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PCR # 384  (Vol. 8, No. 31)  This edition is for the week of July 30--August 5, 2007.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"The Simpsons Movie"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Four stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"The Simpsons Movie"  by Mike Smith
Stan Ridgway in Concert - July 29th, 2007 .... Remembering Ingmar Bergman and Laszlo Kovacs  by Andy Lalino
Welcome to Retrorama!  by ED Tucker
Book Review: Resurrection Angel by William Mize  by Lisa Ciurro
Art House Sorrow .... Ironic .... Geeks Rejoice .... Nice Timing....Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 26: Steve Guttenberg  by Mike Smith
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New Line Cinema     
Starring the voices of: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith and Harry Shearer
Directed by: David Silverman
Rated:PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 27 mins

In my younger days as a theatre manager, it seemed like every other week an animated television show was showing up at the local multiplex. "Strawberry Shortcake," "The Smurfs and the Magic Flute" and "The Care Bear Movie" are only three of dozens that died slow deaths on the big screen. In 1999, the guys behind "South Park" came up with a movie that was, as the title suggested, "Bigger, Badder and Uncut." And the bar was raised. This week the bar is reached and raised again with the release of "The Simpsons Movie."

The town of Springfield is having a slight ecological problem. What with the local trash and the chemicals being pumped out by the local nuclear power plant, Lake Springfield is so toxic that the floating stage holding Green Day begins to dissolve. Alerted to the problem by Lisa Simpson's presentation, "An Irritating Truth," everyone in town takes steps to clean up the mess. Well, almost everyone. Enter Homer Simpson. And his pet pig. After a few days the pig has filled his "droppings" silo and Homer takes it to be disposed of. However, his impatience causes him to skip the dump and drop the silo into the lake. Doh! Homer's actions cause a chain reaction that causes Springfield to be covered by a large glass dome to isolate the problem. And when the townspeople find out that Homer is to blame for their latest and most greatest misfortune....well, let's just say it's not good to be Homer J.

Using the talents of no less then 14 writers, "The Simpsons Movie" delivers non stop laughs from beginning to end. Fans of the show, this writer included, have been waiting for this film for years and the wait was well worth it. Stressing the same ideas that the television show does about family and relationships, "The Simpsons Movie" will both tickle your funny bone and pull on your heartstrings. Yes, heartstrings. For 18 years, behind all of the "Cowabungas!" and "Eat My Shorts" the true story of the Simpson family has been their love for each other. Despite all of the fights and stranglings, the emotional bond that the family has is what has kept the show so popular. And it is these emotions that pull you into the story. If you've grown up watching the marriage of Homer and Marge, you will know that their marriage is no less great to them as with any other live action couple. When Homer's stunt becomes the last straw to Marge, the hurt and emotion in her voice is something that will stay with you throughout the film. The animators have kept the tradition of hand drawn animation alive while delivering some very impressive scenes. And I should note that there is an outrageous stretch of Bart riding his skateboard naked through town that gives the film it's PG 13 rating.

I should add that, like the "South Park" film, you do not have to be a fan of the Simpsons, or their television show. to enjoy this film. In fact, lesser fans will be easier to please because, though most of the familiar characters make an appearance, the majority of them are brief. Of the main regulars, only next door neighbor Ned Flanders gets the full treatment, while Hans Moleman and Bumblebee Man only have brief screen time. The voice talent is as perfect as it has been for the last 18 years, with special mention going to Harry Shearer who voices "President Schwarzenegger," whose method of choosing plans consists of a finger point and the words "I was elected to lead, not to read." Also hilarious are Albert Brooks as the evil head of the EPA and, in a brilliant appearance, Tom Hanks as himself.

While I won't go as far as Comic Book Guy to proclaim it best...film...ever, I will give it my highest rating.

On a scale of zero to four, I give "The Simpsons Movie"  Four stars.

This week's movie review of "The Simpsons Movie" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.