Movie Review – The Grand Budapest Hotel

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Oct 142014
 

Grand Budapest HotelGRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune — all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.

Rating: 8.2/10 (179,874 votes)
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Stefan Zweig (inspired by the writings of), Wes Anderson (screenplay), Wes Anderson (story), Hugo Guinness (story)
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody
Runtime: 100 min
Rated: R
Genre: Comedy
Released: 28 Mar 2014

I watched this a couple of Saturday’s ago by myself when Lay had to work. I’d worked especially had during the week day evenings to get chores done, and have a real day off. While I did wind up having to trim a rather large and tall hedge we have on one side of the house. But this was a nice way to spend a quiet Saturday afternoon.

This film is funny, absurd (what else would you expect from Wes Craven), poignant, and exciting all at the same time.  Continue reading »

Cadillac Records – A Movie Review

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Dec 282008
 

The rise and fall of Chess Records, which launched the careers of Muddy Waters, Etta James and Chuck Berry. Leonard Chess scoured the South, checking out the various blues scenes and selling records from the back of his Cadillac.

Genres: Drama, Musical/Performing Arts and Biopic; Running Time: 1 hr. 48 min.; Release Date: December 5th, 2008 (wide); MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language and some sexuality.

Starring: Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, Beyonce Knowles, Gabrielle Union, Columbus Short

Directed by: Darnell Martin

While this film lacks an original framework (it’s “Ray” and “La Bamba”), both the subject–a seminal recording label–and the performances make this entertainment worth watching. This story is not a documentary of Chess Records, but a story about their music.

Jeffrey Wright finally gets a role that hopefully will secure his stature. It’s overdue. As Muddy Waters his sill both as a character and an actor are very impressive here. Mos Def is a charming Chuck Berry; he really communicates the charisma that Berry exuded to his adoring female fans. Eamonn Walker is terrific, and appropriately intimidating, as Howlin’ Wolf. Walker electrifies the screen with his every morsel of screen time; I wish that after they’d finished “Cadillac Records,” they had just kept the sets up and kept the cameras running and began a biography of Howlin’ Wolf with Walker in the lead. Beyonce Knowles is very beautiful and pays worthy tribute to Etta James, the singer she plays.

The film drags and there are just too many story lines, so no single character or storyline gets the attention it deserves. I understand why Darnell Martin tried to put it all in (these were the stories that collectively made up Chess Records), but it is highly fictionalized anyway, so maybe concentrating more on fewer characters would have been more effective.

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