Monday, November 19, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Moonrise Kingdom – 5 out of 5

Future Wes Anderson fan...
I’m not going to say I’m a big Wes Anderson fan. I enjoy his work but I'm leery to call myself a fan because pretentious hipsters love Wes Anderson (despite how mainstream he has become) and I’m not a fan of being one of those guys who hates all other movies unless they are made by Wes Anderson because it makes them look cultured and somehow better than everyone else. What I’m trying to say is I get annoyed by the average Wes Anderson fan…also Wes always puts Jason Schwartzman in all his movies and he plays the same damn character all the freaking time…and he doesn’t even play it well. In fact, Schwartzman is playing the average Wes Anderson fan. The kind of guy who would call The Avengers stupid because of its budget and action but beg Anderson for his scraps after he's pleaded to wash the director's car and service him sexually because he puts the equally pretentious Bill Murray in all his movies (Murray, like Schwartzman, playing the same character he does in all the Anderson movies he’s in). That being said…I like Anderson’s movies…but I keep that shit under control!

"What's that?  You can actually HEAR the color of my outfit through the phone?"

Troubled girl?  Why she looks like she's the model
of perfect health.
Moonrise Kingdom is a romantic comedy about two children on the island of New Penzance. Sam (Jared Gilman) is a scout (like the Boy Scout variety) and the other is Suzy (Kara Hayward), a trouble young girl in an unbalanced family. They discover each other and decide to run away together. The entire island goes nuts trying to find her. Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis), Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) and Suzy’s parents; Walt and Laura Bishop (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand), begin to frantically search the island. Meanwhile, it’s discovered that Sam is an orphan and his guardians have decide to opt-out of taking him back once he is located and now Social Services (Tilda Swinton—and yes, she is only referred to as Social Services) are to take him into custody and place him within a orphanage and some psychiatric treatment. However, Sam and Suzy have read Romeo and Juliet one too many times and run off to get married and possibly engage in a suicide pact if they are captured. And if that wasn’t enough, a hurricane is about to hit the island and rock it…well…like a hurricane.

Uh oh, Bruce Willis looks like he's on the verge of Die Harding.

I enjoy all of Wes Anderson’s quirky, bitter-sweet, often depressing to the point you wonder why some of his characters haven’t run a hot bath and drew a razor down their wrists and succumb to the cold embrace of death comedies. However, I must say that Moonrise Kingdom has become my favorite of all of them. Strange when you consider the film is almost an open mockery and satire of Anderson’s work.

In fairness, this is the most uplifting role Murray has had since Zombieland.

Moonrise Kingdom, from the moment it begins to the time it fades to black after the credits, seems like Wes Anderson was making a parody of his work. It was like a Wes Anderson fan decided to make a Wes Anderson movie that was so over-the-top when it concerns Wes Anderson’s style that it almost feels like it’s a circle-jerk in Wes Anderson’s honor or just a taunt at all his work over the years. As one of my friends put it when it came out, the movie is hands-down Wes Anderson-y.  All the things you expect to see from Wes Anderson--the cookie-cutter characters with mommy and daddy issues he cut-and-pastes into all his scripts, the constant panning camera and odd, controlled chaotic editing--they're all here and they are all cranked up to 11!

Harvey Keitel's mustache should have received a credit in this one.

Schwartzman...the King of the Hipsters--and apparently
young scouts.
I know this sounds like a harsh criticism and it allows many moments within the film’s running length to be something that caused uncontrollable chuckles to form under my breath but the movie was still really good. Sure, it feels like Wes Anderson created a monument to his prowess as a filmmaker (this movie is, in reality, a giant golden statue crafted and dedicated to himself) but it doesn’t change the fact it’s funny and the story is quirky (did I really use that word twice in this review?) and fun. The performances are what you expect when you have Ed Norton in the film and Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray are kind enough to Wes Anderson and NOT change their performance style from all the other Wes Anderson movies they’ve been in (and Bill Murray says Ghostbusters 3 is beneath him and the script sucks, funny coming from a guy who plays the same depressed aging man he’s played for the last decade and a half). Even all the child performers in the film are incredible. An amazing feat when you consider how many shitty child actors are out there in the world (Disney owns most of them). 

"Wow...that is a really big statue of Wes Anderson."

Despite the fact the film seems like a giant send up made either by someone who really hates or really loves Wes Anderson, the movie is an incredible piece of work and is very entertaining.

1 comment:

  1. Wes Anderson's work just keeps getting better and better. HUGE FAN.


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