Fantastic Mr. Fox

20th Century Fox

No matter what anyone says, there’s no real downside to being a film critic. Sure the pay could be better and the commenters could be nicer, but there’s no real negative to being able to write about art you love (or you don’t, depending). But opinions change, and while a review should stand as an educated and informed viewpoint on a certain film that viewpoint can sometimes shift over time. What I’m saying my first viewing of Fantastic Mr. Fox back in 2009 left me unmoved and uninterested. Maybe it’s because I was a big fan of Wes Anderson‘s earlier films up until The Darjeeling Limited — which I still dislike strongly — and was disappointed that he moved away from live action. Maybe it’s because I didn’t understand why some of the animal species talk while others (chickens, the beagle) are just dumb animals. Maybe I just had a bad meal that day. I didn’t review the film, but had I done so it probably wouldn’t have been very positive. What I’m saying — for real this time — is that I’m glad those negative thoughts aren’t captured in a review somewhere, because this movie is a cussing gem. Having re-watched the film in the years since I’ve come to appreciate, enjoy and flat out love it, and since today is the five year anniversary I decided it’d be a great commentary to listen to… and this time I was right. Keep reading to see what I heard on […]



We all love to quote our favorite movies. Even my one-year-old son just started uttering “I’ve got it!” all the time, having picked up the phrase from his most-watched movie, Dumbo. I don’t know that it’s the most original or noteworthy piece of dialogue, but he hasn’t seen much yet. Usually the lines we remember and recite are those that stick out for a reason. They don’t always have to be something never heard before, as the quote’s notability could be all about the way it’s delivered by the actor saying it, though most of the time it’s a line specific and exclusive to a certain movie. Even if a hundred scripts since have borrowed “I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” we all know it comes from The Wizard of Oz. Aside from the fact that it gives us something with which to represent our fandom or appreciation of a movie, though, original dialogue isn’t that important. A lot of the time it’s really clever and stylized and therefore wouldn’t likely be found in a film with characters intended to sound natural. Imagine a serious realist drama where someone suddenly said something like “Fasten your seat belts… It’s going to be a bumpy night” or “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” or “I feel the need — the need for speed.” Sometimes original, quotable dialogue is so unnatural that it makes some people cringe, as in the cases of Juno and Napoleon Dynamite. Other times it might […]


Fantastic Mr. Fox Movie

“They say all foxes are slightly allergic to linoleum, but it’s cool to the paw – try it. They say my tail needs to be dry cleaned twice a month, but now it’s fully detachable – see? They say our tree may never grow back, but one day, something will. Yes, these crackles are made of synthetic goose and these giblets come from artificial squab and even these apples look fake – but at least they’ve got stars on them. I guess my point is, we’ll eat tonight, and we’ll eat together. And even in this not particularly flattering light, you are without a doubt the five and a half most wonderful wild animals I’ve ever met in my life. So let’s raise our boxes – to our survival.” Filmmaker Wes Anderson‘s preoccupations may be myriad, but when it comes to building out entirely new, totally whimsical worlds, such obsession is necessary. Details are key. Flourishes are essential. And even characters who appear to run almost totally on vim, vigor, and absolute charm need to eat (for stamina, you see, and also survival and maybe even a jail break or two), and Anderson is more than happy to ply them with frosting and cheap burgers in equal measure. What are some of Anderson’s best cinematic food offerings? Take a bite and taste them for yourself.


Wes Anderson

If there is one thing that filmmaker Wes Anderson excels at (and, yes, he excels at more than just one thing – but this is a poster appreciation piece, not a Wes Anderson appreciation piece, though there’s always time for that later), it’s infusing his films with playful, colorful, and creative imagery, and his ability to do that has only gotten better with time (remember those wonderful YA books from Moonrise Kingdom?). Yesterday’s release of the first poster for his upcoming The Grand Budapest Hotel only speaks to Anderson’s apparent interest in crafting visually rich films that carry over their aesthetic to every piece of related marketing. That’s a florid way of saying that we love that damn poster and we can’t way to see more from the film in that same vein. But until we get more Andersonian posters (perhaps another character poster run, like the charming set from Fantastic Mr. Fox?), we’ve still got plenty of old work to flip back through and admire. Sure, things might have been rough (well, poster-wise) in the beginning of Anderson’s career, but they’re pretty stunning right now. Anderson’s films have, of course, also sparked plenty of alternate poster art – from home video cover art to fan-made one sheets to special edition pieces from established artists – but for this appreciation, we’re going straight theatrical. It’s like being back in the halls of your local multiplex! After the break, take a look at our totally subjective, wholly unscientific ranking of thirteen theatrical movie posters for Wes Anderson’s […]


Rushmore Criterion

The Criterion Collection’s motto makes explicit its devotion to “important classic and contemporary films,” but it’s also clear that the Collection has dedicated itself to the careers of a select group of important classic and contemporary directors. Several prestigious directors have a prominent portion of their careers represented by the collection. Between the Criterion spine numbers and Eclipse box sets, 21 Ingmar Bergman films are represented (and multiple versions of two of these films), ranging from his 1940s work to Fanny and Alexander (and 3 documentaries about him). 26 Akira Kurosawa films have been given the Criterion/Eclipse treatment, and Yashujiro Ozu has 17 films in the collection. Though many factors go into forming the collection, including the ever-shifting issue of rights and ownership over certain titles, it’s hard to argue against the criticism (or, perhaps more accurately, obvious observation) that the films in the Collection represent certain preferences of taste which makes its omissions suspect and its occasionally-puzzling choices fodder for investigation or too predictable to be interesting (two Kurosawa Eclipse sets?). And while the Collection has recently upped its game on the “contemporary” portion of its claim by highlighting modern-day masterpieces like Olivier Assayas’s Carlos and Andrew Haigh’s Weekend, for the most part attempts at forming a complete directorial filmography via within the Collection has typically been reserved for directors whose filmographies have completed. Except, of course, for the case of Wes Anderson.


The Anatomy of a Stunt Driver

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that, at least for tonight, will divert your attention away from it being a slow news day by using a rousing round-up of visual stimuli. That’s right, we’re busting out infographics! We begin tonight with one of a few hot-off-the-press photos from Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, featuring the cast. Among them was this shot of dreamy Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace, also dreamy. There’s also some pretty kick-ass science fictiony stuff promised alongside this oozing sexuality.



Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves stealing Quorn brand faux-chicken nuggets from nasty old farmers. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVDs. So join us each week as he takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs.



The Best Animated Feature category — as you know — celebrates the best of the year’s animated fare. It is also the Academy Awards’ youngest category, first taking root in 2001. It was created ten years after Disney’s Beauty and the Beast became the only animated film to ever be nominated for Best Picture. This year, almost 20 years after Beauty and the Beast and almost ten years after Shrek won the first Best Animated Feature award, we find ourselves once again with a first.



Welcome to Print to Projector, where we feign literacy in order to suggest what we’d like to see slapped onto the big screen. This week, we look at a high school mystery of epic proportions.



In the last month of the past decade, we put our readership through the ringer. We unleashed list after list of our favorites of the decade and the year. And if you can suffer through one more round of awesomeness, it will all be over. For now.



This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we decide never to do the show ever again in 2009.



The year is about over. And while we’re on the cusp of laying down our epic Year in Review, we thought we’d start you off with something easy — a gigantic montage.



The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the nominations for The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards. But that’s not all!



Well, we almost had a big upset at the box office this Thanksgiving, as The Blind Side almost toppled The Twilight Saga: New Moon. The fact that The Blind Side did so well this weekend has to rank as an upset in its own right.



Kevin Carr heads out to the movies this week, making a stop in a fox hole with the Fantastic Mr. Fox, and then moving on to the end of the world.



Kevin and Neil meet up in the Magical Studio in the Sky for an epic show about the end of the world. They gush (sort of) over Roland Emmerich’s movies and dance a jig around how awesome Fantastic Mr. Fox is.



‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ is definitely a Wes Anderson movie; it’s full of whimsy and alienation, and it explores troubled relationships. It’s also animated and about a family of foxes. The combination makes for a unique experience.



George Clooney is currently flying around the world, promoting his three new movies that will hit theaters in the next two months. Yet, that still hasn’t stopped him from finding even more work…



On a very special episode of Reject Radio, mistake guest host Landon Palmer for Bill O’Reilly, get pissed at movie marketing, and Neil has one more margarita than is advisable.

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published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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