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A pair of early SIMPSONS MOVIE reviews come in! D'oh? Or excelllllennnttt?

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I'm happy to say that both of these reviews, from early screenings, are positive. Excellllennnnttt.... Be warned of some spoilerage. It's not too heavy, but it ain't too lite, either.

Hey Harry, Well here’s a pleasant surprise, I just saw a sneak preview of the Simpsons movie right here in Tempe! If I were superstitious, spiritual, or other-worldly orientated this would go down as evidence that my luck’s about to change! We were simply told that it was a pg13 comedy from a big studio and the place went nuts when they announced that it was the Simpsons movie. Some strange dude hi-fived me and people were screaming, cheering, whistling, and just pissing their pants with glee! I was completely pumped, not only would I not have to pay for something I was planning to see (though I probably will anyway), I got to see it before anyone else! Almost 3 months before it comes out, not too shabby. I’ve seen all the trailers, read the reviews, and have been chomping at the bit for more. It sort of makes sense after reading about how unfinished it was that they would bring it out into the world again. We had to sign an agreement that seemed to indicate that my children’s children would suffer the wrath of God should I tell anyone about what I saw. So out of a little paranoia and not wanting to be a dick I won’t spoil the plot. I wanted to compare my experience with the review I read a few weeks ago, but to be honest I have no memory of what that guy said, so I’ll start from scratch. First of all the movie was in very rough shape. A lot of stuff wasn’t animated at all. A lot was still in black and white. And I think you actually realize what the visuals of the simpsons brings to the comedy when you don’t have the animation. The parts where it was totally finished played way better than the parts that weren’t and the animation was actually way better than on the show..more vivid, more 3D, etc. Overall I’d give it 10 out of 10, the movie is exactly what you would want and expect from a simpsons movie. And I could tell that everyone in the audience thought so too, it was uproarious laughter from start to finish..high praise, but it’s worth it. I hadn’t watched the simpsons in some time, but used to pretty frequently, so seeing them again was kind of cool-nostalgic-weird, but still funny…in fact funnier because there are things in this movie that could not be shown on tv. (to name just one thing…I will let you in on a secret Bart is well hung!) I’m writing this fresh from the theater so the sensation is still vivid in my mind. All of the things that used to draw me to the show are in the movie and kicked up a notch. By that I mean that every supporting character gets at least a line or two in the movie and goes a little above and beyond what they did on tv. Another example, Otto the bus driver, who on the show sounds as though he is perpetually stoned but how he gets that way has only been implied….until now. Homer drives the story and is classic, but on a larger scale because his incompetence not only impacts his family it also jeopardizes the existence of the entire city of Springfield. Some of the best parts of the whole film involve Bart & Homer and Bart & Flanders because underneath there is a really sweet storyline between a father and a son. I think that’s something that eludes a lot of Simpson critics, say what you will about the crude humor (though not by today’s standards), but in the end they always stick together. Not to nitpick but I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of Mr. Burns and Chief Wiggum. They are in the movie, but as my favorite characters, not as well developed or central as I would have liked. But that’s so minor. Thinking back on the film in its entirety, this is a very, very funny, character driven movie with a plot that holds together well enough but on it’s own probably wouldn’t be that interesting. I know, duh, but it seems important to emphasize that you won’t feel as though the essence of the characters, that everyone loves, was compromised in the transition to film. It was a good time that truly did not disappoint..people will be psyched to check it out once it comes out. Call me Doo Doo if you use this

Bart's balls? Don't know about that, but I'm sure it's hilarious...

Hey, Lizardman here, just a friendly neighborhood lurker, until now. You might already be getting a bunch of stuff from attendees of the Simpsons Movie test screening they just had in Tempe, AZ, but I'll throw my two cents in. No real spoilers. Homer Simpson addresses the biggest hurdle in creating a Simpsons movie early on in, uh, The Simpsons Movie: (quoted from memory) "We're paying to watch something we used to get on TV for free!" Indeed, considering the animated Simpsons TV show is arguably already able to feature virtually any plot the writers can conjure up and censors will allow, justifying a Simpsons adaptation to the big screen would have been an unenviable task. But adapt it they did, and the results are a movie that is unmistakably, undeniably a movie, not simply an elongated episode ("...of our lives..."). Each member of the Simpsons family has something going on in their lives (well, except Maggie I guess), and although each one of their stories could have been done on television, they would have been isolated in their own episodes, not having consequences on each other and not contributing to the larger story as a whole. The Simpsons' actions affect each other in ways that I actually found moving--- something I hadn't been able to say about The Simpsons for years and I don't think it would have been as effective on the small screen. The Simpsons Movie, to use a cliche, is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. Perhaps even more important, though, is the question: is the movie funny? The ansewr is a resounding YES. The laughs come fast and frequently, and don't drag the punch line out or repeat jokes too often. The jokes are a little more broad and not quite "inside" this time out, and it may surprise some to find that this turns out to be a good thing: there is no longer any silly notion to have to 'compete' with Family Guy and the humor doesn't rely on obscure references (though there are a couple sprinkled here and there, of course). The movie just wants to get people to laugh and it does so admirably. I'm not sure what the consensus was as far as the PG-13 rating was concerned, but I for one am glad that the writers resisted any urge to exploit the more open standards of the cinema. That said, the movie does take advantage of it for two sequences in particular, one involving Homer's taunts while escaping an unruly mob and the other a moment that I was NOT expecting at all and had the audience nearly falling out of their chairs. The fact that such scandalous material was rare in the flick made it that much more enjoyable when it did happen. Other big-screen advantages of the Simpsons motion picture include some surprisingly great artwork and animation (watch out for that romantic bedroom sequence with Marge and Homer featuring Disney-like animal creatures) and a score. The screening had a temp track in place; I noticed a few cues from Back to the Future and Predator in some parts (both by Alan Silvestri-- is he composing this one?), and it worked unexpectedly well. Complaints? I have a couple. My first would be the movie's main villain. I forget his name, but he was a government agent working under President Schwarzenegger (transplanting the voice from Renier Wolfcastle). He's a real "blah" character and I was left wanting for a more noteworthy, intimidating, and funny antagonist, someone like Mr. Burns--- which leads me directly into my second complaint. I was downright shocked at how little screen time the decrepit billionaire had; I can think of only one memorable (and brief) scene in the whole movie that had Mr. Burns front and center, and did Smithers even have any lines? And finally, given the aforementioned PG-13 rating, I was also dissapointed to find the featured Itchy and Scratchy sequence to be much more tame than we have come to expect from the cat-and-mouse pair. I understand trying to accomodate a broader audience and all, but I'm not even sure we saw any blood here. I won't let any of these bother me too much, though. The film format has seemingly shaken up The Simpsons camp creatively in ways television likely never could have, and is thus the most satisfying Simpsons venture in a long, long, long time.
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