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Flash Movie Review: Muppets Most Wanted

The sting from the punch lingered on my arm. He had done it before but it hurt just as much this time. There was a difference though because I decided to get back at him. I had a knack for quietly cracking pumpkin seeds in my mouth and discreetly keeping the shells in my school desk until I could dispose of them. As the class prepared to go outside for recess I stayed behind, allowing myself just enough time to place some of the empty shells under his school desk. I took the rest of the shells with me, tossing them into a garbage can in the hallway before joining up with my class as it was exiting out the playground door. When we returned to class, it did not take long for the teacher to notice the empty shells below his desk. Sure he denied they were his when the teacher asked him. She questioned each of us who sat around him but their look of confused denial was matched by mine. The boy that hit me was forced to sweep up the entire floor while we continued on with our history lesson. As an adult I can look back and criticize my actions; but back then, I relished the revenge. At least I did not plan the identity switch for criminal reasons like the one that was done to poor Kermit in this comedy caper. While the Muppets were on an international tour the world’s most evil frog Constantine, a dead ringer for Kermit, switched identities with him. While Kermit was imprisoned in a Russian prison headed by Nadya, played by Tina Fey (Admission, 30 Rock-TV), Constantine used the Muppets as a cover for his audacious plot. Seeing the Muppets on the big screen again just brings a smile to one’s face. For the duration they have been around, multiple generations have some type of fond memory about the Muppets. This adventure film had its moments with sight gags, Muppets humor, songs and a cavalcade of celebrity cameo appearances. I enjoyed the performances from Tina Fey and Ty Burrell (The Incredible Hulk, Modern Family-TV) as Jean Pierre Napoleon. As for Ricky Gervais (The Invention of Lying, The Office-TV) as Constantine’s associate, I found him forgettable for the most part. Overall this film was okay but it was lacking the fun, I want to say oomph, I usually feel for the Muppets. The story was, dare I say, somewhat predictable. There was however a creative flair throughout the film and credits, even to the very end. With the Muppets under a new owner I hope this movie is not the start of a string of films based on marketing results instead of fun creativity.

 

2 1/2 stars

Flash Movie Review: Disconnect

I feel like I am walking around with a jukebox in my pocket thanks to the internet. Finding a nearby movie theater’s showtimes, while driving home after class, is an easy task for my smartphone. Even being able to notify a friend exactly where I am stuck in traffic has been a benefit due to the internet. I think about that person who seeks out like minded people with similar interests or the individual who wants to try a new recipe for a dinner party; all benefiting from the internet. Since I believe we are born with both good and evil inside of us, unfortunately there is a darkness attached to the internet by people who have chosen to follow their evil side. The stories in this film were a real statement for the times we live in today. It was uncomfortable watching portions of this movie that had three separate story lines in it. A common thread going through each story had to do with people searching for an emotional connection in their lives. Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses, Arrested Development-TV) was corporate lawyer Rich Boyd, a workaholic who was detached from his children and wife Lydia, played by Hope Davis (Real Steel, The Weather Man). Alexander Skarsgard (Melancholia, True Blood-TV) and Paula Patton (Deja Vu, Precious) played married couple Derek and Cindy Hull, still reeling from the death of their young baby. Andrea Riseborough (Made in Dagenham, W.E.) was news correspondent Nina, who saw the potential for a news story when she found Kyle, played by Max Thieriot (Jumper, Chole), in an internet chat room. The ensemble cast worked well together in this dramatic movie as their characters were exposed to cyber-bullying, identity theft and exploitation to name a few. As the stories unfolded, I definitely felt the creepiness coming out of them. After the climatic intersection of stories took place, I was let down by the film’s ending. I know one aspect of the internet has allowed people to take a courageous step in making connections. Sadly it pertains to both good and bad people. One brief scene with blood.

 

3 1/4 stars

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