View Full Version : The Films of Wes Anderson/Video Store Blues

06-27-2007, 11:15 PM
To me, Wes Anderson is a litmus test to see how people's sensibilities match up to mine. His best film is clearly Rushmore, which to me is the best film of it's kind ever made, but after that I can't decide which movie of his other three is superior. The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, and Bottle Rocket all have so much to offer. I could watch those movies every day and not get bored.

I remember when Royal Tenenbaums was released on video. So many of my customers absolutely hated the film. I finally stopped recommending it to people. I no longer offer recommendations based on my own opinion. Here is a typical exchange "Hey, Levi, How is Norbit?" they say. "A lot of people really like it!" I enthuse. I also die a little inside. "How is The Fountain?" they say. "Many people found it hard to follow and confusing" I say. I'm like a human metacritic, parroting back the consensus opinions of people whose taste in movies is completely foreign to me. I feel like Jane Goodall sometimes, because I simply do not understand the appeal of White Chicks or how someone could fail to be enraptured by Wes Anderson's sublime movies.

06-27-2007, 11:20 PM
I like all of them, Royal Tenenbaums the most. The Life Aquatic gets bonus points for David Bowie songs sung in Portuguese and for the inclusion of Sigur Ros music.

06-27-2007, 11:26 PM
Life Aquatic for me. Though granted, I say this having never seen Bottle Rocket and having only seen The Royal Tenenbaums once... and I realize this is something I need to fix.
Rushmore is amazing, don't get me wrong, I just... I don't know. So much about The Life Aquatic makes me happy. The blippy music... the David Bowie... Owen Wilson actually acting and not just being Owen Wilson... the completely ridiculous fight scenes...

Anyway, try not to let those crazy-ass people get you down. Because that's what they actually want to hear when they ask for your opinion. Not your opinion, but what you've seen other people renting. So just say to yourself "I am doing my job well! Also, these people have terrible taste."

06-27-2007, 11:30 PM
Man, I still have to see Rushmore and Bottlerocket. Rushmore gets an insta-pass for having 'A Quick One While He's Away' on the soundtrack. I also like how all his movies seem to have Bill Murray in there somewhere.

Man, The Life Aquatic. My family hated it, my friends loved it. Myself, I hate half of the film and love the other half. This is a mixture of bits and pieces of love and hate. I suppose the same applies to Tennenbaums.

I dunno. This type of movie appeals to me greatly (i.e. quirky as hell character piece with a large cast, strange people, good cinematography and an excellent soundtrack), but there are parts of the movies I just plain don't like, while others I love to death. It's all strangely schizo.

And let's not forget that long, strange credit card commercial he made.

06-27-2007, 11:32 PM
Even Wes Anderson's AmEx commercial is fucking great.

A television commercial better than most movies. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spCknVcaSHg)

I thought Life Aquatic was bit uneven compared to his other movies, but still miles ahead of most of his peers.

06-28-2007, 12:08 AM
I only like the crappy Cohen Brothers movies.

But of the ones i've seen, Tenenbaums and then Life Aquatic

Evil Dead Junkie
06-28-2007, 02:36 AM
Royal Tenenbaums is his best film if only because its basically my family.

And if you don't like Bottle Rocket you are a poser. VSRobot I worked at the Insomniac the best video store ever (just ask Sarcasmorater) and I have some good stories from their but I shall wait for sobriety before I post them.

06-28-2007, 08:24 AM
My vote is for Bottle Rocket. Royal Tenenbaums is really great but Bottle Rocket is really fun to watch. Owen and Luke Wilson are in rare form in that movie. I've only seen The Life Aquatic once and I wasn't that impressed but it's always good to visit the Wes Anderson world.

06-28-2007, 08:43 AM
Rushmore is definitely my favorite Anderson film, and probably my favorite film in general actually. However, I haven't seen The Royal Tenenbaums, but, funny story, it's sitting on my table right now, having just arrived from Netflix.

06-28-2007, 11:24 AM
Rushmore is definitely my favorite Anderson film, and probably my favorite film in general actually. However, I haven't seen The Royal Tenenbaums, but, funny story, it's sitting on my table right now, having just arrived from Netflix.

I envy you, my friend.

06-28-2007, 02:12 PM
My personal ordering is:

Bottle Rocket
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Although a rating your favorite Wes Anderson movies is like rating your favorite Zelda games. They're all pretty much excellent.

06-28-2007, 02:49 PM
I really liked Life Aquatic. The ending was really sad though.

06-28-2007, 03:09 PM

06-29-2007, 12:02 AM
The Royal Tenenbaums was the first Wes Anderson movie I ever saw, and for that it'll always hold the highest place of all of them for me. I think mainly 'cause holy crap it was so different from any other movie I'd ever seen and so what I'd been looking for in a movie at the time. Life Aquatic was the last one I watched, didn't see it until a month or so ago actually (I'm a bit behind the times). I agree that it definitely felt a bit uneven but I have a feeling that, as is the case with all of the movies, it gets better with repeated viewings. Truth is, aside from watching Life Aquatic recently, I haven't seen any of the movies in quite a while - though that will shortly be remedied, especially because this thread reminded me of the great Rushmore soundtrack which makes that movie so much more awesome.

Red Hedgehog
06-29-2007, 02:29 PM
I really liked Royal Tenenbaums, enjoyed Rushmore, and found Life Aquatic to be merely okay. I want to say I have seen Bottle Rocket because the title is very familiar but the plot synopsis is not. To the Netflix queue it goes!

As for reasons why, Royal Tenenbaums totally resonated with me. It had great humor and the family, though quirky, felt true to life. Rushmore did a lot right, but I had some trouble relating to the characters. The Life Aquatic was a mixed bag - some great moments and some poor ones.

06-29-2007, 03:23 PM
The Life Aquatic is by far my favorite movie of his. The characters and their relationships are some of the most fascinating he's conceived, the plot delivers in spades on both his trademark humor and sentimentality, and there's really no beating Bill Murray when it comes to the leading man. Also, holy crap, the soundtrack.

07-02-2007, 01:29 PM
I don't consider myself a huge fan of movies, insofar as tracking down and watching what are considered to be the great ones. I don't really follow directors, actors, writers, etc. in the same way that I follow bands or game developers. HOWEVER, Wes Anderson is my one and only favorite director. There are movies that I enjoy more than some of his films, but Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums are like personal treasures I adore in a child-like way.

I hate using terms like 'feel' and 'finesse' in discussing art, films especially, because they're kind of nebulous terms. But the way a Wes Anderson film feels to me is inexplicable. It's like listening to an album you have a personal attachment to because it reminds you so perfectly of a time in your life, or just a general feeling about life you've had. His films have the same perfect blend of melancholy without being (for lack of a better term) emo and cynicism without being asshole-ish that Kurt Vonnegut pulled off effortlessly in his writing.

As for personal favorite, I have to go with Rushmore. It's almost every emotion that I think encapsulates humanity in one film without being unfocused or cliche.