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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEEPAK PALLANA RETURNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Once again, Wes Anderson brings back Deepak Pallana (Pagoda in the film). He has appeared in every Anderson film, especially as Kumar in Bottle Rocket. My friend and I still wonder why this quirky guy ends up in all of Anderson's movies, but I love every minute of it. He is hilarious!!!! Pagoda yelling "You son of a beeech" and stabbing Royal Tenenbaum is so...
Published on June 4 2002

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Movies Are Not IQ Tests...
Well, I lasted through this movie recently...but just barely. And for those of you who aren't sure, you can actually dislike this movie even if your IQ is above 85. :) I generally enjoy controversy in the reviews, but the elitism shown in these reviews is simply wretched.
For those who don't know, the story is about the reunion of Royal Tenenbaum (Hackman) and his...
Published on March 7 2004 by T. George


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEEPAK PALLANA RETURNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, June 4 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Royal Tenenbaums (DVD)
Once again, Wes Anderson brings back Deepak Pallana (Pagoda in the film). He has appeared in every Anderson film, especially as Kumar in Bottle Rocket. My friend and I still wonder why this quirky guy ends up in all of Anderson's movies, but I love every minute of it. He is hilarious!!!! Pagoda yelling "You son of a beeech" and stabbing Royal Tenenbaum is so unexpected and hilarious, I almost fell out of my seat. Tenenbaum's reaction is almost as funny!!!! JUST SEE THIS MOVIE!!!!!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A genuinely wonderful movie.., July 18 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Royal Tenenbaums (DVD)
I usually prefer older movies, but this could possibly be my favorite movie of all time. The script it brilliant, it's hilarious and touching. There's sorrow in the humor that makes it seem very real. The movie is very observant of human nature, and very insightful. It's also accompanied by a wonderful soundtrack, that compliments the dialogue and camerawork beautifully.
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4.0 out of 5 stars the best benn stiller movie ever, July 16 2004
This review is from: The Royal Tenenbaums (DVD)
I am a skeptic on some prticular actors and actresses, and it so happens that two of them were in the royal tenembaums. Of course I'm referring to Luke wilson, and ben stiller.
Stiller has done nothing for me since appearing in theres something about Mary. He falls into this habit of playing the same two characters in every movie. The nice quiet innocent character who alway seems to be thrown to the wolves. nut stuck in zipper, crap on your dates especially favorite loofa, etc, etc. And of course there's the Ben stiller who is just a total jerk. In tenenbaums, Stiller actually flexes his acting muscles creating a new image of him and lodging it in my brain. Wow!! i guess he can act.
As for Wilson i didn't favor him simply because of the god awful shanghai movies. I admit now that was unfair Luke Wilson has my respect now. Not that he cares, but hey.
Ok well enogh rambling the movie was excellent and the charcters were very well thought out, particularly Margot. I will agree with a former reviewer in that the film was a bit tedious, but you win some and you lose some.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and Cerebral, but Still Warm, June 10 2004
This review is from: The Royal Tenenbaums (DVD)
THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS is a film I love to watch again and again. The dialogue is so perfect and the performances so understated that I find something new in the film almost every time I see it.
The Tenenbaums are a family that are far more dysfunctional than most. Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman), the family patriarch, moved out of the family home and into a hotel about three years before the film opens. His wife, Etheline, however, did not divorce him and she remained in the house where she and Royal raised their three children. Royal and Etheline have the distinction of having three grown children, all of whom were prodigies, yet all of whom have grown up to be both paranoid and neurotic. Chas (Ben Stiller) was a financial whiz kid who's now afraid of even waking up in the morning. Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) was a promising playwright, and the only adopted child, who gave up both her career and her motivation when she married the very intellectual Raleigh St. Clair (Bill Murray). Now, instead of writing award winning plays, Margot's a closet smoker instead. (If she thinks anyone in her family would care, she'd better think again.) And then there's Richie, a once up-and-coming tennis star who gave it all up because of a burning romantic love for...who else? Margot.
The plot of THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS is set in motion when Etheline announces she wants to marry her long time accountant, Henry Sherman (Danny Glover). The news that his wife wants to remarry doesn't prompt Royal to give Etheline a divorce, despite their years apart. Instead, he decides he wants to enjoy her love and affection once again, so he fakes a terminal illness and moves back into the family manse, complete with hospital bed, IV tubes, and other assorted "sick bed" paraphernalia. Coincidentally, Chas, Margot and Richie all arrive at about the same time, so the family is reunited, much to their individual and collective dismay.
THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS is a very sophisticated comedy, heavily dependent on dialogue and its biggest strength, I think, is that it always keeps the viewer a little off guard. Sometimes we don't know whether we're supposed to laugh or cry or feel empathy for this very eccentric family. And, strangely enough, as eccentric as they are, I did feel empathy for the Tenenbaums. I think this is why the film works and works so well. In creating the comedy, the writers didn't forget to create believable and likeable characters as well.
The acting is good in this film, but I thought Paltrow and Hackman turned in the best performances and that is saying something because I don't think Paltrow is an especially good actress. She captured the essence of Margot perfectly, though.
THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS is a comedy, but it's cerebral rather than physical and thinking viewers will appreciate it most. Those looking for mindless entertainment or comedic "fluff" should look elsewhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful film that may not be appreciated by everyone, May 26 2004
This review is from: The Royal Tenenbaums (DVD)
The Royal Tenenbaums is a beatiful movie that is very full of life and graced with poetic characters. The story has been described by many people, so I will just say that this is one of those movies where the story dosen't really matter because you are so enamored by the characters. This movie is basically a character study but with a whole family and their various friends, children, and spouses. Everything about the set, the costumes, and the way the actors portray their characters is fairy tale like and almost seems like a metaphor for something more ordinary, but is just beautiful and filled with tiny details that draw you into their world with an open heart.
The movie is wonderfully written and acted, although some people may not get the humor or may be expecting easy laughs, so they will not really "get" or enjoy the movie because they don't know what to think. For the most part, this movie does not dictate to the audience what is funny about it, and it does not dictate who to like and what to think about the film. This leaves some less patient audience members feeling unsatisfied and like they have missed something, which they have. Many people I know who have seen this movie are expecting Ben Stiller ala There's Something About Mary, or Bill Murray ala Ghostbusters, but this is not the usual "popular comedy" sort of performance these actors give in this movie. Bill Murray says nothing directly funny at all, he just mopes around with a beard and a patient named Dudley, which is only funny if you take his character as a whole and stop to notice the subtle humor in his character and how he reacts to what goes on. It is the same for all the characters. Overall, I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who will appreciate a quirky, complex, understated dramedy, because the experience will stay with you for a long time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, May 17 2004
By 
Matty N (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Royal Tenenbaums (DVD)
Wes Anderson has cemented his reputation as one of the premier directors of his generation with this finely crafted film.
Superb acting and cinematography are often coupled to create incredibly emotional sequences. A great example is Luke Wilson and Gwyneth Paltrow's reunification after many years apart. Wilson's awkward posture and Paltrow's hazy longing are emphasized beautifully with a mesmerizing slow motion shot that speaks more clearly about their relationship than even the best dialogue ever could. This is but one example of many. Every actor in this film delivers a top-notch performance and camera work is frequently unconventional yet stunningly effective.
Each member of the Tenenbaum family is carefully developed and as the film progresses the complex web of relationships that is present within any family subtly emerge. This however, is no ordinary family. Success came to easily for the Tenenbaum's and it served as precursor to failure. The Tenenbaum children are defined by their inability to handle their shortcomings and the film's dark comedy finds its source in their respective dysfuctions.
Many reviewers have commented that this movie is intellectually over-indulgent. This may be true. While there are a few bits of slapstick comedy (mostly revolving around Ben Stiller's character) the movie's strength lies in its depth. Watch this film twice and chances are you'll see things you missed the first time. You don't have to be a genius to "get" this movie but you do have to invest yourself a bit. Do so and you're likely to find yourself smiling.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Redemption Song, April 13 2004
By 
Rebecca Whiting (Beautiful Bell Gardens, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Royal Tenenbaums (VHS Tape)
You have here Royal Tenenbaum, a self-absorbed and shameless jerk. He either neglects or belittles his children until he finally abandons the family. Years later they are miserable creatures warped even further by their precocity, for whom the balm of ridiculous luxury does nothing. Re-enter Royal, like a pernicious case of herpes, who has squandered his fortune and is now homeless: he feigns terminal illness and foists himself back onto his family.
So what's so great about a movie where a selfish guy interacts with his messed up kids? On the surface, not much unless you dig cool sets and protest how much you love *quirky*, *oddball* *black comedies*.
But if you look a little deeper, the characters are truly charming under the warts. You may have to watch the movie several times. You still wouldn't want to, say, let an apartment with any of these people as room-mates. But you will see something beautiful in them.
(And I love Angelica Houston any old way. She looks credible and gorgeous in everything she's ever done.)
This movie is about love, the strange and reluctant love you feel towards those who are bound to you. It is about a deadbeat discovering the responsibilities of love. It is about seeing something loveable in someone ugly.
Hope and love. They got a good treatment here.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bash it if you want, but you can't deny its qualities, April 3 2004
This review is from: The Royal Tenenbaums (DVD)
I can understand why some people find this movie boring or uninteresting. The first time I saw it, I thought it was so so. Then it grew on me without having to see it again. This movie, while not perfect, is a welcome breath of fresh air in a world of crappy Matrix sequels, Club Dreads, Jackasses (I still think the title describes the viewers, NOT the "actors"), overrated Tarantino movies, and the plain old crap that's in Hollywood nowadays.
And yes, this movie is sophisticated humor, not sophomoric. If you don't know what either of those words means, this movie definitely is not for you. It's subtle, witty, and clever. You do have to be intelligent to appreciate this movie for what it really is. I hate to sound elitest, but people who think the American Pie movies (though humorous) are the best movies ever will not enjoy this movie. It takes a higher level of thinking. I know, I know, God forbid a movie makes you think, but it's good to get one of those every now and then.
One thing I'd like to say about Wes Anderson is that I really enjoyed Bottle Rocket. People talk about Tenenbaums and Rushmore, but I think Rocket is up there with them. I think it's the funniest of the three, not necessarily the best though. I'd have to say Tenenbaums, in my mind, is the best. The camera play is goddamn interesting, even funny, and the characters are some of the most rounded I've seen in recent cinema. Yes the movie does echo the whole Catcher in the Rye mood, but in my mind that adds to the tone of the picture.
If you want cheap thrills, go somewhere else. If you want a movie with tons of thought put into it and tons of thought emanating from it as well, Royal Tenenbaums is an excellent movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Putting the 'fun' in disfunctional, March 9 2004
By 
"unbridled_brunette" (Tate, Georgia United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Royal Tenenbaums (DVD)
From the very moment it opens (with hilarious scenes of the cast members grooming themselves in various ways) you know that this is not your average film. No, it is not a film everyone will enjoy. The humor, for the most part, is subtle. The characters are quirky and story is more than a little offbeat. It's a special movie and it will take special people to enjoy it. Does that mean you are unintelligent for not enjoying it? No. What it does mean is that you don't appreciate the craft of writing and filmmaking enough to see how special this movie really is.
The sets are unique, unable to be pinned down to any single moment in time (rotary phones occupy the same desk as desktop computers). The wardrobe likewise is something special; each character really expresses himself through what he wears. One character wears the same type of dress, shoes, and hair barrette she wore when she is twelve (trying to recapture her heyday as a young genius, perhaps?). Another character dresses himself and his young sons in matching red Adidas sweatsuits so that they will be able to easily find one another in the event of a disaster. The soundtrack is a superb blending of mid 60s/70s rock (which appears to be the time period this family finds itself locked in.) And the writing...
Dozens of other people have outlined the plot, so I'll not go into it. But the writing is sharp, witty, and more than a little tongue-in-cheek. But this isn't your average comedy, striving solely for cheap laughs. There is depth here as well. You'll find yourself laughing one moment and then, just as quickly, tearing up at a certain character's heartache. The sequence in which a narrator details the early life of the Tenenbaums is especially well done.
And the acting? There is not a single sloppy performance in this movie; even the most minor characters are flawlessly played. And the main actors are excellent. I'm ashamed to say I never thought much of Gwyneth Paltrow as an actress before, but she really proves herself in this film. They are all so wonderful I can't really spotlight one actor as being "the best" but I will say Luke Wilson's character is probably the most loveable. Even though Richie Tenenbaum is a flawed, at times manipulative man, you find yourself rooting for him from the beginning. It makes me wonder why Luke would choose to waste his wonderful talent on such dross as "Old School".
In conclusion, this is not a movie for everyone. But if you like a film with underhanded humor, bittersweet romance, and eccentric characters then you will fall in love with 'The Royal Tenenbaums'. Enjoy!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Movies Are Not IQ Tests..., March 7 2004
By 
T. George "anne-with-an-e" (An American city) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Royal Tenenbaums (DVD)
Well, I lasted through this movie recently...but just barely. And for those of you who aren't sure, you can actually dislike this movie even if your IQ is above 85. :) I generally enjoy controversy in the reviews, but the elitism shown in these reviews is simply wretched.
For those who don't know, the story is about the reunion of Royal Tenenbaum (Hackman) and his dysfunctional family (Huston, Stiller, Paltrow, and Luke Wilson). When his 3 children were young, Royal was a critical, unstable father who played favorites. Though all of the children were geniuses, they all came undone by their 30's due to their father's dispiriting influence and mother's detached upbringing.
Right as all 3 children were hitting their lowest lows in their 30's, Royal gets kicked out of his housing because he has no money. He schemes his way back into their lives, and so all 5 are living under one roof again, with the notorious neighbor (Owen Wilson) still nearby. Will reconciliation ever happen? Should it happen? Does Royal actually care?
The movie allows the characters to breath - it allows them to be complex and mysterious and irrational. It also allows for a subtle ironic and circumstantial humor.
However, that said, I thought the movie dragged quite a bit and was ultimately very empty. There was little in it that engaged me emotionally; I was not drawn into any one character's plotline (let alone all of them). I didn't need closure because I didn't care, and I'd rather the story have ended sooner. Even the very poignant (though twisted) moment of Luke Wilson's crisis was trivialized as things bounce back to "normal" so quickly.
As a final criticism, the movie had unnecessary (though brief) nudity. I think I should have expected it in this movie, but it could have easily been left out. All in all, some subset of movie watchers might really enjoy the unique journey of this film. However, most people can probably pass on this film and never miss out.
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The Royal Tenenbaums
The Royal Tenenbaums by Wes Anderson (DVD - 2004)
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