Comments on watching and making films.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox

A Wes Anderson film is one of those "events" for my generation. Most of us probably missed Bottle Rocket, and ended up seeing it on DVD after seeing Rushmore (at least twice). The Royal Tenenbaums was a complete kick in Hollywood's tail, and is still my favorite Anderson movie. The Life Aquatic and Darjeeling Limited were movies we waited patiently for, and did no less for Fantastic Mr. Fox.

The film is Anderson's first foray into animation, and is the story of Fox, played by George Clooney, who gives up his youthful hopes and dreams in order to settle down with his lady friend, Mrs. Fox, played by Meryl Streep. Jump ahead a few years, and Fox is working a job as a news reporter, has a little fox, Ash (voiced by Jason Schwartzman), and is living underground in... well, a fox hole. He decides, during a mid life crisis, that he is going to buy a tree (that he can't really afford), and also take up stealing chickens and other things from the local farmers, as this was one of the things he gave up to start a life with Mrs. Fox. But, when the local farmers get pissed and decide to put the hurt on Fox, it starts a war.

Fantastic Mr. Fox is, like many of Anderson's films, about not wanting to grow up, and the trouble that can cause. Fox lives a perfectly good life, until he decides to start doing something he shouldn't, and this is what causes all the trouble for Fox and everyone around him. It also gives them an undeniable adventure, which is also a constant in Anderson's films. The animation was really cool, and seemed so real and natural, and the writing was, for the most part, pretty funny and enjoyable, but, ultimately, like Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox just lacked a certain amount of that early Anderson charm to make it a REALLY good film. It was okay, but it just wasn't as good as some of the other films. That being said, I had to watch Life Aquatic a couple of times before it really clicked with me. Maybe that's what Fantastic Mr. Fox is going to take before it can really blow my mind.

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