Friday, March 28, 2014


Comedy, adventure

Tom Wilkinson: a well known author
Jude Law: the author as a younger man
F. Murray Abraham: Mr. Moustafa, the hotel owner
Ralph Fiennes: Monsieur Gustave, the hotel concierge
Tony Revolori: Zero, the hotel lobby boy
Saoirse Ronan: pastry chef Agatha
Tilda Swinton: the very wealthy Madame D
Adrien Brody: her son Dmitri
Edward Norton: Inspector Henckels
Willem Dafoe:  Dmitri’s pal J. G. Jopling
Harvey Keitel: prisoner Ludwig
Bill Murray: Monsieur Ivan
Owen Wilson: Monsieur Chuck

Once more Ralph’s Rule of Redundancy applies:
“Any film where one person takes on more than two key positions has a major shortcoming: the absence of independent critical judgement that results in something less than it might have been.” In this case Wes Anderson is Writer, Director and Producer and the film suffers from it.

Depending upon what you find funny, this story of a concierge and a lobby boy could be hilarious (as was the case with two ladies in the audience who laughed at almost everything) to one provoking the odd smile. For me, it was the latter.

But it is not a easy story to follow as there are all kinds of twists and turns. The effort to keep things sorted out was just too much for me.

 for language, some sexual content and violence.

  • Modern CPR methods for non-medical personnel came out in the 1960’s, some 30 years after these events took place.
  • When viewed from the front, the strap of Zero’s bag is diagonally across his chest but seen from the side it hangs down vertically.

The painting substituted for the Boy with Apple is in really poor taste and has no business in a comedy of this sort. Having to rely on a crotch-grabbing image to get a laugh is a sign of desperation.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


In India for over 100 years hot lunches prepared at home or at a local restaurant are delivered to the employee’s workplace by a dabbawala, a person who also returns the empty lunchbox (called a dabba) at the end of the day. There are roughly 5,0000 dabbawala just in Mumbai who deliver an estimated 200,000 lunchboxes a month. They pride themselves on their punctuality and near-perfect record of delivery: a Harvard University study concluded that only one in a million lunchboxes goes to the wrong person.

Nimrat Kaur: housewife Ila
Nakul Vaid: her husband Rajiv
Ifran Khan: Saajan, a claims clerk near retirement
Nawazuddin Siddiqui: Shaikh, his imminent replacement

This charming film about two people who meet by chance and establish a relationship is not your usual romantic comedy movie. For starters, the actors are not that well know and both leads give gentle, believable, unhurried  performances. And there is no wham-bam-thank-you-mam moments. So un-Hollywood. So refreshing.

PG for thematic material and smoking.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Jake Gyllenhaal: Adam Bell, history professor
Mélanie Laurent: his girlfiiend Mary
Jake Gyllenhaal: Anthony Clair, bit-part actor
Sarah Gadon: his pregnant wife Helen

This is a strange movie: after a totally incomprehensible beginning with spiders and sexy ladies, a depressing glum fellow with a very active sex life (if you know what I mean) sees his double in a rented DVD,  tracks him down and confronts him. And then out of the blue, gets accused of doing things with his double’s wife.

But it’s the ending that is completely baffling. Come to think of it,  so is the rest of the movie.

I should have walked out which would have resulted in a more accurate rating but I hung in hoping I could make sense out of it. What a waste of time.

 for some strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language.

  • This is one of my classic nitpicks: when the person on the end of the line (Mary) hangs up, the telephone caller (Adam) hears a dial tone. In reality the dial tone is only heard after picking up the phone before dialling. That’s why it’s called a dial tone.
  • Several times Adam wakes up suddenly and each time the bedside clock show it to be 3:19 so either he set the alarm for this ungodly hour or these separate instances were shot within minutes of each other. Your call.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Musical comedy adventure

Steve Whitmire: Kermit the Frog and Rizzo the Rat
Eric Jacobson: Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal and Sam the Eagle
Dave Goelz: the Great Gonzo and others
Matt Vogel: Constantine and others
Ricky Gervais: Constantine’s sidekick Dominic Badguy
Ty Burrell: Jean Pierre Napoleaon, a French Interpol inspector
Tina Fey: Nadya, a Russian GULAG officer

Pretty good. That in a nutshell is how I feel about this latest sequel. The gags and one-liners are few and only provoke a smile rather than merriment and at almost two hours, it is too long. The children around me were fidgeting (when was the last time that happened during a Muppets movie) and not once was there a real outbreak of laughter.

All the while there are cameo performances by artists such as Tony Bennett, Sean Diddy Combs, Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, Salma Hayek, Ray Liotta, Stanley Tucci and others who add little if anything to the endeavour.

for some mild action.

The Interpol Inspector’s tie clip moves from one scene to another.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Zach Callison: young Jirô Horikoshi
Stanley Tucci: Italian airplane designer Giovanni Caproni
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: the older Jirô
Emily Blunt: young artist Naoko Satomi
John Krasinski: Jirô’s colleague and best friend Honjô

The film is based on the life of the young man who became the chief engineer at Mitsubishi  and designed many of the Japanese fighter planes used in World War II. It covers the period from the 1920’s to the 1940’s and leaves unsaid the impact his finest creation (the A6M, better known as the Japanese Navy’s Zero) had on the world.

This is animation for adults as children would have no interest in the story line as there are no cuddly animals or catchy musical numbers. And it’s drawn in the old fashioned way, not something generated by a computer.

Sufficient time is given to develop most characters although we are never provided any insight as to why Jirô’s sister is so grumpy. However it does run on a bit too long at two hours and six minutes. Some editing could have been done without great loss.


 for some disturbing images and smoking.