The Simpsons Movie (20th Century Fox, PG-13)


That said, The Simpsons Movie is everything I wanted it to be, although I did not know exactly what it was that I wanted it to be going in. 







My summer has revolved around seeing The Simpsons Movie. I'm a long-time, die-hard Simpsons fan, of the sort who will get in bitter arguments with people who says that it sucks these days (I admit that it is nowhere near as good now as it was during its peak (seasons four through nine), but it is still far and away the best thing on TV), and who would likely face a murder rap if confronted with someone who says The Family Guy is better (no court would convict me anyway-people who think that deserve to die). I actually watched "Simpsons Roasting On an Open Fire" on TV back when it originally aired in December of 1989, and haven't looked back since. The Simpsons is a huge part of my life. After days of being ready to rearrange my schedule by any means necessary, they announced the press screening this past Monday (later than they usually announce press screenings of this sort), and it turns out that the only screening of The Simpsons Movie for the St. Louis press was at 7 p.m. the night before it opened, which meant that I saw it a mere five hours sooner than I could have seen it anyway. Couple that with the fact that the screening was at a faraway theatre run and filled with stupid people, and that I was at least a little afraid that my favorite television show of all time might not be too successful in the leap to my favorite medium, and we had an unfortunately stressful screening.

Really, there are two major reasons why they did the press screening late like this (if this hasn't occurred to you, it makes it almost impossible for me to get this review in on time, since the turnaround for my writing it is only a couple of hours): one is that they don't really need the press-it's the first goddamn Simpsons movie in 18 years, and everyone's been clamoring for one all this time-and two, because the people at Fox have been (more or less successfully) doing everything in their power to keep the film's plot a secret. Which, in the end, makes my review here more or less worthless. In true Crying Game fashion, if they don't want the plot to leak out that desperately, I'm willing to go along with it. And they don't need the press-what the hell are you even reading this for? Go see it. Go see it go see it go see it.

That said, The Simpsons Movie is everything I wanted it to be, although I did not know exactly what it was that I wanted it to be going in. I read an interview with one of the writers about a year ago, and he said that he wanted it to be like how South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut was to South Park the show-just longer and pushing things farther, but in all other ways the same. Luckily, I can get on board with that. Where South Park was rated a hard R, though, The Simpsons is rated PG-13, which seemed like it was probably suitable, as I wouldn't be surprised if most episodes of the show were rated PG-13 if the MPAA got their hands on them. They always get away with more than most other network shows, anyway. And, as it turns out, they get away with more in a PG-13 movie than most PG-13 movies do, too. Watching The Simpsons Movie, I had the overwhelming feeling that I had seen it before, but in a good way-like it was a classic episode that my friends had all seen in syndication for years and I always heard about, but which somehow eluded me until now. Thanks to it my summer-and my life-is complete. | Pete Timmermann

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