The Simpsons Movie
Regal Cinema - South Plainfield, NJ
We had some free time this morning during our indie wrestling road trip, so we had a chance to see The Simpsons Movie.
We have a Regal Cinema in my hometown, but it's not quite as colorful as the one in South Plainfield. It looked like a cross between Taco Bell and a mall portrait studio from the 90's that's trying to look hip to attract the business of teenagers. The audio during the movie wasn't too good either. I'm glad the one back in Hazleton isn't like this.
The lobby had an incredible recreation of The Simpsons living room, complete with statues of the family sitting on their orange sofa, with room for one more at the end so that you can join them for a photo.
As far as the movie itself is concerned... it's alright. I know this is going to come across sounding negative, but it just felt like a 90 minute long version of a Simpsons episode that you'd see on television, and not a particularly great episode either. I'm not even sure if it would be in my top 25 list of Simpsons episodes over the years... maybe somewhere toward the back end of a top 50 list.
There's just nothing really special about The Simpsons Movie. It pales in every way to a movie like South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut, which offered fresh, original content and was presented as a musical with quotable lines and hysterically funny songs that got stuck in your head. The only real quotable line I can thing of from The Simpsons Movie is "Spider Pig, Spider Pig, does whatever a Spider Pig does", which was chanted by every kid in the theater who had memorized it from the trailer. It's not really even all that funny of a line, particularly after the hundredth time.
Another way that this movie fails in comparison to the South Park movie is in its poor timing. South Park premiered on August 13th, 1997 and they had a movie in theaters less than two years later while it was still fresh and new. If this same Simpsons film was released around 1992 or 1993, it might have felt like something special, but if you're going to wait until 2007, you really have to come up with something that's better than this. You're competing with almost two decades worth of Simpsons episodes, many of which are as good or better than this movie.
The Simpsons Movie isn't bad, but for even the most passionate of Simpsons fans, I can confidently say that you could go your whole life without seeing this movie and you really wouldn't have missed out on too much. I'm sure it'll still be financially successful, but I'm equally sure that it'll be almost completely forgotten.
One part of this movie that I definitely give an enthusiastic thumbs up to is their cross-promotion with Burger King. The Simpsons partnered with Burger King during the show's first season in 1990, so it's pretty cool to see them team up again for the release of the movie.