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August 12th, 2007

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08:02 am
A little while ago, Noah pointed out an actual movie that looked, for all intents and purposes, like a fake movie used in a sitcom ("I'm pretty sure this was produced by Maeby Funke for Tatamount Studios," he comments.) It probably would've been the type of movie pitched by its creator as a wholly different beast that eventually made its way to the cinema, I'd hasten to add.

Well to this category I'd sure like to nominate Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, a name for a Troy McClure vehicle if ever there was one.

Hey, speaking of Simpsons stuff, I finally saw the movie over the weekend and was absolutely thrilled with how it came out. It was one of the best TV-to-movie adaptations ever, mostly because they pulled out all the stops and came up with something that made me feel that it was okay to have missed the last seven or eight seasons now. They did some things they never could've gotten away with on the show, either standards-wise or storyline-wise, but they stuck to the core storylines of the show (instead of "reimagining" it, much like Lost In Space or Bewitched or -shudder- Underdog) and that's what made it so damn good. It was a feature-length Simpsons episode featuring the characters we knew and loved, but with more scope than any two-parter could have ever hoped to have accomplished. When I thought they'd gone and gotten the meta jokes out of the way, they ended up springing a few more throughout the course of the film. Very nice. I also believe they did their damndest to make sure every single character, supporting, background or otherwise, was shown at least once (even if that once was "in the giant mob with torches" scene), but I did notice two omissions:

1. No tribute to Phil Hartman anywhere? Not even a billboard for a Troy McClure movie?
2. Shouldn't the President have been Rainier Wolfcastle? I mean, he is the Schwarzenegger of the Simpsons universe, so it would've only seemed fitting. The Schwarzenegger joke was almost just a little too much for me, but lines like "I was elected to lead, not to read" more than made up for that.

However, with only two things amiss, there were a zillion more things spot-on and the little touches and references to previous shows were greatly appreciated. Lots of fun, and it was even more fun seeing it at the Somerville Theater with its new beer 'n wine license, which meant we got to enjoy the film while knocking back a cool frosty Duff (which tasted interestingly enough like a certain IPA of renown.)

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2007 01:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, a Phil tribute would have been nice.
Date:August 12th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
Given how bad Lost in Space and Bewitched were, it scares me that Underdog gets the shudder.

[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC)
Your number 2 was actually my main complaint as well. In fact, I kept saying that as soon as I saw that scene in the trailers and commercials. Do they really expect the audience to be that dumb, that they have to spell out the reference to Schwarzenegger? Because, you know, it's been oh-so-subtle for the past umpteen years. Well, I guess it could have been worse. They could have turned Mayor Quimby into Ted Kennedy.
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
Do they really expect the audience to be that dumb, that they have to spell out the reference to Schwarzenegger?

And they literally did, what with the nameplate on the desk and everything.

Ah, well. For a movie that worked so well on so many other levels, it's odd to get hung up on that one point, but it does stick out like a sore not-quite-a-cameo.
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah, if it had actually been a cameo, it would have been worth it.
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
Aside from the Rainier Wolfcastle question... they made the President Schwarzenegger joke? That's like the first page in the E-Z Social Satire for Babies manual.

(I admit that in the 1960s, "President Ronald Reagan" was the same joke and it came true anyway. It didn't make it any more daring.)
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
I was trying to remember if The Simpsons had ever made a "President Schwarzenegger" joke in a previous episode, one of those "look-into-the-future" episodes, but couldn't think of one.

Then I remembered Bloom County had a "future look" storyline when Opus married Lola Granola, got knocked out on their first kiss due to "incompatible noses" and dreamed about his future with her. I can't remember if Breathed used President Iacocca or Schwarzenegger as the joke in that one.

But it was definitely done already in Demolition Man.

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