Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Simpsons DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Bart’s Feature Film Debut Released on DVD

The only surprise about this feature-length version of the long-running TV series is that it took Fox so long to spin it off into a movie. Quite frankly, the film feels like an extended episode because the material is no more daring than what you’d typically find on the show.
However, the picture does at least serve up an engaging adventure with a timely environmental theme. Early on, we’re treated to a funny skit lifted from Austin Powers, where we find a carefree Bart (Nancy Cartwright) skateboarding naked with his privates coincidentally being covered by prop after prop as he negotiates his way around town. Meanwhile, Lisa (Yeardley Smith) is delivering a lecture entitled “An Irritating Truth” in which she warns her audience about the pressing problem of pollution in Lake Springfield.
The plot and local lake thicken, however, when hapless Homer (Dan Castellaneta) selfishly dumps a silo of pig poop there, anyway, thereby pushing the ecological balance past the tipping point. The government intervenes, and the EPA determines that the level of toxic waste warrants lowering a clear plastic dome over the entire city of Springfield, trapping everybody inside.
It then falls to Homer to save the day, so that through his contrition, epiphany and transformation we might all learn a valuable lesson about commitment to community and appreciating our loved ones. Betwixt and between, nonetheless, the flick is heavily-layered with oodles of trademark Simpson asides, typical being the priceless scene where a bar full of patrons and a church full of parishioners instantly swap places upon hearing the same forecast of certain doom.
Brilliant, if belated, but be forewarned that The Simpsons, the movie, is merely The Simpsons, the television show, only in an extended format. You want more, you got more.

Very Good (3 stars)
Rated PG-13 for double entendres, animated nudity and crude humor.
Running time: 87 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Alternate scenes, deleted scenes, five promo trailers, and audio commentaries by creator Matt Groening, scriptwriter James L. Brooks, the animators, the producers and stars Dan Castellaneta and Yeardley Smith.

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