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MUPPETS FROM SPACE ($25) is a hilarious blast that kids, as well as adults, are certain to love. Like any good Muppet movie, MUPPETS FROM SPACE is filled with the zany antics of characters that we have all come to know and love. The plot is centered on the somewhat odd looking Gonzo, who is the midst of a personal crisis. It seems that Gonzo has no sense of identity, since he canít quite figure out what species of animal to which he belongs. Then, out of the blue, Gonzo receives a message from his breakfast cereal informing him that he is an alien and that the other members of his race are coming in search of him.

Of course, none of the other Muppets believe his story, but Gonzo is undeterred and lets his "people" know where to find him by mowing a giant "I am here" into the front lawn of their home. Gonzoís giant message also get the attention of a secret government agency that wants nothing more than to get their hands on some real, live aliens. However, the kicker comes when Gonzo makes an appearance on television announcing that he is an alien. As quick as you can say MEN IN BLACK, Gonzo and his best friend Rizzo the Rat are being carried off to a secret government lab for experimentation. With their friends in a jam, itís up to Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the Muppets to save Gonzo and Rizzo from a horrible fate. In addition to those ever loving characters, the cast of MUPPETS FROM SPACE also features Jeffrey Tambor, F. Murray Abraham, Rob Schneider, Josh Charles, Ray Liotta, David Arquette, Andie MacDowell, Pat Hingle, Hollywood Hogan and the very talented Frank Oz.

Columbia TriStar Home Video has done an outstanding job bringing MUPPETS FROM SPACE to DVD. The dual sided DVD offers both a full screen presentation, as well as a superb 16:9 enhanced rendering of the film. The kids may not mind the full screen version, but the adults will want to watch the gorgeous wide screen presentation, which restores the filmís 1.85:1 theatrical framing. Thanks to the excellent transfer, MUPPETS FROM SPACE is absolutely stunning on DVD. The image is razor sharp and finely detailed. Colors almost explode off the screen, but the richly saturated hues never betray any signs of chroma noise or bleeding. As for the human performers, their flesh tones appear very healthy. Blacks accurately reproduced and the image has excellent contrast. There are no traces of digital compression artifacts on this well authored DVD.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack is really great, far better than one usually gets from a comedy- especially one where the stars arenít human. Of course, one wonít find an overwhelming number of directional effects, but this isnít an action movie. There is a big, open forward soundstage, and the rear channels are effectively deployed when required. Dialogue is always clean and intelligible, plus the music is very well integrated into the mix. The opening musical number really kicks. A Dolby Surround soundtrack is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English subtitles.

The interactive menus are fairly basic, but they have a cute design. Through the menu system, one can access the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the DVDís supplements. Topping the list of extras is a "live" video commentary that places the participants in front of the screen, ala MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000. Director Tim Hill, Gonzo, Rizzo and Kermit participate in the commentary, which is almost funnier than the movie itself. This is track an absolute must listen- Gonzo and Rizzo will leave you in stitches. No, this track isnít full of insight about the making of the film; it exists purely for entertainment value! Supplements also include an Outtakes Reel, a music video for the song Shining Star by the Dust Brothers, theatrical trailers and talent files.

MUPPETS FROM SPACE is a completely delightful movie, plus the DVD is a certified winner. Absolutely recommended.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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