Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

November 16, 2012

‘Moonrise Kingdom’ a whimsical distraction for art crowd

DVD Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Though I would agree Hollywood can hype some of the worst slop and ignore what otherwise should be praised many times in any given year, on rare occasions I understand why only certain films work in limited release. This does not necessarily mean the film doesn’t deserve a shot at being seen by the masses, but sometimes the story featured narrows it’s target audience by thinking so far out of the box that it forgets where it left it behind.

Such seems to be the case for today’s subject under the magnifying glass, a fine adventure in it’s own right, but perhaps struggling to appeal outside of those leaning toward the artsy. In many ways it actually seems something perfectly fit more for the theatric stage, despite at times lacking some of the required emotional expression. “Moonrise Kingdom” actually did quite well for what was a lazy Sunday afternoon, yet kind of misses the mark in being a something to be repeated.

Set in 1965 on a New England island called New Penzance, we are introduced to an outcast sort of fellow named Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman), an orphan who is not quite satisfied in attending a Khaki Scout camp. Before his fellow scouts and scout master Randy Ward (Edward Norton) can discover, he abandons the summer activity and does not plan on returning.

We later discover this is actually a part of a plot hatched to run away with a young girl named Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward), who can’t stand another day at home, and live out their days in a cove they name the title of the movie. While they develop their awkward romance it pretty much creates an all out search on the island from a lone wolf policeman named Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) to the girls parents like her father Walt Bishop (Bill Murray) and all while they seem to ignore an approaching hurricane. The pace is handled quite well and should suit those who like dry humor with a flair for the psychotic.

For those caught in “Leave it To Beaver” land, this flick will probably come across as rather offensive, especially considering the 60s flair given to the young lovers. For the rest of us, it’s a mostly tame look at what many of us might have engaged in or threatened our own parents with had we the courage or chance.

What I enjoyed more than anything else was again the stage-like setting and that if given the chance could be told multiple times in said setting with perhaps new actors giving their own interpretations. That said, I can see why people enjoyed it, but as far as award winning, maybe a bit too much hype is given. As a result, my verdict for “Moonrise Kingdom” is two and three fourths out of five beaches.

DVD rental courtesy of Family Video of Pauls Valley.