Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom

It appears that teaming up Wes Andersen with a member of the Coppola family was a marvelous idea. The screenplay for Moonrise Kingdom was written by Roman Coppola and Wes Andersen, and directed by Wes Andersen. For me, this film has taken Wes’ work to an entirely different level. I’ve really enjoyed his work through the years, although I’ve thought some of his work was more successful than others. I was not a particular fan of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, but I felt it suffered for want of a more aggressive editing than it received in post. In contrast, Moonrise Kingdom is impeccably edited and I wouldn’t change a thing. Wes Andersen’s comedy’s have always had their own quirky voice and pacing and Moonrise Kingdom is no exception, but this film has something different. In Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Andersen connects with his audience in a way that he hasn’t in the past. I think the collaboration with Roman Coppola has added a richness to the film’s vision that it was lacking before, but that can be the incredible strength of collaboration: a synergy that didn’t exist for either person on their own. I adored the quirky characters in Moonrise Kingdom, the sweet awkward love story of the pre-teens was so perfectly handled, I can’t imagine a better scene than the one on the beach. After spending a night on the beach in a little pup tent, the young people awake to a search team descending on them. Jared Gilman zips up the tent and then he and Kara Hayward huddle inside clutching each other in their minds...
Splice

Splice

If you are looking for an intriguing alien/horror film to watch, Splice is a good choice. Splice stars Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley as two scientists who cross the line between research and obsession. Both scientists will do almost anything to keep their research alive, including using their own DNA to move things along. Dren played rather brilliantly in Splice by both Abigail Chu, as the young Dren, and Delphine ChanĂ©ac, as the adult Dren, is the result of playing God. The next dilemmas come over whether or not they should disclose the fact that they now have a “child” from the research; and then what do you do when you discover that the cute little alien “child” is actually quite deadly, if provoked. Can they train Dren to use her abilities only to protect herself from a true threat? The scientific questions are actually very interesting and not beyond the realm of what could come about in these days of scientific and technological breakthroughs. Splice has a small cast, which suits the mood, and tension of the film. They are put to good use by the director, Vincenzo Natali. Known best so far for Cube by sci-fi/horror fans, he brings the same detailed thought and attention to the character development in this film. Some fun twists and turns keeps you on your toes, and Dren’s humanity keeps you off-balance and vulnerable. This is not a movie for kids. It deals with adult issues, and the story gets very intense. There is a fair amount of profanity, and sexual material, but more than that there are sections in the...
The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones

Peter Jackson’s first major film release since the Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, is The Lovely Bones, from a 2002 novel by Alice Sebold. This was a top selling novel that had a large following waiting for it to make its film debut. I couldn’t imagine how this film could be as expensive to make as it was, until I saw the film. Once again, Peter Jackson created a visually amazing film, which in places works wonderfully, and in other places becomes a bit overdone. Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) is a 14 year old girl who is raped and murdered by her neighbor George Harvey (Stanley Tucci). She is lured to an amazing underground clubhouse in the middle of a cornfield and realizes to late that she is in his trap. The way that the death is handled in The Lovely Bones by Peter Jackson is skillful, with the audience at first thinking that Susie has gotten away, only to discover that it was her spirit that has escaped, while she is being murdered by Harvey. I will always go see anything that Stanley Tucci plays in, but this was definitely one of the creepier roles that he has played. His affable personality makes the creepy side of Tucci all the more so. Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) ends up trapped in the “in-between” as she tries to tell her father (Mark Wahlberg) what has happened to her across the breach. A friend, Holly (Nikki SooHoo), shows up in the in-between to keep her company, and we later find out that she is one of the many...

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