Categories
Uncategorised

The Simpsons Movie: disappointing

I wish I’d read Biffo’s blog before going to the cinema:

Ignore all these 4/5 reviews telling us not to worry that they might’ve ballsed it up – they have ballsed it up. It’s really, really, really average. And it feels hollow – unlike the series, you can almost hear the air whistling between the gags; it’s not four episodes rolled into one. It’s two, maybe two and a half episodes, stretched out to the length of four.

That’s it exactly. I think it’s maybe the Cartoon Curse: what works in quickfire episodes doesn’t stretch to an hour-plus. Same way some acts are singles bands who can’t stretch their talents to an entire album.
Mind you, I’m still in a “don’t make me think, entertain me dammit!” frame of mind, and I quite fancy seeing Transformers as a result. Is it the big, dumb, fast, noisy pile of crap it seems to be? And if so, is it a big, dumb, fast, noisy pile of crap *in a good way*?

29 replies on “The Simpsons Movie: disappointing”

I liked “Transformers” as a kid – it was only later that I realised the entire aeries was a hastily produced marketing exercise for a range of toys (see also: Masters Of The Universe, Jem) which arguably flouted the BBC’s ban on advertising.

Can’t imagine a film will be up to much.

Yeah, the series-of-the-toy was inspired marketing. And evil, I’m sure.

I’m hoping the film is just going to involve CGI robots twatting one another fairly quickly – amusing nonsense in a “if films were Big Macs” kinda way. But there’s a real risk it’ll be more like a little Wimpy burger in a wind-blown motorway service station at 3am. Er…

I think I felt the same way about the Family Guy movie. I thought it was funny and I enjoyed it, but towards the end I just felt “Ok ok, I am out of laughs and now you’re boring me.”

Though, I still plan to see The Simpsons Movie!

… there were some real problems with The Simpsons Movie:

widescreen format was wasted, drawing attention away from “the action”

secondary characters were ill-used, little more than cameos

not nearly enough sight gags in backgrounds

the pacing is slooow. Actually, about 4 minutes of “emlittle-ing” would have made the whole movie zip along

Homer-centric story line didn’t have enough of a twist

EPA as the villain was not very pointed satire

…worse…episode…ever…

Transformers is a big, dumb, noisy pile of crap *just about* in a good way. It includes some really terrible teenage relationship nonsense, some atrocious acting, and dialogue at times so bad I wished I’d brought a towel to bite on, but there’s enough extended footage of robots beating the shit out of each other to make it enjoyable. I cautiously endorse it.

> the entire aeries was a hastily produced marketing exercise for a range of toys

That’s the motive behind hiring the script-writers and animators, but it’s not their motivation for working. If they do good work, it’s good work.

I’m always going on about this, but Singin’ In The Rain was produced solely to jack up the royalties on Arthur Freed’s old songs. Freed’s motive didn’t stop Comden and Green writing the greatest musical of all time.

I like Transformers when I was a kid but never bought any of the toys, so the marketing can’t have been all that good.

>>I think it’s maybe the Cartoon Curse:
I’ve seen this idea brought out a few times. Am I the only person that thought the South Park film did exactly what it said on the tin (Bigger…)? I remember coming out of it with an aching jaw from laughing so much. I reckon it’s their complete irreverence for even their own work that made it happen. You can’t really imagine the Simpsons having something like “unhooding Kenny” at any point, can you?

I liked The Simpsons Movie: bit better than I expected, actually. I loved the Alaska bit, although I found the idea of the bowl a bit claustrophobic, I wanted to run outside and check I could actually still leave London! And I thought Arnie made a great president, better than the current crop of hopefuls anyway…

I remember coming out of it with an aching jaw from laughing so much.

I’m sure you’re not the only one, but I found it really dull. I think the problem for me is that at single episode length, cartoons don’t need much more than a sketchy story to hang the jokes off. But at feature length they need a story of sorts. I don’t think many quickfire comedy programmes would work at feature length either, so for example while The Mighty Boosh is genius, I reckon a movie would suck.

>And I thought Arnie made a great president, better than the current crop of hopefuls anyway…

When I was in the states for a break during the run up to the Al Gore vs Bush election, someone on one of those election debate TV shows said that by changing or repealing two laws they could get away from this boring rubbish and have the election campaign everyone really wanted: Arnie against Bill Clinton.

Still I don’t think they thought it was that dull after the whole florida debacle.

I really liked it but I also didn’t watch any of the previews except for a snippet of Spiderpig. I only know a few people who didn’t like it but they had watched the spoilers excessively. I had extremely low expectations and hadn’t seen a simpsons episode for about 2 years. I want to see it again, I thought it was hilarious.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. Myself and my date were the two loudest laughers in the place. I thought it was consistently funny, beautifully drawn, and remained faithful to the series.

I approached it from the point of view of a long TV episode, it didn’t let me down.

What do the naysayers want from a Simpsons movie? Something that isn’t like the Simpsons? IMO plotting, pacing and character use was entirely in keeping with a Homer-centric episode.

Complaining about not seeing enough of the secondary characters is rather redundant when you can see them all, several times a day, in any one of hundreds and hundreds of episodes.

[url=http://freakytrigger.co.uk/ft/2007/08/the-long-simpsons-episode/]Freaky Trigger[/url] on The Simpsons. Which although coming from another angle, seems as band on as Biffo to me.

Just saw Transformers. It’s too long: the plot takes ages to unfold and wastes a lot of time on the hokey kid/dad thing, which is really not funny. But the action scenes are pretty stunning, and the Autobots are kinda sweet, in a big, hulking, giant-robot sort of way. It could be edited down to ninety minutes of slick action, and given the wonders of the Internet, I’m sure it will be.

Sorry Stephen, I kinda speed-read that because I was scared of spoilers. You’re absolutely right on the length thing and unfunny dad/son stuff, although I thought the action was a wee bit too fast sometimes – it wasn’t always clear who was whacking whom. And in addition to the usual spot-the-product-placement game, you can have lots of fun spotting the Michael Bay cliches.

It was a load of old rubbish, basically, and I enjoyed it immensely :)

Next up: Bourne.

Agreed on the action, a bit confusing at times. Maybe Bay should have swallowed hard and used (gasp!) Bullet Time! But yeah, I did enjoy it. Lots of grin time. Especially that old yeller Camaro, with the unmistakeable sound of a Detroit V8, reminding me of my old 1970 Mustang (sniff).

Cliches? The punchline in the interrogation room? Fookin Jaysus, you not only saw that one coming, you saw it getting on the train in the station. You saw it buying its bloody ticket!

The Bourne trailer looks good to be sure, but I haven’t seen the first two, and I’m a bit, ah, sensitive about such things. OK, obsessive. There, I said it. Happy?

Especially that old yeller Camaro, with the unmistakeable sound of a Detroit V8, reminding me of my old 1970 Mustang (sniff).

I think GM logos got more screen time than the transformers, heh.

Incidentally, is it just me or is the male lead really reminiscent of a young John Cusack?

I haven’t seen the first two

Oh, they’re great – and cheap at the moment too. I think HMV’s doing the two of ’em together for about £12 .

I don’t know how self-referential bourne 3 will be, but seeing the first two before three wouldn’t be a bad thing I reckon.

reminding me of my old 1970 Mustang (sniff).

Sorry, missed a bit: is it true that such muscle cars are brilliant as long as you don’t care about fuel economy or cornering?

Our plan is to watch the first two Bourne films on DVD and then go straight out to the cinema to see the third. Should be fun.

Stephen, they may well be the best spy films ever made. It is impossible to overstate just how bloody good they are. And the second one contains what may well be the greatest car chase of all time.

If there’s any doubt, they get the ultimate seal of approval: Mark Steyn thinks they’re crap. And you don’t get better than that.

> Maybe Bay should have swallowed hard and used (gasp!) Bullet Time!

Not seen it, but a good director can make action clear without resorting to slowing it down. Look at Equilibrium.

Sorry, missed a bit: is it true that such muscle cars are brilliant as long as you don’t care about fuel economy or cornering?

Yeah, well, petrol in South Africa, while not quite at US prices, is one hell of a lot cheaper than here. They won’t corner like a Ferrari, true, but then they do cost a bit less. And there’s just something about the sound of a big V8, something effortlessly powerful, like the growl of a lazy tiger…

It would be quite comforting to know that, if you were being chased by a tiger, all you’d have to do to escape was to run in anything other than a straight line.

OK, well, as tempted as I am to follow that tangent, I think it’s time I brought this back to, well, another tangent, actually: I just ordered Bourne I and II from HMV, and let me tell you, if they aren’t as good as you say… well, let’s just say, they won’t be as good as you say, and leave it at that, shall we?

Ah, but then if you’ve watched them you’ll be able to use everyday objects as lethal weapons to enact your revenge. So your money won’t have been wasted.

Leave a Reply