Tuesday, June 05, 2012
The New Films from Mr. Anderson and Mr. Scott
Wes Anderson is 7 for 7 in my book. I unabashedly love his movies, and while I can understand why some people don't, they can go to hell. Moonrise Kingdom is one of his best ones, a film that balances the line between his growing maturity and his usual Anderson-isms. It's got great performances from the two unknown leads ,Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, who play star crossed lovers that run away together on a small New England island. Forming the search party that hunts for them Bruce Willis and Edward Norton, alongside Frances McDormand and Anderson stalwart Bill Murray.
And every one of them are great in their parts, no matter how small or subtle the nuanced role is. Even Bob Balaban's awesome posings as the narrator are highly entertaining while being Anderson-y.
As always, the musical selection is superb, this time relying mostly on Benjamin Britten and classical arrangements as opposed to British Invasion normally reserved for his films. Solid camera work, set designs, editing, etc. But it all comes down to the performances, and if they didn't work, this whole thing would fly apart. Thankfully it does and we've got a charming a lovely film to counterbalance all the big eye candy flicks of the summer.
Alright, so this is a gorgeous flick to look at. Ridley Scott is always one to have amazing visuals, and his long awaited return to sci fi does not disappoint in the eye candy department. It's also got great use of 3D for all the aforementioned visual treats. And Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender are pretty terrific, with Rapace taking the lead for the best actor in the whole flick.
But from a story and filmmaking perspective, it's a huge mess. There's no sense of pacing, there are tons of characters that have absolutely no purpose or sense of character other than a quirky trait that never pays off, the third act is a mess, some of the acting is pretty bad. there are no set pieces to speak of, the links to Alien are tenuous at best, the score is annoying and used inappropriately, did I mention the lack of pacing? There are scenes that happen then are forgotten, events that suddenly happen for no reason and have no consequences, sudden jolts of nonsense here and there... I could go on, but it's upsetting me.
There's something supremely off about the whole thing, which makes me sad because I'm a sucker for big budget sci-fi, and I wanted this to work like hell. But it didn't. Most critics are being too kind to it, myself included, due to how good it looks, but fact is, it might have been better served if Paul WS Anderson directed it.
That's right, I went there.
Still, I can't completely say don't see it. It's got good things as well. It's not an unmitigated disaster. I would suggest seeing it under an influence of some sort, and I suggest you bring along an iPod and play Aphex Twin's Ambient Works Vol 2, and you'll have yourself an awesome time at the movies.
And just because, here's a recreation of the Prometheus trailer made entirely with paper.