Tag Archives: Liza Minnelli

Second First Time Viewer – “The Muppets Take Manhattan”

While I did manage to stay away from simply reposting my Muppets movie commentaries the past couple of days, a glance at the current news cycle is just depressing. There’s a lot of giant jackholery from people that are very likely child rapists and child rapist enablers, some people coming out about how their own experiences being sexually abused as children show that humanity is very often an ugly, ugly thing, and then there’s a touch of “Breaking News: People running for president on the GOP ticket are still giant morons.” Sigh. It’s rather frustrating/upsetting to think too hard on. But the next, newest Muppets film is a mere 8 days away. Am I excited? Heck yes. And you should be, too. So, I present you with my The Dome UA commentary on what is unfortunately my least favorite Muppet film (though I have yet to see “Muppets In Space,” so take that as you will).

“The Muppets Take Manhattan” is the third Muppets film, produced in 1984. It has a few things that set it apart. It’s the first film that Frank Oz directed by himself. It’s the film that debuted the Muppet Babies, who are in fact ridiculously cute. Except for Gonzo. It was the final film made before the death of Jim Henson, a titan of entertainment now sadly gone for over 20 years.

Also, this is the first Muppets film I’ve seen that has disappointed me. The songs, the story, the pacing and the humor were all… off. Mind, I’ve never seen it before watching it for this blog, but… Well, you’ll see what I have to say.

A Frank Oz Film? Sounds like a hostile takeover to me.

Woah. There are parts of Manhattan with that many trees? News to me.

So, the movie starts with a song, cutting out all the buildup from the last couple of films. Which also means no meta. Which is a bit sad.

Okay, with that much applause, people should be standing up more. Shame on you, audience.

Hm. So the Muppets are college educated. I wonder what their degrees are?

Piggy and Kermit are thinking about getting married? …yeah, that’ll end well.

Oh, man. If only getting something on Broadway were as easy as knocking on a door and badgering people. This is all a joke, right?

Oh, the guy’s a con artist. I knew something was off.

…okay, the Muppets interacting with the human like that was kind of weird. Much like the pace of this movie. Something seems off and not quite Muppety about this movie thus far.

Good to see Rizzo again. He’s the funniest part yet.

So, is Kermit flirting with the new girl? The girl who isn’t in college yet? …player.

Uh-oh, the Muppets may disband. This early in the movie, it’s like the opposite of “The Muppet Movie.”

Upon reflection, this whole going broke and living in a box (albeit a metal one) thing is one of the reasons I’m not in New York myself just yet. And this movie took place over 20 years ago, when these endeavors were much cheaper and easier to do. I don’t really think the randomly leaving New York for far corners of the earth is any smarter than leaving your original corner of the earth for New York. Seriously, guys, get an actual job.

I can only imagine the lack of reaction from the other New Yorkers to Kermit’s shouting is because they live in New York.

Ooh, mysterious person in a hat!

Ah. So that’s where the penguins are from.

Great, the theatre person is working in a restaurant. So many stereotypes to exploit in this film…

Is Kermit channeling Liberace right now? What the what?

Again with the mysterious person in the hat. Who could it be? Those sunglasses atop the snout are a perfect disguise.

…do construction workers really leer and wolf whistle women and pigs like that, or are we seeing stereotypes at play again?

Joan Rivers looks weird (so, nothing new). At least I assume that’s Joan Rivers, what with the Mick Jagger botox lips.

Wow. They both look moronic. And there’s no way they’re keeping their jobs. Aaand there it is. Apparently, beauty stores don’t like their workers to use their products, look like freaks, and scare the crap out of all the people in the store. Can’t imagine why.

These songs/musical numbers are a bit random.

Poor Rizzo, trying to be suave and failing miserably.

Finally Lew Zealand’s boomerang fish bring about hilarious results.

Man, look at Fozzie, that player. Already getting himself a woman out in nature… You go, guy.

…Electric Mayhem is not really designed for polka in my opinion.

Oh, God. Kermit with a mustache looks even worse in this movie. The massive coat doesn’t help.

Wow. Underhanded technique, the whispering campaign, but pretty effective. …well, up until the point of Liza Minnelli and the rat infestation.

With all this stalking, Miss Piggy would totally love Twitter.

Purse snatcher really should have stopped running so conspicuously after a while. Also, I can’t tell if Piggy or Animal has worse anger management problems. Piggy definitely has scarier ones, though, what with the being on wheels thing.

…a hacksaw? The living heck? Why does Piggy have a hacksaw in her purse?

Poor random skates guy. He really probably would do better to stay out of this. Except now he’s getting to cop a Piggy feel. …in the end, he’s kind of weird.

Ah, Statler and Waldorf in their element. I want to make a witty reference to the fact that they’re named after New York City hotels, but I kind of just flat out said it there.

…okay, I have to admit. The baby Muppets are ridiculously cute. And remind me too much of Charlie Brown and company. Think about it. Kermit is Charlie Brown, Piggy is Lucy, Rowlf is Schroeder… Clearly, the analogy is perfect.

Piggy got too involved in her fantasy. Entertaining.

The Muppets are far too excited about interspecies dating

Ah, Gonzo doing a ridiculous act that makes no sense and involves random song. Just like the good days.

This awkward dog owner may be the creepy villain of the film I was looking for.

Elliott Gould again? He actually looks pretty natural as a cop. “Contract killer? …whatever.”

Having a chicken dancing on stage actually might be illegal in New York. And that producer has a point. Just because it’s weird doesn’t mean it can’t make it on Broadway.

OH MY GOD, THEY KILLED KERMIT. …wait, if that ends up being with malicious intent instead of simple manslaughter, I totally called this last movie.

Peoples is peoples. This guy Pete is a regular Russian Confucius. Rusfucius.

The show has to go up in two weeks? …sounds normal for everything that isn’t a Julie Taymor show.

Did people still use telegrams in the 80s?

Why are they all so excited about New York as if they’ve never been?

Wow. This doctor might be a bit of a hack. And a downer, what with telling the patient that there’s no hope for him.

Kermit’s voice sounds different post-amnesia. And Fozzie’s hasn’t sounded quite right all movie.

I like this ad company’s style. “It’s like x, except for all the things that make x x.”

God, the end of that scene was surreal. Also a bit creepy.

Okay, I may not have broken into show biz yet, but I’m pretty sure with one week until opening, you cast a new person as your star if he’s missing.

All this rhyming may eventually make me ill. Still.

Look how excited everybody is to hear Gonzo say it’s Kermit. What with the not moving to see if he’s right.

Oh, an almost manslaughter, a theft and a kidnapping. This may have more crime in it than the movie about stealing. Welcome to New York.

I actually kind of liked the callous pig jokes from Amnesia!Kermit.

Huh, turns out he just needed a punch in the face and to sit upside-down for a while.

…well. Those random walk-on extras memorized their scripts quite quickly. And their blocking. And Jenny made those costumes more quickly than an entire Taiwanese sweat shop could have made one.

…I may have only ever seen one show on Broadway before, but I’m pretty sure this one wouldn’t be getting applause that rampant.

I like the presence of the entire Sesame Street cast on the groom’s side (or at least I assume it’s the groom’s side). It’s nice remembering that Kermit actually got a start on Sesame Street before many of the other Muppets even existed.

Okay, THOSE baby Muppets? They’re freakin’ creepy. And kind of ugly.

Nice. Piggy conning Kermit into a marriage. Bravo. I wonder if Broadway should take a hint from Vegas and do this more often, keep the money more steadily flowing.

Okay, I can’t tell if this is still on Broadway or not. Where the heck did the fourth wall go?

…wait, that’s the end of the movie? …well, um… alright.

There was no bad guy, which is something that has made the Muppet movies more interesting previously. The music was pretty much completely unmemorable, which is really unfortunate considering how very musical the Muppets have always been. I just watched the movie less than a week ago and I can’t remember a single song. Heck, this song is far more memorable and entertaining than anything the movie offered.

And things just seemed… really off the entire film. It’s unfortunate, but this is definitely my least favorite Muppets film so far. Of course, I’ve yet to see “Muppets In Space,” so maybe we’ll have to wait to make that judgment.

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