New Muppets Trailer: Puppet Sex, Bear Bowels and 405 Freeway Jokes

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 12:08 pm

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You know, I like adult Muppet parodies as much as anybody - Avenue Q, Sad Kermit and Special Ed from Crank Yankers are all things I've enjoyed (Jim Henson's kids really don't like them, though - I've asked).

But I'm not sure how I feel about the actual Muppets making sex jokes and discussing their bodily functions. I do, however, know how I feel about 405 freeway jokes, and it goes a li'l sumpin' like this: I live in the Valley area of L.A. I have to take the 405 to get to the westside. THE 405 IS A GOD-FORSAKEN NIGHTMARE. Also? Nobody who lives outside of L.A. knows what the fuck you're talking about when you bring it up. So maybe best not to.

Another thing: could we maybe not just call the show "The Muppets"? Since they just did a movie called that? I promise, as long as the word "Muppets" is in the title, we'll know what it is - I'm just giving you the heads up that parents might want to know just by looking at a title whether they're about to put on the PG movie, or the TV show that talks about Fozzie shitting in the woods.

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Tags: ABC, Muppets

A New Muppet Show Is Finally Greenlit! Here's the First Image

Friday, May 8, 2015 at 6:00 am

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I didn't quite dare write about this when it was just in the phase of "Let's shoot a test pilot and see if anybody likes it and then wants to put it on the air." Given how the last two Muppet movies disappointed at the box office - turns out kids today are dumb and don't understand you're supposed to automatically love these guys - I thought we might only be in for heartbreak. "Hey, they're shooting a Muppet pilot you may never, ever see!" just seems like a mean thing to write, however you couch it, even for me.

But now I don't have to, because it's really time to play the music and light the lights again!

For the first time ever, the series will explore the Muppets' personal lives and relationships, both at home and at work, as well as romances, break-ups, achievements, disappointments, wants and desires--a more adult Muppet show, for kids of all ages.
I'm not opposed to this idea, actually: the original Muppet Show's formula of showing both a show being put on and the backstage drama behind the scenes has inspired such disparate successors as WWE Monday Night Raw and The Larry Sanders Show. Nowadays, the reality TV format is how you would show that kind of thing - think WWE's Total Divas. The real trick, I think, is to present these characters to kids again without assuming they know the whole history, while retaining the smart, referential appeal to their parents too.

What I'm saying is don't freak out if they bring in new characters like Clifford. Fans always dismissed him unfairly.

Tags: ABC, Muppets

Universal Studios Florida to get New King Kong Ride

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at 9:00 am

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Much as the old "Kongfrontation" ride took the germ of its idea from the mechanical Kong on the Universal Hollywood backlot tour, so too will "Skull Island: Reign of Kong" take the current backlot tour's King Kong 360 3D and make it its own thing, adding giant sets, animatronics and unique vehicles to the screen-based adventure.

Interestingly, what it will NOT apparently be is a specific tie-in to the upcoming Kong movie Skull Island, which we don't know much about aside from it being set in a different time period from the original - this ride is set in the '30s, like the classic King Kong and the Peter Jackson remake. No word on reviving the old attraction's "banana breath" feature, sadly.

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Heather Henson and Toby Froud Present Full-Length Puppet Fantasy Yamasong (w/Amazing Cast)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 11:00 am

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From the children of the guys who brought you The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, with apparent influences from steampunk and Neil Gaiman/Dave Mckean stuff, behold the first trailer and poster for Sam Koji Hale's Yamasong, starring Nathan Fillion, Abigail Breslin, Whoopi Goldberg, Malcolm McDowell, George Takei, Peter Weller and SHUTUPANDWATCHITALREADY.

(Also, be sure to check out the official Yamasong Facebook for more)

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New Star Wars Creatures! And a New Character Name

Monday, May 4, 2015 at 8:08 am

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Vanity Fair

A space pirate named Maz Kanata and some new aliens are now revealed at Vanity Fair too, plus what appears to be a still indicating that Kylo Ren does indeed simply look like Adam Driver under the mask.

I'm not big on the new aliens, particularly - they remind me of that one CG bar patron from the beginning of JJ's Trek. And I've never cared much for Driver's unadorned face, but there it is.

The Hatbox Ghost Is Finally Coming Back to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

Friday, April 10, 2015 at 1:30 pm

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For those not up on their Disney theme-park lore, the Hatbox Ghost was an effect for the Haunted Mansion ride that failed to work as planned, and was quickly removed from the attraction. The idea was that, using lighting effects, the ghost's head would disappear, and reappear inside the hat box he was holding. Though the animatronic figure was removed, a picture of him still hangs on the wall.

But in honor of the 60th anniversary of Disneyland, theme-park blog Inside the Magic reports that they're bringing him back, with today's technology having presumably long since caught up to what was originally intended. And the anniversary may not be the only thing they had in mind - Guillermo del Toro's long-gestating Haunted Mansion movie finally seems to be moving forward with Ryan Gosling in the lead - and the director previously announced, several Comic-Cons ago, that the Hatbox Ghost would be the focus.

Is it possible they held off on the movie until the character could be brought back "in person"? I wouldn't put it past the undisputed masters of corporate synergy.

Five Nights at Freddy's, the "Evil Chuck E. Cheese" Game, Gets a Movie

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 6:30 am

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Honestly, I'm not sure why some version of this pitch hasn't been made before. Hell, back in my film school days, there was a kid in my class who was pitching a horror version of Chuck E. Cheese as his student short (I've no idea where he would have found the money to build an animatronic - and in the end I don't think he made it. But still).

Five Nights at Freddy's, the game that has you working night security at a pizza place full of scary animatronics, has just been optioned for a movie by Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter author Seth Grahame-Smith, who intends to work closely with game creator Scott Cawthon. Honestly, Hollywood could easily have just ripped off the notion, so buying the actual IP feels like good sportsmanship. Now, how to expand the story so it's about more than opening and closing doors at the right time?

If it were me, I'd mash-up this franchise with Paul Blart, and have Freddy Fazbear's be part of a much larger mall at night. Just so long as Kevin James agrees to pull a Janet Leigh and get surprisingly killed off 20 minutes in.

Sesame Street Spoofs Game of Thrones, in Possible Sign of the Apocalypse

Monday, April 6, 2015 at 11:25 am

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People on the Internet mashing up Sesame Street to gangsta rap - give it up. Actual Sesame Street has you beat for adult-themed incongruity, again.

Make no mistake - this is a wonderful parody.

It is also full of coded references to all the incest, poisonings, murders and so on that any parent who watches GoT will get. So I have to ask - when do we get Fifty Shades of Green with Oscar the Grouch? (I would be completely unsurprised to hear that it exists and I missed it.)

i also fear that in this world of "Chesteros," a mortal feud is about to begin, due to House Grover hijacking Count Von Count's function as the counting guy.

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New Poltergeist Trailer Looks (Appropriately) Like Evil Dead for Kids

Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 7:58 am

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...by which I basically mean Evil Dead without the blood and tree rape, because kids are the main victims here and Hollywood's not going to make a movie that absolutely repulses people like that. The mayhem and the scares and the possession and all of that remains intact. And how nice is it that FOR ONCE, a movie about a family haunted pretty much within one house actually looks like it spent some money and doesn't wait till the very end to show you the cool shit?

Joe Dante's 3D movie The Hole already remade Poltergeist unofficially, but since it didn't have the brand-name it wasn't widely seen. The Sam Raimi/Rob Tapert connection is the only real factor of interest to me here, as it looks like their touch is all over things, and Drag Me to Hell had a blast being both scary and not R-rated.

Also, I finally agree with all y'all. The new clown is creepier. I concede.

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Funko Gives All of Sesame Street a Black Eye (or Two), Except Cookie Monster

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 9:40 am

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Now the other puppets really will be professionally jealous.

Funko's Pop Vinyl has a signature feature of black dots for eyes - it's part of the stylization that allows them to get around the fact that they don't always have actor likeness rights. But Cookie Monster, apparently, is special - he gets to keep his regular "crazy eyes."

I think the blue guy's letting fame go to his head, with all the SNL petitions and Star Wars skits and such. Next thing you know, he'll be demanding cookies that contain only brown M&Ms baked in.