The weekend movie preview has to start with the arrival of a sequel that has been eight years in the making, 300: Rise of an Empire. The Zack Snyder written and produced film seeks to continue the world built in the first 300 by showing what else was going on during that same time period!
Also arriving on screens this weekend is Mr. Peabody & Sherman, an animated big screen update of the classic television cartoon. And finally, we have the latest (and perhaps greatest?) from Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
300: Rise of an Empire: Snyder may not be directing, Noam Murro is, but his handprints are all over this follow-up to 300. This time out, the battle that the 300 waged is going on... and tragically completes during the time period of 300: Rise of an Empire. Lena Headey is back, sure, but the stars here are Sullivan Stapleton and Eva Green as polar opposite warriors fighting for the fate of the city states of Greece. As our 300: Rise of an Empire review reported, for fans of the first film, they'll love it. For those who aren't fond of sword and sandal epics... you might want to skip it.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman: The animated TV classic leaps to the big screen and the entire reason to see this flick, as we stated in our Mr. Peabody & Sherman review, is the star wattage of Ty Burrell. The Modern Family star voices Mr. Peabody (the world's smartest dog) with a panache that is pure gold. The time traveling storyline is also a joy, as you can count on your kids to show a sudden interest in history after taking in this animated joy.
The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson is back and in a big way. An all-star cast with too many names to mention here (!) tells the story of Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes). He is the world's best concierge at one of Europe's finest hotels. The zany comedy truly takes off when he's falsely accused of murder. Fiennes is a terrific addition to the Anderson movie ensemble... as we explore further in our The Grand Budapest Hotel review.
Feel like staying in this weekend, several new releases have arrived on digital download. Watch Gravity online (fresh off its 7 Oscars!), watch 12 Years a Slave online (fresh off its Best Picture win), and you can finally watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire online as well as Paul Walker's final film -- watch Hours online.