Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Quick Movie Review: Wes Anderson Edition

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014, USA) | Rating: 4/5

This movie is responsible for this special director exclusive post. I have seen one other Wes Anderson film, Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I surprisingly enjoyed. I saw this movie get checked out a lot and I heard some good things about it, so I got curious, especially since a new friend of mine loves Wes Anderson. I didn't completely know what this movie was about and I had to read the synopsis a couple of times as a reminder. Anyway, I was very impressed with this movie. Jumping ahead, Anderson has a very distinct style and it's very interesting: a certain color, ambiguous time period, reoccurring actors, quirky stories and romances. This movie has good pacing. Sometimes it might seem like the story is dragging, but Anderson puts a lot of care into his characters and their development through their unique journeys. The comedy is refreshing and I enjoy the chemistry and bits of chaos this movie offers.

Bottle Rocket (1996, USA) | Rating: 3/5

The first full length picture by Mr. Anderson and it wasn't that bad. It stars brothers Owen and Luke Wilson in this bizarre heist and unexpected romance. Both brothers, who are friends in this movie, were very...dumb, which made it both entertaining, amusing, and a bit annoying. Hearing such a ridiculous plan with somewhat reasonable goals, then watching the execution of said plan made me facepalm and laugh at the same time. I will say that this was probably my least favorite of Anderson's films so far, but I still found it enjoyable because of its characters and their lack of intelligence.

The Darjeeling Limited (2007, USA) | Rating: 3.5/5

I noticed after watching this movie and Bottle Rocket that Owen Wilson plays some pretty stupid characters. At times his character can be quite funny because of this and other times it's a bit annoying what little intelligence he possesses. This movie seems a little more reflective for both the audience and the movie's characters. Compared to all the movies in this post, it seemed like this one intentionally wanted to tug a little at your emotions at a certain point in the movie, while you do feel like a voyeur as these three brothers bicker and talk behind each other's backs. The journey that they take is pretty entertaining and you're wondering if they'll ever get along or find some sort of common ground. In the end, I think the movie portrays the dream or hopeful conclusion people have with their dysfunctional families as well as weave in a cultural appreciation from an outsider point of view, but I will admit that a couple elements were a bit unnecessary for the progression of this film. Also, the prologue Hotel Chevalier was interesting and helps you understand one of the brothers' stories.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004, USA) | Rating: 3/5

As of now, this is the last Wes Anderson film I've seen and it was...interesting. I didn't quite get into as much as the others, but still found it enjoyable. I suppose in a ranking system it would join the bottom of the list with Bottle Rocket. I also want to note that I think this movie is competing for the most bizarre of his filmography with Moonrise Kingdom. There's a bit of sadness to this story with Bill Murray playing the movie's protagonist. He seems delusional and emotionally incomplete in places. His journey and struggles seem a bit complicated to explain, but they are reasonable and easy to understand when watching it.

Moonrise Kingdom (2012, USA) | Rating: 4.5/5

Despite watching a very infuriating movie at the beginning of a mini marathon, this movie was very good as well. I probably would put it in the higher ranks of The Grand Budapest Hotel and Fantastic Mr. Fox. At first, I thought the premise was going to be really silly. Reading does sound like that. A couple crazy kids [actual kids] are in love and run away from their parents and guardians. The lengths and events that occur during this escape are very much ridiculous in the most entertaining way. As crazy as things get for this young couple, I couldn't help but wonder "what's next?" and if the boy's troop and the girl's parents would ever get to them. It really is a test of their love and it's quite admirable.

If there's something you want me to review (or want a more in depth review of the movies above or previous ones), check out this post on how you can submit requests.

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