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Yesterday afternoon, I saw The Simpsons Movie. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.
Anyone who is a fan of animation (like me) has no doubt heard of The Simpsons. It's an animated 'sitcom' that's been running on Fox for 18 years now. I think it's the longest running animated sitcom of all time. Frankly, I'm surprised it's still on the air. I used to be a huge fan of the show years ago. In it's early years, it was one of the funniest shows on TV. The problem is, in the last 5-10 years or so, it went from being funny, to just plain dumb. The best part about the show was the tons of 'in-jokes' that they would throw into every episode. There would be sight gags that go by very fast, lots of references to obscure books and movies, etc. It was great. The writing has gone seriously downhill though. Years ago, South Park replaced The Simpsons as my favorite animated comedy. South Park just had better writing and was a lot funnier. I have to say, though that the Simpsons movie was pretty good. The writing was clearly better on this one.
The movie opens with a really funny opening sequence. We see a big, elaborate Itchy & Scratchy cartoon. Itchy & Scratchy are a cartoon cat and mouse who have been killing each other violently on the show for years. Bart watches this show on TV. It's an obvious parody of the old Tom & Jerry cartoons. After watching the whole Itchy & Scratchy sequence, we suddenly see the Simpsons sitting in the chairs of a movie theater. They were at the movies watching an Itchy & Scratchy movie. Homer's first comment is to complain that he can't believe people would pay to see something at the movies that they can see for free on TV, refering to the movie, but obviously refering to the Simpsons movie that the real audience is watching. A nice shot.
Another really funny scene is when Homer dares Bart to skateboard naked. We are then treated to a long, elaborate skateboarding scene where Bart skates around in the nude, with hundreds of conveniently placed items to hide any 'private parts'. After several frenzied minutes of this, there is a brief scene that totally reverses this hiding and shows ONLY his private parts, very briefly (in a very cartoonish way). It was all a very funny setup.
All in all, I gotta say I was impressed. It was a very entertaining movie. Was it the funniest movie I'd ever seen? No, but it was quite good.