Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)


It’s been about 10 years in coming, but The Simpsons Movie is finally here.

Homer eyeing my 3-year-old banoffee-pie flavoured Frijj drink
I heartily recommend this product and / or service!And it was an odd feeling sitting in the cinema with my doughnuts and banoffee pie Frijj carton. On the one hand I had high hopes of seeing the greatest episode ever.

On the other, given the sheer epic scale of some of the TV episodes, I had to wonder just what a movie could achieve that the TV show couldn’t.

Even Homer stands up in the opening scene and accuses the audience “I can't believe we're paying to watch something we could see on TV for free! If you ask me, everyone in this theatre is a big sucker!”

But, for the next half an hour, he was wrong.

One thing The Simpsons has always done quite well is church, and at the outset this actually looked like it was going to have some strong spiritual content, just like so many episodes that deal with religious themes so well. Serious story, with extremely funny gags.

Bart: “This is the worst day of my life.”
Homer: (comfortingly)“The worst day of your life so far.

Herschel and meat-flavoured burger
Herschel: “If you can find a greasier sandwich, you’re in Mexico!”

...Look out!  He is a Spider-PIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG!!!
Homer J Simpson: (singing) “Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig. / Does whatever a Spider-Pig does. / Can he swing / from a web? / No he can't, / cause he's a pig. / Look out! / He is a Spider-Pig!”

Mr Burns: “What are you telling us, we’re trapped like rats?”
Russ Cargill: “No, rats can't be trapped this easily, you're trapped like... carrots.”

We (Dave, flatmate Dave, Paul and myself) were laughing out loud almost non-stop, as this threatened to become a classic even more quotable than the dizzying Marge Versus The Monorail.

Then however Springfield got encased in a giant dome that no-one thought to dig under, and with it the storyline shifted away from everyday situations and into much more unreal ones. Don’t get me wrong, the gags were still there, but they were spaced out more and lacked the satirical bite of ordinary everyday life.

Marge and the kids finally leaving Homer was a great move. A massive development that had room here to be explored properly. Unfortunately it happened in the middle of such an unreal situation – with them all on the run from the US government in Alaska – that it consequently just didn’t ring true. How much more harrowing would these scenes have been if Homer had been alone in his living-room and having to face going to work the next day as usual?

To answer my earlier question though, the advantages of the big screen were as follows:

1. Massive crowd shots. The CGI was a little awkward and unfamiliar, (the same way it often is in Futurama) but who cares?

2. The laughs were bigger thanks to the presence of other people to watch with.

3. Err…more time?

Overall, this was a brilliant transition from TV to big screen. The same cast, the same feel, and absolutely no attempt at all was made to introduce the characters to new viewers. It was just like a long episode of the TV show, and in no way felt separate. And the time just flew by.

I wish all TV adaptations could be handled as properly as this was. Oh, wait a minute, they can.

Grampa... watching films in a church?

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