The Blu-ray and DVD release of My Week With Marilyn has us ruminating a bit. When you think of a "blonde bombshell," with all connotations of physical idealization and centerfold lasciviousness, you immediately picture Marilyn Monroe. In her Oscar-nominated performance Michelle Williams portrays Monroe a person of complexity, not separating her from her timeless sex-symbol status, but instead contextualing her sexuality as place as just one element both her public and private personas.
It's a performance and a representation that calls for a different notion of the blonde bombshell, one not quite so exclusively dependent on physical perfection.
We might have simply trotted out a list of every gorgeous, captivating blonde from Brigitte Bardot to Adrianne Palicki. Indeed we could've, but for this Rogue 10, we have instead focused on fictional characters who aren't bombshells because they're blonde, but are noteworthy bombshells who happen to be blonde. These are blonde bombshells who do more than simply stun you with stupendous glamor and gorgeousness, they stop you dead with something special.
Actor/comedian/musician Bret McKenzie recently earned his first Oscar nomination for writing the song "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets, which was nominated for Best Original Song at this year's Academy Awards. This marks the first time that a Muppet film has been nominated for Best Original Song since '1981s The Great Muppet Caper. This year also marks the first time that the Academy has decided to only nominate two songs in this category, which usually includes three to five nominations. McKenzie's sole competition comes from musical legend Sergio Mendes who wrote "Real in Rio" from the movie Rio.
Before being hired as the music supervisor for The Muppets, McKenzie was best known as one half of the Grammy Award winning musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords along with his partner Jemaine Clement, who incidentally also wrote music for Rio. The two New Zealand natives eventually went on to make a name for themselves in the United States with their extremely popular HBO series, aptly titled Flight of the Conchords. The multi-talented performer will next be seen as the elf Lindir in fellow New Zealander Peter Jackson's highly anticipated Lord of the Rings prequels The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and The Hobbit: There And Back Again.
IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Bret McKenzie on the Disney lot in Los Angeles to discuss his work on The Muppets and his Oscar nomination for "Man or Muppet." The talented musician discussed working on the film, composing its music, what it feels like to suddenly be an Oscar nominee, why he thinks it was nominated over other songs from the film, his inspiration for the Oscar nominated song, why he's glad there are only two nominees in his category this year, what his Oscar performance would have been like had the Academy not decided to cancel the musical performances from the television broadcast, his favorite Muppet and why, who is the most difficult Muppet to work with, and adapting his Flight of the Conchords style of music for The Muppets.
Since becoming managing editor of IAR in March, I have had the immense pleasure of interviewing legendary film directors like Francis Ford Coppola, Oscar winning actors like Nicolas Cage, iconic public figures like Bobby Kennedy Jr., and even classic fictional characters like Tigger and Winnie the Pooh. But nothing can compare to the absolute childlike excitement I had when I got to interview Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy about their new film The Muppets, which will be in theaters on November 23rd.
In The Muppets, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, Scooter, Rowlf, Beaker, the Swedish Chef, Sam the Eagle, and the whole gang make their triumphant return to the silver screen for the first time in over twelve years. In the film, Gary (Jason Segel) and his brother, a Muppet named Walter travel to California with Gary’s girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) and discover a plot by an evil oil tycoon (Chris Cooper) to destroy the Muppet Theater and dig for oil buried underneath. Gary, Mary and Walter locate Kermit to tell him the devastating news about the theater and that in order to save it, they must come up with $10 million dollars. Kermit realizes that the only way to save the theater is to put on “The Greatest Muppet Telethon Ever” and with the help of his new friends, sets out to reunite the Muppets, who've all gone their separate ways over the years.
I recently had a childhood dream come true when I was given the opportunity to sit down with Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy to discuss their new film, The Muppets. We were joined by the latest addition to the Muppet family, Walter, as well as a few other members of the press. While I have included audio of the interview in its entirety below, the following is a summary of my own conversation with Mr. the Frog and the ravishing Miss Piggy. The two iconic characters talked about their new film, their impressive dramatic performances, early Oscar buzz, Kermit’s most emotional scene, his friendship with Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy’s martial arts training, her duet with Amy Adams, how she avoids the paparazzi, where the Muppets will be spending Thanksgiving, and of course … Kermit and Piggy’s very special relationship.
Opening in theaters on November 23rd his the highly awaited and triumphant theatrical return of The Muppets in an all-new film named after the beloved characters created by the late Jim Henson. The Muppets marks the lovable group's first theatrical film in over twelve years and features all your favorite characters including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal, Scooter, Rowlf the Dog, Swedish Chef, Sam the Eagle, Beaker, Crazy Harry, Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Zoot, Statler and Waldorf, and introducing the newest Muppet ... Walter.
The Muppets was co-written by Nick Stoller and Jason Segal (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), directed by James Bobin (HBO's Flight of the Conchords), and features original songs written by Flight of the Conchords member Bret McKenzie. In addition to the Muppets themselves, the film stars Segal, Academy Award-nominated actress Amy Adams (The Fighter), Academy Award-winning actor Chris Cooper (The Town), and Rashida Jones (The Social Network), as well as appearances by Jack Black (School of Rock), Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada), Zach Galifianakis (Puss in Boots), musician Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), political strategist James Carville (The War Room), Neil Patrick Harris (The Smurfs), Kristen Schaal (Toy Story 3), Sarah Silverman (Peep World), Academy Award-winners Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) and Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost), and living legend Mickey Rooney (National Velvet).
IAR's managing editor Jami Philbrick recently had a chance to sit down with co-writer and executive producer Nick Stoller to discuss his work on The Muppets. Stoller talked about the new film, which Muppets he knew he had to focus on in the script, a missed opportunity with James Carville and Sam the Eagle, a missing scene featuring Dave Grohl and Animal, the return of Uncle Deadly (The Phantom of the Muppet Theater), developing the film's original songs, Chris Cooper's rap, and Walter's "unique" talent.
Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, and the rest of the Muppets possess a rare quality – impossible to reduce simply to cuteness or calculation – that reduces anyone and everyone to gleeful, wide-eyed children. A new clip from The Muppets doesn't contain any of the familiar Muppet crew, it instead introduces the film's human lead, Gary, played by Jason Segel, and his best friend Walter, who is puppeteered and voiced by Muppets and Sesame Street veteran Peter Linz. Appropriately enough, both characters are basically wide-eyed children, sporting cartoonish pajamas and generally behaving as though they've never had a malicious, unwholesome thought in their lives.
The clip is most set-up, as Gary surprises Walter with an invite to join him and his equally-wholesome squeeze Mary, played by Amy Adams, on their trip to Los Angeles. From there, it's all exposition, establishing Walter as a massive Muppets fan and ominously foreshadowing the current, disused state of the Muppet Studios.
Hey, did you know that The Muppets is just about a month away from release? At this time next months, we'll be on the cusp of witnessing the theatrical return of Jim Henson's creations for their first big screen outing since Muppets from Space bowed at the end of last century. Hopefully, the new movie will righteously return the Muppets to their cinematic golden age, which began with The Muppet Movie in 1979 and extended to The Muppets Take Manhattan in 1984. While we wait for the new film to drop, Disney has debuted four new character posters for The Muppets, each featuring two familiar characters and promising some essential element like "romance." One has Fozzie Bear and the Swedish Chef, another includes Animal and Gonzo, and a third highlights Statler and Waldorf. The fourth is for Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.
In this November's The Muppets, Kermit and the rest of Jim Henson's beloved puppet-creations will once again belt out many a song, this time to save their beloved Muppet Theater from a buyout by the greedy oil tycoon Tex Richman (Chris Cooper). The film's musical supervisor is Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords, so The Muppets will surely contain new music that is both catchy and amusing.
In anticipation of the the impending Season of the Muppets, though, Disney is releasing an album, Muppets: The Green Album, which features familiar Muppets songs covered by popular bands, including Weezer, Alkaline Trio, OK Go, The Fray, My Morning Jacket, and The Airborne Toxic Event. The whole album is streaming for free online, so you can find out what Weezer and Hayley Williams' version of "The Rainbow Connection" sounds like.
For twelve years, Jim Henson's beloved Muppet creations have laid more or less dormant, not having starred in their own movie since Muppets From Space, though they have made a number of television appearances in the likes of The Muppets Wizard of Oz and a couple Christmas specials. This fall, though, The Muppets return to the big screen, with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Animal, Fozzie Bear, The Swedish Chef, and the rest of the gang putting on a proper show to save the Muppet Theater. After three amusing parody teaser trailers, Disney has finally released a full theatrical trailer for The Muppets, and the whole gang is in attendance, along with Jason Segel and Amy Adams.