Skip to main content

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

I know it's been, like, a week since we actually sat down and watched The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, but I haven't really had the time until now to discuss my feelings on it. Not to mention the fact that I'm not entirely sure exactly what my feelings about it are.

I'm still not sure if I liked the movie or not.

While I was thoroughly disappointed by the way things ended, at the same time, I suppose to have things turn out differently would have been one of those fake Hollywood happy endings that everyone (except me) hates. The Boyfriend didn't really like it, because he thought the whole film was too "weird." Personally, the deliberate weirdness is what I particularly enjoy about Wes Anderson films. I love the bizarre flashbacks, strangly constructed sets, and absurdist plots. In fact, had it not been for the sad ending, I think I would have really loved it--not as much as Royal Tennenbaums, obviously, but quite a bit. The way the ship set was built--Anderson intentionally made it seem more like a huge diarama of a ship. It was almost as though he was presenting the whole film as a staged play, a reversal of what he did in Rushmore (within which films were presented as stage plays.) Another interesting decision from Anderson involved the soundtrack. Although there were the expected small instrumental interludes, the use of the Portuguese(?) acoustic versions of Bowie songs was unexpected. I found myself trying to figure out what their purpose and function was (not to mention trying to figure out which particular song was being played at any given time.) I'm not sure I like that particular musical choice, but at least it was something different. I thought that the characters, though totally ridiculous, were also extremely distinct. The performances from Billy Murray, Angelica Huston, and Cate Blanchet were in my opinion spot on. As much as I adore Owen Wilson, I don't know that I necessarily bought the relationship between he and Murray entirely. Wilson's character seemed almost too sweet through most of the film, though I suppose in the end that's what makes the ending effect me the way it did. So I guess what I'm saying is: if you enjoy the Wes Anderson oevre (yay! I managed to work in the word "oevre"! I only hope I've spelled it correctly)--more so Tennenbaums than Rushmore or Bottle Rockets, then you might enjoy it. I'm not saying that fans of Rushmore WON'T enjoy it, I'm just saying I think it probably appeals more to the more delicate sense of whimsy displayed in Tennenbaums. So if that's your bag, you might like it. If not, I'd recommend just going ahead and skipping it.


Popular posts from this blog

CR3 # 17: Mount Misery by Samuel Shem

Mount Misery is the sequel to Samuel Shem's first book, House of God (review here). It follows Dr. Roy Basch as he leaves the House of God and moves to psychiatric hospital Mount Misery to begin his psychiatric residency. Unfortunately, it turns out that psychiatrists are just as crazy, confused, and often detrimental as medical doctors. As Dr. Basch cycles through the various sectors of the hospital (talk therapy, admissions, Freudian Analysis, drug therapy) he is horrified to discover that it seems everything he is being taught is not only wrong, but potentially dangerous. He begins to fall into terrible patterns of behavior, mirroring the problems his patients are having. Each area is worse than the last, with one doctor who thinks the best way to treat is to be aggressively hostile, one who cares only about insurance premiums and efficiency, one who treats with silence and "regression," and one who thinks the only viable treatment is to pump every patient full of exp…

CBR9 #5 Borgin Keep by Ron Ripley

I've read the entire Berkeley Street series, as well as the Haunted series, and I think this was definitely one of the better offerings. This time, former Marine Shane and his slowly growing band of willing (and unwilling) ghost hunting allies face their biggest challenge yet. While the ghosts of Borgin Keep are both very dangerous and very evil, Shane also must keep one step ahead of The Watchers, a ruthless and powerful organization who find him to be a threat to their shadowy goals.

As always, for me the best part are the characters. Shane and his ghost-hunting partner Frank (a former soldier/former monk) are joined once again by police detective Marie LaFontaine, who is a very tough woman determined to avenge a dead friend. I'm not as fond of Shane's girlfriend Courtney, but I understand her uses as far as character development.

The plot moves along quickly, and I found this book a little better fleshed out than a few of the previous ones in the series -- while I enjoye…

CBR9 #3: Missing Wives, Missing Lives by JJ Slate

There's a lot of discussion these days about things that are dangerous to women--is it heart disease? Is it stress? Car accidents? Drugs? Serial killers? Trans women in bathrooms?--but it seems like one of the biggest hazards to women are the men in their lives.

This book details the cases of thirty women who vanished. Stretching back to 1976, and with cases as recent as 2007, the women featured in this book seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth, never to be seen again. For some, the legal system was able to prove a case against the men in their lives, but for others, the search for justice may never be resolved.

The amazing thing to me was the stories that the husbands gave upon their wives' disappearances. "So, you had a fight, and she just left the house--at 3am. In her pajamas. Barefoot. Without her purse, or her glasses, or her car, or her TEETH? Leaving her small dependent children behind. And you decided to say nothing for three weeks? And while she was gon…