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Criterion Collection: The Life Aquatic [Blu-ray] [2004] [US Import]

Bill Murray , Jeff Goldblum    Blu-ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
Price: £24.40
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Criterion Collection: The Life Aquatic [Blu-ray] [2004] [US Import] + The Darjeeling Limited [Blu-ray] + Fantastic Mr Fox [Blu-ray]
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Product details

  • Actors: Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Owen Wilson, Willem Defoe
  • Format: Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: 27 May 2014
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00IGK6TLA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,302 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

In The Life Aquatic, director Wes Anderson takes his familiar stable of actors on a field trip to a fantasy aquarium, complete with stop-motion, candy-striped crabs and rainbow seahorses. And though Anderson does expand his horizons in terms of retro-special effects and a whimsical use of color, fans will otherwise find themselves in well-charted waters. As The Life Aquatic opens, Zissou (Bill Murray), a self-involved, Jacques Cousteau-like filmmaker, has just released a documentary depicting the death of his best friend Esteban, who was eaten by some sort of sea creature--possibly a jaguar shark. Zissou’s troubles also include his waning popularity with the public, and a nemesis (Jeff Goldblum) who hogs up all the grant money. Hope arrives in the form of Ned Plimpton (Owen Wilson), an amiable Kentuckian who may be Zissou’s son. Despite his lack of enthusiasm for fatherhood, Zissou welcomes Ned--and Ned in turn saves Zissou’s new documentary (in which he seeks revenge on the jaguar shark) in more ways than one.

One of Wes Anderson’s greatest achievements as a director to date has been launching the autumnal melancholy phase of Bill Murray’s career, starting with Rushmore in 1998, and Murray delivers a similarly comedic yet low-key performance here. Unfortunately, Zissou is one of the few characters in this ensemble to achieve multi-dimensionality. Even co-star Wilson doesn’t get to develop Ned much beyond Noble Southerner, and he ends up seeming more like a prop for illustrating Zissou’s emotional development rather than his own man. The Life Aquatic probably won’t be remembered as a great film, but it is still one that no Anderson (or Murray) fan can afford to miss.--Leah Weathersby, Amazon.com

Synopsis

In Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic, a group of oceanic explorers who call themselves Team Zissou embark on a journey to hunt down the 'jaguar shark' that ate one of their crew members (Seymour Cassel). Determined to avenge the death of his dear friend, team leader Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) is melancholic about the journey he's about to make. Meanwhile, financial troubles and nostalgia for his past make Zissou behave like a reckless playboy, an aging softie, and a past-his-prime tyrant. Surrounding Zissou are a hodgepodge of eccentrics--a pregnant journalist doing a magazine feature (Cate Blanchett), an airline pilot from Kentucky who claims he is Zissou's son (Owen Wilson), an emotionally needy European (Willem Dafoe), an acoustic guitarist who sings David Bowie songs in Portuguese (Seu Jorge), Zissou's brilliant wife (Anjelica Houston), and her ex-husband who is Zissou's seafaring nemesis (Jeff Goldblum). Clad in baby-blue polyester uniforms, Addidas sneakers, and red stocking caps, Team Zissou is a sight to see. And as their deep-sea adventure takes them into dangerous waters where they are attacked by pirates and dazzled by CGI fish, the group finds magic both in their bonds to each other and in the colourful world around them.

In keeping with Anderson's unique brand of escapist humour, these caricatured characters are nothing short of fascinating. While their lives are extraordinary, they act bored, dwelling on banalities like hurt feelings, jealousy, and loneliness. The more absurd their stories are, the more believable their quirky personalities become. With plenty of hilarious moments offsetting the film's tongue-in-cheek sentimentalism, The Life Aquatic is sure to please seasoned Anderson fans and make new ones of the uninitiated.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange and Beautiful 17 April 2007
Format:DVD
This is one of those movies, like Lost in Translation or Eternal Sunshine, that you are either going to love or hate. I don't think it will allow a middle ground. As such it's maybe one to rent before you buy.

It's also one of those films that are about nothing and everything all at the same time. So, at once, it's a fable about friendship, the difficulties (and rewards) of marriage, the insidious nature of professional jealousy, the pain and joy of fatherhood. But it's also about pursuing a dream in the face of ridicule. It's about camaraderie, bravery and foolhardiness.

But, arguably, it's also a critique on the sort of men who never grow up and who, metaphorically, will forever yearn to be the omniscient captain of a boat, venturing to sea to hide from their responsibilities and commitments.

And, then again, it's about the hunt for a great big fish.

Strange and beautiful. Frustrating and mystifying. Elegant and elegiac. Surreal and realistic. All of these things and none of them.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange but great 24 Sep 2006
By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This is an unusual film, but all the better for it. If you have a dry, slightly offbeat sense of humour then this film will be perfect for you. Bill Murray is typically brilliant to watch and the rest of the cast add talent and flair to their roles. Yes it is kooky, and yes it is a little slow at times, but it is original and different and I love it for that alone. Give it a try, you've nothing to lose.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I must protest! 10 Aug 2006
Format:DVD
I don't normally review DVDs, but having read the other reviews I feel very strongly that I must stand up for this lovely film. Like Wes Anderson's other masterpiece "The Royal Tennenbaums", this film defies categorisation: if you are looking for a straigtforward action, drama, comedy or romance, you will probably be disappointed, yet this film contains all of those elements and a great deal more, and who wants straightforward anyway? I found the film beautiful, touching, lyrical, astute and very, very funny. If you can appreciate it's unique visual language and subtle humour, you will be richly rewarded.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars strange, very strange 7 Dec 2006
Format:DVD
i absolutely loved it. although i am a massive bill murray fan. still not completely sure wot the point of the film is. murray is excellent, the rest of the cast are great and the music is inspired. give me a red hat and some speedos. watch it. you know you want to.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Taste Worth Acquiring 25 April 2007
By pjr VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
Let's start by saying if you only like Bill Murray in "Ghostbusters" then this probably isn't for you. If you like deadpan dry humour with a truly quirky view of the world then it probably is. This was the first Wes Anderson film I saw and I have since seen "Rushmore" which I also like. This really is something else, however.

From the opening shot of the strange cut open boat you should be prepared for something different. There's plenty here to enjoy. The cast is uniformly good and whilst it's not a laugh out loud kind of movie it does manage to be quite funny at times. Too many good performances here to pick out many but Owen Wilson is effectively dorky and Angelica Houston manages to out-deadpan Bill Murray which is quite a feat. Additionally you also have the wonderful Seu Jorge interpreting Bowie songs in all manner of places. Incidentally, if you buy the 2 disc set and you can watch the full performances of each of the songs too.

I really enjoyed this film and freely admit it includes a good many ingredients I enjoy in a movie - some of which I've listed above - and would recommend it to anyone who likes something a little different. It is a slow paced quietly funny film which demands your patience. An acquired taste, but one well worth acquiring.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars buy it. 19 Feb 2006
Format:DVD
This film is fantastic. missed it in the cinema, finally got around to being persuaded to watch it on dvd this evening, and am just about to buy it an hour later. Its just awesome. Very subtle at times, but still really nice audio and visual gags, completely over the top and brilliantly stupid at others. Everyone is perfect in this. no-one completely steals the show, because it seems everyone manages too at different times. perfect silly/feel good/want-to-be-an-old-adventurer-taking-on-the-world inducing stuff. just buy it, watch it, and then find yourself some speedos and a red hat. relax and enjoy it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Order your red cap and speedo's 22 Oct 2006
By zissou
Format:DVD
This film is most definitely not made for the mainstream, however it has to be ranked as one of the best films of recent years. A strong cast with Wes Anderson at the helm, the pace is somewhat sluggish but this is only beneficial to the quirky and unusual nature of the film. Bill Murray leads his team on the quest to find the Jaguarshark that killed his working partner. Along the way he must come to terms with the arrival of what may possibly be his son (Owen Wilson), derision from a journalist along for the ride and some joyful competitiveness with his rival in both work and love (Jeff Goldblum). The imagery is striking and the narrative is bittersweet and effecting. For those of the necessary disposition this will be one of your collection.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a very good film 29 Aug 2006
By Jjbrown
Format:DVD
I had to write a review for this film because of the other reviews I've just read. Non of them mention 1 very important aspect of this film.

Yes it's quirky and yes it is very funny, but it is also a very emotive film. I don't cry often, being a big butch man, but this film has made me cry - twice. (The only other film that has succeeded in doing this is the big lebouski, when they scatter Donny's ashes).

So, if you like to laugh and like your films shot with imagination with very real characters, no matter how unbelievable the situations they are placed, then watch this film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Life is different under water
As 'off the wall' as they come. Bill Murray is great as Steve Zissou, the undersea explorer searching for the jaguar shark. Read more
Published 14 days ago by bsmith
4.0 out of 5 stars love it
a word i use alot when describing wes anderson films is quaint and that applies here again in an odd film, heck odd is another word i use alot. Read more
Published 24 days ago by sean paul mccann
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not as good as the Budapest hotel, but worth having in my collection for its small price
Published 1 month ago by Rosa
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought because of the film Director
I can't comment because it is a gift for someone else. He loves this director so I am pretty sure it will be a thumbs up.
Published 1 month ago by Gimartin
1.0 out of 5 stars ... think this may possibly be one of the first worst films ever made...
I think this may possibly be one of the first worst films ever made featuring a cast of generally very accomplished actors. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Skylark
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent.
Published 2 months ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an adventure!
I've had the DVD (PAL & NTSC) of this film for many years and was never very happy with the video quality. I presumed it was the film itself but I was wrong. Read more
Published 2 months ago by P. White
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange
A strange film with lots of arrows pointing to its messages. The best bit was the music - I got the soundtrack as I was so impressed.
Published 3 months ago by ALISON IN FRANCE
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, a keeper for the DVD shelf!
If you like comedy, old or new, your love this! It's a random storyline but if you're into things like the mighty boosh your love it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by MISS KP
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Wes Anderson film by far!
Great film starring lots of great actors. There are loads of great parts in this film, Like Seu Jorge singing all the David Bowie songs in Portuguese and the comedy tacky model... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Zhuzh McFlaherty
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