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audio and video commentary, a funny movie, and bad customer service.

May 4, 2011

I like the Muppets. Quite a bit. This may seem strange, considering I’m a guy in my late 30’s, (and I don’t get high) but I’ve loved the Muppets since I was a kid, and still like to play the shows and movies once in awhile.

A couple months ago “Muppets from Space” was on TV. I hate watching most TV channels because I can’t stand to sit through the commercials, and I don’t have a dvr. For that reason, and many others, I almost always just watch PBS if I watch tv. PBS does have commercials, but they don’t interrupt the shows. Their fund drives do, but the PBS stations only have fund drives once in awhile.

Because I loathe commercials so much, I only watched a few minutes of “Muppets from Space” at that time. But I kept the film in mind to rent later.

I am so grateful for redbox and netflix. I was a major Blockbuster customer for some time, and before that, Hollywood video. (I also worked for both companies – Hollywood video for just over a year, and Blockbuster for a few months.) I got really tired of people trying to sell me on this plan or that plan or would I like some popcorn or soda? If I wanted some popcorn or soda, I would have brought some up to the counter with the movies I selected. Perhaps they are making the assumption that I am extremely forgetful..

“Oh my goodness!! Thank you so much for reminding me!! Oh yes, I DO want some popcorn and soda, and I totally forgot, wow!! Gee, I’d like a case of both, at incredibly inflated prices!! Thank you, thank you!!

Yeah.. like that ever happens.

Being asked if I want this or that when I didn’t bring it to the counter.. asking if I want fries with that… and one of my all time favorites.. one of the most stupid questions ever. At a grocery store..drug store, convenience store.. the clerk asks.. wait for it..

“Will this be all for you?”

Yeah great.. I love that one.

I heard a comedian once say…. in response to that question.. after depositing three items on the counter ready to be scanned purchased..

“Noooo.. these are the only three items I DON’T want!” (and he turns around and spreads his arms wide, and says) “I want….alllll this!!”

Yeah lady, I’ll skip these three items and just buy up the rest of the store, thanks.

I know the employees are forced to say this to keep their jobs. Mostly they don’t want to be annoying, and it isn’t their fault, but they still are annoying. Also sucks when they try to get me to sign up for this card or that card. Grocery stores, book stores, etc. etc. The Border’s Rewards card is free, and they send coupons to email addresses. I used to go to Border’s quite a bit, and used the card.

Then Borders came up with a paid card plan for extra discounts. I should not go into certain stores when I am very tired. I agreed to pay for the plan, and got a coupon booklet in return, and an extra discount on future purchases. The coupons had fine print which I later read. Didn’t find the coupons to be of any use, and checked Amazon for prices which I compared to the discounted prices on Borders books.. Amazon was still cheaper, so yeah, I can wait a few days to save money. For 80 bucks per year, Amazon will not charge any future shipping costs, as long as I buy from them. And the shipping only takes 2 days. I order a lot, so this is a really good deal!

Gosh, I am straying faaar away from my intended topic today.. maybe even more than usual, but maybe not.

Ok. oh yes.. one more thing.. I don’t get any money from the companies whose products I endorse. Would be nice if I did but then I’d be a sell out. My intention here when mentioning products .. it’s like saying thanks for stuff I like, and passing on good deals and info on books and movies and so forth to my readers.

Right then.. back to the “Muppets from Space” film.

I just watched it today. Since my ankle hasn’t healed yet, I try to stay off my feet.. living in a tri-level makes using crutches highly dangerous, so I hobble around the house. Shouldn’t be on my left foot.. but anyway.. yeah.. sit around read, write, surf the net, watch movies., actually that is what I do a lot of the time anyway.. but I would be doing some different things today if I could walk properly. Was wanting to go out to a park and to a cool little neighborhood on the other side of downtown, go to a used bookstore, etc.

But instead I am staying home, and ..

Well anyway.. watched “Muppets from Space.” It was made in 1999. To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a theatrical muppets release since that time, just a straight to video film of Kermit in his younger days. The reviews weren’t very good for that one compared to most Muppet films, so I haven’t seen it.. I might though, but probably not.

(edit.. 2/24/12 .. a muppet film was released a month or two ago.. a new one.. in theaters.. I haven’t seen it yet.)

I’m going to abbreviate the film title I am writing about to MFS, ok? (Muppets from Space)

It’s about Gonzo.. he doesn’t know what he is, what kind of being. Most all the other Muppets are some sort of recognizable creature.. but not all of them..

Anyway.. I don’t want to give too much away.. don’t want to spoil it for ya.

After the movie, I checked the bonus features menu, and saw that there was an audio commentary. I thought, since this was a Muppet film, the makers of the movie would do something creative and fun like have the Muppet characters’ voice on the commentary.

They not only did this, but there is a video commentary too!

On my machine, the video commentary is only visible when I hit the subtitle button twice. Then, at the bottom of the screen, the director of the film (I think his name is Tim Hill) and Kermit are visible. Animated versions of them, in grey.

Their backs, in theater seats, like that show “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” or is it 5000? I don’t remember. I never liked that show. But I really did like the Muppet commentary.

Cute to watch and hear the director interacting with the characters, and the characters making jokes about the film.

Kermit is only on the audio/video commentary for a little while, then he exits, and Rizzo the Rat and Gonzo join the director. I didn’t watch the whole film with the commentary on because I wanted to come into this room and write this entry.

One more cool thing about MFS is that there are some new Muppets in the cast – most notably Pepe the Prawn. His accent might not be identifiable to you at first, but it’s a Spanish accent. Not a Mexican cholo accent like Cheech Marin. No, there’s a difference. Pepe sounds a bit more like Antonio Banderas. He’s quite funny.

He’s not the only new main character. There are a couple others new ones, but they are only in the film for a short time, and I don’t know all their names.

One last thing to mention.. the soundtrack for the film is almost all classic funk, which is really great! Earth Wind and Fire, James Brown, George Clinton P-Funk.. the music works surprisingly well with the film.

Ok.. so.. rent this movie, and check out the audio AND video commentary!

You’ll be glad ya did.

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