One of Wes Anderson’s finest films, “The Royal Tenenbaums,” hits stores with a Criterion Collection Blu-ray release on August 15. Anderson is one of today’s most prolific filmmakers when it comes to Criterion releases. He remains one of the few modern day directors whose movies make their home debuts with the prestigious distribution company. From his catalogue, Anderson has five movies available with Criterion, some of the quirkiest independent films available.
Wes Anderson, a Texas filmmaker, got his start with “Bottle Rocket,” a movie starring his friends, Owen and Luke Wilson. The film is a crime picture with Dignan (Owen) as a rebellious misfit who drags his two friends Anthony (Luke) and Bob (Robert Musgrave) into a web of trouble. Martin Scorsese watched the movie and said that Anderson “knows how to convey the simple joys and interactions between people so well and with such richness.” The movie is available in Criterion Blu-ray and DVD versions.
With a hit independent movie under his belt, Anderson picked up some bigger actors in his next feature, “Rushmore.” Bill Murray signed on to play a wealthy industrialist who strikes up a friendship with a 10th grade prodigy named Max (Jason Schwartzman). The two find their friendship strained when they both fall for the same woman, a teacher played by Olivia Williams. Anderson impressed the normally finicky Murray so much that the veteran actor has appeared in most of Anderson’s subsequent movies. “Rushmore” is available on Criterion Blu-ray and DVD.
“The Royal Tenenbaums”
The movie hitting Blu-ray this week includes Anderson’s biggest, all-star cast of his career. Gene Hackman stars as the patriarch, Royal Tenenbaum, a man whose personality destroyed his family and left his children all bearing mental scars. Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson and Gwyneth Paltrow star as his children, all with unique problems of their own. Hackman won a Golden Globe for his performance.
“The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”
In arguably his strangest movie, Anderson directed a part live action/part animated film with “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.” Murray takes the lead here as an oceanographer searching for a mythical jaguar shark that killed his partner. It is a slight retelling of the classic “Moby Dick” story and one of the hardest of Anderson’s films to categorize. Willem Defoe, Jeff Goldblum and Bud Cort co-star in the movie, only available through Criterion on DVD.
“The Darjeeling Limited”
Continuing his mission to create strange and eclectic movies, Anderson directed “The Darjeeling Limited” next. The movie stars Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody as three estranged brothers, setting out on a train trip across India after their father dies. When they find themselves stranded in the desert, things really get strange. “The Darjeeling Limited” is available on both DVD and Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection.