Monday, August 14, 2023

Asteroid City - 1 Star - Theaters May 23, 2023 PEACOCK - August 11, 2023

I love Wes Anderson's work.  The Grand Budapest Hotel remains one of my all time favorites.  In his career, Anderson perfected the art of making comedies that take place in beautiful portrait like settings.  He sets his camera wide and lets the action take place within the frame.  Somehow in the Barbie and Oppenheimer rush of the summer, I never made it to Asteroid City.  Once it opened, I began to hear disappointing feed back. As of August 11th, Peacock began streaming Asteroid City.  Thanks to my Peacock subscription, I can tell you it's as bad as everyone says.  As the film begins, Bryan Cranston introduces the story of playwright Edward Norton working out his scenes of a visit to a New Mexico village famous for rumors of a spaceship landing.  The playwright scenes come in black and white - much the same as the technique used successfully in Oppenheimer.  The play within a play comes in full color, set in an arid desert with dollhouse like settings in which the characters explain themselves.  The retro 1950's setting and look play tio Wes Anderson's strength.  Once the dialog gets going, the story turns boring, so boring that Anderson's usual settings can't pull this off.  I think I might download Grand Budapest again, or watch Anderson's masterful The Royal Tenenbaums.  Thanks to streaming, I can watch the classics.  And thanks to streaming, Peacock saved me a disappointing trip to a theater.