Thursday, August 02, 2007

Spider-pig, Spider-pig, does whatever a Spider-pig does...

The Simpsons finally arrive on movie screens and I'm pleased to say it's a top quality bunch of stuff. Funny, witty and clever in a way recent series' of the hit TV show haven't been. But what really sets it apart is the welcome return of Oscar winning screenwriter James L Brookes. Brookes brings an emotional core to the writing that helps ground the lunacy, giving anchor to the general spirit of playful silliness. The fact that you are occasionally made to care about the characters is what makes The Simpsons better than Family Guy will ever be.

Of course, The Simpsons is a comedy so it needs to make you laugh: sight-gags, slapstick, witty observations, liberal sarcasm, broad satirical swipes at current political hot-potatoes, all present and correct. Sure the ratio is skewed, twenty minutes of spiky (haired) cynicism followed by one minute of family and reconcilliation and all that other good stuff, but when that's been your holding patter for 17 seasons on the small screen its not a habit that's easilly broken.

Which brings us onto the films biggest problem. It's not really a film, structurally, you do feel the gears clunking around the twenty minute mark when they have to expand the format. But in a film that has so many laugh out loud moments its a minor quibble.


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