Muppets Most Wanted (Blu-ray Review)

Muppets-Most-WantedThe Muppets was a ceremonious return of our Jim Henson puppeteered crew of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzy Bear, Gonzo and all our Muppet pals.  It was also a pretty sweeping success, so of course with there was going to be a sequel.  However, Jason Segel made it clear he was one-and-done so he was out.  Where to go next?  Well, they decided the Muppets are the star so lets just make a movie more focused on them.  The budget was kept similar but the results didn’t yield as much of the success as the former.  It managed to make just under half the what the first one did worldwide.  Luckily, as I said the budget was kept in check.  Will this be the last we see of our beloved Muppets for a while or is there enough belief to give it another go?  We’ll have to see.  But today, let’s talk about this sequel, Muppets Most Wanted.

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Picking up where we last left off with The Muppets, its time for a sequel!  But what would that entail.  Kermit and gang end up agreeing to go on a world tour to celebrate their comeback with the help of new agent Dominic Badguy.  Badguy has another agenda though.  After his cohort Constantine breaks out of maximum security prison and swaps places with Kermit, they will rob art museums on a quest to find the Crown Jewels of England during the Muppet performances.  Kermit meanwhile needs to figure out how to escape from prison and prove to everyone that he is not Constantine.

There’s a sort of flip flop with this movie when you jump from The Muppets to Muppets Most Wanted.  The former was a movie about the Muppets.  Most Wanted is for all intents and purposes a straight up Muppet Movie…if that makes any sense.  Its akin more to The Great Muppet Caper and the like where you have a fully fictional Muppet tale led by the Muppets and getting more into zany Muppet antics.  The previous film seemed almost a colorful drama about the Muppets regrouping.  This is just the Muppets having fun.  To clarify, I guess you would say The Muppets was a great film, Muppets Most Wanted is a really good Muppet movie.

Joining up with the Muppets this time are Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Ty Burrell.  Ricky Gervais has the most screentime of all of them and he really fits right in with the Muppets.  Gervais plays things in his own style of straight man, but feels incredibly comfortable with the Muppets in an almost “been there before” kind of fashion.  Tina Fey and Ty Burrell’s roles are much more steeped in camp.  But, they are also really fun roles that throwback to times long forgotten in comedies.  They both are wonderfully committed and bring a sense of vintage charm to both silly roles they’ve taken on.

There’ much more musical numbers in this new Muppet tale.  Most of them are pretty cute and work within the context of the film.  Although, I’m not sure most, if any, are going to stick with you after you’ve left the theater.  There are also a cover or two and some fun surprise musical cameos to accompany things.  While the particular songs may not be entirely memorable, they do prove to be plenty of fun and full of character.  The music also moves the plot along in a fun way that never has you feeling bored.

The Muppets receiving focus in this film was pretty impressive.  They seemed to realize who had a lot of focus in the previous film and rotated a new set of the old favorites to come front and center this time around.  It kept the film feeling fresh and new.  If there is a third adventure in this new Muppet era, I can only hope they put another rotation through and we mix and match and bring more oldies to the forefront.

Muppets Most Wanted is a fun and funny movie for those of all ages.  Know that its a departure from the film previous, but if you’re a Muppet fan (which if you’re watching this I’m sure) you’re getting something you are used to.  Its a pleasing, enjoyable Muppet-focused adventure that I hope we’ll be able to have time and time again.  A great film for the family.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  The quality on this Blu-ray is outstanding.  The image is sharp and well defined.  Every ounce of Muppet fabric is visible as well as each piece of hair follicle.  Surfaces, such as wet pavement look pretty amazing.  You could almost reach out and touch a Muppet.

Depth:  Depth is great here.  With Muppets popping up all over the place, its on display throughout the movie.  Some of the best examples come from shots of the audience watching the stage show as you gain a real sense of a 3 dimensional playhouse.

Black Levels:  Blacks are good and inky and help with defining objects and people.  Not really much is masked or hidden by black at all.

Color Reproduction:  Muppets Most Wanted is bursting with color.  Every color of every Muppet is popping right off the screen.  There’s also a great variation in color and equal focus on them.

Flesh Tones:  Skin is consistent throughout.  Detail on people is incredible.  You can see where makeup is covering a gash on someone’s skin.  Ty Burrell’s stubble is visible and detailed whether its a close up or a far away shot (and its very light stubble too).

Noise/Artifacts:  Clean as a Walter whistle.



Audio Format(s):  English 7.1 DTS-HD HR, English 2.0 Audio Descriptive Video Service, Spanish 5.1 DD (Theatrical Cut Only)

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: This is an incredibly dynamic and diverse 7.1 track.  Voice, sounds and score all fly around at different ranging volumes and never get in the way of one another.  Sounds are crisp and distinct.

Low Frequency Extension:  Plenty of extra enhancement on explosions, crashes and musical numbers.

Surround Sound Presentation:  There is action all over the place.  This is mixed really well, feeling like a concert during a musical number and giving a great sense of environment when its just a regular scene.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is clean and clear.  Nicely loud and audible.

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Muppets Most Wanted comes with a DVD copy of the film as well as a Disney Anywhere Digital Copy.

The Unnecessarily Extended Cut – A 12 minute longer cut of the film featuring some deleted and extended material.

The Statler And Waldorf Cut (HD, 1:42) – As seen here on Why So Blu?, this short cut of the film approved by Statler And Waldorf that features just one of their scenes and then the credits roll.

The Longer Longest Blooper Real In Muppets History (HD, 9:45) – A montage of actual goofs and staged bloopers from the film.

Rizzo’s Biggest Fan (HD, 2:47) – Rizzo types a letter to the producers as if he’s someone else, complaining about his lack of screentime in the film.

“I’ll Get You What You Want” Music Video Performed By Bret McKenzie (HD, 3:18)

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Muppets Most Wanted comes straight for you with a perfect sound and video presentation.  The extras are very very weak on here, though.  However, the movie is strong enough itself and will provide plenty of replay value.  And if you have kids, they’re gonna love it and watch it over and over.  And for the collector, yes, go and buy it.  The quality of the film and presentation of it are first and foremost and they are top notch here.  This is a pretty easy to recommend Blu-ray title.

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