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DVD Talk review of 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Criterion Collection'

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DVD Talk review of 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Criterion Collection'

Old 09-03-10, 07:18 PM
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DVD Talk review of 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Criterion Collection'

I read Francis Rizzo III's DVD review of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Criterion Collection at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=15651 and...while Francis is adamant that this is not comparable to Jaws, I would posit that its themes do call to mind The Wrath of Khan. Kirk & Zissou are both at a point in their lives where perhaps their best days are behind them; Jane/Saavik is the young woman whose scrutiny exacerbates the protagonist's frustrations, and David/Ned is the grown son meeting his father for the first time.

I could go on with the paradigm (jaguar shark/Khan, etc.) but it's unnecessary; in one of the most embarrassing interviews I've ever seen--and surprisingly, it's included on this release--director and co-writer Wes Anderson flounders when asked what: for what, exactly, is his film a metaphor? He contents himself that his film is a metaphor at all; that it lacks an intended correlation appears to have escaped his attention at all until the publicity tour. The "Mondo Monda" interview segment paints Anderson and co-writer Noah Baumbach as clueless guys in way over their heads in the world of storytelling.

Where Francis and I really disagree, though, is our appraisal of the supplemental features of the Two-Disc Edition. For instance, he regards the trailer as "a work of art" unto itself. In it, the film is presented as an ensemble comedy, and that, I think was misleading.

It reminds me of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which is as much a Western as it is a comedy, and as much an action movie as it is a story of doomed romance. I suggest viewers divorce themselves from the compulsion to tack-on labels to films in general, and certainly Life Aquatic.

I liked the novelty of the inclusion of Seu Jorge's 10 performances of David Bowie songs in Portuguese, but I found the solo acoustic aesthetics hypnotic (read: they began to put me to sleep after 10 minutes).

I found Mark Mothersbaugh's segment interesting, but don't hold it in the same esteem as does Francis. It was less thorough, I thought, than a comparable segment with Hans Zimmer on The Dark Knight Two-Disc Special Edition and Blu-ray Disc releases. Still, it wasn't a bad glimpse into the score of the film, and I appreciated his honest declaration that composers hate the inclusion of recorded songs in a film for hogging all the key moments in the movie, and I was amused/distracted by just how fat his dog was.

Francis and I are in agreement with regard to the "This Is an Adventure" documentary; it's a great making-of feature. We disagree sharply, though, on the "Intern Video Journal," which I found to be entertaining and more approachable than the stuffy, reverent nature of most DVD supplements.

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