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The new Wes Anderson movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is garnering praise left and right. While you wait for its March opening date, there’s plenty of time to take in the new blu-ray release of an older Anderson movie, Fantastic Mr. Fox. The Criterion Collection disc, which hits stores next week, features an extensive suite of making-of features — enough to place the disc in good company with the rest of Criterion’s Anderson releases.

Below you can check out a trailer for the release, narrated by voice actor and former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker. Read More »

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The Red Vic Movie House on Haight street in San Francisco has been producing limited edition posters to celebrate the 30th year of one of the last great movie houses. Two of the posters I really love were created by Zoltron. I must warn you that both prints are completely sold out. The first is for Wes Anderson‘s Fantastic Mr Fox, and the second if for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

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This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.

Buy It

FANTASTIC MR. FOX
Fantastic Mr. Fox is as attuned to Wes Anderson’s filmmaking idiosyncrasies as any of his past work, and yet somehow it’s never felt more appropriate. Stranger still, he manages to stay true to the spirit of the book, despite Roald Dahl having his own offbeat brand of charm and quirk. It seems though that Dahl’s story gave Anderson exactly the starting-off point he needed, and he used the decidedly more simple and focused narrative to fashion a movie uniquely his own, in the best way possible. Anderson’s symmetrical framing and artful use of color translate perfectly to the animated world, and the rough, makeshift design of the sets and character design add an imperfect appeal that most animators wouldn’t even consider exposing audiences to in this day and age. If there’s one area that might’ve benefitted from an update it’s the faces of the characters, because though the old-school models fit nicely with the rest of the film’s stylistic approach, they come dangerously close to looking like dead-eyed puppets. This would probably be more of an issue were the voice acting not so perfect, and were the pace of the movie not so delightfully fast and fun. In a year filled with spectacular animated films, Fantastic Mr. Fox manages to stand out amongst them as the most interesting and original of the bunch.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – Two featurettes (“From Script to Screen”, “Still Life (Puppet Animation)”), and A Beginner’s Guide to Whack-Bat. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as 4 documentary featurettes (“The Look Of Fantastic Mr. Fox”, “The Puppet Makers”, “The Cast”, “Bill And His Badger”), a Fantastic Mr. Fox: The World Of Roald Dahl featurette, a DVD copy of the film, and a digital copy.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$19.99 $19.99 $16.77
Amazon – $17.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$24.99 $26.99 $24.77
Amazon – $24.99

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VOTD: 50 Movie Spoilers of 2009 in 4 Minutes

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The Fine Brothers love to spoil everything, In past years, we’ve featured their popular videos 100 Movie Spoilers in 4 minutes and Spoiling Every Best Picture Winner in Oscar History. After seeing all of the big movies of 2009, the brothers are back once again.  Their latest video spoils 50 movies released last year (including all ten best picture nominees) in one take, in under 4 minutes. Watch the video now, after the jump.

And if it isn’t completely obvious already, please be warned that the following video contains spoilers.
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Wes Anderson accepted his special achievement award for Fantastic Mr. Fox from the National Board of Review in character – via a stop-motion animated vignette. Not one to make a mockery of things, Anderson then got up on stage to thank them in person. You can watch the video of the stop motion animated acceptance speech after the jump.
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Here’s to a school of dagger-propelled, orange barracuda siccing any listmeister who jumped the gun and failed to consider A Town Called Panic for his or her top ten films of 2009. Undeniably the most entertaining and energetic movie of that now-caput year, I found myself funstruck from film’s start to its fireworks-laden finish; ATCP is also 2009′s best animated film, somehow scurrying and climbing past other visionary, grand entries from the oh-nine like Wes Anderson’s fireside-classic Fantastic Mr. Fox, Pixar’s latest crown jewel Up, and Disney’s strong, under-appreciated The Princess and the Frog. This superlative—and I realize how questionable it may seem to those unimpressed by the accompanying image—is not fueled by contrarianism or ostentatious indie preferences; this Fantastic Fest Audience Award winner is simply that effing good. Seek it out.

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Stephen King’s Top 10 Films of 2009

Stephen King

Author Stephen King has published his annual listing of the top 10 films of the year. This year King agreed with the mainstream critics in naming The Hurt Locker as the best film of the year, but the rest of his list is the opposite of conventional. His list for 2009 is bound to spawn as much debate and outrage as previous years (last year’s list included Death Race, Lakeview Terrace and The Ruins). For example, #2 is The Last House on the Left, which he claims is “on par with The Silence of the Lambs” and that it’s “easily the most brilliant remake of the decade.” Other films include District 9, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and 2012. Check out the full list after the jump.

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Chris Appelhans' Fantastic Mr. Fox Concept Art

Chris Appelhans has created concept art work on Monster House, City of Ember, Coraline, and Princess and the Frog. Appelhans has uploaded some of the awesome work he crafted for Wes Anderson‘s Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I have included after the jump.

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