REVIEW: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou [2004]

“Esteban was eaten!” It’s ambitious, hilarious, visually complex, and kind of … boring. I hoped that last adjective was merely the distant memory of a twenty-two year old expecting more out of Wes Anderson‘s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou when first released in theaters due to his infinite love for The Royal Tenenbaums two years previous. I thought perhaps that its failure—a relative term since it being my least favorite of the auteur’s films doesn’t mean it’s not still a three-star entry within a brilliantly quirky oeuvre—was courtesy of…

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REVIEW: Moonrise Kingdom [2012]

“He left me a letter of resignation” Five years removed from his last foray into live action filmmaking—although Fantastic Mr. Fox is much more akin to his sensibilities than a normal animated children’s movie should be—writer/director Wes Anderson returns with what could be his most storybook piece yet. So far removed from our reality, Moonrise Kingdom fits firmly into the auteur’s world of meticulously detailed constructions and manufactured quirk. Subtly surreal in its tale of lost innocence, the characters populating the small island of New Penzance exist on the fringes…

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REVIEW: The Nightmare Before Christmas [1993]

“Curiosity killed the cat, you know” Born from a poem written in the early 80s while Tim Burton was still working as a Disney animator, The Nightmare Before Christmas was a project the auteur wasn’t going to let lay dormant anymore. After finding success with his signature style in the likes of Beetlejuice and Batman, Burton and Disney were able to agree to a deal that would let another Mouse House alum—Henry Selick—direct it as his first feature film. Bringing in Danny Elfman to write the music and eventually sing…

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Picking Winners at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards

Some Oscar nomination thoughts, the morning after: William Altreuter: Best Picture: The Hurt Locker. James Cameron backlash, plus Hollywood self-seriousness = victory! Best Actor: Jeff Bridges. Everybody loved Clooney, but he’s in something good every year. Supporting Actor: Stanley Tucci. Just a hunch. Best Actress: Sandra Bullock. Did you realize she’s forty-five years old? Not exactly the best argument against the proposition that there are no roles for women over twenty-four, since she plays at least ten years younger, but still. Plus the Streep movie wasn’t that good (even though she…

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Top 25 Films of 2009

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 153 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: An Education directed by Lone Scherfig #24: The Box directed by Richard Kelly #23: Sunshine Cleaning directed by Christine Jeffs #22: The Road directed by John Hillcoat #21: District 9 directed by Neill Blomkamp #20: Fantastic Mr. Fox directed by Wes Anderson #19: Lebanon directed by Samuel Maoz. #18: The Hurt Locker directed by Kathryn Bigelow. #17: Los abrazos rotos[Broken Embraces]…

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REVIEW: Fantastic Mr. Fox [2009]

“Never look a beagle in the eye” When I heard that Wes Anderson was going to direct a stop-motion adaptation of a Roald Dahl children’s story I was shocked, perplexed, and very worried. Not only had he stumbled—not fallen—with The Life Aquatic, but he was now also putting his talent behind a multi-year project. He thankfully fit in The Darjeeling Limited, bringing back a bit more of the magic his first three films contained, and because of it I frankly forgot Fantastic Mr. Fox was even on the table. After…

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REVIEW: The Darjeeling Limited [2007]

“We haven’t located us yet” The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is not my favorite Wes Anderson movie by any means. I had such high hopes for it after viewing his previous three films as a crescendo of precision and quality. Zissou ended up being more pretension and aimless drivel then something worth writing home about. Now, I didn’t hate the film, there is a lot to applaud him for, however, it slightly tarnished his do-no-wrong clout with me. In the years between then and now, though, we were given…

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