An excellent quartet of releases offered a little something for everyone.
“House of Cards, Season 2” — Francis Underwood is back for a second season of backroom dealing on Capitol Hill, as he makes a run for the presidency. The power plays are even more ambitious this time around, as Francis and his wife work to seize the Oval Office. People who get in their way don’t last long, as friendships are broken and some threats are neutralized permanently. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are deliciously evil as the Underwoods, and half of the fun here is hoping they stumble, but don’t get your hopes up just yet.
“The Lego Movie” — An evil tyrant means to glue the Lego world into stasis and the future rests on the shoulders of an ordinary blue collar worker in this animated epic. Lots of fun as all manner of figures are Lego-ized to appear here (the Batman was my favorite). Fun for the kids with a rare message of setting aside your own wants to help out the greater good.
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” — You have to go back to the days of Frank Capra to find a comedy this fast paced and zany. Ralph Fiennes stars as a hotel concierge who embarks on a madcap mission alongside an untested bellboy and assorted international characters. It’s all in good fun and features an amazing cast that includes F. Murray Abraham, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum, Willem DeFoe and Adrien Brody.
“The Angela Mao Ying Collection” — The diminutive first woman of kung-fu cinema stars in six features in this energetic assortment of fight flicks. She is best remembered as the sister of Bruce Lee’s character in “Enter the Dragon,” but she gets to strut her stuff here. See her take center stage against a host of guest stars that include Samo Hung, Yuen Biao, George Lazenby and Bolo (Chinese Hercules) Yeung. Fun stuff.