A Visit to The Grand Budapest Hotel
Otherwise it's slow going...
I finally got around to seeing a film I'd wanted to watch for ages in the form of The Grand Budapest Hotel, which provoked contradictory thoughts in me, both about the movie and how hypocritical Hollywood can be when those in and around the industry get a little too snooty for their own good.
First off, the movie is excellent and I fully recommend everyone watches it as you'll have an amazing time. It's got one hell of a star-studded cast, the dialogue is fantastic, the humour is brilliant and the pacing is relentless, meaning the whole thing just flies by in what feels like no time.
The 'problem' is that while it is an incredibly fun experience, it feels very much like a high-quality 'fast food movie', or to borrow from Martin Scorsese, like a theme park ride. It's all fantastic fun in the moment, but it's so light and fluffy and whimsical that there's nothing in it I could truly take seriously.
I felt there was a serious lack of any real substance to the story or characters which meant I didn't really care all that much about them after the movie ended. Normally, after watching a movie for the first time, I'll look up bits and pieces on it and see if there's any interesting titbits or aspects to the movie that I missed, but I haven't felt the need to do so with this film.
As for the Hollywood snootiness? A lack of substance and being enjoyable to watch and then forget about is a criticism that can - and has - been levelled at any number of blockbusters over the past fifteen years, yet is apparently fine when it's a movie from a favoured director.
Don't get me wrong, this movie is far better made and a much better experience than pretty much all of said blockbusters, but I just find it interesting how some critics will happily gloss over certain issues when it suits their purposes and I genuinely believe audiences pick up on these double standards, which is why more people base their movie watching choices on a Rotten Tomatoes score than caring what a critic has to say.
Again, The Grand Budapest Hotel is absolutely brilliant fun to sit through and I will happily watch it again in the future, but maybe not if I'm looking for something with any weight to it. If the movie doesn't take things seriously at any point, why should I? [8/10]
I played a bit of Weird West before it departed from Game Pass, but not enough to justify rating it even if I have to be honest and admit the just under an hour I played didn't really fill me with any enthusiasm. Maybe it gets better later, but I was already forcing myself to get through it, which isn't the best sign of a game's overall quality!
Otherwise, I'm still blasting through another galaxy with Mass Effect: Andromeda, which I'm prioritising as I at least know what I'm doing there; my time with Baldur's Gate 3 is momentarily paused until I've left Andromeda behind; and Marvel Snap is still proving a nice little time-waster with my deck built around the MCU version of the Avengers.
Literally no progress since last time! You want to know just how little TV watching I'm doing these days? I started a five-month free trial of Apple TV three months and I still haven't watched anything on it. Considering that when I was younger, I managed to permanently damage the screen of a tablet because I was watching so much stuff on it, it's quite the shift as I've got older.