Skip to main content

New Promo For #LADYBIRD

The Monuments Men Review. Film Utterly Disappoints, Playing Fast & Loose

The Monuments Men Review
By: MattInRC


There are two ways to view the ensemble historical drama The Monuments Men: the first is through the unfiltered eyes of the average moviegoer, interested in the genre and impressed by its stellar cast. The other way is to take a more realistic view of its rise from Oscar-sure-to-be to its odd February banishment. Regardless of how you look at it, the film utterly disappoints, playing fast and loose with its history and wasting every one of its emotional assets along the way.


Based on Author Robert M. Edsel's account, the movie follows a group of American artists and designers as they struggle to preserve the world's greatest works of art while the final months of World War II draw to an end. The Nazis have been hording art and sculptures in the hopes of showcasing all of them in a Fuhrer Museum; but as the war turns against them, the Nazis decide to hide the precious works in mines across a battered Europe. Cue the concerned art historian Frank Stokes (George Clooney) who recruits a 1940's nerd version of Ocean's Eleven: an expert art restorer (Matt Damon), an architect (Bill Murray), a sculptor (John Goodman), a theater guy (Bob Balaban), a disgraced British museum head (Hugh Bonneville), and a former French painting instructor (Jean Dujardin). As the team begins their search, they will learn the cruelty of Hitler's actions and will be unprepared at what the horrors of war have in store for them.


Monuments Men isn't terrible, but its script by Clooney and Grant Heslov doesn't capture the excitement of a true-life tale and misses every opportunity to impress and inspire us beyond the automatic support we naturally grant it. Everything here feels superficial and bland, as if the personalities behind these remarkable men and women weren't deemed exciting enough to keep our interest. What these people did should be celebrated, for the Nazis plan in 1945 to destroy the art would have resulted in a cultural vacuum from which the world could never recover. But the Director Clooney can't get out of his own way here, limping through that harsh reality while his first-rate talent is given nothing memorable to say. While turning in understated performances, a key scene between Murray and Balaban has no emotional connection and feels victim to an earlier edit that keeps us from learning more about Murray's personal life. The real star here is the French art curator Claire Simone (Cate Blanchett), who knows the location of her stolen pieces but is worried that the Americans will steal them for themselves. Blanchett has been our favorite since she was denied an Oscar for the amazing Elizabeth (look up who actually won and you'll become nauseated), and she's the only thing keeping this from being a total snooze-fest. When she's gone, Clooney and company try to look worried about Hitler's devious plans and try to be funny when it's time for the requisite laugh, but mostly stumble through each scene like they grabbed a camera and shot it guerrilla style. Continuity is off, our actors become emotional without good enough reasons, and the 50's Hollywood style of oft-repeating the film's theme from Alexander Desplat gets old about 40 minutes in.


What also bothers us is more practical: if the film was aiming to celebrate the good deeds of the these remarkable people, then why change their names? The real heroes - George Stout and Rose Vallard - have been replaced by Stokes and Simone, a decision that's not only unnecessary but a tad insulting. Historical accuracy should have been one of its many strengths, but instead we're gripped by an exceeding dull art heist flick that has something important to say but never gets to it. And this is why The Monuments Men saw its enticing December release bumped to January and then February. Don't believe the bull which the promoters are shoveling that the film needed "more production time": this probably explains why the MPAA left an empty spot in the Best Picture nominations, as it was probably meant for Monuments. It's not only the amazing museum pieces that have gone missing here, but the spark of a well-made George Clooney film.

The Monuments Men could have inspired the average moviegoer to research one of the great forgotten stories of World War II; instead, it bores us with a style equal to a dull museum docent who dutifully memorizes the company script while ignoring their audience's questions or the opportunity for a teachable moment. For a film so obsessed with art, we hear so little about its value from Clooney and company that its message soon is reduced to a re-steal caper. Perhaps one day we'll learn the real story of these brave and unassuming men, for their sacrifice saved Europe from intellectual destruction, and that has to be more interesting than this overly-scrubbed and tepid affair. The Monuments Men is rated PG-13 and has a runtime of 118 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

Please Leave A Comment-

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Morbius: The Living Vampire Film In The Works

The Spider spin-offs keep on coming! With Venom now shooting, an even more obscure character from the web-slinger's extensive comicbook past has now been unearthed, with plans for a movie. Power Rangers writing duo Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless are in talks to craft the script for Morbius: The Living Vampire.

Sony is pushing ahead with another potential Spider-movie, which, like Venom, is unlikely to be linked to the MCU. What it will boast, however, is the story of Michael Morbius, a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who tries to cure a rare blood disease using an experimental treatment that combines electroshock therapy and vampire bats. The results are predictably catastrophic, and he's transformed into... well, the title should be a clue. He has some of the traditional vampiric qualities – he ingests blood to live, and conversely is not fond of bright light. He can fly, has superhuman strength and healing capabilities. When he bites victims and drinks their blood, his attac…

Enter For A Chance To Win A Family Four Pack To See COCO In Minnesota

© 2017 Disney/Pixar Enter for your chance to win a family four pack to see COCO in Minnesota on November 15th at 7:30PM.

In Disney•Pixar’s “Coco,” aspiring musician Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) teams up with charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal) on an extraordinary journey through the Land of the Dead.



In theatres November 22!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER-

Website: movies.disney.com/coco
Facebook: /PixarCoco
Twitter: @pixarcoco
Hashtag: #PixarCoco

While supplies last. Once all allotted passes are redeemed, the code will no longer be valid. Supplies are limited.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Limit one (1) admit-two pass per person. This film is rated PG. Must be 13 years of age or older to win passes. Employees of all promotional partners and their agencies are not eligible. Void where prohibited. Entries must be received by [12:00PM], [11-19-2017] to be eligible to receive pass. Winners will be contacted via e-mail to receive their pass. Sponsors not responsible for…

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See DARKEST HOUR In Dallas

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See DARKEST HOUR on December 5th at 7:00 PM in Dallas

During the early days of World War II, with the fall of France imminent, Britain faces its darkest hour as the threat of invasion looms. As the seemingly unstoppable Nazi forces advance, and with the Allied army cornered on the beaches of Dunkirk, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the leadership of the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman). While maneuvering around his political rivals, he must confront the ultimate choice: negotiate with Hitler and save the British people at a terrible cost or rally the nation and fight on against incredible odds. Directed by Joe Wright, DARKEST HOUR is the dramatic and inspiring story of four weeks in 1940 during which Churchill’s courage to lead changed the course of world history.



CLICK HERE TO ENTER-

#DarkestHour
http://www.DarkestHourFilm.com
https://www.facebook.com/darkesthourfilm
https://twitter.c…