Posts Tagged ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’

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 – The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Sonntag, Februar 17th, 2008

Review:

The Life Aquatic not only has a ridiculously long title, but is also probably my least favourite Wes Anderson film. It’s still great though: Steve Zissou is a marine researcher that has somehow lost his touch. People aren’t interested in his documentaries anymore and when his best friend is eaten by a shark, nobody takes his hunt for it seriously or is willing to finance it. Only Ned, who may or may not be his son, can help him restore the interest and so the crew set out for one last adventure. The movie balances once more between comedy and drama, but some of the ideas are just a bit too absurd. Nevertheless, the story of an aging man and his ragtag crew is often funny and in the end refreshingly different from most current cinema.

Random Observations:

The Life Aquatic… at imdb.com

Another ensemble cast with a collection of great actors (and many returning Anderson favourites): Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum and Michael Gambon. Plus a bunch of other good actors that aren’t nearly as well known as they deserve.

The soundtrack with Portuguese renditions of David Bowie songs (which are often played on screen by Seu Jorge, the musician responsible for them) is great.

I want one of those rainbow seahorses! While I thought the other sea creatures were a bit too strange, I absolutely love that one.

This is the conclusion of “Wes Anderson Sunday”. For more of his work, see my review of Bottle Rocket and my thoughts on The Darjeeling Limited. You can also look forward to soon reading a letter I sent to him…

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.”)