hopscotchee: jake ryan score: 86.5 rating: pg-13 time: 95 minutes
ranking as a movie on both of our lists of top ten favorite movies, moonrise kingdom is a quirky and comical tale of two young lovers, who decide to leave their families (or kaki scouts) and set foot on an offbeat adventure (all on the heels of a brutal storm). basically, it's, in our humble opinion, one of wes anderson's best movies. however, speaking unbiasedly and from a filmmaker's perspective, this movie is still an incredible watch that exquisitely puts together a frank and truly unique script, a beyond beautiful color scheme (per usual wes anderson), and a list of fun and appropriate shots that tell the story just as much as the actors. so, please, if you haven't seen moonrise kingdom - let alone any wes anderson films - sit down and get comfy, because this movie is a experience everyone needs in their life.
right away, the clear standout of this movie is its obvious uniqueness and one-of-a-kind brilliancy, which, without a doubt, is handed to the script. definite shouts go to the eccentric and clever minds of wes anderson and roman coppola for delivering a script, so graciously full of peculiar wit and banter, that flawlessly makes a simple story about young, runaway love every bit special. from the handful of quirky situations alone, like the (spoiler) "what kind of bird are you"/suzy mets sam scene to the "we've been deputized"/"don't cross this stick"/redford on the bike fight scene, this movie is packed with gold from the get-go. additionally, the progression of the story did not feel out of place. an example of this was during the (spoiler) letter sequence: the brief interlude where the audience was filled in on sam and suzy's back-and-forth letter sending history that ultimately led them to take action when the movie begins. this sequence set up an appropriate amount of backstory for the viewers, allowing them to understand what was going on, while, at the same time, it did not feel cliché or info-packety that could distract from the original story itself.
however, at the same time, for some viewers who don't prefer all the artsy-artsy-ness of artsy films, this movie may not be their cuppa. the odd, irregularity of its blunt story-telling, though classic in all of wes anderson's films, may be off-putting to those who are unfamiliar. we, personally, love wes anderson and think he is an incredible visionary for stories and films, however, reviewing this observantly, to a general audience, there were a few scenes that may have made a few big jumps - literally. the one that caused the most pause was when (spoiler) scoutmaster ward makes an exceptionally dramatic leap from one side of the flood-formed-river to go and save commander pierce. now if this scene wasn't just a bit cheesy and unrealistic the first time, scoutmaster ward has to jump back across the flood-formed-river - but this time with the commander on his back. and there is an explosion!! so, yeah, this scene may be a bit. . . .well, much for some viewers. but it really just depends on your tolerance for the artistically cheesy flare in movies.
nonetheless, we wouldn't be doing this review justice, if we didn't mention the film's colors, costume, and design - we mean, it's wes anderson for pete (davidson)'s sake!! in particular, this movie incorporates heavy influences from nature and the scenery (such as trees, kaki scout tents, suzy's stolen books, etc.) and, in excellent execution of complementary pairing, precisely matches them with the sets and costumes. for obvious instance, it can be easily seen how the majority of the film's backdrop is full of greens, yellows, and browns, tying in the nature and land around the characters but also emphasized in the costumes of the kaki scouts. this perfectly blended the movie together, creating a pleasing consistency throughout. however, it wasn't just with the kaki scouts. another great addition to this movie was seen with the coupling of greens and reds, like in the narrator's (bob balaban's) wardrobe. being only outfitted throughout the movie in a sharply noticeable red coat and green hat, his character stands out against the rest of the film, yet still subtly complements, never feeling inconsistent, the reappearances of similar colors (like how the bright red comes back with the color of suzy's house). in other words, yet again, another wes anderson movie aligns its set, props, and costume to such a wonderful color palette - but not that we would expect anything less behind his eyes.
in all, moonrise kingdom is basically quirky gold in the artsy world of film - and just the film industry alone. and despite those who may take some of it as cheesy, it can not be denied that this film stood on it's own, refreshing audiences from stereotypical/popular aesthetics and trends that are thrown into movies to be 'cool' or 'hip'. it's truly a well-done movie, and its originality shines very bright!! (so, yeah, we very much recommend it)
p.s. we almost forgot to mention that this movie also stars the one-and-only-all-so-talented actor, lucas hedges. . . .when he was just in his teens!!
-- thanks, jake xo