Friday, August 3, 2007

The Simpsons Movie

I must admit that I was rather skeptical of this movie, especially after the disastrous Aqua Teens adaptation. The Simpsons Movie on the other hand, was extremely funny, and kept with the spirit of the show. I have been a fan of the show for as long as I have been watching TV, and the movie was the perfect step to the big screen. David Silverman, veteran Simpsons director (He was actually behind the pilot episode back in 1989), directed the movie exactly as it should have been done. It feels like an extended episode, but with much higher production values.

The story, which was written by a team comprised of all the legendary Simpsons collaborators (including Matt Groening himself, Mike Scully, and Ian Maxtone-Graham), does not have the disjointed feel that many screenplays written by a committee often posses. This could be a result of the over 150 drafts that the script went through. The premise deals with an overly polluted Springfield that gets sealed off from the rest of the country. Now the Simpson family must rescue their town. Yeah, kinda weak, but after 18 seasons, they've done everything. I think what makes this work is that it continues the underlying theme of the show, with this truly dysfunctional family barely holding together, and the continually strained marriage between Marge and Homer. Essentially the movie, and the show in general, are about Homer screwing up his family, and coming through in the end. They don't stray from this winning formula for the feature.

Of course all the core cast members (and even several that have since retired from the show) are back to lend their voices to the movie. It has the feeling that they were able to spend much more time recording the voices here than for the TV shows. The performances are polished, and spot on. The only thing more polished than the voice talents, is the directing. This is one of the aspects that I think made the movie so well. It's a lighthearted comedy, but the directing and cinematography are epic in scope. The seriousness in the look of the movie makes the characters and situations even that more absurd.

Of course it's not the greatest movie ever made. It's not much more than an extended episode of a long running TV show. Somehow, they still managed to make it fun, and at least moderately fresh. If you are a fan of the show, see it. You will not be disappointed. If you don't watch the show, you'll still probably enjoy it. I was only left with one question, how did it take them 18 seasons to make this movie?

Watch the Trailer


No comments: