Friday, July 27, 2007

The Simpsons Movie


The SIMPSONS Movie – 2007, from 20th Century Fox, with Homer screaming the Fox corporate trademark. (In Sunshine, released the same weekend in most theaters, Fox again plays with its trademark; see this link.) The movie-satire-of-the-movies starts out 1.85 to 1 and expands to 2.35 to 1 after Homer gets blasted back from the Moon (Thus Spake Zarathustra) and the movie proper begins. Other specifics: directed by David Silverman, written by Matt Groening and James L. Brooks. 87 min, PG-13. Fox runs commercials for its fictitious shows at one point, and has a fake intermission at about the one hour mark. This movie really does belong to Fox. Don't steal it. (A kid has to write on the board 500 times that he won't do illegal downloads.)

You’ve all heard the story. Homer plays wise-a and drives over the concrete barriers into the lake and pollutes it with uranium hexafluoride, the stuff that Saddam Hussein never bought. So President Schwarzenegger decides to dome Springfield, which adjoins four non-adjacent states. (That seems to violate the four-color problem in topology.) Homer goes on an odyssey to Alaska, collects a thousand dollars without card counting, and comes back to right his wrongs. He has a native American epiphany, where he says he only matters as a person when he recognizes that there are other people in the world besides himself. Including his son. Now Schwarzenegger is going to nuke the whole town to create a Grand Canyon II, and Homer saves it all.

Of course, big government is the villain, and taken to the cleaners. In one scene, at the NSA, a clerk cries out, "I actually located somebody." Government can do anything it wants to until American families fight back, it seems. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gets singled out as the worst offender. There is indeed an "irritating truth."

There’s plenty of idiomatic humor, where people “don’t understand things” Gracie Allen style (like the boy who can’t get over the concrete barrier, or the guy who believes literally what he is told). There is satire of the notion of "knowledge management" (maybe Jimmy Wales style) when Schwarzenegger is told something like, "it takes a real leader to make a decision when he doesn't know anything about the options." At one point, Homer makes a joke that Rupert Murdoch's ruling the entire media world, prophetic of Murdoch's acquisition of The Wall Street Journal just after the movie came out.

Now, a comedy man and coffee business expert on the Minneapolis Skyway named John always said that I look like Mr. Burns (voice of Harry Shearer), who does not figure in much except during the closing credits, when he makes a wisecrack about suicide that may I got, and maybe I didn’t. Personally, I support nuclear power. On ABC Good Morning America, on Monday Aug. 13, a woman told a story about how she almost got fired for accidentally sending an email comparing her boss to Mr. Burn (aka me) in The Simpsons.

There were a few gay jokes, and some same-sex humor. Most of the shows here in an Arlington VA AMC were selling out.

Tom Hanks appears in a caricature of himself, and he says, in the end credits, "If you see me in public, leave me alone." I don't take pictures of celebrities in bars. But other people do.

Picture: The coffin kick mugshot of Mr. Burns

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