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What went wrong with Muppets from Space?

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Daffney, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Given it was a science fiction-related movie, they could have kept changing the channel and showed clips from Henson productions about space (though considering the seperation of ownership it's probably best they didn't now). Maybe show brief clips from Farscape, Brats of the Lost Nebula, Aliens in the Family, and maybe also a Martians clip from Sesame Street and a Gorch clip from SNL.

    MFS came out in 1999. EM.TV bought The Jim Henson Company in 2000, and sold off the Sesame Street characters shortly after financial problems. That's pretty much the only reason the Sesame Street characters were sold. So it's not like Henson was planning on selling those characters (I wonder when exactly Henson started to pursue selling the company).
  2. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    I was unfamiliar with your Bolt story, Dr. Tooth...but your description is a big reason why I don't like to go see any animated/family films anymore in the theater, and I may actually wait for the Muppet film to come on DVD unless I manage to go to a perhaps later weeknight screening or something.
  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Here's the thing about waiting for DVD... everyone does it, that means less money for the movies themselves and less risk for studios to want to make. That leads to movies that are more of the same crap over and over. That's why any movie I deeply care about I try to see in theaters, even if the annoying brats and their inattentive parents are ruining the experience for me.

    But then again, my TV sucks and is tiny, and usually I'd rather spend the 7-10 bucks seeing it in theaters rather than waiting months for the DVD to go cheaper... I don't have credit cards, so I can't rent.

    This new movie needs all the support it can get. if we even want to see so much as T-shirts and small consumer goods (and Muppets Tonight) we need to see the film and make sure it does as good as we can make it.
  4. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    DVD has the potential to make much more money than theatrical presentations, but alas DVD (including Blu-ray to some extent) is heading for extinction because of streaming and portable devices. We are heading for an era without a hard copy of anything...including the movie poster. They're already making those digital too!

    Sorry for the rant, just had to comment on that. Back to DVD, that's why people are so unruly in movie theaters. They act like they're at home watching a video. Theaters used to be spaces, like libraries, where people knew to shut up for the sake of others. No longer. Rant number two...last Friday I unintentionally scared the socks of some girl who was texting during a movie's opening credits and wouldn't turn off her phone's bright screen after the first time I asked. That is, until I moved and sat right by her and threatened to have her thrown out for doing something that is identical to continually turning on a flashlight during the movie and noisily clicking away. The sense of entitlement for today's young people becomes even worse when related to technology.

    Nonetheless, all this social media can be good for films. Who cares what Ebert says when you can send out a blitz of texts to friends or post a simple facebook update and ask them about a film you intend to see?

    I also think this will help when the Muppets come to ComicCon. I know they attempt to limit phones etc, but let's be serious. We'll probably get a glimpse of Fozzie Bear cracking jokes from the Con panel on YouTube and Disney should support all the viral help they can muster. *Real* viral, not manufactured. :)
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That's the danger... waiting for video or DVD or whatever is one thing... DVD sales can dramatically raise a movie's potential. Plus, the price can cover a lot of special extras that translate into making more money back for every potential viewer who chose to wait, or to those who want to buy the DVD to watch over and over again.

    But with cheap downloads and RedBox... that's going to change movies in a VERY negative way. They'll only make movies specifically for downloads, and that means low budget crapfests for a gamer heavy demographic. A DTV movie at least makes up what it cost if the DVD's sell well enough. A LOT of Downloads have to happen to make up a movie's budget.

    But the box office is still fairly important. And in the case of a franchise bought up by a major company, the worry is that if the movie doesn't make a good BO and DVD sale, well... we'll see the Muppets shoves in the back of the closet with the rest of the Saban stuff and the Disney Afternoon shows. And I don't think a single felt blooded Muppet fan wants to see that happen.
  6. JJandJanice

    JJandJanice Active Member

    That's one I don't think gets bought up enough when discussing the (from a commerical stand-point at least) failure of MFS. It had some really REALLY stiff competition at the box office including South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, The Wild Wild West (with Will Smith, which was a god awful movie, but did super well) and, maybe the biggest killer of them all, Star Wars: Episode I.

    Sorry to say, but MFS didn't have the guns to go aganist all that, it would be like bring a rock to a gun fight.
  7. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member


    That was brought up... but let's not also forget Tarzan... don't know how well that did, but unlike the others (forgot Austin Powers too), it was a distinctly family film.. and the flopola Inspector Gadget and Dudley Do-Right just added to the mix. Very competitive. And had they waited for Thanksgiving, Toy Story 2 would have shellacked them as well. There was NO good time for the movie. Bad or not, you can't tell a movie's realy bad unless you read reviews or see the movie yourself.

    That said, both times I saw it in the second run theater? Place was packed.
  8. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    I understand what you're saying, but like the poster below ya said home video has the potential to make the studio a lot of it's money back. Look how many movies in general have bombed their first run in theaters but made tons of money on DVD. I totally want to support the Muppets but if I have to deal with people who don't know how to conduct themselves in public no matter what age, to me, that's a problem I don't have to deal with if I don't want to. I'll buy the film on DVD and they'll still get my money, and the cost of going to the movies today costs as much as buying a DVD anyway.

    I have a Netflix account so I can easily rent it too....
  9. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    Good for you for intimidating the girl at the movies. That stuff drives me crazy. Unless you're a doctor on call, saving someone's life, there is no reason to be sitting in a movie theater, that you and everyone else paid anywhere from $7-20 bucks to get in to text and chat and Twitter and all this other stuff.

    You're right people have no consideration for others, no sense of personal space, and my favorite, the people on the cell phones who just as the film's starting pick up their phone with the ringer still turned on saying "YEAH I'm at the movies...yeah" and have a whole conversation. Get up and walk out if you MUST take that call.

    I also agree this movie will still get a boat load of publicity. It's a Disney film so they jam all their own stuff down people's throats as it is, with all the social networking sites there's tons of promotional gimmicks and things they can do to hype this up. Believe me, me waiting for the DVD release isn't going to hurt this film.
  10. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I thought Inspector Gadget did a lot better than Muppets From Space (though it didn't deserve the better box office profits).
  11. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I must concur. Miss Piggy and Fozzie aren't written with much depth or humor. Kermit is just given tasks without much personal motivation except his line about Gonzo being distinct - the best line of the film. Gonzo seems like Gonzo if he's taken a little NyQuil and where is Camilla in all this? Nobody asks that! The only character to be given a real opportunity to shine is Pepe and I think a lot of that comes from Bill's passion for the Muppets and the opportunity of this character to shine on the silver screen.

    That's really the key here - the magic of the character interactions is largely missing. The main camaraderie is between Rizzo and Pepe and that is the most Muppety part of the whole picture! Kermit, Fozzie, Piggy and the rest of the gang seem to be out-of-touch with one another and that plays poorly.

    Also, the film's opening sequence, until departing the house, was so well crafted. The rest looked rather cheap and slap-dash when compared to other Muppet films or specials that have beautiful sets and/or strategic location shooting. It just seems so sloppy.

    This film seems bungled, second-guessed and man-handled into a bland facsimile of what it could have been. I can understand young people being enamored with the first Muppet film they've ever seen. I'm just glad mine was The Muppet Movie.
  12. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Hehehe, I know what you mean!

    I'm not sure which was my first Muppet movie. It was definitely one of the original three. But I can't recall a moment of my childhood when I wasn't aware of all them. So it will likely always remain a mystery, lol.
  13. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Ironically, the VHS cover included a review quote that said "The magic is back!"
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The film really gave no one save Bobo the opportunity to shine. Though, we all know the separation of Gonzo and Camilla was sort of a choice, and it's been around since even before MCC. Now, I can't really blame anything on Gonzo due to the direction of the film... he was in a very depressed state for most of the movie. If I felt like him, I wouldn't want to eat a tire ether... but Gonzo completely changed since the 80's... they did sort of change him back. Character evolution is partly to blame.

    Kermit... well, it takes a special person to write for Kermit... We haven't seen a film focus on him since MTM and not again until VMX. They made him a second banana in a strange situation (like basically everyone in Elmo in Grouchland), and gave him strange lines. Now, I take it Steve was still pretty uncomfortable as Kermit at the time... considering the diminished roles he had in MCC, MTI and MT, I still wonder where exactly he was at that point. But once VMX came, you know he found his voice for Kermit.

    Fozzie... well, I love Fozzie. I love him a lot, but there was NO point in him being in the film. Again, it all points to the odd pacing and the fact that when they went on the rescue mission, each of them could have gotten lost and did some fun stuff... but they didn't. I swear, putting 3 Frank characters in one scene and he didn't play a single one made that whole segment feel awkward. Animal did nothing but run off biting Kathy Griffin's butt.



    Hey... I think I get it now! They blew the budget on the opening. they must've. There'd be no excuse for that otherwise.
  15. Teheheman

    Teheheman Well-Known Member

    I dunno, I thought the movie was ok. The plot sounded like it was good. I mean, Gonzo tries to find where he came from. That being said I think the whole 'He's an alien' concept was kind of flawed when ya think about it. I mean, isn't the whole aura of Gonzo the fact that nobody knows WHAT he is? or WHERE he came from? I think they could've done that movie either without the whole 'alien' aspect, or they could've really told us but it was all a dream or something ya know?

    Daniel
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'd hate "it was all a dream" more than Gonzo being an alien. That's usually a cheap cop out to get out of a corner writers get themselves into.

    The script was labored and various people had to come in and write passes of it. That doesn't usually sound like a good thing (I'm sure there are cases). But I even feel the strange script could have been pulled off with a good director.

    We didn't get one.

    We got someone who really didn't know what the Muppets were about and had no theatrical experience before this. Someone who felt mundane tasks would make the characters more realistic, but rather made them dull, put them in dull situations, and he took the BEST parts out of the script... Uncle Matt's cameo and the REAL ending where the alien Gonzoids pulled off their fake masks to reveal they were just fans of Gonzo and they got transmissions of The Muppet Show. That ending would have kept Gonzo's identity ambiguous enough. Someone somewhere felt that was too complex. Overall, the studio and Henson treated it terribly, and it came out like that, so it shouldn't have been too much of a surprise.
  17. Teheheman

    Teheheman Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I would've liked that ending more than them just saying 'Welp, he's an alien, answer your questions?' But that left even more questions like 'Do the Gonzoids have relationships with chickens where they're from?' and 'Are most of em daredevils?' I'm sure those questions were answered, it's been a while since I've seen the movie

    Daniel
  18. Speed Tracer

    Speed Tracer Well-Known Member

    When I watch the movie, which isn't often, I still get choked up when Gonzo and Rizzo say goodbye. If nothing else, the movie is a great love letter to one of the strangest, and therefore most affecting, Muppet friendships. I know The Muppets isn't going to have much Rizzo, but soon, I want to see Gonzo and Rizzo together again. We've been fortunate and lucky to have had some really nice things happen since we lost Jim, but by far the best is that duo.
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The Gonzo/Rizzo dynamic is a strange one. Rizzo rose to being a major cast member in the 80's after MTM, where he really begun to shine. Somehow, I don't think the two of them were ever going to be buddies until MCC came along, and they paired them together as the narrators.

    That dynamic, as well as the Bobo/Jeffery Tambor dynamic was one of the things that was RIGHT with the movie. Heck, most of Rizzo's involvement of the movie was the more entertaining bit of the film. I LOVE the lab rat scene, and the part where Rizzo and Pepe con Gonzo into building a jacuzzi, okay?

    Seems that they've since tried to get Rizzo and Pepe to be a comedic duo as well...
    Duke Remington likes this.
  20. Speed Tracer

    Speed Tracer Well-Known Member

    I like Pepe and Rizzo, but I think Pepe works more as a counter to the rest of the Muppets. He's considerably more focused on himself, hokay, than the rest of them are, and I think it makes him a little harder to write for. I can see why he's only got a bit to do in The Muppets. Pepe is a really good foil for the sort of cheerfulness we love the Muppets for. I still think Jim would have loved him.

    I think the best way I could describe him, if you watch Parks and Rec, is the Tom Haverford to, say, Kermit's Leslie Knope.

    I would LOVE to see Pepe and Bean together. But we haven't seen Bean in anything new since Muppet Christmas Carol, have we?

    Oh, and to make this about Muppets From Space... I mean, none of us will ever forget "I will smack you like a bad, bad donkey, hokay."
    frogboy4 likes this.


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