry (the pig) as he isn't around as long as his recent insertion into every piece of marketing might lead you to believe. But he's in it long enough, and remains very funny throughout. The writing is top notch, filled with wit and quality satire with little inside jokes for the fans and not so little jabs at the fox network and the current government regime. (We all know that President Schwarzenegger is a not too distant reality!) At 86 minutes the film is well paced and you never even start to think it will outstay its welcome. Heck, I think it could have been 15 minutes longer. Oh, but I'm not too worried about missing out on movie footage, as I'm sure I'll see it included in the next two movies that will be released in the coming years. I know that the voice talent have the option for them in their contracts and I also know that this puppy is going to make a killing at the box office. I give The Simpsons first celluloid outing a solid A. And that's the end of that chapter. If you deem this review worthy, you can call me HazMatt.
We’ll wrap it up with the last guy, who may speak for a pretty large percentage of SIMPSONS fans in terms of his feelings about the show... so does that suggest that he’ll also speak for their feelings about the film?
Hey, Harry. Congratulations on your recent betrothal. As a semi-newlywed myself (11 months and counting) congrats and welcome to the club. I consider myself something of a lapsed Simpsons fan. I do think the show is one of the best in television history and that the quality of the writing over the years has been pretty phenomenal and yet...I don't watch it all that religiously anymore. I've seen probably half of the shows over the last five seasons (more since tivo) and apart from the occasional clunker, most of the eps are funnier than 99% of what passes for TV comedy as of late. Still...at some point my interest in the show sort of shifted from active to academic. It became like an old buddy I only half heartedly keep in touch with. I still have a great time when we get together..but I don't put a lot of effort into making that happen. I knew the long promised movie was coming out (it's hard to miss these days) but when my wife asked me if I wanted to see it I was kind of like Meh...maybe. Such was my apathy. Then about a week ago, I read the Simpsons article in Vanity Fair. If you haven't read it, you should. Very interesting remembrances from Groening, Brooks, Shearer, Azaria, and Conan about the origins of the show and highlights and lowlights from its 20 year history. It got me pretty geeked up. And after '62 slices of american cheese' later, I got to see it and let me just say MMMMMMmovie. GGGGGooooooood. TSM opens with Homer pissed off in a darkened movie theater at paying to see Itchy & Scratchy The Movie on the big screen when he could watch 'em for free on television. Very funny stuff. And the laughs kept coming. Mild Spoiler Alert! (I don't want to give it all away...) The Springfield Lake contaminated with deadly, mutant spawning toxic waste, gets the City of Springfield quarantined in a dome by President Schwarzenegger's evil EPA director. When Homer and his spider pig are to blame, the Simpsons escape an angry mob and several Red Dawn death squads and flee to the tranquility of the picturesque, oil pumping Alaskan wilderness. When Maggie, Bart, Lisa and Marge get captured (after leaving Homer to go back to save Springfield), Homer must return home to save his family and the town which has been targeted for nuclear destruction and designated as the future location of Grand Canyon #2. There are so many great classic simpson gems, Spider Pig, Harry Plopper, Bart skateboarding naked (I have not laughed so hard in a long time), Grand Theft Walrus, a great sequence with homer trying to rescue his family and a total Disney inspired 'let's get it on' type moment with both Marge and Homer and all the animals in the forest. There is so much stuff packed into this movie, that just like the show, you'll really need to see it at least twice to pick up on all the quick bits and gags. The movie brought back a lot of great memories for me and it made me remember just how special this show (and now movie) really is. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and yeah, I'll say it, it was totally worth the wait :-) -Nuff said, Sgt Rock
Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles