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Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Not so fantastic....
So far, Roald Dahl's stories have made a successful transfer to the big screen. This film could be said to have horribly ruined that positive trend. James and the Giant Peach, another Roald Dahl story, was brought to life through the use of stop-motion animation as well back in 1996. Similar to the way that Microsoft took a step backwards by upgrading everyone to the inferior Windows Vista, director Wes Anderson lets this film take a plunge by getting a high-definition camera and taking half the pictures that a fluent stop-motion film would require. This results in staccato movements that distract the audience and sap all the potential magic that could have been in the film. Indeed a lot of mistakes are made in the film. Whatever cleverness that Dahl may have originally written into his story is ruined by the director's idea of an alternate ending and overall an apparent carelessness to the way the film was constructed. I'm not saying the film is complete garbage, some parts do stand out, hinting at how good the original story may have been. But somehow even the clever parts, like the characters saying "cuss" when they intend to swear, becomes distracting and even unfriendly towards younger audiences when you realize that the swear it's replacing is the "f-word", just shy of them saying "mothercusser". Probably the worst stop-motion film I've ever seen, The Fantastic Mr. Fox is in no way fantastic and should be left alone.
One of the better HP films so far...
Despite speeding through the plot and excluding several things from the book, "Order of the Phoenix" is probably one of the better Harry Potter films I have seen so far. The movie also manages to show the emotions emitted by characters in the book, such as frustrations towards Umbridge. The acting of Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix was amazing, I could really feel that her character had been brought to life.
Another character I would like to note is Dumbledore. Since Richard Harris's death, I have been a little disappointed with Michael Gambon replacing him. However, in this film, his character seemed a little less wild than before. While he does show talent in speech and projection, Gambon still seems too powerful for the role of Dumbledore.
The rest of the cast did a very good job at bringing life to their characters. Although Hermione's character seems to become progressively more spastic and less intelligent, the rest of the characters show a greater change of character throughout the movie as the Harry Potter series becomes darker than ever before.
David Yates also did a good job at portraying the strong relationship between Harry and Sirius. Yates, who will also be working on Half Blood Prince seems to have made an improvement in the Harry Potter films since Chris Columbus stopped work at movie #2. While this movie could have used a little more book content, it did expand upon the world of Harry Potter in a positive way and helped the audience further understand a world much like our own.
Overall, I give OoTP an 8 out of 10. While it is an improvement from movies 3 and 4, It's not one I would watch over and over again for very long.