Fantastic Mr. Fox

Went out Saturday morning to see Fantastic Mr. Fox. Going off a friends recommendation, a friend that loved The Life Aquatic and I hated, I was not sure what I was in for. Sitting through the first two previews of a sequel for Alvin and the Chipmunks and a new film that has the Rock dressed in baby blue tights playing a tooth fairy, I did not have a good feeling at all.

Ok, so I can be wrong and what a nice surprise this film was. Directed by Wes Anderson, known for his fun and quirky style (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore), if this is your cup of tea, you will love this movie. And even if it isn’t, it is not so over the top that it can’t be enjoyed by all.

The film is about Mr. Fox, a newspaper reporter, that is bored with life and decides to go back to his old habits of stealing chickens from the local farmers to help pay for his new above ground home. Involving many others in his schemes, he eventually gets his visiting nephew in trouble. Of course Mrs. Fox disapproves and wants him to stop before he gets everyone in over their head, and that is exactly what happens.

Normally I don’t like really big names playing animated parts, just because you see a lot more in a character than you should, but George Clooney (Oceans 11, Syriana, Michael Clayton) is great as the quick talking know-it-all center of attention Mr. Fox. Meryl Streep (Bridges of Madison County, Doubt) is the voice of Mrs. Fox. Wes Anderson regulars Bill Murray (Lost in Translation, Caddyshack), Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore, The Darjeeling Limited) and Owen Wilson (Shanghai Noon, The Royal Tanenbaums) play significant characters as well.

To me, this film was a very refreshing animated film and a change from the normal picture perfect Pixar releases. Not that there is a thing wrong with Pixar, just nice to see someone venture out and do a totally different style of animation. The roughness of the animation really adds to the overall feel and tone of the movie. If you are one normally scared off by Wes Anderson films, go ahead and give this one a chance. This film is a lot of fun with great dialog and story. Worth catching for sure!

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Doubt

Doubt

Finally watched Doubt again since the last time I saw it was in the theatres. I thought it was very good, very well acted movie back then, and I enjoyed it a bit more this time around. Originally I thought the last three Meryl Streep’s character really came too far out of character. The second viewing I read some things into that final scene that I didn’t think of before. Other than that, I thought it was a real incredible movie.

 

Meryl Streep gives an Oscar worthy performance. In my view, she was just as good or better than Kate Winslet in The Reader. And Philip Seymour Hoffman (Best Actor for Capote) had it not been the year for Heath Ledger in the Dark Knight, probably would have won a supporting Oscar for himself. The final scene with Hoffman and Streep are what movies are all about, and this scene is worth the price of admission (or DVD) alone! Amy Adams also gives a particular good performance,and Viola Davis has a very powerful 8 minutes…..and both deserving of Oscar nominations.

 

I don’t want to give to much away for those who have not seen it, but would love to hear feedback on everyone’s thoughts. Guilty, not guilty, what were the doubts? This movie is worth seeing for sure, and even seeing more than once. Very compelling and thought provoking.