Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I'm no movie critic...but I did stay at the Grand Budapest Hotel last night.

The Grand Budapest Hotel – 5 out of 5

Wes Anderson films have a reputation that spans all over the possible spectrum of how one enjoys movies.  Some find him quirky and fun (I do), while others think he is a golden god to the hipsters—but, let’s face it, with every movie he makes and the more mainstream he becomes, the more hipsters will hate him and stop throwing their vintage panties at him and his muse Jason Schwartzman—and there are probably some out there that think he’s a reptile man working for the Illuminati (Having been to the world called the Internet, I wouldn’t rule out this possibility of those types existing).  Never the less, I enjoy the guy and felt he really knocked it out of the whimsical park with The Grand Budapest Hotel.
The most whimsical part?  The extra long staring contest between Jude Law
and F. Murray Abraham.

Hey, I draw on my facial hair every morning, too, Zero!
In the fictional Republic of Zubrowka, a young writer (Jude Law) is held up in a dying hotel.  While there, he meets the owner; Mr. Zero Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham) and, over dinner, gets him to tell the story of a time when the hotel was a little more…um…better?  No, a little more…grand!  Yeah, that’s a good descriptive.  Mr. Moustafa tells about how he started in the hotel as a lobby boy (played by Tony Revolori) and how he received tutelage from the greatest concierge in the business; Gustave (Ralph Fiennes).  What follows is a tale about him falling in love with a young bakery girl named Agatha (Saoirse Ronan), how he would come to hold the hotel with such esteem that he would one day work to make it his own, and how Gustave ends up being accused of murder and is forced to clear his name before the angry relatives of the victims send an assassin (Willem Dafoe) to silence him forever.
Jesus, Dafoe looks like a Bullwinkle villain.

I have no caption.  Just gaze on Jeff Goldblum's
When Wes Anderson first popped on the screen, I found him to be not really my cup of tea.  While I enjoyed his films, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the barista making my iced tea was telling me how awesome he was and how he was modeling the script he was writing after his work.  However, as time went by and Wes Anderson’s work started to become something that is best described as Wes Anderson parodying Wes Anderson, I’ve started to find myself enjoying his work more (except his venture into stop-motion animation, I couldn’t find myself enjoying that one if it handed me 100 dollar bills for every passing 60 seconds that occurred). 
It is now to the point you can just describe his films as being very
"Wes Anderson."

I can't even caption this...just look at it.
Ultimately, The Grand Budapest Hotel takes all the conventions that you know Wes Anderson from (and what a lot of people make fun of Wes Anderson for doing) and makes it work and work hysterically well.  When Wes Anderson takes the stories and Wes Andersons the shit out of them—like makes the entire film look like an elaborate stage production and gives the film an other-worldly eccentricity and an askew fairy tale whimsy about it—I think that is when he succeeds the most and all that is evident in the film.  It has all the bright colors, the tracking and panning shots, and intricate sets that Anderson is known for and, like much of his other work, all of it comes together to make something that looks like a masterly painted portrait of wild fun and a hint of oddity.
Adrien Brody looks like the bass player in a glam/goth fusion band.

Wes Anderson is one of those directors who is known for getting great performances out of his actors—sure, that might have to do with the fact he keeps pulling from the same acting pool over and over again and he just knows how to ask/inspire/threaten/coerce the actors in the right way but, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is once again no exception.  The usual gang is here but the film’s standout performance is from Ralph Fiennes,  who is just absolutely rocking as Gustave.  He’s absolutely enthralling and hysterical on his own but there is a sort of magic that can be seen when he shares scenes with Tony Revolori.  Wes Anderson’s unique eye behind the camera makes the movie look good but Fiennes makes the film feel good—which sounds kinda creepy but it’s my way of saying that this movie was just ridiculously fucking entertaining with Fiennes leading the cast.
Ralph Fiennes was, simply put, just fucking awesome in this one.

Is Ed Norton hard to deal with in Wes Anderson films
as he is supposedly is on all other films?
In the end, I had absolutely no complaints about The Grand Budapest Hotel.  The story never really falters at any point, the presentation is wonderfully exotic and varying so the visuals never get stale, and all the players, including the likes of Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Edward Norton, Tom Wilkinson, and Tilda Swinton, are all just exemplary in their roles.  Not to mention that Ralph Fiennes somehow made swearing a near art form and was somehow able to use F-bombs as a punchline—something that is usually the sign of both weak comedy and even weaker writing.  To put it another way, The Grand Budapest Hotel is just absolutely fun!

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