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The Grand Budapest Hotel Blu-ray Review

The Grand Budapest Hotel Blu-ray

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is one of Wes Anderson’s better films.

I have a confession to make- I’m not over the moon for Wes Anderson like many folks are. I admire “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Rushmore,” but for the most part, I find the beloved director to be a one trick pony whose work tends to lacks an emotional connection. While Anderson’s signature directorial style and quirky scripted humor is on display as per usual in ‘Budapest,’ his latest film is thankfully a little different from the norm.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” (which can best be described as a murder mystery comedy-drama) jumps around between different time periods and locations, but the core setting is the remote, lavish Grand Budapest Hotel which is located in the fictional city of Zubrowka. The story primarily takes place in 1932 amidst an oncoming warm and focuses on the accommodating and suave Concierge Gustave who runs a tight ship (so to speak) and treats wealthy guests with the utmost respect. The bulk of the story finds Gustave taking a hotel clerk (Zero) under his wing while becoming embroiled in a complicated matter involving the passing of one of his rich special clients (Madame D). To say anymore would be spoiling the zany story, but expect to see plotlines about a valuable painting, prison, Madame D’s jealous, greedy, and powerful son, murder, wills, and family drama.

In an era where even blockbuster films have become dark and ultra serious, it’s refreshing to see a breezy and fun little flick like “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Sure, the movie has a few violent and tragic moments, but overall, it’s a humorous 99 minute jaunt. With all of that said, ‘Budapest’ is ultimately a rather slight movie that once again lacks a real human connection (aside from perhaps the ending). While some viewers may find themselves deeply involved by Wes Anderson’s work, I can’t shake the sense that his work tends to feel so disconnected from reality. It doesn’t help that numerous characters feel like cartoons more than human beings. This is especially evident in ‘Budapest’ which features a boat load of distracting all-star cameos from the likes of Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman.

There is one character that shines above all else here and that is Gustave who is brilliantly played by Ralph Fiennes. I’m not exaggerating when I say Fiennes carries movie on his back because he does. Between his fast talking line deliveries and funny one-liners to his egotistical and always professional demeanor, the Gustave character is nothing short of memorable. It’s just a shame that the rest of the cast of characters weren’t given the same level of attention by writer/director Wes Anderson.

Video/Audio:

Presentation; 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? If there’s one thing you can expect from a Wes Anderson film it’s glossy visuals and this hi-def transfer certainly makes the colorful sets and costumes look even more eye-popping.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The narration, music, and dialogue all sound sharp with this top notch DTS track.

Extras:
* Digital HD copy.
* “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and other Fox trailers.
* Stills gallery.
* “Bill Murray Tours The Town”- A 4 minute extra hosted by Bill Murray. What’s not to like?
* “The Making of The Grand Budapest Hotel” contains film clips, cast and crew interviews, story and character discussions, etc.
* “Cast”- A short featurette on the ensemble cast.
* “Wes Anderson”- A featurette on the writer/director.
* “Kuntsmuseum Zubrowka Lecture,” “The Society of the Crossed Keys,” and “Mendl’s Secret Recipe”- The Author character rambles in the ‘Lecture’ and ‘Keys’ extras and the Mendl vignette contains a recipe for a chocolate pastry.

Overall Thoughts: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” isn’t a perfect movie, but it’s a top tier Wes Anderson film. Make of that as you will.

June 24, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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