An oldie but goodie – There’s something to be said about just having a good time at the movies.  All too often nowadays, we get caught up with all the publicity and buzz that goes along with Hollywood films.  So, it’s nice to go to the theater and see a genuine story on the big screen, because very few ever make it that far. Sure, this might all be for fun at its heart, but that’s all the more reason to lift it up, as it’s rare to find a more honest film than “The Muppets.”What’s this one about? Considering it’s been over 12 years since we last saw our fuzzy friends, it’s hard to know what would have been the “perfect” story, but I think the writers got it right in playing up the lost hope and emptiness each of the Muppets had somewhere inside them.  Only they would need inspiration to find that, so who better than a fan to being them back together? That fan, you ask, was none other than the closet Muppet himself, Walter (Peter Linz), brother of Gary (Jason Segel) who just wanted to find his place in life. So, when Gary pitched the idea of leaving ‘Smalltown’ to go out west to see the once infamous Muppets Studio and Theater with him and his longtime girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams), Walter was beside himself.  He would finally get to see where all the magic went down, but not too long into the tour of Kermit’s old stomping grounds, Walter overhears Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) and his plan to destroy the studio in order to drill oil. Devastated, Walter runs to tell Gary and Mary, who help devise a plan to end this threat by staging ‘The Greatest Muppet Telethon Ever.’ Of course with any Muppet telethon, you would need Muppets, so they went to the only one who had the power to get the gang back together, Kermit the Frog (Steve Whitmire).  And the rest, as they say, is history as the journey they all took together to save the studios would not only bring a new generation of fans to their show, it would reinvigorate each of their own lives one last time, proving that it’s never too late to start over.Who was in it? Besides all the Muppets who obviously make their impact known, there actually was quite the cast to this film. Sure, Jason Segal clearly led this cast of characters through whatever he wanted to lead them through and Amy Adams proved to be quite the partner in crime, but this was not their movie. It wasn’t even a movie for all the cameos, which were more than you realized. Nope, it was the Muppets film to shine in and they did just that, showing that 12 years is not as long as it sounds. Yeah, we have a whole new generation that has no clue who these so-called Muppets are, but that’s all the more reason to take them to the theater to watch these hilarious creatures. Because at the core of all of this is a legitimate story and message, which Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Gonzo, Beaker, Floyd Pepper, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Janice, Scooter and Walter all deliver almost flawlessly.  A mindful asset – Many people have no clue who Jason Segel is and where he comes from. Sure, they may recognize him and say something like, “Hey, there’s that funny guy from, what’s that movie again?”  You see, Segel isn’t a household name yet, but with more work like this, he might just be as I couldn’t have been more impressed with what he did here. As the driving force behind this idea, Segel made sure he honored Jim Henson and all the things that he loved about The Muppets as a kid. That was key, as I doubt this film would have felt as fresh without it. Because part of what drew you in was how forgotten the Muppets were now and the difficult task Kermit and co. had in bringing the gang back together again.  That’s what I liked about it and why I feel Jason Segel deserves a lot of credit, as without him, I doubt I would even be writing this sentence.  It’s just sad it took an actor to finally get this done the right way, which I think Segel did.Going back to the way it used to be done was brilliant in my mind, choosing not to make it too perfect with CGI or some other special effect.  This, what I like to call ‘old-school’ puppetry directed by James Bobin, was nice to see for a change and was real honest at the end of the day.  All the unheralded emotion that I used to feel as a kid watching the Muppets was brought back to life with how this film looked and felt.  That’s big, because I was never a huge fan, given the original film came out two years after I was born.  So, obviously with re-runs and sequels years later, I was brought in and I like that kids now will get to experience some of that same magic with singing, dancing and acting goofy. That’s fun and frankly lost with all the so-called perfection that Hollywood is pushing around these days.Bottom Line – It’s hard to say where “The Muppets” will ultimately fall, but I certainly was pleasantly surprised making this my early must-see pick of the holiday season. So, whether you are a fan of the old or new, this version of the Muppets does not disappoint, proving it’s never too late to reinvent the magic. A- Want more from Marcus? Click here