FANTASTIC MR. FOX Criterion Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 24 days ago

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Few filmmakers are better suited to the world of stop-motion animation than Wes Anderson.  The director has fine-tuned his visual aesthetic over the course of his career, bringing quick and stable camera movements, gorgeous set designs, and specific yet vibrant color palettes to the forefront of his signature style.  After a swell run films that made him one of the most exciting directors in the business, Anderson expanded his scope to the sea (Life Aquatic) and international locales (Darjeeling Limited) before diving into the world of stop-motion animation for his 2009 film Fantastic Mr. Fox.

The result is a highlight of an already impressive career, and the impeccable Roald Dahl adaptation is finally a part of the Criterion Collection.  Read my review of the Fantastic Mr. Fox Criterion Blu-ray after the jump.

Full List of Oscar Presenters Announced; Includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Kendrick, and Michael B. Jordan

by     Posted 58 days ago

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After a slow roll-out of announcements that began a few weeks ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled the full list of presenters for the upcoming 86th Academy Awards ceremony.  As expected, there are plenty of previous winners poised to make appearances, including all four of last year’s acting winners (Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Christoph Waltz, and Anne Hathaway), as well as some members of “young Hollywood” to appeal to the younger viewers (Anna Kendrick, Michael B. Jordan, Emma Watson, Zac Efron, Channing Tatum).  On the “legends” side of things, we can also look forward to seeing presentations from Sidney Poitier and Bill Murray.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full list of presenters, and if you missed our latest Oscar-themed episode of our podcast The Collision, click here.  The Oscars will air on ABC this Sunday, March 2nd.

Bill Murray Talks THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, His Working Relationship with Wes Anderson, His Career, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, and More

by     Posted 68 days ago

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I love everything about Wes Anderson movies.  From the way he creates unique worlds to the unusual characters that occupy the screen, Anderson is a one-of-a-kind filmmaker that always makes something special.  His newest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, just premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and it continues his streak of making exceptional films.  The story mostly takes place in early 20th-century and revolves around the goings-on at a famous European hotel where a legendary concierge (Ralph Fiennes) mentors a young employee (Tony Revolori) against the backdrop of a changing continent.  The film also stars Saoirse RonanBill MurrayF. Murray AbrahamEdward NortonMathieu AmalricAdrien BrodyWillem DafoeLea SeydouxJeff GoldblumJason SchwarztmanJude LawTilda SwintonHarvey KeitelTom Wilkinson, and Owen Wilson.  For more on the film, here’s all our previous coverage.

The day after the world premiere, I participated in a great roundtable interview with Bill Murray in Berlin.  He talked about what it was like to make the film on location in Europe, collaborating with Wes Anderson, the dialogue, whether his process as an actor has changed over time, and more.  In addition, he told some great stories about making Rushmore, his thoughts on Saturday Night Live and Bill Hader, why he quit acting for awhile after making Broken Flowers, and future projects.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.  The Grand Budapest Hotel opens March 7th.

Excellent Criterion Collection Trailer for Wes Anderson’s FANTASTIC MR. FOX

by     Posted 72 days ago

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Wes Anderson has made many good films over the course of his career, but Fantastic Mr. Fox is among his best.  The 2009 stop-motion animated adaptation of Roald Dahl’s childrens book is an absolute delight from start to finish, and it’s finally getting a proper Criterion Collection release next week.  In anticipation of the Blu-ray/DVD dual format release, Criterion has put together a swell new trailer that offers a peek at some of the behind-the-scenes material that will be included on the Criterion disc.  The director-approved release includes the film’s digital master as well as a host of extras, including audio commentary, footage of the actors voicing the characters, an hour-long documentary about Dahl, and much more.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to see the full list of extras included on the Blu-ray, and click here to pre-order the disc.  Fantastic Mr. Fox Criterion Collection Blu-ray/DVD will be available starting February 18th.

THE MONUMENTS MEN Review

by     Posted 76 days ago

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In his past films, George Clooney has shown himself to be surprisingly deft at working with genre and mood.  Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is a stunning directorial debut that melds comedy, paranoia, tragedy, and drama, and his following works all have a smart, sensible core (although I’ll admit his previous picture, The Ides of March is slightly shaky).  Unfortunately, his confident direction is nowhere to be found in his latest film, The Monuments Men.  The story is scattershot in structure, narrative, and tone.  The premise is fascinating, but Clooney can never seem to find the right angle, and it’s unclear if we’re watching a drama with comedic elements or a rousing World War II picture with moments of tragedy.  There’s almost a total lack of cohesion, and while Clooney is occasionally able to regain control of the picture, the best moments rely almost entirely on the performances.

Bill Murray Arranges a Getaway in New Clip from THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

by     Posted 78 days ago

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A new clip from writer/director Wes Anderson’s new film The Grand Budapest Hotel has been released online.  The story takes place in early 20th-century Hungary, and revolves around the goings-on at the titular hotel where a legendary concierge (Ralph Fiennes) mentors a young employee (Tony Revolori).  This new clip focuses on Bill Murray’s character as he sets up a getaway of sorts, and it once again highlights Anderson’s use of multiple aspect ratios in the pic.  This is the first film on which Anderson receives sole screenwriting credit, and with the new clip it continues to look like an absolute delight.

Hit the jump to watch the new clip.  The film also stars Saoirse RonanF. Murray AbrahamEdward NortonMathieu AmalricAdrien BrodyWillem DafoeLea SeydouxJeff GoldblumJason SchwarztmanJude LawTilda SwintonHarvey KeitelTom Wilkinson, and Owen Wilson.  The Grand Budapest Hotel will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February and open in the U.S. on March 7th.

George Clooney, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bob Balaban, John Goodman and Producer Grant Heslov Talk THE MONUMENTS MEN

by     Posted 79 days ago

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Opening February 7th, George Clooney’s exciting action drama The Monuments Men features an impressive ensemble cast that brings to life the untold but true story of courageous people who risked everything to rescue the world’s artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves.  Set during World War II, the movie is based on the book by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter and centers on one of the greatest treasure hunts in history.  It also shines a light and a perspective on very well-known historical facts.

At the film’s recent press day, we participated in a press conference with Clooney, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bob Balaban, John Goodman and producer Grant Heslov.  They spoke about wanting to make an entertaining movie that also deals with a very serious subject matter, what they found inspiring about portraying their characters, their experience working in Berlin, Clooney’s evolution as a director, why he enjoys stepping behind the camera now more than acting, what Heslov and he look for in a project, how he pranked Damon by altering his wardrobe during production, the importance of protecting art and preserving our cultural legacy, the impact of this movie moving forward and how the Monuments Men are still at work today.  Check out the interview after the jump.

20 New Images from George Clooney’s THE MONUMENTS MEN Featuring Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Cate Blanchett

by     Posted 85 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released a slew of new high-resolution images from George Clooney’s latest directorial effort, the WWII drama The Monuments Men.  Based on a true story, the film revolves around a group of museum directors, artists, architects, curators, and art historians tasked with rescuing the world’s artistic masterpieces before the Nazi army destroys them.  Clooney has repeatedly stated that this film is his effort at tackling less cynical material than his previous directorial projects, and he’s put together a fantastic ensemble to bring this story to life.

Hit the jump to check out the new images, and click here to watch five clips from the pic.  Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett star.  The Monuments Men opens February 7th.

Watch 5 Clips from THE MONUMENTS MEN Starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Cate Blanchett

by     Posted 97 days ago

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Five clips have been released for George Clooney’s The Monuments Men.  For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it’s based on a true story about soldiers and historians who have to go to Germany during World War II to rescue artistic masterpieces before the Nazis destroy them.  We previously reported that Clooney was trying to find the right tone for the film between the comedic and dramatic aspects, and so perhaps these clips will give people a slightly better idea of what to expect.

Hit the jump to check out the clips.  The film stars Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate BlanchettJean DujardinHugh Bonneville, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Bill MurrayThe Monuments Men opens February 7th.

19 New Images from Wes Anderson’s THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Starring Ralph Fiennes, Saoirse Ronan, and Tony Revolori

by     Posted 100 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released nineteen new images from Wes Anderson‘s upcoming film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.  The story takes place in early 20th-century Hungary, and revolves around the goings-on at the titular hotel where a legendary concierge (Ralph Fiennes) mentors a young employee (Tony Revolori).  The film will sport a gigantic cast of characters, multiple aspect ratios, and as you can see from these images, a gorgeous color palette.  Anderson’s films are always visually pleasing, but the colors here look like they’re ready to pop off the screen.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Saoirse RonanF. Murray AbrahamEdward NortonMathieu AmalricAdrien BrodyWillem DafoeLea SeydouxJeff GoldblumJason SchwarztmanJude LawTilda SwintonHarvey KeitelTom WilkinsonBill Murray, and Owen Wilson.  The Grand Budapest Hotel will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February and open in the U.S. on March 7th.

New Trailer for THE MONUMENTS MEN Plays as a World War II Newsreel and Leads to Real Tip Line about Stolen Art

by     Posted 121 days ago

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20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures have released a fun spin on the trailer for The Monuments Men by doing it in the style of a World War II newsreel.  For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it’s based on a true story about soldiers and historians who have to go to Germany during World War II to rescue artistic masterpieces before they’re destroyed by the Nazis.  What’s really surprising about this trailer is that it provides a phone number at the end that actually works.  I was expecting to get a recorded message plugging the movie, but if you call 1-866-WWII-ART you can get a real person on the line.  When I called the number, I expressed my surprise to the person I spoke to, and she explained that the number is for people who believe they might have a lead on art that was stolen by the Nazis or lost during the war.  There’s also a website, supportthemonumentsmen.com, that has more useful information.  I’m surprised and delighted that the studios put something of substance into their marketing.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate BlanchettJean DujardinHugh Bonneville, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Bill MurrayThe Monuments Men opens February 7, 2014.

New Trailer for Wes Anderson’s THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Starring Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jude Law and Bill Murray

by     Posted 125 days ago

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A new trailer for Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel is now online.  The story takes place in early 20th-century Hungary, and revolves around the goings-on at the titular hotel, where a legendary concierge (Ralph Fiennes) mentors a young employee (Tony Revolori).  Like yesterday’s new poster, this trailer is designed to introduce you to the huge cast of characters while still conveying the tone of the picture.  It does both wonderfully.  The performances look diverse, the humor is light but sharp, and it still has Anderson’s familiar atheistic, but it doesn’t feel stale.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film stars  Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Saoirse RonanF. Murray AbrahamEdward NortonMathieu AmalricAdrien BrodyWillem DafoeLea SeydouxJeff GoldblumJason SchwarztmanJude LawTilda SwintonHarvey KeitelTom WilkinsonBill Murray, and Owen Wilson. The Grand Budapest Hotel opens March 7, 2014.

International Trailer for THE MONUMENTS MEN Starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Cate Blanchett

by     Posted 141 days ago

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Georgle Clooney‘s Monuments Men looked like it could be a player in this year’s awards race, but it had to be pushed back to February in order to work on the special effects and find the tone of the story.  For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it’s based on a true story about soldiers and historians who have to go to Germany during World War II to rescue artistic masterpieces before they’re destroyed by the Nazis.  The first trailer made the film look confused and mediocre, but now an international trailer has gone online, and the movie looks like it’s in much better shape.  The humor is sharper, the story is better laid out, and the stakes are more clearly defined.  There’s even a little grin about the premise having a bit of an Ocean’s Eleven vibe when Matt Damon‘s character asks Clooney, “Aren’t you a little old for this?”  I have high hopes for the film, and this new trailer finally makes me excited for what Clooney has put together.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Cate BlanchettJean DujardinHugh Bonneville, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Bill MurrayThe Monuments Men opens February 7, 2014.

Bill Murray to Star in HBO Mini-Series, OLIVE KITTERIDGE

by     Posted 155 days ago

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Bill Murray to make a rare appearance on the small screen by starring in the HBO mini-series, Olive Kitteridge.  Based on Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Olive Kitteridge was adapted by Jane Anderson and will be directed by Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right)The story focuses on a retired schoolteacher in a small Maine town and the characters that surround her. The various tales of affairs, suicide, and emotional problems are told through her eyes.  Her the jump for more.

Channing Tatum to Star in Jonathan Levine’s BAD ROMANCE; Bill Murray Joins DreamWorks Animation’s B.O.O.

by     Posted 174 days ago

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Channing Tatum is lining up another producing project, and this time he’ll star as well.  THR reports that Tatum is in talks to produce and star in Bad Romance for MGM, with 50/50 and Warm Bodies helmer Jonathan Levine set to write and direct.  Details on the film are not given, but if it’s anything like Levine’s previous work it’ll be a swell blend of humor, drama, and of course, romance.  Tatum is currently busy filming the comedy sequel 22 Jump Street and has a range of roles on the horizon.  Next year he’ll be seen in Lana and Andy Wachowski’s sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending, Bennett Miller’s real-life drama Foxcatcher, and the excellent-looking animated pic The LEGO Movie.

Hit the jump for casting news concerning a comedy legend joining DreamWorks Animation’s B.O.O.

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