Wes Anderson’s mind is finally a fun place to be at again.
Moonrise Kingdom centers on two 12 year-olds (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) who fall in love and decide run away together into the wilderness. Naturally, the local community frantically scrambles to find them before a violent storm hits shore.
For awhile now, it seems like Wes Anderson has really started losing any credit he’s ever gotten since his debut, Bottle Rocket. Mainly, the reason for that is because his style is just overly-quirky, to the point of where you don’t feel like you’re actually watching real-life human beings, you’re just watching a bunch of twee characters made from Anderson’s sketches. However, that all changes here but at the same time, doesn’t change all that much. Which is very strange considering it’s probably my favorite from him since The Royal Tenenbaums.
This is probably Anderson’s best-looking flick he has ever done but it’s also with the same style he’s been using for his whole career, it’s just that it works so well with the story. All of the trademarks from Anderson’s direction are here in this flick, but the difference here that sets it apart from all of his other, beautiful-looking movies is that this one is set in the 60′s. The bright colors, sets, costumes, and camera-tricks that Anderson pulls out of his pocket all work rather than just seeming like another hipster attempt at being “cool” because of how he sets it in the 60′s. 60′s was a time for fun, relaxing, and being yourself and Anderson totally taps into that mind-set with just how gorgeous he makes this film look and even if you don’t like Anderson films (and trust me, there are plenty out there who absolutely despise the hell out of him), you can still sit there and just gaze at the beautiful portrait Anderson has on-display here.
Anderson always has beautiful films, no surprise there, but what makes this one so different is that he has a great script to give us something else to sink our teeth into. Anderson has a very dead-pan way of comedic timing but it’s put to great use here just because the film is so damn funny. As usual, you have to look out for little sight gags here and there but it’s the fact that this film continues to get more and more goofy as it goes on, that makes you feel like you’re having the time of your life. There’s a certain unabashed “fun” feel to this film that had me entertained so much but it’s more about how the story made me feel, rather than what it made me do.
This is probably Anderson’s most innocent piece of work to date, and with good reason because when you have a story about two runaway, little kids being together and falling in love, how can you not get a little cutesy? There are so many moments here that are so pleasant to watch because you really feel something for these two kids whenever they are together, and you want them to be happy, you want them to never grow-up and be old, angry people like Suzy’s parents, and you just want them to live their lives together, forever. I know it all sounds uber cheesy and lame, but this story really bring you into to its sweetness and Anderson takes full advantage of that showing us that the outside world for these two, is just not a fun or happy place to be, especially together. It was a story that actually reminded me a lot of my little crushes I had on some chickity-doo-da’s when I was little tike and made me feel young again, just watching how happy they were being able to connect to somebody in their lives. It’s some great stuff to see up on-screen and it’s a real surprise that Wes Anderson almost had me close to tears by the end of it all. “Close to tears” is what I said, people! Don’t worry, he didn’t get me just yet.
The reason why you love these kids together so much, is because the performances from Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward are so damn good that I was even surprised to hear that this was their first film-roles ever. Gilman has this nerdy, but endearing look to him that makes him easy to like especially when he starts acting all cool and tough, while he’s trying to protect his “girl” from the cruel outside world. While Hayward is absolutely great as this somewhat disturbed girl, that seems like she would most likely be one of those emo freaks, had she been born 30 years later. They both seem so natural with each other, which really shocked me because they have to do some pretty “intimate things” together that would more than likely have some kids turn their heads and go, “ewwww coootieeeeesss!!”. However, that’s not either of these kids and they’re definitely a perfect fit for one another and I hope that they both get some real, bright futures for themselves because I think they deserve it with the work they put out here.
They’re the real stars of this flick, but everybody else is pretty damn good, too. Bill Murray is great as the dead-pan, always sad daddy of Suzy; Frances McDormand is fun to watch as the very messed-up mom of Suzie (also, Hayward looked a little bit like a younger version of McDormand, just a little bit though); Edward Norton is a whole lot of fun as the cheesy Scout Master Ward, and totally had me by surprise by how spot-on his comedic timing was considering this was the guy who got nominated for an Oscar where he actually curb stomped some dude (doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that would have me really laughing at all); Tilda Swinton is evil and bitchy as Social Services, then again, what other kind of character would she play; and Jason Schwartzman also pops-up for about 5 minutes as Cousin Ben, but is still a lot of fun.
Actually, the most surprising piece of good work here was probably done by Bruce Willis as the sad and lonely guy that searches all over for these kids, Captain Sharp. Willis has been so many damn action roles as of late that so many people almost forget about how great of a “dramatic” actor this guy can be at times and he totally surprised me with the depth he was able to go through with this sad-sack of a character. He’s not really all that tough, he’s not really all that happy, and he’s really not at all like John McClane in the least bit. All of which, are a great thing and I hope this shows that Willis has more to him than just shouting out “Yippie-ki-yay, motherfucker!”.
If there was one complaint I had to throw out from this whole movie it would have to be Bob Balaban as the narrator. The guy opens up the film and is a funny joke, but every time he comes on, for some reason just bothered the hell out of me and it seemed like it was a joke that went on too long. Not a huge problem by any means, but any time the guy showed up, I seemed to have gotten more annoyed.
Consensus: Moonrise Kingdom is Wes Anderson’s welcome back to being a top-notch writer/director, and with good reason. The ensemble all bring out great work, including the little kiddie leads, the writing is hilarious in its subtle, dead-pan way, and the story itself will drag you in with its sweet innocence. Classic Anderson and I hope he’s back to stay for good.
Wes Anderson start’s out, with the Wilson brothers.
After charismatic but naïve Dignan (Owen Wilson) persuades his pals Bob (Robert Musgrave) and Anthony (Luke Wilson) to rob a bookstore, the trio takes it on the lam. While holing up in a border-town motel, they bungle their way into a big heist orchestrated by a glib gangster (James Caan).
So to start it off I didn’t know what to think of this film at first. I love all Wes Anderson films, and I always put The Royal Tenenbaums as one of my favorite films, and I just wanted to see where Anderson got his start.
This film is basically a heist film, but not really because if you see Wes Anderson films you’ll see why, and how anti-serious his films can get. I felt like the film’s comedy sometimes bordered on sarcastic and dark but overall made some very serious situations funny.
Bottle Rocket has got a lot of Anderson’s charms and wit with the usual corny soundtrack, and very quirky scenes but nothing really connects. I didn’t feel myself connected to a lot of these characters and their situations. I liked Owen Wilson’s character but the central theme and message that lie within all of Anderson’s others doesn’t really come out here.
The film is incredibly talky throughout. In most films I like it when the characters talk and interact with one another, as I feel it sort of humanizes them. However, Bottle Rocket doesn’t really have much thought about it’s dialogue. A lot of stuff is given to Owen Wilson and it’s used pretty well, but these conversations aren’t very witty or important at all, and I didn’t find myself interested in them talking as much.
Bottle Rocket gets saved from it’s cast however. Owen Wilson does a great job at playing this kind-of slacker guy who doesn’t want to always stay home and do nothing, but go out and do stuff, only that stuff happens to robbing places. He creates a character that is not very likable but soon starts to win you over, as he continues to show more character in a lot his desperate situations. Luke Wilson does a very exceptional job at playing the recently crazy brother as well.
Consensus: Bottle Rocket isn’t very likable but features an impressive debut from Director Wes Anderson and the Wilson brothers.
The life of a weather man can really suck!
Chicago weatherman Dave Spitz (Nicolas Cage) gets one step closer to fame and fortune when he’s invited to try out for a spot on a popular national morning show. All he has to do is pull himself together, but that proves increasingly difficult as his marriage spirals out of control and his father (Michael Caine) gets sicker. Dave soon learns that while he may be able to predict tomorrow’s weather, he can’t stop life from raining on his parade.
Nicolas Cage plays a loner again which he has done before most notably in Leaving Las Vegas, but here he doesn’t drink, he doesn’t go crazy, he simply regrets the wreckage that his life has ensued. The most fascinating thing about this film is that the Cage character doesn’t have some tragic flaw or terrible secret. He has too many problems in his life that he cannot endure and he never had enough faith to begin with.
This is a very strange film that has a very strange rhythm. There is a whole part about Cage becoming an archery player. Most of the film reminded me of strange filled movies like The Royal Tenenbaums and Lost In Translation. The film’s comedy is like both of these other ones because of its dry sense of humor. Much of the film has a very sarcastic but dark sense of narration from Cage and provides laughs throughout the film.
The problem I had with this film was that I thought it got too depressing at points. The humor tries to lighten up the tone but ultimately fails at taking away the depressing mode. The film is also very crude, the son is being set up to be seduced by a pedophile. The daughter is a fat, little smoker who dresses in clothes too tight causing the boys at her school to make fun of her, and only the dying grandfather notices and know about it. I thought a lot of this film was just to be strange to provide laughs but didn’t pay off in the end.
The performances in this film are pretty solid. Cage does a great job at taking center stage and making a nothing performance about a guy’s life who’s suck and tries to help his family. He creates energy but also mixed with confusion which creates this self-pity character. The most important scenes come from Micheal Caine who does very well and him and Cage are father and son but the two create a chemistry that doesn’t feel like father and son but two good friends and it is really cool to see all that pan out on screen.
The film provides some dry laughs mostly due to a good performance from Cage, but soon starts to dissolve into strangeness and a little bit of crudeness.
Just when you thought your family was screwed up.
The film tells the story of a highly dysfunctional family who’s three children were thought of to be prodigies. 22 years later as soon as their father, Royal, has walked out on them he comes back too make ends meet as he tells them his is sick and only has 6 weeks to live.The very dysfunctional family and new members soon reunite.
The Royal Tenebaums are a family that director Wes Anderson loves and is passionate when writing about this family. As screwed up as they are, he gets people into feeling sympathy for them and we can start liking them. Wes Anderson fully creates characters that we can all love and connect to no matter what state of mood we are in. The Tenenbaum family still has their own little world that they choose to live by regardless of the real world, and I felt very absorbed by their world and life. Anderson takes the idea of being whimsy and totally super charges it up into simply hilarious.
Mostly what I enjoyed from this film is that it totally seems to be different to ordinary expectations. Mostly about what would happen to this family, almost every single character goes off in every single direction simultaneously. The film feels so alive and you feel like you have no idea of what’s going to happen next.
First of all the ensemble cast is amazing. Gene Hackman plays Royal Tenenbaum, the guy who wants his family back so bad that he turns to deceit every corner. He without a doubt creates this character that we, the viewers, see that we should him despise for leaving his family but you can the sorrow and regret he feels for this and he does amazing as Royal. The rest of the cast all do great, I thought every two scents that they added in made the film a better and more hilarious watch, and basically every character have a lasting effect on the turn of this story.
The only complaint that I had for this film is that at times I felt it could’ve shown a bit more of Bill Murray and Owen Wilson’s character. But it didn’t matter after all cause I was still greatly entertained.
This film is almost nearly perfect. Wes Anderson is great at making these colorful and almost unnatural characters. He is great at casting them and great at giving them witty and humorous lines. The off-beat and absurdest sense of humor that pervades the whole film that is something that makes this film feel so alive. Loved it from start to end.