I wanted to hate The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, but I couldn’t help but be drawn in by its quirky sense of humor. Like Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums before it, Wes Anderson took a story and filled it with so many little bits of dry humor and digressions that it took on a life of its own. It’s weird; it definitely wasn’t a great film, and I didn’t feel like it was up to the standards of his previous works, but you know something? I really couldn’t help but enjoy this film. About the only way I can put it is if you like Wes Anderson, you’ll like this film. If not, well, it’s not what you would expect from the advertisements. 7/10.
The appeal of Twelve Angry Men was far more universal. I can’t help but feel the film is still relevant today, both in a judicial and a political context. The way the story was told without ever visiting the trial itself was magnificent, the directing excellent, and all of the little touches tied things together, with nothing going overboard. I really can’t see the point of remaking the film (though the remake apparently is a rare spectacle in that it remains worth watching), as it’s a work of timeless art — I can see why it has made so many “best of” lists. If one isn’t distracted by the fact that it’s filmed in black and white and the mannerisms are from another era, there is nothing to separate this story from one produced today. It’s a classic, I know, but is worth a watch when you have a chance. 8/10.