Moonrise Kingdom Bluray/DVD Combo Pack Review

Moonrise Kingdom (Bluray/DVD release date: October 16th) is now available from Universal Studios on Bluray/Combo Pack with UltraViolet. Written and directed by Academy Award nominated Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom features a brilliant mix of well known stars (Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, and Frances McDormand, to name a few) as well as newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward.

Moonrise Kingdom

Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) appear as if they have nothing in common, but the pair of 12-year-olds understands each other better than any of the adults in their respective lives. Sam is an orphan who can’t make it work with any of his foster families, even though he is a pretty tame child. Suzy has anger issues, and her parents are caught up in their own emotional crises and have no idea how to manage her. Sam and Suzy fall in love with each other through secret letters that they write to one another, and make a pact to run away together and start a life somewhere else.

Sam outwits Randy Ward (Edward Norton), leader of the Khaki Scouts troop, and uses the skills he has acquired as a scout to meet up with Suzy, who lives on a different island. Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) starts going around door to door to see if anyone on New Penzance has noticed the missing boy. When he knocks on the Bishops’ door, the parents discover their daughter is missing, and that she has run away with Sam.

The entire island, along with two different troops of Khaki Scouts, sets out to find the missing children as they are also preparing for one of the worst storms in their history.

The name Wes Anderson isn’t unknown to me, but until Moonrise Kingdom, I had not seen a single one of his films (others have been in my Netflix queue for years, though). I wasn’t sure what to expect with Moonrise Kingdom; I was mostly interested in watching it because it had come highly recommended by a friend. To date, I have now watched Moonrise Kingdom twice; I didn’t care for it very much the first time, but a closer viewing the second time around made me appreciate the film.

Moonrise Kingdom

The setting of this film is absolutely beautiful; I loved all of the scenery shots and the perimeter of the island. I felt as if I were really on this island with the wonderful cast of flawed characters. Suzy’s house reminded me of a doll house; every shot filmed inside of it was carefully executed. Every character seemed as if he or she were a doll that had come to life in the moment that the viewer is looking through their window. All of the characters, with the exception of Suzy, is unaware that we are watching. Suzy, on the other hand, has a pair of binoculars that she often looks through, and it feels as if she is looking out from her world and into the viewers’.

Though the first part of the film focuses mostly on the relationship between Sam and Suzy, I actually preferred the latter half of the movie, which brings everyone all together because of the children’s elopement. While much of the interaction between all of the children (the troops, Sam, and Suzy) was quite humorous, I was most interested in the relationships between the children and the adults. In particular, I really enjoyed Captain Sharp taking Sam into his home while they awaited the arrival of Social Services (Tilda Swinton).

Moonrise Kingdom presents several scenarios that underneath the surface are heavy and depressing, but the film overall felt light and actually pretty fun. This is a film that you’ll need to watch carefully; so many things are alluded to rather than expressed outright. I definitely recommend it to anyone wanting something just a little bit different than formulaic Hollywood films.

Bonus Features:

A Look Inside Moonrise Kingdom Behind the scenes footage showing Wes Anderson on set with the cast and crew. I enjoyed this especially because it also shows how a few of my favorite scenes were filmed.

Welcome to the Island of New Penzance Bob Baladan, who is a sort of narrator for the film, introduces a look into the characters portrayed by Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, and Edward Norton.

A Set Tour with Bill Murray Bill Murray himself shows us around the set of Moonrise Kingdom as it is being filmed.

*I received a product for review purposes. No monetary compensation was received in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.*


Jen currently lives in Utah with her family, and enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. She is active on popular book websites including paperbackswap.com, Goodreads.com, and luxuryreading.com.

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