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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 39.74%
Average: 6.41%
Pretty Bad: 3.85%
Total Crap: 5.13%

6 reviews, 42 user ratings

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Simpsons Movie, The
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by Erik Childress

"Simpsons Did It! Simpsons Did It!"
4 stars

One of the great disappointments of my life has been not being a regular Simpsons viewer. Sounds like a shallow regret compared to how many dreams have been dashed across time, but there’s that special bond amongst those who have stuck around for nearly two full decades. Just as it is for those who can quote every line from The Godfather or know all the secrets from Harry Potter’s Deathly Hollows, Simpsons fans know episodes, plot lines and lines far beyond what a Seinfeld nut like me has to offer to a culture of useless trivia. For sure, I have seen many episodes (mostly in rerun) and every one has had that whipsmart know-how of cultural satire that most movies can’t sustain for ninety minutes. For a while though, I’ve heard the stories of woe from Simpsonites. Recent years haven’t been as sharp, something to be expected when most series have run their course. So the prospect of a feature film at this point must arrive with some trepidation. After all, it only took South Park two years to go from Comedy Central to the big screen (one of the best comedies – and musicals – of the last decade) in its prime and Simpsons has been nineteen in the making. But if a casual fan like me can find it so consistently funny, I imagine the hardcores are going to believe it was well worth the wait.

In the closely guarded plot, the Simpsons are attending church when Grampa has a heavenly premonition of destruction raining down upon Springfield. While Marge (voiced by Julie Kavner) tries to decipher the cryptic clues, Homer (Dan Castellaneta) is busy making painful wagers with Bart (Nancy Cartwright) who is tired of having a father whose attention span is barely long enough to remember he even has a son. Lisa (Yeardley Smith) is doing her part to save not just Springfield, but the planet, in a thankless campaign to get her community interested. But it only takes the promise of free donuts for Homer to turn the entire town into a hot zone and his family fugitives.

The brevity of the plot description in no way is meant to imply this is just another a thin clothesline stringing the jokes together. Not at all. Nothing is hung out to dry here as the film combines all the humor variants of the show into a cohesive flow that rarely lets the funny bone off the hook. Opening things with maybe its own tip of the hat to the South Park movie (a show which proudly acknowledged The Simpsons influence on them), their Tom-&-Jerry homage, Itchy & Scratchy, gets their own hilarious film which Homer quickly protests as a rip-off. Why pay ten bucks to see something you can get for free on TV? It establishes a self-referential tone that will be sprinkled throughout generous helpings of slapstick, parody and the fine line dividing social architects and pop culture distractions.

Only serious Simpsonfiles will be identifying the inside jokes wedged into the frames. (Admittedly, I was at a loss when a few names were thrown out after the screening.) For all I knew though, the entire film was one long inside joke and it wouldn’t matter because there was little I was laughing at that wasn’t equaled in spades by those critics around me. Revealing more than that would have to be a laundry list of all the jokes in the film and who wants that? It’s more fun to discover who has become President or which recurring guest star voices the film’s villain or if that’s the real big-name celebrity lending his pipes to endorse a new tourist attraction born out of a nuclear explosion.

With a writing staff composed of the “greatest hits” of Simpsons scribes (including James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and David Mirkin of the eleven credited) it would be easy to just catch phrase and homage their way towards filling 85 minutes of screen time. But unlike what the Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Reno 911 creators did earlier this year, The Simpsons Movie isn’t merely consciousness streaming to deliver the next joke. They put effort into building situations for greater payoffs and a storyline that builds to total satisfaction (and a showstopping line that they could only deliver in theaters.) The film may have a PG-13 rating, but its not on account of pushing limits of vulgarity. A middle finger here and a priceless variation on the Austin Powers nudity clause there and the MPAA may have overreacted with a warning that the makers have included a few things they couldn’t do on television. I’d rather see it as a way to confirm that The Simpsons remain the archetypal all-ages animated banquet for the mischievous kid in all of us and the cynically academic adult we should all hope to become. At least the cynic in all Simpsons fans can be put to bed for the time being. They can line up to buy their tickets like eager ten year-olds and this casual fan is going to crack open nine seasons of DVDs just waiting for me on my shelf.

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originally posted: 07/27/07 14:00:00
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell i hate the simpsons could not pay me to watch 1 stars
10/22/14 Mario is the Best This movie is so funny! 5 stars
8/17/13 Shane Loved this movie soo much! 5 stars
4/14/13 Lindsay Naegle You're the five people I'm gonna meet in hell! 5 stars
9/20/12 Mike Miller Great movie. For all Simpsons fans! 4 stars
11/30/11 Dr.Lao Made me pine for the show's heyday 4 stars
3/14/11 Phineas Fuck the 20+ years of White / Middle America-hating writers of that show,and THIS MOVIE!!!! 1 stars
3/10/10 Giggles *looks down* Who the fuck doesn't like ths Simpsons? 4 stars
6/09/09 freak hilarious 5 stars
12/20/08 Travis the skateboard sequence, Bart skates naked through town you can actualy see his junk 4 stars
10/10/08 man extremely funny 5 stars
8/20/08 austin wertman loved it 5 stars
7/01/08 pin one long, not-so-great, episode. time to hang 'em up. thanks for the memories 3 stars
4/15/08 Andrew This movie was excellent, and too damn funny to be crapped at! You heard me. 5 stars
3/25/08 Isaac M. Baranoff Loved it. 5 stars
2/04/08 Derek Funny, but ending was disappointing 4 stars
1/31/08 Beck "Somebody Throw The Damn Bomb!" 5 stars
1/21/08 Indrid Cold I know it's cliche to say it long ago lost its edge, but sorry it's true. 3 stars
1/04/08 David Pollastrini worth the 17 year wait! 5 stars
10/07/07 jcjs I agree with RazorFang..i tried liking the Simpsons but couldn't watch 10 minutes of it.yuk 2 stars
9/08/07 Alice Nope 2 stars
8/27/07 Private Typical Simpsons. Average as a whole with some funny scenes/lines mixed in. 3 stars
8/27/07 RazorFang The Simpsons? Are you people fucking kidding me? 1 stars
8/14/07 Charles Tatum Very funny all the way through 4 stars
8/03/07 bat.serjo sick like a simpson. 4 stars
8/02/07 Jayne Dearie I am still laughing, Great Movie 5 stars
8/01/07 KingNeutron I laughed. A lot. Stay4credits. 4 stars
8/01/07 lucas great 5 stars
8/01/07 salemswildcat Once A Simpson Fan Still A Simpson Fan A+ 5 stars
7/31/07 Bored King This movie was great, I have the Spider Pig song stuck in my head. 5 stars
7/31/07 Chris Cama I think the whole world has been waiting for this movie and looking forward to a feel good 4 stars
7/30/07 Morghan Phoenix Better than the Itchy & Scratchy movie :P 4 stars
7/30/07 Gil Carlson They pulled it off! Hats off to Spider-Pig! 4 stars
7/30/07 Tom Murphy Great! Really funny jokes and good use of the movie format. 5 stars
7/30/07 Emilio I,m disappointed but I know is hard to create a movie and still develope the TV show 3 stars
7/30/07 bullit16 It almost made it worth having to sit through the last 8 unwatchable seasons on TV 4 stars
7/30/07 Ole Man Bourbon Cute, the fans will love its in-jokes, but a tad long 3 stars
7/28/07 Jimmy Battista 9.5 /10! Very well done! 5 stars
7/28/07 mike this was pretty boring actually. i'm really disappointed. 3 out of 10 2 stars
7/28/07 David Rosenfeld Ok, but spends a little too much time on the "Simpsons" and not the rest of characters. 4 stars
7/28/07 David Graham As tasty and enjoyable as homers favourite donut. 5 stars
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  27-Jul-2007 (PG-13)
  DVD: 18-Dec-2007

  27-Jul-2007 (PG)


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