The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Wes Anderson assembles an all-star cast for The Life Aquatic, in which internationally famous oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) and his crew set sail on an expedition to hunt down the mysterious, elusive, possibly nonexistent Jaguar Shark that killed Zissou’s partner during the documentary filming of their latest adventure. They are joined on their voyage by a young airline copilot (Owen Wilson); a pregnant journalist (Cate Blanchett); and Zissou’s estranged wife (Anjelica Huston).
New, restored digital transfer, approved by director Wes Anderson, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Commentary by Anderson and cowriter Noah Baumbach. New interviews with actors Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, and Jeff Goldblum. This Is an Adventure, a documentary by Antonio Ferrera, Albert Maysles, and Matthew Prinzing chronicling the production of the movie. Mondo Monda, an Italian talk show featuring an interview with Anderson and Baumbach, hosted by Antonio Monda. Interview with composer and Devo member Mark Mothersbaugh. Ten performances of David Bowie songs in Portuguese by Brazilian recording artist and actor Seu Jorge. Intern video journal by actor Matthew Gray Gubler. Multiple interviews with the cast and crew, featuring behind-the-scenes footage, Making-of featurette, Nine deleted scenes, Behind-the-scenes photos and original artwork from the film, Trailer, PLUS: An insert featuring a cutaway view of The Belafonte, the ship from the film, Eric Anderson’s original illustrations, and a conversation between Wes and Eric conducted in 2005.
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Steve Zissou (Murray) is either a parody of, or a homage to deep sea explorer Jacques Cousteau (it works either way but I lean towards the latter interpretation). Zissou has been making documentaries for decades, but now his star is in decline and to add insult to injury, his best friend is devoured by a "Jaguar Shark." This turns Zissou into Captain Ahab but before he can set sail on the good ship "Belafonte" (famous for his calypso singing, which, it turns out, was the name of Cousteau's own good ship), a couple of newcomers show up for the ride. Ned Plimpton (Owen Wilson), appears to be the son that Zissou never knew he had, and Jane Winslett-Richardson (Cate Blanchett) is a journalist who is doing an article on Zissou and his quest. Zissou is smitten with Jane, who takes a fancy to Ned. Meanwhile Zissou's estranged wife, Eleanor (Angelica Huston), continues to be the brains behind Team Zissou, Klaus (Willem Dafoe) remains Zissou's right-hand man, Bill (Bud Cort) is along to count the money, and even rival Alistair Hennessey (Jeff Goldblum) lends assistance, even if he does not know about it until it is too late to say "no.Read more ›
I can definitely see how some people would find this film boring. It's not the typical slapstick comedy that comes out every 4 months. The comedy in this flim relies mostly on portraying the ridiculous character of Steve Zissou and his equally oddball crew. You'll see Bill Murray delivering brilliantly witty lines, as well as a couple of memorable sight gags. You can't really rate the acting in this movie, since all the characters are over the top.
Typical comedy of this film...scenes are occasionally interluded with a guitar player strumming out tunes. It might take a few songs before you realize he's playing David Bowie songs in Portugese.
Steve Zissou (Billy Murray) is a Jacques Cousteau-like marine biologist and explorer, who seems to be baffled by his own species. After the premiere of his newest documentary, Zissou informs the crowd that he intends to get revenge on the legendary Jaguar Shark that devoured his friend. Why? Revenge. So he starts cobbling together a new expedition.
Among the odd ducks who join the expedition are Ned (Owen Wilson) who believes Zissou is his father, a pregnant British journalist (Cate Blanchett) and an emotionally insecure German (Willem Dafoe). Ned and Zissou try to work out their odd relationship as their whimsical Moby Dick quest starts zoning in on the Jaguar Shark.
"The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" has an intriguing beginning and a glorious finale. The middle just lacks a bit of the necessary meat -- it needs a bit more than a whimsical Ahab quest to keep it moving. But Anderson makes up for storytelling gaps, by using his unique style and the quirky talents of his actors. I didn't know Dafoe -- also known as the Green Goblin -- was so darn funny.
Actually, the whole idea of the movie is pretty intriguing -- Jacques Cousteau with Ahab's revenge thang. And Anderson takes his cinematic quirks and turns them on "high." Dancing fish, Porteguese covers of David Bowie, and pirate attacks take place, surrounded by colorful costumes and impossibly bright settings. The sea never looked so blue.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The movie is good, was missing the slip case that goes with it though.Published 1 month ago by fish
Doesn't have all the features listed for this movie on Criterion website. Also, this film isn't Wes Anderson's best, but it's still fun to watch.Published 2 months ago by RWRB
My favorite of Wes Andersons films. I dare you not to cry at the end.Published 3 months ago by A. Cotnam
I give 3 stars not to a movie (it's a 5-star one for sure, I wouldn't buy it otherwise). But the Criterion Collection in the title is very wrong, the DVD case is cheap and there's... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Snarker