“In short, it’s simply a masterpiece.” – Jake Mulligan, EDGE Boston

“I felt no emotional connection to this story at all.” – John Black, The Post-Movie Podcast

“It’s a movie filled with joy and sadness, hilarity and heartbreak, and innocence that is both preserved and shattered.” – Greg Vellante, The Eagle Tribune

“A glorious film. Even those annoyed with Anderson’s hermetic dollhouse pictures might find something to cheer for here.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

“A heartbreakingly real depiction of what it feels like to meet someone who seems to understand you, even when you don’t fully understand yourself.” – Bob Chipman, The Escapist




“Despite ostensibly being the star of the movie, Snow White has no discernible character.”  – Bob Chipman, The Escapist

“The remainder of this film offers little else to keep our interest level beyond mild boredom.” – Tim Estiloz, Boston Movie Examiner

“There is a crushing sense of déjà vu coming off the screen in waves.” – John Black, Boston Event Guide

“It gets to the point where even true love’s first kiss would have trouble bringing this movie back to life.” – Greg Vellante, The Eagle Tribune

“This movie wants you to think that Snow White is an independent warrior, despite her almost complete reliance on men.” – Evan Crean, Starpulse



“C’mon Andy… would it have killed you to at least try a Mexican flavored accent in a film about Mexico?” – Tim Estiloz, Boston Movie Examiner

“Crafted with all the subtlety of a cannon blast.” – Jake Mulligan, EDGE Boston

“I saw the movie a month ago, and I’m not entirely convinced that it’s ended yet.” – Brett Michel, The Boston Phoenix



“Sometmes the state of the movie industry can be very depressing.” – Jake Mulligan, EDGE Boston

 “Get it? Because the school is high.” – Greg Vellante, The Eagle Tribune

“Was there a balloon payment due on Adrien Brody’s mortgage? Did his car engine fall out?” – Brett Michel, The Boston Herald




I’ve seen Wes Anderson’s first film, BOTTLE ROCKET, more times than I can count. Like his other films co-written with Owen Wilson, RUSHMORE and THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, it has a whimsical screwball energy throughout that I find irresistible. Yes, it may lack the dollhouse feeling with which he’s come to be so known (though certainly, his OCD and his symmetry fetish are here in full effect) but it has the same earnest innocence, the same respect for its characters, and the same underlying feeling of melancholy that make his best works so unique. And of course, his ear for music is as eclectic as ever, employing a beautiful score from Mark Mothersbaugh, his signature Stones needle-drops, and even the theme from the 1970s spaghetti western take on “Zorro”.

Brothers Luke and Owen Wilson play two of three twenty-somethings – who Anderson has, in a conceit that plays far better than it sounds, behave like they’re 8-years old – on a largely imagined crime spree, planning and pulling off their own high-concept heists. Though that’s likely overstating the case – the film plays more like “Charlie Brown” than BONNIE AND CLYDE. This movie must have hit people like a bullet upon release in 1996. The American independent scene was run amuck with Tarantino fever; and Anderson’s lightly melancholic tale seems to almost satirize the overwrought ‘crime spree on the run’ genre. While all those movies had their eyes on the bullets, the gunfights, and the pop culture nods; Anderson turns his towards nothing less than his characters souls.

A tribute to the innocence of boyhood, that singular stage-of-life when you’re equally excited by crime sprees, sketching flip-books, and playing with fireworks, BOTTLE ROCKET is a beautifully composed, enigmatic film that easily transcends the coming-of-age and crime genres it plays around in. And paired with Wes Anderson’s latest film, MOONRISE KINGDOM, at The Brattle Theatre no less, it’s a deal you can’t turn down. – Jake Mulligan

Check back tomorrow morning for our weekly Review Roundup!

BOTTLE ROCKET shows Thursday, 5/31 at 5:30. MOONRISE KINGDOM plays at 8:00 in a free preview screening open to the public, co-presented by the Independent Film Festival Boston. Doors open at 7:00, and it is first-come, first-serve. The Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA, 02138.


Coming off the three-day-weekend (and a couple of movie marathons for our membership,) the Brattle Theatre keeps programming on track, preparing local audiences for this week’s new Wes Anderson release, MOONRISE KINGDOM.

First up is possibly one of Anderson’s most overlooked films, THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU. I’m glad they’re starting off with this oddity, if only because it deserves a second glance. Still the critically lowest-graded film Anderson has made (53% on Rotten Tomatoes), THE LIFE AQUATIC should be seen as more of a fantasy film with a dramatic touch. Cruising the seven seas is a breeze for an expert like Steve Zissou (Bill Murray), a figure loosely based on the real life explorer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Tragedy strikes during the filming of one of his renowned documentaries, and his best friend is killed by a species of shark that supposedly no longer exists. Zissou sets off with an odd assortment of characters that includes a heavily-accented Willem Dafoe, a pregnant Cate Blanchett, and a long-lost son played by an eager Owen Wilson, to exact revenge on this shark.

But as with Anderson’s previous efforts, a great deal of care went into set design, and I’ll be surprised if a better combination of the primary colors can ever be coordinated again with a yellow submarine, sky-blue track suits, and bright red knit hats. Certain colors feel desaturated out, but then there’s small bursts of color on clothing or a fish to break the monotony of drab ship quarters. Some of the craziest combinations belong to the invented fishes, some fitted with an enough of the spectrum to make FINDING NEMO’s inhabitants jealous. Zissou’s nemesis, Alistair Hennessey (Jeff Goldblum) is appropriately fitted in Cold War modern gear, usually donning white suits or robes on his grey ship. The color around Hennessey’s ship look just as bleak, the ocean blue no longer as bright. For Hennessey sees and experiences the ocean differently than Zissou, often missing its natural beauty just outside of the ship’s hull.

With color-coded subtlies and possibly the most marine biology jokes outside of a classroom, THE LIFE AQUATIC is just as lovely of a journey as any other soul-searching Anderson classic. As with his other works, AQUATIC finds its leading man adrift in loss (Chaz Tenebaum coping with the death of his wife in THE ROYAL TENEBAUMS, three brothers reuniting after their father’s death to search for their mother in THE DARJEELING LIMITED). There’s a rebellious streak of revenge throughout the film, one the keeps the rag-tag crew of misfits and interns floating along. Perhaps that doesn’t sit well with everyone, but AQUATIC is a must-see for Bill Murray’s jarring performance and of course, the quirky color palette that is Anderson’s playground. –Monica Castillo

THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU shows Tuesday, 5/29 at 5:00 and 9:30p.m. The Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA, 02138