Welcome to the Screening Room, the movies at home edition. New in video stores or available for digital download:
1) The Grand Budapest Hotel (R)
Wes Anderson, the king of quirky filmmaking, returns with yet another visually arresting and whimsical oddball comedy called “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Ralph Fiennes plays the concierge at a swanky European resort in the 1930’s.
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is sneaky funny. It’s like a story your grandparents told you as a kid but you didn’t get the joke until you were an adult. It definitely takes a few viewings for everything to set in. I will say this it is a Wes Anderson film — unique but an acquired taste — like dark beer.
Anderson’s story takes place in a cartoonish alternate universe that will undoubtedly charm his fans. Others may find it hard to tune in to his idiosyncratic humor. Like the elaborate desserts that play a part in the plot, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a treat that may be a bit to rich for its own good.
It is original but also very weird. But gotta reward the creativity. And the extras are wonderful including A Bill Murray Tours the Town feature. It’s my Beyoncé pick of the year. Gotta upgrade it.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags
2) The LEGO Movie – Warner Brothers
Well produced and oddly endearing, “The LEGO Movie” is a clever satire that turned out to be…wait for it…a blockbuster. Brash, cheeky and fast moving with strong voice work, “The LEGO Movie” offers us a comic adventure in an alternate LEGO universe that’s an inventive send-up of pop culture.
“The Lego Movie” is flat out awesome. It’s the best movie so far this year. It’s brash, silly and clever. It’s like the toy piece dance in your head. And what clever writing. Are you kidding? It’s a joke factory. And the workers weren’t afraid to put in a little over time. New boat!
Chris Pratt provides the voice of Emmet, a nerdy construction worker, who is mistaken for a ‘special,’ the subject of a prophecy who is to save his LEGO world from an evil entity bent at cementing the LEGO world in place. Other major members of the voice cast include Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett. While it loses steam along the way, “The LEGO Movie” is an entertaining fantasy that should appeal to anyone who has ever played with the Danish building blocks…and that’s just about everyone.
My long winded friend summed everything up nicely. “The Lego Movie” good. The extras even better. Because they include stuff like Michelangelo and Lincoln: History Cops, Enter the Ninjag, Bringing LEGO to Life, and an ‘Everything is Awesome’ Sing-Along.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 5 Popcorn Bags
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