Welcome the Muppets back to solid ground in their latest
adventure from the Henson creative team. This time around Gonzo
is feeling mighty insecure about being a one-of-a-kind guy. His
big snoot is practically vibrating with trepidation after a
dream about Noah and some Ouija board magic with his breakfast
serial. Miss Piggy gets into the act grabbing the microphone
away from television personality Shelly Snipes (Andie MacDowell)
to cover the Gonzo story. A space agency is monitoring messages
from space. They suspect there may be an alien spy making
contact with dangerous space confederates. They trace their
suspicions to Gonzo, who indeed is the one, but is he or isnít
he an alien. Youíll have to rendezvous with the big space ship
along with Gonzo and the Muppet crew to find out. The plot provides lots of opportunities for good Muppet fun
and the direction by Tim Hill is crisp. The puppetry is as
always quite wonderful.
Gonzo on TV as Miss
Piggy looks on. ©Columbia
I canít say that the musical number gave me the kind of lift a
shot of Muppet energy normally promises. And high power guest
star appearances have also diminished in impact in Muppets
from Space. Andie MacDowell smarms her way through Shelly
Snipes and Rob Schneider acts officious on the television set.
F. Murray Abraham gets his shot at biblical immortality as Noah,
Ray Liotta plays a guard, and David Arquette mugs as Dr.
Muppets from Space takes every
opportunity for allusions to other Science Fiction movies.
Look for references to Close Encounters of the Third
Kind, Day the Earth Stood Still and more. Oddly enough, the humor of these moments seems to work with
or without knowledge of the original reference.
The colorful cross section of Muppet skins and garb make
for a delightful DVD. Colors pop out with incredible pizzazz yet
they donít lose their subtlety. Check out Gonzoís snout for
brilliant color detail. The rose-red tones are highlighted by
delicate purple fibers creating a magnificent sunset nose Gonzo.
Muppets from Space is as sharp a DVD as youíll ever get
with no edge enhancement. The contrast balance is handled very
well. Thereís plenty of pop in the Dolby Digital 5:1
sound. One lovely kitchen explosion is a perfect example of
robust DVD combustion. The bass is tightly controlled starting
out in a chamber of air and bursting into the home theater. A
DVD of reference quality!
For the audio commentary director Tim
Hill leads an assortment of Muppet stars through unusually
hilarious observations. You may not learn a lot about
filmmaking, but you will get another insight into the magic of
these characters and the creative team behind them. The special
edition includes seven out-takes and five theatrical trailers,
including two from Muppets from Space, The Dark Crystal,
Labyrinth and The Storyteller. Finally, thereís the
"Shining Star" music video.