Monday, November 28, 2011

Nice Holiday and Muppets

Hey!  Welcome back from the Thanksgiving Holiday.

We had a very nice weekend.  For a brief rundown:  Thursday we didn't actually do Thanksgiving.  

I got up, watched the parade as much as I could, and thanks to a very busy schedule for the next few weeks, figured I better hang our Christmas lights.  So, that's done.  Dug and K arrived around 3:30, so we had a nice, oddly-timed meal (not quite lunch, not quite dinner), and then they headed down to San Marcos.

We watched the UT game at my folks' with some family friends, and, of course, enjoyed that outcome.

Friday I really didn't do a lot.  Austin Books and Comics was having a Black Friday sale on back issues (and who am I to not support local business?), so I headed down for 1/2 off on back issues between 8:00 and 10:00 AM, and then picked up 4.5 lbs. of back issues at the ABC Sidekick store, where they were literally (and hilariously) selling comics by the pound.

I have a lot of 70's-era Superman comics to get through.

My workout schedule was destroyed during all this, so in the afternoon I headed to the gym and did a few extra minutes on everything.

And then Friday evening I caught up with longtime pal ShaunaC and her husband, Fred.  It was terrific catching up.  Too long inbetween seeing each other, but what are you going to do?

Saturday we had Thanksgiving Dinner at Judy & Dick's in San Marcos.  My brother and folks also came down, along with longtime League-pal Heather "Daredevil" W.  

We capped off Saturday by coming back to the house and watching a slew of short subjects, many of which were Holiday themed, all of which were awful, including 1980's syndicated Superboy episodes and the now-infamous-at-our-house We Wish You a Turtle Christmas, a cynically, cheaply and quickly produced series of videos featuring live action turtles from the touring production, clearly with no script or real rehearsals.  There's something bizarre and dream-like about the entire production, with nothing making sense and everything sort of geared to drive you mad.  I'll leave it to Cinemassacre to explain the video as best one can.  

Anyway, that (and maybe a festive cocktail or two) is why this happened:

I should mention we were also screwing around a lot this weekend with the iPhone App that The Dug is currently employed to develop. It's called Vlix, and its actually really neat. They just released a holiday-themed version you can download for free. Just search for "vlix" on your app store.

The Holiday App and Vlix deal in short videos, so the Holiday app is really an easy way to make a video Christmas card.

So, yeah, then Sunday we went for breakfast at Kerbey Lane and followed that with Holiday house decorating.

I am fairly pleased with the results, and thought I'd share.

Sunday we exchanged Christmas gifts as Dug and K will be in North Carolina for Real Christmas, and then in the evening we ventured forth and saw The Muppets.

In the manner of the best Muppets work, the movie likely works for kids, but its really an all-ages movie, aimed at everyone from kids to nostalgic adults to young adults who haven't seen much in the way of Muppets.

I am not one of those people who wears a "I Appreciate Muppets on a Much Deeper Level than You" shirt, but I grew up with Fozzy and Kermit on my TV. I saw the original movie in the theater. I expect we'll break the fourth wall routinely.

I didn't really expect to like the movie as much as I did, but there you go. And it wasn't just because the film featured softly lit shots of Amy Adams.  Its very smart, aware of its history without trying to live entirely off past history as I'd argue recent Muppet films have done.  Its a musical with clever numbers, little guys pitted against terrific bad guys.  And it actually really does understand what made the old series work in a way that I thought the Henson Company may have forgotten.

And, Mom, you need to see this movie.  I won't tell you why, but you do.  So, go see it.

No, every single Muppet doesn't get as much screentime as you'd like for their own arc.  It probably works best as a sequel not just to the original movie (heavily referenced), but as a companion to watching at least a season of the original TV show.  But its not necessary.  You just won't get the, uh, nuance of Gonzo, one supposes.

Nonetheless, we're giving The Muppets a full Signal Watch "recommended" rating.

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