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Blu-ray Review Moonrise Kingdom Blu-ray Review (1 Viewer)

Kevin EK

Senior HTF Member
May 9, 2003

Moonrise Kingdom sets on Blu-ray in an edition that provides beautiful picture and sound, and a few brief extras.  The movie itself isn’t much to speak of, and in fact may be a bit too odd for most viewers to handle.  Fans of Wes Anderson will likely enjoy his latest collection of strange characters and poses, while casual viewers may find themselves scratching their heads before long.


Studio: Universal/Focus Features/Indian Paintbrush/American Empirical

Year: 2012

Length: 1 hr 34 mins

Genre:  Character Comedy/Wes Anderson

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

BD Resolution and Codec: 1080p, AVC @ 30 mbps

Audio:  English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (@ an average 3.6 mbps), Spanish DTS 5.1, French DTS 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Film Rating: PG-13 (Sexual Content and Smoking)


Release Date: October 16, 2012

Starring:  Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban

Written by: Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola

Directed by:  Wes Anderson


Film Rating:  2/5

Moonrise Kingdom is the latest offering from Wes Anderson, who continues apace with his series of character studies of truly strange individuals.  I’ll be honest.  The last Wes Anderson movie that really appealed to me was Rushmore.  Since then, from The Royal Tenenbaums through the new film, I’ve had less and less patience for the precious nature of his storytelling.  The movies are always beautiful and Moonrise Kingdom is no exception.  The landscapes are striking, the set dressing is immaculate, the costumes are lovely.  The acting is also quite good.  All of the cast are very specific in their character tics, so that each character seems to fit right into the mold of the house in which we find them.  But it’s just too odd of a story, and after the bones of the movie become clear, the appeal fades quickly.  The story here follows a twelve-year-old boy and girl who run away from their New England island homes in the summer of 1965.  The adults and children who follow them create a strange posse of boy scouts and local folk, while Bob Balaban provides a kind of running color commentary both on the island and on an approaching storm.  This would be more or less tolerable at times if it weren’t for the movie’s inexplicable push into making the kids’ romance almost overtly sexual at times.  I’m not putting a spoiler on that one because I want to make sure casual viewers are warned about it before they get to that moment in the movie and say “What the…???”   In the end, the movie has a relatively pat conclusion, with all the characters winding up back in their little boxes and the viewer wondering what they have actually seen for the past 90 minutes.

Moonrise Kingdom was released simultaneously on Blu-ray and standard definition two weeks back. The Blu-ray has everything from the standard DVD, and adds high definition picture and sound, along with high definition versions of the brief featurettes that also accompany each edition. The Blu-ray package also includes the DVD copy of the movie on a second disc.

Instructions for downloading a digital copy and getting an Ultraviolet copy are also included in the package. 


Moonrise Kingdom is presented in a 1080p AVC 1.85:1 transfer that shows a lovely range of color and texture throughout the movie.  Wes Anderson movies are kind of moving dollhouses and the picture quality here really brings the diorama to life in a vivid manner.


Moonrise Kingdom is presented in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix in English, as well as standard DTS mixes in Spanish and French.  Most of the mix lives in the front channels for the dialogue but there is a satisfying amount of music and atmospheric sound in the surrounds.


The Blu-Ray presentation of Moonrise Kingdom comes with a small number of extra features.  The DVD edition is included in the packaging.  Both Blu-ray and DVD include a few quick featurettes about the making of the movie.

My Scenes – The usual Blu-ray bookmarking feature is available here, allowing the viewer to set their own bookmarks throughout the film.

BD-Live - This Blu-ray includes access to Universal’s BD-Live online site, allowing for the viewing of trailers online.  

pocket BLU – This Blu-ray includes the usual pocket BLU functionality, enabling viewers with appropriate laptop, iPad or smart phone integration to remotely control their Blu-ray player and access some of the bonus content from the separate device.  Also, a digital copy is available for download via the pocket BLU application.

A Look Inside Moonrise Kingdom (3:07 Total, 1080p) (AVAILABLE BOTH ON DVD & BLU-RAY) – The usual brief Focus Features EPK piece is included here, providing a very fast introduction to the movie, cast and Wes Anderson.

Welcome To The Island of New Penzance (6:11 Total, 1080p) (AVAILABLE BOTH ON DVD & BLU-RAY) – This is actually a series of four quick featurettes introduced and narrated by Bob Balaban.  The subjects covered are, in order, Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Ed Norton and Wes Anderson.  In each featurette, the actor (or director) is shown at work on the set while Balaban offers a running commentary on their behavior.

Set Tour with Bill Murray (AVAILABLE BOTH ON DVD & BLU-RAY) (3:09, 1080p) – A very brief visit to the set with Bill Murray is included here, some of which footage can be found in the other featurettes.  As a typically fun Murray moment, the discussion begins with Murray openly admitting he still hasn’t seen Bottle Rocket

DVD Copy – A second disc is included in the package, holding the standard DVD of the theatrical cut of the movie.  It contains the movie presented in standard definition in an anamorphic 2.35:1 picture with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound in English, Spanish and French (448 kbps).   The special features are included in standard definition.

Digital and Ultraviolet Copies – Instructions are included in the packaging for downloading a digital copy of the movie to your laptop or portable device, as well as for obtaining an Ultraviolet streaming copy to be placed up in the cloud.  The instructions include a deadline of August 30, 2017 for activation.  I note again that the pocket BLU online menu also includes an option for downloading the digital copy.

Subtitles are available for the film and the special features, in English, Spanish and French. A full chapter menu is available for the film.



Moonrise Kingdom is the kind of movie that will likely only appeal to hardcore Wes Anderson fans.  It’s just too strange and too precious to grab the casual viewer, and the movie’s unfortunate treatment of adolescent sexuality is likely to send that casual viewer away.  The Blu-ray is beautiful to look at, as are all of Wes Anderson’s movies.  But like many beautifully-made puff pastries, one is left wondering if there is anything substantial inside.

Kevin Koster

November 4, 2012.

Equipment now in use in this Home Theater:

Panasonic 65” VT30 Plasma 3D HDTV – set at ISF mode

(Set Professionally Calibrated by AVICAL in June 2012)

Denon AVR-3311Cl Receiver

Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray Player

PS3 Player (used for calculation of bitrates for picture and sound)

5 Mirage Speakers (Front Left/Center/Right, Surround Back Left/Right)

2 Sony Speakers (Surround Left/Right – middle of room)

Martin Logan Dynamo 700 Subwoofer



Oct 12, 2012
Real Name
Rod TM
Thanks for the review Kevin .I am a converted Wes Anderson fan but it took a while for some of his films to grow on me. Pretty sure it will be a Criterion Collection Film some day and with more extras!

Mark VH

Second Unit
May 2, 2005
This would be more or less tolerable at times if it weren’t for the movie’s inexplicable push into making the kids’ romance almost overtly sexual at times. I’m not putting a spoiler on that one because I want to make sure casual viewers are warned about it before they get to that moment in the movie and say “What the…???”
Assume you're referring to the scene on the beach and, if that's the case, I think you may have missed the boat here. The sexualization of Sam and Suzy has nothing to do with being "sexy," and is not presented for titilation. it has to do with the rebelliousness of these two, and their discovery of sex. Consider that both are barely pubescent, and are using their romance to revolt against adults who spend most of the film acting, in many ways, less mature than they do. it's natural that some form of sexuality will enter into this, and to me Anderson handles this honestly and refreshingly, rather than shying from it or avoiding it altogether (the scene is clearly also paying homage to the French New Wave). I think it's an absolutely wonderful scene, the best romantic sequence I've seen in a film this year, even if the film itself doesn't completely come together (and many feel it does, though the last half hour or so fell apart for me).


Fake Shemp
Senior HTF Member
Sep 20, 2002
Real Name
I too had no problem with the romance part. It was played so innocent that I'm hesitant to even call it a "romance". It was exactly what it is, two kids playing grown up. It was the adults, as Mark pointed out, who were behaving like kids.

I really liked this one. I've heard comment that in a way it's the perfect Wes Anderson film in that it really feels like the director is playing with his dollhouse. Not a film for evey one, but for those of us who like style along with their substance it's pretty good fun. Ed Norton I thought was fantastic in this one, as was Bruce Willis. Both playing against type. Actually, all the actors are pretty great in this one.

I'll wait for either a Criterion or for this version to hit super cheap.

Kevin EK

Senior HTF Member
May 9, 2003
I hear you guys. And you have a point. I just felt the same scene could have been handled differently without getting into the physicality they chose. For me, it was just at the edge of being very uncomfortable. For other viewers, it will likely not have such an effect. For still others, I have a feeling it will be over the edge. On the other hand, they'd have to get through the first hour or so of the movie to get there.


Senior HTF Member
Jul 3, 2005
Thanks for the review Kevin.
I think only one Wes Anderson film completely failed me, and that was 'The Darjeering Limited'. What a train wreck that one is.
I saw this in the theater with my friend, and enjoyed it overall. There were only two other people in the theater Some death rock art house chick, and her mom. She was pretty hot, and laughed in all the right places...her mom wasn't bad either.
Back to the movie:
I thought Jason Schwartzman was funny, and saved the third act of the film, even if he was a brief character.
I may pick this up if there is a price drop.


Jan 24, 2000
Bryan^H said:
I think only one Wes Anderson film completely failed me, and that was 'The Darjeering Limited'. What a train wreck that one is.
I see what you did there
by the way Darjeeling was brilliant


I Work for Mr. E. H. Harriman of the Union Pacific
Oct 21, 2010
Baltimore, Maryland
Real Name
Stephen Lilley
Throw me into the "not a huge fan of DARJEELING" camp. It's fine, but something about it doesn't connect with me - certainly not in the way TENNENBAUMS or even LIFE AQUATIC does.
I own this, but haven't watched it yet. Very much looking forward to it.

Ronald Epstein

Senior HTF Member
Jul 3, 1997
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
After thoroughly enjoying The Grand Budapest Hotel and Rushmore, I made a vow to buy one Wes Anderson film per month and give it a try.

Today I watched the Universal release of Moonrise Kingdom. Did not want to wait for the Criterion release as I already knew that visually, this title was up to the best standards -- and it was!

How did I like it? I loved it!

I don't think I laughed as much as I did during Rushmore, however, I had this permanent smile on my face as I admired the film's quirkiness that is signature Wes Anderson.

I can totally understand how people either appreciate or totally don't get his films. They really cater to a specific mindset. That's not saying one has to be intelligent or not to enjoy what Anderson brings to the screen --- they just have to have a sense of humor and be a bit open-minded.

I just enjoy the creativity and uniqueness of his films. Here is a guy that thinks out of the box and doesn't mind bringing in story elements that come completely out of left field. I can see why Bill Murray loves being a part of the zaniness.

Next month I think I will try either The Royal Tenenbaums or Life Aquatic

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