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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

There are only a handful of good Thanksgiving films, because Christmas has a monopoly on the holidays. The Ice Storm, The House Of Yes, and Avalon are some of the top tier films about the food filled celebration. Those films are about dysfunctional families, generational differences, and changing traditions. Only one film really represents that Thanksgiving feeling and that is Planes,Trains, and Automobiles. John Hughes 1987 classic is the one film that if you ask what is a Thanksgiving Movie, 90% of people think of this film. Instead of the barrage of Christmas features on Thanksgiving weekend, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles should be showing somewhere on a constant loop. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cody's Film Review: Fantastic Mr.Fox

I did not share the same excitement for Fantastic Mr. Fox that I did for Where The Wild Things Are. I loved the idea of Spike Jones doing a live action children's story, and passive about Wes Anderson doing a stop motion animation film. I am a fan of Wes Anderson and I thought he was wasting his time with a medium that he does not have much control over as a director. I was wrong, Fantastic Mr. Fox has Anderson's fingerprints all over it and is one of the years most enjoyable films. It joins Pixar's Up as a one of those rare films that is enjoyable to children and adults alike. There are stories that Anderson was absent during production and running the show from his flat in Paris,well that didn't seem to matter. Anderson and Noah Baumbach's script is clever and funny, and it seems he stayed out of the art departments way and let them make this beautiful film. This film's animation isn't as smooth as Henry Selick's (Coriline/ A Nightmare Before Christmas) stop motion animation, but Mark Gustafson's work has throwback quality that seems more artistic and real.(Thanks Scott)  It has what was missing from Where The Wild Things Are, great likable characters and fun. For some reason the celebrity voices didn't bother me like they do in other animation films. I was so caught up in the story and enjoyed the characters so much that I just didn't care,but also the casting fit the characters. Clooney's voice screams of class and leadership, Streep's of elegance, and Schwartzman is perfect as the highly imaginative son who doesn't have his father's charisma. Great score by Alexandre Desplat's that mixes beautifully with songs by Burl Ives, Jarvis Cocker, and The Beach Boys. Fantastic Mr. Fox isn't groundbreaking, it's just a delight to watch and makes you feel like a kid again. 4 out of 5 stars.