Blu-ray Review: Wes Anderson’s Brilliant ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ Given Average Release
CHICAGO – Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” was a surprising delight in theaters this past Summer but it seems even more effective at home where one can approach this excellent comedy on an intimate, personal level. Perhaps it’s because so much of “Moonrise” plays like old home movies or long-lost memories of youth that the film holds up so well on repeat viewing. Sadly, the Blu-ray release is woefully underwhelming with a great Bill Murray commercial but little else in terms of special features.
For the record, I was a slight fan of “Bottle Rocket” and a HUGE fan of “Rushmore” and “The Royal Tenenbaums,” before not really liking anything that Anderson has done since. I found “Moonrise Kingdom” such a magical return to what worked so well about Anderson’s first three films. It has whimsy, edge, and enough personality to spare. Is it arguably a case of style over substance? Sure. But I feel like the unique style here enhances the substance. It’s a fairy tale of an odd boy who loves the quirky girl and the adults caught in the middle. And the delightful performances all around, particularly from actors like Edward Norton & Bruce Willis, who haven’t been “delightful” in some time, are infectious. It’s unlikely to be my #1 film of 2012 but I know it is one of the moveis that I will watch the most from this year.
Sadly, there is almost nothing in the way of special features on the Universal Blu-ray. The transfer is stellar but the bonus material is almost nonexistent. A quirky commercial titled “Set Tour with Bill Murray” must be seen but you could find it online pretty easily.
Moonrise Kingdom was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 16, 2012
Photo credit: Universaln
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Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore - and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff, Captain Sharp. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader, Scout Master Ward. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Balaban; and introduces Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as Sam and Suzy, the boy and girl.
o A Look Inside Moonrise Kingdom
o Welcome to the Island of New Penzance
o Set Tour with Bill Murray