Rundown on upcoming movies and recent movie releases

Need to escape from your daily obligations of studying and homework? Upcoming movies and recent movie releases offer everything you could ask for in the way of action, adventure, history, biography and a good hearty laugh. You can choose from the biblical story of Noah to the valiant accomplishments of union activist Cesar Chavez. Action fans will welcome the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger to the screen while comedy fans will enjoy Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the recent movie releases and those to come.

A scene from the recent movie "The Grand Budapest Hotel." (Credit: media.zuza.com)

A scene from the recent movie “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” (Credit: media.zuza.com)

A rundown on The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson has assembled a cast that includes Bill Murray, Ralph Fiennes, Angela Lansbury and Jude Law to tell the story of Gustave H. Gustave, a concierge at a famous European hotel during the 1930s who, among other adventures, engages in numerous affairs with elderly rich women.

In a March 27, 2014, article for TheSpec.com, “Grand Budapest Hotel is more than Fiennes, it’s wonderful,” Mick LaSalle describes the combination of romance, zany comedy, and sadness that embody this film.

“The Grand Budapest of 1932 is a dream of colour, but in later years it’s shabby around the edges — not falling down, but diminished. […]It’s like some beautiful soul, beaten up and only now coming out of shock,” LaSalle said.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel is graced with the performances of such luminaries as F. Murray Abraham, Tom Wilkinson, Adrien Brody and Jeff Goldblum. But, as LaSalle maintained, Fiennes’ portrayal of Gustave is the true centerpiece of the film transforming it into ‘something wonderful.’”

Check out the recent movie Noah

Many people are somewhat familiar with the legend of Noah and the ark that he built to survive an impending flood ordained by God. For that reason they may find this recent movie to be puzzling because it does not reflect the image that they have of how Noah’s story unfolded.

Granted, the bible’s coverage of Noah and the flood is slim. Director Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan,” “The Wrestler”) has added subplots and additional characters to round out his version of the story.

After protests from the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), the film was rebranded as “inspired by” the biblical story rather than a recreation of the biblical account.

Kathleen Parker outlined the swirling controversy sparked by the film along with some tart observations in her March 14, 2014, article for the WashingtonPost.com, “Noah’s arc of triumph.”

According to Parker, if you liked other romantic adventure movies such as “Gladiator” or “Titanic,” you’ll like “Noah” too.

“It’s a morality play/spiritual journey without being preachy, except occasionally by the protagonist. Noah the man can be a tad over the top at times, but this is an obvious plus when you’re being instructed by the Creator to build an ark and fill it with snakes, among other creatures,” Parker observed.

Cesar Chavez showcases extraordinary man

March 31st is Cesar Chavez Day, an official state holiday observed in California, Texas and Colorado. The day notes the accomplishments of the man who dedicated his life to securing fair treatment and a fair wage for farm workers in the U.S. While advocating nonviolence Chavez organized farm workers and advocated for their civil rights.

The recent movie based on his life opened on March 28, 2014. Directed by Diego Luna, the film stars Michael Pena, America Ferrara, Rosario Dawson, and John Malkovich. Despite the stellar cast, reviews of the film have noted that it misses the mark in capturing the essence of the man whose efforts created the United Farm Workers Association.

Most of the plot centers around the California grape strike which lead to the formation of the Association. In a March 27, 2014, post for NYDailyNews.com, “’Cesar Chavez,’ movie review,” Jordan Hoffman pointed out where the film failed.

According to Hoffman, “Beyond the speeches, however, this film lacks fire. The struggles of the exploited workers are too vague, as are the overall goals of Chavez’s union. Lacking specifics, we’re unenthused.”

If you don’t know anything about Cesar Chavez it may be a good idea to see this film anyway just to get an introduction to the life of this extraordinary man.

Also of interest

Other recent movie releases worth checking out are:

  • “Sabotage”: Arnold Schwarzenegger leads a crack DEA task force, violence ensues
  • “The Immigrant”: Jeremy Renner rescues Marion Cotillard from the clutches of Joaquin Phoenix
  • “The Unknown Known”: director Errol Morris distilled over 33 hours of interviews with former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld into an hour and a half of incredible conversation
  • “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”: Chris Evans as Captain America teams up with the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to expose a conspiracy in Washington D.C.

Which recent movie do you plan to see next? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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