REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

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REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

Post by Kif White » Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:46 am

I thought I'd set this thread up since the movie is less than 6 hours away now from its first screening starting. That way we can review the film in a thread seperate from the other one and not be afraid of spoiling it too much in that thread. So if you come in here and read the reviews, and haven't seen the film, it's your own fault if things are spoiled (such as the entire plot)  ;)
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Re: REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

Post by Terry Y » Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:58 pm

Six hours for you, maybe.  Still a couple of days to go for us!

But yeah, good idea!  I've been hearing good things so far, so I'm pretty optimistic.
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Re: REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

Post by Jar_Jar_Binks » Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:21 am

I saw it two days ago and I liked it a lot, but I don´t want to spoil. Experience it for yourself first
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Re: REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

Post by Terry Y » Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:46 pm

"I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food." - Julia Child
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Re: REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

Post by Morpheus306 » Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:07 am

  Well I'll be the first one here to give a review.  I saw the movie monday at the Fox lot, they were giving a screening for all of us that worked on it.  This was, of course, just a way of giving us something for not inviting any of artists to the big Hollywood premiere which was tuesday.  Anyway, the movie is incredible, hands down.  They really pulled it off.  The story has come a long way since they first started; I saw a version of it a couple months ago and it was terrible but the problems were definitly fixed.  This has something for everybody, especially the die hard fans.  The voice actors do a spectacular job with their respectful characters, Marge has some wonderful and dramatic lines that are really well done.  The jokes are very much in line with the old humor of the show which I know all of you will appreciate.  They are aloud to get away with a few things like Homer flipping off the town as he sinks into the back yard sink hole, and marge yelling g*d damnit.  The biggest and most appealing thing about this movie are the visuals.  Seeing the bright back drops on the big screen is simply awe inspiring.  The back grounds are incredible and the animation is great(at times, Itchy & Scratchy!).  The mix of CG and 2d is fantastic.  The music is great as well as the sound effects. 
Just a few things that you may or may not know.  The bad guy, Russ Cargill, had his model changed just a mere two months ago for reasons I could never figure out.  You can see his old look at Burger King because they made the happy meal toy with his old model.  Make sure you stay through the whole credits because Maggie says her 'first word' and there's a funny bit with the squeeky voiced teen.  My name is in fact in the credits (Dane Romley) in the Film Roman character layour artist's section.  There are some other secrets but I don't think I can give them away.  Bottom line, I loved the movie, I'm planning on seeing again.  It's definitly worth the 10 bucks and well worth the 18 year wait.  Hope you all enjoy!
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Re: REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

Post by Kif White » Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:07 am

I saw it this afternoon, and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised at how well-written it was. A great storyline, well paced and with a great dramatic feel to it. The jokes are a bit of a gray area, because I didn't find many truly hilarious moments that had me laughing out loud like Seasons 1 to 8, but at the same time there weren't really many sigh-inducing, eye-rolling or cringeworthy jokes that mar the recent episodes either. Nor were there any jokes that just went on too long, even though several looked like they were going to be like that. Overall, joke-wise, it's not classic-era at its best, but 95% of the gags work really well at providing plenty of chuckles and smiles, and there's the odd Mirkin-esque "screw the audience" gag. I feel a lot of this was due to their delivery, pacing and cleverness, many of jokes having more to them than is initially percieved (such as Homer fixing the sink-hole).

Again though, it's the writing and story that really shines here. The pacing is fantastic, it never feels like the plot is moving for the sake of a joke, and it's very well constructed. All the characters that are used are very much in-character, which was another huge and pleasant surprise. Flanders seems far more like his old self than he has in years for one. Same with Burns in his limited moments. It's actually kind of a shame that Springfield's people didn't get a bit more air-time, and that things like Sideshow Bob's appearance had to be cut. Also, a big plus is that nothing feels too wacky or strange either. Springfield feels like a believable universe once again. Even if the overall dome thing is a little absurd, it works really well.

And I'm so glad there aren't a pile of celebrities playing themselves either. In fact, aside from the regular cast, there's just six guest voices: Albert Brooks and Joe Mantegna who play other characters and have done so wonderfully in the past before, Green Day who, despite my hate of them, at least die a horrible death, and Tom Hanks who makes a really funnily satirical cameo that makes total sense given the story.

Finally, I have to give kudos to the use of the family members themselves. They're all fantastically in-character, more than they have been in years. Homer is wonderfully stupid and yet still cares deep down, Marge has some great moments of drama and is never ever weird and kooky, Bart feels more real than he has in years, Lisa is smart and outspoken, but not a PC thug and still a child at heart, and Maggie even gets her moments.

Overall, I have to say this film succeeds. If I were to compare it to the series, I'd say quality-wise it sits right between the classic-era and the non-classic-era, edging slightly towards the former. The Simpsons hasn't been this solid in years, and it's so refreshing to see some new material from them that is just so damn entertaining.

Grade: B+
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Re: REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

Post by Jar_Jar_Binks » Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:39 am

Morpheus306 wrote: The bad guy, Russ Cargill, had his model changed just a mere two months ago for reasons I could never figure out. 
And what about the mutant? It appears they changed it from a bunny to a squirrel, and they cut out others like the raccoon and the deer
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Re: REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

Post by gkscotty » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:40 am

Kif likes it?
Kif likes it?

Now I have to see this.
Image

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was Us, what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do bad things. - Jingo, Terry Pratchett
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Re: REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

Post by Dana » Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:45 pm

:o

I'm with Scotty on that one!  I read the review, agreed with most everything about it and when I got to the bottom, as I don't put nicknames and actuals together very well, I was really surprised to see it was kenneth...and he liked it!!

He should like it. We should all like it and, no doubt, many of us will LOVE it. I LOVE it. I had two lil' doubts ion my head before entering that had me thinking this might not be the movie I was hoping for. Firstly, the pig. Why and how in hell did a pig become the focal point of the Simps first movie? Hmmm... And secondly, the hundred or so nuclear missiles headed to wherever. This made me cringe, as i love my Simpsons episodes bathed in reality. I mean, sure, we could have a global nuclear war, why not? But, this being the Simpsons movie, you know that those warheads are gonna...well, they just aren't gonna end the world, right? Right??

Well, those were my concerns going in and...to my pleasant surprise, BOTH items were handled in a spectacular way, at least for me. How Homer ends up with the pig really sets up the HOMER we all love to know. A very, very far cry from Mr Jerkass. And the bombs? (lol) Lets just say I totally forgot about the Simpsons Universe and the many hysterical characters there-in who entertain us. Pure gold, that scene.

Favorite line from the film?  Homer: I'll let you hold the bomb.

In hindsight, it would have been nice to have more from several other characters (Patty and Selma don't say a word, so far as I remember) but, this sacrifice was done by the writers in order to maintain a very well done plotline and allow those involved plenty of room to flesh-out the story at hand. Any sidetracking to fit in missing characters would no doubt have taken away from the nice flow of the story and...hey, who doesn't think there will be a Simpsons Movie 2?? My guess is that it will involve a lot of the missing characters from this one and we'll laugh our asses off (hey, this is a movie review, so I can say ASS).

Gotta get back in line for screening number two...see ya!!

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Re: REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

Post by D.B. » Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:02 pm

gkscotty wrote: Kif likes it?
Kif likes it?

Now I have to see this.

I'm significanlty more excited by it too now actually...

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Re: REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

Post by fellranger » Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:55 pm

;D
On the strength of this thread, my enthusiasm has definitely returned!
There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning....
And that, I think, was the handle - that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting - on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave....
So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

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Re: REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

Post by Stretch_Dude » Sat Jul 28, 2007 4:08 am

Saw it. Loved it. Laughed my ass off. To sum up:

WORTH. THE. WAIT.
I memorized "Holy Grail" really well
I can recite it right now and have you ROTFLOL
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Re: REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

Post by Meteorite » Sat Jul 28, 2007 6:06 am

I've just saw it, and I'm now registering my disgust throughout the world!


Actually, I'm conflicted.  It was a very funny cartoon, and everything Kif said is true.  The characters actually have depth.  The guest stars are few and far.  There was even emotion.  The jokes were great.

But... when all is said and done...  It was still just a cartoon.


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Re: REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

Post by arpulver » Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:24 am

And on such a momentous occasion, one anticipated since forever, I feel obliged to emerge from my hyperbaric chamber, dust off the ubiquitious Ruri-chan avatar (although I see Scotty topped it with Nagato), do my usual "hi, I'm Adam, co-founder of this website" speech to the newbies and, of course, give my review. Be warned- it is long. I don't post often, so I'm gonna make this one count!

From the very first trailer, I wanted to like this movie. I've long-since hung my "Simpsons fanatic" hat up for good, but I wanted to step back into the days when I could anticipate a new episode, absorb it, and revel in everything it offered. For fans who take that "oh, please be good" attitude into new episodes, they are left disappointed so often. My years of fanaticism ensured that if it was lacking, I would recognize it and voice my opinion on the internet. Yet, my mentality going into the theater remained- Please Be Good.

It did not disappoint.

This was not, I should say, a fanboy revelation of years gone by. "Last Exit to Springfield," "Lisa's Wedding/Substitute," and all those poignant classics are still distant memories. Make no mistake- this is 21st century Simpsons. It has plenty of the stuff that sends us all driving to internet forums complaining until we get carpal tunnel- inconsistent characterization, dated cultural references, blatant disregard for established continuity, etc. In fact, a skeptical fanatic walking in expecting more of the same will come away wanting their money back. I was not this person. Neither should you be.

As mentioned above, one of the highlights of the movie is its pacing. Not too fast, not too slow, just enough to move things along without feeling rushed or stalled. So good, in fact, that it shows just how much of a problem bad pacing has been in recent years. You get the feeling that if the show's writers just stopped and carefully managed one story through an episode, half the show's problems would disappear. Whether that's true or not, I can't say, but man this story flowed nicely.

As far as the humor goes, I only had one true LOL moment, but I'm not an LOL guy (that's right, I've been lying on my IM chats all these years!). The one true LOL moment wasn't even a showstopping joke, just one of those little throwaway extras that made early seasons so good. But I smiled throughout. Most of the jokes worked, most of the lines were clever, and the stuff that didn't work was forgotten soon enough. The packed house I watched the movie with laughed their butts off, but then again they laughed at the pre-movie Pepsi commercials so I'm not going on their judgement.

I liked what they did with the character focus. Guest appearances were limited and among the supporting characters, all our favorites (and Martin Prince) got their short moments- curtain calls, if you will. I liked the decision not to give the critical story roles to the supporting cast (only Flanders had anything serious to contribute). Two hours of scenes stolen by other Springfieldians would not have made a good movie. The rest of the town gets their fifteen minutes but the message is resounding- this movie was about the Simpson family.

Because of this decision, all five family members were well-represented. These five were the stars of the show, all five "saved the day" at some point, and therefore all five get their own paragraphs. We'll go from least to greatest:

:lisa: That's right, of the five, Lisa got the shortest end of the stick. For once, that's not a slight. The other four were just that fun. Lisa's role diminished as the movie went on, but we got to see that beloved duality between a mature, responsible youth and a silly little girl. It took me a bit to figure out the point of Colin. He had such a distinctive "Gregory of Yardale" vibe (complete with Milhouse as his clumsy Stan), and it's easy to wonder why Lisa needed a love interest when she wasn't the center of the movie. The answer, of course, is to bring out that adorable aspect of Lisa- where she can be a politically-active citizen speaking against pollution and hopelessly love-struck at the same time. And let's face it- Colin and Lisa's farewell midway through the movie was so geekishly cute. Not much beyond that, but little things like her reaction to Homer's big misdeed, more helpless frustration than pitchfork-wielding anger, were nicely done.

:maggie: The fact that the writers remembered Maggie existed was almost enough. But not only do they give her a few token scenes, she actually plays a vital role in the story by saving the family at two separate critical moments (one genuinely suspense-filled). She was the hero when Homer couldn't be counted on. This is all in addition to standard cute Maggie moments like the three girls reaming Homer after they skip town, and joining Lisa in shooting Marge that "No Mom, not this time" look.

:bart: You really have to ignore previous continuity and stretch the character a little bit to buy the Bart/Flanders subplot. But if you just accept the idea and go with it, it's a really strong counterpoint. The story shows Homer and Bart at their collectively mischievous best. Bart is still a brat- point established. Yet he falls victim to the recurring jerkass Homer that is analyzed and criticized heavily throughout. Bart's still mischievous, but he still needs a responsible father figure that Ned suddenly seems fit to be. Bart's whisky-fueled rant against Homer (one of my favorite scenes, BTW), and subsequent return to his father sustain the movie's themes while keeping Bart a class act. Add a few clever, immature pranks akin to the stuff that gave him such notoriety in 1990, and we get a nice cross-section of the boy.

:homer: Despite being the obvious star of the show I'm making Homer runner-up and it's due to an observation I've made through my years of watching anime. It's very prominent among shounen anime (particularly harem and mecha series), something I toy with in the story I'm currently publishing, and couldn't have a more appropos name here- the Donut Phenomenon. The notion is that the main character is a hole- generally predictable, uninteresting and/or bearing little to no persona. The tasty treat of the series is what surrounds the main character, revolves around the main character, and often dictates what happens to the character. The key notation here is "predictable." We knew Homer was going to screw up in a disastrously comic way and knew Homer was going to redeem himself in a disastrously comic way. His role is steadily bumpy- the slapstick comedy, the big epiphany, and the heroic redemption. Homer never truly changes- he's still reckless and crazy and I don't recall him ever sincerely apologizing for a whole lot. So it's predictable. Entertaining, fun, certainly worth the $8.50- but predictable. The true focus of the movie is the heightened awareness on the emotional toll of Homer's actions on those surrounding him. Which brings me to the sprinkled goodness of the donut:

:marge: We have to lay to rest the notion that Marge was once a strong, independent woman. We've seen glimpses of it before and we all love kickass Marge, but this movie lives on the premise that this side of Marge is either dead or an insignificant remnant of a couple fluke episodes. The Marge Simpson that exists now is eternally-patient, eternally-doting, and will stand by her husband come hell or high water (literally, as the case is here). At one very telling (and undoubtedly teeth-grating for some) point in the movie, she tells Lisa, "You're a woman, you can suppress anger forever." Flawed as this thinking is, and annoyed as we may be with it in both recent episodes and certain points in the movie- it's a necessary part of the story. Because Marge reaches her breaking point, and what happens after that is so pure that it drew an emotional response from me that I hadn't had from The Simpsons since Homer's speech to Lisa on her wedding day. It's a scenario that's been done several (and for some- too many) times in past episodes. But the setting of it, the method of it, and Julie Kavner's execution of it was the pinnacle of the movie for me. Kavner took the performance to a new level as a clearly choked-up Marge pouring her heart out in a manner so diabolically tragic. What follows is a major continuity error that will be all-but ignored because they remembered the song, echoing through a sequence only accessible to animation. Yes, it's been done before, but never with such bold strokes.

I won't bother giving it a grade, or even harken back to 1999 and use my much-maligned star ratings. That's too subjective for this. There are major flaws, but the sight of the family on the big screen, retaining their contemporary personas while still making them work, is enough. Whether or not it changes your life and whether or not it renews your faith in the state of the current show, it's a movie that any fan of the show must see. Just as long as they go in with the thought of "Please Be Good."

And in case you were wondering where I've been all this time, I'm publishing a webnovel (it's a webcomic without pictures!). It's use the manga-style of plot and character development and makes perfectly clear that I read way too much Douglas Adams: It's at http://mst.firstagent.net and all comments are appreciated.
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Re: REVIEW THREAD -- The Simpsons Movie (possible spoilers within)

Post by Fionn » Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:17 pm

I went with very low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised.  There were a few moments when I was forcibly reminded of the show's current state (overly-judgemental Flanders, Jerkass Homer, etc.) but for the most part, I enjoyed the jokes and the characterization.  My little brother laughed and loved it, and he's generally a good judge of movies.  I give it a 4/5.
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Getting lonely, getting old,
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Hey you, standing in the aisles,
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Can you feel me?
Hey You! Don\'t help them to bury the light.
Don\'t give in without a fight.

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