Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hammervision's 10 Best of the Decade: No. 9


Wes Anderson hit his peak with this follow-up to Rushmore. He's been trying to match its success ever since. Combining pathos with comedy, quirkiness with ultra-stylization, and ably supported by a fine, sharp cast spearheaded by the legendary Gene Hackman, The Royal Tenenbaums is droll comedy as high art. Anderson proves himself a gifted filmmaker, and together with co-writer and co-star Owen Wilson, displays a keen sense for character and dialogue. There are so many funny moments in here, and all are underplayed - subtle to the point where you blink and you'll miss them. The Royal Tenenbaums rewards repeat viewings, and has a surprising amount of heart (the scene where Ben Stiller breaks down and says, "I've had a rough year, Dad" never fails to get me). In the years since it's release, the movie's distinct comedic style has been often imitated but never equaled.

Here's the running list:

10. Mission: Impossible III
9. The Royal Tenenbaums

Check back soon for more!

- John


At 10:07 PM, Blogger iv said...


At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I really appreciated this film."

At 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of all the movies in the the past decade this, this is number 9???? John, really? I mean it is bad enough with MI3 up there, but good lord man. The movie has its moments and the cast is something to talk about, but overall this movie is bland and didn't nearly deliver what was hoped for. Good thing you aren't doing a best of the 90's, I would hate to see where George of the Jungle gets put.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger Hammer said...

Anonymous - what were you hoping for? I disagree with the bland comment. I think there's a lot of great stuff in here: the production design, costumes, performances, music, direction - all are anything but bland. Very distinct and unique. Maybe you didn't find it all that funny. I get that. Comedy is a unique beast. But I've seen this one a ton of times and it gets funnier on each viewing. I'm sure Wally would agree - as far as dysfunctional family comedies go, Tenenbaums is the bees' knees. The list needs a comedy on it and as much as I debated putting 40 year-old Virgin on the list - Judd Apatow isn't nearly as good a filmmaker (yet) as Wes Anderson. That being said - I'm no fan of Life Aquatic or Darjeeling Limited.

And as for George of the Jungle - it'd be No. 3 for the '90s. Kidding. George might be out of luck. I think the whole list would be populated with movies from 1994 and 1999.

At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off if you have to have a comedy in this list, and why would you not have at least 3 since there have been a lot of really good ones, why not put 40-year old Virgin over this? I mean at least that movie was funny. Not only was it funny, but it has all the things you said you loved about RT and none of the lag that I feel drags it down. Wes Anderson, while apparently a good film maker, doesn't make good films. He hit with Rushmore and since then? I feel like he gets more credit than he is worth. I am not saying Judd Apatow is amazing, but the fact is 40YOV brought back R rated comedies in a big way and helped launch a lot of careers with some great performances and perfect casting.


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