'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou' - High-Def Digest Review - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:15 PM
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Default 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou' - High-Def Digest Review

Luke has reviewed the Criterion release of 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou'. He says the audio and video on this Blu-ray are pristine. Extras from the previous DVD are also included. This is highly recommended.

Full review here:
http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/10782/life_aquatic.html
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Old 05-28-2014, 02:58 PM
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Wow, this movie was made on a budget of only fifty dollars? That makes it even more impressive!
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Opinionhaver View Post
Wow, this movie was made on a budget of only fifty dollars? That makes it even more impressive!
HAHAHA! Correction made!
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:39 PM
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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is Wes' most rewatchable film, in my opinion. It may not be his best, but it's my favorite.

I get why some people didn't (and still don't) like it. Aquatic is the driest thing he'd written up to that point in his career, and that's saying something. Debatably, I think it still is... maybe second to his most recent, The Grand Budapest Hotel. "Slow" or not, it's Anderson in full on fantasy mode, and I think Zissou is Bill Murray at his most endearing in melancholic funny man mode.

The Blu-ray is excellent, but I'm really disappointed Criterion decided to drop a previously announced retrospective interview with Murray, Dafoe, Goldblum and Anderson from the disc. They filmed material specifically for the new release, so I have no idea why it isn't on the Blu-ray (unless it is, as an easter egg. I've looked and haven't found one). If it was a space issue, surely they could've dropped the Starz piece.

Oh well, at least CC put the retrospective up on their Youtube channel (note Wes says it's for the Blu-ray):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A9uMgHnhUo&list=UUAP57cF-FSjJKzzXg7ntPlQ
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Hickman View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Opinionhaver
Wow, this movie was made on a budget of only fifty dollars? That makes it even more impressive!
HAHAHA! Correction made!
Also this:
Quote:
First, there are the characters. In addition to those aforementioned, the supporting cast includes Willem Dafoe, Michael Gambon, Noah Taylor and numeroud other actors who truly lend themselves to the movie's greatness.
Meant numerous, I assume.
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:46 PM
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Default A couple of comments about the video quality

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So, what's keeping the video quality from being perfect? A slight amount of softness in the picture and a mildly oversaturated scene. Neither are an ongoing problem, but from time to time, they pop up. Occasionally, the picture shifts into the hazy zone. Should-be sharp lines are blurred, the fine edges not visible. The reason this sporadic flaw caught my attention is because the remainder of the film carries such great highly detailed definition.
The softness is a result of the wide-angle anamorphic lenses favored by Anderson and his cinematographer Robert Yeoman, which exhibit extreme barrel distortion and blurring at the corners of the frame. Look at Anderson's other 2.40:1 films. You'll note The Royal Tenenbaums has similar, distorted, "soft" edges too. Ditto Rushmore and The Darjeeling Limited.

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Filled with bright primaries in the real world, colors are loud and vibrant. Animated sea life carries another spectrum of pastel-like colors that are equally attractive but one scene, around the 19-minute mark, is coated in oversaturated sunset lighting, the colors of which completely remove the textures of the actors' faces.
There are several shifts in saturation throughout the film. Some complete palette shifts as well. Note the hue discrepancy right in the middle of the pirate attack, which I personally think is more jarring than any "oversaturated" sunset. At least some of these shifts are intentional; others are a result of the constantly changing conditions on the open ocean.
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Super-VHS View Post
Also this:

Meant numerous, I assume.
Fixed. Thanks.
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:56 AM
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I'm in the "boat" that felt this movie was very long and dragged...but, I was watching it with non Wes Anderson fans. I don't know about you guys, but if I'm watching something with non-fans, it can hurt my initial enjoyment and impression.

Since then, I've come to enjoy Wes Anderson much more, so I'm looking forward to revisiting this one.
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:39 AM
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This is only one of 3 Wes films I like - RT > BR > LA -- and it's amazing to me how MUCH I LIKE all three of these films and yet borderline despise most everything else.
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