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Tag Archives: Wes Anderson

Review: Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

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I have finally seen a Wes Anderson movie in a theater. I might have been late to the game, but no doubt my Anderson fandom is still going steady. Let the yellow text roll….

Moonrise Kingdom is the young love story of twelve year-old’s Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward). In a effort to run away together, Sam abandons his Khaki Scout troop and Suzy leaves her family to trek the wilderness. The small island is soon tossed into a frenzy with Suzy’s parents (Frances McDormand and Bill Murray), the island police officer (played by Bruce Willis), and Sam’s scout master (Edward Norton) all trying to find the pair of young lovers. A historic storm is on the way as well, and only makes matters worse.

Besides from the Anderson usual’s, Murray and Jason Schwartzman, this is by far the most diversely acted movie in Wes Anderson’s filmography. But make no doubt this is typical Wes. The attention to detail, quirky dialogue, and overhead shots are all on display in Moonrise. As a Wes Anderson fan myself, it’s hard to judge this film subjectively. I will say it is not his finest work, but it was entertaining. It has some purposely awkward moments, and Sam Shakusky has nothing on Rushmore’s Max Fischer, but it has some standout moments. Anderson’s retro look plays perfectly into the 1960’s time frame, and gets a rare non action hero performance by Bruce Willis. I can’t say it is my favorite, and I’m sure multiple viewings will only raise my opinion, but on first shot, I can say good not great.

My Rating: B+

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Top Three: 2001

3. The Royal Tenenbaums

There may be plenty of other great films that could have been put third on this list, but I’m going to be selfish. The Royal Tenenbaums is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I will take any excuse to have Wes Anderson mentioned. Gene Hackman and Anjelica Huston are absolutely amazing, Ben Stiller Gives an terrific deadpan role, and has some of the best scenes ever put to music (in my opinion)

2. Lord of the Rings

Peter Jackson was up for a challenge. LOTR is already a big time franchise, with fans all over the globe dying to see if he could live up to the classic J.R.R. Tolkien books. Well, Jackson, along with Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean, Christopher Lee, and countless others did the impossible, and met the expectations. It’s an epic in every sense of the word and still stands today, over a decade later.

1. Amélie

Oh Amélie, how I love your distinct style, amazing visuals, and tremendous story. Yes, again, I might be taking liberties, but even if you hate it, you can’t deny that Amélie is a great film. It was the movie that made me realize that subtitles aren’t scary, but can actually add to the atmosphere of the movie. Just trust me. Go see it already.

Honorable Mentions:

Memento

Ocean’s Eleven

Donnie Darko

Monster’s Inc.

Shrek

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Spirited Away

Review: Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

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Without a doubt, Wes Anderson is one of my top-3 favorite directors, I can pretty much assume that I will go see anyone of his movies. Fantastic Mr. Fox had me worried though. In a change of pace, this one wasn’t a R-rated live action quirky-fest, but a PG stop motion movie based off of a children’s book.

The story follows the titular, Mr. Fox (George Clooney) as he tries to go back to the adventures he had before settling down and having a kid. He plans a great heist that involves the humans in the story Boggis Bunce and Bean. Of course, his reminiscing takes the whole forest population into hiding as the humans are furious.

The medium and adult-language may not be the same, but make no mistake, this is a Wes Anderson movie. In fact, I’ve converted many people into Wes Anderson fans by showing them this movie first. Yes, doubts will be there at first, but that strange style of humor will soon come out, and you will of course fall in love with the characters and their transformations during the course of the film. It appeals to both the kids and the adults, so it is one of my favorite choices for family movie nights.

My Rating: A-

Ranks: Wes Anderson

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6. Bottle Rocket

Started out as a short film and developed into Anderson’s first feature. You start to see the “Wes Anderson feel”, and his use of the Wilson brothers. Very good movie, but still not enough to beat out the rest of his movies.

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5. The Fantastic Mr. Fox

His only non-R-Rated movie (rated PG), and his only non-live action movie. Nothing like I imagined it would be going in. Very unique movie from the script to the models used as actors.

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4. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Of the three newer live action films, this one is the straggler. Still an amazing movie, with some amazing scenes, it isn’t quite up to the level of the others. The cast was the best part; William Dafoe, you slay me.

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3. The Darjeeling Limited

I’m a sucker for a good slo-mo scene, and this was like porn to me. Besides that, it’s your typical Wes Anderson dysfunctional family as three brothers getting to know each other after a troubled past. The actual story sometimes takes a backseat to the beautiful scenery.

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2. Rushmore

Jason Schwartzman is actually somewhat believable as this prep school success story. I had heard nothing about this movie, until my interest in Wes Anderson was piqued. It was my ultimate surprise movie. Zero expections, to one of my favorite films. It takes place in it’s own strange world, and you getting sucked into it real fast.


1. The Royal Tenenbaums

Maybe it’s my sentimentality, but The Tenenbaums have my heart. It was on tv where I discovered Wes Anderson for the first time. It was the first time I noticed a directors specific style.

Wes Anderson Checklist:

Wilson Brother: Check

Dysfunctional family: Check

Bill Murray: Check

Specific uniforms: Check

Sweet Narration: Check