Muppets from Space Blu-ray delivers great video and superb audio in this enjoyable Blu-ray release
When adopted Gonzo and his rat pal Rizzo embark on a quest to find Gonzo's real family, Gonzo discovers that his long-lost relatives are actually aliens from a distant planet. After announcing to the world on Miss Piggy's talk show, "UFO Mania," that he plans to find his family and prove once and for all that life on other planets exists, he becomes the target of paranoid goverment operative K. Edgar Singer. After a daring escape from the Singer compound, Gonzo tracks down his mother's ship and faces the most difficult question of his life: does he climb aboard and join the family he has always wanted or does he stay on Earth with the family and friends that he has always known and loved?
For more about Muppets from Space and the Muppets from Space Blu-ray release, see Muppets from Space Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on August 18, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
I'm sick and tired of being a one-of-a-kind freak.
When the chips are down and the youngsters need a good laugh, there's not much of a safer bet than the Muppets. The charming throwback
simplicity and human-controlled real, tangible puppets never fail to please, for there's an innate soul to them -- transferred from the human hand and
the doll's innards and words -- that magically gives them a life not yet achieved by wholly-digital characters. Even when the adventures take them to
the big city or the brink of another civilization that exists somewhere far beyond this
one (hey, isn't that New York City, too? OK, ok, it's a joke!), the characters retain that unmistakably classic sense of pure, wholesome, old-fashioned
entertainment that just refuses to go out of style. Muppets from Space, the first major Muppets motion picture to follow the death of series
creator Jim Henson nearly a decade prior, manages to once again capture that same Muppet magic thanks to its strict adherence to basic Muppet
principles -- honest laughter and a plot that's built on life-critical lessons aimed at younger audiences -- while subtly shifting focus from characters
voiced by Henson (notably Kermit the Frog) and building the plot instead around longtime fan-favorite character Gonzo.
Bright light! Bright light!
All of the Muppets are living under the same roof -- and sharing the same bathroom. Kermit's on vacation, Miss Piggy is starting a new "career" in
television, but Gonzo is more troubled than ever. He desperately wants to discover who he is and where he comes from. He's unique, has no family
of which to speak, and though Kermit kindly calls him a "distinct" individual, he wants to know and be more. Suddenly, his alphabet breakfast cereal
rearranges itself with a message for him: watch the sky. Suddenly, Gonzo becomes obsessed with communicating with whoever --
whatever, and from wherever -- sent him the sign. He carves a message into the back yard with a lawn tractor, which catches the
attention of an eye-in-the-sky spy satellite from a secret government agency known as C.O.V.N.E.T. which has also been seeing signs of
extraterrestrial life attempting to communicate with Earth. The clandestine operation manages to kidnap Gonzo, and it's up to his Muppet pals to
set him free and, just maybe, get him back on the right track to finding out just who he is, where he comes from, and remind him of the loving
family he already has.
Muppets from Space isn't nearly as witty, smart, and memorable as Muppets Take Manhattan, but it's not a black sheep
of movie within the Muppets canon, either. It's an infinitely cute and charming little movie in its own right, a relaxed and highly entertaining
through the world of Science Fiction meets classic puppetry, a combination sure to raise a few eyebrows Spock-style but that nevertheless works like
charm, spins like a top, and cruises at warp speed without a hitch. The film is certainly a little more thematically relevant than Manhattan;
deeper character development and a bit more raw emotion go a long way in making this a fine Children's film, particularly considering that it doesn't
have to sacrifice too much in terms of situational comedy and memorable character moments along the way. The picture's basic theme -- finding
oneself -- carries
dual meaning, and it's a critical lesson for younger audiences to take away from the film. Gonzo seeks out his own kind, but in looking in the
he comes to better know and understand who he is on the inside, too, and by extension better appreciate the family he already has: his lifelong
Muppet friends. The picture's earthbound story carries a universal message, and it's delivered with the wit and charm audiences have come to
from their favorite Muppet characters.
Perhaps a bit more superficially evident in the film is its surprisingly impressive human actor roster. Sure most of them play secondary and tertiary
roles, and almost all of them ham it up and have a lot of fun playing the movie well over the top while still perfectly fitting into the picture's general
flow. Jeffrey Tambor is featured prominently in the movie, Andie MacDowell perhaps a hair less so, and the "cameo" roster consists of a veritable
who's-who of Hollywood stardom: F. Murray Abraham, Hulk Hogan, Ray Liotta, Pat Hingle, Rob Schneider, and David Arquette all briefly appear in
several of the
picture's more memorable scenes. Even better, the film is awash in quality visuals and great music; whether scenes in the farthest reaches of space
or way back in Biblical times or music that's rock-out fun or softly smooth, the supporting structure only enhances the sense of adventure and,
more importantly, Gonzo's character arc and the themes and emotions that come with it. While not a tearjerker or even a movie that's going to
earn much more than a few sniffles, the film still engenders a sense of emotional satisfaction for journeying with the Muppets once again in what
might not be an adventure quite as large-in-scope as their New York trip -- most of them don't go very far, and even fewer actually end up
in space as the title suggests -- but it's nearly as satisfying on every level.
Muppets from Space features a fantastic 1080p, 1.85:1-framed transfer. Sony's once again done wonders with a catalogue title, providing a
near perfect film-like image. The picture's natural grain structure is left beautifully intact, supporting strong clarity and excellent detailing. Indeed, fine
detail is stellar; the textures of the Muppet characters are as intricate as they should be, while supportive detail -- whether around the well-worn house
the Muppets call home; the colder, more sterile C.O.V.N.E.T. headquarters location; or even the sugary texture of breakfast cereal pieces -- is just as
strong. The color palette is perhaps a touch warm, but the many vibrant shades that dominate the movie are strongly realized, particularly evident by
the colorful array of Muppet characters that appear in the film. Blacks are a bit spotty -- a touch dim here, a hair too dark there -- but flesh tones are
well balanced. The image appears to be free of excess noise reduction, edge enhancement, and the like. Noise can be somewhat heavy but banding and
are non-factors. This is just another tip-top transfer from Sony.
Muppets from Space features a high quality DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack that's as much fun as the movie it supports. This is a big,
energized, full-throttle, completely engaging cinema-quality soundtrack that completely immerses the listener into the film. The surround channels are
extensively but naturally used; whether the sensation of traveling through a star field at film's open or just in support of the music, the back channels
play with a purpose and balance that helps bring the track to vivid life. Clarity is phenomenal and music is ultra-crisp from beginning to end, whether
popular tunes or instrumental score. Action sound effects bounce all over the soundstage, yielding superb directional and discrete elements alike.
Dialogue is front-and-center; it plays at the appropriately natural volume and is never forced to contend with surrounding elements. This is a fine listen;
engaging, extensive, and entertaining, it'll put a smile on every listener's face.
Muppets from Space unfortunately features a rather lackluster collection of extras, the best of them being a rather extensive collection of short
Outtakes (480p, 6:06): Total Recoil, I Hate Rats!, Gimme an Actor, Expectorating Extraterrestrials, Gonzo's Disaster, Mind if I Drop In,
Pepe's Raspberry Flopover & Over & Over, The Return of Art Linkletter!, Cardshark Serenade, This Elevator is Going Down...Way Down (Version 1, 2 & 3),
I'm Weird for You, Boop-Kiss!, Rizzo's Biggest Fan, Excuse Me, Pepe!, Eyes Wide Shut, What's My Line, Pepe's Pick Up Pointers (Versions 1, 2 & 3), Never
Let the Bear Drive, and Remote Revolt!.
Music Video (480p, 2:03): "Shining Star" by The Dust Brothers Featuring Jeymes.
Muppets from Space Original Trailers (480p): Theatrical (2:21) and Teaser (0:59).
Muppets from Space is a solid all-around film. It might not be the best Muppet movie, and it's certainly not the first amongst them to
immediately come to mind when thinking of the entire "series" of films, but it's fine kinda-sorta under-the-radar entertainment that has enough cuddly
characters, action, and laughs to satisfy its target audience's base needs. All of that is supported by parent-approved themes that are obvious but
nevertheless nicely integrated into the larger whole. The picture, like all of the Muppet movies, is supported by an invisible soul that's just not there in
even the best as-of-2011 animated pictures; there's something about the tangible, real-world characters portrayed on-the-spot by real people that digital
just hasn't been able to duplicate. Sony's Blu-ray release of Muppets from Space is severely lacking in bonus materials, but the picture and
sound quality are out of this world for a midlevel catalogue release that's more than a decade old. Pick this one up with Muppets Take
Manhattan; both are worthy Blu-ray releases. Recommended!
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In anticipation of The Muppets' theatrical release this November, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release Muppets From Space & The Muppets Take Manhattan on Blu-ray. These highly anticipated Blu-ray/DVD combo packs will street on August 16th, 2011.