I loved Sesame Street as a kid (before that stupid fairy was introduced) and I’ve seen the Muppet movies (Muppet Treasure Island is the best!). So hearing that Jim Henson’s company was doing an R-rated movie with puppets was interesting. I give props to the Jim Henson Company for doing this because if it was just some other random studio parodying the Muppets it would just feel standard. Unlike Meet the Feebles which took place in an anthropomorphic and where all the characters were puppets, the puppets in the Happytime Murders are literal puppets.
The caste particularly three of them help make the movie enjoyable. Phil Philips played by Jim Henson puppeterr Bill Barretta does a good job being grumpy but also funny. His ex-partner Detective Connie Edwards played by Melissa McCarthy is good too though it’s Melissa McCarthy she’s usually enjoyable. They both work off each other very well and are fun to watch. Phil’s secretary Bubbles played by Maya Rudolph is also really enjoyable. The humor is hit and miss for me. Most of the jokes (in the trailers too) are swearing, and vulgar (silly spray cum, really?). However some good comedy comes from the fact that there are puppets, for example Phil’s twin brother gets torn apart by dogs. It’s not gory like Meet the Feebles it’s all fluff. I’d totally see a puppet die like that.
Spoiler warning since this is a mystery movie. The trouble with mystery movies is that it’s obvious who the villain is. At the beginning of the movie Phil is asked by a female puppet named Sandra to investigate who’s murdering the Happytime gang members. It turns out that she was murdering them so get revenge on Phil for accidently shooting her dad. I feel like her reasons for killing the cast members to get to Phil feel very convoluted and it makes for a weak story.
The flashback scene is probably my favorite scene because of how it ties a lot of plot elements together. Earlier Edwards mentions having a puppet liver, this is assumed to set up a gag but then you find out that she got it from getting shot and taken to a puppet hospital. The flashback also shows why Phil got fired, why puppets aren’t allowed on the force, and the villain’s motivations.
The puppeteering while it doesn’t stand out is still pretty good considering it’s from the Jim Henson Company. THM is a decent Muppet parody at best. It’s definitely better than MTF in every way (I’ve neverheard of MTF til the day I saw THM).
+ The Cast
+ The flashback
+/- The humor
– Weak mystery and story
Just before I start talking about BlacKkKlansman I wanted to talk about something I noticed while watching the trailers before the movie. The first trailer shown was a trailer for The Hate U Give which was about racism. The last trailer shown was for a documentary called Fahrenheit 11/9. It seemed too coincidental that these trailers showed with BlacKkKlansman but by the time the movie ended I understood but I’ll get to that soon.
The acting in the movie is really enjoyable especially from John David Washington as Detective Ron Stallworth and Adam Driver as Detective Flip Zimmerman. Even the members of the Ku Klux Klan while bad people give some terrific performances. The comedy is also great mostly because of the performances from the cast. An example is at the end when Ron calls David Duke played by Topher Grace on the phone and finally confesses who he is. David’s reaction is priceless. I also think the music is used very well. Most of the movie is silent but when music shows up is sounds amazing. The movie at times can seem a bit too long and the pacing is a bit slow too but the acting helps make it enjoyable.
The thing that really stood out to me was the ending Spoiler warning. Ron manages to stop the KKK’s bomb plan, however the police force him to destroy the evidence. It gets worse when later Ron and Patrice see a cross burning outside of his apartment showing that he may have won the battle but not the war. It then cuts to footage of the Charlottesville rally, Donald Trump’s statements of the incident, and finally ends with a dedication to car victim Heather Heyer and an upside down American flag. This was shocking, and unexpected but I thought it was a good way to show that white supremacy is still alive today.
Later I realized that this movie released a year after the Charlottesville rally. From looking at the previews shown, the ending, and the released date it feels like all this was planned. I think’s that’s really clever. I have never watched Spike Lee’s movies before but I still stand by that BlacKkKlansman is one of his best.
+ Bittersweet ending
+ Great acting
– Long runtime
I know Garfield’s 40th birthday was two months ago and I’m sorry I’m late. I’ve watched the specials on DVD so many times and I thought that I should rank the specials from worst to best.
12. Garfield: His 9 Lives: Family Guy summed it up perfectly.
11. Garfield Gets a Life: More of a Jon Arbuckle special.
10. Here Comes Garfield: An experiment to see if he’d work on TV and it succeeded.
9. Garfield on the Town: A heart warming special about family.
8. Garfield in the Rough: Garfield goes camping, that’s about it, oh and also beats a panther.
7. Garfield’s Halloween Adventure: Sorry it didn’t make my Halloween specials list.
6. A Garfield Christmas: Again sorry your not on my favorite Christmas specials list.
5. Garfield’s Thanksgiving: We need more Thanksgiving specials.
4. Garfield Goes Hollywood: A tango dancing cat and dog is impressive.
3. Garfield’s Feline Fantasies: The Indiana Jones segment is the highlight.
2. Garfield’s Babes and Bullets: A good mystery without an obvious culprit.
1. Garfield in Paradise: Ironically Jim Davis’s favorite special.