After many months of hype, and desperately trying not to hype it up within myself, haze, Trace and I went to see The Darjeeling Limited last night.
It is, of course, the fifth film by Wes Anderson. The others being:
While some people 'just don't get them', I absolutely love these movies. It's quite difficult to pin-point what exactly it is about them that I like so much. What I can say is that these movies feel special when I watch them. They are shining jewels in the sea of mediocre movies that have been made over the years. I know I sound like a semi-gay-arty-ass when I say this, but these movies just have fantastic heart! The music, the sets, the acting, the directing, the locations, the colours, the subtlety... it just all moulds together to make a movie that stands out from the rest. Its clear to see that everyone that works on these films loves their art and do not look at moviegoers as consumers, but rather connoisseurs.
I finally managed to watch Bottle Rocket earlier this week and while it certainly wasn't as intricate as his later movies, it was still definitively a Wes Anderson film.
I'm pretty bad at writing these reviews, as my enthusiasm tends to overwrite my ability to write coherently :-) But to say something briefly - I'm not sure that Darjeeling is as brilliant as Life Aquatic is. One of the things I really liked about life aquatic was the vast number of little unique scenes, all of which were memorable in some way. Darjeeling seemed to lack that element slightly. Though another viewing or two is bound to reveal more details to me that I have missed the first time.
So then -
Bottle Rocket - 6.5/10
The Darjeeling Limited 8.5/10
On.. I also saw The Golden Compass with don_preacher. The move is the screen adaptation of Northern Lights, Part 1 of the "His Dark Materials" trillogy by Philip Pullman.
I was introduced to this series back in 2003 or so, by my Scottish friend Paul, with whom I worked at the ABS for too brief a time. I loved the books (though, believe it or not, I am yet to read the last book :P ) and was pleased when I heard that it was being turned into a movie.... However, my pleasure at this started to erode somewhat when the production ran into a number of difficulties and several directors and actors came and went. I realised then that this wasn't going to feel like one of the LOTR movies, but instead will feel like a typical Hollywood adaptation of a good book... and that's precisely what it was.
It wasn't bad, but it certainly wasn't good either. It lacked soul and substance and felt like it was rushing along too much. Character development was out the window (though admittedly, the book is lack in that regard as well). and the ending did not feel satisfying at all. Either way, I love the book, and the movie was not a total disaster.... though how did Lyra get to Svalbard without the aeronaut?... and where was Lord Azriel? Crazy times. 6/10