The Scoop: 1999 G, directed by Tim Hill and starring Kermit, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, and Sock Puppets
Tagline: Space – It’s not as deep as you think.
Summary Capsule” You see, I was contacted through my breakfast cereal and later it was confirmed to me by the cosmic fish that I am definitely from outer space.
Clare’s Rating: 5 out of 5 jacuzzis okay
Clare’s Review: It’s been recently brought to my attention that there are people in the world who don’t like the Muppets. I don’t know why this had to be pointed out to me since everybody hates something. I hate bananas. My friend Megan hates clowns. Someone out there must hate the Muppets. I just can’t understand it. Or maybe I just don’t want to admit that I live in a world where such a thing is possible. Either way, if you’re one of those people who finds the Muppets unappealing, don’t see this movie. Be warned however that if you are a Muppet hater, you should also hope never to meet me in public. As I will call you out into the street and school you on the finer points of why the Muppets rock my world with a little technique I learned in the saloons that I like to call fistacuffs. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Ok, so assuming you actually have a soul and are even moderately familiar with the Muppets, chances are that you will really like this movie. It’s much funnier than some of the more recent Muppet features (RIP Jim Henson) and gets back to the standard Muppet formula of caper + celebrity cameos + heart warming message mixed in with slap stick and banter. There are a couple of new characters introduced but all the old standbys are also here. The basic premise is based on a song Gonzo sings in the original Muppet movie about feeling out of place and wondering where he comes from. Turns out, as the title indicates, he’s an alien and his family’s been looking for him. Throw in an excellent soundtrack, some pithy pop culture references, classic vaudeville routines, a talking sandwich and a poker playing prawn and you’ve got yourself an hour and twenty eight minutes of unadulterated wacky goodness. This mutant highly recommends it.
Justin’s Rating: Four aces
Justin’s Review: New Muppet movies tend to depress me, somewhat. I realize that you got to keep it fresh by adding new characters and trying new things, but with every new Muppet flick, old characters get shoved into the background and eventually canned. And that is sad. Ralph the Dog, Scooter (what was the last film he was in?), Electric Meyhem and various others are for background cameos only. On the other, newer hand, I must admit to loving Pepe the Prawn and his mumbling French accent. He does rock. I could do without that Jamaican purple guy, he stunk on Muppets Tonight and he’s boorish here. Let’s all just thank God that Bunsen and Beaker both get decent on-screen time. Muppet Labs rules!
Muppets From Space follows the well-worn formula of mass chaos and Muppets to the rescue that has been established in former films. Gonzo discovers he’s a space alien (a fact which the trailer ruins completely, so I will do so as well) and gets captured by dull government agents looking to dissect them some aliens. I’ve come to the conclusion that government agents in movies are basically rednecks with bigger payrolls, since all they want to do is bag them a critter, stuff it, and plant it on the wall. The rest of the Muppet gang (more and less) go to rescue him, and that’s about it. Small cameos serve to crack you up by pointing out that these people used to be starring in major movies, and now they’re acting across from felt.
What MFS does lack, and I’m not ashamed to say it, are musical numbers. Whenever we get around to reviewing Muppet Treasure Island, I’ll definitely say that despite being a lackluster movie, it had terrific soundtrack numbers. Muppets From Space, despite being a pretty good flick, suffers from a Disney-like move away from musical numbers and more toward just dancing to whatever random music floats into the room. I desperately hope they reverse this decision by the next movie.
So why are Muppets funny? They can barely move facial features, but end up being way more expressive than most of my imaginary friends. Sam the American Bald Eagle, with his dour expression and fluffy eyebrows, still makes me snort Cheez-Its whenever he pops on screen. Pepe’s tutu was strangely hilarious, and Animal is still my role model for male/female relationships (come on, tell me you weren’t chuckling when the female security guard was like, “Call me…”). So despite my proving anything in this paragraph, Muppets = Funny. It’s a good rent.
- The Muppets go back to 1960, when they appeared on The Today Show for the first time. After a string of repeat performances, the Muppets made it into Sesame Street when it began in 1969 (Big Bird was the first Muppet to be shown on the show). In 1976 The Muppet Show went on air, which continued for five seasons. 1984 saw the resurgence of the Muppets in Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies (a cartoon that ran for seven years). Jim Henson died in 1990, and Richard Hunt died in 1992; both provided the puppetry and voices to most of the Muppets. While a new Muppet Show, The Muppets Tonight, fizzled after one season, there is a rumor of a new show in the works. Currently, Jim Henson’s Muppet Shop provides the muppets and voices for shows like Sesame Street, Bear, and Farscape.
- Clare loves Pepe.
- Kermit’s wallpaper
- Sweetums fishing from the roof
- The muppet’s home address
- Rentro’s jalepeno song
- F. Murray Abraham, Jeffrey Tambour, Andie MacDowell, Rob Schneider, Josh Charles, Ray Liotta, Hulk Hogan, David Arquette, Kathy Griffin, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson
- The Electric Mayhem Bus used in the movie is the same one used in the original Muppet Movie
- Pepe the Prawn sings “Flashlight” with George Clinton as the end credits roll (flashlight was a song used in PCU as well -ed).
- The Mice Girls poster
- Noah has standards
- Kap’n Alphabet channels space aliens
- Aliens type like bad internet spellers
- The satellite photos show the muppet house at an angle, which is impossible since satellite cameras shoot straight down
- Josh Charles from Sports Night and Dead Poets Society cracked me up as a gung-ho MIB
- Hulk Hogan?!?
- Independence Day parody
- Andy Dick as a Muppet
- Star Trek music
Gonzo: I had that weird dream again.
Rizzo: You mean the one with the goat and the dwarf and the jar of peanut butter?
Pepe (after oven blows up): There is a menu correction okay? We will now be serving… bologna sandwiches.
Swedish Chef: unintelligible panic
Pepe: … but no bread
Pepe (to Gonzo through fan as Gonzo’s alien relatives): Build it and we will come…
Gonzo (groggy): Build what?
Pepe: Build a Jacuuuuuuuuuuzi and we will come okay?
Rizzo: We gotta tell him the truth Pepe
Pepe: You tell him… and I will smack you. I will smack you like a bad bad donkey okay?
Kermit: Ok guys, it’s up to us. We have to save Gonzo from a whole army of government agents.
Fozzie: Well, I have a joke book
Animal: DRUMSTICKS! DRUMSTICKS!
Pepe: I have some loose Jell-o okay?
Rizzo: Are you telling me we came out here in the middle of the night for a stupid egg?
Pepe: SHHHH! It could be full of chocolate okay?
Relative of Gonzo: HELLO ED! THE CAPE FOR ED!
Guy: This is like something out of a sci-fi movie.
Pepe: But this is a Muppet movie. It’s much more realistic and romantic, okay?
[Miss Piggy runs by]
S: Is breakfast over?
W: No, why?
S: ‘Cause I think the bacon just ran out!
Mitchell: Yes, sir?
Ed: The remote.
Mitchell: [pause] The goat?
Kermit: What is he doing up there?
Rizzo: His breakfast cereal told him to sit on the roof.
MIB: Black belt, third degree!
Miss Piggy: Platinum belt, WITH an unlimited line of credit!
Pepe: I am not a shrimp. I am a King Prawn!
Gonzo: [on the commentary track] Yeah, see, we usually wake up to choreographed musical numbers.
If you liked this movie, try these:
- Emmet Otter’s Jug Band X-mas
- The Muppet Movie
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind