Friday, June 28, 2013

Blockbusters of Summers Past: The Simpsons Movie- 2007

Yes, I know that I started this series back in May and it might be a bit weird to resume it now, but it's better late than never. So starting with 2007, here are the blockbusters of summers past. The Simpsons is one of the best sitcoms on television. It's bold, it's colorful, it's crude, and most importantly, it is extremely intelligent and tells its stories with charming wit and irony. So making a movie would be a tough task, considering the high bar that has been set from the show. But I can't think of a more watchable film than The Simpsons Movie. It was clear to me while watching this film tonight for about the fifteenth time, that Matt Groening and his team put everything into this movie and did their best to make it great. And they succeeded, they 100% succeeded. The Simpsons Movie belongs in an elite category of films. I would call that category: the funniest movies of all time.

The Simpsons Movie IS an extended TV episode, but with better animation, and a bunch of downright hilarious jokes. The story follows Homer (Dan Castellaneta), as his reckless behavior eventually causes something bigger than himself. He adopts a pet pig and then dumps his crap in Lake Springfield which is when the EPA steps in. Russ Cargill (A. Brooks) puts a dome over Springfield and traps the people inside it. The Simpsons become fugitives and the family must go on the run and right the wrongs of their idiot husband/father.

Airplane! Dodgeball. Anchorman. Those are the films I think of when I consider the funniest films of all time. I knew that The Simpsons Movie was funny, because it's one of those films that I watch at least once or twice a year, but, wow, it is REALLY funny. I mean, out of about a thousand jokes that are thrown on the screen, only one or two fall flat (which is funny, because the two I didn't laugh at this time were the highlights when I was nine). It is downright hilarious and a real pleasure to watch.

In addition to all the humor, there are some nice emotional beats in the film. You like these characters and it keeps the movie going. It is just so entertaining to watch. Plus, it has a nice, compact running time of 1 hour and 27 minutes, which makes it a nice, breezy watch that flies by.

Also, the story is both relevant and intriguing. It tries to pound in a good message about the environment, but also takes a more sarcastic approach to it. Russ Cargill is a great character, voiced by the wonderful Albert Brooks. In addition to the sight gags, it is brooks and the voice cast that adds the most to the overall hilarity of the film.

The animation is also stunning. It's hand drawn, and it still holds up today. That's one of the things that I like about hand-drawn animation. It never ages. Beauty and the Beast still looks as good as it did in 1991. The Iron Giant still looks as good as it did in 1999. Hand-drawn animation never ages and unlike the Pixar films from the late 90's/early 2000's, you aren't distracted by the animation quality and it lets you fully enjoy the story.

Honestly, I don't hate anything more than grading animated movies. You can't really judge performance and there isn't a lot to say about the animation, so I'll just leave it at this. The Simpsons Movie is one of the funniest films ever made. It's entertaining, irreverent, intelligent and just hilarious. There are tons of laugh-out loud moments and a nice storyline that progresses nicely throughout the film. There are good sets, cool locations and nice interesting characters. The Simpsons Movie is one of the crown jewels of adult animated films, and I will always look at it as a classic.

THE FINAL GRADE:  A




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