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Director Wes Anderson and his longtime writing partner and friend Owen Wilson follow up Bottle Rocket, and Rushmore with this offbeat comedy about a dysfunctional family reunion. The Royal Tenenbaums is very similar to Anderson's previous two movies. The only difference is that he does everything he had accomplished in his two other movies even better in this one. The Royal Tenenbaums is Wes Anderson best movie.
Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) was an extremely successful attorney who had three children with his wife Etheline (Anjelica Huston), she is an archaeologist. Each of the Tenenbaum kids was pretty much a genius: Chas (Ben Stiller) made a killing as a child investor. Richie (Luke Wilson) was a junior tennis champ and a three time U.S. Nationals winner. The adopted Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) was a playwright who won a 50,000 dollar Braverman Grant in the ninth grade. When Royal abruptly left his family however, it was the beginning of two decades of betrayal and epic failure that would scar the Tenenbaums for the rest of there life's. Their past loathing are bitterly held against Royal when he suddenly reappears, claiming to have six weeks to live. He strongly desire's to reconnect with his now broken family. Typically Royal's story is a sham, but his presence and sincere desire for absolution soon have a very strong effect on the Tenenbaums, who are each dealing with thwarted desires and relationships. Among them are Richie's lifelong love for Margot, who's unhappily married to Raleigh St. Clair (Bill Murray). There is also Etheline's eccentric engagement to Henry Sherman (Danny Glover), he wishes to marry her. One other character is Eli Cash (Owen Wilson), he lived across the street from the Tenenbaum's and became like part of the family. Eli writes very successful western books that get very bad reviews.
This movie didn't look like much to me. I went in with very low expectations, I was surprised by how good it actually turned out to be. Like I said, this is an offbeat comedy. Anderson specializes in that type of movies. The movie is just brilliant, at the center of this movie we get a character study. The character study is well executed, and excellently thought out. Every single character is developed extremely well, and it's shown in a very clever way. The movie begins on a high note. It starts with an introduction of all of the characters, this was a major highlight of the movie. I also enjoy how the movie is divided into chapters. It gives everything a nice touch, they structure it kind of like a book. Alec Baldwin does the narration, they could not have picked a better actor for this job. Just like in other Anderson movies, there is a very large attention to detail, even though the main attention is being focused on the characters. The costume design and art direction is specific throughout. A good example is the house they all live in. The house could have been a character all on it's own, there are tons of pictures everywhere, and specific character identifying settings. Now for the cast.
Luke Wilson shines brilliantly here by giving one of his best performances. Luke Wilson plays a dark character, and he just plays him to perfection. Gwyneth Paltrow was good too, her character was very mysterious. I do believe this is Ben Stiller's finest preference as well. Stiller is a little out of his comfort zone, here he plays a more serious role rather than his comedic roles. The standout performance though is from Gene Hackman. Hackman is just simply fantastic. Anjelica Houston, Owen Wilson, Danny Glover, and Bill Murray also turn in some strong supporting performances as well. This movie has so many great actors, and they all pull there own weight. Everyone is great., I have one minor complaint though. I do wish we got a little more of Bill Murray.
This is a Wes Anderson movie, so you know you are going to get an amazing soundtrack. The score mixes Classic Rock/Pop with Mark Mothersbaugh's quirky score. It just works really well. This movie is not your average silly comedy. The movie can be extremely funny at times, but it can also get very serious at times. The Royal Tenenbaums is a very intelligent black comedy that is artfully made.
L.A. Confidential is as good as any crime movie can ever get. This movie explores the dark side of the Los Angeles police force and Southern California's criminal underbelly in the early 50s, when Hollywood was still seen as America's capital of glitter an glamor. Dudley Smith(James Cromwell) is the head of the LAPD, and he is very loyal to his fellow officers. He is also eager to turn a blind eye to violence and corruption within the department, as long if only the bad guys get hurt in the process.
Bud White (Russell Crowe) is a police detective who beats up men who beat up woman. He is a loose cannon. Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) is a by the book officer who wants to serve justice the right way. We see that he is a political animal, but he wants to be a deceive. People in the department don't think he has the stomach for violence. They also tell him to get rid of his glasses, he is told that deceives just don't wear glasses. Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) is one of those cops that prefer the spotlight to a hard working lifestyle. He is a high profile technical adviser to a hit TV show series, Badge of Honor, and has an agreement with the editor(Danny DeVito) of a magazine called Hush Hush. It's a sleazy magazine that publishes stories and pictures showing Jack arresting celebrities. All three of these detectives get drawn in into a tangled web of betrayal and violence. The are following a multiple murder that took place in a coffee shop. It is believed to be part of a great effort by Pierce Patchett (David Strathairn), who cuts whores to look like movie stars. Bud White then falls for one of Patchett's prostitutes, Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger). She looks just like Veronica Lake.
The casting was excellent, and so was the acting. Russell Crowe just knocks it out of the park. He plays the tough guy that we all no and love. Guy Pearce is suburb. This is one of his best performances to date. Kevin Spacey is outstanding. He really deserves another Oscar nomination for this movie. Kim Basinger is brilliant, she hadn't been in a good movie in a while. It was good to see her come back stronger than ever here. Last but not least,James Cromwell. He gives another great performance.
All the characters were developed well and were really convincing. The script could not have been better. The script was given great care, so as a result they got a great smart movie. A lot of scripts a rushed, I really hate that. A script can really help make a movie. If you choose to rush a script, you are not likely to have a good result
Another major highlight of the movie was the atmosphere. The movie has a great feel and look to it. Everything is great here, I mean everything. This is a perfect example of how to make a good crime movie. I have nothing negative to say about this movie. This movie was one of the best of it's year, and is also one of the best crime movies ever made.
"When you decide to be something, you can be it. That's what they don't tell you in the church. When I was your age they would say we can become cops, or criminals. Today, what I'm saying to you is this: when you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference"? The Departed is a masterpiece. It is one of the best crime movies ever made. The story is inspired by "Internal Affairs", a very successful Hong Kong movie. This movie is about rats. Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a trainee policeman who has a very bad family history. Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Sergeant Dignam(Mark Whalberg) send Billy to infiltrate Frank Costello's(Jack Nicholson) gang. Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) is a policeman who is rising fast through the department, but he is secretly working for Costello as a rat in the department. Each man must work hard to reveal his counterpart before his identity is exposed by the other man.
They have to be convincing though. A good undercover cop has to be prepared to brake the law. A good undercover gangster has to be able to arrest some of the bad guys. It would be really fishy if a cop seemed liked he wanted to protect the bad guys. Same goes for a gangster. Both Billy and Colin struggle with there identities. Each man undercover has only a few men on there side that no they are undercover. What if something happened to them. Billy and Colin also fall for the same girl, Madolyn (Vera Farmiga), the shrink who treats Billy and moves in with Colin.
William Monahan's script is fantastic. Every line of dialog is written with great care. The acting is superb. DiCaprio, Damon, Nicholson, Sheen, Farmiga, and Baldwin are all great. This was a risky role for DiCaprio, but he pulls it off. The surprise performance though was from Mark Whalberg. He gives his best performance to date. He gives a real a real Oscar worthy performance here. This is also the first time Scorsese has made a movie with Jack Nicholson. I hope they team up again in the future. You really care about the characters, witch is always important for any kind of movie. The characters are developed well throughout the course of the movie. So you really find yourself wanted them to get out of this big awful mess alive.
The movie is filled with great tension as well. There is a scene where someone calls someone, he picks up the phone and none of them say anything. That scene has great tension. Nobody was even talking. That kind of scene would not be suspenseful in a lot of movies. The movie earned all that tension though. It earned it with every scene that was before it. The movie keeps that same tension throughout the entire movie.
The Departed is brutal and brainy, with speedy plot twists. There are deceptions layered on top of deceptions layered on top of deceptions. Another thing the movie had going for it was the music. Scorsese is also a master of music. His movies always have great soundtracks. Scorsese also places the music with great care, he will place a certain song that helps make that scenes work even better than it would have. This movie is up there with Martin Scorsese's GoodFellas. People often ask if it is his best? Martin Scorsese is one of the best directors working today, and has made many great masterpieces. You can't really say that this is his all time best, Scorsese has made to many great movies. Still, this is one of his best.
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