Jason Segal said that Hollywood Blvd was closed off for a couple of days. So the scenes showing Hollywood Blvd we're really taken there. That being said I wouldn't be surprised if the Cars 2 billboard waa placed there using CGI post-production. And does it really matter? The movie was made by Disney so why not promote one of their products? Product placement happens in movies all the time. From characters drinking Coke or Pepsi or eating Reece's Pieces...
And a couple more things I learned from the interview -- Jason Segal got to keep the muppet version of himself, which I thought is kind of cool. Jason Segal and Amy Adams were actually puppeteering a couple of the Muppets in the scene where they're all piled into the car. And the dilapidated Muppet Theatre (before they fix it up) was filmed at Universal's stage 28, which is the soundstage that was used in the 1925 silent movie The Phantom of the Opera.
No, It's the Warner lot. Those exteriors were built for The Music Man, but have been used countless times since. I always remember them as Hazzard County. The white building was the bank, and the red stone building was the Hazzard Police Station.Quote:
And Downtown Smalltown looked a lot like Main Street, didn't it? But my friend told me that was the Paramount Studio backlot.
I noticed this as well, as if someone else was brought in to dub a few linesQuote:
Fozzie's voice was inconsistent though,
Oh, and personally I would think that Walter was adopted, hence the lack of family resemblence to his sibling
This is our review for a local paper (I'm Brent, my co-reviewer, who is also my mother, is Roberta). WARNING - unlike most of the other reviews out there, it's largely negative. It's just our honest reactions to the film, (which don't always agree with each other :). )
What's it worth, Brent? $5
What's it worth, Roberta? $0
Brent: Despite my own critiques, I was shocked at how much by cute-and-cuddly-character loving co-reviewer hated this movie.
Roberta: Ugh! It was horrendous! All the characters, Muppets and humans, were odd and creepy. Jason Segel's character was like a troubled, twisted child in a big grownup body. Like a big ball of mush. Normally, I really like the actor. Maybe they told him to play it this way?
Brent: Well, Segel also co-wrote the movie.
Roberta: I like him way better when he has a little panache. They stripped him of all of it. I hope they paid him well, the way they humiliated him in this movie.
Brent: He was supposed to be an innocent, “gee-whiz” kind of small town guy.
Roberta: How can you be that old, and be that innocent? Even an immature grown up doesn't act that way! And Walter was just a miniature of the marshmallowy Gary, with NOTHING! Why would The Muppets want him in their show? Give him a little cuteness, or a little edge, or a little something!
Brent: I read on Wikipedia that early in the film's development, Gary was going to be a ventriloquist, which would make Walter his dummy – their co-dependent relationship (and matching suits) would have made much more sense if they had established that in the finished film. Walter's entire life is wrapped up in his geeky obsession with an old film and TV franchise. In other words, the kind of guy I should really relate to. Sadly, Walter suffers from from W.I.M.P (Woefully Ineffectual Meek Protagonist) Syndrome. But Mom, you have to admit, Amy Adams is always a joy to watch. She would have been even better if she had a character to play – Mary's entire motivation is that she wants to be taken out to dinner.
Roberta: She had moments - little brief moments - when she was enjoyable. Mostly though, she was almost as annoying as Segel was. I thought, “what are they doing?!” It was just a big mess. It wasn't sweet and cute like the Muppets used to be, there was no quirky edge that both a child and a parent could enjoy.
Brent: While the “M” in “Muppets” was supposedly derived from “marionette,” I think it now stands for “maudlin.” Showing Kermit the Frog - an icon of optimism - at his most depressed and defeated, is a daring move, and produces a dramatic effect. But then he stays that way for almost the entire movie, just to allow Walter to be the hero. The film follows a very basic “let's put on a show” plotline, driven by a stock villain who's in the wrong profession (what does oil have to do with The Muppets? Get a cynical Hollywood CEO). Every time a new plot point is set up, you know what the payoff is going to be. Animal's anger management councilor, Jack Black, tells him not to play the drums anymore. Guess what he's going to do during the big finale? At one point, the Muppets have to find a celebrity host for their big telethon. We were thinking, “Who is it going to be?!” Well, SPOILER ALERT –Spoiler
Roberta: So what did you like about this movie?
Brent: It had moments.
Roberta: Moments? Out of 90 minutes?
Brent: The puppetry (Muppetry?) is as skilled as ever, and it's great to see these colorful character designs again. Heck, it's great to see puppets in a movie, period, after so many years of CGI overload. I also enjoyed most of the musical numbers, especially “Man or Muppet” (“Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet?”) (written by Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie). It hit the right tone of absurd and heartfelt at the same time. Maybe they should have just hired McKenzie to write the whole movie and done it as a through-sung Muppet opera?
Roberta: I actually felt sorry for the Muppets for having to participate in this movie. It made me not like them anymore. They say never say never, but I might never go to see one of their movies again. And I might change the channel if they're on TV. The movie was preceded by a Pixar animated short with the Toy Story characters. I would have given it a $10 rating if it were by itself. It was so creative and clever when Buzz Lightyear attended a little therapy session for an array of discarded Happy Meal-type toys. It was touching too, 'cause they just wanted to be loved. I don't know why the Muppets didn't do their movie more like that.
^fyi - See my previous posts.
There's a very specific reason the ventriloquist story line was removed from the original script, and that's because the original specifically requested it to be removed. (see my previous post for specifics).
I must politely say that I disagree with much of this review from both parties. The Muppets is not a movie for everyone. Kids should be able to enjoy it well, but if you didn't grow up on the Jim Henson Muppets or are not familiar with or have forgotten their older stories some of it may not make much sense.
Thank you for the politeness of your disagreement :). I was a little afraid when I posted this here.
I didn't see this thread until after I finished my review. Having read your post, I now understand why they dropped the ventriloquist sublot...except that they kind of didn't. Especially in the opening number with the matching suits, Walter very much resembles a Muppet-ized ventriloquist dummy for Gary. The whole "are you a man or are you a muppet?" question also makes a lot more sense if Walter is an extension of Gary's inner muppet. It's like they kept the subplot but dropped the reason behind it.
Also, there was an excellent special called Secrets of the Muppets (originally an unaired episode of The Jim Henson Hour) which acknowledged that the Muppets were puppets while maintaining the fantasy and did it quite well. Although I could see where that might not work as well in a movie as it did in a making-of special.
Incidentally, I'm 30 and I did grow up with the Muppets :). Even though I had a middling opinion on this movie, I hope that it will revitalize the franchise.
The whole Muppet's as living beings is really a by product of Henson's death, prior to Jim's passing the muppets were self aware puppets, sometimes even looking down and mocking the people who operated them.
There were several tv specials were they would show you how the puppets were built and operated and the people behind(or rather under them). Recently most of that kind of exposure is missing, and the promotional material and interviews now just focus on the Puppets themselves as sentient beings.