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'The Muppets,' 'Shame': Critics had their say--what do you think?

December 5, 2011 |  5:55 pm

The Muppets
Visitors to the multiplex this last weekend who weren't looking for vampire romance found themselves with a couple of very different options: the family fun of the Jason Segel-led musical comedy "The Muppets" and the NC-17-rated sex addict drama "Shame," starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. We're curious to hear what you think of these divergent but well received films.

"The Muppets," which Segel co-wrote with Nicholas Stoller and stars in with Amy Adams, has delighted many critics. The Times' Betsy Sharkey wrote of the film, "There are a few stumbles, but not too many, and by the time [protagonists] Gary and Walter get to a showstopping number that asks the burning question — 'Am I a man, or a Muppet?' — you are completely hooked."

24 Frames previously noted that the reboot of the beloved franchise raised the question of whether the Muppets' good-natured, old-fashioned charm would resonate with today's audiences, but the "rainbow connection" appears to have succeeded.

A commenter on 24 Frames, James Kingmill, wrote, "The film was great. My whole family loved and my wife and I loved the trip down memory lane. We also laughed quite a bit!" Commenter Jenni Klaus echoed the sentiment: "I saw it today and the kids behind me clapped, laughed and 'awwwwwwwwed' through the entire film. Me? Well, my face just hurt from grinning so much and my cheeks ended up a little damp."

At the other end of the emotional spectrum, "Shame" opened Friday in select theaters to solid reviews and box office numbers. A dark tale about a solitary sex addict whose routine is upset by the sudden appearance of his troubled sister, "Shame" has earned praise for powerful performances by Fassbender and Mulligan. Times film critic Kenneth Turan wrote that "Shame" is "difficult to watch but even harder to turn away from."

Regarding the film's rare NC-17 rating, British director Steve McQueen told 24 Frames he feels the taboo notion is out of date. "What we did in this film is tame compared to what you can get on the Internet," he said. "The debate [about sex] should not be about cinema."

Commenter Jay Floyd agreed, writing, "I hope this film is a wild success. The idea that adults like movies too needs to be driven home in every way possible."

What do you think about "The Muppets" and "Shame"? Does the former live up to the Muppets' legacy? Is "Shame" being overshadowed by its rating? Give us your opinion in the comments below.


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— Oliver Gettell

Photo: Walter, Jason Segel and Amy Adams in "The Muppets." Credit: Scott Garfield / Disney Enterprises