The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dir. Wes Anderson
All of Wes Anderson films have a flavor all their own set in his own stylized world. This film is no different and shows off a ridiculous array of actors from the lead Ralph Fiennes, in perhaps his most gripping role since  Schindler’s List, to Edward Norton. Each role is tailored fit for the actor and play almost like a cameo guessing game. That’s not to say they detract from the quirky story which is a bit of a mystery/thriller/comedy. Not a typical blend and certainly much bloodier than most of Anderson’s work. It comes off as a bit off putting at times with the heavier language and erotic art, but ultimately it all crescendos to a riveting finale. Not a film to be missed for Anderson fans or those who enjoy a smartly made yarn with strong visual designs which utilize a bit of his Fantastic Mr. Fox animation. The score by Alexadre Desplat is marvelous and perhaps his best to date.
For those who notice, I hope your theater has a better care with the display of the film considering its format is different than what is currently main stream. A 1.37 : 1 aspect ration instead of a 1.85 : 1 meaning a more square display. We missed a bit of the bottom half of the screen in our viewing. 
***1/2/****

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Dir. Wes Anderson

All of Wes Anderson films have a flavor all their own set in his own stylized world. This film is no different and shows off a ridiculous array of actors from the lead Ralph Fiennes, in perhaps his most gripping role since  Schindler’s List, to Edward Norton. Each role is tailored fit for the actor and play almost like a cameo guessing game. That’s not to say they detract from the quirky story which is a bit of a mystery/thriller/comedy. Not a typical blend and certainly much bloodier than most of Anderson’s work. It comes off as a bit off putting at times with the heavier language and erotic art, but ultimately it all crescendos to a riveting finale. Not a film to be missed for Anderson fans or those who enjoy a smartly made yarn with strong visual designs which utilize a bit of his Fantastic Mr. Fox animation. The score by Alexadre Desplat is marvelous and perhaps his best to date.

For those who notice, I hope your theater has a better care with the display of the film considering its format is different than what is currently main stream. A 1.37 : 1 aspect ration instead of a 1.85 : 1 meaning a more square display. We missed a bit of the bottom half of the screen in our viewing.

***1/2/****

9 notes

The Wind Rises (2013)
Dir. Hayao Miyazaki
"Airplanes are just cursed dreams, waiting for the sky to swallow them up."
As Miyazaki’s swan song, this is perhaps his most ambitious film. It could have been a simple tale about a dreamer setting out to make his vision come to fruition, but Miyazaki goes so much further than a live-action rendition would have dared. He takes his time not feeling the need to appeal to a younger audience. Instead, he lets the story develop as the character develops so the impact down the road in the film has a more impact. He is helped along the way by masterfully drawn sequences of imagination and horror. That is all topped off by a beautiful score by Joe Hisaishi his longtime composer collaborator. It evokes all the emotions felt by the main character of Jiro. There are different version of this to watch and being as I have always been impressed with the voice over work carefully crafted by Disney as the U.S. distributor, I watched the U.S. version with brilliant and a bit understated work by the likes of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Martin Short, Mandy Patinkin, Emily Blunt, and Stanley Tucci, probably the most flamboyant of the bunch. In all, I came away from this tale of a man’s journey to realize his dream of crafting airplanes to the best of his ability, moved and refreshed. The most mature animated film I have seen in ages.
***1/2/****

The Wind Rises (2013)

Dir. Hayao Miyazaki

"Airplanes are just cursed dreams, waiting for the sky to swallow them up."

As Miyazaki’s swan song, this is perhaps his most ambitious film. It could have been a simple tale about a dreamer setting out to make his vision come to fruition, but Miyazaki goes so much further than a live-action rendition would have dared. He takes his time not feeling the need to appeal to a younger audience. Instead, he lets the story develop as the character develops so the impact down the road in the film has a more impact. He is helped along the way by masterfully drawn sequences of imagination and horror. That is all topped off by a beautiful score by Joe Hisaishi his longtime composer collaborator. It evokes all the emotions felt by the main character of Jiro. There are different version of this to watch and being as I have always been impressed with the voice over work carefully crafted by Disney as the U.S. distributor, I watched the U.S. version with brilliant and a bit understated work by the likes of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Martin Short, Mandy Patinkin, Emily Blunt, and Stanley Tucci, probably the most flamboyant of the bunch. In all, I came away from this tale of a man’s journey to realize his dream of crafting airplanes to the best of his ability, moved and refreshed. The most mature animated film I have seen in ages.

***1/2/****

5 notes

Re-watched this the other day… This is still one of the best lines. Henry Fonda played one mean villain.

226 notes

nervouspearl:

Sense and Sensibility - A commentary by Emma Thompson

Got to love Emma…

10,741 notes

I wish I had known they would do this would have waited to buy it… Still awesome…

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

This film is a disjointed embellishment of the wrong parts of the Hobbit novel. It has fantastic action sequences most notably the barrel fight escape from the wood Elves stronghold and the finale confrontation with the might dragon Smaug, but it misses the mark with character development of the dwarves in the forest of Mirkwood. It felt hurried in that short sequence in the losing of the path and the subsequent battle of with the spiders. It felt more enjoyable in the novel with strong character development being built up for Bilbo who shows true heroics against the spiders taunting them. Re-watching the first Hobbit entry I missed the pacing of that film which stayed closer to the novels with its inclusion of songs. Gone was the Elvish campfire melodies and taunting ditty to the spiders. Gone too was the slower introduction to Beorn one by one. I could go on, but the suffice to say the majority of my disappointment for this middle entry in the trilogy is due to the decisions to not elaborate on the material already given in the novel and instead trying to add in material not originally there most notably the romance between the Tauriel and Kili. To me that felt forced and sacrificed other much needed character development. It was worth the viewing in the IMAX 3D High Frame Rate for the Smaug sequence alone.

***/****

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

This film is a disjointed embellishment of the wrong parts of the Hobbit novel. It has fantastic action sequences most notably the barrel fight escape from the wood Elves stronghold and the finale confrontation with the might dragon Smaug, but it misses the mark with character development of the dwarves in the forest of Mirkwood. It felt hurried in that short sequence in the losing of the path and the subsequent battle of with the spiders. It felt more enjoyable in the novel with strong character development being built up for Bilbo who shows true heroics against the spiders taunting them. Re-watching the first Hobbit entry I missed the pacing of that film which stayed closer to the novels with its inclusion of songs. Gone was the Elvish campfire melodies and taunting ditty to the spiders. Gone too was the slower introduction to Beorn one by one. I could go on, but the suffice to say the majority of my disappointment for this middle entry in the trilogy is due to the decisions to not elaborate on the material already given in the novel and instead trying to add in material not originally there most notably the romance between the Tauriel and Kili. To me that felt forced and sacrificed other much needed character development. It was worth the viewing in the IMAX 3D High Frame Rate for the Smaug sequence alone.

***/****

8 notes