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The Simpsons Movie

A comedy movie directed by David Silverman

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The Simpsons Are Going to the Big Screen

  • Jul 15, 2009
  • by
Let's get one thing straight from the get go. The Simpsons is one of the most beloved TV shows in the world. Let's also get another thing straight, the show has been around for nearly twenty years and has actually caused a divide among fans. Those who believe the show is still good (or sometimes better than ever) and still has legs; and those who believe the show has been declining in quality for years. I warn you of two things before you read on. The first: I am one of the Simpsons fans who believes the show has been declining for years. I still sit down and watch the show, but in all honesty, the last good season was probably season 10. The second: Because of my stance, this review is heavily biased. I love the Simpsons. I've sat down and watched it since the first episode aired. But sometimes even fans have to realize when their favorite show churns out something that doesn't live up to the standards of fans. Perhaps its because I've been with the show since the beginning that it's easier to find fault with the newer episodes.

Despite that, this movie will please people from both sides of the specturm. Whether you think the show is is better than ever or you think it has declined in quality as I have, there's something here for you and it's partly because every writer who has ever been a part of The Simpsons chipped on.

The movie begins in Springfield where Green Day is giving a concert at Lake Springfield. Unfortunately the lake is so polluted that the stage Green Day is singing on (it's floating on the lake) that it eats away at the stage and it sinks taking Green Day with them. This forces Lisa Simpson to hold a town meeting where she presents her lecture entitled "An Irritating Truth," (obviously a parody of Al Gore's documentary). In addition, Homer and Bart have some fun (a moment so hilarious you'll miss out on some of the dialog because you'll be laughing too hard) which eventually lands them in Krusty Burger where Krusty is doing a shoot for a commercial. When its over he orders the Pig be killed... and Homer can't let that happen. So instead he saves the pig's life and takes him home.

The citizens of Springfield agree to stop dumping trash in the lake. Of course, there is one man who will dump something in there, of course... Homer Simpson. When Marge asks him just Homer has been doing with the pig's "leavings" he shows her a silo aptly marked: Pig Crap. Of course, Marge is disgusted and says that Homer still has to do something about it. So what does Homer do? Dumps it in Lake Springfield which causes a series of events that soon reach Washington D.C. and a corrupt politician. In the end, Springfield gets encased in a giant glass dome. When they wonder why, they eventually find out that Homer is to blame. Through strange circumstances the family manages to escape Springfield and go to Alaska where they no longer have to worry about Sprigfield's state. What they find out later, of course, is that the corrupt politician (voiced brilliantly by Albert Brooks) plans to destroy Springfield. Its up to The Simpsons to save the day.

The movie is complete with all the humor you'd expect from the show itself. Parodies, clever and witty dialog (there are some keepers here), physical abuse of Homer, Bart's shenanigans, Lisa's unpopularity... even the over the top zaniness that some from my side of the spectrum have come to loathe. And of course, the movie pokes fun on a political and religious scale. The whole plot of the movie is based around environmentalism and corrupt politicians while they also do their share to make fun of religion. The Simpsons has never been shy about tackling controversial issues and this movie is no different. Take some things too seriously and you'll surely be offended.

Still, it's actually a very funny movie. Especially the first twenty minutes. There wasn't a single person in the theater not laughing at what was happening. This movie is fun of memorable moments. The infamous Spider-Pig is but one ingenious example.

And then there are some bits of the movie that just fall flat. This would be the humor that has been coming out within the past couple of seasons. There are some parts that so over the top in stupidity that you'll either love them or hate them. Homer's character is also unbalanced. Homer has always been an oaf but at some moments he is unreasonably stupid. At others he's not nearly as dumb. In other words, the mesh of Classic Simpsons vs. Newer Simpsons is all too obvious in many areas.

There are some other nit-picky things. Some stories just aren't complete. Lisa, for example meets a boy who she falls head over heels with, but the movie never completes this story arc. Another nit-picky fan gripe is that a lot of the film just isn't in Springfield to begin with. This means that while you see many of the residents, you don't spend much time. Most of the Springfield denizens we've come to love (Principal Skinner, Mr. Burns, Chief Wiggum etc.) are on camera for mere seconds and hardly say or do anything. It's almost like playing "Where's Waldo" only with The Simpsons cast. It's not too big of a gripe, however. With so many residents in Springfield you couldn't expect to see them all. Just the same we don't really explore Springfield to begin with. We don't go inside the school or the police station or anything. Most of it is spent either at The Simpson's home or various places you've never seen in the show.

But the biggest gripe? That this is a Simpsons movie where Mr. Burns is not the main villain. While watching this, I couldn't get over the fact that you only see Mr. Burns twice. He's one of the most malicious characters in the show. He's been involved in some of The Simpsons best lived moments, but here he doesn't even use his famous, "Excellent" phrase. Not that the corrupt politician voiced by Brooks is bad, but it would've been far better had Mr. Burns been the main adversary.

The final thing is that the movie is rather short and feels more like an extended episode rather than a full blown movie. At 87 minutes it goes by in a flash. And yet, despite which side you fall on: Classic vs. New, you yearn for the movie to be longer because regardless of anything, it's funny. But it's also because you wish you could see more.

It can't be easy to make a movie to a series that's been around for nearly two decades. Especially with expectations so high. The Simpsons Movie succeeded by having a successful run at the box office. However, if you're from my side of the woods: Meaning you love the classic Simpsons episodes a lot... there's something to be desired that isn't there.

For what it's worth it IS a good movie. It's just a movie that had so much potential to be so much better.

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July 19, 2009
thoroughly engaging review. I'm with you, Sean, I am one of those old-school fans of the series, and while I haven't fully shunned out the current TV show, it is no longer a part of my daily routine. I guess I am in between; while I still think the recent seasons are funny, it's not as good. Maybe it's the fact that I've become jaded or maybe the writing is just isn't as good. I haven't seen this movie yet, but it is in my rental queve. Nice work!
More The Simpsons Movie reviews
review by . May 02, 2011
The Simpsons is, in my opinion, the best show currently on television. Whether you love it or hate it, you have to acknowledge that it's lasted so long for a reason. I also love the new ones, but my personal favourites are seasons 5-17. Naturally, a movie adaptation was decided upon and me and my dad were in hysterics going to see it. Needless to say, we were not disappointed because this is one hilarious movie. Some may think that a perfect score is ridiculous for a film of this nature, but …
review by . June 18, 2009
TV as it was meant to be seen, in a movie theater! Not to mention how much more entertaining it is.
Growing up, I loved The Simpsons a sitcom cartoon that was more real then most families you saw on TV with bratty kids who behaved how they should and parents that were just on the ball to raise them.  The Simpsons grew and grew and grew and a movie had always been talked about and no joke, my favorite episode of the entire shows run "Kamp Krusty" had been talked about as a possible film.  The Simpsons and I fell by the wayside with me just checking in on them to see how they …
review by . May 15, 2009
It's hard to believe that the famous family from Springfield have finally released their first movie after twenty years of small screen success. After all, the time we live in is one of bringing anything that is remotely popular to the big screen. So what were the first thoughts that came to mind? Bomb! It's a pleasant surprise to say that this is the best Simpsons movie ever....so far. The movie begins with an Itchy and Scratchy skit and the humor continues throughout....Homer's opening line is …
review by . November 16, 2008
Spiderpig, Spiderpig,   Does whatever a spiderpig does   Can he swing from a web?   No he can't, he's a pig.   Look out! He is a Spiderpig!     If there are any kids in your neighborhood, you already know this little song by heart, and if not, let me warn you that once you hear it, it's stuck in your head FOREVER. Cockroaches may become extinct, Pampers may degrade into mulch, Paris Hilton may be forgotten, but this tune will live on.    &nb …
review by . February 06, 2008
If you are one of those folks who doesn't have a TV, you probably feel pretty smug. You think of all the hours you have for reading, exercise and gardening and you congratulate yourself on keeping the big, stupid tube out of your life. The only downsides are that you have to beg for invitations to NFL games on sunday and that you don't get to have the Simpsons in your life.    At the beginning of The Simpsons Movie, Homer Simpson stands up in a crowded theatre and says "I can't …
review by . December 19, 2007
"The Simpsons Movie" plays out like a large-scale, decent episode of the show. It's not in the same category as the best episodes, but far from the worst. It is, in it's way, entirely acceptable.    The movie centers around a bizarre series of events that results in the Simpsons being attacked by an angry mob after the city is covered by a giant dome ("Peasants Under Glass" as the Springfield news broadcast puts it in a deleted scene).    There's some decent …
review by . December 17, 2007
There's a scene in 'The Wizard of Oz' when Dorothy ventures from the wreckage of the tornado and finds a technicolor world of enchantment. That's what I kept thinking as the first scenes played out into the remaining four-fifths of 'The Simpson's Movie'. Wisely, I took the advice of fellow reviewer, Chris Pandolfi*, who shared that 'The Simpson's Movie' is meant for the big screen. He's right. That transformation happens, though, with more than the animation.    There are many …
review by . October 04, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
It was a movie that was nearly two-decades in the making. The creators and writers said they wanted to make sure that when they brought America's favorite prime time animated family to the big screen that it would be done right. Many past writers were brought back to flesh out the story and enliven the characters. Most of it was done under a veil of secrecy. Over 150 different drafts were written and copies of scripts were shredded after each scene was taped. It was a massive undertaking, but for …
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #6
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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THE SIMPSONS MOVIE may not qualify for the honor of "Best. Movie. Ever," but even the harshest critics like Comic Book Guy will find little to dislike in this hilarious comedy. Springing from Fox?s hit series, the movie expands the adventures of the Springfield residents into a feature-length film. Here Homer?s selfish antics (and a hankering for free donuts) are responsible for a horrific ecological disaster that could spell the end for Springfield. So it?s up to the paunchy patriarch to save his family and the town from the mess that he has created.

Just as in the Emmy-winning show, THE SIMPSONS MOVIE skillfully combines smart satire with inspired silliness. Dan Castellaneta, Harry Shearer, Hank Azaria, and other regulars of the series provide laughs with their vocal talents, while Albert Brooks is hilarious as the film?s villain. Though THE SIMPSONS MOVIE is best seen after a lifetime of watching reruns of the show and repeating its endlessly quotable lines, viewers don?t have to be die-har...
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