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Internationally famous oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) and his crew -- Team Zissou -- set sail on an expedition to hunt down the mysterious, elusive, possibly nonexistent Jaguar Shark that killed Zissou's partner during the documentary filming of their latest adventure. They are joined on their voyage by a young airline co-pilot, who may or may not be Zissou's son (Owen Wilson), a beautiful journalist (Cate Blanchett) assigned to write a profile of Zissou, and his estranged wife and co-producer, Eleanor (Anjelica Huston). They face overwhelming complications including pirates, kidnapping, and bankruptcy. Oscar(R)-nominated writer-director Wes Anderson (2001 Best Original Screenplay, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS) has assembled an all-star cast that also includes Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon, Noah Taylor, and Bud Cort in this wildly original adventure-comedy.
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In the DVD world, the Criterion Collection label generally indicates that you'll be getting your money's worth on the extras, and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is no exception. These two discs contain many features that fans of the film will expect: Seu Jorge performing David Bowie songs (complete versions), many documentary scenes of writer-director Wes Anderson at work, interviews with cast members including Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, etc. Other extras are a little more confusing. For instance, does Seymour Cassel, who plays Zissou's deceased partner, know what he's doing when he complains to a hairless cigar merchant about having to go faux bald? And what's the deal with Mondo Monda? It's a cringingly awkward Italian talk show in which the host (also an actor in the film) interviews the screenwriters, throwing out references so random and esoteric that even smart guys like Anderson and Noah Baumbach are left speechless. It's all a joke, right? In the end, the bonus material accomplishes its primary goal: get those who already enjoy the film to like it just a little bit more. --Leah WeathersbyReview:
"Aquatic maintains its buoyancy throughout." -- Glenn Kenny, PREMIERE MAGAZINE
"Bill Murray is a master of comedy .... a modern day Charlie Chaplin!" -- Clay Smith, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD
"The giddily unhinged black comedy...can be outrageously funny." --Thelma Adams, US WEEKLY
"The movie is easy on the eye. It’s aqua-heavy in costuming and overall color scheming." --Mike Clark, USA TODAY
"Wes Anderson is one-of-a-kind, and so is his latest film: quirky, funny, and full of surprises." --Leonard Maltin, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT
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