Grand Viewing

I’ve found it hard to commit to using my laptop during the past week. I’ve had the time in the evenings but I seem to have been lacking in energy, once all the dishes and cleaned and my clothes have been washed…

But I’m here now, to write about two rented discs that have just been returned to sender only twenty-four hours ago.


One is strictly sci-fi; the other… Is just entertaining!

Prometheus – when this appeared only a few years ago, I was fascinated in an instant. I didn’t care much for the fact that it was a ‘prequel’ to the Alien series as I’ve never been a huge fan of those. With most sci-fi films, I’m often interested in the theories more so than the plot or production. That’s one of the reasons I still have Alien Vs. Predator in my DVD collection. To hear that this film would explore a possibility that our life began on a distant planet… Well, I’d been wanting to watch this one for a long time.

Other things held me back from seeing it when it was fresh and in the cinema. It’s not a bad film but I wonder whether I might’ve appreciated it more had I seen it at the time. Being a prequel to the series, it does pay the odd homeage to the Alien. I only wish I knew why they decided to dress up a relatively-young Guy Pearce to look like a (rubbery) very wrinkly old man when they probably could’ve employed an older actor?

I read recently that they’re planning to create a sequel. I’m not sure how that would work but, having seen the ending now and, considering some comments I made at the start; I’ll also be keeping an eye out for it. You can read so much online about conspiracy and origin theories that I wish more producers would just present them like this, in a format that we can simply enjoy.

The Grand Budapest Hotel – This is one I’d hoped to be able to see at the Green Man Festival last August but for the fact that we arrived on time (instead of being thirty-minutes early), meaning that all vacant seats and space inside the Cinedrome tent had been filled. At the same time; I witnessed the trailer many times over the summer months but had no inclination towards watching it until a friend expressed an interest in seeing it during the festival.

It was worth the wait and very much so. I could attempt to categorise it as some form of a comedy (although much less slapstick than, say, Fawlty Towers) but it is, quite literally, in a world of its own. A world created by Wes Anderson, solely for this production. It does not overlap and could not overlap with any other franchise. It’s not even set in Budapest, but somewhere near Lutz, I believe… Which doesn’t explain the fluent use of the English language or the odd American accents.

Lots of big-name stars make an appearance, with Ralph Fiennes taking the lead role as Monsieur Gustave H. It’s another one of those stand-out performances that almost dictates the tone of the entire film. I enjoyed this one so much that I viewed it three-times before dropping it in the post box (and only slept through the second-half of the first viewing). I’m not at all familiar with any of Wes Anderson’s other works (although, I recognise the names of three other movies) but I’m looking towards discovering more. Fans of the man will pleased to see a somewhat familiar cast of actors here as well.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be heading back to the 1980s for one of my choices for next week.

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