DVD Review: Fantastic Mr. Fox

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Reviewing a filmmaker’s swing at the children’s genre is usually pretty difficult and on par with reviewing a musician’s Christmas record and trying to make sense of it with the rest of their catalogue.  However, Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” is not like most children’s films.

“Fox,” is based on the children’s book by Roald Dahl, best known for writing “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”  However, when you see this latest adaptation, you wonder if it wasn’t written especially for Wes Anderson.

Mr. Fox is a sly, cunning, witty, quick, entertaining and enjoyable kind of character.  A life-long thief, he volunteers to stop his career after his wife tells him that she’s pregnant.  He takes up writing a column in the local paper.  However, this life of tranquility doesn’t last too long before Mr. Fox is compelled to take up his criminal activity, this time stealing from Boggis, Bunce and Bean, three farmers who do not take kindly to the thefts.

Adapting the book along with Noah Baumbach, Anderson made some changes to the story, adding what is now a familiar theme of sons trying to please their fathers.  The ending of the movie is also different, but is based on an original ending that Anderson found in Dahl’s notes.  And while the movie is an adaptation, there is so much of it that reeks of Anderson’s self-written work.  “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” is a movie that revels in the details.  From Mr. Fox dressing very similar to Anderson himself, to the decision to shoot the movie at 12 frames a second instead of 24, allowing you to clearly see the fur of the animals move as the animating process was going on.  Anderson wants fingerprints on this movie and he gets it.  It’s what makes the movie so rich.  You can feel the presence of Anderson and his animators behind the camera.

The voices are also wonderful, provided by some of Anderson’s usual cast, some featuring new additions to the world that he’s building.  George Clooney is Mr. Fox, and Meryl Streep is Mrs. Fox.  Jason Schwartzman plays Ash, the Foxes son, and Bill Murray plays Badger, Mr. Fox’s attorney.  (Also look for a rabbit wearing an orange neckerchief.  His voice is done by celebrity chef Mario Batali.)

It may not be for some children, (those who don’t like discussions of existentialism, for example,) or some adults, (those who can’t loose themselves in Anderson’s make-believe world,) but if you’re a fan of Wes Anderson, you’ll like this.

Like the rest of Anderson’s work, “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” is an acquired taste.  While some directors open up, making movies that are more easily accessible for a wider audience with each film, Anderson is almost going down his own foxhole.  If “Darjeeling Limited,” shed some of his fans, “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” will probably shed even more, with them charging that Anderson is now only interested in entertaining himself.  However, with each movie, I find enough overlap with what fascinates him with what fascinates me.  -Sam

Review: Fantastic Mr. Fox

Review: Fantastic Mr. Fox

fantastic_mr_fox_pic_1_jpg_595x325_crop_upscale_q85

Reviewing a filmmaker’s swing at the children’s genre is usually pretty difficult and on par with reviewing a musician’s Christmas record and trying to make sense of it with the rest of their catalogue.  However, Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” is not like most children’s films. [Read more…]

Ghostbusters 3 to have Winter Start?

Dan Aykroyd has been going around saying that Ghostbusters 3 could be in production as soon as the winter for Sony. Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and of course, Aykroyd are set to return.

The new film is being written by ‘Year One’ writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. Ivan Reitman will not be taking the directors seat in this outing. The kid inside me is excited, but, the adult in me knows the reality of the situation, there is a good chance, Ghostbusters 3 won’t be good. But, hey, that won’t stop me from spending the 10 bucks to see it. The good news is, the people green lighting this know that.

Rick Moranis Ready For “Ghostbusters III”

In case the word that Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson taking part in “Ghostbusters III,” isn’t enough for you, here’s one more tidbit: Rick Moranis will also return.

Entertainment Weekly on-line says that Moranis, whose last big-screen movie was 1996’s “Big Bully,” will reprise his role of accountant Louis Tully.

Screenwriters Gene Stupinksy and Lee Eisenberg won’t finish the script until later this summer because their day job of writing for “The Office,” will keep them plently busy until then.

Also, EW claims that the much discussed Dan Aykroyd-penned story about the Ghostbusters going to Hell is not going to be the storyline for part three.

Ghostbusters Coming to Blu-Ray

Ghostbusters Coming to Blu-Ray

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You probably will be hearing screams of delight across the country the next couple of days.  The screams come after it was announced that ‘Ghostbusters’ is coming to Blu-Ray DVD.

June 6, 2009 is the release date, so, mark your calendars now.  What will be on the disc?  Good question.  Here’s the rundown, starting with the all new features created for this DVD:

* Digitally Mastered Audio and Video
* Slimer Mode: Picture-in-Picture Graphical Viewing Experience with an examination of the spook-hunters’ firehouse headquarters, an in-depth exploration of the creatures in the Ghostbusters mythology, behind-the-scenes discussions of making the movie, new cast, crew and special effects artists interviews and much more!
* Featurette: Ecto-1: Resurrecting the Classic Car
* Ghostbusters Garage: Ecto-1 Gallery
* Collectible 32 Page Scrapbook

Additional Special Features

* Filmmakers’ Commentary with Ivan Reitman, Harold Ramis and Joe Medjuck
* Featurette: 1984 – The Making of Ghostbusters – Interviews with the cast and crew
* Featurette: Interviews with Cast and Crew
* Featurette: SFX Team – Includes Before and After Multi-Angle Explorations
* Scene Cemetery – 10 Deleted Scenes
* Audio: English, Spanish (Castilian), French (Parisian), Portuguese (Brazil)
* Subtitles: English, Spanish (Latin Am), French (Parisian), Portuguese (Brazil), Dutch, Arabic
* Storyboard Comparisons
* Closed Captioned

The ‘Ghostbusters’ Are Coming Back!

The ‘Ghostbusters’ Are Coming Back!

GhostbustersApparently after all this time, Columbia Pictures is finally figuring out who to call in regards to a ‘Ghostbusters’ sequel. [Read more…]