Monday, June 18, 2012

Movies My Wife Watches: Moonrise Kingdom, the New Jawn by Wes Anderson

You need to go see this immediately.

Remember back in the day when you used to get excited about stuff coming out? Like a new Beastie Boys album or the new Air Jordans, or for women, I dunno, some new tampons. Well, for thirty-somethings who like to wear interesting socks, that feeling still exists, and it comes in the form of Wes Anderson movies.

Go to a Wes Anderson movie and you’ll find a collection of young(ish) glasses-wearing, NPR-listening, casual-sneakered, bike-riding, NYT-reading, pseudo-intellectuals with massive, massive, massive boners. Wes Anderson fans (like myself) go bonkers for this guy’s movies. He can do no wrong, the King of the Dorks and undisputed best filmmaker of our generation.

In his latest film, Moonrise Kingdom (Anderson’s seventh film), Wes centers the story on kids, which goes perfectly with his fantastical, sweet, sad, loveable, depressing, charming style of storytelling. In fact, it’s kinda strange that it took Wes seven movies BEFORE he decided to write for such young characters.

Yeah, he wrote Max Fischer in Rushmore, but Max was nearing college (or his post-graduate year) and was more like an adult in many ways … Ari and Uzi in Royal Tenenbaums and Whatshisface in Fantastic Mr. Fox were cute, but secondary characters.

The kids of Moonrise Kingdom are Sam (the least popular kid in his boy scout troupe BY FAR) and Suzy (a bookworm with no friends), two preteen pen pals who plot to run away together in order to escape a world where they can’t seem to connect to anyone. They’re adorable, wise beyond their years, but na├»ve and hopeful enough to think they’ll never get caught. They crave adventure and companionship. They also have fantastic dance moves.

Oh, and these guys are in it too. 

What happens on their journey doesn’t matter … and I’m obviously not gonna tell you … in fact, I feel kinda bad that I’ve already told you this much … I’m one of those people who likes to know NOTHING about a movie when I see it … but as the movie goes on, you get more insight as to why the kids ran away, while also being reminded of how exciting puppy love was, how hard it is to sustain that love, and why Wes Ands is the BEST FILMMAKER AROUND AND YES THAT INCLUDES THE GUY WHO MADE HOT SHOTS.

Ultimately though, Moonrise Kingdom leaves you with the feeling that a child’s imagination and love of adventure far outweighs anything you’re doing in your stupid, pathetic life. It’s not that the life of a thirty-something who will be watching the Bachelorette tonight is boring, it just pales in comparison to what we thought our lives were going to become. Back then, there was so much to look forward to -- so many twists, so many turns, so many twurns. Tonight, we’re having hot dogs.

I guess if there’s a silver lining to what has become an incredibly depressing blorg post, it’s that in two or three years, we'll get to see another Wes Anderson movie.

So we got that to look forward to.

No disrespect to hot dogs.

I honestly love looking at maps.

I don't even know if I believe what I just wrote. I love life and love watching the Bachelorette and love my wife and love cereal and still sort of get excited when the new Jordans come out. Regardless, if you haven't seen Wes Anderson's movies, you should really lock yourself in your house and watch 'em all. My personal favorite is Rushmore, even though I recognize that The Royal Tenenbaums is the better movie. Kinda like how I realize that Godfather is better than Spaceballs, but I still like Spaceballs more. Who cares, right? Check out this Paraguayan marine officer with a snake wrapped around his neck.

Oh, and here's a quick little blurb written by my buddy Graft -- who worked (briefly) as a Steadicam Operator on the movie -- after I asked him what it was like:

GRAFT: "I almost thought it was a prank when I got the call about the job. Much to my pleasant surprise, it was real. My contribution to the film was small. Very small. They only needed me for one shot. We got the shot the first day, but it was raining. I was brought back a week later to reshoot it in better weather. I've worked with a lot of big name actors and directors over the years.  One trait that will instantly set the extra decent people apart from the pack is if they take the time to learn your name...or even just introduce themselves. I know when I work on a film, it takes me at least a couple weeks to confidently know everyone's name on set. There's a lot of people involved. I worked with Wes on one brief shot on a rainy day. I returned a week later and, even though he was in the middle of some other setup, when he saw me he said, 'Hey Graft.  How are you?' Decent guy." 

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