In the current pantheon of film directors, I used to think that there was no one as obnoxious and egotistical than Quentin Tarantino, but at least when he’s not spitting on the press he manages to still throw in a few surprises – whereas Wes Anderson has stagnated in the same pretentious white bread cornball storybook shit that he tries to pass off as whimsical and poetic (excluding Fantastic Mr. Fox-thanks to the pure imagination of Roald Dahl). So in his latest ever so precious artistic endeavor, Moonrise Kingdom, we are once again subjected to the same dysfunctional misunderstood lovestruck heartbroken characters that communicate with each other in soundbites bordering on autistic retardation.
The star studded cast comprised of Bruce Willis, Ed Norton, Frances McDormand, and of course Bill Murray are wasted and play second fiddle to the no name kids that populate the movie, sorta like Charles Schultz Peanuts. The difference here is that the Adults unfortunately reveal the rest of their bodies from the waist up and that Charlie Brown and Snoopy are lovable – unlike the young protagonist Sam the Orphan (Jared Gilman) and his bookwormy Girlfriend Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward), the daughter of lawyers that live on the same remote island, who scheme to elope, and when discovered missing send the island into a tizzy.
As a search party commences, they are hellbent on following some ancient Indian beaver trail and stripping down to their knickers. Though it’s rated PG-13, I promise there is nothing steamy about this love affair – unless of course you think a girl totting around a pair of binoculars is sexy? In fact, the most vulgar atrocity is the murder of the Khaki Scout’s Puppy! Charlie Brown, a child of the Fifties, was an adorably sympathetic loser who loved his Dog whereas these Brats of the Sixties not only stab each other but killed a dog for no fucking apparent reason! Another pet peeve, Wes’s soundtrack. This time around instead of butchering The Kinks he replays Hank Williams tunes to underscore this flight of fancy. But instead of feeling nostalgic like in The Last Picture Show everything just comes off contrived and forced – from the dollhouse that Suzy lives in to the Khaki Scouts campsites, but nothing more so than the acting. And speaking of acting, besides the old fogey in the Dos Equis beer commercials, nobody tries to pose more like a Rhodes Scholar and Renaissance Man like James Franco who glowingly announces to his fellow Huff Po readers that Wes Anderson Rises. But I say, considering my previous review of MIB 3, you’re better off not wasting you’re time by watching this instead –
“Explanations come to an end somewhere.” – Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (Philosophical Investigation)
Despite negative buzz, The Coen Brothers’ 13th movie, Burn After Reading, when compared to their other works may not be considered groundbreaking and original but given the high expectations following No Country for Old Men and the repeat summer comedies of Farrell, Rogen, Stiller, and Jack Black it at least makes you appreciate that there are still real filmmakers out there. This time around they add DC to their list of cities to expose where we find new quirky characters plotting and scheming with reckless and random abandonment. From the opening overhead shot zooming thru the clouds (accompanied by the usual mission impossible type soundtrack) and into the secret insipid interior of CIA headquarters we are instantly thrown into this spy movie spoof black comedy. There we are introduced to agent Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) and his superiors in the act of firing him for his drinking problem. We then follow his plight into the paranoiac espionage nature of DC and it’s scandal ridden sexual infidelities only to clash with bimbo Hardbodies employees, Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand) and Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt) when they accidently obtain a disk of Cox that was “just lying on the floor” in the women’s locker room and their subsequent involvement in blackmailing him to pay for Linda’s numerous cosmetic surgeries and liposuction. To add to these blackmailing amateurs, Cox’s marriage is falling apart as his wife, Katie Cox (Tilda Swinton), unbeknownst to him is having divorce papers drawn up and an affair with a married man, Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney), who is a compulsive womanizer and sex toy inventor hobbyist and is also dating Linda. How the Russians get involved in this post Cold War circus is attributed by Osbornes’s disc which is what every spy thriller needs, the MacGuffin.
While the movie was marketed for it’s star studded cast, this cast proves to be more than just good looks. George Clooney caps off his Coen Brothers trilogy of playing an idiot with his boyish bravado of seducing women while Botox Brad and Frances, who literally lets it all hang out, pair up as a comic duo. But it is the meeting of the minds of Pitt and Malkovich that truly reveal the absurdity and comedy of this plot while Tilda Anteater Face continues to play the ultimate cold, stuck up bitch.
In the end, the Coen Brother’s have again succeeded in fighting the idiots we’ve been fighting our whole lives as they join the top of the box office along side these hollywood blockbusters that are consistently praised by retards.