I know some people don't hold the later 'Muppets' movies in the same high regard as the first few, but I'm not one of those people. The newer movies, like 'Muppets from Space' were simply engineered for a different generation. Still, even after changing it up a bit 'Muppets from Space' is still able to retain the magic and charm of some of the older films.
Gonzo is sick and tired of being the only, well, Gonzo around. Everyone else knows what they are – be it frog, dog, pig, or rat – but, Gonzo is clueless about his origins. Where did he come from? Why does he look the way he does? Well, it's a good thing that a pair of cosmic fish have some answers for him. Seriously, only a Henson movie would be able to get away with two cosmic fish floating around in the universe dispensing wisdom. Well, maybe 'The Simpsons' or 'Futurama' could get away with introducing wise-cracking cosmic fish, but that's about it. 'Muppets from Space' is full of that kind of fun randomness that we've come to expect from the Muppet crew.
I believe the most solid testament of 'Muppets from Space' is that it's a good movie despite the fact that Rob Schneider makes a cameo. If you're able to overcome a hindrance like that then you must be doing something right. While Schneider's cameo is irritating, the other cameos are fun. Jeffery Tambor as the main bad guy, who's hunting Gonzo, is one of the best parts of the movie. It's fun to see actors like him really embrace the kind of movie they're in. They ham up their part, but that's okay, because they're supposed to.
It's true that 'Muppets from Space' may not be quite as strong an entry as the previous 'Muppets' movies. The ending lacks some of the imagination that made the rest of the movie so enjoyable.
Still, I think this is one of the most quotable 'Muppet' movies out there. I think the inclusion of Pepe the prawn is one of the main reasons. Some of the stuff he comes up with here is infinitely memorable.
"Hey, smoking is very bad for you, okay?" Great stuff.
'Muppets from Space' is a slight reinvention for a new generation of children and adults, but it still has that Henson spirit. It still stays true to its well-known and beloved characters. It's a movie that kids and adults can enjoy together. Adults can reminisce about watching the Muppets when they were younger and they'll be able to relate to their children because they'll already know the characters.
The Muppets are a rarity in family entertainment. They've thrived through the ages gaining new followings ever year. It's a rare thing to watch and enjoy something with your kids that you used to watch when you were their age. That's Muppet magic.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
Like 'The Muppets Take Manhattan', 'Muppets from Space' is contained in a regular Blu-ray keepcase. It comes in a combo pack with a copy of the Blu-ray and the DVD. It's also region free.
'Muppets from Space' looks a bit better than 'Muppets Take Manhattan' due mostly to when the movie was shot. It simply looks newer and therefore better in high definition. 'Manhattan' looked good, but it definitely had some wear and tear around the edges. 'Muppets from Space' looks cleaner and more detailed.
Textures are a big improvement here. While they were noticeable in 'Manhattan' they've taken on a new context here. The hair, felt, foam, and whatever else is used to make Muppets is well-textured. Some close-ups reveal each dimple and divot in the material. Individual hairs are noticeable in close-ups also. Mid-range photography is a bit soft. Some detail is lost as the camera backs up to include more and more Muppets.
Colors are brighter here too. Purples, reds, yellows, blues, greens, they all shimmer and shine on the screen. Blacks are a little noisy and crushing, but not bad enough to distract you from the movie. Human faces look natural and so do their skin tones. In 'Manhattan' they looked a little waxy and unrealistic, here everything appears normal. Fans of the Muppets will be proud of this high-def transfer.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio presentation, however, is about identical to the one provided on 'Manhattan'. It may be slightly more robust, but not by much.
The musical numbers, which are much less frequent in this movie, are still given weighty presence. The ending of the movie features some nice vocals piped through the entire soundfield, accompanied by some raucous LFE. Dialogue is always clear. Rear channels are quite busy with activity, whether it be a busy military base or a party of UFO revelers. Directionality works nicely as sound effects like footsteps coming down a tunneled hallway, move seamlessly through the soundstage.
Similar to 'Manhattan', you probably won't use this for demo material, but you'll be happy with it all the same. I didn't notice any glaring audio issues like hissing or popping. The track sounds clean all the way through.
I adore 'Muppets from Space' just as much as I love any 'Muppet' movie out there. It's enjoyable, amusing, and keeps the heart of what the Muppets are all about. Sure there are a few more special effects and a story with higher – even intergalactic – stakes, but that's okay. It's still the Muppets. These are still the characters we know and love. They haven't changed a bit, and we thank the Muppet team for that,they've always stayed true to the characters. Snag this Blu-ray and make sure the Muppets are part of your HD collection.