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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

Bill Murray , Owen Wilson , Wes Anderson  |  R |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (581 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe
  • Directors: Wes Anderson
  • Writers: Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2005
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (581 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007UC8Y4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,972 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" on IMDb

Special Features

New High-Definition Digital Transfer, Approved By Director Wes Anderson And Enhanced For Widescreen Televisions.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston. Famous oceanographer Steve Zissou sets sail with a crew that includes a journalist, a pilot, a man who may actually be his son and his ex-wife in order to seek revenge on a mythical shark for causing the death of his partner. 2004/color/118 min/R.


"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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
192 of 213 people found the following review helpful
I think if everyone would stop referring to the Wes Anderson movies as comedies we would all be better off. "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" is not about making the audience laugh. Yes, there are times you will laugh, but there are also times you will cringe, and there are other moments for just about everything else. What kind of movie is it? It really isn't something that can be given a single label. Yes, there are all kinds of jokes, but aren't they in the service of something more than simple laughs? Hearing David Bowie songs in Portuguese with an acoustic guitar is not only funny, it is kind of beautiful.

A simple joke is the name of Zissou's ship. The Belefonte is clearly a play on Cousteau's Calypso as are the crew's red knit caps. However, some of the humor is quite tough. Think of the scene with Jeff Goldblum's Alistair Hennessy playing cards with his pirate captors as Steve Zissou comes in the room. What follows is funny, but grim at the same time. Then there is the weird way the inside of the boat is portrayed in a cutaway set that looks fake and is meant to look fake. Notice that the science room is the smallest room on this research vessel. The Sauna is much bigger and all the rooms given over to film production constitute most of the ship.

This movie has a lot of fun with the artificial in documentaries and films. Even the scenes of creatures of the sea are often CGI creations that don't even try to look real. Heck, even the colors in the Zissou documentaries are supersaturated and look like they were done in different colors of ink rather than the ocean. How real is life when you are more concerned about getting everything shot with the right sound rather than living it?
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 2-Disc Special Edition is the way to go! May 10, 2005
By Cubist
There's always a certain amount of trepidation when a filmmaker like Wes Anderson, known for making intimate and personal films, starts making movies on a more ambitious scale - bigger budgets and movie stars in an attempt to appeal to larger audience - that he will lose all of the qualities that made his movies so interesting in the first place. Easily his most accomplished film, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou merges his stylized dialogue and quirky characters with elaborate sets and action set pieces in an exotic locale.

Anderson's career has been building up to this film. With The Royal Tenenbaums, Anderson was able to juggle a large cast of name stars while still maintaining his artistic integrity. With Life Aquatic, he continues to use stars but has upped the ante in production values and scope. However, he has not lost the intimate feeling that all of his movies possess. No matter how ambitious or big the scale, his films have hand-crafted feel to them. One gets the feeling that Anderson cares about every detail an every aspect and it is this personal touch that makes his movies so unique.

On the first DVD there are nine deleted scenes that feature some nice little bits of business between characters. There is nothing too significant for the most part and these were rightly cut out.

There is a theatrical trailer.

Also included is an audio commentary by Wes Anderson and co-screenwriter Noah Baumbach recorded at the restaurant in New York City where they worked on the screenplay. This is an engaging and thoughtful track as the two men touch upon the film's themes in an unpretentious way.

"Starz on the Set" is a 14-minute featurette.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Truth be told...this is NOT a film for everyone - definitely not a mainstream movie. I personally enjoy writer-director Wes Anderson's somewhat eccentric, (bizarre?), style. However, if you watched "Rushmore" and/or "The Royal Tenenbaums" and did not crack a smile, or thought about turning off the DVD player, you should stop reading here. "The Life Aquatic" is not for you. See, how helpful I have been? Now you don't need to read the entire review.

For those of you who have chosen to remain with me, Bill Murray is at his best here - wry, witty, wacky, clever, typically dead pan, totally self-absorbed, and once in a while, comedically tragic...or morosely sentimental! Think of this as a mega-fish story, with Murray as Steve Zissou, a Jacques Cousteau kinda guy. He, just like Cousteau, is an internationally famous oceanographer, who makes underwater documentaries, and wears a Cousteau-like knitted red cap - but Steve's has a pom-pom on top of his. Unlike Cousteau, however, Steve's a pothead. The ship resembles Cousteau's famous state of the art Calypso - but here it is named the Belafonte. Get it? Belafonte used to sing calypso. Hehehe. Well, that's the kind of humor you'll find with Team Zissou. I think it's hilarious...but that's me and this is just a warning. Anyway, Captain Zissou, (whose insignia looks like the Mark of Zorro), and his crew are filming a documentary about "The Life Aquatic." During the film's 1st stage, Part 1, Zissou's partner and close friend Esteban, is devoured by a Great Jaguar Shark, like Jonah and the whale. However, I think the Jaguar Shark, which makes "Jaw's" monster Great White look like a guppy, does a bit more crunching and munching. There's blood in the water! In other words, Esteban is not swallowed whole!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love it
Published 4 days ago by sasalagovic
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Wes Anderson movie.
Published 4 days ago by thomgonzales
5.0 out of 5 stars Bill Murray Kills It!
Amazing movie, visually awesome, amazing Bowie in Portuguese throughout, lots of stars in the cast, my favorite Wes Anderson for sure with Royal, Moonrise, and Rushmore in that... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Brian J Grom
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny movie. holds true to other Wes Anderson films ...
Very funny movie. holds true to other Wes Anderson films which tend to be very subtle in humor. i would recommend this film to any Wes Anderson fan and Bill Murray fan.
Published 7 days ago by Colleen O'Brien
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My favorite Wes Anderson film!
Published 8 days ago by Bloodhound
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the greatest movies you will ever watch.
Published 15 days ago by LecheNegro
4.0 out of 5 stars ... appreciate Wes Anderson's style of writing and directing to like...
You have to appreciate Wes Anderson's style of writing and directing to like this. Its a like it or don't like it. There is no in-between.
Published 16 days ago by Epirus Films
5.0 out of 5 stars Team Zissou
Big fan of Bill Murray and Wes Anderson. If you are as well, you will not be disappointed.
The soundtrack was a bonus.
Published 16 days ago by Amazonut
5.0 out of 5 stars great
love this movie! instant classic!
Published 21 days ago by jennifer
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, uplifting
One of the top 500 films of all time. Odd, grim, beautiful, uplifting...

Wonderfully acted, perfectly paced - like no other film you'll ever see. Read more
Published 21 days ago by southern_boy
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DVD Versions
The slipcover's the only difference; the disc artwork is reversible with one side with the photo (slipcover) art and the other from (I believe) Anderson's brother who did the art for the other Anderson Criterions.
Sep 17, 2012 by Ryan |  See all 2 posts
HELP: Criterion Collection (2-Disc Special Edition)

Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS 5.1 & ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Commentary by Wes Anderson and co-writer Noah Baumbach

This Is An Adventure, a documentary by Antonio Ferrera, Albert Maysles, and... Read More
Aug 2, 2010 by gerry |  See all 2 posts
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