This ‘Hotel’ is worth a pleasant stay

Set in a castle-like hotel in the fictional Mitteleuropean country of Zubrowka on the eve of World War II, the comedy “The Grand Budapest Hotel” revolves — like all of director Wes Anderson’s films — around a quirky middle-aged man and the precocious boy he takes under his wing. As such, the film fully engages one of the fascinating tensions that have always animated Anderson’s fussily decorated cinematic jewel boxes, namely how one learns to become a man within a universe of characters so stylized and artfully concocted that they seem barely human.

The great good fortune of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is that the tutor in question is played by Ralph Fiennes, who lends sincerity to a character who can be charming and rather loathsome at the turn of a schilling.

The DVD and Blu-ray (Fox, $30-$40) add several featurettes, including “Bill Murray Tours the Town.”

Washington Post

Colin Covert says: I’m not sure what the formal definition of a masterpiece is, but “The Grand Budapest Hotel” strikes me as something very close.


Also out Tuesday: “Ernest & Celestine,” “House of Cards” (Season 2), “Joe,” “The Lego Movie,” “Walk of Shame.”



A case for doodling

These days a smartphone case must be innovative to draw attention, and this one is. Wire Factory, a start-up from San Francisco, has introduced the Tegware Bagel for the iPhone 5/ 5s ($59,

The case features a unique design.

In addition to holding your phone securely on the right side of the synthetic leather folding case, the left side has a 4.2-inch (diagonal) Boogie Board eWriter for taking paperless notes, reminders, memos or just doodling.

The eWriter doesn’t connect to the phone, so there’s no battery drain. Instead it has its own battery, good for five years.

Inside the case, you’ll find a stylus stored right in between the eWriter and your phone.

The Bagel is available in black now. Future colors will include brown, blue, coral pink and red.

McClatchy News ­Service