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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted December 31 2004 - 12:45 PM

To me, this film gave me the same feeling that Ocean's Twelve did, one where I got the feeling Wes Anderson's stable of actors were just going through the motions, and not bringing much to the table to produce interesting (to watch) characters. There are some chuckles here and there, but some of the 2nd half sequences are just so improbable that it does require the audience to accept it as a fish story (i.e. filled with hyperbole and exaggeration), and that just made the film stagnant for me. Go see it if you're curious, but don't have high expectations. I give it 2.5 stars, or a grade of C+.
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#2 of 14 OFFLINE   David Ely

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Posted December 31 2004 - 04:02 PM

I was wondering when the first post would surface for this movie. I caught it last week and considered starting a thread, however I didn't want this to the the first review. I honestly believe Life Aquatic is one of the worst films I have ever seen. It was an extreme disapointment, as I am a fan of Anderson's previous work. There isn't a single positive comment I could possibly make. The worst part is the change which occurs at the mid point of the movie. My jaw was practically on the floor as I marvelled at the utter rediculousness (not in a good way) of what I was watching. As Patrick stated, even the performances were nothing to get excited over. RATING - 0/4
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#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Ray H

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Posted December 31 2004 - 04:22 PM

It's probably Anderson's worst film, but I liked it. I got a few laughs out of it, and didn't think it was bad at all.
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#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Nicholas Vargo

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Posted December 31 2004 - 05:14 PM

Okay I'll bite. I have now seen all of Wes Anderson's films, and I can safely say that although they are all good, "The Life Aquatic" is not his worst film (That honer still goes to the still good "Bottle Rocket"), but I thought it was at least a wonderfully designed and quite funny film. My real problem was that it never reached the heights of his two previous films, even though it had some true moments of laughter and sadness, the problem seemed to be that it became tiresome in the middle areas. The pirate scene was one of those moments. Although it has a great end sequence and a great payoff as well, everything leading up to the scene's finale seemed like it was too much. Still, it was not hard to admire the audacity that Anderson took to make this film. It still seems to be locked in the same world as his previous films. Consider the joke toward the end featuring Jeff Goldblum and those pirates. Now that's comedy. In the end, it was still a good movie, but before I could even consider it one of the best movies of the year, I'm either going to have to either absorb it more or see it again because the film never reaches the heights of his previous films. Maybe it will grow on me on another viewing. Rating: *** out of ****
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#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted December 31 2004 - 06:20 PM

This is now the Official Review Thread for "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning.

If you need to discuss those type of issues, please use the Official Discussion Thread.


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#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Adam_S



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Posted January 01 2005 - 07:33 AM

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Posted ImagePosted Image

Wes Anderson turned ina film that’s every bit as eclectic as his previous efforts, but its just not working for me too much this time. It’s a good, well made film, it entertained me and it also bored me—a lot like Rushmore actually. Royal Tenenbaums is the only film of his I”ve really loved (never seen Bottle Rocket). I feel kinda tired more than anything after coming out of the film, like “okay all ready, I get that you’re capable of eclectic, but can you make eclectic into a compelling story every time?” Apparently not with this film, it’s just a series of not so funny little jokes and moments that never come together naturally. It’s like the film/Wes Anderson is just being insufferably clever and then keeps whacking you on the head to try to explain the joke. I say that because I kept watching the film and half the time I was laughing at the humor and half the time I was looking at the film and going through a laborious process to discover the humor ‘hidden’ in the scene.
Overall disappointing, but solid film. The animation is brilliant, there are some excellent scenes and moments and there is one completely pointless shock near the end that doesn’t really do much and you’re completely unprepared for something like it to happen. Life Aquatic is frustrating because there’s the potential to be really excellent but it feels as though it’s being held back by pretensions controlling the filmmaking, and that’s terribly annoying.

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Gregory E

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Posted January 02 2005 - 06:00 AM

I enjoyed it. It's quirky, fun, and different....even for a Wes Anderson movie. I don't think it's up to par with Rushmore or Royal Tenenbaums. But I had fun.

I think you have to pay even closer attention to get some of the dry humor.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image/Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Nick White

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Posted January 02 2005 - 08:03 AM

Found this to be one of the funniest films of the year (especially on second viewing) and probably better than The Royal Tenenbaums. The humor is just harder to pick up this time around, which makes watching the movie just a little more fun. My main critique would be the length of the first act. The amount of time spent introducing the characters and providing background before putting them in pursuit of the Jquar Shark was simply too long. A lot of that character development could have been placed after the pursuit had begun and would result in better forward momentum for the whole film. I think the slow first act lost a lot of people in the audience. As always with Wes Anderson films, the soundtrack makes it. Excellent choice of Bowie songs and Seu Jorge's interpretations are really great. 4 out of 5 on this one. Probably in my top 3 for the year.
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#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Jose Martinez

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Posted January 02 2005 - 08:15 AM

I enjoyed Life Aquatic quite a lot. It's not as great as The Royal Tennenbaums. It has some down spots such as
Steve Zizzou rescuing the ship from the pirates (C'mon now, how could he get away with what he did and not have any of his crewmates shot dead? Ok so one was hacked by a machete but he survived).
But overall, it was the kind of quirky comedy that made me smile at the end of it.
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#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Tim_Stack


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Posted January 02 2005 - 09:34 AM

Yeah - I laughed when other people in the audience didn't, but overall I was disappointed. 2 out of 4 Bababooeys from me [I don't use stars]

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted January 02 2005 - 03:42 PM

(2004 Film Thread copy) - no spoilers

The Life Aquatic with Team Zissou
9 of 10

Classic Wes Anderson except for one thing, the film is extremely dark for him. Both humor and drama are at times so dark that I thought maybe there was a trick being played. The film also has some issues with a slightly awkward finish and some inconsistant pacing.

But for the most part the film is chock-full of the best sort of dry humor that Anderson and Murray can provide. Willem Dafoe also gets a fun turn with his quirky German and supporters like Huston and Blanchett show some nice mixes of drama and comedy. But its Murray that steals the show with his rather unlikeable yet funny Zissou.

It's quirky and dry enough that non-Anderson fans might not like it or might not even get it, but if you enjoyed Bottle Rocket then this is probably for you (keep that dark edge thing in mind however). The small audience I saw it with was laughing out loud many times during the film.

Also a good film if you like your David Bowie songs.

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Darrell Bratz

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Posted January 03 2005 - 07:05 AM

Loved it. Maybe the best articulation of one of Anderson's favorite themes - family, both adopted and literal. A special joy is the kinsmanship with "Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai", emphatically slammed home in the end-credits "jog", but popping up here and there throughout. It seems redundant to say at this point, but it's remarkable how far Bill Murray has come as an actor - his ability to convey so much with stillness and silence is a rare treasure. Even some Anderson-philes appear iffy on this one, but I suspect a couple of years of distance and repeat viewings will really cause people to jack this one up. A unique moviegoing experience, and a real pleasure. My wife had to fill out an application for something the other day. It had a spot for "organization". She filled in "Zissou Society". The young clerks behind the counter geeked out for that.

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   SarahG


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Posted January 03 2005 - 08:29 AM

Darrell that basically sums up my sentiment on The Life Aquatic. A great film -- one of my faves this year.
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#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted January 03 2005 - 12:58 PM

For clarification purposes, please read the following:

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