The Simpsons Movie
Cast: VOICES OF: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Erin Brockovich-Ellis, Albert Brooks, Minnie Driver, Kelsey Grammer
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Synopsis: Homer must save the world from a catastrophe he himself created. It all begins with Homer, his new pet pig and a leaky silo full of droppings--a combination that triggers a disaster the likes of which Springfield has never experienced. As Marge is outraged by Homer's monumental blunder, a vengeful mob descends on the Simpson household. The family makes a narrow escape but is soon divided by both location and conflict. The Springfield citizenry has every reason to be out for Simpson blood. The calamity triggered by Homer has drawn the attention of U.S. President Arnold Schwarzenegger and Environmental Protection Agency head Russ Cargill. "You know sir," Cargill tells the president, "when you made me head of the EPA, you were applauded for appointing one of the most successful men in America to the least successful agency in government. And, why did I take the job? Because I'm a rich man who wanted to give something back. Not the money, but something." That "something" is a devil's plan to contain the disaster. As the fates of Springfield and the world hang in the balance, Homer embarks on a personal odyssey of redemption--seeking forgiveness from Marge, the reunion of his splintered family and the salvation of his hometown.
Review: Let me preface by saying that, in most cases, it's best to avoid films that are heavily advertised and built up with all kinds of hype. (Yet few are able to piss off European pagans, which is an admirable feat, not because I dislike pagans, but because that's just pretty neat).
All right then. Yes, the Simpsons have made a movie. And, yes, it is worth seeing.
Directed by David Silverman, the show's long-time animator who's directed several episodes in the past, The Simpsons Movie is—brace yourself—just like the show only longer.
Hardly shocking news, of course, but some citizens of Movie Review Land are apparently all excited and atwitter at that concept.
While everything is basically the same, The Simpsons Movie is nevertheless genuinely funny, entertaining and predictable in a classic, familiar sort of way. The entire town of Springfield is in jeopardy this time around, but the show's same old elements are at work again: Homer acts recklessly, Marge doubts Homer and her marriage to him, Bart doubts Homer as a father, Lisa falls in love with the talented/nerdy new kid in town, Bart antagonizes Lisa, Maggie sees all but says nothing (though there's a moment you swear she was about to).
And yet, with all these themes being rehashed, the most surprising thing about The Simpsons Movie is, for lack of a better term, its LOL-factor.* Because The Simpsons have been cracking the same old jokes, in the same style, for a decade, it's rare for me to watch new episodes on Fox and actually laugh out loud.
But the big-screen translation allows for just that: it's joke on top of joke on top of joke—and they actually stick. You get the sense that the show's veteran writers probably slept little, drank lots, and really went into overdrive crafting the perfect string of one-liners.
I know, I know, the Simpsons are "so '90s," they're old news, we've got Family Guy now, blah blah blah. But, it's OK to still enjoy the show, it's OK to see this movie and it's OK to enjoy it.
The Simpsons Movie is charming, classic Simpsons, with a little extra cursing and some full-frontal nudity. (Yes, nudity, but probably not the kind you want to see.)
*Review By Chad Jones, PegasusNews.com
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