Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Simpsons Movie

"That's why we should hate kids!" Moe from TSM

Although for a good portion of its 18 seasons I've missed seeing new versions of "The Simpsons," for the most part, I've kept up with the incredible turns their lives have taken. When I do, I am usually shocked by the breadth and depth of the humor and the pot-shots it takes at culture...any culture. Plus, they have a true comedian's gift for choosing the perfect terms for maximum effect, as opposed to the sloppiness of wannabe's like "Family Guy."

My favorite line from "The Simpsons" came from an episode where Homer, after having a pencil removed from his frontal lobe (he had shoved it up his nose at some point), becomes much smarter, but finds life with increased intelligence in his hometown of Springfield horrible. "You've got to help me, Doc!" he implores at the end, "I'm a Spaulding Gray in a Rick Dees world!"

Well...I think it's hilarious.

So, what could a "Simpsons" movie add after 18 bloody years on Fox? A lot of reflexive humor dealing with the auditorium experience as opposed to "the box," a bit more risque behavior, some yellow toe-dipping into CGI, a bit more experimentation with delayed comic timing that you can't do with a 24 minute time-clock limitation. But it's more of the same, basically. I have a notebook full of funny lines that I could parrot back, but it'd just undercut them when they show up, as "The Simpsons" depends on shock, surprise, and good comic ideas you've never heard before. I laughed all the way through its preview trailer, but, for once, it didn't even scratch the surface of the laughs contained in the full film. And another good sign--the theater workers kept sneaking in on breaks to watch it.

"The Simpsons." More powerful than a nicotine fix.

But, if you don't like "The Simpsons," you won't laugh much at this movie. I howled throughout, and another few people laughed occassionally in the smallish crowd, and the kids in the audience "haw-hawed" at the physical humor while the rest of it barely brushed their scalps. In a big theater, it'd be interesting to see how many people actually laugh...just to see if people are pre-disposed to laugh. A lot of the folks in the audience seemed...restrained. Their loss. I giggled like a goon.

One thing that upset--"Music by Hans Zimmer?" Doesn't he get enough work? What about the brilliant Alf Clausen, the musical genius behind "The Simpsons" for two decades?! "D'OH!"

"The Simpsons Movie" is a cheap matinee. "Ha Ha!"

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