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Moonrise Kingdom Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English Video Descriptive Service, French & Spanish DTS 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Run Time: 94 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: UltraViolet + iTunes
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 16, 2012
  • List Price: $34.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

We Anderson has arguably developed, more than any other filmmaker of his era, the most identifiable style of filmmaking. Viewing an Anderson film is unmistakable whether one sees his names in the credits or not. From Rushmore on, his almost otherworldly and quirky take on family dysfunction with distinctly affected dialogue has been evolving, or, that is to say, being reworked into new feature-films. Some might say he has been in many ways remaking the same film for many years with slight variations here and there. He has had the advantage along the way of a cast of actors familiar with his style of literary and visual narrative that help bring out the very best in nuance and timing of his works, like Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman.

In Moonrise Kingdom, many of Anderson’s favorite actors return once more, but the material doesn’t quite come together as well. A tale of first love set on a New England Island in 1965, the film stars newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as Sam and Suzy. Sam is an orphan and least popular member of his troop of Khaki Scouts. Suzy is the troubled daughter of attorney’s Walt and Laura Bishop (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand). Having met briefly a year before, the two kids have been writing each other back and forth. Together they have hatched a plan to runaway together on their tiny island for a camping trip. Their plan succeeds, the two youths make their way across the island and go missing just as a historic hurricane is bearing down on the island, sending the entire community into an uproar, on the search for them.

While Anderson continually tries to showcase the bloom of young love in Moonrise Kingdom, the two young stars, despite their finest efforts, never really bring the dialogue to life and create a truly believable romance. Given their ages, one can only put the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of Anderson who, no doubt, failed to draw out the best performances from the youngsters. Much more compelling in the film are Bruce Willis as the small town police Captain Sharp whose sense of being a man who has given up seems to ooze throughout his body. Bill Murray, an Anderson veteran, is spot on as Walt Bishop who has been cuckolded by his wife Laura with the Captain.

Helping lift the film up is the inimitable visual style that Anderson imparts to all his films as well. The stylized, painterly vision adorns the entire production. He has once again turned the world into some alternate universe that feels like a playhouse existing just beyond our reach, but one where all manner of dysfunction and real world issues take place. From the costume design to the color of the Bishop house, nothing is left to chance in a Wes Anderson production.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Moonrise Kingdom was captured on rather slow speed Super 16 Kodak Vision3 200T 7213 film and it shows in this 1.85:1 framed AVC/MPEG-4 encodement from Universal. While the image is film-like, it doesn’t reach the level of detail and resolution of the usual 35mm productions and the slow film speed adds in more softness. Still, the transfer is quite watchable, with no evident noise or post-processing problems. Colors have a warm, summery glow that at first seem to be at odds with the film’s cold New England setting, but not with the Wes Anderson style of filmmaking we have come to know.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

This DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack is very straightforward, as one has come to expect from most of the audio mixes for Anderson’s films. With that being said, it has a good breadth of dynamic range, provides solid dialogue and a spacious spread of sound, but surrounds are somewhat stagnant.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

The supplements are rather self-explanatory and not very informative.

The supplements:

  • A Look Inside Moonrise Kingdom (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:07)
  • Welcome to the Island of New Penzance (1.78:1; 1080p/24) – Bob Balaban offers quick looks at the actors and their roles as well as director Wes Anderson in these quirky in-character featurettes.:
    • Bill Murray (00:01:31)
    • Bruce Willis (00:01:56)
    • Edward Norton (00:01:21)
    • Wes Anderson (00:01:22)
  • Set Tour with Bill Murray (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:09)
  • BD-Live
  • DVD
  • UltraViolet
  • iTunes Digital Copy

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Moonrise Kingdom may feel just a tad like recycled goods, but is is still undoubtedly an enjoyable Wes Anderson work. It may not be his best, but it’s work checking out.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Moonrise Kingdom on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]



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1 COMMENT

  1. I don’t know if the romance was ever supposed to pop off of the screen because this is not the type of romance that we are accustomed to seeing on the big screen. It is much more matter of fact as it stems from the simple need of both of these children to have someone, and not some grand scheme of the gods of love. I loved this movie when I saw it in theaters, so I was really excited to rent it when a coworker at DISH told me it was coming out on DVD. I would have loved to buy it, but with so many big movies coming to DVD I decided to spend the money on a month of Blockbuster @Home, so I can see them all. Watching it a second time made me appreciate what a unique story this is in how it is able to layer the feelings of endearment and angst that every relationship revolves around.

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