Watson’s Review of “Moonrise Kingdom”

The films of Wes Anderson exist in their own little world, and what a strange little world it is. As shown in his “Rushmore” and “The Royal Tenenbaums,” it is an eccentric, colourful world populated with flawed individuals who wander about in unfashionable clothing and whose every reaction is almost a non-reaction. It is soundtracked by laid-back folk tracks and British rock tunes. It is dryly comical, not that its glum-faced populace notices too much. Ever the auteur, Anderson lets us view this world from a meticulously chosen vantage point from which the composition of everything in sight appears strangely symmetrical, which gives it an aesthetic that is amusingly, boldly artificial.

Colour-coded and filmed with a controlled energy, it is a world that is practically animated, though Anderson has only attempted one animated film in his 16-year career: 2009’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” which showed that Anderson’s unchanging visual sensibilities are a natural match with stop-motion animation. But I think I prefer it when this world is presented in the live-action format; a real-life setting with characters made of flesh and blood serves only to enhance its curiously kooky qualities. I don’t think I’d turn down a trip to this weird little world, although I wouldn’t want to stay for too long – I’m not certain I’d want its unique idiosyncrasies to rub off on me too much. (Continue Reading…)

(Nine Outta Ten)

For more from Stephen Watson, visit Just Another Movie Blog!

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Anderson’s New Kid-Flick is ‘Fantastic’

At a time when we adult moviegoers have a fairly decent and varying menu of cinema to choose from, why is it that the best films I’ve seen have been meant for children? Though it sounds stubborn and pretentious, I have a difficult time bringing myself to frequent films that are rated anything less than ‘R.’

And I’m a fan of the ‘Hard-R.’

After seeing Where the Wild Things Are, I had to rethink my whole philosophy–and being a total Wes Anderson fanboy, I couldn’t pass up his latest opus–Fantastic Mr. Fox–despite its light ‘PG’ rating.

Most of the books from my childhood have already been made into shitty movies, and I was just starting to learn how to be OK with that. Then, Wes Anderson comes along and fucks up my whole system.

George Clooney is so foxy!

Fantastic Mr. Fox is based on the quite-short children’s novel by Roald Dahl, a crotchety old British man with a penchant for writing some of the most memorable and entertaining stories of all time. I grew up with all of his books (including this one, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and The Witches–to name a few).

Although Mr. Fox was nowhere near one of his best works–it did work as his best movie. Mr. Dahl died nearly 20 years ago, but that won’t stop his wonderful works to continually produce mediocre films.

Anderson's style translates alarmingly well to stop-animation.

What Wes Anderson did with this film was phenomenal –in that it was both surprising and touching. See Fantastic Mr. Fox with your girlfriend or significant other, because this movie is so adorable and emotional that you’ll feel like a total fag sitting and sobbing in the theater when a female Fox puppet says, “I should have never married you.”

The story follows Mr. Fox (obviously), a family man with an addiction to stealing chickens and a second child on the way. He unwittingly fucks with the wrong trio of nasty farmers and hurls the whole land of anthropomorphosis into peril.

If you’ve ever seen a Wes Anderson film before (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, or The Darjeeling Ltd), then you’ve already seen the style and you probably know the whole cast. The voice actors–almost everyone in Anderson’s predictable entourage–make this movie the masterpiece it is.

I would say “for a kids’ flick…blah blah blah…” but this film worked on every level possible. The only thing that kept this movie from having a PG-13 or R rating was that every “cuss” in the movie was replaced with the word: cuss.

As in: If you miss this movie, you’re going to want to cuss yourself in your cussing cuss.

2nd most hardworking man in entertainment?

Long story short–if you have anything left from your childhood that somehow wasn’t brought to tears by Where the Wild Things Are, surely Fantastic Mr. Fox will remedy that ten-fold. I’m not claiming that this film is a tear-jerker by any means, but you will find it amazing how much emotion that these cloth figurines can draw out of you at once.

WARNING: You will have to sit through some painfully inane previews for this one, but it’s worth it. Video about that, coming soon

My point is this…if you feel like a douche going to see this movie without a child with you, just bring your retarded girlfriend–because you’ll both surely get just as much pleasure from the experience. You’ll get an amazing visual and touching experience, and your retarded girlfriend will get talking animals and pretty pictures.

Alex G/

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Trailers of the Weak: The Best of Fall

alexbwThe exciting Summer Movie Season is over, but fear not, you film lovers, you—because the Fall Movie Previews are up running. There are still plenty of movies for you to throw your money at while praying to your god’s deaf ears that they will be worth your while. The secrets out! The almost certainly won’t be. Let’s gaze deeper into the Fall Trailers of the Weak! 

The Vampire’s AssistantI have a feeling that John C. Reilly committed some sort of horrendous crime in a past life. That would be the only rationale behind the laundry list of crap-movies he’s legally obligated to appear in. The Vampire’s Assistant is based on another in a similar laundry list of teen-vampire-book-series. While the film itself may seem almost watchable, it’s just giving further encouragement to the industry that keeps shitting out these kids’ vampire dramas. Fuck it.

The Fourth Kind—If you weren’t scared shitless by Close Encounters of the Third Kind, you’re probably amongst the sane people who will be avoiding this movie. Milla Jovovich, reprising her role as the dead-serious-intense-staring female lead in a science fiction flick, this time decides to present it as a “true story.” In psycho-babble, a “close encounter of the fourth kind” is an alien abduction; however, it should probably refer to an encounter with a psychologist whose first-fucking-logical-hypothesis is that you were abducted by fucking aliens

TruckerReplace Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler with a truck-driving chick with smaller tits and you’ve got yourself another dynamically bland indie film that’s bound to make a grown man weep. 

UntitledWhether it succeeds or not in its breath-taking pretentiousness and not-so-subtle plagiarism of Art School Confidential remains to be seen, but I’m going to give this two thumbs up, and A-for-Effort, and my confidence that this could be the only movie I see this Fall.

Fantastic Mr. FoxI take that back. If this movie is half as incredible as the amount of work that went into making it, it will be an instant classic. I can’t imagine Wes Anderson not being able to pull that off. 

Dark Room TheaterIt’s a good thing that this film is going to be released on September 11th, so that we Americans can consider two horrifying national disasters on the same day. Two birds—one stone

The Horse BoyDon’t let the title fool you. This is a documentary about a family taking their autistic child to Mongolia for some therapeutic healing. There’s something about taking a retarded kid to Mongolia that just seems wrong to me

Brief Interviews with Hideous MenJohn Krasinski’s directorial debut yields exactly what one would expect: subtle, tongue-in-cheek comedy in an IFC casing, featuring a list of comic-actors so extensive that it can only be safe to say it’ll be…kinda funny

Sorority RowAre people really going to see this? Do they think we’re children? Go fuck yourselves! 

Whip ItI’m not entirely sure what to do here. Essentially, Drew Barrymore has decided that her directorial debut would be using Ellen Page to capitalize on the popularity of Juno, while offering relatively nothing new. That being said, I’ll probably see it just to spite myself. 

Youth in RevoltAll of you fuckers who said, “Michael Cera can only play Michael Cera” can suck it! He can play Michael Cera and Michael Cera with a mustache! 

AladinThis modern-day interpretation of the story of Aladdin told through the magic of Bollywood is bound to be the greatest movie no one will ever see. 

The Boys are BackWatching Clive Owen cry is as cripplingly depressing as seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger sitting stationary behind the governor’s desk. 

Leslie, My Name is EvilIf there’s one thing you don’t see enough of in romantic comedies, it’s Charles Manson

BronsonIf I miss this movie, I don’t think I’ll be able to live with myself. This trailer is refreshing, original, sexy, and off-the-wall. While we’re all sitting shiva waiting for Guy Ritchie to come back, we have Nicolas Winding Refn offering us delicious lemonade and Rice Krispie Treats

One Good ManI’m sorry, can we make a rule, please? Mormons aren’t allowed to have their own movies unless there’s at least one black guy in them. With reviews like, “Captures the spirit of Mormonism,” I can’t help but be confused. I didn’t notice any fear, bigotry, infidelity, racism, or arrogant ignorance in the trailer…hmmm…maybe they’re talking about a different “spirit on Mormonism.” 

Adventures of PowerSome may accuse me of writing lazy reviews…but I may accuse some of making lazy movies. There is not one element of this movie that makes it look “good.” But at the same time, it’s probably going to be effortlessly hilarious. 

The BoxAs intense and original as this film may look, I must still take issue with PG-13 Cameron Diaz film entitled The Box, simply because of the 0% chance that we will actually be seeing Cameron Diaz’s “box.”

Alex G/

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