Tag Archives: Luke Wilson

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) Review

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The Royal Tenenbaums

Time: 109 Minutes
Age Rating: 2773-o[1] Adult themes
Cast:
Danny Glover as Henry Herman
Gene Hackman as Royal Tenenbaum
Anjelica Huston as Etheline Tenenbaum
Bill Murray as Raleigh St. Clair
Gwyneth Paltrow as Margot Tenenbaum
Ben Stiller as Chas Tenenbaum
Luke Wilson as Richie Tenenbaum
Owen Wilson as Eli Cash
Director: Wes Anderson

Three grown prodigies (Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller and Luke Wilson), all with a unique genius of some kind, and their mother (Anjelica Huston) are staying at the family household. Their father, Royal (Gene Hackman) had left them long ago, and comes back to make things right with his family.

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I had heard a little bit about The Royal Tenenbaums, but generally I just knew this as one of Wes Anderson’s movies, and so I knew that I would eventually get around to it. For many, The Royal Tenenbaums is considered one of his best films and having seen it, I would consider that to be the case too. The performances are all fantastic, the direction is outstanding is a joy to watch, and the script and story is really endearing. I really loved watching this movie.

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Compared to a lot of Wes Anderson’s other movies at least, it’s more of a drama than a comedy. At its core, The Royal Tenenbaums is a family drama. You get quite engaged with what is going on, so even if you don’t find the movie to be quite funny, there’s something that you’ll be interested in for this movie. I still did find the movie quite entertaining and also funny at times. It also does work very well on an emotional level, in fact there’s an underlying feeling of sadness amongst most of the characters, and touches upon some serious themes and topics at points. There is a great tonal balance throughout, transitioning between comedy and drama with ease and not taking away from the other tone. I have to say, this is one of Anderson’s best scripts, definitely one of his most complete. The movie is paced steadily across its hour and 50 minute runtime, and if you aren’t into the movie and the plot by the first 30 minutes, you might find it a bit of a drag to sit through. But the plot, quirky dialogue and especially the well realised characters all come together to make a film that I was personally invested in from beginning to end.

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There’s a massive talented ensemble cast involved in this film, and everyone is great here. If there’s a standout among them it is Gene Hackman in the lead role as Royal Tenenbaum, he’s fantastic and I think this is one of his best performances, if not his best performance. The rest of the cast are great too, including Danny Glover, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson and Owen Wilson, all of them performing their memorable characters very well, and having excellent on screen chemistry with each another (Paltrow and Luke Wilson particularly shine in this movie).

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Wes Anderson directs this so well, with his distinct style. Anderson’s attention to detail is really enthralling to watch and aesthetically pleasing, from set decoration to costume to shot composition and the colour pallet. There are some great visual gags that you can easily miss if you look away for like a second. I liked how the movie was structured in a storybook way, in fact it is divided into chapters, and it really gave it a different feeling. The soundtrack work well and is utilised perfectly, as expected from Wes Anderson at this point.

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I thoroughly loved The Royal Tenenbaums, even more than I was expecting going on. The all star cast were all great and played their memorable characters greatly, it was directed wonderfully, and it is written excellently, with an entertaining and emotionally engaging story. I think that this is going to revisit this movie quite a lot, and I see it becoming potentially one of my favourite movies. Definitely watch it if you haven’t already.

Bottle Rocket (1996) Review

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Bottle Rocket

Time: 91 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] contains violence & offensive language
Cast:
Luke Wilson as Anthony Adams
Owen Wilson as Dignan
Robert Musgrave as Bob Mapplethorpe
James Caan as Abe Henry
Lumi Cavazos as Inez
Andrew Wilson as Jon Mapplethorpe/Future Man
Director: Wes Anderson

A group of friends hatches a plan to pull off a simple robbery and go on the run. However, their ensuing escapade turns out to be far from what anyone expected.

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I had been meaning to watch all of Wes Anderson’s films for some time, I’ve only seen about half of his filmography, and recently I decided to watch through all of it from the very beginning, starting with Bottle Rocket. Wes Anderson has one of the most distinct filmmaking styles that I’ve seen from a director, and I was interested to see how he has evolved over the years. Bottle Rocket really wasn’t what I was expected, even as his debut movie, but I really liked it. It was enjoyable, entertaining, and I’m glad that I watched it.

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The script written by Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson works pretty well. The story was probably the weakest part of the movie, even though it’s reasonably decent for what it is. Bottle Rocket is an hour and half minutes long, for the most part it is paced well, and does well enough to keep you invested throughout. The first and third acts are pretty strong. However, it does slow down quite a bit in the middle section, and there’s a romance subplot that it focuses on quite a lot, which didn’t have me that interested. Although the plot does involve heists, it was about the characters first and foremost, and the movie definitely benefited from that. The dialogue is well written, and definitely was partly key to making the movie work as well as it did. Much of the writing isn’t quite what you’d expect from a Wes Anderson movie, and that’s especially when it comes to the dialogue. However, you can see certain elements that would later evolve into some of his trademarks, with the comedy, quirky characters and the like. The comedy is particularly great, with perfect timing and executions, making it quite a fun movie to watch.

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The cast all worked really well in their roles, they interacted with each other really well, and had wonderful comedic timing. Luke Wilson and Owen Wilson are the main actors of the movie and they are great, with really believable on screen chemistry. Owen Wilson was particularly great, and you can clearly see why he collaborated with Wes Anderson so much (and he was even involved with the writing along with Anderson).

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Like I mentioned earlier when it comes to the writing, if you watch Wes Anderson’s other movies and then look at Bottle Rocket, they very clearly don’t seem at first that similar, and that extends to the direction too. His familiar trademarks aren’t quite on display, for example the framing and editing of the shots, and the very distinct style that he has in films like Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom isn’t quite there yet. However, you do seem some glimpses of that in this movie, such as some of the use of colour and the great music choices. With this being his first film, you can tell that Anderson is that this point still figuring his own style out, however it’s pretty great for a first film.

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I feel pretty confident in calling Bottle Rocket Wes Anderson’s weakest film even though I admittedly haven’t seen all of his movies yet. However, it’s still a pretty good movie as it is. Anderson’s writing is really good, his direction was solid and showed promise, the cast were all great in their parts, and really I had a fun time with it. It is worth watching for sure, especially if you are a fan of Wes Anderson’s films.

Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Review

Time: 99 Minutes
Age Rating: 2773-o[1] Graphic violence, drug use, offensive language & sexual material
Cast:
Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee
Jesse Eisenberg as Columbus
Abigail Breslin as Little Rock
Emma Stone as Wichita
Rosario Dawson as Nevada
Zoey Deutch as Madison
Avan Jogia as Berkeley
Luke Wilson as Albuquerque
Thomas Middleditch as Flagstaff
Director: Ruben Fleischer

Zombie slayers Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) leave the confines of the White House to travel to Graceland in Memphis, Tenn. Along the way, they encounter other post-apocalyptic warriors and a group of survivors who find refuge in a commune. The scrappy fighters must now rely on their wits and weapons more than ever as they soon find themselves in a relentless battle against smarter, faster and seemingly indestructible zombies.

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Zombieland was such a surprise hit upon its release back in 2009, gaining quite the following. A follow up to the original Zombieland has been in development for some time, including a potential tv series, it just seemed like a sequel just wouldn’t happen. 10 years later however, the cast and crew finally return, including director Ruben Fleischer and the 4 main leads. The question was whether Double Tap could capture what the original was, given how long its been since the first movie. It’s more or less the same as the original, a fun zombie road trip comedy with a great cast that play off each other well.

Substance, Zombieland: Double Tap I guess is more of the same. The plot is really nothing special, Tallahassee, Columbus and Wichita just try to find Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), that’s pretty much the story of the movie. Then again what made the original movie work wasn’t the plot, it was the writing and how much fun it was. There’s certainly quite a lot of familiar aspects here, but they actually did a lot more than I thought they would in trying to keep things fresh. They do try to introduce some things, for example there are new zombie types instead of the regular zombies in the first movie. Double Tap is quite funny and entertaining across its hour and 40 minute runtime, all the things you love from the first movie are here. I guess there was one part of the movie where they tried to mislead the audience into thinking something happened, but the joke and twist was kind of obvious. Outside of that I don’t really have any major issues. Definitely stick around for the mid credits, it’s worth the wait for sure.

The main 4 leads return with Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin, and are as usual good and share great chemistry together. It can be very jarring watching them and realising that it’s been 10 years since the first movie in the plot, as it appears that really only Abigail Breslin has aged at all. Woody Harrelson shined in the first movie and he’s also hilarious in the sequel. The weakest of the 4 is definitely Breslin, not that she’s bad but she’s really not given much to do. Despite the plot surrounding the other 3 finding her, she really doesn’t appear a lot in the movie. The supporting cast are also good in their roles. Zoey Deutch from the trailers looked like she’d get annoying really quickly, but she was the standout of the newer cast, providing the first time I’ve seen a ditzy Valley Girl stereotype actually work in a movie. She was genuinely funny and stole all of her scenes. In fact the only annoying part about her was this forced ‘love trianglish’ subplot between her, Eisenberg and Stone which really was not wanted at all. Other supporting actors like Rosario Dawson and Luke Wilson also worked well.

Ruben Fleischer returns to direct and he does well at making the sequel feel bigger. It’s certainly retains the same style from the first movie. The action scenes are well filmed and they’re on a much larger scale. The violence and gore is quite satisfying, and the makeup and effects on the zombies are good, but that’s to be expected.

Although I still feel that it would’ve been much better if it was made 5 years ago (it certainly would’ve had more hype and impact), I still had quite a lot of fun with Zombieland: Double Tap, mostly for the same reasons that I liked the original so much. If you are a fan of the original Zombieland, I’d find it hard to see why you wouldn’t get any sort of enjoyment out of the sequel. If you aren’t such a fan on the other hand, you won’t like the sequel any more.