WED Night Movie: The Fantastic Mr. Fox and how to make me hate you before I even sit down.

I’ve had this theory about The Fantastic Mr. Fox ever since it popped on to IMDB.  If stop motion animation didn’t work for Wes Anderson nothing would.

Since the Royal Tenenbaums, or even before,  Anderson has surrounded himself with actors, crew, and writers that love him like the benevolent micro managing dictator of a South American island. And because no one is saying No to him anymore, Anderson’s quirks and flaws have magnified to the point of eclipsing the movie itself. Wes Anderson had become a style rather than a filmmaker. I told anyone who would listen 3 years ago, that I didn’t know why Wes hadn’t just made all of the Life Aquatic animated. It would have been his best movie to date.  So after waiting for The Dajeeling Limited to come in a lil red envelope, I thought Mr. Fox might be worth the $12.50.

Now right off, an aside in movie etiquette. The wife and I entered the freshly swept and now popcorn free theater, behind maybe eight people waiting at the door before us. We like the stadium seating first row  with the clear view and the railing to put our feet up and easy access to the exit for when my invitable bathroom break. So naturally when we turn to our right and start to go down the row we were not expecting to be met with a demure little peasent clothed gatekeeper who promptly told us.

Bitch: Um actually I was trying to save those seats.
Me: The whole row?
Bitch: Actually Im trying to save both these rows for my friends.

Both. Rows. 12 seats. 12.

I’m willing and prone myself to saving a seat or two, but it takes some nutsack hairier then her petulie stankin legs, to just claim up and claim the primest 2 rows in the theater like it was a Risk board and her armies were a scarf and her hippy communal sense of World Peace.  The only thing that kept me from lowering a dumptruck worth of attitude, plopping down, and setting the rest of the row on fire was the fact that the row across from us was still mostly available and I don’t like to hit girls unless they hit me first.

The rest of her water and vinegar compadres wouldn’t begin arriving for another 20 minutes in a stressfully packed room and I did take an elevated level of satisfaction watching her fend off every third movie goer from taking the seats she reserved for her ascot and designer baseball hat wearing amigos.

By the way, this also goes for all you cocksocks that love getting in line for big movies (the Harry Potters and Twilights of the world) and letting all your giggly sorority sisters trickle in ahead of me so that the line, that had 5 people when I got here 45 minutes early, suddenly bubbles up like a stepped on garden hose to about 17-18 tards. If I see this at Avatar, I will pee on you.

That being said, when I came out of the theater I couldn’t have been happier. I was right; the genre worked like a charm for him. His quirks and nostalgia, instead of seeming over done, read like attention to craft. The normally wooden deadpan performances became whimsical and charming behind the smiles and wide eyes of animals in clothes.

Adding a new first and third act onto the story seemed surprisingly natural to the Dahl story.  The heist film resetting felt especially comfortable in the voice of Danny Ocean himself, George Clooney. (BTW saw Men Who Stare At Goats last week.  Wow what a waste of time.  Nothing happens.  And not in a good existential way. It’s a waste of actors, waste of decent subject matter and worst of all: a waste of Jeff Bridges.)

What at surface seems like, and is heavily promoted as, children’s faire, Mr. Fox harkens back to the Bluth and Watership Down 70’s that weren’t scrubbed to bubbly Disney perfection.

I know Wes Anderson will probably go immediately back to making live action movies that I have no interest of watching until they stream on Netflix, but I hope that he’s at enjoyed the process enough to continue to push the Wes Anderson style into new paradigms.

Cause who doesn’t love paradigms.


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