Tag Archives: The Muppets

Homemade Horror Christmas Special – Horrific Treats For This Seasonal Time

Buying presents for friends and family at Christmas time can be tricky. Each person wants something unique and it can be tricky to get just the right gift. This can be even harder when your pal is a diehard horror nut. But don’t worry, Grizzly Bomb has you covered with this selection of collectible releases.

There are some old favorites here as well as some new sellers. Though not all of them are festive based, they are sure to bring a smile to any horror fan on Christmas day.

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The Muppets Set for a 2015 Reboot on ABC

It’s time to get things started.

The Muppet Show ran from 1976 through 1981, and stared, among others Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and the always heroic Great Gonzo. Jim Henson’s group of puppets have been icons for near 40 years, and now thanks to Disney, a new generation of fans have fallen in love with Kermit and crew. ABC knows how much of a hot commodity the Muppets are, which is why rumblings of the network rebooting them for a new TV show are making the rounds.

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Brandon Bird and Jim’ll Paint It Reimagines Nostalgia In Their Own Surreal Way

brandon bird art self potraitjim will paint it potrait 1

The internet is a great thing for creative minds. Sure the criticism an artist can receive is a heck of a lot harsher than what a face to face confrontation would be and you need to be ever vigilant of the dreaded trolls who are lurking at every dark corner of the web ready to rip your work apart. However, it does offer numerous benefits such as getting your work out to numerous people on a global scale and having the freedom to do what you like. This freedom has given us some superb pieces of work which when successful, can spread like wild-fire with pop culture fans and internet users alike. There is also freedom to interact with your audience in an instant way which just might not have been possible before. It is these elements of artist freedom that both Brandon Bird and Jim’ll Paint It excel in but they both use this freedom in very different ways.

Brandon Bird may not be a name that you know but his work is instantly recognizable. In fact one image in particular sent the internet into free fall when it came out. It is the image below that most internet users will recognize and it has popped up on numerous message boards and memes and has been embraced by the pop culture universe.

 brandon bird christopher walken art

Brandon comes from California and has worked in some degree in numerous projects, most interestingly helping out the punk rock group the Aqauabats with their merchandise and show designs. The thing that is so great about Brandon’s work is the sheer creativity in his mashups (Peter Dinklage as Wolverine is incredible) but also the childlike innocence behind them. They embrace childhood whether it be the rejection of children you want to play with (Harrison Ford suffers from this in one painting), or the sheer excitement as an adult we get of seeing our childhood icons mixed up in interesting yet somewhat natural feeling ways. They always gel together so well no matter what is getting mashed up or how surreal the outcome. His merchandise enforces this notion with coloring books and adventure kits available that harkens back to a simpler time when we made our own entertainment. It is ironic then that the internet has embraced his artwork so much. Maybe we all just want to remember that feeling of childhood one more time?

 

brandon bird bane art brandon bird fraiser art brandon bird harrison ford art brandon bird highlander art brandon bird pizza art brandon bird wolverine art

Jim’ll Paint It also has close connection to the internet, more accurately it is his audience he relies on for part of his inspiration. Little is known about Jim (other than we think he is called Jim) but it’s what he does that is important. He takes requests from internet users on what to paint, with the more extreme and bizarre  the concept, the better. The love of retro and childhood shows that Brandon has embraced with his art is seen here because Jim’s (mostly) UK audience have looked back into their past for inspiration and got Jim to incorporate these memories into the pop culture icons of the present. So you have Jim Bowen from UK show Bullseye doing his best Thelma and Louis impression while the band TRex and Jurassic Park combine together to form a stunning visual piece. But it is not just retro stuff Jim excels in; his audience throw anything at him from Christian Bale watching over Ben Affleck’s version of Batman to Voldemort becoming happy he found a can of coke with his name on it. The great thing is though the audience give him the idea it is Jim’s incredible mind that puts it all together and gives his own unique spin on it. It is always an incredible experience to read what the person has requested and then see Jim’s surrealist version of it.

jim will paint it ash jim will paint it batman jim will paint it black knight jim will paint it bullseye jim will paint it father ted jim will paint it grease jim will paint it muppets jim will paint it robocop jim will paint it t rex jim will paint it voldemort

Both Jim and Brandon have their own websites where you can buy their products and also look for Jim’s Facebook page where you can check out more of his fans requests. If you want to see your favourite pop culture icons engaged in ways you never imagined possible, then keep checking out these guys work as they continue to create incredible pieces every week or so.

James Hance’s Relentlessly Cheerful Art

Relentlessly Cheerful Art is the name of artist James Hance’s website (As well as the title of this article. Clever, eh?) and it also happens to best describe his work. But before looking at his stuff it may be best if we get to know the man and who better to do that than his own UK website?

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Hillary White Geeks Out Some Iconic Impressionist Art

Hillary White is a mash-up artist with a difference. She has taken some classic pieces of artwork (Rembrandt, Monet and Van Gogh are just a few of the artists she has tackled) and given a pop culture spin to them. Here is how she describes herself:

“I am a Maine native, born from the salty depths of a bubbling cauldron overflowing with 80’s pop culture, classical art and Alice in Wonderland. I spend most of my time painting classical art and pop culture classics and designing T-Shirts” — Hillary White

This means we get to see Muppets pose in iconic artistic poses while Freddy Kruger stalks the streets of a very famous painting. It is visual breathtaking to see these paintings re-imagined through Hillary’s eyes and even if you do not know the artist you will no doubt recognize the art or just the style of the piece. When comparing them to the originals you notice that Hillary has kept everything  that was incredible about these original paintings and skilfully added her choice of pop culture characters so perfectly that they fit right into the art they have been placed into. As a fan of low-budget Horror movies it is great to see some unexpected but very welcome cameos by slightly obscure icons such as the creatures from Ghoulies and C.H.U.D! Below is an example of a few of this reviewers favorites but look at her Society 6 page because she has tons more and a lot of them are for sale.

These would look great on any fan boy or girl’s wall.

Not only does Hillary do these types of mash-ups above, she also makes her own more traditional mash-up art and just to finish the article off her is an example of some of her better pieces. The great mix of different types of pop culture makes each piece of her work visually stunning. So if you like her work then look at her Deviant Art page  for even more examples of artwork and her up and coming work.

 

‘Muppets’ Sequel in the Works, Segel Not Writing

A sequel to the November hit musical, The Muppets, is moving into development after an announcement from Walt Disney confirmed the film. Director James Bobin and screenwriter Nicholas Stoller will be returning, but it seems as if Jason Segel won’t be returning for another round of writing for the sequel. This isn’t to say that he still won’t co-star, but he cites his commitments to “How I Met Your Mother”, as well as other projects he’s working on, as the reason he’s not returning as writer.

Now, Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel have been collaborators for quite a long time. Stoller directed Segel’s screenplay for Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and then took over as writer and director for the spin-off, Get Him To The Greek. Both of those films are absolutely hilarious, so I have no fear that The Muppets sequel won’t be great. My hope is that Segel will return to star in the sequel, and that Bret McKinzie will also return as composer. I mean, the guy won an Oscar for “Man or Muppet”, he probably has a pretty good incentive to come back, right?


Images: Disney, The Muppets

2012 Oscar Nominations are Out! Cue the Fart Sounds!

Today around 8:30 am Eastern time, the 2012 Academy Award Nominations were announced by the lovely Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique Jr.) and some old guy I did not want to research his name or title on.

With that, talking to the good Dr. Kronner, I think on my end, it basically ended in a few shrugs. He was bit more incensed because his beloved Fast Five [LIES!] was not nominated because the Academy does not recognize ‘general public movies’. The list is typical with the favorites (The Artist, The Descendants) while a few pleasant surprises entered in (seriously, go watch A Better Life and Demián Bichir’s performance) and then a few what-whats?! (see: 9/11 movie I refuse to mention).

Martin Scorcese’s Hugo leads the way with 11 noms, followed by the movie no one wants the see that everyone should see – The Artist with 10 nominations. I am sure there will be a post on what we all thing got snubbed (where the crap is Drive?), and who does not belong (according to the good Doctor, Bridesmaids doesn’t deserve to be part of the party, so debate away) so I will not go into major detail about those. All I know is there is a reason for the comments section below so have it…

With that, I have your nominees for the 2012 Oscars on February 26th via EW because I like copy & paste:

Continue reading 2012 Oscar Nominations are Out! Cue the Fart Sounds!

#16 – Countdown to Christmas: THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL

“Old Henson was dead as a doornail. This must be distinctly understood or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.”

I might have just committed blasphemy in multiple ways with that mixing of the first two sentences from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (1843) and the fact that Jim Henson had passed away before The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) was created. However, I find it only appropriate considering that was the first Muppet movie made after Jim Henson’s death in 1990. It was the first movie in which the infamous Kermit the Frog was voiced by someone other than Jim. A fact that still slows my mind.

It is with this in mind that I recount the Muppets’ version of the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly old money-lender with a certain disdain for the Christmas Spirit.

Narrated by the unflappable Gonzo the Great, with the help of Rizzo the Rat, the tale begins in the hub-bub of 19th century London, where, amongst a mixed choir of people and Muppets, we are introduced to old E. Scrooge. This version of Scrooge is played by the living legend Michael Caine.  Caine’s Scrooge is as grumpy and unlikeable as George C. Scott’s 1984 television version, but here you don’t think that Scrooge would do well in North Africa.(Sidenote: George Carlin was at one point considered for the role of Scrooge. That would have been different).

The musical continues with the introduction of the Muppet mainstay, Kermit the Frog. This is the first feature length film in which Jim Henson has not performed the voice of Kermit. Henson is replaced (though there is no replacing him) by Steve Whitmire.  While geeks like me may get caught up in the change, the reality is that the spirit of Jim Henson still flows through the character.

The plot of “A Christmas Carol” stays fairly true to the Dickens’ work, thanks to the addition of Gonzo as the narrator. Brian Henson (Jim’s son), a director, made the decision to use Gonzo as the narrator to pay homage to the brilliance of Dickens’ descriptions and phrasings. The other option, according to the bonus features on the DVD, were to use Gonzo as the Ghost of Christmases yet to come. His nose would have stuck out from the hooded cloak. I’m glad they went with the narrator idea. Good job folks.

While the story is unfolded before us, the audience is given the classic mix of heart-felt family values, silly physical comedy, and witty (and often adult content) dialogue that is expected from the Muppets. Also we are treated to the fact that Michael Caine can’t sing, which is hilarious to me.

I give this movie 4 out of 5.

I leave you with this tid-bit:

‘Robert Marley’ is a character added to the Muppets version along with Jacob Marley. This is to accommodate Statler and Waldorff  (the old guys on the balcony). Robert Marley….Bob Marley. Bob Marley surrounded by ‘wailing’ cash boxes. Oh, I get it.

Muppet Christmas Carol

Grizzly Review: The Muppets

Reminiscing is a lot of fun. No, really, it is. Everyone loves sitting around, talking about the good ol’ days with his or her family. Granted a lot of them eat their feelings later, but hey! That’s definitely not the point I’m trying to make here. My point is, everyone’s up for a good amount of nostalgia. You don’t need to be looking all deep into the specifics of it, just agree with me and move on.

Nostalgia takes some not-so-human form in Jason Segel’s reboot of The Muppets. Bringing back all of the familiar faces that we know and love, The Muppets succeeds on so many levels that it’s hard to count them all, but I will try. First off, the writing and jokes are absolutely wonderful. 2011 has been a great year for good-hearted family comedies, and The Muppets is no exception. It appeals to both fans of the original show (AKA Parents) and the knee-knockers who don’t know what the hell a Muppet is (AKA their Children). The perfect blend of wit and slapstick pretty much guarantees an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Puppet animation has come a long way since the 1979 The Muppet Movie, and it definitely reveals itself in the form of legs.

That’s right, folks. The Muppets now have legs that come in handy (no pun intended) during the equally elaborate and hilarious dance sequences that take place in various parts of the film. The songs are catchy, the lyrics are ingenious, and the result is a musical that even musical haters such as myself will enjoy.

The plot is familiar; the Muppets need to put on a telethon to save the Muppet Theater. It’s something we’ve seen before, but I think it’s the only plot that would’ve worked. It brings back memories to older viewers regarding similar scenarios, but is also simple and enjoyable enough for the young ones. More importantly, the Muppets themselves are brought to life by fantastic voice acting and even better puppeteers. You really connected with the characters on a whole new plateau. In this case, the Muppets seemed more human than the actual humans.

And who can forget the cameos! There’s an insane amount of star cameos in this movie. More than I’d even care to name. It really does keep you on your toes the entire time, seeing who just might pop up next.

Everything in The Muppets is near flawless, and it really is a welcome return for the lovable puppets. Also, I got to hear Chris Cooper rap. This is something I never thought I’d see. I think I can now die peacefully.

4.5/5 Bears