hotel-review

Wes Anderson is not my favorite film writer/director working today. I find most of his movies pointless. They all seem to share a like vision but I guess I just do not understand or care about that vision. I can see what he is trying to do and I don’t want to bother. My favorite film of Anderson’s, The Darjeeling Limited, was less inane (in my opinion) than most of his films. But if there is one thing all of Andersons’ films share, it is that they are highly quirky. This might sound like I mean it as a bad thing – I do not. I like quirky. I just usually do not like Anderson’s brand of quirk. But in The Grand Budapest Hotel, the quirkiness works. Mostly everything works.

The best part of The Grand Budapest Hotel is the world Anderson creates. It’s unique, visually charming, and highly imaginative.

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monu-men

I wanted to like The Monuments Men. Actually, I wanted to love it. I mean, off the bat, what’s not to love. George Clooney. Matt Damon. Need I go on? But, we also have Hugh Bonneville, who I love from TV’s Downton Abbey. And then also Jean Dujardin, the sexy Oscar-winner from The Artist. Add in favorites Bill Murray and John Goodman for comic relief and you have a dynamite cast that could rival the cast of Clooney and Damon’s Ocean’s movies.

Alas, I should have just watched this one on mute and looked at the pretty scenery (and also the French countryside). But, I did not. And while it’s not a horrible movie, it sure does not live up to the full potential of its illustrious cast.

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In this Harold Ramis film (shot in Woodstock, IL), Bill Murray finds out what it is like to relive one day over and over again, giving himself the time to examine his less-than-personable behavior. The story starts with Murray’s gruff and cruel weatherman character covering the annual “Groundhog Day” festivities in Pennsylvania. He is on assignment with a news producer (Andie MacDowell) and a cameraman (Chris Elliott). As Murray begins to live the same 24-hours again and again, which happens to be Groundhog Day, his hardened character starts to soften.

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