Royal Tenenbaums...Eh

I know I’m late seeing this one – mostly because Tom and I agree so seldom that I gave up putting his recommendations at #1 in the queue – but I finally got to it.

I’m not going to say that it wasn’t funny, or that I didn’t like it, but…Wow. After you guys had built it up so highly, I was pretty disappointed.

'Course, I didn’t care much for Rushmore, and haven’t seen Bottle Rocket, so I guess I’m just not a Wes Anderson fan.

The only part of the movie that got more than a casual chuckle from me was Royal’s line, after seeing Margot’s sordid past: “She smokes?”

Other than that, only semi-funny. Very bizarre situation – everything is so outlandish that it’s impossible not to grin while watching it – but I think a lot of it was…Well, I don’t know…Not my style, I guess.

Maybe it just went over my head and I didn’t get it.

But it certainly wasn’t the be-all, end-all comedy that Chick had it played up to be.

The only part of the movie that got more than a casual chuckle from me was Royal’s line, after seeing Margot’s sordid past: “She smokes?”

Yikes, no wonder you didn’t like it. You thought Bill Murray was Royal Tenenbaum! :)

But it certainly wasn’t the be-all, end-all comedy that Chick had it played up to be.

“You wanna talk some jive? I’ll talk some jive. I’ll talk some jive like you never heard.”

 -Tom

You thought Bill Murray was Royal Tenenbaum!

D’oh!! You’re right…My bad. Wasn’t Royal.

(Smack!) God…damn…Ethel!

Don’t worry Murph, I had many of the same feelings you expressed above. Decent movie but I think I was expecting too much after reading the reviews on this board.

-DavidCPA

As someone who didn’t like Rushmore until Xtien Murawski (what happened to him?) argued him into seeing it again (and then absolutely adored it) let me just say… let the scales fall from your eyes! Wes Anderson isn’t making “easy to view” movies. You have to surrender yourself to them. Just pretend you’re in a raft and go with the oddball flow. I didn’t like Rushmore because I wanted it to be “normal” I wanted the narrative common and easily understood. Anderson doesn’t make those kinds of movies (neither do PTAnderson, the Cohens, or David Lynch, for that matter). My sister-in-law hated it and when I asked her why she said: “Because it’s gross to be in love with your sister, even if she’s adopted”

I still have a hand-print on my forehead from my incredulous slap!

Also Murph, tell me you didn’t see it in Widescreen.

I thought the movie was pretty good, but the pacing killed me. I had to check my DVD to make sure I didn’t accidentally play the first half at 1/4 speed.

I stuck it out and managed to get to the meaty portion of the film. If the whole thing was like the second half, I would call it a truly great film, but the first half drags it down to “good” for me.

My wife, on the other hand, gave up on it and ended up playing Diablo 2 for half an hour. When she heard me laughing, she came back in and tried to get caught it. Admittedly the second half requires all the setup of the first half for it all to click, but damn, how about something to speed up the flow?

My favorite parts of Wes Anderson movies are the small details. The one that hooked in Tenebaums was the closet. Inside was the most fantastic arraty of vintage 60’s and 70’s board games I have ever seen. I’m not sure why, but this scene alone added a depth and overall sadness to the family that could not have been been acheived any mere dialogue or contrived situations.

>The one that hooked in Tenebaums was the closet. Inside was the most fantastic arraty of vintage 60’s and 70’s board games I have ever seen. I’m not sure why, but this scene alone added a depth and overall sadness to the family that could not have been been acheived any mere dialogue or contrived situations.

I completely agree. Another “hidden gem” is Bill Murray’s bulletin board, especially if you’re familiar with his real-world counterpart.

Stefan

“Where’s the red one gonna go?”

 -Tom

Also Murph, tell me you didn’t see it in Widescreen.

Actually, I did, thank you very much.

I think my wife’s favorite part was the dalmation mice. And I loved how seeing one was a recurring theme in every chapter. :-)

I think my wife’s favorite part was the dalmation mice.

“They’re Chas’s. Well, he invented them anyway.”

 -Tom

Not to mention that Ben Stiller sucks. That might have made the movie worse for you as well.

Somebody sounds like he had to sit through Zoolander.

 -Tom

I saw Zoolander a couple of weeks ago and it wasn’t half bad. I watched it on my PC and nearly spewed my drink on the monitor a couple of times.

-DavidCPA

I like Ben Stiller. I didn’t even hate Zoolander.

“The Derek Zoonlander School For Kids Who Can’t Read Good…And Want to Learn to Do Other Things Good, Too.”

“It’s tiny!! They can’t even fit in the door!! It’ll have to be…like…at least twice as big!”

Come on, that wasn’t a horrible movie! (It was admittedly bad, though…But so bad, some of it was actually funny!"

But I loved Meet the Parents. The second time, at least. The first time was ruined because I’d seen all the funny parts in previews, so I felt like I’d already seen the movie. It’s okay to feel like that the second time, but not the first time.

I thought “Meet the Parents” had funny parts, but I hate the Ben Stiller complete-fucking-idiot typecast. I didn’t see Zoolander because I didn’t want to have to sit through it (I feel obligated to sit in on even the worst movie when someone spends money to get it, ie video rental, tickets, etc). Hell I’d feel bad wasting bandwidth on downloading a pirate copy for fear that said bandwidth could better be used for pr0n banner ads!

Did you see Keeping the Faith? It was a somewhat different side of Ben Stiller – through most of the movie, at least.

And I thought the irony of Meet the Parents was that he isn’t an idiot, normally…It’s just the intimidation of the situation.

But, if you didn’t like it, you didn’t like it, and that’s fine. :-)

Count me as one who didn’t like Royal Tenenbaums.

Plot: Prodigal father is mean to children; children become dysfunctional; father returns home and tries to make amends; children become less dysfunctional. This plot is not impressive.

Characterization: Except for Royal himself, the characters are two-dimensional and flat. Anderson depicts characteristics rather than character. These persons do not have a life beyond the two dimensions of the movie screen; instead they are just chess pieces being moved around the screen by a clever but detached chess player. The characters are singularly unappealing. What is interesting about a genius who spends her life in a bathtub watching television because her father has mistreated her, and why would I even want to watch a movie about such a person? Ditto regarding the unrelievedly angry financier who runs his children through fake timed fire drills in the middle of the night and dresses them in the same red sweatsuits that he wears or the failed tennis player who wants to have sex with his sister.

Character Development: None. The characters at the end of the movie are the same as they are at the beginning, with the small exception of being somewhat less insane. We know almost everything significant about the characters within minutes of first meeting them.

Acting: Generally good, particularly Paltrow and Hackman. Hackman’s acting always seems to be so effortless, it’s amazing. However, praising the acting is difficult when the actors are given nothing to work with. Royal is the only character with any depth. Everybody else is a caricature painted in one or two colors. It’s ridiculous to ask a talented actor like Paltrow to waste her abilities by deliberately sleep-walking as an emotionless zombie with no facial expression through every scene, regardless of how well she did it.

Sets and Costumes: The best part of the movie. The house is perfect. Royal’s clothes are perfect. Like other posters, I also took particular note of the game closet.

Humor: Apparently, this movie is supposed to be funny. I regret to say I didn’t smile even once. Royal is kicked out of his hotel because he is broke. This is funny? Royal shoots Chas with a BB gun and leaves him scarred for life. This is funny? Royal pooh-poohs the school play that his child wrote. This is funny? Royal refers to Henry as Coltrane because white people can’t distinguish between black faces. This is funny? Margot repeatedly cuckolds her husband. This is funny? Margot chops off her finger, and we later get a closeup look of the prosthesis. This is funny? Richie makes a bloodily grisly suicide attempt which we see in bloody detail. This is funny? Royal teaches Chas’s children to steal and risk their lives in traffic. This is funny?

The coup de grace, however, occurs with the penultimate plot device, in which, for no apparent reason, Eli crashes his car and kills Chas’s adorable pet dog directly in front of Chas’s children. This is funny? Pardon me while I am not laughing.

Message or purpose underlying the movie: None that I could see.

This was the worst movie I’ve seen this year.

in which, for no apparent reason, Eli crashes his car and kills Chas’s adorable pet dog directly in front of Chas’s children.

Agreed – my least favorite part of the movie. Would have been just as effective, I think, had the dog not been killed – although, then, Royal wouldn’t have the opportunity to get Chas a new dog, which maybe helps to mend the relationship. But, since Royal just saved the kids’ lives, a new dog seems like a small gesture, and one the situation could do without.

Yep – shouldn’t have killed the dog. I would’ve liked the crashing into the house otherwise. Or, at least, I would’ve liked it more.

But the BB gun thing was moderately funny. :-)