Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Rumors and hopes of fans existed for years, but a movie starring the Simpsons never seemed to materialize...until this year. And now you can own it on dvd. But, is it worth owning?

I tried not to get my hopes up because things we wish for don't live up to our expectations. Being that I have been watching the Simpsons since their early days, it would have been easy for me anticipate the greatest animated film ever. There's a reason they have been America's favorite dysfunctional family for what seems to be a millions years. But, again, I need to be realistic about this.

The movie started and it didn't take long for me to again be thrilled by the twisted humor of creator Matt Groening as I find myself watching the Simpson family watching a movie. Overly creative? Not really, but it's one of those subtle things that Groening and crew do so well. Now they have to prove that they can continue to produce laughs for almost 90 minutes -- the equivalent of three regular TV episodes.

The story revolves around, what else, Homer screwing up in a big way and trying to make things right. Despite pleas from Lisa and the government in Springfield, Mr. Simpson adds to the pollution in the town's lake (by dumping a silo of poop from a pig he saved earlier in the film) and makes it so toxic that the EPA sees it as a threat to all. As a result, the town is sealed off from the rest of the world. When the other citizens find out that Homer is the cause, they form an angry mob and go after the newest public enemy.

I really don't want to give away too many details because part of the beauty of anything involving the Simpsons is not knowing just what might happen. I want to leave that suspense for the viewers.

Along with the movie, you also get a decent set of extras. I have seen better, but this isn't a set of add-ons that is there just as filler. You should enjoy the deleted scenes, bits from "American Idol," the intro from "The Tonight Show," and well as the commentary from Groening, Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith and others.

Basically, here's what you need to know: if you're a fan of the television show, you should enjoy this dvd. I didn't get my hopes too high, but it probably wouldn't have mattered if I did because this movie probably would have met them. Is it good enough to be ranked with the top episodes of the past? Definitely not. After almost 20 years there are many, many treasures to be found and any movie or TV show will be hard pressed to equal the very best of the series. However, "The Simpsons Movie" provided a fairly continuous stream of funny moments -- some just downright hysterical -- and is very much worth watching. And, if you are a fan, it's definitely worth dropping the $15 or $20 to have this in your video library.

SCORE: 8/10
"The Simpsons Movie" isn't going down as a classic but it provides laughs and plenty of them. Take it for what it is -- an extra long cartoon -- and you should enjoy it. Of course, if you can't stand the Simpsons, maybe you should check out a drama or horror flick.

Rated: PG-13
- Commentary from James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith, Al Jean, Mike Scully
- Deleted scenes
- "Special stuff" (includes previously mentioned "American Idol" and "The Tonight Show" clips)
- A lot of trailers

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