Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

4.0 32
Director: Wes Anderson

Cast: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett


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The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou comes to DVD with all the class that people have come to expect from all of Wes Anderson's Criterion releases. This time, the movie is being released strictly from the renowned company, with this single release and another two-disc special edition release that's ripe with exemplary supplemental material. Anderson's adventureSee more details below


The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou comes to DVD with all the class that people have come to expect from all of Wes Anderson's Criterion releases. This time, the movie is being released strictly from the renowned company, with this single release and another two-disc special edition release that's ripe with exemplary supplemental material. Anderson's adventure comedy gets its second wind here on DVD and should now have room to flourish not under the critical microscope that plagued its theatrical release, but through a certain acceptance and understanding that comes from repeated viewings and, in this case, a healthy dose of extras that shine a new light on the gifted director's fourth feature. This disc presents the film with a gorgeous new high-definition transfer that, along with dual Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio mixes, gives life to the brilliant soundtrack and superb cinematography. The picture looks stunning, with brilliant colors and just the right amount of film grain in the image. Also included on the disc is a commentary from Anderson and co-writer Noah Baumbach. Recorded in a café, where they wrote most of the film, the track gives the viewer a look into the director's relationship with his new collaborator, who seems to respect film just as much as his new buddy, while also displaying a keen knowledge of the director's past works. The talk is a bit dry, though that should be expected. By the end of the track, the two hope that they didn't come off too pretentious, given the admission that they aren't prone to delve into this kind of critical self-analysis too often, which is a good thing since the track does tend to dip into heavy cinema talk from time to time. Other extras include a batch of ten deleted scenes (highlighted by a classic bit with a scorched Willem Dafoe), as well as the original theatrical trailer and a 15-minute "Starz on the Set" cable special.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Bill Pearis
By his third film, The Royal Tennenbaums, Wes Anderson had developed a discernable, idiosyncratic filmmaking style, full of richly-drawn oddballs, fractured families, loose storytelling, '60s rock, and a visual attention to detail that borders on obsessive-compulsive. Using much of the same cast, The Life Aquatic could almost be The Tennenbaums at Sea, though the family this time is the crew of the oceanographic ship, The Belafonte, and the patriarch is Steve Zissou (Bill Murray, in fine, melancholic form), a Cousteau-inspired captain and maker of undersea documentaries. Unfortunately, Zissou's films have become increasingly less popular, and both The Belafonte and its captain are in disrepair. To try and drum up publicity for his latest quest -- finding and killing the "jaguar shark" that ate his best friend -- he's invited a journalist (Cate Blanchett), who intends to pen a hatchet job on him. Also along for the ride is Ned Plimpton (Owen Wilson) who claims to be Zissou's illegitimate son, which doesn't sit well with first mate Willem Dafoe. Complicating matters is Zissou's high-tech rival, Alistair Hennessey (Jeff Goldblum), who has never forgiven him for stealing his wife (Anjelica Houston). Zissou and crew will face pirates, love triangles, kidnappings, Bud Cort, and other diversions before finding the elusive jaguar shark. The Life Aquatic is the first film Anderson has made without co-writer Owen Wilson, working instead with Kicking and Screaming writer-director Noah Baumbach, and it's also his least focused effort so far. One senses that Anderson is more interested in costume design and such background details as the wallpaper, books on shelves, and knickknacks than he is in the plot. Still, these sundry diversions make the film worth watching, from the guitar-strumming crewmember performing David Bowie songs in Portugese, to the whimsical sea creatures crafted by animator Henry Selick. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is overloaded and meandering, yet this leaky vessel never sinks, thanks to Anderson's myriad talents as a filmmaker.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
While Wes Anderson's particular and unique visual style is abundant throughout The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, his skills as a screenwriter have abandoned him. The filmmaker Noah Baumbach collaborated with Anderson on the screenplay, marking the first time Anderson has written with anyone other than Owen Wilson. The biggest difference between this film and his others is that Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums were filled with humor derived from characters who were usually laced with melancholy. This focus on fully-rounded characters allowed the emotional highs and lows to connect with the audience. Life Aquatic offers up a protagonist whose goals are never clearly defined. Aside from a section of the film where Zissou organizes a rescue of his crew, the script never gives the character a strong enough objective. That leaves Bill Murray to fill in the gaps. His conception of the character seems to be far more interesting than the one that has been written. The director gives Murray enough room to do what he wants to with the character. (Not even The Razor's Edge allowed Murray this much empty visual and emotional space to fill up with melancholy, cynicism, and brooding.) The Life Aquatic screenplay never allows the characters to be anything more than two-dimensional figures (even when the actors are giving it their all) so the melancholy feels unearned and the quirkiness feels shoehorned into the proceedings. At best, The Life Aquatic shows that Anderson is a gifted enough image maker to keep most viewers looking at his film even if they have no emotional investment in the characters.
New York Times - A.O. Scott
Murray's quiet, downcast presence modulates the antic busyness that encircles him, and his performance is a triumph of comic minimalism.
Los Angeles Times
An exquisitely evocative movie that elevates rueful melancholia to a superpower. Carina Chocano

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Touchstone / Disney
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; New high-definition digital transfer, approved by director Wes Anderson and enhanced for widescreen televisions; Commentary by Wes Anderson and co-writer Noah Baumbach; Ten deleted scenes; "Starz on the Set": Behind-the-scenes featurette; Theatrical trailer; Reversible cover and menus featuring Eric Anderson's original illustrations

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bill Murray Steve Zissou
Owen Wilson Ned Plimpton
Cate Blanchett Jane Winslett-Richardson
Anjelica Huston Eleanor Zissou
Willem Dafoe Klaus Daimler
Jeff Goldblum Alistair Hennessy
Michael Gambon Oseary Drakoulias
Bud Cort Bill Ubell
Seu Jorge Pele dos Santos
Seymour Cassel Esteban du Plantier
Noah Taylor Actor
Wallace Wolodarsky Actor
Robyn Cohen Actor
Peter Stormare Actor
Matthew Gray Gubler Intern

Technical Credits
Wes Anderson Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Renato Agostini Special Effects Supervisor
Douglas Aibel Casting
Daniel Beers Associate Producer
Milena Canonero Costumes/Costume Designer
Inti Carboni Asst. Director
Giacomo Carducci Art Director
Roberta Federico Art Director
Mark Friedberg Production Designer
Sam Hoffman Asst. Director
Barry Mendel Producer
Simona Migliotti Art Director
David Moritz Editor
Mark Mothersbaugh Score Composer
Noah Baumbach Screenwriter
Stefano M. Ortolani Art Director
Randall Poster Musical Direction/Supervision
Scott Rudin Producer
Rudd Simmons Executive Producer
Enzo Sisti Co-producer
Marco Trentini Art Director
Eugenio Ulissi Art Director
Pawel Wdowczak Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Yeoman Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Adventure No. 12: "The Jaguar Shark" (Part 1) [5:11]
2. He's the Zissou [4:37]
3. "Life on Mars?" [3:42]
4. One Foot Off the Merry-Go-Round [1:35]
5. The Belafonte [1:39]
6. Explorers Club [2:46]
7. Zissou Compound [1:45]
8. Jane Winslett-Richardson [4:04]
9. Catch as Catch Can [2:08]
10. Fake, Phony, and a Bad Reporter [2:23]
11. Kingsley (Ned) Zissou [3:03]
12. Do the Interns Get Glocks? [1:39]
13. Oseary Drakoulias Productions [1:33]
14. "Gut Feeling" [2:05]
15. Season 3: Episode XIV "Trapped in the Ice!" [3:03]
16. Day 1: The Belafonte at Sea [4:05]
17. Dear Ned Plimpton... [1:41]
18. Day 5: Operation Hennessey Underwater Sea-Laboratory [3:05]
19. Daydream Johnny [3:40]
20. 6 AM: Investigating the Phantom Signal [3:11]
21. Day 9: In Unprotected Waters [9:37]
22. Day 14: Mutiny on the Belafonte [5:09]
23. Day 20: Towed Into Port-Au-Patois Harbor [1:58]
24. The Brains Behind Team Zissou [7:51]
25. Day 27: Rescuing the Bond Company Stooge [3:02]
26. Letter From Jane [10:04]
27. All Hands Bury the Dead [5:36]
28. I Wonder if He Remembers Me? [4:45]
29. This Is an Adventure [5:23]
30. "Queen Bitch" [1:17]
31. Color Bars [6:51]

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