Author Topic: Emma's New Film Reviews!  (Read 11522 times)

snowcat

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Emma's New Film Reviews!
« on: June 13, 2010, 08:03:16 PM »
Ok so, my old thread actually started out as marathon thread then turned into a film review thread and always stayed in the wrong place, I was never truly happy with any review I ever wrote in that thread and so im starting again.

I doubt ill be happy with any of these either :p but I just love that fresh thread smell!

Wes Anderson Films
  The Darjeeling Limited
  The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
  Rushmore
  The Royal Tenenbaums
  Bottle Rocket
« Last Edit: June 19, 2010, 12:28:28 PM by Emma (snowcat) »

snowcat

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Re: Emma's New Film Reviews!
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2010, 08:10:44 PM »
The Darjeeling Limited – 2007

Running Time: 89 Minutes
Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman

Trailer:

Review

Wes Anderson is known for his stories of dysfunctional families and dead pan humour from Bottle Rocket to the Royal Tenenbaums there is a certain uniqueness about his style that is just as prominent in The Darjeeling Limited.

After years of no contact stemming from their father’s death, Francis invites brothers Peter and Jack on a spiritual train journey of India. Wanting the brothers to go back to “how they used to be” Francis plans out an entire journey aided by his assistant Brendan, Francis creates an excessively detailed daily plan much to the annoyance of his brothers. but after the train gets “lost” its up to the brothers to make their own spiritual path and become brothers once again.

Anderson is known for his front facing camera angles they give his characters a sense of apprehension and intensity that combined with his dead pan style only compliment the frequent collaborators of his films. Owen Wilson shines as oldest brother Francis, Wilson always seems comfortable playing a character in one of Wes Anderson's film which helps the viewer become immersed in the story. The Darjeeling Limited also features regular Anderson film contributor Jason Schwartzman who made his acting debut in the film Rushmore, Schwartzman’s plays the sensitive  younger brother Jack effortlessly  and Adrian Brody's performance of Peter the self proclaimed “fathers favourite” is superb. Showing that as usual Anderson knows how to cast a film.

Films often portray the idea of a Spiritual Journey as something enlightening, and this film is no exception although it does not go to plan the enlightenment and life defining moments that are often linked with these journeys are still present, and help propel the story forwards. The film is well structured slowly feeding you information about the brothers past and only flashing back once to explain the parts which are not discussed by the trio, we discover that Francis has been in a life threatening accident (which is obvious from the outset, due to his bandages and bruises) That Peter is a soon to be father who is afraid of his relationship predicting it will end in divorce, and that Jack who after writing a story that reflects his life (to which he denies the similarities frequently) is still obsessively pinning over his ex girlfriend.

The Darjeeling Limited is preceded by a 13 minute short film called “Hotel Chevalier” in this short we discover more about Jack relationship with his ex girlfriend (Natalie Portman) who remains nameless in the film. The film features a strong soundtrack of music form the “Cinema of India” featuring many composers such as the Bengali composer Satyajit Ray. Other contributing artists include the Kinks and Peter Sardtedt’s hit “Where do you go to my Lovely?” which also features prominently in the preceding short film.

Upon first watch I did not enjoy this film, it wasn't until the next day when I couldn't stop thinking about that I realised I had in fact enjoyed it, this is a problem I seem to have with all of Wes Anderson's films, I dislike them until I have time to think about their true meaning, something that goes deeper then the humour and wide-angle lenses. The Darjeeling Limited is not an easy film to enjoy nor is it a simple film. It's a film as with many other films that needs a re-watch for a viewer to appreciate the rich colours, beautiful landscape and charming credit roll.  To the fans of Wes Anderson, watch this film you won't be disappointed.
 

venomsinner

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Re: Emma's New Film Reviews!
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2010, 10:47:24 PM »
I hate Wes Anderson films I can't get into them. and this is the worst one, how dare you give it such a great review!  :redcard: how dare you give Owen Wilson such a nice review!!

 :tease:

...You told me to come read your review like I was gonna like it  :redcard:

snowcat

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Re: Emma's New Film Reviews!
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2010, 10:51:00 PM »
...Well, thanks James  :P Im sure im not the only person who likes Wes Anderson. im sure you get like Vertigo from watching some of the spiny shots anyway  :tease:

Najemikon

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Re: Emma's New Film Reviews!
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2010, 12:44:09 AM »
Good review, Emma. I love the mood of Darjeeling. :)

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Emma's New Film Reviews!
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2010, 12:50:04 AM »
I tried to watch it once and just couldn't get into the movie.

snowcat

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Re: Emma's New Film Reviews!
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2010, 09:06:46 AM »
Thanks Jon, I really enjoyed it the second time I watched it.

Marie, I think like his other films its just hard to watch, I think its his style

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Emma's New Film Reviews!
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2010, 09:33:41 AM »
His style is different..definitely not for everyone.  I've gotten through a few of his other movies...though I'm still not sure how much I really liked them.  And I saw them years ago.  I never could manage to write up a review for them either.

snowcat

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Re: Emma's New Film Reviews!
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2010, 09:35:59 AM »
Yeah. I have to admit that was hard to write. And then I re watched Steve Zissou last night, I tried to write a review this morning but didn't know where to start  :hmmmm: Ill have to keep thinking.

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Emma's New Film Reviews!
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2010, 09:46:00 AM »
Steve Zissou is one I couldn't even get started on a review for too.

snowcat

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Re: Emma's New Film Reviews!
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2010, 08:08:10 PM »
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou – 2004

Running Time: 119 minutes
Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum

Trailer:

Review

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is your typical Wes Anderson movie, it features dysfunctional families, dead pan humour the “Rostrum Camera technique” and Owen Wilson. It also features Bill Murray paying homage to one of the greatest underwater explorers of the 20th century  “Jacques Cousteau”

Steve Zissou is a fallen from grace Oceanographer and film maker, his last film resulted in his best friend Esteban du Plantier being eaten by the mysterious “Jaguar Shark” (An animal Zissou named with the first two words that came to his head) Zissou’s next project will be to document the destruction of the Jaguar Shark to get revenge for his friend. After watching his last film public perception is down and investors are running low, Zissou has become a joke amongst his contemporaries. Cue ‘possible’ son Ned who after his mother's death inherits over $200,000. Zissou hires Ned as part of “Team Zissou” and the documentation of this journey begins.

As I mentioned previously the film features the “Rostrum Camera Technique” this technique is used frequently on many animals in the film including the “Crayon Pony Fish” a colourful type of seahorse.

The rostrum technique uses a special type of mounted camera to create 2D animation cells, it captures one frame at a time, as time consuming as this once was, this kind of technique can be recreated via a computer controlled camera which can take varying shots of each frame.


The film switches between the what is “really” happening and what is being “filmed” for the documentary that will help Zissou destroy the Jaguar shark, to break up scenes the film uses title cards that set the film out like a documentary, for example “Day 14” will appear on screen to create a sense of time lapsing.
 Besides the crestfallen Steve Zissou, played by Bill Murry we have the other members of Team Zissou, There is  Klaus Daimler (Willem Dafoe) who sees Zissou as a father figure, Klaus is second in command and jealous of the attention Ned, (Owen Wilson) Zissous “Possible” son is getting. Ned who becomes a producer a short way into the film after using his inheritance to help Zissou’s next project. There are also a few minor crew members  who play small rolls in the film such as safety expert Pelé dos Santos and camera man Vikram Ray. Other cast members who are on the boat include reporter Jane Winslett-Richardson (Cate Blanchett) who is pregnant with her married bosses child and Eleanor Zissou (Anjelica Houston) Steve Zissou’s wife and ex girlfriend of his ultimate rival Alistair Hennessey. (Jeff Golblum) The cast are superb and all play their roles excellently, the sometimes over acted scenes the actors create for the in film project are often amusing but it's the “real” situations that are the funniest.

The film has a very soft soundtrack which features a variety of instrumental and vocal pieces created by Mark Mothersbaugh, who until this point had created the soundtrack to every previous Wes Anderson film. The soundtrack also features a variety of David Bowie songs, in the film Zissou team member Pelé dos Santos (Seu Jorge) Safety expert and musician, plays David Bowie songs whilst singing in Portuguese, many of the songs sung by Seu Jorge are only available on the second Soundtrack CD of the film “The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions”

I've mentioned before that when I watch a Wes Anderson movie I don't think I enjoy it until after I have had time to think about it, It took me a while but I eventually came to the conclusion that I did enjoy this film from its slow start all the way up until the tear jerking final scene. As usual the offbeat, deadpan humour Anderson writes is perfectly placed and Bill Murry plays Steve Zissou flawlessly


venomsinner

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Re: Emma's New Film Reviews!
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2010, 09:34:48 PM »
...I like the picture  :tease:

Whats next? Rushmore, Bottle Rocket.... The Royal Tenenbaums? :p

snowcat

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Re: Emma's New Film Reviews!
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2010, 11:07:59 PM »
Rushmore – 1998

Running time: 93 minutes
Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams

Trailer: 

Review

Jason Schwartzman makes his acting debut in Rushmore, a film that launched Wes Andersons career and re-launched Bill Murray as a independent cinema actor. As usual Rushmore is typical of Wes Andersons films featuring many slow motion shots similar to the final scene of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) is an eccentric 15 year old and student of the prestigious Rushmore school, he is a scholarship student and the school is his life, unfortunately for Max he is known amongst the faculty for being a poor academic student, even though he is a highly credited extracurricular student. It is at school that Max meets Herman Blume (Bill Murray) a multimillionaire who is unsatisfied with his life and his children. Max also meets new teacher Rosemary Cross who arrives at the academy after the death of her husband who was an ex Rushmore student. After an attempt to create a ground breaking Aquarium to impress Ms Cross, Max is Expelled and forced to take matters into his own hands.

Rushmore has a kind of heightened reality about it, almost like a Roald Dahl book to which it is often compared to, as it features situations which would not be viable in real life, such as Max extravagant plays as well as his friendship and subsequent conflicts with Herman. It has been said that it was Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson's (Who co-wrote the film) intentions to create this kind of atmosphere, the story being based of their own experiences as teenagers in prep schools.

Rushmore frequently uses slow motion shots to capture important moments for example when Max leaves the lift after visiting Herman’s hotel room.  Similarly to his other films Wes Anderson uses alot of close up shots with actors looking directly into the camera for emphasis and to heighten emotional moments.

Rushmore’s soundtrack was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh who has composed a couple of soundtracks for Anderson, in the linear notes for the CD Soundtrack it states that Anderson wanted the soundtrack to be made up of songs by “The Kinks” although that concept changed in the years between conception and creation until just one song by “The Kinks” remained. The soundtrack evolved to feature a host of British 60’s hits, Anderson had envisioned Max to be a British exchange student, although this changed the film does feature a Scottish student who is seen as a bully.

This film single handily changed my opinion of Jason Schwartzman, Before I had seen this I thought of him as a mediocre actor that was often lumped with some comedy stars to pick up on the jokes and look innocent, his performance in The Darjeeling Limited was one of the reasons for this. The only other films I really remember him being in are his guest appearance as George Harrisson in Walk Hard and his performance in Funny People which although I have seen the movie twice and he plays a main part I do not remember him standing out. Rushmore has shocked me, not only am I impressed with Jason Schwartzman I think I am going to have to go back and re-think him in The Darjeeling Limited.

I have given Rushmore a positive review because it’s an ok film with solid performances but if I’m honest, I doubt ill watch it again if I do I will undoubtedly fast forward through the parts that bored me and watch the parts I enjoyed. Maybe I need a couple of days to rethink this film, but like Bottle Rocket I just didn’t enjoy it as much as Andersons other films.



Najemikon

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Re: Emma's New Film Reviews!
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2010, 11:26:50 PM »
Nice review once again, Emma, but I'm intrigued. You seem to say the other films got a positive review based on thinking time and second chances. Surely Rushmore deserves the same? ;)

I say so because I really didn't like it on first viewing, but couldn't forget it and now really like it as one of Anderson's absolute best. It's the... 'persistence' of style throughout his films that finally wins you over, I think. The finale of the Vietnam play is just superb.

The only films of Anderson's I liked on first viewing were Darjeeling and The Royal Tenenbaums. The latter was a favourite cinema experience of mine. The place was packed, I was sat between two friends and honestly, I found it hilarious. Even funnier was that I and only one other guy down to the far left laughed at all! My mates were dumbstruck. :laugh:

Only Gene Hackman's answer to "but who stabbed you?" got a proper laugh from everyone.  :whistle:

snowcat

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Re: Emma's New Film Reviews!
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2010, 11:43:07 PM »
I think you are right, I should think it over a bit more, and even now the only things I am thinking about are like you said the play at the end and Jason Schwartzmans performance. I can't help thinking that he hasn't been used to his potential since this film, sad really.

The Royal Tenenbaum's was the firs Wes Anderson film I saw, I loved it straight off, no thinking it over needed I will be reviewing it soon as well as re-writting my Bottle Rocket review  :laugh:

The Royal Tenebaums features one of my all time favourite scenes in a film ever
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