Posts Tagged austin

CHEF: A Well-Balanced and Satisfying Culinary Comedy

Chef Movie 2

As a film blogger, I know full well that what I do falls into nebulous territory; I don’t create art, I simply critique it. In CHEF, Jon Favreau explores the relationship between the creator and the reviewer with a foodie edge, following a chef who has lost his culinary spark and fallen into a rut preparing an uninspired menu at the behest of the restaurateur who bankrolls him (Dustin Hoffman). After receiving national critical attention for his food and his social media outbursts, Favreau finds that a food truck might just repair his joy for cooking, as well as his strained relationship with his family. With a finger squarely on the pulse of the social media marketing landscape, Favreau has tapped in to a timely energy that feels oddly absent in the modern film landscape.

To his credit, at least on a personal level, Favreau does not come down too harshly on critics; he finds them a necessary, if sometimes frustrating part of the creative community. Well written, expertly acted, and lovingly directed, CHEF is small and passionate project from a director who has sidetracked his career from creative films to popular films in recent years. In this way, CHEF is Favreau’s food truck. Add this one to your must-see list!

Austinites should also love the pit stops at Franklin BBQ and Guero’s Taco Bar, as well as the performance by Gary Clark Jr.

CHEF is in theaters Friday, 5/9/2014.

William Lindus
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Checking In To The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

A Wes Anderson film is always going to look like a Wes Anderson film, creating a consistency that die hard fans have come to love, and critics might find exhausting. Anderson’s latest offering, The Grand Budapest Hotel, relies on many of the familiar Anderson-isms that we have come to expect of the director: vivid colors, outlandish characters, plot twists that remain whimsical even when exploring dark territory, and sets that look lovingly and painstakingly hand designed. I could probably get away with ending my review there; if you like Wes Anderson’s aesthetic, you’ll enjoy The Grand Budapest Hotel, and if you find it tedious, you should probably skip it.

Boom. Review done, under 200 words.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Okay, for those of you still reading, you might be looking for something a bit more substantive, and I am quite happy to oblige. The Grand Budapest Hotel is a story inside of a story inside of a story, creating a narrative that presents itself as a cinematic Russian nesting doll. Our framing story is that of an author recounting his most notable interview; that interview, in turn, is of a successful citizen of the fictional country of Zubrowka who tells the story of his time as the lobby boy of the Grand Budapest Hotel in the 1930s. Fortunately, Anderson doesn’t spend too much time on either framing story, spending most of his time with the lobby boy and his mentor, M. Gustave, avoiding what could have made for a confusing set of timelines. Read the rest of this entry »

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