There’s a new genre in town – the made for movies television show.


I had a chance to go watch the Simpsons Movie yesterday, and I have to tell you, I wasn’t impressed. Instead of going into a long review of the movie, I’ve got my thoughts after the jump.

There is a great moment at the very beginning of the movie where the family Simpson is watching an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon in the movies. Suddenly Homer stands up and says “Boring! I can’t believe we paid good money for something we can watch at home for free! Everyone in this theater is suckers!” Then pointing at everyone in the Aztec theater, he says, “You, you, you, you,” before finally turning toward the camera and addressing the real audience, “And especially you!”stephenassimpsons2.jpg

It’s too bad that was at the very front of the movie, because it pretty much summed up my feelings toward the flick. Sure there were some laugh out loud moments, but overall the film was no better than what we have been seeing on television these last seven years.

Oh sure, we get to see Bart’s doodle. The scene was clever in that for the first 30 seconds of the sequence Bart’s doodle is being obscured by various pieces of scenery before a hole in the shrubs let’s us see the full Monty, but really that joke has been done to death so many times it really wasn’t funny. And the payoff of seeing Bart’s wang did have most of the audience laughing, but that may have been one of the highlights.

Yes, we do get to see Homer giving everyone in Springfield the middle finger as he makes his escape from the domed city. Seeing a cartoon character you’ve watched for the last 18 years flip the bird is a bit of a laugh, but nothing we haven’t seen other cartoon characters do on cable television.

Marge says “goddamn”. I have to admit this took me by surprise, as I was expecting someone else drop the f-bomb first. The language in the film was kept at the PG-13 rating, which may cause audience members to be disappointed.

The “plot” is pretty typical for a modern Simpsons TV show – Homer does something that has the whole town mad at him, the family flees, Bart is disappointed in his father, Lisa tries to save the environment, and by the end of the episode, Homer makes good with everyone. Go on, tell me the movie is anything more than that. And that is what has me yawning so much over this movie. The creators didn’t go above and beyond what they do in the television show. If we look back at the South Park movie, the creators took the foul-mouthed kids and pushed them over the edge, turning a 30 minute television show into an Academy Award winning musical. I would be surprised if this movie is even up for a nomination.

Even with all the faults in the movie, there are a few bright shining moments. Albert Brooks still plays the best villain the television show has ever seen. And while I would have loved him to have reprised his role as Scorpio, having him play Cargill – which by the way is the big in joke in the movie as the company Cargill is one of the world’s worst polluters of our environment, was still very good.

At the end of the day, I would have been more comfortable sitting in my home theater watching the Simpsons Movie on my HD projector system, instead of paying a fee (thank jeebus it was matinee price) to come away disappointed. I didn’t hate the movie, but I didn’t stand up and embrace it as the best thing ever to come out of Springfield (that would be the seasons Conan O’Brian worked on the show). This was an average film, a better than average made for TV movie, and a slight step up from what we are already seeing on Fox Sunday nights. The laughs are there, and there are a few really good moments, but the chuckle and not so great moments bring the film down. I think the movie is too little, too late, earning the Simpsons Movie 2.5 out of 5 Stars.



About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

1 Comment

  1. I don’t see much Simpsons these days. Only one channel hereabouts get’s it regularly and I don’t get that channel, but maybe once a year the backlog gets chucked on another channel every night for a week or two and I see some epsiodes. What I do get to see is of much lesser quality then back in the day. I hear Conan O’Brien’s Stint is considered the golden era, I’m not American and not familiar with him but I’d say that yeah back about 10-15 years ago was the best. They seem rather lacklustre now and all seem to follow the same plot. Homer does soemthing for about 5 minutes, the result of which cause the trouble with which the episode is about. It seems like they can’t come up with a whole show and so pad out the first 5 minutes with some only vaguely conencted stuff. I have focused my attention on Seth Mc’Farlane’s stuff these days, mainly because it’s actually on tv here and the DVD’s don’t have a horrendous back catalogue I’m unfamiliar with. That and Futurama I look forward to. I realise some people accuse him of ripping off the Simpsons but Simpsons is in part a rip off of Flintstones after all. I’m fickle. If you want me to stay loyal then keep me interested. I lost interest. Seth Mc’Farlane put it in a way I can identify with. The Simpsons was good but you can’t go for something like 20 years and still have the same quality. I always think of the Star Trek default of 7 years. Get out while things are still good. It just looks to me like they were getting tired and decided it was way, way, overdue to get the inevitable movie out.

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