Disney released the first teaser poster for their upcoming cinematic Muppets re-launch today, and well, it’s kinda…creepy? Call me a purist, but I feel the Muppets function better as characters when you only see them from the waist up. All previous attempts to make Muppets ambulatory have come across as a little odd at best, and downright terrifying at worst (except the dude-in-a-suit Sweetums, of course). Kermit’s appendages are so long and eerie, it conjures up the haunting imagery of The Slender Man urban legend. That’s the last association you want made with Jim Henson’s beloved felt creations, believe me. The Muppets is written and directed by Jason Segel and is in theaters on November 23.
Imagine if you will, a fantastic realm born out of the mists of time – a world of legend, filled with mighty warriors brandishing gleaming broadswords forged from magic Unicorn horns. A mystic land where majestic dragons soar over the tallest castles, and horrible minotaurs prowl the passageways of the deepest labyrinths. A place full of wonder and mystery beyond comprehension, where noble knights embark on perilous quests to rescue beautiful virgin maidens from evil wizards…Now imagine a few of your former college stoner pals showing up in this fantastical kingdom with enough weed to satisfy an Allman Brothers concert crowd, while cracking endless dick jokes, and you’ll have a good idea of what Your Highness is all about.
Understandably, that reads like a premise devoid of any appeal beyond dudes who smoke lots of pot or own a ton of Dio and Tenacious D albums. However, the key factor that prevents Your Highness from being a forgettable descent into the muck and mire of vulgarity for vulgarity’s sake, is the terrific work of the ensemble cast led by Danny McBride as the bawdy Prince Thadeos, and his dashing knight brother, Prince Fabious, played by recent Oscar nominee James Franco. In the face of absurdities like randy, well-endowed Minotaurs, kinky pedophile wizards, metallic falcons, hooba-smokin’ satyrs, unicorns, cyclopses, and a menagerie of assorted medieval miscreants; McBride, Franco, and especially Natalie Portman as the warrior-Goddess Isabel, embrace the ridiculousness surrounding them – delivering their insane dialogue with sincerity and a complete lack of irony. If you can’t derive a hearty laugh from an Academy award-winning Best actress spouting lines like, “These feelings have burned in my beaver for years” with utter conviction, the charms of Your Highness will be lost on you.
One of the most surprising aspects of Your Highness is how capably it functions as a creative, energetic action/fantasy film. Set pieces like a rip-roaring medieval horse-and-carriage chase, and a final battle with the evil wizard Leezar and his creepy “Mothers” in his sinister, lightning bolt-riddled tower are zippily-paced, well-executed, and even outshine recent action blockbusters like the tedious Clash of the Titans remake, or the utterly lifeless Prince of Persia. This feat is accomplished despite the sophomoric (and mostly improvised script), because Pineapple Express director David Gordon Green and his cast create loveable, fleshed-out characters that you actually care about.
Your Highness takes the most ridiculous elements of fantasy movies like Ladyhawke, Labyrinth, The Princess Bride, and even the original Clash of the Titans, and stirs in a healthy serving of stoner humor and perversion. The result is a ribald laugh riot that successfully marries Dungeons & Dragons players with the Pineapple Express crowd. Make no mistake, this film is jam-packed with silly, crude, juvenile, toilet humor, and I loved every minute of it. Rest assured, the film isn’t going to garner any attention during Awards season, but for anyone who appreciates swords-and-silliness, it’s destined to become a quotable comedy classic for eons to come.
The Coen brothers are genius auteurs who have made masterpieces for over 25 years, and their latest, True Grit, entertained audiences to the tune of $24.5 million this weekend. So naturally, because the majority of American movie-goers are mouth-breathing ass-tards, the film placed second to that monumentally stupid and artless piece of shit, Little Fockers. Honestly, I don’t even understand how any human being with a shred of dignity or taste can even say Little Fockers to a ticket collector without dying a little inside. Congratulations, morons.
Here are your top 3 films at the box-office for the weekend of Dec. 31 – Jan. 2
1.) Little Fockers – $26.3 million
2.) True Grit – $24.5 million
3.) Tron Legacy – $18.3 million
Complete weekend chart can be found at Box Office Mojo.
Love him or hate him, Kevin Smith is a huge (literally and metaphorically) geek icon, and one of the pioneers of 90’s “slacker cinema”. Now he’s throwing his hat into the horror ring with the mysterious Red State, a movie he’s been developing for several years that centers around an ultra-conservative, bible-thumping midwestern Preacher. This teaser doesn’t shed much light on the plot of the flick, and it looks a tad sloppy and amateurish, but it seems like an interesting departure from the usual dick and fart jokes Smith has delivered for almost 20 years. Red State debuts at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23. Credit: /Film.