At The Flix with @Timmy666

Yo dudes! The Oscars have been given out, the frocks have been put away and normal service can resume.

Thank goodness then that we have an interesting and exciting mix of flicks to choose from this week in Brum.

Let's take a gander .... 

Grand Budapest Hotel, The (15)

A warm welcome and return to the whimsical, unique, creative world of Wes Anderson. Anderson is one of the greats of modern American cinema and this film fills me with great excitement.

The Grand Budapest Hotel aka the adventures of Gustav H, played with oddball extremes by Ralph Fiennes, is the story of this master concierge working at a famous European hotel between the wars, and his lobby boy, Zero Moustafa, who becomes his most trusted friend. The cast is an A-Z of great actors from Mathieu Amalric to Adrien Brody and from Willem Dafoe to Bill Murray (as always in a Wes Anderson film) bring the sense of crazy charm.

The film looks a bit like a whodunnit on acid and the pre-war Europe a great backdrop for Anderson's aesthetic genius!

Can you tell I'm looking forward to it? 

Brings the sense of wonderment 

300: Rise Of An Empire (3D) (15)

 ... aka Men in Speedos 2.

Now without the Scottish, sorry Greek, warrior Mr. "This is Sparta" Butler, the muscle men in leather clad speedos return for the latest hammed-up comic book Ancient World action film. 

In this follow up Zack Synder moves behind the scenes as producer and yet his imprint and style seems very much all over the sequel - loud, brash and not very interesting.

The sequel is about how Greek general Testicles, erm sorry, Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) made an enemy of Xerxes, who became the god-king that Gerard Butler and his Spartans fought in the original 300, all those years ago.

The original film was like a stylised (and quite boring) ballet without any real sense of drama. The follow up is more of the same with a new cast including Eva Green, which could be the film's trump card.

There are lots of fans of the 300 franchise. I for one, am not one of them. Hope to be proven wrong.

Escape From Planet Earth (3D) (U)

An all star cast of voices including Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ricky Gervais, Jessica Alba and the legend that is William Shatner lead this animated tale of Astronaut Scorch Supernova who finds himself caught in a trap when he responds to an SOS from a notoriously dangerous alien planet.

Got that? Well, good because I don't know much else about it apart from that it is directed by Despicable Me storyboard artist Callan Brunker and that, according to US critics, it is rather dumb.

One reviewer says the film "makes a compelling case for our disposable culture to finally get wiped out by malevolent aliens". The mediocre response to the film sounds like such as a shame especially as Shatner plays a villain ... I'd usually love to see that, albeit a voiceover.

Stranger by the Lake (18)

It's so excellent that the mac are showing the highly talked about (in critical circles) film Stranger by the Lake from Sunday 9th to Thursday 13th March. 

This is the kind of edgy, allegorical and symbolic filmmaking that Alain Guiraudie has built his reputation on. He is a champion of gay-themed films and whilst the film has garnered much attention due to its sexual content, it is clear that its lack of inhibition is a key and honest point of the film's being - erotic charge serves part of the film's psychological drama.

Cult Film Friday presents Mad Max (18)

That's more like it. A bit of late Friday night action courtesy of Mel Gibson in his eponymous break through role as Mad Max. The first two Mad Max films are still fantastic visions of the near future, directed with energy and verve by George Miller. I can't believe it's 35 years since it originally came out.

Elsewhere ... 

The mac has a couple of showings of the classic 1955 film The Night of the Hunter (12A), a frightening and stark tale of good versus evil with a terrific horror-filled performance. rom Robert Mitchum and for

And finally on Saturday 8th March, the mac has the one showing of the 1983 version of Wind in the Willows (U) with David Jason, Richard Pearson, Ian Carmichael, Sir Michael Hordern, Beryl Reid  et al. Still my favourite animated telling of the great book and one of my favourite things from childhood.

That's it from me. Comments, queries, criticisms, disagreements - bring 'em on Twitter @timmy666.

In the words of David Jason's Ratty in Wind in the Willows, "Poop, Poop"!!!