Posts Tagged ‘Jason Schwartzman’

Fantastic Mr. Fox – Minute Movie Review

Mittwoch, Mai 26th, 2010

Review:

Mr. Fox has gone straight since the birth of his son, but he still wants nothing more than one last big heist, taking on the hen houses and cider cellars of his three human neighbours. They, in turn, decide to retaliate, and so the war is on. Based on Roald Dahl’s beloved book, this stop-motion animation by director Wes Anderson is a fun extension of the story, a funny film that is fun to watch. Anderson’s signature style, a combination of a bright palette, a lot of whimsy and something to far removed from words, lends itself perfectly to the animated format. The film doesn’t have the depth that his best works – Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums – have, but it’s simple good family entertainment.

Random Observations:

Fantastic Mr. Fox at the IMDb

Saying “cuss” instead of “fuck” or “shit” might have done wonders for the rating, but is damn annoying. (This post has been rated “R” by the MPAA.)

Some great talent is voicing the characters, including George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman.

Who does Eric Anderson, who voices Kristofferson, sound like? He reminded me of another actor, but for the life of me I can’t figure out who.

The film has only 12 frames per second (compared to the usual) 24 to ensure that everybody recognizes the stop motion technique.

You found what you were looking for!

Mittwoch, Januar 14th, 2009

Over the last several months, it has happened occassionally that people used a search engine and were brought to my site. Most of these searches were pretty straightforward and I’m fairly certain that the people looking for “die welle review” or “christoph hartwig” found what they were looking for. There were some other quests, however, that were fatally unfulfilled. Since at Fabricated Truth we do everything for our readers, even one time readers who are unlikely to ever return, here are some of the search terms along with a guess what the person was looking for – so that the next time they will find an answer. (weiterlesen …)

The Ten Best Movies of 2008

Mittwoch, Januar 7th, 2009

Everybody loves Top Ten Lists, right? You can never get enough of them, correct? If you read one to the end, you want nothing more than start looking at the next one, or am I wrong? In any case, I like Top Ten (or basically any other number) Lists. I know they are silly and arbitrary and highly subjective, but they are still fun – even if one just reads them to poke fun at the author(s). So to start my own habitual list-making off, I hereby offer you the TEN BEST MOVIES OF 2008!

(weiterlesen …)

The Greatest Movie Never Made

Freitag, Mai 2nd, 2008

Three months ago, when the writers’ strike was still in full effect, I wrote a letter to Wes Anderson. Yes, an actual hand-written letter (of 800 words, no less). In it, I proposed to write a screenplay for him that could be turned into a truly terrific film. Sadly, Mr. Anderson hasn’t replied to my letter to this day. Since I’m sick and tired of waiting for him to realize how great this story is, I’m going to post it here. Many other directors, producers and film-makers frequent this site and I’m sure many of them will be interested in picking up this exciting project. Please excuse the fact that the story is still contained inside the letter format, but since I’m not yet getting paid for this, I couldn’t be bothered to remove the parts addressed to Mr. Anderson. I’m sure you understand. (weiterlesen …)

Minute Movie Review – Shopgirl

Montag, März 17th, 2008

Review:

Steve Martin stars in Shopgirl, the quirky romantic comedy based on his novella. He plays aging millionaire Ray Porter, who seeks out young Mirabelle, who sells gloves at Saks for a living while still considering herself an artist, for a casual relationship. But Mirabelle wants more, but doesn’t know where to find it. Maybe with the slightly strange but lovable Jeremy? With voice-over narration and artistic shots, director Anand Tucker tries to capture the spirit of the novella. It doesn’t always work, but the story is engaging enough and the performance are good enough to at least enjoy this unusual film that is so obviously grounded in real life.

Random Observations:

Shopgirl at imdb.com

Jason Schwartzman as Jeremy is just awesome. He plays this desperate and needy character straight up and you can almost feel how uncomfortable he makes Mirabelle feel.

The novella focuses largely on how shallow life in L.A. is. The movie moves the focus more on how shallow most people, i.e. the characters of the film, are.

A warning to people interested in the German DVD release: The picture quality is really bad.

Minute Movie Review – Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Mittwoch, Februar 27th, 2008

Review:

Walk Hard is basically two movies forced into one: A lowbrow comedy that considers consistently saying “I need Cox” high art and a parody of bio films of musicians – and not only Walk the Line. There are a few really funny scenes with great cameos (Jack Black as Paul McCartney) and most of the songs really work as a parody on the works of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and other musicians I can’t remember right now. But mostly the film goes for the stupid jokes – whether they be about the lead character’s name, taking drugs or cutting your brother in half with a machete. But if you can overlook that, you’ll actually find a few funny scenes and songs. It’s not much, but it’s a lot more than most comedies today offer.

Random Observations:

Walk Hard at imdb.com

John C. Reilly isn’t half-bad in the lead role. He really can sing and step into the roles of many different types of musicians.

Hey indie rock fans! Jack White has a cameo as Elvis Presley!

Another sneak preview movie – I guess you can’t expect a Best Picture Oscar winner every week…

I’m kind of demotivated right now. So please post comments that tell me to write about the other six films I saw in the last week. There are some real gems among them.

Minute Movie Review – Rushmore

Sonntag, Februar 17th, 2008

Review:

Rushmore is an elite school – and everything for Max Fischer, a local barber’s son. He has made the school his life – but neglected to actually study for it, instead focusing on as many extracurricular activities as possible. When he also meets a wealthy businessman and a first grade teacher, many things change – and not always for the better. Rushmore is Wes Anderson’s second movie – and trying to summon up the plot in a few sentences is nearly impossible. The story has so many nuances, that even after repeat viewing one always catches something new. In many ways this movie defined Anderson’s style – and the story of how Max grows up might still be the best he ever wrote (together with Owen Wilson, of course).

Random Observations:

Rushmore at imdb.com

This is the 100th post on this blog. Woohoo! It’s also, according to the categories, the 65th movie review, which seems much harder to believe.

It’s “Wes Anderson Sunday” at Fabricated Truth! Most likely you will already have noticed since you read the later posted reviews of “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” first.

For seven years I’ve been sure that “The Royal Tenenbaums” was the best movie Wes Anderson ever made and ever will make. After seeing these two back to back however, I think I might be wrong. The character development in “Rushmore” is incredible.

Here’s why people living in the US (or Canada) are the luckiest people on earth: As the people with DVD region 1, they have a chance to buy Criterion Collection DVDs – and in that edition many great extras are included. In the case of Rushmore this means for example further plays from the “Max Fischer Players” – and who wouldn’t want to see that? So if you ever wonder what extra-special gift to give me, now you know…

The scene showing all the extracurricular activities Max engages in is the first classical Wes Anderson Montage – and maybe the best to date.

To all those people who have seen this movie: What (or who) was your Rushmore? Post it in the comments for the chance to win a signed copy of the movie. Limitations may apply.

The Darjeeling Limited – First Thoughts

Mittwoch, Januar 9th, 2008

Ever since I finally saw “The Darjeeling Limited“, the new Wes Anderson movie, on Sunday, I’ve been wanting to write a short review. But I am simply not able to. I don’t really know what I think of the film yet, so there is little point in writing something as definitive as a review. Instead I am just going to post some of the things the movie made me think, hopefully helping sort out the confusion the movie has caused.

The problem with saying something about Darjeeling Limited is that on the one hand the movie was everything I expected from a Wes Anderson movie and that on the other hand it was everything I expected from a Wes Anderson movie. After “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “The Life Aquatic” it is the third time in a row that Anderson deals largely with an estranged family and while he does so beautifully, moving, sentimental, amusing and touching, you also get a feeling of “same old, same old”. I’ve been a fan of Wes Anderson ever since I first saw “The Royal Tenenbaums” when it was first released and then saw it again and again. I really like his earlier movie “Rushmore” and “Bottle Rocket” (the feature film, I’ve sadly never seen the short). I even learned to love “The Life Aquatic”, which after Tenenbaums was a bit of a disappointment.

Anderson always manages to get a lot of brilliant actors to appear in his movies and Darjeeling is no exception. With Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman and Owen Wilson in the lead roles, Anjelica Huston in a supporting role and the likes of Bill Murray and Natalie Portman (who flew to India for 3o minutes of filming) in bit parts, the acting is great as always. Taking everything to such an exotic place as India (for us Westerners) was something new and certainly added to the flavour of the movie. The cinematography was beautiful as usual and the score, made up of songs composed for Indian movies, was, as usual, a great add-on to the movie. But still, something was missing. Or at least I feel that something was missing. Maybe it was due to the fact that for some obscure reason the short “Hotel Chevalier”, which is a sort of prelude to the movie was not shown when I saw the film. I’ve seen it before, but I certainly missed seeing it on the big screen. Not just because Natalie Portman gets naked in it (something which every geek, dork and nerd (Not Even Remotely Dorky, thank you Professor Frink!) has been talking about on the internet for month), but because it really adds background to the story of the three estranged brothers that travel through India together to… And here the problems really start: To do what?. In typical Anderson fashion, we don’t really know why they are taking the journey. Francis, the oldest, is responsible for organizing it, but why the other two came along is completely unclear. It’s a spiritual journey and while some mystery about the character’s motivations is certainly allowable and even necessary, it bothered me a little here. Why did Peter leave his 7-month pregnant wife to go on a spiritual journey through India? Certainly he needs and wants to figure some things out, but is that really enough of an explanation?

And problems like that continue. I’m not sure why many of the events in the movie took place – and usually I’m quite attentive when watching a movie and certainly when finally watching the movie I have been looking forward to for months. But even though I really liked the parts the film was made of, I somehow didn’t really like the overall picture. And I can’t really explain why, which annoys me. So the only solution is to see the movie again. And again. And again.

(This sentence is only added because I already finished a recent entry with “And again. And again.”)

My Top Movies of 2007

Mittwoch, Januar 9th, 2008

For a long time, I have been a reader of the website of the A.V. Club. As far as popular culture is concerned, there is no site on the great world wide interweb that I like more. And now for the third year running, they have asked readers to submit their Top Five Movies of the past year, which I of course dutifully did. I also wrote some short comments about those movies and since I feel disinclined to just let them get lost in the internetz and I also like reusing things to make it appear that I am creative or something like that, they are now also posted here. So here are my personal favourite movies of 2007:

1. Atonement

In a wonderful adaptation of a brilliant novel, Joe Wright almost manages to tell a better story than Ian McEwan. Beautifully shot and excellently acted (especially by Saoirse Ronan), the movie is a true gem. Combined with the great story and the surprisingly fitting soundtrack/score, this is easily the best film I’ve seen in 2007.

2. Gone Baby Gone

Ben Affleck should never have tried acting. He belongs behind the camera and he demonstrates it with his directorial debut. A good movie is made great by the twist at the end that makes a typical thriller into a morality tale, which makes you wonder what you would have done.

3. The Simpsons Movie

After 18 years, the Simpsons moved to the big screen and they did so in a fashion that surprised everybody. For 90 minutes, this movie is just pure brilliant entertainment. Maybe there were more meaningful movies in 2007, but there wasn’t a funnier one.

4. The Darjeeling Limited

Wes Anderson makes another movie that is so typically Wes Anderson that after 10 minutes you start to wonder whether he can only make one kind of movie. But you’ll soon stop, because the typically melodramatic comedy of Anderson, combined with beautiful imagery, great acting and music leaves you wanting more. It’s not The Royal Tenenbaums, but it’s still a brilliant movie.

5. Juno

I haven’t actually seen Juno, because it hasn’t yet been released in the backwater country where I live (it’s called Germany). But what I’ve heard is so great, that I’m sure I will love this movie. People might say that it was Ellen Page’s breakthrough performance, but everybody who has seen her in Hard Candy knows that she knows what she is doing.

I’d love to say something about how great a year 2007 was, but due to the fact that studios insist on releasing movies months later in Germany, I haven’t yet seen many hyped movies, such as There Will Be Blood or No Country for Old Men. But considering that I can’t remember the last time I was looking forward to movies that are released here in February, 2007 must have been a great year.