Entertainment » Movies

Moonrise Kingdom

by Karin McKie
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Oct 16, 2012
Moonrise Kingdom

Wes Anderson's latest quirk-fest "Moonrise Kingdom" is set on an imaginary island, New Penzance, in 1965 New England, and features a spot-on soundtrack by Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh.

Co-written by Anderson and Roman Coppola, it's the tale of two troubled teens that run away together, but who can only get so far on a handful of scenic square miles. Jared Gilman is rogue Khaki Scout Sam, a bespectacled orphan who "tunnels" out of his Camp Ivanhoe plaid tent to escape with pen pal Suzy (Kara Hayward), and retrace the old Chickchaw harvest migration trail.

Suzy's inept lawyer parents, played by a deadpan Bill Murray and a cheating Frances McDormand, stumble through the stilted, hyper-focused scenes along with island cop Bruce Willis and earnest troop leader Edward Norton. While Bob Balaban narrates, the watercolored scenes pass by like a shoebox full of camp snapshots as the hapless adults attempt to "cope with the very troubled child."

The intricately layered visual tableaux outperform the script, which is chock full of "beige lunatic" Scouts who, despite it being October, never go to school. But, in this kitschy homage to simpler times, it's refreshing to see kids al fresco, writing letters and the like, rather than zombie-walking face-down, texting into Smartphones.

The DVD features are few: a "Look Inside Moonrise Kingdom" and a short set tour from Murray. Also, Balaban focuses on the main players in a handful of brief "Welcome to Penzance Island" segments, where viewers learn minutiae such as the trampoline stunts were performed by a real state champion. This Combo Pack is almost as quaint as its content.

"Moonrise Kingdom"
Blu-ray Combo Pack

Karin McKie is a writer, educator and activist at KarinMcKie.com

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