The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

I used the morning to check messages, shop for some groceries, and watch a webinar. I met the FedEx deliverer at my door and received my A’s season tickets. They came not in sheets but in a pad like a daily calendar. Also in the box were a pin, a lanyard, and an insulated bag. I am nearly ready for the season. The rest of the work day was a bit difficult because of a lack of help. People were either on vacation or out sick. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about Prince’s show at the Oracle Arena. I didn’t feel the urgency to go to it because I saw Prince once years ago. I returned home tired. I watched a bit of the Tonight Show from March 12, 1992 with Burt Reynolds and Ahmad Rashad. I went out to buy a burrito, and then I sat down in front of the television to watch “The Life Aquatic.” Some of the actors in the cast were Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, and Bud Cort. Whenever I saw Willem Dafoe, I thought he was quite funny. The character of Steve Zissou is like Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who died seven years before this film was released. This quest to find the Jaguar shark brings to mind the story of Moby Dick. Zissou’s ship is called the Belafonte instead of the Calypso. I liked seeing the cross section of the ship, which made me think of a Jerry Lewis movie, and also something like “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” I wondered how Bill Murray was able to make his way through the set. It seemed easy to get lost in it. Anjelica Huston is the ex-wife Eleanor. I think that of her appearances in the Wes Anderson movies, I enjoyed seeing her most in “The Darjeeling Limited.” Cate Blanchett’s character was Jane Winslett-Richardson, a similar name to Kate Winslet. The role was originally for Gwyneth Paltrow, and Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore were other possibilities before Blanchett eventually played the part. I thought that Julianne Moore would have been a good addition to the Wes Anderson regulars, based on her appearances in “The Big Lebowski” and “Maps to the Stars.” I remember this movie because of the David Bowie songs in Portuguese. I thought it was great to hear them again in light of David Bowie’s death two months ago. This was the first Wes Anderson film not to feature a Rolling Stones song. One scene I liked had a killer whale in the background. I thought the little creatures who looked like little CGI animals were quite funny. The costume designer Milena Cononero worked with Stanley Kubrick on “A Clockwork Orange,” “Barry Lyndon,” and “The Shining.” I kept thinking about what Noah Baumbach’s contributions to the script could have been. Apparently, he and Anderson used some of the details they saw that the restaurant where they did the writing, a pace called Bar Pitti. Baumbach would also work on “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” The end credit sequence was similar to what we saw in “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension,” which also featured Jeff Goldblum. This film didn’t get good reviews, but I thought it was decent. Reportedly, it cost $50 million to make but brought in only $34 million in the United States and abroad. If I were involved in the production, I think I would have been devastated. It’s a credit to Wes Anderson that he came up with more material that could be made into good films. I thought that “Moonrise Kingdom” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” were quite successful creatively. A big question is whether Wes Anderson’s hipness is now boring. I find his films still fun to watch. It felt like “The Darjeeling Limited” was an important film in Anderson’s career. He can still turn out some more good films, I think. He is only 46 years old now, so he should still have some good ideas in his brain. Not every picture can be a winner. I wasn’t able to sleep straight through the night. I wasn’t looking forward to the rainy weather which was about to hit our area over the next several days. I watched the news about Donald Trump on the morning news. The Republican leaders are far too late in reacting to all of this. A question is whether this movement is going to turn into some kind of tidal wave, drowning out everyone else. I found myself thinking back to Ronald Reagan in 1980. Some of the people who died on March 3 include Johann Pachelbel (1706), Lou Costello (1959), William Frawley (1966), Hergé (1983), and Danny Kaye (1987). Today is a birthday for George Miller (71). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for March, “Day of the Evil Gun” was the Number One at the weekend box office in 1968, replacing “Planet of the Apes” from that spot. In 1980, “That’s Incredible!,” which featured John Davidson, Fran Tarkenton, and Cathy Lee Crosby, premiered on ABC. In 1989, “Lean on Me,” starring Morgan Freeman, was released.

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