Animation and Anime

A Matinee With Moriarty! THE SIMPSONS MOVIE!

Published at: July 28, 2007, 5:08 a.m. CST

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here. I had no idea when I bought my new house where the local theaters were or what screens were in my area. As it turns out, I’m about two minutes away from the Winnetka 21, a monolithic all-stadium place. Knowing that now, I’m planning to make a habit of at least one matinee a week there. I’ve had this conversation with people a lot lately, because I think it’s important: people who work in the film industry should go to the movies more often. And not premieres. And not screenings. And not someone’s private theater in their house in the hills. I’m talking about buying a ticket. Taking your chances. Seeing it with a crowd. You’d be surprised how some people who work in film or who write about film almost never go to the theater unless it’s work. I think that’s a huge mistake. I think you owe it to yourself to experience movies the way the public does. Now that I’m living here, now that it’s so preposterously convenient, I’m going to make sure I make more of a habit of it. If I’m telling other people to do it, I should make sure to do it myself. With that in mind, I made it to the 2:35 screening about 20 minutes early. The lobby was busy, but not crazy. It took me about six or seven minutes to get my drink. I went into theater one, found it about a third full. I sat on the front row of the rear section. One seat by itself. Nice and secluded. The commercials began promptly at 2:35. About eight or nine minutes worth. Then trailers. ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS. DADDY DAY CAMP. GOOD LUCK CHUCK. And then the one surprise of the day... the trailer for Blue Sky Studio’s HORTON HEARS A WHO. Count me in on this one. I’m gobsmacked by how accurate the Dr. Seuss universe appears to be, visually, and I like the gentle eccentricity of the trailer. It’s not a blockbuster trailer by any means... it doesn’t really sell the larger story. It’s just a bit of mood, a glimpse of Jim Carrey as Horton and Steve Carell as a Who. This went from “I think they’re making that but I’m not sure” to “Oh my god, I want to see that now” by the end of the trailer. I’ve been reading Dr. Seuss to Toshi lately, so I’m a fan of his work all over again right now, amazed by it on a number of levels, and as long as this is a respectful dip into the world he created, I’m excited. I hope they get it right. And then... THE SIMPSONS MOVIE. I can’t believe there’s actually a SIMPSONS MOVIE and it’s out and you can pay to go see it and it’s real. THE SIMPSONS has been on the air now for more years than my age when the show began. I was 18 when it premiered; the show has now passed that. It’s an institution. Shows that run that long aren’t even shows anymore. They’re cornerstones of pop culture. They simply exist, constantly turning out new work, but secure in their place in the firmament. I think finally making a SIMPSONS MOVIE took real balls. It would be very easy for this to be a knock-off, something cynical the studio pumped out... but the timing’s all wrong for that. They missed that moment by about a decade. This feels like something else from the moment it begins... ... it feels right. The Simpsons make an effortless leap to the bigscreen, in my opinion. Using a heavy-hitting team of the best writers the series has ever had, this creative team created a movie... a large canvass Simpsons story that does innovative things, that does familiar things, and that reminds us of just why THE SIMPSONS matters in the first place. What more can you ask? The story unfolds exactly like the best stories from the show unfold... unexpectedly. Where the film starts is nothing like where the film ends up. It’s motivated by the characters being true to who they are, and in this film, that gets put to a test that I found quite convincingly written, and surprisingly powerful. There are dozens of little acknowledgements that you’re watching a movie, ways in which the film winks at you, but it still offers up a genuine emotional core. That’s not easy, man. How often do you see a comedy that tries to get sentimental, only to turn to mush? Or how often do you see a genuine moment betrayed by a cheap gag? So often, someone’s strength is either one or the other. Even when Matt Groening was writing LIFE IN HELL back in the underground days, his work managed to be both surreal and insane and rude and shocking and, yet, somehow emotional. He perfectly captured the way children filter the world in a way that really only compared to the work Waterson was doing at the time; no one else in the comic strip world was even close at that time. I’ve always believed that the magical alchemy of THE SIMPSONS came from combining the sensibility of Groening with the wisdom of James L. Brooks. Every other genius who has worked on the show (and I believe there have been several) has been working in reaction to those two strong polar creative forces. I’ve seen some complaints that we don’t get a lot of supporting cast in this film. I think that’s sort of inaccurate to say, though. There are quite a few supporting players in this film. Almost everyone we’ve ever met in Springfield shows up somewhere. Now, admittedly, most people don’t get a lot of screen time, but this is a story about the Simpsons first and foremost. I want the family to be front and center. I don’t want them marginalized in their own film. I think the rest of Springfield all manages to make an impression at one point or another. I laughed out loud for most of the film. I’m delighted by how non-stop funny it is. Sometimes there are big set pieces, sometimes it’s simply good strong character writing or sly verbal exchanges, but the entire film had me laughing, reacting. And one reason I’m glad I saw this with the crowd I did is because they were into it. They were with the film all the way through. Everyone reacted to different things. Some of the biggest moments got deservedly outsized reactions, and some lines had maybe one or two people in the whole place laughing, but it was a kick to see what people responded to with this one. It’s fun because we all love something different about THE SIMPSONS at this point. If you’re a fan of it, I’m sure you’ve got specific scenes or jokes or characters or images that define why you are a fan. A lot of what I really respect and enjoy about the show is represented in the approach they’ve taken to putting this together, and realizing that... the creeping sensation of watching someone get something exactly right... is one of this summer’s most pleasant surprises. Albert Brooks has always been a valuable resource for James L. Brooks, and his past appearances on THE SIMPSONS are among the show’s best loved moments. He has a major role here as Cargill, a douchebag of epic proportions, carved from the same stuff as great movie douchebags like William Atherton in GHOSTBUSTERS or... well... William Atherton in DIE HARD... officious and slimy, a naked toady with no redeeming qualities. It’s a nice Albert Brooks performance because he’s able to make sure Cargill is a giant prick without playing him as overtly evil. I have to admit, I was worried about this character more than any other, since he’s basically a device, an invention just to kick the story into motion. But rest assured, Brooks makes Cargill an unforgettable scumbag, blissfully vile, almost jolly about mass murder. The film looks fantastic on the bigscreen, and I love the look of the world in scope. Hans Zimmer’s score manages to evoke both Danny Elfman and Alf Clausen without simply ripping either one of them off. And the voice credits are, across the board, top-notch. Special mention has to be made of Julie Kavner. I alluded earlier to her big scene, and I won’t ruin it, but I’ll just say that she broke my heart. I’ve always thought that the thing that makes her work as Marge so powerful is the same thing that makes Yeardley’s work as Lisa so great... absolute sincerity. Decency. It’s the thing that a show like FAMILY GUY can never do since it’s just about getting the crassest laugh possible... it’s the thing that most wise-ass animated comedy can’t do because it keeps real emotion at arm’s length... there’s such depth of spirit here that it makes all the lunacy that much richer. I know I’ve been vague about plot here, but that’s because there’s no point describing the plot of THE SIMPSONS MOVIE. It’s as pointless as trying to describe the actual jokes. Suffice it to say, this is 100% pure SIMPSONS straight from the tap, and it put a huge smile on my face for hours after it was over. I look forward to watching it again and mining for even more jokes, things I’m sure I’ll be discovering in subsequent looks at it. I’ve got a busy weekend of posting before I leave the country on Monday morning for another set visit, so I’ll cut this short. I’ll start running these “Matinee With Moriarty” pieces every time I go to this theater, sometimes for opening weekend, sometimes for something that’s been out for a while that I missed. With this one doing as well as it is so far this weekend, I’m curious to see if you guys had good luck with your crowds like I did with mine. My guess is that people are there to share this one and enjoy it, and that can be a lot of fun.


Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

Readers Talkback

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  • July 28, 2007, 5:09 a.m. CST

    I want to see this

    by mrfan

    Oh yeah

  • July 28, 2007, 5:20 a.m. CST

    2nd

    by elohel

    yay

  • July 28, 2007, 5:23 a.m. CST

    Great piece, Drew...

    by FilmCritic3000

    I hope these articles/reviews become a frequent thing on the site.

  • July 28, 2007, 5:32 a.m. CST

    yes indeed, i LOLed

    by cyrent

    and I'm not even a huge simpsons fan *gasp* so it's worth a viewing

  • July 28, 2007, 5:33 a.m. CST

    A local reviewer made the point...

    by PUSSY ON OPTIMUS

    ...a lot of the fun of this movie is the experience of having 200 people in your living room laughing at the Simpsons.

  • July 28, 2007, 5:40 a.m. CST

    I could watch Homer all day

    by DrLektor

    but the thing about the Simpsons is, the show works not just because of him, it's his interplay with the rest of the family. What would Homer be without the moral lessons that Marge tries to throw at him and he ends up messing up over. The weird love and respect that Bart has for his dad and the kinda sad way in which Homer is always trying to get Lisa to love him back. Throw in several hundred brilliantly realised characters and you forget about wishing it was just "The Homer Simpson show" and understand just why, even through the low times, people adore this series. Myself included.

  • July 28, 2007, 5:50 a.m. CST

    good article, mori...

    by The Real MiraJeff

    ...and i agree, a lot of film industry peeps can tell you tons about what they're developing, who the next hot thing is, etc, but very few have actually seen the movies that are in theaters, and yes, most of these people wait to see free screenings at whatever studio lot they work on, thereby bypassing the regular theater experience. Now I'm still not sure if that's a good or bad thing. I saw Ratatouille tonight (surprised by how much I loved it!) and there were little kids wailing (and it was a 10:30 show), teens yapping and texting going on all around me, but then again, in a private screening room, you can't eat nachos. Tough call. Can't wait to see the Simpsons Movie, really grateful for the response it's been getting all around the Web. Wanted to avoid the crowds, but I'll take your advice and catch a matinee next week, Mori. Oh yeah, nice review too. Also snuck into Sunshine tonight, beautiful film, a bit of a head scratcher at the end, headed to Massa's talkback now to try and figure out what the hell I just saw.

  • July 28, 2007, 5:50 a.m. CST

    good article, mori...

    by The Real MiraJeff

    ...and i agree, a lot of film industry peeps can tell you tons about what they're developing, who the next hot thing is, etc, but very few have actually seen the movies that are in theaters, and yes, most of these people wait to see free screenings at whatever studio lot they work on, thereby bypassing the regular theater experience. Now I'm still not sure if that's a good or bad thing. I saw Ratatouille tonight (surprised by how much I loved it!) and there were little kids wailing (and it was a 10:30 show), teens yapping and texting going on all around me, but then again, in a private screening room, you can't eat nachos. Tough call. Can't wait to see the Simpsons Movie, really grateful for the response it's been getting all around the Web. Wanted to avoid the crowds, but I'll take your advice and catch a matinee next week, Mori. Oh yeah, nice review too. Also snuck into Sunshine tonight, beautiful film, a bit of a head scratcher at the end, headed to Massa's talkback now to try and figure out what the hell I just saw.

  • July 28, 2007, 5:51 a.m. CST

    hmm

    by The Real MiraJeff

    not sure why that double post happened but i apologize gang

  • July 28, 2007, 5:54 a.m. CST

    Saw it on weds

    by welshguy

    Yeah we brits got it before you guys and it is funny as hell.Watch for Homer when Flanders is gonna make announcement in church,genius

  • July 28, 2007, 6:01 a.m. CST

    The simpsons movie is funny.........

    by knifeandfork

    .....And at the end of the day , isnt that all that matters? I mean sure, its no way as funny as the show in its prime , but its entertaining , touching and full of laughs. Also, i think the 2 star reveiw that the film got in empire magazine was wrong . Also, empire magazine is made up of failed film makers who are resentfull toward all local product that isnt from working title and suck up to hollywood film makers mercilessly, regardless of wether they produce good films or not .Fuck empire magazine .

  • July 28, 2007, 6:01 a.m. CST

    Best Idea EVER

    by Chest_Rockwell78

    Man, it seems I've been hearing about a Simpsons movie for ten years now. I can't wait to see this tomorrow. I absolutely love everything about the Simpsons. I've watched it from the very first episode, the Christmas Special, and I fell in love instantly. I was only 11 when the show premiered, and now my kids love the show just as much as I do. And from what Mo had to say, I shan't be disappointed. Exxxcellennnttt!!!!

  • July 28, 2007, 6:27 a.m. CST

    Nice review, Moriarty

    by Franklin T Marmoset

    It's weird to think there are adults in the world who have never known life without The Simpsons. Good for them. I wish I had The Simpsons to watch when I was a kid.<p>Anyway, seeing this one tomorrow. I really cannot wait. Homer on the big screen! WOO-HOO!

  • July 28, 2007, 6:32 a.m. CST

    There was once an Irish guy who lived in the us and

    by emeraldboy

    worked for an ad agnecy. He was sitting around pitching ideas. When he came up with genius idea. African american guy comes in and says wassup. That was for a time the most famous beer ad in the world. but... it ran into a problem straight away. the african american community hated the ad and for our Irish friend in ny things got hairy. People he didnt know, kept calling him a racist. These people were in a minority because everyone else kept qouting the line either in his face where he worked. or the ad would be on constantly. Point is there will always be a minority who dont like something. There is a minority who dont like the simpsons or lost or HBO or FOx or bay for that matter. or the star wars prequels or transformers or peter jackson for that matter. There is nothing wrong with liking any of these things. Me, I dont like prison break and cant stand it. It was good idea wasted.

  • July 28, 2007, 6:54 a.m. CST

    may get me to the theater

    by stvnhthr

    I've only seen one film at the actual theater with the public this year, but I like Moriarty's idea and reasoning. It sounds like Simpsons may be the movie to get me back to the public cinema.

  • July 28, 2007, 7:05 a.m. CST

    I'll keep my review short and simple

    by darquelyte

    It was really good with several laugh out loud moments! It took shots at itself, Fox TV, and just about everything else. Very well done & worth seeing! I'd not only see it again on the big screen, but I'll buy it when it comes out...and that says a whole lot since I don't buy many movies.

  • July 28, 2007, 7:29 a.m. CST

    3 reasons why its not a good film

    by moners

    1. Troy McClure marries Zelma. 2. Hank Scorpio. 3.Beer Baron. In my opinion the three best Simpsons episodes. Endlessly quoteable, story has a point, cameos that arent just JK Rowley on a street for no reason because shes famous, jokes arent dragged out, I could go on. The Simpsons movie and The Simpsons on TV have been shite for too long for the movie to ever work. I am amazed that people stand for this bollox from the writers. They should be ashamed to have let their standards have slipped so low. Rock on Empire, although I would have dropped another star for pure principle!

  • July 28, 2007, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Movies in theaters

    by BDT

    I go see movies on the opening day at the Alamo. Best movie theater in the world! I believe in seeing movies in movie theaters with an audience. There is no experience like it...where your reaction becomes a part of a greater whole, but you are still anonymous... you feel connected, but not on the spot. I've been to theaters where this is not a good thing, with audience rudeness, talking and cell phones. But luckily I live in Austin and have the Alamo. Seeing The Simpsons movie at the Alamo...who could ask for more. Yes, Drew, I found tears were actually produced in that Marge moment, and, at first, I was really embarrassed, but then I was comforted by the fact that I was not alone. The Simpsons Movie ROCKS.

  • July 28, 2007, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Thanks AICN, for not overhyping this movie to death

    by Ryan3

    After the way this mostly unfunny film's been overhyped to death on News Corp's numerous media outlets (they must have probably got themselves about 50 mill worth of free international advertising in the process), I'm not as admiring of the film as Mori is. Not for that, but I agree with most of the semi-negative and negative comments (in the previous thread, from other AICN readers like myself, who've seen it). I just found the first half hour worked best and it was downhill after that.

  • July 28, 2007, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Good article, Mori

    by theBigE

    I've often wondered how many movie/studio folks (that includes AICN reporters!) actually see films in a real theater. When I saw Transformers in a chain theater, there were 6 minutes of commercials followed by over 15 minutes of trailers. Please - no commercials, and 10 minutes of trailers tops! And yes, even mediocre Simpsons episodes are funnier when you watch them with an attentive audience of more than 1 other person!

  • July 28, 2007, 8:33 a.m. CST

    moners

    by lagomorph

    you're full of pig crap. you are in fact, overflowing with it. Why don't you go SEE the movie you're slagging and then come back and join the adults for discussion.

  • July 28, 2007, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Crazy Like A Fox!

    by lost.rules

    He has to push the sanctity of marriage, or his God will punish him.

  • July 28, 2007, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Well put, Mori!

    by Zarles

    My sentiments exactly. With that said, RELEASE THE HOUNDS!

  • July 28, 2007, 8:40 a.m. CST

    To the book depository!

    by lost.rules

    No, I am Mr.Sparkle.

  • July 28, 2007, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Can't wait for this !

    by barnaby jones

    My girlfriend is making me watch Hairspray first though ! D'oh !

  • July 28, 2007, 8:44 a.m. CST

    A review I wrote for another site:

    by Vadakin

    It's hard to remember a time before Star Wars...I mean the Simpsons. The truth is, The Simpsons has had the impact in TV land that Star Wars has had in movies and it really is hard to remember a time when the Simpsons didn't exist. The family of 5, living in 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield have been on our TV screens for nearly 20 years and there are few who would be surprised if it continued for another 2 decades. <p> In recent years, the show has lost some of its spark and has relied more and more heavily on gimmicks and random celebrity appearances, and many feel that the show has been surpassed by shows like Futurama (from the people who brought you...yep...the Simpsons) and Family Guy. But even a "bad" episode of the Simpsons is always worth watching and it was always going to be interesting to see if the flaws that have crept into the show in recent years would still be there when it came time to make a movie. <p> A friend of mine told me that the Simpsons just wasn't funny anymore, and I tended to agree with him to a large extent, but this movie has us both in stitches at times and having grown up with these characters, we were sad when they were sad, happy when they were happy...the Simpsons is back to its best....mostly. <p> Most of the jokes work and even the gags that should only work for Americans had the Irish audience I saw the film with laughing...although there was a slight groan when it came to the stereotypical Irish accent of one of the movie-only characters. <p> It should be noted that Ralph Wiggum has the single best line in the entire film and you may find yourself spitting your drink out through your nose with laughter. <p> Which does bring up a slight complaint. The film focusses on the Simpsons family and rightly so, but while the supporting characters all appear (didn't see any sign of Hank Scorpio though) the majority are limited to just one or two lines each and spend most of their time just making up the numbers in crowd scenes, which seems like a bit of a wasted opportunity. In fact some of the most beloved characters don't even get a line which is a shame...although I can understand the need to focus on the adventures of Marge, Bart, Maggie, Lisa and Homer and not get sidetracked. <p> What's the movie about? Well I would estimate that a third of all Simpsons episodes is about Homer screwing up and having to put things right and it's the same here. It's all you need to know really...let me just say that Mr. Burns' sun blocker has nothing on this. <p> There are of course negatives, as with every film...some of the flaws of recent years have crept into the movie. There are a couple of jokes that will make you roll your eyes but thankfully, there's enough quality in the film that these moments can be easily forgotten and you'll soon find yourself struggling to breathe again as you try to stop laughing. <p> One big disappointment is that there's no couch gag...it's standard procedure in the show and the decision to replace it with a celebrity cameo from Green Day is annoying quite frankly....on the other hand...the couch gag was supposed to signal that the Simpsons were comng home to watch the show, just like the Flintstones intro had Fred and co going to the drive-in to watch the episode, so maybe the couch gag could have been replaced by a cinema seat gag or something...or maybe they just ran out of couch gag ideas after 18 years <p> Any fans of Futurama will remember the heart-wrenching mindfuck that was the "Seymour the Dog" episode. There have been a few episodes of Futurama that have played with emotions as well as delivering humour, and while the end of the Seymour episode had a lot of people in tears, finding themselves unexpectedly emotionally invested in the episode, The Simpsons doesn't go that far, which is a good thing. <p> But it does have heart. It may be an animated sitcom, but there are moments in the film where, after more than 400 episodes, you will find yourself willing these characters to achieve their goals, and while you probably won't be brought to tears, these moments will feel as real to any Simpsons fan as if it was happening to their family and wasn't just a cartoon. <p> The animation retains the classic feel of the Simpsons but you can tell they had a bigger budget than in the show, enabling them to do things that just aren't possible in the series. The music almost seemed like half Simpsons movie and half Flintstones movie at times, but overall I can have no real complaints. The voice cast earn their paycheques with the usual high standards we have come to expect from them and it helps that they are working with the best Simpsons script for many years, though it's not without its flaws. <p> I suppose my biggest complaint is the running time which comes in at just over 70 minutes...yes there is a lot packed into that time, but I found myself wanting to see and hear more from the supporting characters and even the subplots involving Lisa and Bart aren't as fleshed out as they could have been....the film could easily have been 10-15 minutes longer and retained a good pace. <p> Overall, I would say that The Simpsons Movie is a must-see for anyone who has ever seen a single episode of the show (which is pretty much everyone) and while it hasn't fully shaken off the negatives of recent years, it's certainly a worthy effort and if the next season of the show can be even half as good as the movie, then I think The Simpsons will be around for a long time to come. I would still put it behind the work of genius that was South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, but I think it's fair to say that The Simpsons are back...and in a big way...and is definitely worth repeat viewings. <p> It's hard to remember a time before the Simpsons...and it will be even harder to imagine a time after the Simpsons. <p> Score: 8.5...no scratch that...Ralph Wiggum rocks. <p> <p> Final Score: 9/10 Best movie of the summer...so far

  • July 28, 2007, 8:55 a.m. CST

    i must spend time with the little people...

    by Suki_Jonze

    now that im such a big hot shot. lol... what a pointless introduction -- get to the review already w/out the arrogant ramblings.

  • July 28, 2007, 9:07 a.m. CST

    I JUST WANT TO REACH OUT TO ANY NON TEXANS

    by LORDRANDO

    ....anyone else sick of talkbackers sucking ass to Harry praising the Austin scene,,,"ohh I creamed my jeans for the first time at the Alamo, ohhh if i ever had a date Id take her there....."

  • July 28, 2007, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Hank Scorpios Lament

    by LORDRANDO

    So what if its "not up to standards', its stll better than 99% of the shit people go see. Lets call it the George Lucas Law. It may not live up to its revered predecessors, but there are a lot of things to love about it and if you give it the Pepsi Challenge against any other animated full length, I bet a lot of fans would pick it over most anything, except South Park, which was done very early in the series.(so they could cuss.)

  • July 28, 2007, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Remember Springfield, KY

    by LORDRANDO

    THe "behind the laughter" episode, they say "life is pretty much as its always been for this Norhtern Kentucky family" so whats up with that election and vermont shit. Shows the disconnect between what we all love about the show and the fact that fox turned 7/11 into kwik-e-mart, which was cool if it was like an artist or something who did one somewhere but these jerks are just trying to sell you something.

  • July 28, 2007, 9:42 a.m. CST

    FRANK GRIMES LIVES!!!

    by ludmir88

    FUCK YEAH!! MEHHHH!!!

  • July 28, 2007, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Someone complained about "cowardly bashing troops"

    by LORDRANDO

    um... a. its a cartoon b. whatever isaace hayes, i believe they are equal oppurtunity bashers..' c. im a professional artist, so should i hate them for the episode were the artists is a prisoner who burns ths school down? d. Have you ever seen the show?

  • July 28, 2007, 9:51 a.m. CST

    IM TIRED OF THE SIMPSONS COWARDLY BASHING US..

    by LORDRANDO

    Signed, ...Indians, Chinese, African, African Americans, Europeans, Russians,Eskimos, police, janitors, nuclear power plant owners and workers, teachers, Godzilla, Native Americans, Jews, Christians , Muslims, Buddhists, Leader-beans, hippies, squares, gossipers, and oh yeah John Waters,,THE GAYS!

  • July 28, 2007, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Saw the movie yesterday

    by Datascream

    Loved the hell out of it. These are the writers that need to come back to the series. It was like watching The Simpsons during the GOOD seasons (3-8)only a much bigger and more uncut version. The jokes were new and fresh, even the old jokes were unexpected and hilarious. The Green Day cameo appearance didn't annoy me too much since they were just as much as part of the jokes as the rest of the characters. The movie did seem rather short and some added time would be settled better with me. It's just too bad the show still isn't nearly as funny as it used to be. If the writers were to come back and do the show again, they'd finally bring back an old viewer. As it is, until Simpsons can finally shape up, they won't find me watching. The Simpson's movie just hammers in the fact that the show has veered off course for a long time.

  • July 28, 2007, 10:34 a.m. CST

    saw it twice

    by the_shogun_gunslinger

    once at the midnite and then took the kids and my younger brother yesterday...loved it both times and admit i was pleasantly suprised. i think a lot of it has to do with Al Jean and David Mirkin, both people i credit a huge ammount of the simpsons success. <P> btw, we also caught a showing of ratatouille afterwards...fucking loved it. even the short "Lifted" was brilliant.

  • July 28, 2007, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Mori makes a great point. I think studio staff

    by Bronx Cheer

    should be forced to go to the movies. This might lead to a reversal in the trend of the mountain of ads played prior to the movie. I don't watch TV primarily because I loathe adverts. Now I have to sit through the same obnoxious screaming shit when I go to the movies? I cry "FOUL!" I pay enough so I should not have to sit through 20 minutes of ads and trailers. When is someone going to do something about this?

  • July 28, 2007, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Now I see where the A material went for the last 5 yrs.

    by Baron Karza

    I had LOW expectations for this movie and they NAILED it! Short enough, hilarious first & last 35 minutes with a little drag in the middle. Otto smoking pot out of a bong, barts dick joke, Ralf Wiggums 'change', and Homer, 'Why does everything I whip leave me?!'.. 8.5 out of 10.

  • July 28, 2007, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Let us hope...

    by Crazy person No 245689

    ...that this doesn't turn into another "Mori's 1990s List". (BTW, what year did that leave off at?) <br> All joking aside, decent review. And I can't help but agree that there's few "movie people" who actually get to sit down and enjoy their and others' movies. <br> Which is like a chef never trying is dishes.

  • July 28, 2007, 10:59 a.m. CST

    I hated Cargill

    by JonQuixote

    No real motivation, no real humor, no real anything to him. Easily the worst part of the movie. How about a re-write to make the big villain of the piece Hank Scorpio or Monty Burns - if we're not gonna be able to invest in the guy or do anything with him, then use an established character whom we've already invested in. Terrible villain of a go-nowhere plot. *** But the movie was, by and large, very very funny and I was pretty happy with it. The above was my sole real complaint, brought about what looked more like praise for an Albert Brooks character largely because it was Albert Brooks involved.

  • July 28, 2007, 11:14 a.m. CST

    AGENDA OF DOOM=DOWN WITH THE RIGHTEOUS RIGHT!!

    by LORDRANDO

    Yes, the simpsons agenda matches mine, if by that you mean that the ultimate destruction of the vast right wing conspiracy to lead us into perpetual war for profit...so fuck off and dont waste my time. The only person i know who watches Fox news also still uses words like "colored" and "liberal" and thinks barack obama is a muslim terrorist..what a waste, bro, you seem like a decent intellect, read some fucking books....

  • July 28, 2007, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Couldn't have said it better myself...

    by Sgt Rock

    It is pure simpsons inside and out. Thanks moriarty!

  • July 28, 2007, 11:56 a.m. CST

    No complaints

    by leeVSbenway

    Saw it last night in a packed house, tons of kids...you know what? No one talked on there phones, no kids running around annoying the fuck out of me....just laughter; lots and lots of laughter. Probably my favorite gag is the woodland creatures helping Marge and Homer make sexy time...genius!!

  • July 28, 2007, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Could this be recommended to a Season 3-5 fan?

    by deathbird

    I left the series shortly before the death of Maude Flanders; aside from habitual viewings of seasons 3-5, I haven't looked back. Is this film anywhere near those hallowed standards?

  • July 28, 2007, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Otto and the bong...

    by crieff405

    Why does everyone make a deal out of seeing Otto smoking out of a bong? It's not a first, there was a whole episode where Homer smoked medicinal marijuana, including a scene where he and Otto smoked bongs in the Simpsons' attic.

  • July 28, 2007, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Homer flipping the double bird

    by Tacom

    As he slowly (unsuccessfully) escapes the angry mob through the sinkhole was really great to see.

  • July 28, 2007, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Hank Scorpio Wouldn't Have Worked

    by Wed Vid Guy

    The brilliance of that episode is that while Scorpio was this Blofeld type character intent on taking over the world, he was also the best CEO who provided excellent benefits and a good salary. In Homer's world, he's one of the good guys.

  • July 28, 2007, 12:25 p.m. CST

    I think this is the first time I've ever...

    by stones_throw

    ...disagreed with Moriarty. The Simpsons just is not funny these days. The family are no longer characters, just caricatures. Instead of being a well-meaning buffoon Homer's absolutely brainless. Any humor is derived from slapstick, while satire gets replaced by left-wing toadying. And why the hell does the most successful show ever feel the need to center episodes around pointless celebrity cameos? Anyway, nothing in the film is different from the Simpsons on TV at the moment, meaning it's been done before, much better.

  • July 28, 2007, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Good suggestion Mori

    by Wed Vid Guy

    I'll have to try watching movies like everyone else some time....

  • July 28, 2007, 12:29 p.m. CST

    "Somebody just throw the God damn bomb!"

    by BetaRayBill07

    Classic by Marge- very solid movie and worth the wait

  • July 28, 2007, 12:33 p.m. CST

    I'm sorry, it's not that good..

    by ShogunMaster

    I saw it Thursday midnight and I was hoping for greatness. I'd read a few partial reviews and they all generally said that the first half was brilliant, then the story takes over and it slows down. But even the first half wasn't that great. Sure there were a few LOLs, but I almost felt like I was forcing them out of me because I was supposed to like this. Sort of like when I first watched Naked Gun back in the day. You would laugh because you recognized it was a joke that you just witnessed, rather than it actually being funny. <p> This isn't the worst movie I've ever seen, but it could have been so much better. I think the people that really liked this one went in with low expectations because of the current status of the Simpsons, and that somehow raised the fun of the movie for them. But I went in with some high expectations and was pretty put off with it. Even the people I saw it with were pretty disappointed. <p> If you really want to see a cartoon go to movie and make it work perfectly, go watch the South Park Movie. Otherwise, lower your expectations. BTW, I agree with the audience participation aspect that Mori brings up. Comedies need to be seen with a sold out audience. The ambience of the laughter from the whole room can make a movie that much better. However, a drama or intellectual mind-fuck like say a Donnie Darko, you need to watch with as few people as possible.

  • July 28, 2007, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Dental plan.

    by Ye Olde Gravy Leg

    Lisa needs braces.

  • July 28, 2007, 12:49 p.m. CST

    I'm going to disagree about the emotion of Family Guy..

    by Lenny Nero

    ...which, while admittedly doesn't have the emotion of "The Simpsons," does in fact hit emotional strides if you really care about them. But I will also agree that this was a damn good movie. And what the eff are you doing in Chatsworth?

  • July 28, 2007, 12:51 p.m. CST

    I was sometimes laughing alone...

    by ZeroCorpse

    The bulk of the audience were idiots, and they were going crazy over the pratfalls. Meanwhile, I'd laugh whenever there was a clever joke or social satire, and the rest of the audience was silent. I am amazed that they managed to make a movie that appeals to people with a developed sense of humor and some intelligence, but still entertained the morons in the audience. <p> The sad thing is that the majority of the audience seem to be Homers, and I was the only Lisa in the fucking theater.

  • July 28, 2007, 1:01 p.m. CST

    *bart skateboards passed ralph*

    by Mike_D

    ralph: "I like boys now!" <br> haha, one of the best scenes in the movie.

  • July 28, 2007, 1:06 p.m. CST

    the robot was the best part

    by LarryTheCableGuy

    and i liked cargil, he wasnt hank scorpio, but he was the same thing.

  • July 28, 2007, 1:11 p.m. CST

    And that settles it, Mori's my favourite reviewer.

    by Kragmose

    He may not nail it every single time, but its close. He nails this one perfectly.

  • July 28, 2007, 1:13 p.m. CST

    BRAVO MOR.....! SPOT ON REVIEW

    by Superzerotwo

    FUNNIEST SIMPSONS.....EVER! What's not to like about this? Seriously people? Like the man said.....Just about EVERY character that's EVER been in the show was there....the gags were still classic simpsons and the way they used the pg-13 rating was excellent. I think alot of the bluer gags were most likely things they've wanted to do for the last 18 years but were under the ominous shadow of the FCC....like who DIDN'T know Otto's favorite past time....BUT WE FINALLY GOT TO SEE IT! And so many props to Jeff Sanderson (comic book guy) and the GL reference. It took my crew and I about 15mins to make it out of the theater in fear that we would miss another closing credit scene. I'm going back again and again and again! Color me YELLOW!!!!

  • July 28, 2007, 1:13 p.m. CST

    ZeroCorpse

    by antonphd

    That truely is the genius of the Simpsons. To make both the Homers and Lisas laugh. And the Barts and Marges. The family is really the spectrum of audiences. I thought the movie was awesome and I'm going back to watch it again with my wife.

  • July 28, 2007, 1:26 p.m. CST

    I was Bart's age...

    by SimpleSandwiches

    ...when I caught them on Tracy Ullman for the first time. Months later, they would appear with their own series. Their humor matured from "Don't have a cow, man" to what can only be described as adult humor. And I grew up with them. My personality and sense of humor matured and got smarter/wittier as The Simpsons did. Star Wars taught me how to use my imagination as a kid, The Simpsons taught me how to be funny and taught what funny is. The timing for this movie could not have been better. They could have easily jumped on this bandwagon around season 4 or 5 and it would have been a disaster. Can't wait to see this movie!

  • July 28, 2007, 1:41 p.m. CST

    brob

    by Anton_Sirius

    The idea that there's a heavy "liberal bias" in the Simpsons is about as laughable as the idea of an intelligent adult taking Ayn Rand seriously. Quick - name three other current TV families who regularly attend church? Damn liberals and their positive portrayals of Christianity and faith...

  • July 28, 2007, 1:44 p.m. CST

    I watched this film on Wednesday

    by MatDGZ

    And it really is as good as Moriarty says it is. This film is worth the wait.

  • July 28, 2007, 2:04 p.m. CST

    *Sniff*, He still watches movies with the little people

    by topaz4206

    I promised myself I wouldn't...cry

  • July 28, 2007, 2:05 p.m. CST

    lorddrano re: Springfield, KY

    by drave117

    Have you seen the Behind the Laughter episode more than once? They recorded several different versions of that line, and it says different states during the reruns. The joke in the movie is an extension of that, which is to say making fun of how vigorously people are trying to find out what state the show is supposed to be in. And to the person who was complaining about the show liberally bashing troops, your complaint is ridiculous. The show skewers liberal and conservative stereotypes with equal vigor. Each side tends to only recognize when they themselves are attacked because the attacking of the other side is in line with their actual views, so they don't see it as an attack; just an honest portrayal. And I am a liberal who has never done a recreational drug in his life, and never will. And I support our troops fully. It's the WAR I don't support, and I suspect most liberals will tell you the same.

  • July 28, 2007, 2:08 p.m. CST

    I live right behind a movie theater too...

    by W3bzpinn3r

    and I rarely see movies in the theater.... not coz of a lack of convenience, but because prices for movies are too damn high and the quality of movies generally aren't worth that price! Why pay $10 to see a movie once (40 if I bring my family) when I can wait 3 months and get the same movie on DVD for $9.99 at Blockbuster or Wal-Mart? <p>

  • July 28, 2007, 2:12 p.m. CST

    continued....

    by W3bzpinn3r

    And don't say it's for the "movie experience" coz lately, movie volumes are so loud, you can't hear the dialog clearly. Crying toddlers at R Rated films. sticky floors and stale popcorn in the seat cushions. And that person sitting behind you who has read all the spoilers to the film, and talks loud enough that he spoils every scene 10 seconds before it happens..... <p>I'll stick to my local Wal-Mart and 42" Grand Vega Sony tv & 6.1 surround system. Let the theaters go extinct. They haven't done anything to earn my money.

  • July 28, 2007, 2:17 p.m. CST

    theater versus home

    by drave117

    I see movies in theater for several reasons. A) I can't afford a home system that can even come close to approaching the scope of a theater experience. B) The "voting with my dollars" argument. Yeah, Hollywood turns out a lot of crap, and the only thing capable of steering it right is the box office results. Hollywood looks to those numbers when deciding what movies to make next. Maybe one man can't make a difference, but, as with actual voting, trying anyway gives you the moral authority to complain. C) Movies are an art form, and they are specifically designed to be seen the way they are presented in theaters. Out of respect to the artists who create them, I want to watch the movie the way they intended for it to be watched. D) In spite of the increasingly annoying ads, and the increasingly inconsiderate and stupid nature of the general public, I still enjoy the experience more often than not. There is nothing in the world that gives me the same rush as that moment right after the trailers when the lights go down the rest of the way, and the curtain adjusts as you wait for the firstimages to appear. To watch a movie in the theater is to immerse yourself in a dream made of light, and I hope I never tire of that experience.

  • July 28, 2007, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Cargill a but underused

    by jccalhoun

    When I heard Albert Brooks' voice I was hoping for some Hank Scorpio-style banter but it just didn't materialize. I would have liked to have seen more room for him to improv with the main characters. <br><br>I would have liked more screen time with the minor characters as well. It could have used 10 minutes or so of stuff with Moe's Tavern and Apu. <br><br>No couch gag? I was a bit disappointed at that. It worked well to get straight into Green Day playing the theme and getting the story going, but it could have used a couch gag!<br><br>Except for Horton (which I think is going to be horrible) I didn't get those trailers in my theater. Ours were pretty boring trailers for things I can't even remember. --except for that stupid Diet Coke commercial with the guy late for work that won a competition. That won a competition???? I would hate to see the losers.

  • July 28, 2007, 2:56 p.m. CST

    deathbird response

    by blakes7

    No deathbird, if you left after season 5 (you should go back and watch up to season 8) then you will be seriously let down by the "whole town trapped in a gigantic bubble"-plot. The movie sucked, but then again the fanboys who are pushing this movie as the greatest movie of all time are the same ones who started watching the simpsons after season 10, when it went downhill and became all left-wing preachy. The Simpsons are an example why shows can't go on forever; there are only a certain number of plotline that can be done if the subjects of the show stay in an indefinite stasis, as in the Simpsons. One thing that sucks in the movie is how Bart goes from having a great time with Homer, to being needy and whiny and it is only done to serve the dumb plot

  • July 28, 2007, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Beautiful review, Mori!!!

    by zillabeast

    I hope this movie makes gobs and gobs of money because this team has GOT to make a sequel! I'm still having trouble believing there is a comedy of this quality out in theaters as we speak!

  • July 28, 2007, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Well written and reminded me of...

    by versatol

    The Simpsons in it's prime. The whole Alaska thing was slow and a bit boring but all of Moe's jokes and Flander's "devil's curly hair" killed me. Also Santa's Little Helper's line was great. Not to mention Homer Homer Homer-- the best TV dad of all time

  • July 28, 2007, 3:46 p.m. CST

    What do the billboards say??

    by BetaRayBill07

    Any one out there have any idea? Rise up Chinese, Japanese, and Russians!!

  • July 28, 2007, 3:48 p.m. CST

    no one likes movies anymore

    by mrjoker

    this movie was really a lot of fun. most of the aicn talkbackers hate on everything that comes out.

  • July 28, 2007, 3:49 p.m. CST

    It was hit and miss, but the spirit was there.

    by brokentusk

    I really can't say I loved the film, it was alright, just an extended episode of the show. Some jokes were hilarious, other jokes just didn't connect with the audience (and silence when you know you're supposed to be laughing is awful). I will agree that this film wore its heart on its sleeve, and the spirit of the show was right up there for all to see. In the end though, I walked out and said, "Oh, so that's what a SIMPSONS movie would be like..." and pretty much forgot about it. Still, I'm glad I saw it and that it's doing well.

  • July 28, 2007, 4:06 p.m. CST

    I enjoyed it...

    by DanielKurland

    I don't think it's as good as the South Park movie, which somehow, turned out to be one of the funniest movies in a long time, when the show itself wasn't even that funny yet. I'd give this movie an 8/10. I'm not overly sentimental, but I will fully admit to almost crying when the "Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear" callback came. It'll be interesting to see if Dr. Nick stays dead. Two regrets are that Sideshow Bob wasn't at least seen, and that after the Springfield Gorge jump, Homer didn't fall down in the same terrible way he did many years ago. I also suppose having Albert Brooks as Scorpio would have been a lot better than this miscellaneous, albeit mildly entertaining character.

  • July 28, 2007, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Who wants to talk about the featured article anyway?

    by leeVSbenway

    Bring on the discussions of that dried-up selfish old cunt Ayn Rand!! Neocon fascist idiot, go to some boring conservative echochamber message board so you can jerk one out with the other slimeballs instead of derailing the talkback here...asshole.

  • July 28, 2007, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Did you need a stepladder...

    by FranklinDelanoBluth

    to get off your high friggin horse to go see a movie "like the public does". Your humility is, well, humling. The writers on this site REALLY need to get over themselves and drop this self-delusional bullshit. One of you writes a couple of shitty screenplays for an equally shitty TV series and you think you're entitled to act like you're Orson Welles. I'm going to Latinoreview.com....

  • July 28, 2007, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Dark Knight Trailer during Simpsons

    by Cartman86

    hmm am I the only one in the world who saw The Dark Knight during the Simpsons at midnight Thursday night? We saw all of the trailers who saw plus Dark Knight. Could it be because it was the only digital theater in the state?

  • July 28, 2007, 4:48 p.m. CST

    "THROW THE GOD DAMN BOMB!!!!!"

    by bob oblaw

    When Marge screamed that line, i hit the friggin floor! Best. Line. Ever.

  • July 28, 2007, 4:56 p.m. CST

    High Horse? Little People?

    by drew mcweeny

    Really? Who used those phrases? Not me. I don't think of the paying public as "little people" in any way. My point is that it's easy to find yourself in a bubble in this town, and it's up to you as an individual not to do so. Or me, as the case may be. I could go a full year and never pay for a film, but I enjoy the experience of seeing movies with people who simply want their $10 worth. <P>And if you only see movies at the Alamo... you're still in the bubble. Sorry, but it's true. That's not normal moviegoing. I love the Alamo, but I think Harry is maddening when he quotes me chapter and verse about the way an Alamo audience reacts to something, as if that is somehow indicative of the way the larger filmgoing public will respond. It ain't. At all.

  • July 28, 2007, 5:06 p.m. CST

    More HIgh Horse

    by Chifoilisk

    Mori was just talking about how people in his line of work don't have much opportunity to just sit down and enjoy a movie - more of a career hazard than an "I'm better than you" comment. The people razzing him for that are like the people at movies.com insulting celebrities on their fashion sense. And I'm aware that I'm attacking those that are attacking others on an website, but I'm lonely and unhappy...

  • July 28, 2007, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Something clever has been said in this TB

    by Kragmose

    "That truely is the genius of the Simpsons. To make both the Homers and Lisas laugh." How well-said.

  • July 28, 2007, 5:51 p.m. CST

    it FUCKING RULED!!!!!!

    by jig98

    i was so overwhelmed and sooooo glad i saw it. i've watched the show since it first went into syndication. i may see it a couple more times w/ friends and family after having a{nother} supposed life changing moment during a few gags and slow parts. i was a brilliant piece of entertainment and well worth all that anticipation. hail the fucking simpsons!

  • July 28, 2007, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Wait, since when was The Simpsons leftist?

    by enrique_o_k2000

    I haven't watched the show regularly in a few years but The Simpsons have ALWAYS struck me as right-leaning (though not really "republican party" supporting). Even in this movie, there's a lot of deriding of "The Government!" in a very right wing fear-of-Big Government kind of way. I never really got the feeling the movie ever really sympathized with Lisa's environmentalist stance either. Someone's going to have to try very hard to convince me the Simpsons carry a leftist message.

  • July 28, 2007, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Thank god this was good!

    by RhesusmonkeyDave

    I was gonna do some torch waiving of my own if this blew it... but as a die hard fan since the Tracy Ulman days... Bullseye

  • July 28, 2007, 6 p.m. CST

    It's opening HUGE - potentially $88+ million...

    by ckane123

    The prediction were it would make $40 to 50 million this weekend - it made $30 on just FRIDAY, which means we may see a $40 mil Saurday and a $20 mil Sunday. Wow. Just wow.

  • July 28, 2007, 6:08 p.m. CST

    So damn funny

    by cookepuss

    Best gags...<p> <p> - Ralph's "change"<p> - Robot (nearly peed myself)<p> - Homer flipping the townies off<p> - Grandpa's 3 Stooges floor spin <p> - Homer/Plopper's near kiss<p> - The epiphany "2 shakes" joke<p> <p> Damn!! Nearly every joke killed me. :)<p> <p> About time they let Maggie speak too. (Watch through the credits.) Glad it wasn't Liz Taylor either.<p> <p> Well worth the wait. Very funny. Some very subtle jokes in there too.

  • July 28, 2007, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Hah Mori

    by topaz4206

    I was just bustin some Saturday Morning Balls.<br><br>Although I do despise the Pacific Winnetka. I went on a weekend once and it was a 20 minute wait at the AUTOMATIC ticket machines (even to pickup internet tickets). Never again.

  • July 28, 2007, 6:18 p.m. CST

    brobdingnag, you do realize...

    by Lenny Nero

    that the Nazi party was intensely right-wing, dontcha?

  • July 28, 2007, 6:45 p.m. CST

    brobdingnag, if your cognitive dissonance is too loud

    by leeVSbenway

    get some fresh air and chill out...this is a SIMPSONS talkback, not a Young Republicans forum. I'm not a liberal by the way...I just felt if you were going to act like you knew everything about me you might as well get your facts straight (not that facts have ever stopped you from tooting your meager little horn). Now fuck off back to your despicable little Objectivist delusions.

  • July 28, 2007, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Far too often I find myself rolling my eyes

    by FranklinDelanoBluth

    reading articles on here solely because of the air of superiority that so many of the staff have around them. There's a difference between being in the industry and being on the sidelines watching and remarking...

  • July 28, 2007, 7:02 p.m. CST

    simpsons movie

    by mpd1958

    I was very psyched to see The Simpsons Movie. I've been a big fan from the start. I just saw it, and I have to say I'm disappointed. It wasn't awful, but I thought it would be MUCH funnier than it was. Offhand, I can think of at least a dozen episodes that are much better than this movie. I was hoping for something in the vein of the "Camp Crusty" or "Cape Fear" episodes. Instead, we have a movie lacking the wit of the series. It has few pop-culture references, very little parody, and not much irreverance. Instead, we get sight-gags reminescent of the old Wile E. Coyote- Roadrunner cartoons (Exhibit A: Homer being slammed between a huge rock and a bar labeled "A Hard Place.") It seems as if, in an effort to appeal to non-Simpsons fans, the movie was neutered to an extent. I was hoping to laugh for ninety-plus minutes; instead, I chuckled a few times. The Simpsons deserves much more.

  • July 28, 2007, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Simpsons is rather politically neutral.

    by W3bzpinn3r

    I has jokes and messages that swing both ways. Besides, why would entertainment HAVE to have a right or left wing bias? Liberals have 70% of the media, 99% of the celebrities, etc. Just coz conservatives get Fox and talk radio is no reason to whine... except for the fact that's all liberals are capable of doing: whining... <p> oh, and the Nazi "right wing" is totally different than American right wing. Nazi belief was intense Socialism. The Government involved in everything you see, smell, taste, touch, and hear. Very pro-censorship. If you want to compare the Nazi party to an American party, the democrats, with their expanded goverment beliefs, and "the regular person is too stupid to know how to take care of themselves, so let the goverment hold their hand thru everything" mentality, would fit the Nazi party better.

  • July 28, 2007, 7:17 p.m. CST

    brob

    by Anton_Sirius

    I find Objectivism to be a sop to the adolescent ego, the kind of thing the bookish kids outgrow when the fantasy geeks are outgrowing Piers Anthony. And Rand's fiction novels exist only to be Objectivism-delivery mechanisms... the plots and characters are pretty cardboard.

  • July 28, 2007, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Oh shit, the bomb de-fusing robot..

    by Baron Karza

    Wiggum, 'He kept talking about it but I didnt take him seriously!' GREAT line.. I keep remembering little tid-bits..

  • July 28, 2007, 7:52 p.m. CST

    MPD1958

    by CITIZENKANE

    So...pop-cultural references and movie parodies qualifiy a comedy as good. Man, our culture has been brainwashed by Family Guy. The Simpsons used pop cultural references because they were integral to the story, not inexpicably like Family Guy does. Besides, EVERY animated film uses pop-cultural references and movie parodies these days. Have you had enough of Shrek yet?

  • July 28, 2007, 8:09 p.m. CST

    LOL oh yeah the bomb defusing robot!!

    by BetaRayBill07

    Fuck yeah- that was awesome!!

  • July 28, 2007, 9:16 p.m. CST

    It's a pity then that all the good gags were shown off

    by LittleDudes

    in the trailers. Personally, I though the movie was a bit dry, just like the last few seasons.

  • July 28, 2007, 9:56 p.m. CST

    How much do you AICN guys make a year

    by ThePilgrim

    Seriously I see you guys post things like buying a HD-DVD player and buying new place like it's a Blessing from the heavens and not just some new thing for you to prove your assets are great. Are you guys making enough too smile or is it somewhat of a fight every now and again?

  • July 28, 2007, 10:13 p.m. CST

    movies in theaters? whoa

    by kafka07

    I hear ya though. I've been so reluctant this summer after spider-turd 3. But I will catch the beloved Simpsons in the theater.

  • July 28, 2007, 10:20 p.m. CST

    Ruined by the trailers? I don't think so.

    by cookepuss

    Some of the best bite-sized gags or lines were actually NOT in the trailers.<p> <p> - The bomb defusing robot<p> - Homer & Marge's Disney-esque sex scene<p> - Moe getting mugged during the power outage<p> - Frink's realization that his gizmo was outside of the dome.<p> - Mr. Burns random thought that Smithers' suicide would cheer him up<p> - Dr. Nick's demise<p> - Homer's return flight over Springfield Gorge<p> - Bits from the Itchy & Scratchy moon landing<p> ETC...<p> <p> There were actually TONS of small, commercial friendly nuggets that could've been spoiled by the trailers or commercials. Thankfully, they weren't. The trailers & promos left most of the best gags fresh and unspoilt.<p> <p> Sure, they spoiled some stuff, but that's unavoidable in a movie like this. Some gags are intentionally given away to draw people back for more. Even then, some of those bits shown in the trailers were smaller parts to bigger gags.<p> <p> If you feel that what little was actually shown by Fox spoiled the movie then I suggest you go back and re-watch the promos for MIB2. Those gave away EVERY good line & scene.<p> <p> I didn't find the movie to be dry at all. Even at 4x the length of a normal episode, I found that there were more than enough laughs to make that 88 minutes pass far, far too quickly. <p> <p> I think that those people who found it to be "dry" are so used to Family Guy's rapid fire insanity, which is really inappropriate in this movie - which has a larger message behind it. The Simpsons have long been about wrapping various moral, ethical, & political messages in their humor. <p> <p>Just think about this, if you're a Family Guy fan. Strip away the non sequiturs and what are you left with? Honestly. Think about that for a moment. What's left? About 7-10 minutes of mildly chuckle worthy humor that might make up a great webisode. That's not to put FG down, it's a show designed for and by a different generation of comedy fans.<p> <p> If your basis for calling Simpsons "dry" is a Family Guy comparison then you have to remember that the former wasn't designed for audiences with attention disorders. You always have to take Simpsons as a much larger whole entity instead of as lots of little You Tube friendly snippets.<p> <p> For those of you who just "liked, but didn't love" the movie, ask yourself one question? How many of your favorite episodes did you actually hate when they first aired? I've often found that even the most mediocre Simpsons episode seems to grow much more appealing with time. A couple of them are instant classics, but I find that most are usually "growers". So, even if you are simple just fond of the movie you may end up loving the f**k out of it later on. It happens to me all of the time.

  • July 28, 2007, 10:22 p.m. CST

    ThePilgrim...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... I don't make enough scratch to take anything for granted, and buying a house is a huge endeavor for me and the family. I smile... but not 24/7.

  • July 28, 2007, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Anton and Brob

    by MCVamp

    Put objectivism in its context. It was largely Ayn Rand's constantly evolving response to Socialism well before the rest of Western Society saw it as a threat. She overdid it to an extent (the Fountainhead is a better read than Atlas Shrugged) but she was right at least in principal about the dangers of a mediocre mob mentality led by a bunch of power-hungry limp dicks. Objectivism is a nice thought, but it has just as many holes in it as socialism...there are too many sheep (for better or worse) for Objectivism to ever work efficiently on a large scale and there is too much individuality (for better or worse) for Socialism to ever work efficiently on a large scale. And the Simpsons movie is a lot like Barry Bonds...it's not as good as its prime, but with a bit of an extra effort and some steroids, it was able to close out remarkably well. Now all we need is for Groening and Fox to put the limping dog that is the TV series out of its misery.

  • July 28, 2007, 11 p.m. CST

    The best part of the movie for me

    by Mockingbuddha

    was that the ENTIRE (minus me and my two pals) AUDIENCE sang along with Spider-Pig, and then got lost when the movie added an extra verse! It reminded me of watching The Kaufman/Jim Carey movie, Man In The Moon. When Jerry tha Kang Lawler was revealed as Andys partner the entire Memphis crowd gasped and booed, only in reverse! I love watching the audience as much as the movie. Plus when Otto (SPOILER) hit the bong, these three young hippie chicks behind us cheered! Great overall movie experience.

  • July 28, 2007, 11:08 p.m. CST

    Anton Sirius, save me...

    by LORDRANDO

    That scary Ayn Rand-Limbaugh loving man-beast has called me out. Nice work crappin' on ayn rand. He needs to Try Philip K Dick or Robert Anton Wilson , even Chomsky. Once you understand general semantics Rand's dogma is up there with thetans and scientology. If a novel comes with a mail in postcard for some orginization it is likely: PROPOGANDA PS. coming this fall to stores, the right wings greatest hits, with.... The Spanish Inquisition... THe French Monarchy... Robber Barons Nazis Facists Neo-cons.....

  • July 28, 2007, 11:19 p.m. CST

    HAha!

    by blackwood

    It was a riot. I haven't watched the Simpsons regularly in years, but it made me want to.

  • July 29, 2007, 12:34 a.m. CST

    29 Million last night

    by antonphd

    Holy Fuck Me

  • July 29, 2007, 1:51 a.m. CST

    fan service indeed

    by FlowCytometer

    I liked learning that the ambulance that crashed into the tree at Springfield Gorge (letting Homer fall a second time) had been left there all this time.

  • July 29, 2007, 1:52 a.m. CST

    Simpsons, like Harry Potter, provokes Satanism

    by LittleDudes

    http://tinyurl.com/27avvl

  • July 29, 2007, 2:31 a.m. CST

    W3bzpinn3r, take a good, long look at the Nazis...

    by Lenny Nero

    ...and don't get thrown off by the word "socialism" in "National Socialism." In essence, socialism is about equality, and the Nazis were about the compete opposite. From a religious and ethnic holier-than-thou attitude done through brute force and propaganda, relying upon a culture of fear and militarism, anti-parliamentary rule, economically conservative, etc. etc. etc. Just craving a homogeneous life doesn't equal socialism at its core form per se.

  • July 29, 2007, 3:37 a.m. CST

    watch for a scene where homer and the pig watch t.v.

    by slappy jones

    for the funniest joke in the film and the entire series.

  • July 29, 2007, 3:51 a.m. CST

    Just like the series

    by cpmills

    I enjoyed the movie, but I felt it was pretty much like the series as a whole. It was hilarious at first, but eventually settled into going back and forth between really funny and mildly amusing.

  • July 29, 2007, 5:24 a.m. CST

    Lenny Nero....

    by W3bzpinn3r

    "From a religious and ethnic holier-than-thou attitude done through brute force and propaganda, relying upon a culture of fear and militarism, anti-parliamentary rule, economically conservative, etc. etc. etc. Just craving a homogeneous life doesn't equal socialism at its core form per se." <p> Sounds like American liberals to me. Bunch of former hippies saying the government should regulate and control everything. A bunch of liberals say minorities cannot achieve great things on their own, but should only receive handouts from the goverment. Liberal media uses brute force and propaganda by celebrities and psuedo-science to get more government control of our lives... <p> Sorry, but I prefer a USA where I DON'T have a Clinton next to me in bed. I'm no fan of GW, but I'd hate to see where we'd be right now if John "Ketchup" Kerry were in charge... Back on topic... Simpsons movie is ok. Better than trash for trash's sake South Park or Family Guy. 20 years from now, Simpsons will still be seen as a pioneering animation achievement... Family Guy will be totally forgotten.

  • July 29, 2007, 7 a.m. CST

    "Why would anyone pay to see something in the theatre..

    by pokadoo

    ...that you can watch on TV for FREE?!! Everyone in this theatre are Suckers! Including YOU!!!". Hilarious!!!

  • July 29, 2007, 7:32 a.m. CST

    Great

    by NudeandAroused

    I loved the movie. Hilarious! Loved it from start to finish. Then again, I am a Simpsons fan.

  • July 29, 2007, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Treehouse Of Horror VI

    by workshed

    I 'liked' the film BUT there wasn't one moment that made my jaw drop like the end of the 'HOMER3'... i'm sure i'll watch it again and again but, storywise, there wasn't anything close to Seasons 3,4,5,6,7 and 8 (or up to the point Phil Hartman was shot and removed the soul from the programme - it's never been the same since). Still, the funniest movie of the year so far hands down.

  • July 29, 2007, 8:37 a.m. CST

    Once again, I said I didn't "hate" the movie...

    by mpd1958

    I must admit that at 48, I am older than the average "Simpsons" fan. While I like Family Guy, I've never compared the two. I just have never liked the really outlandishly premised Simpsons episodes, and Springfield being covered by a dome was one of the most surrealistic yet. I loved the first 5 or 6 seasons of the series because it was acerbic and found humor in situations everyone could relate to. I wish the movie had been done in the style of the first few seasons, and not the last few comedically-impaired seasons. And yes, I think a movie-length movie-parody Simpsons (like the Cape Fear episode) would have worked much better.

  • July 29, 2007, 9:24 a.m. CST

    NOTHING MORE PATHETIC...

    by LORDRANDO

    Than loser Republicans envoking Clinton sex stuff....face it jerks, it just sounds sad...There is nothing more to understand about the difference in the two but that the neo-cons positioned themselves starting in the 70's for what the Project for a New American Century calls "Perpetual war for American Hegemony" C ritics would say perpetual war for profit. PS> this is a movie site...get this politico crap outta here....PSPS=Republican is me me me...mine mine mine...us against them....while at least the left tries to bring people together..

  • July 29, 2007, 9:59 a.m. CST

    It's All About Spider-pig

    by Birdys Piano Teacher

    Still my favorite character in the film. Can he swing from a web? No, he can't, he's a pig. Look out...he is the spider-pig.

  • July 29, 2007, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Mr. Burns Was CRIMINALLY Underused In This

    by Magic Rat

    I mean, come on. Comic Book guy gets more time than Mr. Burns, who's like the third funniest character on the show after Homer and Ralph. <br> That's dropping the ball right there. <br> Mr. Burns should have been the villian and Albert Brooks shouldn't have even had a part in this. I didn't laugh once at anything he said. All his lines seemed way too forced. <br> Overall I think it's a 7.5 out of 10, just in terms of a comedy. I went in with great expectations and while it didn't disappoint, it left me feeling that with some minor changes, it could have been classic.

  • July 29, 2007, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Simpsons Movie

    by Saithus

    Thanks Moriarty, I loved this review of the Simpsons movie. I saw it last night and its an amazing experience in the theaters. The crowd I was with loved it and I loved the movie. For the first time they even manage to offend me with the very very very last joke as a film major going to film school. XD! Good stuff. Thanks Matt for this amazing movie.

  • July 29, 2007, 11:30 a.m. CST

    It's so cute when people

    by alex_cutter

    It's so cute when people read their first Rand!

  • July 29, 2007, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Well W3bzpinn3r, it's been fun...

    by Lenny Nero

    ...and we're just going to have to agree to disagree. I feel as if you've completely misrepresented liberalism at its core and are going off of a quick set of crib notes, but really, who isn't in politics these days? I don't believe liberals really have a culture of fear, more of a set of hissy fits that bother me, as opposed to a "we're all gonna die" notion that keeps us continuing to lose innocent lives, and bringing up Scientology is vastly beside the point (which side relies on ruling via religion, left or right?). In which presidential terms was there more governmental control? Clinton's or Bush's? I would say the iron fist of fascism of the last 6.5 years, but I guess you would say the opposite. Oh well. Welcome to American politics. I will say, though, that Nazism is by definition a form of fascism, which is a far-right-wing ideology, while socialism/communism is a far-left-wing one, but that point is going to be challenged anyway. <p> Anyway, Simpsons = good movie, could have been better, but I am so ecstatic at how well it's doing. I couldn't believe that the 11:50 am was sold out when I got there at 11:30. Never happened to me at that theatre, ever.

  • July 29, 2007, noon CST

    Simpsons movie was great!

    by TruPhan

    I'm a fan of the classics and definitely felt like this delivered the goods. Oh, and Republicans and Nazis are the same? Um, grow up.

  • July 29, 2007, 12:24 p.m. CST

    TruPhan, nobody said they were the same.

    by Lenny Nero

    What I said was that there were more ideological similarities between Nazism and right-wing politics than Nazism and left-wing. It really isn't that difficult an argument (because it's not an argument) if you just step back and look at their stances.

  • July 29, 2007, 12:57 p.m. CST

    My 2 cents on the Simpsons

    by mraig

    First, my opinion on the series: I think it reached full brilliance in Seasons 2/3, kept up amazing strength until Season 5, and was still respectably great until the end of Season 8. For me, the turning point from brilliant, smart show to the broader, less-funny shadow of itself it is now was the very first episode of Season 9: The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson. At the time I didn't know this (I was 17 years old!) but I believe this coincides with a massive turnover in the writing staff. I think even people who still enjoy the show will agree that all of the true classic episodes come before that turning point (Mr. Plow, Monorail, Flaming Moe's, good Sideshow Bob, Lisa's Pony, Homer quits drinking, Homer plays baseball, etc.). <P> So I haven't been a real fan of the show in years, and I now probably catch 50% of the new episodes (and it has become more of something I might have in the background while folding laundry than something I sit down to really watch). So that's how I feel about the series. And the movie? I was pleasantly surprised to say that I enjoyed it. I thought they made a very smart choice *not* to focus too much on the hundreds of secondary characters (which I think is one of the biggest problems with the series now: their idea of "clever" is often just to show you they remember every minor character who has ever had a line. Disco Stu was a one-note joke folks!). The animation was obviously beautiful. It tended a bit toward the slapstick, but there was some truly smart stuff, some truly funny stuff, and the plot actually cohered together into a single whole--it wasn't like a new episode which stutters randomly from event to even with only the flimsiest connections. <P> I think if you go in determined to hate it, you probably will. I don't think it's a second coming of Seasons 2-5 or anything like that. But I do think it's pretty far ahead of where the TV series is right now, and I imagine it's funnier than anything else in the theaters right now (unless you've still got Knocked Up playing at a dollar theater). If you're an old fan that has fallen off the wagon, I say give it a fair shot, and you might enjoy yourself.

  • July 29, 2007, 1:09 p.m. CST

    My 2 cents on Ayn Rand

    by mraig

    I'm not sure what any of this has to do with the Simpsons, but, in my opinion, reading Ayn Rand and thinking you're getting the cutting edge of political thought is like watching the Matrix and thinking you're getting the cutting edge of philosophy. Rand is half right: she grew up in communist Russia, and she saw first hand that a system that rewards need instead of effort will, because of human nature, encourage people to cultivate their needs instead of cultivating their skills. Duh! It doesn't take a fucking genius to live in communist Russia and figure that out! <P> But her objectivist solution--if I remember correctly--is that a system based on pure greed (i.e. everyone looking out for their own best interests) will produce the best results for everyone, since everyone will be putting forth their best efforts in order to try and get the best rewards. And of course, selling this philosophy to the poor, though it really only benefits the rich, is the genius of the modern conservative movement. <P> But if 20th century Russia was a test case for why communism doesn't work in the real world, it should have been obvious to Rand then, as it is to any thinking person now, that unrestrained capitalism is just as unworkable when human nature comes into play. The test case for that is America in the late 19th/early 20th century: eventually, capitalism devolves into one person or company gaining a monopoly over some industry or product, using their power to keep themselves a monopoly, pay their workers nothing, put their workers into such unsafe working conditions that they get crippled or killed daily, and make a tidy profit off of it. This isn't theoretical--it happened! <P> So Rand is right: an economy can't work if people don't have an incentive to try to do better. But she is just as naive not to realize that with no regulation, checks, or balances, companies only looking out for their own interests will make the world a nasty place for everyone but the top crust. The solution--as usual--is found right in the middle, between the two ridiculous extremes.

  • July 29, 2007, 1:13 p.m. CST

    My 2 cents on the Nazis

    by mraig

    If you really truly think that either American political party is close enough to the German Nazi party in the 1930s and 40s, to be worth the comparison, you need to step back from your partisan zealotry and get a sense of perspective. Anyone trying to make an argument by calling his opponents Nazis has just lost.

  • July 29, 2007, 1:13 p.m. CST

    They are leftist when it suits

    by emeraldboy

    If, Hilary clinton takes back the white house for the dems. and its a big if. Expect the Simpsons writers to go back to the pre-bush days. Though the scene where Marge goes up to bill clinton and he said "did i tell you abou the time marge when I did with a pig" that was funny.

  • July 29, 2007, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Two years the simpsons writers were involved in a row

    by emeraldboy

    with fox managment. over a joke about murdoch two years ago. It appeared on ticker tape on the bottom of the bottom. I cant remember what it was but it was enough for the fox management to haul the simpsons over the coles.

  • July 29, 2007, 1:37 p.m. CST

    The show creators know its bad

    by Incompetent Ninja

    I saw Mike Reiss give a talk a month or two ago (promoting "Queer Duck: The Movie") and he joked about how all the writers and producers know its gotten bad, but Fox keeps paying them so they just keep cranking out episodes.

  • July 29, 2007, 1:43 p.m. CST

    I think fav line so far..

    by Alfred_Packer

    ..though theres som many great ones..."Yeah, we need a new one of those things!" - Krusty

  • July 29, 2007, 3:30 p.m. CST

    well if mike reiss says so

    by slappy jones

    it must be true

  • July 29, 2007, 3:48 p.m. CST

    SIMPSONS THE MOVIE = Entertaining, But Ultimately "Meh"

    by LaserPants

    Entertaining, sure, I chuckled a few times, but it felt more like a children's movie; very middle of the road and obvious. What subversion was there was pretty muted. I kind of expected that though; and I expected to be somewhat disappointed. If you have kids, they'll love it though, so by all means take em!

  • July 29, 2007, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Fiester...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... it wasn't a "cheap shot." And I don't think they're both "terrific shows." I think FAMILY GUY is garbage. Straight up. One note lowbrow garbage. Just to be clear.

  • July 29, 2007, 3:53 p.m. CST

    I'm all about the show in its prime . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . and admit that it started turning to shit somewhere around season 8 or 9. I think it's just about unbearable to watch these days w/ maybe a strong episode or two per season. That said, this movie was still pretty damn good. I went in with low expectations and laughed hard for most of it. It had 2 kind of slow portions and the lack of Mr.Burns was painful. If I had my way he would have had 30 minutes of screen time. One of the things I liked the best was how they separated the title family from Springfield for a good while and it worked. They didn't have to rely on all the supporting cast. They've leaned on them way too much as the show's gone downhill. I can't stand seeing Sideshow Mel and Bumblebee Man at the town meetings. I was lauging so hard in the Disney-esque scene where the animals helped Homer & Marge undress for sex.

  • July 29, 2007, 3:53 p.m. CST

    plungeandplay.com

    by mercury99

    plungeandplay.com Go there.

  • July 29, 2007, 4:35 p.m. CST

    "He's not Bono!"

    by Felix the Taster

    Brilliant. Asfunny as Homer,as smart as Lisa,as sweet as Marge and as subversive as Bart. I loved the bit wear Bart uses a black bra to impersonate "the figurehead of an evil corporation", the aghast expressions of those Disney animals when Hower and Marge get down to it and that really clever visual joke when the dome is lowering over Springfield and the people in Moes turn to God while the guys in the church turn to drink. What was not to like?

  • July 29, 2007, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Mraig, I never said the Nazis were Republicans...

    by Lenny Nero

    ...or vice-versa. I am saying that if you ask any darn political science professor/author, they will let you know that fascism is a right-wing ideology, national socialism is a fascist ideology, ergo... <p>And if anyone wants to bring up that all poli-sci professors are liberals, then I've gotten worse insults than being told that all higher learning intelligence belongs to the liberals. <p>It's not zealotry if it's fact. Sort of like global warming! Yuk yuk yuk...

  • July 29, 2007, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Rod & Todd ... 'Bountiful Penis'.. & NZB

    by Baron Karza

    I went on opening night and WILL buy the DVD (Please 2-disk). I bought DVD seasons 1-8. But my son wants to see it. He is autistic and cannot handle going to a theater for 2+ hours. I got it from a guy who downloads NZBs AFTER I paid entry for it. Leftist politicos cannot handle this dilemma because I am 'raping' art. Go back to your grad school classes you fucking micro-managers. Good for you. Hope it makes your dick hard.

  • July 29, 2007, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Kang? Did Kang make an appearance?

    by xannibal

    Because I swear a saw a voice credit to Harry for the character, but I can't recall seeing him.

  • July 29, 2007, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Moriarty-- Again, I agree with you!

    by ZeroCorpse

    What is that? TWICE now in the past five years? This is getting to be a trend! <p> Yes, Family Guy is one-note garbage. I whole-heartedly agree, and thank you for being someone involved in the business and the geek world who is brave enough to say it out loud. <p> And Fiester-- Man, if you think the Lisa episodes aren't good, then it's obvious that you need your humor spoon-fed to you. Whenever Lisa is the primary character, the show steps up a notch in terms of intelligence. But hey-- I know some guys just can't deal with an episode that isn't all Homer whacking himself with a hammer, and a bunch of non-sequiturs, mixed in with everybody saying their catch-phrase. Perhaps on the nights when they write an intelligent script, you could zap around the dial and find a nice episode of MAD TV or an old Three Stooges short to keep you entertained while the adults laugh at something a little deeper than a kiddie pool. <p> Finally, Brobdingdang, or whatever the hell your name is, can you please just SHUT IT? Seriously, this whole "Woe is me, I'm a poor Republican surrounded by crazy hippies" routine is just fucking TIRED, man. Get over yourself. Go masturbate to some Ann Coulter hate-porn and get it over with, already! If you want to talk about animation, and the Simpsons, then welcome to the discussion! But if you're going to continually rail against people's political leanings and rah-rah like a dittohead for another twenty posts, then just save your keystrokes, because WE'VE ALL SEEN IT BEFORE AND YOU HAVEN'T GOT AN ORIGINAL THOUGHT ON THE SUBJECT WORTH NOTING. <p> We were talking the other day about all the trolls coming back to AICN. `Looks like they brought some friends this time.

  • July 29, 2007, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Xannibal--Re:Kang.

    by ZeroCorpse

    Whew! I thought I was the only one who missed Kang being in the movie. I don't think he was there. Maybe they're crediting Harry because he did the Kang voice-overs for the advertisements and Burger-King tie-ins?

  • July 29, 2007, 8:48 p.m. CST

    $71,900,000 opening weekend.

    by Pennsy

    Proving that people will pay to see a quality product that they can see for free.

  • July 29, 2007, 8:59 p.m. CST

    question

    by soup74

    this isnt a rip on the simpsons, and i enjoyed the movie, glad its making a shit-ton of money.. but i read the production cost (without promo) was $75 million. now, it did look better than the tv show.. but $75 million seems a little steep for something they've been doing for 18 years. so, and im not being assy or sarcastic, can someone who understands costs of animation and such explain to me why it cost so much to make?

  • July 29, 2007, 9:39 p.m. CST

    haven't watched new episodes for awhile

    by BizarroJerry

    but I really did like this flick. Funnier than any recent episode I've seen. For some reason, the Spiderpig bit was much funnier to me in the movie than on TV. Some low points, but nothing too bad. "Throw the God damn bomb" was fun, as was "Gay, gay, gay, gay..."<p>Some people complained about the mocking of religion, but it was Homer, the known idiot, who was saying that stuff. That's like saying "All in the Family" is racist because of what Archie Bunker says. Note that Grandpa's touched-by-God outburst WAS actually a message from God.<p> And, I dunno about the latest shows, but I don't see a single bias very much, but I recall an episode... "Grandpa didn't you wonder why you were getting checks for not doing anything?" "I thought it was cuz the Democrats were in charge." Or, Lisa talking to Bill Clinton: "That's not very good advice." Clinton: "Well, I'm not a very good president."

  • July 29, 2007, 9:40 p.m. CST

    soup74

    by Bouncy X

    well the animation was a lot smoother which means more drawings, so i'm sure that adds a chunk to the budget...then factor in all the CGI because there was a lot. and i'm sure the actors/producers/writers got way more than their usual tv paychecks. and since they've been working on this for 4yrs, its possible that budget total includes all the pre-production stuff before they got the final script. i'm sure there are other reasons but yeah.

  • July 29, 2007, 9:59 p.m. CST

    the simpsons movie formula

    by The Mothman

    simpsons movie - animation 8/10, story potential 9/10, jokes 4/10, homer 0/10, overall 4/10. Cannot believe that some people are comparing the movie with the show in its prime. Take any four eps that are referenced in the movie (the soccer riot ep, the snowbound ep, the Springfield Gorge ep, the ingesting Indian chili ep), find a way to string them together, and you have a better film straight away. Some of those writers wrote great stuff, and this is the best they came up with? Not the worst thing I've ever seen, but for mine, the final nail in the coffin.

  • July 30, 2007, 3:58 a.m. CST

    The Movie is pitch perfect...if you like the show.

    by flickerbat

    I had been worrying for some time that the movie might blow, that it would be the beginning of the end for the show. In the last few weeks though, having found out who had a hand in writing the show, and having laughed out loud at every single trailer and teaser I saw, I was feeling confident walking into the theater today. And I was rewarded with something so much more enjoyable than I could have imagined. It all went by so quickly, and it all felt new and fresh. It was the perfect movie to put out after 18 years on the air. And oddly enough, the first thing I said to my friends was how glad I was that it stayed true to both the characters and to the show itself (no, not meant as a suck up to Mori, but what I really felt and said). For fans of the show, and the family on the show, and not just fans of peripheral characters and locals, this is the movie for you. I have lots of different characters I love on the show, and felt they had enough screen time to keep me happy. I thoroughly loved this movie, and am sad that others did not have the same experience - perhaps they needed to leave their baggage (political views, hope for character appearances, or just their dislike of the show these days - why would you bother to see it then ?)at the door.

  • July 30, 2007, 7:35 a.m. CST

    homer likes a pig alot

    by BagSalad

    for no other reason than that pigs are funny. Homer used to do stupid things that you would have to be creative to imagine, and say clever lines like "trying is the first step toward failure." Thats not the kind of comedy in the movie. Its all dumb slapstick and old jokes. It has its moments, but so do the current episodes.

  • July 30, 2007, 9:40 a.m. CST

    funny as hell

    by thefreeagents

    I liked it alot and so did my son. I keep reading that people think it went downhill after the first 30 minutes or so, but I thought it was funny all the way through. I'd see it again.

  • July 30, 2007, 9:40 a.m. CST

    funny as hell

    by thefreeagents

    I liked it alot and so did my son. I keep reading that people think it went downhill after the first 30 minutes or so, but I thought it was funny all the way through. I'd see it again.

  • July 30, 2007, 10:31 a.m. CST

    I'm glad it did well and didn't suck, but...

    by Homer Sexual

    It wasn't all that good. It was kind of like a mediocre episode of the show. I figure it had to pull in all the ex-fans, who don't watch regularly, and have "something for everyone," which it did. <p> I was amused, but as a rabid, dedicated, seen every single episode lots of times, I can only give it a "B." <p> Which is better than any other movie I've seen this summer, FWIW, about the same as "Ratatouille."

  • July 30, 2007, 11:02 a.m. CST

    See it with a crowd, it's great fun.

    by Billyeveryteen

    Oh, and the true nosedive was the "Death of Maude/Sober Barny/Octuplets Apu" season.

  • July 30, 2007, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Here's a challenge...

    by mpd1958

    for any of you who think the Simpsons movie displyed the same type of humor as the humor thar made The Simpsons so popular in the first place. Right after watching the movie, watch the 1st season episode where Bart is misdiagnosed as a genius. Not one sight gag, not one bit of slapstick, just wit and side-splitting humor. A joke whose punchline is a mathematical formula- RDRR, "Har-Dee-Har-Har?" Can you even imagine that in this new movie? I think it was dummed down A LOT!!

  • July 30, 2007, 1:56 p.m. CST

    The simpsons came along at the same time as Murdoch

    by emeraldboy

    did. This show is hugely important to NewsCorp. that is why this show is going with us for a very long time to come. Dont be suprised if one day they have an actual Simpsons digital Channel. The Haters want fox to end this show. But as the stations masssive chas cow do that. I studied business admin and management in college, so i understand why for fox this is still a hugely profitable show.

  • July 30, 2007, 4:45 p.m. CST

    to know thyself

    by mpd1958

    Homer getting hit in the eye with a hammer and yelling "doh!" (as happens in the movie) isn't even funny to 3 Stooges fans. Believe it or not, The Simpsons used to have smart writing.

  • July 30, 2007, 6:03 p.m. CST

    bart the genius and sight gags

    by Bouncy X

    seeing bart running around naked covered in green shit isnt a sight gag? and hell, what about the explosion bart causes to turn green in the first place? lol

  • July 30, 2007, 9:41 p.m. CST

    You're right, mpd1958, the Simpsons NEVER did Slapstick

    by TallBoy66

    At all. Not a single slapstick gag in the entire early run of the Simpsons. Yeah. Sure. Know thyself that you are dost a jackass. Check your facts next time before you make a point like that, sparky.

  • July 30, 2007, 10:46 p.m. CST

    TallBoy66

    by The Mothman

    Check your own facts "sparky". mpd1958 was referring to an EPISODE in S1, not the whole season. He still has a point. I knew as soon as I saw the eye gag in the trailer this was going to be a ghost of a film, and it was. The Simpsons used to pack in all kinds of humour, now it's been reduced to a shell to cater for the fucking Ipod generation.

  • July 31, 2007, 6:13 a.m. CST

    Wondering if the US release is cut?

    by ELGordo

    I've seen no mention of the biggest surprice in the film, Bart's noodle when he's riding the skateboard naked. Fucking hillarious that they just went for it.

  • July 31, 2007, 7:44 a.m. CST

    great idea mori!!!!

    by Internet Thug

    to start another column you are going to half ass produce, miss every deadline for and abandon when you realize you have no professional work ethic..lets enjoy!!!

  • July 31, 2007, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Amen, Mothman

    by mpd1958

    I would guess that the only people who truly loved the Simpsons movie have barely started shaving, and think that "hip-hop" really is a culture.

  • July 31, 2007, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Once again, emeraldboy...

    by Talkbacker with no name

    I have no idea what you are talking about or to whom...but I love reading your shit!

  • July 31, 2007, 12:59 p.m. CST

    AnimalStructure,

    by Talkbacker with no name

    Isn't Family Guy owned by Fox as well? You sir are a fucking goof! <p>...oh and Spielberg rules!

  • July 31, 2007, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Two things that shoulda been different..

    by BizarroJerry

    I liked the movie, but two things: 1) the president should have been Rainier Wolfcastle, the Simpsons world's Arnold. So ya get a double joke for the price of one. Plus, it wasn't all that funny to see him there, anyway. 2) After Ralph "sang" the Fox fanfare, he shoulda yelled "Yaay! Star Wars!"

  • July 31, 2007, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Exactly Bizarro

    by ELGordo

    I thought it was weird that they used Arnolds name since that would mean that the story didn't take place in their reality. I thought the film was all right, funny but nothing spectacularrrrrr. I thought after the movie was over, that was it? After all this time they took to make it this was the best they could come up with. I think the problem lies in that there are almost fifteen writers on the thing and they took almost five years to make it. That's never good.

  • July 31, 2007, 3:09 p.m. CST

    animalstructure

    by strosmer

    Just as many men accuse other men of being gay to hide their own latent homosexuality, so you generalize liberal agendas to disguise your own love of Hitler and Communism. You're not fooling anyone here, you little hippy dippy hyprocritical cunt you. You actually think Family Guy is for smart people? Yeah right, no one's that stupid. You're definitely just trying to push some buttons here. It's understandable, I get ya. I enjoy doing the same thing myself. With no life to speak of, you find refuge among the talkbackers to vent your frustrations and relieve your boredom. It's ok, little one, you are not alone. We all suffer the plagues of an unjust world - that is unless you are super rich, of course. May you find comfort here among the lame and downtrodden. Perhaps with a little courage and some luck, you'll find solace in the basement of your local leather bar. Go Bears!

  • July 31, 2007, 3:25 p.m. CST

    AnimalStructure, I can't tell you...

    by Lenny Nero

    ...how many false generalizations you made in just that one paragraph. It would do you well to actually speak to a liberal. You sound like Anne Coulter.

  • July 31, 2007, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Oh, and I should say

    by strosmer

    Simpsons movie rocked! Can't even pick on it because there are a million ways it could have gone. At least it was not a total bomb which it very well could have been. They pulled it off.

  • July 31, 2007, 7:45 p.m. CST

    AnimalStructure, I didn't aim one insult at you.

    by Lenny Nero

    I hesitate to engage you in conversation because I have a feeling very little I say will make a difference if you are so adamant in your misconceptions of what liberals actually believe in. I could be wrong, but I have better things to do.

  • July 31, 2007, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Don't worry Lenny, you're not wrong

    by strosmer

    Animal, I should have known better than to challenge your pretty high intellect, that's for sure. I bow to you and your many unfounded theories so worthy of disproving. Thanks for the props. I think you're funny too.

  • July 31, 2007, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Lenny Nero

    by drave117

    Boy do I ever know what you mean. Whenever I see a post like that, I want to speak up, but the sad truth is that the only kinds of people who really make posts like that are people who absolutely will not listen to reason, because their minds are so thoroughly set in their beliefs.

  • July 31, 2007, 8:55 p.m. CST

    re: AnimalStructure's rant

    by drave117

    I'm still not entirely convinced that it isn't some kind of satirical performance art.

  • July 31, 2007, 9:15 p.m. CST

    What is it with the Young Republicans...

    by LORDRANDO

    Thats two talkbacks this week on the Simpsons ruined by stupid political posturing...one guy blamed the Simpsons for "bashing troops".Its just sad. Its a cartoon. PS> The Simpsons operating under evil empire FOX is an example of SUBVERSION, not being a sell out.

  • July 31, 2007, 9:20 p.m. CST

    drave117

    by strosmer

    please don't call it art. a performance? who knows. but art? please don't flatter the boy.

  • July 31, 2007, 9:51 p.m. CST

    the movie church

    by Bouncy X

    its interesting how the church was conveniently next to the bar for that particular gag..but later in the movie it was next to the dome.

  • July 31, 2007, 11:15 p.m. CST

    I love FOX...

    by Billyeveryteen

    They gave me The Simpsons, Futurama, X-Files, House, and 9 eps of Firefly.<p>R.I.P. Wall Street Journal

  • July 31, 2007, 11:57 p.m. CST

    South Park is better.....

    by Briannicus

    Than the Simpsons movie? Oh come S.P. was a humourless rancid steaming pile of horse shit utterly devoid of any actual intelligent humour merely pandering to the lowest common denominator. If I EVER have to watch S.P. again I'll probably cut my wrists.

  • Aug. 1, 2007, 5:05 a.m. CST

    Re: Animal structure

    by Loopster

    Pity him, he's lonely and needs attention. As for the film, it was only o.k. I loved that bomb-disposal robot though.

  • Aug. 1, 2007, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Yes, pity that a show regularly using political humor

    by detinue

    ...inspires politically inclined talkback posts. I suppose the Simpsons writers put all those jokes in expressly for the audience to quietly ignore.

  • Aug. 1, 2007, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Animal Structure vs The Board

    by Captain Tightpants

    ohnoes we got pwnt

  • Aug. 2, 2007, 8:37 a.m. CST

    AnimalStructure is a bitter fuck

    by Lance Rock

    Did mama wean you too early?

  • Aug. 2, 2007, 10:03 p.m. CST

    Hilarious.

    by Lenny Nero

    I wouldn't waste my words on such nonsense. I hereby dub you troll. Nobody could be that bigoted.

  • Jan. 11, 2008, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Simpsons Music

    by SPGoodman

    I fully agree with Moriarty here, and some time later I now own the DVD, and can giggle endlessly while listening to the "Spider Pig" choral arrangement over the credits. "Can he swing from a thread, Ohhh nooo, he's a pig..." Genius. I love a good musical joke (see Victor Borge and PDQ Bach), and putting it in that style was like honey on toast. Er, pretty tasty that is. Great entertainment that lasts tends to have lots and lots of bits that reveal themselves to you over time, not all at once: Firesign Theatre; MST3K. Which brought me to the other wonderful homage to my other favorite show of all time. Did Josh Weinstein (from MST3K) work on the movie?

  • March 3, 2008, 11:07 a.m. CST

    The argument that Simpsons jumped the shark after season 5

    by Sick Fixx

    are delusional. How can you not laugh at Nelson in season 6 when he laughs at the guy with glasses in the pink car, who then pulls over and gets out. Turns out he's huge, like 7' and he asks him if he was laughing at the size of his car in proportion to how tall he is. Nelson says 'Maybe'. The big guy then asks Nelson how he would like people to laugh at his misfortune, then proceeds to pull his pants down and make him march through the streets while he's honking his horn at everybody to look at Nelson. Nelson cries. Hilarious and a little demented. Simpsons may have lost its step with all the episodes devoted to homosexuality and making fun of good, solid Christians, but they still have the magic of funny.