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The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou [DVD] [2004]

Release Date:05/10/2005
The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou comes to DVD with all the class that people have come to expect from all of Wes Anderson's Criterion releases. This time, the movie is being released strictly from the renowned company, with this two-disc release and another single-disc release that's stripped of most of the supplemental material. Anderson's adventure comedy gets its second wind here on DVD and should now have room to flourish not under the critical microscope that plagued its theatrical release, but through a certain acceptance and understanding that comes from repeated viewings and, in this case, a healthy dose of extras that shine a new light on the gifted director's fourth feature. The first disc presents the film with a gorgeous new high-definition transfer that, along with dual Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio mixes, gives life to the brilliant soundtrack and superb cinematography. Also included on disc one is a commentary from Anderson and co-writer Noah Baumbach. Recorded in a café, where they wrote most of the film, the track gives the viewer a look into the director's relationship with his new collaborator, who seems to respect film just as much as his new buddy, while also displaying a keen knowledge of the director's past works. The talk is a bit dry, though that should be expected. By the end, the two express hope that they didn't come off too pretentious, given the admission that they aren't prone to delve into this kind of critical self-analysis too often, which is a good thing since the track does tend to dip into heavy cinema talk from time to time. Other extras include a batch of ten deleted scenes (highlighted by a classic bit with a scorched Willem Dafoe), as well as the original theatrical trailer and a 15-minute "Starz on the Set" cable special. Disc two delivers on all of the extras that have become synonymous with Criterion releases. Featurettes on the film's look, costume design, music, and stop-motion animation are all represented, with the highlight being a wonderful sit-down interview with composer Mark Mothersbaugh. This extra is interesting not only for the presence of the ex-Devo rocker's sleepy fat dog on his lap throughout the clip, but for the in-depth discussion of how The Life Aquatic followed a natural progression in his collaboration with Anderson. Through dissections of specific tracks, Mothersbaugh manages to give new insight and respect to the film's Casio-tinged score. More good stuff awaits the viewer in the form of a section of the disc dedicated to Seu Jorge's fantastic Portuguese renditions of classic David Bowie tunes, some of which were not included on the soundtrack. The real highlights come not in the additional featurettes on Cate Blanchett, Owen Wilson, or Seymour Cassel, but in the very different, yet completely satisfying, documentaries included on the disc. "This Is an Adventure" is a 50-minute documentary created specifically for the disc by acclaimed filmmaker Albert Maysles (The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter) and his two fellow documentarians Antonio Ferrera and Matthew Prinzing. Given free reign during the 2003 shoot in Italy, the doc is a rare look into the loving working relationship between Bill Murray and Anderson, who re-team here for their third feature. The other documentary is a fine compliment, with actor and real-life intern Matthew Gray Gubler presenting a fun look behind the scenes with the jocular ensemble cast as they rough the high seas and intense foosball competitions during downtime between setups. With extra galleries and a humorous appearance from Anderson and Baumbach on the Italian interview show Mondo Monda, the Criterion two-disc Special Edition DVD comes to a close, giving film-lovers a befitting tribute to a movie that will continue to grow in time and hopefully secure its own place in the director's esteemed catalogue.

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    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (18 out of 18)

    Special Features

    • New high-definition transfer, approved by director Wes Anderson and enhanced for widescreen televisions
    • Commentary by Wes Anderson and co-writer Noah Baumbach
    • "This Is an Adventure," a documentary by Antonio Ferrera, Albert Maysles, and Matthew Prinzing chronicling the production of the movie
    • "Mondo Monda," an Italian talk show featuring an interview with Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach, with host Antonio Monda
    • New video interview with composer and Devo member Mark Mothersbaugh
    • Ten complete video performances of David Bowie songs in Portuguese by Brazilian recording artist and actor Seu Jorge (Pelé dos Santos)
    • Intern video journal by actor and real-life intern Matthew Gray Gubler (Intern #1)
    • Multiple interviews with the cast and crew with behind-the-scenes footage
    • Ten deleted scenes
    • Behind-the-scenes photos and original artwork from the film
    • Theatrical trailer
    • A fold-out insert featuring a cutaway of the Belafonte, with Eric Anderson's original illustrations, and a conversation with Wes and Eric conducted in 2005
    • Closed Captioned


    The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou
    The first effort from director Wes Anderson since his critically beloved The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou finds the filmmaker re-teaming with a number of familiar faces, including Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Anjelica Huston, and Seymour Cassel. Murray plays Steve Zissou, an eccentric and renowned oceanographer who has decided to seek out and enact mortal revenge on a shark that ate one of the men on his team. Along for the ride is Ned Plimpton (Owen Wilson), a young man who has joined Zissou's crew after showing up claiming to be the seaman's long-lost son and Zissou's co-producer (and estranged wife), Eleanor Angelica Huston. As the expedition ensues, the two bond and Plimpton falls for a female journalist (Cate Blanchett) who is writing a piece on Zissou. The crew meets a host of obstacles on their journey, including pirates, kidnapping, and bankruptcy. Adding a flair of whimsy to the film's aesthetic, the sea creatures and underwater scenes in the film have been created using stop-motion animation under the direction of Henry Selick, the man behind The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach. The ensemble cast also includes Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon, Noah Taylor, and Bud Cort. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Bill Murray
      Bill Murray - Steve Zissou
    • Owen Wilson
      Owen Wilson - Ned Plimpton
    • Cate Blanchett
      Cate Blanchett - Jane Winslett-Richardson
    • Anjelica Huston
      Anjelica Huston - Eleanor Zissou
    • Willem Dafoe
      Willem Dafoe - Klaus Daimler

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.