Tuesday, 28 October 2008

The Simpsons Movie

Lowdown: An overstretched episode.
After god only knows how many episodes and years, the makers of The Simpsons have decided to break new grounds (?) and do a film version. Wow! Not!
To emphasize the point I'll state that in my opinion, the gods we people tend to fall for are nothing but wishful thinking. Let me make it clear: The Simpsons was a great series, a breakthrough in the world of TV. The key word in that last sentence is "was"; since six years ago or so the series began to stagnate. Nothing new has come from Springfield in a long while, just repeats of old ideas and obnoxious attempts to further milk the money cow.
The question is simple: Did the move to the cinema bring with it a change for the better?
Well, there are some good words in me for The Simpsons Movie. Made at a scope like aspect ratio, the wider picture is much more attractive to the eye than the squarish proportions of the TV episodes. That said, this together with the DVD's enhanced picture quality manage to make some of the computer graphics deployed in the making of the film rather too obvious, especially in the scenes featuring lots of characters and especially when "special effects", if you can say that about animation, are used - things like tilting the set.
Being that The Simpsons Movie is very short at 82 minutes, the DVD had room enough to store a DTS soundtrack in addition to the mandatory Dolby Digital one. Being significantly less compressed, that DTS soundtrack reveals a significantly enhanced level of detail that most other DVDs never achieve.
The problem with The Simpsons Movie is that its picture and sound are the only true positives I can report. The rest? The rest is mediocrity. The plot is of no importance, straying about in typical manner between very unconnected themes in order to provide the occasional joke through some pop culture innuendos. What worked in the first Shrek doesn't work anymore, though. The main theme is that through Homer's carelessness, Springfield has been locked inside a dome under the order of President Schwarzenegger. With no one going in or out, the mob turns on Homer for revenge; let me ruin it for you and say that Homer turns out to save the day.
Lacking originality and lacking laughs - I think I've smiled 3-4 times during the film and laughed out only once - I found myself wishing this short film is over so I can get a move on with my life.
What can I say? It's just not funny. Maybe it was funny a few years ago, but The Simpsons have overstretched their stay. Groening and Co should have went home ten years ago at their peak.
Best scene: An operatic audio only performance of Spider Pig, to the tune of Spiderman, running over the closing credits.
Scariest scene: Maggie's first ever words at the very end of the film - "Sequel?" - have caused my spine to chill. Why should we be subjected to such horrors? I'm innocent, I tell you.
Overall: Do yourself a favor and watch Family Guy instead. 2 out of 5 stars, and I'm being generous here.

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