The Royal Tenenbaums

I gave the final exam for my class and left the room with a week’s worth of papers to grade.  Some of the students wished me a good summer, and I wondered if I would see any of them during the fall semester.  I came home to hear the news that the Warriors had lost in Oklahoma City.  We didn’t think that they would be on the verge of elimination at this point.  A lot of fans thought that they were the greatest basketball game of all time.  I watched “The Royal Tenenbaums” on Blu-ray.  Wes Anderson had left Texas for this film.  I thought that some of the early scenes and shots were patterned after “Manhattan.”  I liked the use of “Hey Jude.”  I also liked “These Days,” “Judy is a Punk,” and “Ruby Tuesday.”  “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” and “Everyone” were used nicely, too.  I also noticed some Satie and some Charlie Brown music.  Gene Hackman was supposed to have been difficult for Wes Anderson to deal with.  I thought this was one of his best roles for the past twenty years or so.  I think it would have been interesting if Gene Wilder played the part.  Gene Hackman and Anjelica Huston had both appeared in Woody Allen films before, and I wondered if there was any connection there.  One other connection to “Manhattan” was that a lot of the characters were writing books.  After she won her Oscar, Anjelica Huston has had some of her best moments in Wes Anderson’s movies.  I think she has a very nice presence on the screen in this film.  Ben Stiller’s character was really kind of a turd, and I don’t think Stiller is at his best in that type of a role.  I wondered how much money you could make as an elevator operator.  I’m thinking that it is almost no money at all.  I don’t know how the Green Line buses work, but I thought it was strange that Richie stepped onto one of the buses without paying any money.  Gwyneth Paltrow had an unusual look in this movie, or at least it seemed unusual to me a few years after “Shakespeare in Love.”  When Stiller and Owen Wilson were wrestling at the end, I couldn’t help thinking about those other movies they were in together, like “Zoolander.”  I thought that Alec Baldwin as the narrator was very good, although there seemed to be a bit too much narration.  I wished that Bill Murray’s character had been more prominent in the story.  The fake cancer bit was funny to me, or at least the revelation about the deception.  The Danny Glover character was not one of my favorites.  I’m not sure why Etheline wanted to marry him.  Eli’s car crash was the most unusual I’ve ever seen in a movie.  It didn’t look like the car was damaged, and Eli was thrown out of the car through a house window.  It was surprising that he had enough of his senses about him to jump over a fence.  Eli reminded me of the Holly Martins character in “The Third Man.”  The history of Margot’s finger made me think of Holly Hunter in “The Piano.”  I don’t know much about the life of Björn Borg, but that’s who Richie seemed to be.  Raleigh St. Clair could have been Oliver Sacks.  It was funny how Royal wanted to spend time with his grandchildren, and he takes the opportunity to teach them to shoplift and to throw water balloons at taxi cabs.  Since Wes Anderson was born in 1969, I think I can relate to him, with by being close in age to him.  “The Royal Tenenbaums” is not my favorite Anderson film, but I look at it as the starting point of a meaningful career.  I also liked “The Darjeeling Limited,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”  Yes, I guess I liked “Moonrise Kingdom,” too.  It made me want to listen to Francoise Hardy records.  I would say that Wes Anderson uses slow motion more effectively than Brian De Palma did.  When I look at Anderson’s films, I feel like there was an enormously amount of preparation behind each production, at least the later ones.  Not everybody likes Wes Anderson, but I am one of the movie fans who does.  “The Royal Tenenbaums” was released three months after 9/11 and feels like it’s part of a world before terrorism worries.  I have heard that Anderson’s next film will feature stop-motion animation, and so I am looking forward to it.  I’m also interested in what Noah Baumbach comes up with.  Baumbach was also born in 1969, which doesn’t surprise me.  I heard that the A’s lost last night’s game in Seattle on a walk-off home run.  We heard yesterday that Ronnie Lott and Rodney Peete want to build a new football stadium in Oakland.  I didn’t really get a good night’s sleep.  I had a lot of thoughts about my childhood.  The Jimmy Stewart Show comes on at 4:30 in the morning, and usually I’m sleep at that hour.  The show aired during the 1971-1972 season, and I was curious about what it was like.  I wondered how Stewart had the energy to appear in 24 episodes.  It was the anniversary of Charles Nelson Reilly’s death.  It was a bit sad to see him on “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” and on Match Game this morning.  I saw a lot of Bill Cosby on the morning news.  It looked like his health might not be so good, as he is already 78 years old.  Along with these crimes he probably committed, he was always so critical about the way others spoke, as if they were illiterate.  It seems that he should have examined himself with honesty.  I can’t believe that he ever had a Spanish Fly routine.  I think I heard it years ago and didn’t understand it.  What I thought was funny was his discussion of going out to the movies on Saturdays with his brother.  The clouds were dark outside, and I had a big pile of papers to grade.  The building was quiet from most of the students being done with final exams.  Some of the people who died on May 25 include Gustav Holst (1934), Robert Capa (1954), Vic Tayback (1990), Pat Coombs (2002), Ismail Merchant (2005), and Charles Nelson Reilly (2007).  Today is a birthday for Paul Weller (58), Frank Oz (72), and Ian McKellen (77). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 25, “Midnight Cowboy,” starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman, was released in 1969.  In 1983, “Return of the Jedi” was released.  In 2006, Desmond Dekker died of a heart attack at age 64.

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