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Entries in Muppets (43)


Who You Gonna Link? 

Samuel Adams has the only appropriate response to news that Ben Affleck will direct and star in a stand-alone Batman movie
Hayley Atwell (and Emily VanCamp) were flirting awesomely @ Captain America himself on Twitter and he didn't respond! Resulting Conclusive Fact: Chris Evans is bad at social media
THR sad. AMPAS lost their swanky screening room in Manhattan

Film School Rejects on Han Solo and other characters who don't need original stories, backstories or prequels. In my opinion that's roughly "all" characters. I need my mystery. I like my introduction to stay an introduction. Hollywood and lemming-like audiences keep stealing the mysteries away!
Guardian in the absolute grossest news of the week Federico Fellini's estate is licensing La Dolce Vita for a remake. Nothing is sacred.
Conan O Brien Jennifer Lawrence does a growly impression of Cher's "Believe"
Movie Dearest gives an advance take on hot tickets at OutFest in LA. I wanna see some of these
Out interviews a very intimidating RuPaul. It's amazing
Variety Teen Wolf renewed for Season 6. Danger! It gets more incoherent each season and they're about to graduate high school, a clear time to end it! 
JoopaDoops awesome Muppets/Mad Max Mashup. I love Animal so much. Always have.
Harper's Bazaar interviews Natalie Portman who isnt so sure about the #AskHerMore red carpet trend

I get asked so many questions about the Middle East, and I'm like 'Can you please just ask me about my dress? Let's just talk about the dress!'"

Theatah People
Time Out this is sad. Jan Maxwell, super duper talented stage actress -- I've seen her in two shows and she was best in show both times despite sharing the stage with people I was otherwise obsessed by -- is retiring from acting citing lack of interest in the type of work you can make a living doing!  
Gothamist Patti LuPone continues to be a hero destroying badly behaving theatergoers -- she's had it with your cel phones! The Lovely Laura Linney and Bernadette Peters on "Watch What Happens" they talk Downton Abbey, Into the Woods and more 
Playbill John Cameron Mitchell compares each Broadway Hedwig to a Superhero - Fun.

Who You Gonna Call?

Oooh, look. It's the first image of your new Ghostbusters in costume: Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones,Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon. IMDb has no information on who did the costumes yet but Paul Feig has never worked with the same costume designer on a movie twice for some reason so it could be anyone.  

On a scale of 1 to 100 how excited are you to see this movie in 378 days when it opens? Frankly, I'd be a lot more excited about remakes of any kind if they gender-swapped like this. If you're not rethinking, why remake?

Magic Mike XXL x 5
RH Reality Check on why straight men should see Magic Mike XXL 
Variety Guy Lodge argues that its summers "most subversive studio pleasure"
Pajiba on Channing Tatum & Joe Mangianello's reaction to hearing the movie called "feminist"
Same Same and Glenn Dunks loves it too, Jada Pinkett Smith and all

This is all a way of saying that even though my review (icymi) was somewhat south of completely satisfied I did enjoy it and the positive reviews have left me wanting to see it again (since they liked many of the things I didn't) and the negatives have not convinced me to lower my solid grade (B).


You'll Believe A Frog Can Bike

Travel back in time with me to the late 70s. Superman (1978) birthed the modern superhero film with the instantly classic visual-effects spotlighting tagline "You'll believe a man can fly." If the internet had been around back then, it surely would have become a meme and been parodied ad infinitum. (Maybe it did in whatever form memes used to take?). The very next year The Muppet Movie (1979 - our year of the month!) could have used the tagline 

You'll believe a frog can bike. 

My movie memories are super spotty until the 1980s but I have a handful from the late 70s and this is one of them. My eyes going wide and little jaw dropping at the sight of Kermit the Frog on a bicycle. I must have been aware that my beloved Kermy -- stand down, Miss Piggy! --  was a puppet since being a puppeteer was the childhood career goal. So how was this possible; puppets don't have legs because people's hands go up their butts!

Happy National Bike to Work Week! 

The Muppet Wiki tells us how this was accomplished and the Muppets are on the brain since they'll be revived for primetime next season. Does this trailer sell you on a contemporary version? (On a scale of Yes No or Maybe So... I regret to inform that I'm not fully in the first column.) 

P.S. This trailer reminds us that Kermit is kind of an awful husband/boyfriend. Miss Piggy is the faithful one. He's the commitment-phobe. And yet she's always painted as the shallow one. Hmmm.


The Soundtrack of My Life

David Dastmalchian concludes his guest blog takeover with this playlist (which we've helpfully collated on Spotify for you) - you should follow him on Twitter & Instagram ! - Editor

Photograph by Braden Moran

Soundtrack of My Life
-by David Dastmalchian

I read once that memory is like film editing.  We cut and paste the sequences together in a way that make our past fit into the context of our present.  I have this strange kind of daydream that feels like a movie trailer and I’ve been doing it since I was a kid.  I look at a time in my life – or my life as a whole – and imagine it with few words but with a great deal of music.  I change the songs often and the points of focus shift from day-to-day but I will share just a few of the predominant soundtrack jams from the life and mind of, well, you know – me. 

1.  Shine on You Crazy Diamond – Pink Floyd 
My parents used to shoot super 8 films of us as kids in Kansas and my dad had them all edited together onto a DVD a few years back.  There’s no audio so you’re just sitting there watching us all blowing out candles or learning how to swim in silence. Actually, I think there was some bad Vince Guaraldi rip-off jazz that the Costco or wherever people had dubbed in.   I just popped in my Wish You Were Here and listened and watched.  Perfect music to sum up so much.

 2.  The Rainbow Connection – Jim Henson
The Muppet Movie and its effect on my life are no small secret.  I first took to a stage when I was 6 years old in Kansas so that I could strum a ukulele in my overalls and sing this song which says EVERYTHING you need to say about love and imagination.  Beautiful, man.

3. Come Together and Let it Flow – Spiritualized
These anthems of my late teens and early twenties sum up the tracking shot of a dude with blasted pupils, sitting wayyyyy back on a couch in a poster-lined apartment in Chicago and watching the wax slowly melt off the candles.  I believe that I was really trying to find some way to link up with the people around me and only inadvertently succeeded in isolating myself from them all.

4.  Goodnight, Irene – Leadbelly
And old pal of mine used to do a bang-up version of this song when he would play around Chicago – but it really strikes up an image for me of driving across the long expanse of endless highway across my Kansas homeland.   Those early memories of sitting in the back of my parents station wagon and rolling through the wheat-lined roads of the Midwest are some of my most cinematic mental images.

5. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – The Platters
My mother had a “Golden Collection” of the Platters (one of those record sets you’d order off TV that came with special liner notes and fancy packaging) and I loved it.  We would listen to the records on the old Motorola console in our living room and I would slow dance with an imaginary woman of my dreams – I think at that time it was probably Kristy McNichol or Justine Bateman.  Or Lita Ford. 

6.  Simple Twist of Fate – Bob Dylan AND Joan Baez have versions of this classic jam that sum up the quick cuts of my early 20’s when I was hitch-hiking and riding Greyhound busses from Seattle to Asheville and trying to find my way back to Alaska while riding out the decade-long trip of simpleadventure and recklessness that was starting to ramp up in speed and severity, which leads to…. 

7.   Stuck on You (Failure)
One of those songs that plays perfectly in the long, spiraling overhead crane shot as it comes down to face a guy who thought he knew what he was getting into and didn’t realize until it was too late that he was in way, way, way too deep over his head.

8.  Some transition jams -  Drowning in the Sea of Love (Joe Simon),  Twin Cinema (New Pornographers), Wraith Pinned to the Mist (Of Montreal), Wave of Mutilation (Pixies) and the rising climax leads us to the beautiful moment of finding true love and a family and dancing in the grass to In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (Neutral Milk Hotel).

9.  Which leads to that final deathbed moment.  It’s a beautiful song but sad – but shouldn’t it be sad?  It’s okay for deathbeds to be somber.  I don’t want a marching band playing “Oh When the Saints” – I want all my loved ones crying and lamenting that we won’t be having any more adventures… for a while at least.   Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd) Yes, that IS two Pink Floyd songs on my trailer track list – so sue me.  It’s my guest blog and I can do what I want. 

And now I leave you with this – the trailer for our upcoming release, ANIMALS, which will be in theaters and on VOD on 5.15.15.  For details on where you can see the film, please visit   And if you love the song as much as we do, it’s from a band called “Lavendar Diamond”.  Go find and buy all of their beautiful music here: 

Thanks for reading and THANKS to Nathaniel for letting me sit in the driver’s seat for a day.  It was a lot of fun and I hope you didn’t get too many unsubscribes during my brief tenure.  Now… back to your regularly scheduled programming!

David What?, What I Learned From Paul Rudd, Films I Love, and Inefficient Filmmakers Guide 


What I Saw | Where I Saw It | Why I Loved It

One of our favorite rising actors, David Dastmalchian, is Guest Blogging! Learn his name. He's working with great people -Editor

Photo by Evelyn Leigh"What I Saw..."
-by David Dastmalchian

There are so many films that have a special place in my memory and their impact on my life was made all the more powerful by how and where I saw them.  My earliest memories of film-going are the Kansas City drive-in’s where I caught second-run screenings from the back of my folks old station wagon of Grease, James Bond flicks like View from a Kill and Moonraker, and being in my mom’s arms at the back of the theater at a matinee with my family of Raiders of the Lost Ark.  I thought the tarantulas in the opening sequence were climbing the walls of the theater… Here are a few spectacular memories that I will always treasure: 

Where I Saw It: The Oak Park Mall Cinemas (KS)

This will remain one of the most profound movie-going experiences of my life.  The characters, colors, sounds, music, performances all exploded in front of my little face on the big screen as I sat enraptured beside my childhood buddy, Brian Bishop and his wonderful mother, Kathy.  We went to a matinee at the local cinema and this was one of my first ventures into an actual movie theater.  At that point in my development, the whole “suspension of disbelief” in my imagination was so strong that I believed wholeheartedly that ‘Sweetums’ the monster Muppet actually crashed through the screen in our theater auditorium at the end of the film.  For years I would proudly boast that I had seen the film in a theater where a REAL Muppet made an appearance.  The “Rainbow Connection” became my first on-stage performance in a preschool talent show and my wife even chose the song for her processional at our wedding.   The effect of this film on my life continues to this day.  Several times a year (especially in moments of disillusionment with the entertainment industry), I will watch the final five minutes of the film – from the moment that Orson Welles offers Kermit “The Rich and Famous Contract” through the end.  Go do this now.  Bring the Kleenex.  You’re welcome. 

Continue for three more favorite films

Click to read more ...



Cinemascope Ari Folman (Waltz With Bashir) is working on a stop motion animated film about Anne Frank. Yes, that Anne Frank
The Stake has a great piece on Tina Fey's firestarter comedy, especially its willingness to constantly poke at our racial discomforts
Playbill has fun making Stephen King's books into stage musicals
Pajiba has seen (well the first ten minutes) of a porn parody of Guardians of the Galaxy with characters named Star Load, and Bonin
EW shares the 20 best episodes of Mad Men. Great choices overall - I'll be furious forever that Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss didn't win Emmys for "The Suitcase"
MNPP I missed Matthew Goode's birthday but this is the perfect gif set with which to celebrate

Women and Hollywood the annual Crystal Awards for women in film are here and this year's honorees are Nicole Kidman and Ava DuVernay
Boy Culture celebrates the one and only Buster Crabbe with some pre-code footage
Deep Dish celebrates Bette Davis on her birthday with lots of clips from TV & film
The Guardian raves about Carey Mulligan's career and artistry. She is currently playing Bill Nighy's ex-lover on Broadway at the moment in Skylight. Yes, Nighy. He is 36 years older.
Theater Mania yes, it's true. Cats will be revived on Broadway
Salon Michelangelo Signorile writes about the bleak state of gay characters on TV, usually sexless even in shows where their straight counterparts have plenty of physical intimacy (this is especially sad to read after Looking's cancellation though the article doesn't mention that)
Comics Alliance the superhero craze has officially jumped shark? an Avengers inspired menswear line is upon us. No, not a boys underoos line, a menswear line. Kind of brings us back to that gender doublestandard discussion again, right?
Huff Post Comedy speaking of double standards read this great piece on the headlines that would follow Madonna if she did the same things celebrity men her age or older did
Maria Shriver's Blog also has a piece on ageism and sexism via the prism of Madonna
i09 proof that awards are always political -- and it isn't just Oscar that's perpetually under attack -- in this investigative piece about a very weird two years for sci-fi's "Hugo" Awards
TV Line "The Muppet Show" will be returning to ABC at some point. Let this serve as your reminder that they tried to revive it one other time in the 1990s and Michelle Pfeiffer was a guest! Here is video proof. (Yes, I was very excited that night)

Unfortunately, as in The Muppets (2011) they thought it wise to invent a new Muppet character that wasn't even a tenth as good as any of the originals. Why does this keep happening? I'm all for shaking things up lest one be fossilized in nostalgia but if you can't come up with a good character DO NOT steal screen time from the good ones!


Team Top Ten: Best TV to Film Adaptations of All Time

Amir here, to welcome you to another edition of Team Top Ten, a poll of all of the website’s contributors. The topic du jour given that it's Emmy season is Best Films Adaptated from TV Series.

For as long as film and TV have coexisted, their fates, stars, successes, failures and histories have been entangled. Their ever-shifting dynamic has had an immense impact on both industries. The complexity of their relationship made devising a list like this one quite difficult, beginning with the question of what really constitutes an adaptation. For example, The Holy Grail and Life of Brian are not adapted from Monty Python's The Flying Circus; they are inspired by it, but one is more inspired than the other, so we rendered the former film eligible and the latter ineligible. On the other hand, series like Mission Impossible and Naked Gun present a different type of challenge because the sequels are continuations of the original film, rather than the TV series, but we considered them eligible nonetheless. We faced another difficulty with franchises like The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values, based on a series that is itself based on comics. The extent to which the films were inspired by either source was taken into account and we considered only the former film eligible in this case though the latter has far more ardent fans among the team here.

And so on and so forth. The point is to take this list with a grain of salt and add your personal favourites in the comments below. Without further ado…


10. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
Unlike these days, David Lynch needed to make a film in order to portray all of the incest, rape, pedophilia, murder and drugs that his and Mark Frost’s television series mostly only alluded to. While Twin Peaks, which ran for two seasons in the early 1990s, was a woozy blend of murder mystery, soap opera, dark comedy and surrealist imagery, the film was an altogether different beast. A dark and often brutally ugly ‘horror melodrama’, it angered many fans and even filmmakers (Quentin Tarantino was not a fan). For people willing to take the plunge, however, into the dark recesses of Lynch’s mind, it is a compelling and tragic affair that remains one of the definitive directorial statements of the ‘90s. Plus, David Bowie as an FBI agent who may be a ghost. Or an alien. Or a shape-shifter. Who can tell? –Glenn Dunks

9. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Ghost Protocol
seemed like a squeaker eligibility-wise, with the show a distant, tenuously related memory and three other movies interceding between them. But the film is one of the great pop entertainments U.S. studios have produced in recent years, dynamically edited and gorgeously shot by Robert Elswit without the self-conscious handsomeness of There Will Be Blood or Good Night, and Good Luck. With set-pieces as stunning as the Kremlin infiltration, the sandstorm chase, and everything else that happens in, on, or around the Burj Khalifa, this is top-notch, exuberant, and imaginative action filmmaking.  I liked De Palma’s gimcrackery and Abrams’ more traditional and character-driven suspenser, but Ghost Protocol is the franchise’s happiest marriage of scene construction, silliness, and star charisma (not just from Cruise, but from everybody).  Its division into discrete, flavorful sequences gives it the roaming energy of a television serial. You want to binge four more movies afterward. –Nick Davis

8 more after the jump

Click to read more ...


First Round Oscar Predix Continue: Sound & Visual FX

The Oscar chart construction must continue. Maleficent was asking and you don't want to keep her waiting. 

Visuals Chart - In Progress. More Categories To Come
You'll find early predictions for Visual F/X and the always confounding Makeup & Hair category. For Visual F/X I'd love to push Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes higher up the charts but I'm still trying to wrap my head around Oscar's complete disinterest in a) superhero movies that don't feature a man in a batsuit -- and that wouldn't confound me at all if they didn't have such deep abiding love for the Transformers franchise of all things which is surely less reputable than Marvel movies --  and b) Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) which won hugely favorable reviews and surprised virtually everyone in its year and seemed like a likely finalist in several Oscar categories but only ended up a VFX nominee. Will Oscar turn its nose up at those damn dirty apes and their stinking paws on round two (which is really round eight)?

Sound Chart - In Progress. More Categories To Come.
I'm very willing, nay, desperate to hear your thoughts on which films might have Original Songs. I'm super curious about Sound Mixing this year as well in that it's a category that loves blockbusters, musicals, potential Best Picture nominees, and films involving lots of water and there are quite a few films that fit at least one of those categories this year. Regarding music movies or traditional musicals: by my count it's quite a robust year iin that there are at least five on the way from obvious contenders like Into the Woods and Get On Up to less prestigious or smaller players like Annie, Begin Again, and The Last Five Years

As for Best Song, also added to the chart, Bret McKenzie won an Oscar for his last go round with The Muppets (we interviewed him). I think he's less likely to get nominated this year now that the novelty has worn off but if he is the Celine Dion/Miss Piggy ballad "Something So Right" seems most likely but my favorite song in the movie is the delightful nonsense of  "I'll Get You Want You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)"

If the new song doesn't sound out of place within its classic song score, it seems unlikely sight unseen sound unheard that any song other than the new Stephen Sondheim / Meryl Streep Into the Woods collaboration (previously squealed over) need show up on the big night. 

Supporting Actress | Animated Film | Lead Actor | Movies To Watch For