The film is presented in the original widescreen ratios… of which there are a variety, and in 1080p high definition and it brings the wonderful and sumptuous hotel set to life perfectly. It was a treat at the cinema, and is the same again on Blu-ray. I’m watching on a Panasonic 50″ Plasma TV.
The sound is in DTS HD 5.1 and is mostly a dialogue- and ambience-led piece. It’s not a SFX extravaganza, but it delivers what it needs to perfectly.
The extras are as follows and they’re all in HD. They’re all worth a watch, but they do feel very short and could’ve been expanded upon:
- Bill Murray Tours The Town (4:17): A brief piece, but we get a quick look round the Polish area where they’re filming, although a lot of it was also shot in Germany.
- Vignettes (9:00): Three of them here, starting with the Kunstmuseum Zubrowka Lecture, with selections from the writings of Stefan Zweig with his “The Society of The Crossed Keys”, the inspiration for The Grand Budapest Hotel, and told by Tom Wilkinson as the author.
Then Bill Murray is quizzed about The Society of The Crossed Keys, one of the most efficient intelligence agencies of the world.
And finally, how to make those Mendl cakes in the film in…. erm… Mendl’s Secret Recipe.
All of these pieces are done in a similar quick-cut style to the film.
- The Making of The Grand Budapest Hotel (18:08): Chat with cast and crew members, mixed in with clips from the film. I’m surprised this wasn’t put at the start of the extras.
However, it looks at the story, the cast, the design of the hotel (which was converted from an old shopping mall) and the director Wes Anderson, and how inspiring he is, as well as his choice of different widescreen aspect ratios.
- Cast (3:24): Another short piece looking at the cast.
- Wes Anderson (3:46): And another… yes, you get the idea.
- Stills gallery (3:25): 40 images in total, at five seconds per image (plus a closing caption)
- Trailer (2:26): Mostly in 4:3, just like the film.
- Audio descriptive track: Does what it says on the tin.
There are subtitles and languages in quite a few apiece. However, if you just glance at the box, all you’ll see is “English” only. What the Fox??
Languages spoken re English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Turkish.
Subtitles are available in English for the deaf and hard of hearing, French, Spanish, Dutch, Brazillian Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Estonian, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Turkish and Ukrainian.
The problem with identifying all of these, is that I can’t access them to flick through them while the film is playing, oddly enough, so I’m rather stuck with trying to figure out what they say in the menu, by selecting ones I couldn’t work out, then playing the film so I can bring up the Blu-ray player’s menu to see what language it is (where the first three letters of the name is given).
Chapters are plentiful, which is a rarity these days, as there are 32 across the 100-minute running time. Whoever was in charge of that here should do them for ALL Blu-rays and DVDs!
The menu is a static, suitably minimalist affair, with the main theme, S’Rothe Zäuerli’s Öse Schuppel playing in the background.
Running time: 100 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Released: July 7th 2014
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: English plus 8 additional languages
Subtitles: English plus 25 additional languages
Format: 1.37:1, 1.85:1, 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Technovision)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Wes Anderson
Producers: Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven M. Rales and Scott Rudin
Screenplay/Story: Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness (inspired by the works of Stefan Zweig)
Music: Alexandre Desplat
M. Gustave: Ralph Fiennes
Zero: Tony Revolori
Mr. Moustafa: F. Murray Abraham
Serge X.: Mathieu Amalric
Dmitri: Adrien Brody
Jopling: Willem Dafoe
Deputy Kovacs: Jeff Goldblum
Ludwig: Harvey Keitel
Young Writer: Jude Law
M. Ivan: Bill Murray
Henckels: Edward Norton
Agatha: Saoirse Ronan
M. Jean: Jason Schwartzman
Clotilde: Léa Seydoux
Madame D.: Tilda Swinton
Author: Tom Wilkinson
M. Chuck: Owen Wilson
Mr. Mosher: Larry Pine
Serge’s Sister: Giselda Volodi
Pinky: Florian Lukas
Wolf: Karl Markovics
Gunther: Volker ‘Zack’ Michalowski
Lieutenant: Neal Huff
M. Martin: Bob Balaban
M. Robin: Fisher Stevens
M. Georges: Wally Wolodarsky
M. Dino: Waris Ahluwalia
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.