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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on June 8, 2014

Sometimes I see other reviewers talk about going into a movie with no reservation, or putting their expectations aside.  I don’t buy it.  Or at least, I don’t know how people perform this sort of Zen Mind Clean that allows them to forget everything they’ve known and experienced before seeing a film.  We’d all like to think we can, but I don’t believe it’s that easy.  When I first saw this movie in the theater, it had faced a certain amount of Wes Anderson backlash in the media, with folks saying it was his worst yet.  I’m sure my low expectations contributed somewhat to my reaction, which was delighted with what I had seen.  The second time I saw it, about 6 months later on DVD, I was disappointed… no doubt influenced to some degree by that ecstatic first experience.

Now it’s nine years later, and I’ve bought the Blu-Ray — against my better judgment, because my last memory of it was such a letdown.  And surprise, surprise, I found it delightful again.  Maybe I’m a different movie watcher than I was back then, maybe I picked up on certain things I hadn’t noticed before (like the “Not this one, Klaus” reference to Jules and Jim).  Or maybe it’s largely because I had low expectations again.  I’m probably shooting myself in the foot here, but honestly, I feel like such a fraud doing these write-ups sometimes.

All I really want to say is that I was really entertained with Zissou this time around.  It’s not as emotionally resonant as my favorites by him, but I just love the way he makes movies.  It makes me feel bad that I didn’t see Grand Budapest Hotel in the theater… although it’s still not too late.  Maybe I’ll try to do that this week.  Rating: Very Good (84)


One Response to “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (rewatch)”

  1. mountanto said

    Definitely see GBH in a theater. I had some issues with it, but the visual scheme does deserve to be seen on a big screen.

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