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8 3 23.08%
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1 1 7.69%
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:50 PM   #51
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I don't hate Neverending or want him to go away, I just don't care for the attitude sometimes. This is like a family discussion - sometimes you just gotta address stuff, doesn't mean you abandon them.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:11 PM   #52
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Moonrise Kingdom(6/17/2012)
Maybe I just needed to take a break from Wes Anderson, or maybe he just needed a break from us. His style seemed so remarkably fresh and delightful when I first watched Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums back in high school, and Iíll stand by both of those movies until the end of time. After that though, my love of Anderson hit a serious drought. I thought The Life Aquatic was an over indulgent mess, a film whose visual style was intricately designed but whose human story seemed shallow and distant from any real human experience. I didnít like The Darjeeling Limited any better, largely because I found its characters completely unlikable and that their journey went absolutely nowhere (though admittedly, I might have to give that one a second chance). I skipped his 2009 stop-motion effort The Fantastic Mr. Fox out of my usual biases against family films (yes, Iíll catch up with it someday), so I hadnít seen a new Anderson film since 2007. I donít know if itís because that five year wait has made me more receptive to his work or if he just needed five years between live action efforts, but Iíve got to say, Iím charmed all over again and Iím not exactly sure why.

Many of Wes Andersonís films have drawn upon the music and aesthetic of the 1960s, but this is the first of his films to actually be set in that decade. It is not, however, set in a swinging ďhippieĒ city; rather, itís set on a New England Island with a distinctly small-town/rural feel to it. Our protagonists are Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) and Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman), a pair of precocious twelve year olds whoíve bonded because both feel misunderstood within their respective households. Suzy is the daughter of a pair of bickering lawyers (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) who donít respond well to her moody and detached behavior, while Sam is an orphan living in a foster home, and in spite of his meek and somewhat nerdy looks he still finds himself in the middle of a whole lot of mischief. Early in the film Sam runs away from his tent in a ďKhaki ScoutĒ camp, to the distress of his troop leader, an enthusiastic math teacher named Randy Ward (Edward Norton). It becomes apparent that Suzy has also fled home and that the two plan to rendezvous in the woods and flee further (their endgame isnít entirely clear). Suzyís parents and scoutmaster Ward contact the island police chief Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis), and Ward sends the rest of the scouts out into the woods to track the two children, who head deeper and deeper into the woods to some unknown destination.

The notion of running away from home as a sort of character-building adventure seems like a sort of relic of a bygone era, which is probably a big part of why Anderson chose to overtly set his film forty-some years ago. Itís a story-arc that harkens back to the days when young protagonists like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn could spend days on end independently going on river-rafting adventures and the concerns of their parents could be sort of an afterthought. To Andersonís credit, these characterís somewhat unusual travel plans make perfect sense within the context of the film. Anderson perfectly expresses why these characterís would feel alienated in their homes and how theyíd bond in spite of their somewhat divergent personalities. The story is somewhat reminiscent of the relationship between Margot and Richie Tenenbaum in the flashback sequences of The Royal Tenenbaums; and while that film would go on to show how such a relationship would not necessarily benefit these characters in the long term, this film focuses more on the feelings of his characters in the moment.

Anderson tells the story of these children from a distinctly childlike perspective in which seemingly small things feel more important than they really are. For instance, Sam prepares for his adventure meticulously and comes equipped with all sorts of survival techniques that he learned from the Khaki Scouts. Does he need all this stuff for a two day trip through the woods in temperate weather? No, but to him this is the adventure of a lifetime and he feels like itís a matter of life and death. Similarly, both Suzy and Sam take their puppy love relationship way too seriously and seem to think that theyíre going to be together forever. As an audience we know this is ridiculous, but the kids donít know that and Anderson doesnít depict their feelings in a condescending way. In fact much of the audienceís enjoyment of the film likely depends on their ability to sympathize with these characters rather than judge them. Make no mistake, this movie is earnest in a way that only a Wes Anderson movie can be, and if you go into it ready to accept a certain amount of sincerity, the movie is not going to reward you.

Those expecting some new stylistic ground to be broken by Anderson will probably be disappointed with what they see here, but that presupposes that anything was necessarily broken in the first place. Andersonís camera angles are as meticulously planned out as ever, and the New England island the film is set on is every bit as whimsical as any other location youíre likely to see in one of Andersonís films. The sets are a bit less meticulous than they have been in films like The Life Aquatic, but thatís largely a function of the filmís rural locations. One clear divergence is that the film is much less reliant on popular music than some of Andersonís previous films. There are a couple of old Hank Williams tracks used to emphasize the outdoors adventure elements and some odd ďclassical music for childrenĒ records are featured, but most of the music in the film comes from an original score by Alexandre Desplat. This score largely plays into the whimsy of the film, giving it a sort of ethereal fairy tale feel.

This fairy tale feeling becomes especially apparent late in the film when the story increasingly diverges from reality and into some rather absurd territory. If I have any complaints about the film itís this material as well as some of the sections earlier in the film when it cuts to the adult characters. These adult characters at times act every bit a childish as the children and these sections in many ways felt increasingly like some of the lesser material in Wes Andersonís last couple of films. Still, I canít help but feel like this was a return to form for Anderson, even if it never quite reaches the heights of Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. Truth be told, I donít know that itís ever going to be possible for Anderson to recapture the magic he was able to find when making those two movies, but Iíve come to the point where Iím ready to accept the next best thing. This movie will not impress those whoíve never been in Andersonís camp to begin with, but for people like me whoíve liked his style in the past but become disillusioned, this is worth checking out.
***1/2 out of Four
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:21 PM   #53
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Hmm, maybe I'll go see it.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:32 AM   #54
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I am a sucker for this one from the film:

VIDEO-CLick to Watch!:
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:39 AM   #55
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Er. I didn't mean to hit one for a rating. Smartphone scrolling problems.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:51 AM   #56
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Your subconscious did.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:49 AM   #57
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Fantastic Mr.Fox is, well, fantastic. You should definitely give it a poke Drac.
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:35 PM   #58
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Don't, Drac. You won't like it.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:04 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBond View Post
Hmm, maybe I'll go see it.
You should, it's awesome.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:29 PM   #60
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Just got back from this, and at the moment, my reaction is the same I had to Bottle Rocket (the other Wes Anderson film I've seen): mild admiration. Oh, I liked it, to be sure, but a lot of Anderson's style doesn't hit the mark that strongly for me. I just guess Wes Anderson isn't really my cup of tea.

Rating pending.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:37 PM   #61
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What'd you think of his other ones? I haven't seen Moonrise Kingdom, I'll try sometime this week, but if I had to rate I'd go:

Rushmore
The Royal Tenenbaums
Bottle Rocket
Darjeeling Limited
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Life Aquatic
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:40 PM   #62
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It's been a while since I've seen Bottle Rocket, but I seem to remember enjoying it slightly more than I did Moonrise Kingdom. It was less surreal.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:18 PM   #63
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I love The Royal Tenenbaums, but I could never get into Rushmore.
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:52 PM   #64
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Rushmore has long been my favorite. The Darjeeling Limited is the only one that I thought was just average.
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:03 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
I am a sucker for this one from the film:

VIDEO-CLick to Watch!:
Yes! This had probably some of the best musical cues of any Wes Anderson film
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:59 AM   #66
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Just came back from watching this (it came out a week ago in my country), and I loved everything about it!
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:39 PM   #67
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I'm glad you loved it.
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:01 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PsYkOoOoO View Post
Just came back from watching this (it came out a week ago in my country), and I loved everything about it!
*high-five
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:14 PM   #69
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Still the best film of the summer.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:25 AM   #70
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Moonrise Kingdom takes place in the sweeter and more innocent days of yesteryear where Anderson has built a small community which could almost be an offshoot of a Norman Rockwell painting. In this story, two 21 year old misfits fall in "love" and run away together... on an island. And as such, sends all those who are part of their lives out searching for them.

Moonrise Kingdom is a very good movie. It has just the right proportions of sweetness, deviousness, and, best of all, humour. There were a lot of great running gags in this film which I highly appreciated, especially the ridiculously high treehouse and the embodiment of social services by a single character called Social Services.

The story of the two kinds trying to find some happiness in their lives with each other was really well done. Anderson doesn't treat these kids the way children of this age are usually handled, which is usually by completely ignoring their complexities altogether. Anderson gives these kids hopes and desires like any 12 year old has and does so in a way that is verging on risque but also in a way which focuses on the truth in these characters.

The performances in this movie are spotty throughout the cast. Ed Norton and Bruce Willis provide a lot of intrigue in the way that they don't really seem to fit Anderson's style, but the clashes still really work well. However, Bill Murray is completely wasted in the film, and the actor who plays Sam (Jared Gilman) has some odd line deliveries. I mean, its hard to expect much from a kid actor, but it was noticeable. Kara Hayward, who played Suzy, felt much more authentic. Also, Bob Ballaban's oddball narration was spot on.

You know, I really enjoyed this film, but it did get me thinking about Anderson's filmography. And I've come to the conclusion that Anderson is likely never going to make a truly great picture. He is able to make really good movies, enjoyable movies, but that is all. His style restricts him too much. He only works within the constraints of his very distinctive camera framing and his stoic performances and deadpan humour, and it can only take him so far. I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but I think its worth mentioning, since that thought process was certainly a byproduct of my viewing of this film. With that side however, I do believe that Moonrise Kingdom may be the closest he's gotten.
9/10
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:54 PM   #71
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Loved this, and I'm typically not a fan of Anderson's outside of Fantastic Mr. Fox. I'm not sure why this one was so different for me but it hit all the right notes. The kids, Norton, Willis, and Schwartzman killed it. There was a bit of a lull after the kids are found until it picks back up again but other than that it was excellent.

9/10
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:27 AM   #72
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Was Willis' police car the same model as Ecto-1?
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