Weekend reviews: Strong notices for “Budapest,” “Mr. Peabody,” “Grand Piano” — “300” barely passes

The Grand Budapest HotelLast weekend didn’t produce any film that earned widespread acclaim from North America’s working critics. But the arrival of March has turned the corner on that as a number of pretty good wide releases chase “Pompeii”, “Son of God” and “Non-Stop” away.

“Mr. Peabody & Sherman” is a lot funnier and sweeter than the many laugh-free trailers would suggest. Grandparents and parents can watch it with nostalgia, not a bad rendition of the ’60s cartoon that was part of “The Bullwinkle Show” or “Rocky & Friends” or “Rocky & Bullwinkle.” And adults can chuckle at the puns, the fun riffs on historical figures, etc.

Kids will like the poop and fart and “You said booby” jokes.

“300: Rise of an Empire” isn’t the pithy, profound and swaggering martial romp through digitized Ancient Greece that “300” was. But the digital fleets of war galleys, the heat of the villainous Eva Green and the blood and guts are there. Passable reviews overall, for this one. Most critics were right on the fence with it.

Wes Anderson’s gloriously fun “The Grand Budapest Hotel” opens i limited release this weekend, and it’s darker and more twee than most any film he’s ever made. His rep company returns, but it’s Ralph Fiennes’ picture, with F. Murray Abraham and Saoirse Ronan in strong support and Adrien Brody and Willem Dafoe making fine villains. Mostly rapturous reviews for this one.

And Elijah Wood stars in these surprisingly thrilling thriller “Grand Piano,” a movie that takes great liberties with what actually goes on at a classical music concert, with where the pianist sits for the concerto, and what he does while performing it. Namely, stay on stage between movements. Pretty good reviews, overall, for this one.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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