6A - Monday, November 28, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Jason Segel revives
a beloved franchise
for a new generation
By KAVI SHEKHAR PANDEY
Senior Arts Editor
These have been dark and dif-
ficult times, Kermit the Frog.
With 15 years since the last semi-
("Muppet Trea- The
and appear- Muppets
to a handful At Quaityl16
of blink-and- and Rave
you-miss-it TV Disney
nearly evaporated from cultural
relevancy. Entire generations
have never been swooned by the
banjo-plucking of the amphibian
with the angelic voice and asso-
ciate Fozzie Bear's catchphrase
"waka waka" with Shakira's
World Cup anthem (or confuse it
with the Atlanta rapper).
But the Rainbow Connection
has been restored with the release
of "The Muppets," willed to life
by Jason Segel (TV's "How IMet
Your Mother") and continuing
Disney's venerable tradition of
handing the creative reigns to
filmmakers who are passionate
about the material they're bring-
ing to screen. Segel is quite the
ardent Muppet aficionado, and
as co-writer, executive producer
and star, he pours every drop of
his adoration for the Jim Henson
creations into this movie. And it
all pays off - Segel's exuberance
seeps into every second of "The
Muppets," carving a delicious
family filmthat proves Kermit and
his felt crew still got it going on.
The key to the Muppets' sto-
ried success had always been
How Kenneth the page perceives "HowI Met Your Mother."
their remarkable ability to shift
between humor aimed at kids
and adults without trepidation.
The involvement of Segel and co-
writer Nicholas Stoller - whose
last script was the raunch-tastic
"Forgetting Sarah Marshall" -
may have raised eyebrows, but the
duo nails the balance. For every
gag about "fart shoes" and elec-
trocuted puppets that will have
tykes soiling their Pull-Ups with
laughter, there's sharp self-reflex-
ive humor, carefully positioned
Muppets references and a flurry
of delightful celebrity cameos for
everyone else. If you're the type
of adult who thinks fart shoes are
hilarious - and you're not alone -
then get ready to snicker until the
As for the sweetly silly musical
numbers - the enchantment of
elaborately choreographed sing-
ing and dancing transcends age
and maturity. Under the direction
of James Bobin, who wrote the
book on staging songs that rapidly
flicker between introspective and
irreverent with TV's "Flight of the
Conchords," the musical numbers
give the film a shot in the arm
whenever the plot stagnates.
And the swampy narrative is
where the warts of "The Mup-
pets"become evident. Though the
film has a neat beginning, follow-
ing the trip of Gary (Segel), Mary
(Amy Adams, "The Fighter") and
Gary's brother Walter (a puppet)
to visit the now-ramshackle Mup-
pet Studio - the home of Wal-
ter's idols - it quickly falls into a
Brothers" ripoff. It's lazy story-
telling, even by kid's standards,
and further hampered by lame
subplots (see: Animal recovering
from his "drum" addiction).
But these imperfections are
glossed over by the joyfully spir-
ited cast. Kermit, Miss Piggy,
Fozzie, Gonzo, Swedish Chef,
Beaker, Sam Eagle and the rest
are at the top of their games. And
they're accompanied by Segel,
who's clearly having the time of
his life, the everlastingly lovely
Amy Adams (belting out her
soprano for the first time since
"Enchanted") and the cadre of
cameos too cool to be spoiled. Yet
Hollywood's resident scene-steal-
er, Chris Cooper ("The Company
Men") pilfers another motion pic-
ture, playing an evil Texas oilman
with enough ham to cause a state
of emergency in a synagogue (the
dude raps, for God's sake).
The plot might be croaky, but
the audience's enjoyment of this
film is testament to the allure of
the Muppets: The nostalgia and
wit of the characters will always
transcend narrative shortcom-
ings. With the might of the Mouse
House marketing machine behind
them, the Electric Mayhem Bus
should keep rolling on to great
Board the Polar Express to TV's festive cheer this season.
Christmas TV is
coming to town
By BRIANNE JOHNSON Peeping Toms who undoubtedly
DailyArts Writer intend to violate my doorbell
until I show my cowardly face.
'Twas the night of Black Fri- Yet nothing warms my heart
day and all through the store, more than watching re-runs of
chimes of sweet carols and 3 a.m. my favorite TV families fum-
snores erupt from the speakers ble their way through endear-
and stream from zipped tents, ingly awkward and often poorly
as flocks of cold shoppers grow cooked dinners, as I cuddle into
in swelling suspense. The reason the corner of my futon with a bag
I'm snatching a plasma this year? of popcorn that may or may not
Well, the holiday specials on TV result in buttery strings of gar-
are finally here! land by the end of the night.
As eager students deck the Television's holiday specials
dorm halls in colorful paper and have become anexpected delight,
string their windows in a green a tradition as familiar and com-
and red glow, I've found my own forting as sprawling on the liv-
way to commemorate the holi- ing room floor knowing that the
days: watching TV. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
will scoot its way across the
screen. Embedded in my list of
ABC Family holiday to-dos - right after roast
chestnuts over an open fire - is
beats egg nog an indulgent cluster of classic
(and some not-so-classic) Christ-
mas gems. I will follow Michael
Scott to a drunken Benihana
That's right. Call me Scrooge, feast. I will convince my family
but I'm not one to get wasted on that Mr. Hanky of "South Park"
that holiday spirit. I think egg is indeed the wholesome erubodi-
nog is strange, ice is the bane of ment of the holiday spirit. And
my clumsy existence and I often with zero shame, I will be glued
mistake innocent carolers for See CHRISTMASPage 7A
HOME!! 7 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2
kitchens, living room, dining room,
laundry and parking, Central Air!
ARBOR PROPERTIES. DISTINC-
TIVE Award-Winning rentals in Kerry-
town, Central Campus, Old West Side,
Burns Park. Now Renting for 2012.
***CENTRAL CAMPUS 6&7 BED-
ROOM HOUSES. Great Furnitue/
Decor. Wireless/Cable. Free Laundry,
Parking. FOR RENT NOW MAY
RELEASE DATE- Monday, November 28, 2011
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
ACROSS DOWN 32 Game show host 54 "... happily
1 Baby bovine 1 Dot-__ 33 36-inchunits ever__"
5 At the drop of _ 2 Manefrom Oman, 35 Jamie of 55 Skewed view
9 Ice cream brand oten "MA'S'H" 56"The Thin Man'
that's"Grand" 3AcessOlin 40 __de plume canine
13 Ice cream-and- 4Dancethat 41 Tony of 60-Down 57 Fall behind
cookles brand precedes"golf' in 44 Constricting 58 Roundish shape
14"TheThinker" theNATO sam edv Steakorder
sculptor phonetic 470Compelledovia 60Sitom set in a
16 Fat unit alphabet force garage
17 Tailless cat 5 Wheelchair guy 49 Suffix with lemon 61 Not attend
18 Steak option on "Glee" 50 "Help Me, _": 65 "Men in Black"
19 Hereditay code 6 Schmooze, as Beach Boys hit baddies, briefly
carrier with the A-list
20 Ted Williams had 7 Work like_ ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE:
a.34411fetime 8 Fey of "30 Rock" I C E B R E A K E R T R E F
oes 9 Asian menuF
23SAatsmarte SCR E E N NAME H A L O
24 Fishing pole 10 Rasta'shairdo A R I S T C t R A T I M A X
25 Agreeable to 11 Yin'scounterpart D I C T A H A J i N A S H
doing 12 Hook's sidekick O D S R H O S NEE D T O
28Siteofmanya 15St.for gamblers R E OS O R E C A R A I L
shadytransaction 21Gopitapat E R N E S T A L L I A N C E
34 Moreor less 22 DiscoEEK SC
300Caeephony 25Vandenbergmo K USCG
37 _ Linda, Edwards: Abbr. SO ICI AIL IQ C A U S A L
Califomia 26 Chico'schicken O N O T R A U M A A P I E
38 Chef's recipe 27 Chickens, to kids F E L L O W I O N S I R T
5011$ Ss~ikup~a AID A E D T EE MS
39 Boouboo olectionsT U R AGA
protector 30 Hush-hushfed E E L L A R E E S E
42 "Bad Moen org.
Risng" ppgp. 31Make booties, DART AN Y O N E E L S E
43 Goape e.g. xwordeditor@aoL.com 11/26/11
45Gobad , 2 3 3 4 6 8 7 8 9 10811812
46 Atached to the
bullei heard 1e 14. re 16
48 Bulet-proof vest,
51 Pries (intol
52 P&Lmclumn A 2C22
55 Common college
degree, whose 28 2 27 28 29 3 31 32 33
abbreviation is a
hintto20-,2 2g, 8 3 36
39- and 48- 3 3 40 41 42
62Japanesegaer 3 4s 4 4n
63 With 67-Across, 4 4 3350 1
exprmental 6 63 "6
64Birthdayseming 8 88 75 68 53 983
66Enelopeabbr. 623 64 3s
67 See 63Acros
6e Way out 67 6
69 Give guff to
70 Shakespearean70 71
71 Chip enhancers By Jer che" 11/2811
(c)2011 Tribune Mediaservices,Inc.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX (DORMS)
THINK U. TOWERS
HURRY IN FOR BEST SELECTION
WE ARE NOW TAKING RESERVATIONS
FOR SPRINO/FALL 2012
**FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
$100 OFF SECURITY DEPOSIT
+ NO PROCESSING FEE**
VISIT US AT
YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME
536 S. FOREST AVE.
ANN ARBOR, MI 48160
! 11 BDRM HOUSE. Corner of
Church and Willard. Across the street
from Pizza House. 2 large sitting
2 kitch., 3 shower s/baths, wshr./dryer
no charge, 8 prkg. spaces avail. Aug.
2012-Aug 2013. CALL: 248-330-0396
*AVAILABLE FALL 2011*
Large 3 bdrm. house. Walking distance
from campus. 945 Woodlawn.
Contact Mike at 734-276-3876.
*BIG HOUSES: 7 Bdrm Houset129
White St., 5 Bdrm House 1024
Packard. 734-996-1991. www.cappo-
...If Money can't buy happiness,
I guess you'll have te rent it!!!
Prime Student Housing-Call today!
! STERLING 411 LOFTS - Reserve
now for 2012 (Spring or Fall). U-M's
best housing sold out early for 2010
and 2011, reserve your space for 2012
today. Look and lease on the same day
to receive a $50 "Dinner on Us". 2
blocks from Central Campusand down-
town. I to 4 bedroom, private baths
available. Rates from $660. 734-998-
APARTMENTS GOING FAST....
Efficiencies, 1 & 2 Bedrooms!
Furnished, heat & water included,
FREE parking and Ethernet!
Call today for an appointment!
Prime Student Housing
*Varies by locatien
AVAILABLE FALL. FOUR and five
bedroom duplex in a quiet neighbor-
hood. Walk to football games and
Kroger. Call Michigan Commercial
AVAILABLE FALL. FURNISHED
modern two bedroom apartments lo-
cated on Central Campus near the
ness and Law School. Call Michigan
Commercial Realty. 734-662-5500.
AVAILABLE FALL. STUDIOS,
One, Two, Three bedroom apartments
loctaed on UM Campus. Call Michigan
Commercial Realty. 734-662-5500.
! NORTH CAMPUS 1-2 Bdrm. !
! Incl. Heat/Water/Parking. !
t www.HRPAA.com 996-4992 !
401 E. MADISON
Huge 7BD 3BTH 3 level apt. Closeto
West Quad & the Diag. Updated
Kitchens w/ stainless steel appliances,
granite countertops, hardwood floors,
& central air. Washer & Dryer incld!
!!!!!FOR RENT: 4 Bdrm Condo. N.
Campus area. Free utilities, air cond.,
laundry, cable, int. Loaded w/extras.
$598/pp/mo. 4 pax min. 313-838-2629.
!!CLASSY 6&7-BR/3-BA HOME
Great Loc. Updated! Fireplace/ kitch,
prkg. Must see! $4500 (313) 215-8115
Why pay $1500+ for a BED in a
2 bedroom when you can pay $710??
We are now taking Reservations for
**For A Limited Time Only $100 OFF
Security Deposit + NO PROCESSING
Visit us at universitytowers-mi.com
AVAILABLE FALL. THREE
bedroom house loctaed near the U/M
Athletic Campus and Band Field.
Parking and Laundry. Call Michigan
Commercial Realty. 734-662-5500.
AVAILABLE FALL. STUDIOS,
One, Two, Three bedrrom apartments
loctaed near the U/M Medical Cam-
Two blocks to Central Campus. Call
Michigan Commercial Realty.
CAMPUS MANAGEMENT, INC.
invites you to visit
the best local website for a wide selec-
tion of apartments and houses. We spe-
cialize in houses and apartments very
close to central campus. All are attrac-
tively priced, most include parking,
many are furnished and some include
utilities. Contact us for details. Com-
plete listing for Fall 2012 available
now! Or call and speak with our Leas-
ing Consultant, Pat at 734-663-4101.
1 & 2 bdrm., modern, clean, quiet
5 min. walk. Free Wi-Fi.
THESIS EDITING. LANGUAGE
organization, format. All disciplines.
25 years' U-M experience.
734-996-0566 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paid survey takers need in A2.
100% FREE to join. Click on Surveys.
WANTED!!! Working America /AFL-
CIO is hiring F/T staff to take our coun-
try back from the political forces that
favor the wealthy and corporate special
interests over your well-being! Diver-
sity is highly valued at Working Amer-
ica: Women, people of color, and
LGBT applicants strongly encouraged
to apply. $11.44/ Hour $457.60 week
base pay - Entry Level. Fun work envi-
ronment. EOE. Rapid advancement op-
portunities. Call Willie 734.222.6496,
PAID BUSINESS INTERNSHIP
Sales and Marketing. $15-18 / hr. Dead-
line to Apply Dec. 6. Call 800-930-
7348 For More Information
**BARTENDING** $300/DAY PO-
TENTIAL. AGE 18+ No exp. nec.,
training avail. 800-965-6520x125