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post #1 of 27 Old 06-17-2014, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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The Grand Budapest Hotel (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review


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 Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

89



Details:

Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2014
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 100 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1/1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Tony Revolori, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Willem DaFoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Lea Seydouz
Written & Directed by: Wes Anderson
Music by: Alexandre Desplat
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 17, 2014


"Why do you want to be a lobby boy?"


My Take:

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of legendary concierge Gustave H. and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft of a priceless painting; a raging battle for an enormous family fortune; and a desperate chase on motorcycles, trains, sleds, and skis - all against the backdrop of a suddenly and dramatically changing continent.

Wes Anderson films can be an acquired taste. For me they have been sort of hit and miss, but probably more hit than miss. I didn’t care for “The life aquatic with Steve Zissou” or “The Darjeeling Limited” but like “The fantastic Mr. Fox” “The Royal Tenenbaums” “Rushmore” and of course “Moonrise Kingdom”. Like him or not there is no denying that he is a visionary storyteller with a flair for un-convention. Other than seeing the trailer for The Grand Budapest Hotel I heard nothing nor thought about it until it arrived at my doorstep a few days ago.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Typical of Anderson’s visual and narrative style the story is simple yet complex in tone with quirky characters that perfectly support is whimsical elements. The heart of the story revolves around the friendship between Gustave and Zero which is told/seen from Zero’s perspective. There is a rewarding spirit of comradeship underscored by an adventurous thematic tone that sees the two men through a series of frenzied yet correlative subplots that are expertly interwoven. The supportive production elements, including the costumes, locales and cinematography, all contribute to the opulent/zany and occasionally dark proceedings. As I watched I found myself sometimes chuckling aloud, raising my eyebrows or simultaneously doing both. The large ensemble cast (which includes many Wes Anderson film staples) is simply terrific with a number of supporting roles that are complimentary/fun to watch but there is no question that Ralph Fiennes nails it in the role of Gustave. That isn’t to take anything away from Tony Revolori, who not only gives a wonderful performance but shares excellent chemistry with Finnes.

The Grand Budapest Hotel clearly isn’t a literal film. It’s artful (without being pretentious), adventurous and charming with a purposefully elevated level of deadpan humor that while in your face never seems overplayed. At 100 minutes its pacing is deliberate and what I would describe as right on the money. As with most Wes Anderson films as soon as it was over I felt like I wanted to start it back from the beginning and watch it again. ‘Nuff said….



Parental Guide:

The rating is for language some sexual content and violence.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA


Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:


The Grand Budapest Hotel comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3 Mbps.

This is a pleasing and faithful high definition presentation that is adorned by a permeating sepia toned aesthetic that combines with its use of autumn colors to set the thematic tone intended by Wes Anderson and cinematographer Robert Yeoman. The extensive palette of secondary hues that represent the period colors featured in the story, appear vivid and warm. Flesh tones are natural with varying degrees of complexional separation among the cast. Boldly applied contrast and consistent black levels provide excellent balance during bright scenes containing mixed content. Shadow detail is strong which brings out plenty of discernible texture in low/uneven lighting and dark backgrounds. The aspect ratio used for the majority of the film is 1.33:1 with the wider scope aspect of 2.35:1 being utilized sporadically. There isn’t a problem with continuity as it doesn’t continually shift. The story is told/narrated and the AR remains constant during the primary segments that take place in the 1930’s time period. I didn’t see any signs of video related anomalies or artifacts.

This is primarily a dialogue driven film however there are elements in the film that require use of the entire system so its ability to clearly render them is essential. Dialogue is reproduced with transparent realism and lucid texture as it is appropriately balanced within the front soundstage. The surround mix utilizes the entire platform to recreate the many acoustic sounds associated with the environments portrayed onscreen. The rear channels contain a mixture of spatial ambience/musical extension as well as directional panning cues that effectively support the front soundstage. This is an enriching audio presentation that mates well with the source material.



Bonus Features:
  • (HD) Bill Murray tours the town – 4 minute feature
  • (HD) Kunstmuseum Zubrowka Lecture – 3 minute vignette
  • (HD) The Socitey of the Crossed Keys - 3 minute vignette
  • (HD) The making of The Grand Budapest Hotel (4 segments totaling 17 minutes):
    1. Part 1 – The story
    2. Part 2 – The Society of the Crossed Keys
    3. Part 3 – Creating the hotel
    4. Part 4 – Creating the world
  • (HD) Mendl’s secret recipe – 3 minute vignette
  • (HD) Cast & Director featurettes (totaling 6 minutes)
  • (HD) Stills gallery
  • (HD) Theatrical trailer
  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy





Final Thoughts:

Director/co-writer Wes Anderson paints an unconventional and rewardingly quirky portrait of friendship in this charming, funny and whimsical comedy/adventure. Star Ralph Fiennes is terrific in the lead and is favorably supported by an excellent cast headed by Tony Revolori, Edward Norton, Willem DaFoe, Jeff Goldblum, Adrien Brody, Bill Murray and Saoirse Ronan. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring rewarding and faithful high definition video, crystal clear DTS-HD Master Audio sound and a fair supplemental offering that provides a glimpse behind the scenes. I thoroughly enjoyed The Grand Budapest Hotel and highly recommend that you check it out on Blu-ray.






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 27 Old 06-17-2014, 10:13 AM
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I saw The Grand Budapest Hotel in the theater and, like Ralph, was thoroughly amused and captivated by its quirky charm. As with all Anderson films, it moved with swiss watch efficiency so that every frame was a visual feast. All Wes Anderson films are dark to one degree or another but this film is quite dark. Despite a story that turned out to be a little bleak, to me at least, I still place it in the upper tier of Anderson's work. 9 Stars out of 10.
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post #3 of 27 Old 06-17-2014, 10:15 AM
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Thanks for the review, Ralph!

I eagerly anticipate viewing this movie.
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post #4 of 27 Old 06-17-2014, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post
I saw The Grand Budapest Hotel in the theater and, like Ralph, was thoroughly amused and captivated by its quirky charm. As with all Anderson films, it moved with swiss watch efficiency so that every frame was a visual feast. All Wes Anderson films are dark to one degree or another but this film is quite dark. Despite a story that turned out to be a little bleak, to me at least, I still place it in the upper tier of Anderson's work. 9 Stars out of 10.
Greetings,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts gwsat...


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post #5 of 27 Old 06-17-2014, 12:28 PM
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We'll be making these:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysande...budapest-hotel

Then watching the film for the first time this weekend. I can't wait.
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Looky here!
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post #6 of 27 Old 06-17-2014, 02:25 PM
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This movie is bizarre, but in the same way, bizarrely captivating. I was captivated by it as soon as I started watching, even though most of the way through, and at the end, the first thought that came to my mind was "WHAT THE ****?".
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post #7 of 27 Old 06-17-2014, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post
This movie is bizarre, but in the same way, bizarrely captivating. I was captivated by it as soon as I started watching, even though most of the way through, and at the end, the first thought that came to my mind was "WHAT THE ****?".
Couldn't agree more with your assessment of the film. Your economical description of your reaction to its ending made me laugh out loud.
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post #8 of 27 Old 06-17-2014, 06:41 PM
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I enjoyed Moonrise Kingdom and Mr. Fox more than this one; the latter is more adult oriented for no reasons.
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post #9 of 27 Old 06-17-2014, 08:15 PM
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This is definitely a great film. I agree with the reviewer that once you finish it, you just want to watch it again. BTW, Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of the best animated movies of the last few years.
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post #10 of 27 Old 06-17-2014, 10:36 PM
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I just got done viewing it. My mother is in town and this looked like a suitable flick to entertain her, and that it was... But what I didn't expect was just how much I would enjoy it myself. Pacing as already stated was perfectly swift and you never felt bored with the current positioning of the plot. Decent LFE (for this kind of movie) towards the end when the aerial cars are meeting in the middle.

Easily a quite solid 8/10 for me, very enjoyable movie even with the dark contexts.

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post #11 of 27 Old 06-18-2014, 03:10 AM
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Having seen the movie I would say Ralph's assessment of it is dead on, including the wanting to watch it again part.
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"Bring out yer dead!".."Wait I'm not dead yet!"..(Sound Austrian here) "WRONG !!" (You know what happens next..)
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post #12 of 27 Old 06-18-2014, 06:36 AM
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Absolutely wonderful film. Another great for Wes Anderson. To me, this was right up there with Royal Tenenbaums.
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This movie is much like every other Anderson movie--beautifully shot but self-consciously quirky, shallow and ultimately forgettable. He's one of the best cinematographers in movies, but the "quirky" thing is making him a bit of a one-trick pony. The stories are fantastical--as in "fantasy"--but if you let yourself get lost in them and they aren't so jarringly improbable as to jerk you out of the narrative, they can be a lot of fun. IMO Budapest did this better than any Anderson movie since Rushmore but, like Moonrise Kingdom, Darjeeling Limited & Life Aquatic, it's a dream world where characters say things people don't really say and do things people wouldn't do. This works on a certain level but in the end it has all the real world gravity of a children's book. This isn't necessarily a bad thing--the Coen Brothers do it too--but considering Anderson rarely wavers from this formula, his work is starting to look one dimensional.
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post #14 of 27 Old 06-18-2014, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by repete66211 View Post
This movie is much like every other Anderson movie--beautifully shot but self-consciously quirky, shallow and ultimately forgettable. He's one of the best cinematographers in movies, but the "quirky" thing is making him a bit of a one-trick pony. The stories are fantastical--as in "fantasy"--but if you let yourself get lost in them and they aren't so jarringly improbable as to jerk you out of the narrative, they can be a lot of fun. IMO Budapest did this better than any Anderson movie since Rushmore but, like Moonrise Kingdom, Darjeeling Limited & Life Aquatic, it's a dream world where characters say things people don't really say and do things people wouldn't do. This works on a certain level but in the end it has all the real world gravity of a children's book. This isn't necessarily a bad thing--the Coen Brothers do it too--but considering Anderson rarely wavers from this formula, his work is starting to look one dimensional.
Greetings,

Thanks for offering your thoughts on this repete66211...

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post #15 of 27 Old 06-19-2014, 07:28 AM
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Greetings,

Thanks for offering your thoughts on this repete66211...

Regards,
You're welcome Ralph. I really enjoy reading your reviews. They're a great value to those of us who collect Blu-rays but are slow in acquiring them. Keep up the good work!
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post #16 of 27 Old 06-20-2014, 07:11 AM
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Watched last night. Really enjoyed it. I'm not a big Anderson fan...I've only ever truly liked Mr Fox...the others, not so much.
But I just found this one to be delightful from start to finish.
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post #17 of 27 Old 06-20-2014, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Watched last night. Really enjoyed it. I'm not a big Anderson fan...I've only ever truly liked Mr Fox...the others, not so much.
But I just found this one to be delightful from start to finish.
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post #18 of 27 Old 06-20-2014, 03:23 PM
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Thanks for the review, Ralph!

I eagerly anticipate viewing this movie.
I thought something was wrong with my computer at work...but coming back on home PC, I still don't see Ralph's actual review. Something screwy is going on!
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post #19 of 27 Old 06-20-2014, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought something was wrong with my computer at work...but coming back on home PC, I still don't see Ralph's actual review. Something screwy is going on!

Greetings,

There is something amiss. I have alerted Admin..


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post #20 of 27 Old 06-20-2014, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

There is something amiss. I have alerted Admin..


Regards,
Greetings,

It has reappeared....


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post #21 of 27 Old 06-22-2014, 07:00 PM
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Thoroughly enjoyed it watching on an international flight, but I usually like Anderson's movies.
Great review!
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post #22 of 27 Old 06-29-2014, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by repete66211 View Post
This movie is much like every other Anderson movie--beautifully shot but self-consciously quirky, shallow and ultimately forgettable. He's one of the best cinematographers in movies, but the "quirky" thing is making him a bit of a one-trick pony.
There's some truth to this review. It was a captivating watch and I kept wondering how Anderson came up with a story like this. I was entertained by it but I'm not moved by the ending. It was like a Hans Christian Andersen story for the adult.

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post #23 of 27 Old 06-30-2014, 09:35 AM
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What an entertaining and original movie. Ralph Fiennes is one of this generations great actors.

Wife and I both loved it.
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post #24 of 27 Old 06-30-2014, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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What an entertaining and original movie. Ralph Fiennes is one of this generations great actors.

Wife and I both loved it.
Greetings,

Glad to hear it RMK. Thanks for posting your thoughts...


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post #25 of 27 Old 07-06-2014, 08:07 AM
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Great review Ralph. This is my favourite Wes Anderson film. Loved it and first time and enjoyed it even more the second time around. There were a lot of sight gags I missed the first time. I got a kick out of the 2 second George Clooney cameo near the end.
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post #26 of 27 Old 07-06-2014, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Great review Ralph. This is my favourite Wes Anderson film. Loved it and first time and enjoyed it even more the second time around. There were a lot of sight gags I missed the first time. I got a kick out of the 2 second George Clooney cameo near the end.
Greetings,

Glad to hear it Deja Vu. Thanks for offering your thoughts..!


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post #27 of 27 Old 07-15-2014, 09:36 PM
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Awesome flick, and requires multiple viewings to fully appreciate. All the actors are into it; they draw you in.
...Fully deserving of its four and half stars rating.

Wes Anderson, I like his style. ...And the Blu-ray is mighty fine; it delivers the goods. ...On the screen, and it helps to turn it up too.
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