Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Wes Anderson, get out of my head! I bopped up to Eugene yesterday and caught Anderson's latest movie, "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou," and absolutely loved it. But I expected to -- I've dug Anderson's other movies, "Bottle Rocket," "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums," and his latest is just as oddball and intricate as those movies. Really, I feel like he peeked into my brain and decided to make a movie out of all the things in life I judge cool -- Bill Murray, intrepid explorers, David Bowie songs, pirates, submarines, stop-motion animation, strange mythical creatures, Jeff Goldblum and the mysteries of the father-son bond.

I know Anderson's quirks and studied mannerisms wear thin for some, but to me they're pure gold. His movies remind me of those ornate jewelery cabinets where each section is carefully crafted, with layers inside layers and many hidden drawers. Like George Lucas, whom I imagine he's not often compared to, Anderson fills the entire screen with his made-up worlds, with tiny details galore (Legendary oceanographer Steve Zissou action figures and pinball machines!). "Aquatic" is the strangest of his movies by far, and comes close to the edge of "weird for weird's sake," but another excellent Bill Murray performance helps ground it. I can't wait for the DVD, which hopefully will be as packed with supplements as his other movie DVDs. It was worth the hour's drive to check out and I'd definitely amend my "top ten movies" list to include it. Thumbs up.

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