Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox”

I saw Fantastic Mr. Fox last night. It’s a stop-motion movie based on the book by Roald Dahl and directed by Wes Anderson and is therefore appropriately weird and difficult to pin down.

Anderson’s attention to detail is too much to take in. A second viewing might be necessary to fully appreciate what the hell’s going on. I recently re-watched Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Royal Tenenbaums and enjoyed them more the second time around, especially The Royal Tenenbaums. His movies seem designed for multiple viewings. I plan to watch Rushmore and The Dargeeling Limited this weekend.

Anyone familiar with his movies?

“King Kong” Kicks Ass

I’m talking about the original 1933 version of King Kong. It is a great movie and a hell of lot more violent and gruesome than I ever thought. It must have shocked and scared the crap out of audiences in 1933. I never realized what an incredible movie it is.

The stop-motion special effects are executed with style and drama that are so expressive, “the beast” comes across as a sensitive guy. There isn’t much of a story until Kong comes into the picture — and then you can watch the movie with the sound down if you feel like it because everything unfolds in broad strokes: 1) Island natives capture Fay Wray for sacrifice to Kong; 2) Kong runs into the jungle with Ms. Wray, protecting her instead of eating her; 3) A rescue party runs into the jungle and are killed off one at a time by Kong; 4) Kong is captured and brought back to the US… and so on. Although King Kong is sometimes considered a B-quality monster movie, it’s operatic and poignant as well. I’d love to see it in a theatre someday.