Asteroid City – The DVDfever Cinema Review – Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson

Asteroid CityAsteroid City Asteroid City Asteroid City

Asteroid City is a film I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time, and one which – surprisingly for a Wes Anderson movie – has had a ton of promotion from the studio.

In watching it, if any film could be classed as ‘so Wes Anderson’, it’s this one, and I loved it, but it’s incredibly wordy and I do need to sit through it again before it leaves the cinemas.

To that end, when I heard the song Freight Train, over the opening credits, and given how Mr Anderson even pays so much attention to detail that he didn’t only just write the headlines for the extraneous articles in the newspaper for The Great Budapest Hotel, but also entire articles, I did initially wonder if he wrote and recorded this specifically for the film, since that would be so Wes Anderson, but… this is an actual tune from around that time, even though the film is set in 1955, and this version comes from the Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group featuring Nancy Whiskey, which made No.5 in the UK in 1957, having recorded it in late 1956, so he’s still bending time to a degree. Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But what’s it about? Well, the anniversary is almost upon us if when a meteorite, i.e. part of an asteroid, landed on Earth 3007 years ago, on September 29th. To mark the occasion, a group of disparate individuals come together for the Junior Stargazer Convention, the celebration and science prizes.

Asteroid City

Asteroid City – Blu-ray Collector’s Edition

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, given that war photographer Augie Steenbeck’s (Jason SchwartzmanSpider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse) wife died three weeks ago, and he’s only just getting round now to tellling the kids, made up of three daughters with star-like names Andromeda, Pandora and Cassiopeia, and a 14-year-old son, Woodrow (Jake RyanEighth Grade), the latter of whom soon gets the attention of young Dinah (Grace Edwards), daughter of Hollywood star Midge Campbell (Scarlett JohanssonAvengers: Endgame), so both the adults AND children are striking up friendships.

Made with the most incredibly deadpan style, and looking like it’s filmed purposely like a bad play, there are some of the most bizarre moments, such as Augie smoking while stood next to a petrol pump, regular atom bomb tests in the vicinity, by which point no-one bats an eyelid because it happens so frequently, and I absolutely loved the unfinished motorway ramp, which states that it was built following a rounding error. Why would any council admit that? And once they’d started it – especially in the middle of nowhere – why not immediately take it down? It makes no sense!

But of course, in this world, it makes perfect sense.

And this is before we even get to the black-and-white scenes, hosted by Bryan Cranston (Isle Of Dogs), which appear to be describing what we’re about to see. They’re just too bizarre for words, but are one of the reasons why I need to see this again ASAP.

Asteroid City is worth a 7.5/10 on first viewing, but I know that will increase when I get to see it again.

Asteroid City is in cinemas now, and is available to pre-order on Collector’s Edition Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD.

Asteroid City – Final Trailer – Focus Features

Detailed specs:

Running time: 105 minutes
Release date: June 23rd 2023
Studio: Universal Pictures UK
Format: 2.39:1 (Anamorphic Master Scope, Super 35); 1.37:1 (some scenes)
Cinema: Cineworld Didsbury
Rating: 7.5/10

Director: Wes Anderson
Producers: Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales
Screenplay: Wes Anderson
Story: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
Music: Alexandre Desplat

Augie Steenbeck: Jason Schwartzman
Midge Campbell: Scarlett Johansson
Host: Bryan Cranston
Conrad Earp: Edward Norton
Woodrow: Jake Ryan
Dinah: Grace Edwards
June: Maya Hawke
Montana: Rupert Friend
General Gibson: Jeffrey Wright
Sandy Borden: Hope Davis
Roger: Stephen Park
JJ Kellogg: Liev Schreiber
Clifford: Aristou Meehan
Ricky: Ethan Josh Lee
Shelly: Sophia Lillis
Stanley Zak: Tom Hanks
Andromeda: Ella Faris
Pandora: Gracie Faris
Cassiopeia: Willan Faris