Split Enz – I Got You

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A Review of Moonrise Kingdom

Title: Moonrise Kingdom

Length: (an all too brief) 94 minutes

Directed by Wes Anderson

Written by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola

Reviewed by Sean Liddle, Author of barely readable fiction

I love movies. I especially love French New Wave and art cinema. I like odd. This doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate such marvelous films as The Avengers (and assorted other Marvel Comics movies), high budget action or ridiculous comedies but if given a choice, I will pick odd. Wes Anderson has yet to disappoint me in this regard. From his beginnings with the Wilson brothers in Bottle Rocket to one of my favorite movies of all time, The Life Aquatic, he can take a surreal situation, tack onto it believable intelligent dialogue and vibrant characters and thereby create a work of art that fills a void in your life you didn’t know existed. He is a master.

Moonrise Kingdom is a film I somehow missed last year and only recently watched on DVD. It is a romantic comedy with an ensemble cast of actors including Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Tilda Swinton.

It is the touching yet humorous story of two tweens who meet one summer and fall in like.. He (Sam Shakusky) is an orphan who is a member of the “Khaki Scouts” (through which he escapes the orphanage and subsequent uncaring foster parents. She (Suzy Bishop) is an odd girl, the eldest child of two bickering attorneys, feels disjointed and out of place. They become pen pals and craft a plot over the course of a year to run away together the next summer when he is again camping with his troop on the island where she summers. The story begins shortly before their plan comes to fruition and the ensuing search, escape, capture and aftermath are well worth the mere hour and a half running time of the movie.

Highly recommended along with all of Wes Anderson’s other works.

5 stars out of 5

A review of Argo by Adrian Mattes

Argo
Directed by Ben Affleck
Based on the book by Tony Mendez
120 Minutes

Ben Affleck irritates me. I think it started with the over-the-top fratboy caricature he played in the 1993 surprise hit Dazed and Confused. (Has he really been acting for 20 years?!) And let us not forget his rather malodorous romantic lead choices – think Pearl Harbour and Gigli.

Possibly because I’m a ’70s child and a history buff, I really connected with Argo.. Set during the 1979-80 Iran hostage crisis, Affleck plays CIA agent Tony Mendez who hatches an outlandish and improbable plan to rescue U.S. embassy staff hiding in the Canadian embassy in Tehran.. They would pose as a Canadian film crew scouting an exotic location for a Sci-Fi movie…during the middle of a revolution. What could possibly go wrong?

The details are meticulous, from the clothing to the hairstyles, cars and authentic set design – all spot-on and worthy of an Oscar or two. John Goodman and Alan Arkin are also great comic relief in an otherwise serious, suspenseful and entertaining, but not great movie.

With Argo, Ben Affleck shows that he’s clearly a better director than an actor.

Adrian Mattes