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Frank Oz worked on a new Muppet movie script

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by cahuenga, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Epictetus

    Epictetus Active Member

    It's not just parenting groups, though. It's every critic who says, in a review, "Such and such a line seemed a little edgy for a supposedly family-friendly movie." It's every parent who says that something seems too "dark" for their kids. The world is dark, the world is edgy, and kids are fascinated by darkness and edginess. They want to and need to explore being frightened, being fascinated, being confused, being mean, and everything else.

    American parents seem ****-bent on feeding their kids only good-for-you entertainment, rather than trying to engage their kids' minds and bring them up to be intelligent, complex, discriminating human beings.
  2. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    This doesn't just affect kids movies. Basically all movies are kinda like this now.
  3. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    I know I get REALLY annoyed whenever I hear adults contributing to this myth of "protecting children from reality." They're the same people who complain that their kids don't care about history or can't handle life.
  4. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    Epictetus, could you please stop slamming the new movie and insulting those of us who were actually pleased with it?

    It's great for what it is and what was needed to bring the Muppets back to life and get them back on the path to public prominence.
    Puckrox likes this.
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    But again, ALL entertainment is pretty much like this. If anything, kid's television (at least preschoolers) is inorganically slow for the purposes of pretending it's interactive when it isn't. All the popular TV shows are pretty much whizz bang blink and you miss it pacing... from 30 Rock to Family Guy and everything in between. Yet, VMX and Oz were far worse at Whizz bang pace this film was, and they were done by Muppet Insiders. I mean REALLY REALLY bad, and I tend to like VMX. This was almost a slow walk in the park compared to those two. The film is indeed a product of now. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I get the complaint about tiny understanding of how it fits, but it the movie truly tried to ape those older films in the context of pacing it like the others, something tells me that would still be the case.

    Like I said, we got a passionately made, yet flawed movie with an outsider take. That's not bad at all. We could have easily had another Whiz bang DTV Christmas special or Whiz Bang classic retelling that doesn't have the heart or soul of MCC and MTI... no one would really care, not even most of the fan base. The film was going to have odd pacing no matter who did it... be it an outside group or Jim Lewis and Kirk Thatcher... that's the kind of pacing everything supposedly has to have now. And yet, in those terms, this film did it much better than those two. The concepts being half baked is still a full half bake more than the rapid spitfire pop culture gags the last couple of projects had.

    There was NO reason for the Kelly Osborne crap in the Wizard of Oz... man, that was a depressing piece. And not soulfully depressing... just sad... and ugly. if we had another one of those, I could care less.
  6. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    The new movie was great and I think this would open the door for Frank's movie or in any way might pave the wave for a new Muppet show hopflyy written by my good friend Jim Lewis.
  7. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The thing that mystifies me is the existence of this script. I want more proof than sort of kind of in an article. We're a Muppet fan site and we've been following this movie since it was just the rumblings of a couple famous Henson fans. The question is, why WOULDN'T we have heard about it sooner than a couple weeks before the movie, and why wouldn't it have been all over the Muppet boards sooner?

    I doubt the existence of the script for one reason... while it was certainly a Muppet Movie script and Frank Oz did write some of it... well... I have a feeling that the script in question was a little older than these interviews are saying.

    The fact of the matter is, Frank Oz didn't have a new script in development... but a Frank Oz (and Jerry Juhl and Jim Henson) script that was announced by Disney to be put into production was shelved for the film we got. Several reasons for that include A) it was never quite finished, so I'm assuming the current Muppet team would have filled in the blanks and modernized it a bunch (and made it more Whizz Bang than this film ever could hope to be)... but then they had a perfectly good workable script anyway and B) say what you will about the movie, the getting the gang together only to realize the fans were always there, just sleeping concept WAS the right thing to do to relaunch the franchise under Disney.

    While I'm sure Cheapest would have been a great movie, and By Toutatis, I wanna see that film made next, it's a pretty strange concept that wouldn't have worked in getting a foothold back into the public eye. This film needs a LOT of theater of the absurd to work. And as nonsequitor as some of the movie came off (especially the quick ending), this would have been considered too silly, even for The Muppets... a LOT of Monty Python-esque weirdness would ensue, and it would feel too darn gimmicky for its own good as a relaunch film. In fact, the title doesn't sound all that confident. It's a self deprecating wacky story with tons of potential, but we needed a much stronger solid concept to bring them back. Look how Muppet Oz almost sank Disney's use of the franchise.

    I do definitely wanna see Frank do something for the Muppets someday. They're not dead to him (he returned as Grover in an AMAZING Sesame Street Skit), but any future interactions will be up to him.
    Duke Remington likes this.
  8. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    I had to put my hand on a rubber chicken and swore i would not say anything.
    So I'll say what is known, We knew that Jim and Jerry where working on a script for a new movie back before Jim's death. So who (if anyone) would you think would be the best people to write or add to or finish or whatever to that script? I have my own persoanl thoughts on that, but I would want to hear what other people would think first.
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'd LOVE to see John Cleese write that one. Somehow he's the epitome of strange yet sophisticated humor, and that kind of perspective would make a movie based on such a strange concept to work. Not saying he should write the whole thing, but rather give a pass at it to punch up the total potential of something that needs the balance of wit, sophistication, and abstract humor.
  10. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    interesting I think as far as wit would be concernd that would be a great choice, but honestly as far as being true to the Muppets I would have to say that Frank would be good and posably Jim Lewis. the problem is that we don't know how much of the script was written, and if it would still work today.
  11. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Once again, I agree with every word. I just saw the most amazing film of the year, which Im sure will be up for a few oscars. It's called "The Descendents" starring George Clooney. Like the original Muppet film, Alien, The Shining, Silence of the Lambs, etc its one of those absolutely perfect films in my view. Sadly hardly anyone will see it since its a "quieter qausi-indie" adult dramedy release. Something began to really bug me when the advent of 21st century films happened. Look at Ridley Scott. He went from being the visionary director(who knew lighting, pacing, sets, cinematography/dp choices, etc) of Alien and Blade Runner to making some of the choppiest bad movies of the 2000's. Gladiator was fum, but it ushered in that "look" and style Ive come to hate. And he turned the Hannibal Lecter franchise into a goofy trainwreck with Hannibal. Just look at any pg-13 summer action film from the last decade...nothing but blurry badly edited films.

    And you're right...we want things to be squeaky clean for kids(remember 80's kids films that had every swear word imaginable but had HEART) Sure, Goonies has R rated like swearing, as did MANY of the mid 80's kids movies back then. BUT...again they had heart. Most kids films today, including virtually all cgi heavy cartoon/live action hybrid/fantasy films are utter garbage in my view. The last live action kids film I thought was a masterstroke of genius and worked on every level for me was probably Toys with Robin Williams. I feel utter skin crawling revulsion when I see trailers for films like Shrek, Puss n Boots, Smurfs, Garfield, Chipmunks, Hop, G-Force, Planet 51, etc. I'd never take my kids to see most of this stuff. Theyve somehow managed to zap all the splendor and joy out of books I grew up as well(Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, Dr Seuss, etc)

    I love that scene in Rushmore, but then again thats why Im a huge fan of more independent and foreign cinema.

    The Transformers series represents perhaps the quintessential example of what is wrong with not just contemporary America, but loud summer action films in general. Sure there was cheesey action films in the 80s, and certainly in the 90s...bit I never felt sickened to the point of wanting to walk out from them.

    It's funny how Disney, thanks to Lasseter's insistence, finally embraced Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. The first Disney/Ghibli release, Spirited Away in 2002, I considered his best film...yet Disney barely marketed it or released it in that many theaters. I dont know what theyre problem was, but it took til Ponyo for them to finally put some muscle into marketing(sadly I found the film a bit banal but still charming) Pixar for the most part relishes in good pacing and letting things breathe(unlike Dreamworks, Fox Animation, etc) Heck Wall E was at times a bit too ambient. Also Rango I feel is the most underrated family film of the last few years
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Michael Bay is basically Uwe Boll with a better agent. He makes terrible films no one really likes and he thinks he's great for it. The difference is major studios release Bay's films. People just randomly see them. I give them credit for using the original cartoon voice cast... that's it. They keep making them people keep seeing them, and they all keep coming out unhappy with them. Say what you will about this film, people at least came out happy for the most part. it's like WHY do they keep going to Transformers movies if they keep sucking and have a history of sucking? Oh yeah, they're all playing Black Ops all day. That's the fan base they want. people that didn't really grow up with the toys and want to see something as shallow as their shooty shooty blowy uppy video games.

    This film, whatever you make of it, we can agree it's a love letter to the Muppets and the fandom... Transformers are Michael Bay's love letter to himself. if it wasn't for his ego, he probably wouldn't have any joy making them either.
    Duke Remington likes this.
  13. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    BRILLIANT! Yeah in retrospect it truly does feel like a cheap imitation. I'm so glad you mentioned Movin Right Along, as I find it one of the most important and seminal moments in the 60 years of Muppet history.

    I respect Segel, Stohler, Bobbins, etc. The Muppets would be languishing in 2004-era obscurity right now. But...why did they keep saying they were not going to make a modern film, and wanted to bring it back to the "classic feel of the first films". This film rarely has anything that feels truly classic. That montage scene, while in a way its kind of fun, is yet another stark example of the flippantly cheap disposable way we are whipped through this current enterprise. Youre correct, if they really wanted to tug at our nostalgic heartstrings and honour the past, why not have an original song sung on a cross country road trip? Not the typical cheap "hey, remember the 80s?" Family Guy type gag.

    Your words are like poetry man...I really would love to read a full review from you, or any full length articles or blogs.
  14. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    If you actually read what he is saying, it's not a mere slam. It's a really well thought out, almost scholarly(IMHO) dissection of why the new film may for some not feel as authentic as it is heralded as. At least compared to what made the originals great. I have been proselytizing this film to friends and strangers online like everyone else, but deep down I have felt the film felt off and I feel Epictetus has done a great job of meticulously getting to the heart of what that off feeling is about. He isn't simply nitpicking or giving a kind of blanket "it sucks" retort I feel.
  15. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Thats correct. I believe the film we got was the one that needed to be made for better or worse. It's just the way the wind blows. In 2009 at D23 they indeed smacked down the then heavily bizzed Segel film to sell us on the dream Henson project "Cheapest Muppet Movie". But yes, that may have definitely fallen like a dud with the public at large...and the entire muppet future would be like Beau mopping up the abandoned muppet theater mumbling to himself. We would be right back to a post MFS era. "Now what?" would be the question. Well now the sky is the limit.

    So again, while I greatly agree with Epictetus(with the caveat that the film does have a true emotional whallop in parts I feel...particularly the opening monologue which is straight up genius, to the rainbow connection production) I also recognize that they needed to lay the groundwork with this.

    Id love to see a more evenly paced, indie film like Muppet film next.

    Total agreement. The new muppet film is as sincere as a heartfelt love letter by Segel and his hand picked team as they could muster.

    The "cool retro" nostalgia of the G1 Transformers from the early internet days til mid 2000's was single handedly destroyed by Michael Bay. Transformers from Spielberg/Bay is as far from a love letter as it gets.

    But...is trying to recreate the past good? Could a new muppet film faithfully get us back to TMM and TMTM? Look at Super 8. I ultimately feel it failed capturing late 70s and early 80s spielberg with too many cliches and the typical alien cgi weve become accustomed to seeing. At least for most the movie, M night got a lot right about signs and the aliens in them
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That montage seemed like an unfortunate necessity... That's what they should have done... sung during it, and cut from place to place while singing it each character adding a line. It seems the Rowlf segment was almost a backhand of HAVING to do a montage. Still, it all points to the same thing I've been saying... seems like a lot of concepts had to be chopped up to fit the enforced running time. I'm almost disappointed we didn't get to see more of Sam as an obvious Fox Pundit parody.

    The more I think about it, I wonder if the pacing and rushing is even the fault of the movie makers, or if the Muppet Studios people pushed them into doing certain things a certain way. I remember reading My Morning Jacket wrote several songs of which the Electric Mayhem were to perform. They didn't even make it to the filming stage. The only evidence I have of that is VMX and MupOz... LTS had nice pacing... at least until the end. But I feel they should have done something different when they got to the North Pole. At that point it seemed that they desperately needed to reach the ending. I really don't think any of the writers or directors relished or enjoyed having to cut backstories and half some of the musical numbers. Like I said... I wanna see the director's cut. It probably has better flow. Maybe had this film been 2 hours instead of 90 minutes, it would have truly felt that way. The writers and directors certainly tried cramming in what they could, and in the end, we didn't get any huge lagging points, but it also went by too fast. Especially the ending. Does it ruin the film for me at all, though? No. I never expected it to be "classic" in those terms... just classic as in no retellings and flat Kermit barely in half the film.

    Cheapest sounds like a great idea for another film, no question. But it's something for the older fans. I'm not saying kids are dumb or the film needs to talk down... but it could get way too weird way too fast. I like weird, and I'd have no problem... but it would be like showing someone under the age of 6 a Monty Python skit... and not even one of the famous ones... the ones written by 2 of the Pythons to mock the writing styles of another duo of Pythons. Something that's only explainable internally. Though I could see a very Bowfingerish situation where they find a celebrity and secretly film them reacting to stuff and cutting it together. Or maybe something like that episode of Darkwing Duck where he's writing a comic book and everyone starts adding their own things until it becomes a chaotic mess.

    Launching the franchise on a classic retelling is right out... that would just lead to more classic retellings. And they wouldn't even be like MCC or MTI. I would say, track down the guy who wrote Muppet Snow White, though. He had a better handle on it than even Jerry did.
    Duke Remington likes this.
  17. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Dr Tooth, it sounds like its one of those things where we all are staring at the same painting but have different philosophical views on what it means...even tho we all kind of agree on the nuts and bolts.

    Ive now had over a week to let the new film digest. I kind of want to keep this part private and away from most people...but the new movie kind of leaves me feeling weird. Its not that I think its a bad film like Oz or a letdown like MFS or KSY. In a way it mirrors VMX. In 2002 when it aired I wrote this long screed on here(Im sure its still searchable) where I wrote with great jubilation how this is everything we needed and the muppets are back. But now I cant even watch VMX. And notice how eerily similar the new film is to VMX. Theres even the nirvana thing in it. Bitterman reminds me of rashida jones character meets richman. I need to watch VMX again, but it eerily matches the new film in pacing/randomness/etc...just without the heart the new film has. One thing VMX has that got to me is the part about the world if things were different...that sort of strange timeline, because thats how my own life feels like. That things are a skewed timeline, like back to the future's 2 alternative 1985.
  18. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Trust me, you don't. Hehe. ;)
  19. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Well, would you agree that at least the theater scenes are pretty cool? I like seeing the Bossmen and other scenes when they are rehearsing. But yeah VMX is not one of my favorites.

    There are Jim Henson productions I think are just beyond words for me. The original film and the Muppets Take Manhattan. Muppet Family Christmas, Muppet Vision 3d and especially Muppets @WDW.

    This will reduce my hardcore Muppet cred to zero with people, and further isolate and marginilize me in the eyes of people here, but here goes

    Im not a fan of a lot of the old stuff. I like Sam and Friends, I love The Muppet Show and the two pilots. But Frog Prince? Tinkerdee? Santa Claus switch? Boring. even the two John Denver specials Im "meh" on. I do love Emmet Otter, and some of Bremen.
    Also I think Piggy looks ghastly and quite ugly in the 70's, especially the firs two seasons. I love Piggy's 80's look, perm and all. But when it comes to old old Muppets, Im picky. I love all the old commercials, I love everything they did on the Ed Sullivan show. I LOVE Land of Gorch. But those early 70's specials I think are kind of lame.

    Also im probably the only person on here that doesnt care for GMC, MTI or MCC. I know, Im a horrible person. Sue me:)
  20. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Sorry I guess I'm one of those annoying purists, lol.

    You realize she was considered something of a sex symbol in the '70s? Granted that was probably after they retired the first season puppet, lol.

    Well some of the things you mentioned were obviously early attempts and were going to be a bit creaky at times (Though The Frog Prince still moves me to this day, lol.).

    But for me I feel like even the most creaky early Muppet productions are better than anything we got in the '90s.

    Lol, well I don't much care for MTI or MCC either. GMC I like a lot but I can also understand why it gets picked on, hehe.

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