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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Simpsons Movie first look - from Prague...

I'm not sure why the Simpsons Movie opened 30 hours earlier in Europe (or at least in Prague) than in the US, especially since Transformers hasn't shown up here yet. But it did, and I was at the 6:10 PM showing in the Slovansky dum cinema, just down from the Mustek metro stop.

The movie is showing on about 25 screens around the city and this is the only one where it is in the original English and not dubbed into Czech. To end the suspense, I give the movie 4 out of 5 stars. I had high expectations and I wasn't let down. I mark the movie off only for a couple of slow spots and the lack of more guffaws.

The story in the movie is like it is in the TV show - preposterous and of little consequence. Albert Brooks does a very nice turn as the greedy and evil head of EPA, of course in the Republican administration of Arnold Schwartzenegger.

The residents of Springfield have been naughty boys and girls, polluting Lake Springfield almost beyond saving. Lisa convinces the town (with her presentation "An Annoying Truth") to mend their ways and not pollute the lake anymore, but Homer can't control himself and dumps a silo of bad stuff into the lake rather than at the EPA-approved drop off site so he can get a doughnut giveaway.

Homers waste tips the scale and the lake generates mutant squirrels, resulting in the EPA encasing the town in a glass dome (see what I mean about the plot?). Because no one can leave the town due to the dome things get pretty bad in Springfield. And when the town figures out that Homer was the cause of their misery they take matters into their own hands.

As you might expect, Homer has an opportunity to make amends late in the film and things end happily. All of the old favorites are there, but most only briefly (since there are about 300 characters). Alas, there is no Kang or Kodos. I recall Patty and Selma showing up in Marge and Homer's wedding video, but not speaking (maybe I missed something). There are also a couple of new characters - a new Irish boyfriend for Lisa and an Inuit wise woman who Homer calls "Boob Lady".

Stay through the credits and you will be treated to a fantastic, Tim Burton-esque version of the spider pig song (spider pig, spider pig, does whatever a spider pig does), as well as Maggie's first spoken word.

The Simpsons may have degraded a bit since their prime in the early to mid 1990s, but it still delivers the goods. Go see the movie if for nothing else than to make your family seem sane.

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