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Devil’s Advocate Reviews: The Simpsons Movie

Written by: Ron Bricker

ImageIs there anything more subjective than a movie review? Despite the fact that we rarely agree 100% with our closest friends on which moves are good and bad, we routinely rely on the opinions of stodgy, jaded journalists to tell us what to see. These reviewers inform us of a movie's worth and merit, and yet they might be friends with the filmmaker, or be writing on a day when their puppy got hit by a car. How can you possibly trust what you read?

You can't. And that's what this column is all about. In each installment, we are going to select a movie for which the reviews are relatively universal one way or the other, and write a column stating the opposite. If this doesn't convince you to disregard the "experts," then nothing will.

In this piece, CC2K's Carson McKnight puts on his shit-colored glasses, and attempts to pan the mostly beloved Simpsons Movie.


What’s Next?  Charles in Charge: The Film?

It’s true.  Everything you have heard is true.  Hollywood has finally done it.  They have totally and completely run out of new ideas.  If you are a fan of the Reduced Shakespeare Company you’ll be familiar with their observation in The Complete Hollywood (Abridged) that every new movie is just a remake of an old one or the plots of two old ones put together.  And they are right.  We need not look any further than the seemingly endless number of “part threes” that came out this summer.  Or we can look at the previews for such films as The Chipmunks or Daddy Day Camp.  But the most grievous of all of these cinematic infractions is the execrable Simpsons Movie.

The film opens with a tired, old Itchy and Scratchy cartoon.  Of course the point of these cartoons isn’t that the cat gets hurt and the mouse wins, but rather that cartoon violence IS funny.  This point was probably hammered home right around season 6 or so.  Now it’s just the same thing over and over.  I haven't seen so much recycled violence since 300.  But the best moment of that segment is when Homer stands up and upbraids the audience for paying for something they could see at home for free.  Amen, Homer, amen.

The Simpsons Movie strives to bring to the big screen some of the magic that the show used to have.  This show, of course, jumped the shark about five or six years ago, but Twentieth Century Fox for some reason seemed to think “I bet NOW would be a good time to cash in.”  This is the same production company that canceled Arrested Development and buried Firefly so I don’t know why I’m surprised.  But they must have surprised the writers of the show, because they had to call in all of their old colleagues for this effort.  Too bad those guys forgot what they did before.

To say that plots were recycled from the show would be understating it.  Once again Bart is looking for a new father figure, once again Lisa is preaching about a problem that no one else seems to care about, once again Marge is not happy with what Homer has done and threatens to leave him, and once again Homer does something stupid with very little remorse.  If only he had some Native American religious experience to make him think better of it.  Oh wait, HE DOES!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that this movie was totally without merit.  Some of the scenes were funny, but they were so few and far between I found myself either dozing off or wishing I could get up and go to my kitchen for something to eat.  Unfortunately the reality of being in a movie theater hit me and I was forced to sit and watch as Ralph Wiggum actually sung the Twentieth Century Fox music.  I’m all for Ralph, I love his brand of in-your-face humor that doesn’t let up when his Wookie is bent, but to have him branded corporately by singing the company’s theme just seemed to be a way for Fox to try to kill some dead air.  Maybe they should have had him sing about thirty minutes in when I was praying for the movie to come to an end.


Author: Ron Bricker

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