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Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by it's me on Fri Jan 31 2014, 21:44

you are right
the plot
the whole packaging
friends promoting it after seen it

not the critics

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Mazy on Fri Jan 31 2014, 22:31

I think by George being in the movie is a help to put them in the seats. We know that he much rather direct than act but he does what he needs to do even if it's not the starring role.

I agree Rachel a very nice written piece

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Mazy on Sat Feb 01 2014, 04:49

The Monuments Men

George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett
Directed by George Clooney
Rolling Stone: star rating

BY PETER TRAVERS
January 31, 2014

Leave it to George clooney to kick Hitler's ass. In The Monuments Men, he kicks hard. But not in the way you think. It's all part of the retro fun and addictive adventure in this relatively bloodless World War II epic. Clooney, who directed The Monuments Men from a script he wrote with his producing partner, Grant Heslov, is riled up about the masterpieces of painting and sculpture that the Führer annexed for himself as his armies goose-stepped across Europe. Quentin Tarantino bashed Nazi skulls in Inglourious Basterds. Clooney sees his film as more of a Nazi mindfuck. What if he and his actor pals, including Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban and Hugh Bonneville, played aging artists, historians and museum geeks who head for the front lines to outwit the German high command by stealing back that art? It's like an Ocean's Eleven heist, but this time in uniforms and helmets.

And so we watch this over-the-hill gang, egged on by composer Alexandre Desplat's jaunty marching theme, prep for bullets and shelling they're not remotely equipped to handle. The mood is set for a highspirited free-for-all. And for a while, that's what we get.

But then comes – wait for it! – a tone shift that may leave escapism junkies feeling betrayed. It turns out Clooney is hunting bigger game, something thoughtful, touching and true. You heard me, I said true. The plot only sounds improbable. It's fact-based. Clooney's source material is Robert Edsel's 2010 book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. The MFAA (Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives) unit really was tasked by FDR, with the support of Gen. Eisenhower, to rescue these masterpieces and to protect them from bombs, the enemy's and our own.

Who knew? The work of the Monuments Men is fresh territory for film, and Clooney builds the story with intriguing detail and scope. Does he change names and futz with facts to protect innocent audiences who only want a good time? Sure. As a co-producer of Argo, last year's Oscar-winning Best Picture, Clooney did the same thing. But the changes aren't severe enough to get his dramatic license revoked. Plus, there's no question that Clooney's heart is with this ragtag band of brothers. Hitler had decreed that if he died and the war was lost, nearly 5 million pieces of stolen art should be destroyed. It's his or nobody's. Screw that, said the Monuments Men. Not on their watch.

It's a kick gawking at stellar actors getting their blood up. Clooney excels as MFAA leader Frank Stokes, a character inspired by George Stout, who was doing art restoration at Harvard's Fogg Museum when duty called. It's Stokes who recruits James Granger (Damon), based on James J. Rorimer, who went on to be director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The bantering between Clooney and Damon gives the film a buoyant lift, but the seriousness of their mission is never in doubt.

In occupied Paris, Granger finds a crucial ally in Claire Simone (Cate Blanchett), a curator at the Jeu de Paume, a museum that the Nazis use as a repository for stolen art. It's Simone, based on French Resistance leader Rose Valland, who keeps a record of where each piece is being routed.

The rest of the actors also have real-life counterparts. Murray and Balaban have the most fun, playing off their differences in height and attitude. Murray portrays architect Richard Campbell, much like Robert Posey, who discovered the salt mine at Altaussee where the Nazis had hidden many great works. Balaban takes the role of dandyish art connoisseur Preston Savitz, much like Lincoln Kirstein, the future co-founder of the New York City Ballet. Both assigned to Patton's Third Army, they put aside their bickering to search for the "Ghent Altarpiece."

Also buddying up are Goodman as combat-unready Walter Garfield, based on sculptor Walker Hancock, and Dujardin (Goodman's co-star in The Artist), as a French Jew whose bond with Garfield grows as danger approaches. Everyone relies on Dimitri Leonidas as Pvt. Sam Epstein, a German-Jewish teen, based on the still-living Harry Ettlinger, who served as driver and translator for the men.

There are enough stories here to fill a dozen movies. Few are more affecting than the tale of Donald Jeffries, a Brit with the rank of major, much like English art historian Ronald Balfour. As played by Bonneville (Lord Grantham on Downton Abbey), Jeffries finds a goal outside the bottle in his search for the "Bruges Madonna," by Michelangelo.

The physical production is exquisite, with cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, an Oscar nominee for Nebraska, shooting on locations in Germany and England that stand in for a whole world at war.

Is there sex? Well, Damon and Blanchett have a flirty scene in a Paris apartment. But the real romance emerges when the men get up close and personal with the works of Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Van Eyck and Vermeer. The artifacts are copies, of course, but the actors regard each painting as if they're basking in a radiant sun.

In their search for looted art in mines and secret caves, the Monuments Men also discovered a Nazi stash of gold bullion. The gold got all the press. It still does. Look at the movie business. But don't look here. Not in this proudly untrendy, uncynical movie. OK, the period dialogue ("Hey, fellas, you're a sight for sore eyes") is cornball. Ditto the emotions that well up when the men hear a Christmas song. But Clooney feels there's much to be learned from these unsung art warriors. Going deeper is a Clooney signature. As the director of Good Night, and Good Luck, he looked for integrity in TV journalism. In The Ides of March, he searched for remnants of morality in politics. In The Monuments Men, he finds value in asking a question: Is saving art worth the sacrifice of a human life? A provocation? You bet. A surefire box-office recipe? Probably not. And yet the issues raised by the film remain sadly relevant. Check out the looting of the National Museum in Baghdad. What Clooney has crafted in The Monuments Men is a movie about aspiration, about culture at risk, about things worth fighting for. I'd call that timely and well worth a salute.

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Boshkash on Sat Feb 01 2014, 05:35

Yaay!! I am glad Peter Travers liked it, he is a very respected critic..

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Joanna on Sat Feb 01 2014, 09:44

Nice comment.  Coolio 

"Plus, there's no question that Clooney's heart is with this ragtag band of brothers.
Hitler had decreed that if he died and the war was lost, nearly 5 million pieces of stolen art should be destroyed. It's his or nobody's.
Screw that, said the Monuments Men.
Not on their watch."

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by party animal - not! on Thu Feb 06 2014, 16:25

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Nice.

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by silly girl on Thu Feb 06 2014, 16:31

The reviews are really mixed....some guy really didn't like it and walked out...I feel bad for GC and GH etc....hopefully people will go see it enough for him to make some of the money back.

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Carla97 on Thu Feb 06 2014, 17:20

No need to worry silly girl.
Can be many reasons why someone walks out. Besides 99.999999999999999999999999999 % of the rest of the world haven´t been anywhere near to see it yet. It will do just fine.

(I walked out on so called "nostalgic michael douglas weekend" movie last year. It was called Black Rain. Andy Garcia got his head chopped off, so I thought no point to sit there any longer...later I heard it was a good movie".)

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Joanna on Thu Feb 06 2014, 18:19

I'm not being funny at all.....but the film may be more acceptable to European audiences, for obvious
reasons.

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Nicky80 on Thu Feb 06 2014, 19:20

Yes agree Joanna, and also there a big names in the movie and that will help too.

It is also interesting to see how they will promote the movie in Europe. Always find it funny that he said in american TV in a joke way that "Hitler was a bad guy" sounds sometimes if people forgot who Hitler was. LOL. I don't think he will do this kind of humor about Hitler in Europe. But who knows...

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Carla97 on Sat Feb 08 2014, 10:18

I haven´t really read the critics but summary of them gives an impression that the movie is different from what they expected. Well, of course things are different from what they/we expected. It´s called life. There is always "the x-factor".  Laughing 

Funny how critics always sound so stunned when the movie comes out. You would think they would have more experience...

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Butterfly on Sat Feb 08 2014, 18:22

I think it is also important to consider the gender of gentlemen the critics.  super cool They are men. If they are not gay, they have wives or girlfriends...who adore George Clooney.   
Now... how inspired this would make them to write positive comments about George?

I don't believe anything they say. I know how creative and intelligent George is and I can't wait to see the movie!

This is for you George:  lip smack  lip smack  lip smack  Hug1

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by ktsue2002 on Sat Feb 08 2014, 19:39

It's good! Trust me! I didn't like one thing, and when you see it, you will understand!

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by francis100 on Sat Feb 08 2014, 20:40

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Berlinale 14: THE MONUMENTS MEN von George Clooney

Sometimes you can tell at a festival only with delay as well is actually a movie that you've seen . This often happens when a different film this - really good film - negative contrasts . This is what happened with '71 by Yann Demange after the sighting of George Clooney's The Monument Men The former wins. He is a real anti-war parable set in Northern Ireland , and makes clear: Actually, there is not in conflict "good and evil " , there is only one system and ideologies that create evil. And in the middle are a lot of very vulnerable people .

But here I will write about the other film that loses this duel : George Clooney's contribution to the post- World War II The Monuments Men He's of course ( in the subtext ) , an anti- war film , but one that relates very well position , very patriotic position .

Halfway through the movie I had the idea : "This is a propaganda film. " And I asked myself , as well the many German colleagues in the audience went with this film - because it complains in the film does not have the "bloody Nazis " but about the "bloody Germans" .

Well in this movie ( almost) only the Americans , the Jewish and the collectors procure the remaining Europeans ( Belgians , Frenchmen , etc.) their art again , who stole the Nazis , and they return without hesitation : the Ghent Altarpiece , Michelangelo's " Madonna with child " of Bruges and the whole Rothschild collection.

All the others are evil : those who want to have art in itself ( the Nazis and later the Russians ) and of course those who destroy the art of war. That it ever needs the Monument Men , because the Allies have indiscriminately bombed and destroyed art treasures and cultural monuments , is indeed introduced pedantic Clooney at the beginning ( he himself as an art historian explained this to President Roosevelt ex cathedra with slide show ) , which then goes again quickly forgotten.

The film is then partly quite entertaining and even funny , a kind of road movie to the end of the war . This is also due to the cast : Matt Damon, John Goodman , Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin are some of the Monuments Men who go along on a treasure hunt .

There are art experts, architects, sculptors , curators, which should bring first the Allies to not destroy certain works in the last major attacks and who are looking to the other side of the hoarded Nazi treasures.

Clooney has installed countless , the ensemble in question Metawitze according to its kind : Matt Damon is raised several times because of his bad French, Clooney himself says , after he built a radio : " Since you 're surprised , what? I can also something that I have not just a pretty face. " And yet the very plump Goodman plays the sculptor with the last name " Garfield " .

The film is based on the book by Robert M. Edsel . Both in the book as well as in the film is less concerned , this tremendously exciting history to works of art in the war roll up historically . Rather, these men should be honored to open a new chapter in American hero worship . Unfortunately, this is only possible with bombastic speeches and a tremendous amount of pathos in the atmosphere and music.

From time to time but there are still really funny and good moments in The Monument 's Men One of the best scenes in the movie is precisely those with the young Swiss actor Joel Basman . The incident as frightened and stray German soldier with the gun in the attack on two of the Monuments Men , played by Bill Murray and Bob Balaban .

The three sit down slowly , smoking in silence a cigarette together , and because they can not speak the language of the other , the young soldier asks shyly : " John Wayne? " And the two Americans nod and say And all go " John Wayne. " unmolested their ways .

That sums up the film actually quite well together : he is much more " John Wayne" , so American cinema, as in fact a clever contribution to the historical debate looted art that is on everyone's lips since the fall Gurlitt .


Last edited by theminis on Sat Feb 08 2014, 22:20; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added text translated by Google)

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Joanna on Sun Feb 09 2014, 00:05

Review from The Telegraph....

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Contains Spoilers



Berlin Film Festival 2014: The Monuments Men, review

George Clooney's latest directorial outing, a historical caper about the recovery of
stolen artwork from the Nazis, is self-congratulatory piffle,
says Tim Robey

The Monuments Men

Dir: George Clooney. Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban, Dimitri Leonidas
Cert: 12A. Run time: 120 min

George Clooney's wartime art-retrieval romp The Monuments Men was originally scheduled for a late 2013 release, when it looked to have the clout of a heavyweight awards contender.
When it was summarily postponed until spring, this wasn't necessarily a sign of poor faith – the spin was merely that this all-star package was more boisterous commercial catnip than serious prestige flick.

Alas, the film's international premiere, out of competition at the Berlin Film Festival, has blown its cover once and for all.
The problem isn't a lack of weight, but of lightness.
It's stuck with lead feet for a historical caper and serves no other worthwhile purpose.
This is Clooney in the mode of Leatherheads – his failed 2008 attempt at period screwball – or, worse yet, 2009's baffling The Men Who Stare at Goats, based on Jon Ronson’s offbeat study of the War on Terror, for which his producing partner Grant Heslov took a turn in the director's chair.
Berlin might be the one launchpad where the oxygen of controversy could help this particular cause: there was a smattering of boos as the end credits rolled.
Quelle surprise: it's a celebration of (chiefly American) pluck in rescuing priceless artworks from the Nazis.

Clooney and Heslov's script keeps hammering home its takeaway message about the universal value of art, lest we fixate too much on the national insignia being worn, or the US flag cheekily draped at the end across a cave of sequestered masterpieces.
(It's notable, though George might want reminding, that a Brit and a Frenchman actually make the greatest personal sacrifices.)
Clooney and celebrity chums play a real-life team of art experts, who went through basic training in 1944, landed in Normandy, and were assigned to safeguard the treasures of Bruges, Ghent and elsewhere from the pillaging hands of the retreating invaders.

Related Articles
The Monuments Men: exclusive clip 28 Jan 2014
Berlin Film Festival 2014: full competition programme 15 Jan 2014
The Invisible Woman: the story of the film Lionsgate

The general air of self-congratulation, a Clooney danger zone even on his better days (Good Night, and Good Luck, for instance), didn't need the jaunty whistling of a Bridge on the River Kwai-like theme tune to help it coagulate. Even the graver moments feel like trumpet-blowing, and the bum comic notes are an epidemic. Insta-hilarity can't be mined just from Bill Murray undergoing dental work, Matt Damon not being as fluent in French as he thinks, Bob Balaban wanting to shoot Hitler, or Jean Dujardin offering a cigarette to a horse.
No one in the cast is doing anything specifically wrong, but they should all be staring daggers at their director and co-star for saddling them with such piffle.
There are jokes here which wore out their welcome
long before Poland was invaded.
A handful of sequences pass muster. Murray and Balaban visit the farmhouse of a suspected SS officer and politely lay a trap, in a scene of reasonable comic tension that plays like the inverse of Inglourious Basterds' celebrated opening.
Hugh Bonneville has a valiant little section trying to keep Michelangelo's Madonna and Child inside Bruges Cathedral.
Later, we get a more ungainly pietà when John Goodman is spotted cradling the prone Dujardin.
Meanwhile, Damon's restoration whiz must wine and dine a secretary from the Louvre to get the treasure-map which may reveal its missing contents.
When even Cate Blanchett is doing nothing more than glumly co-operate in support, you know something's gone wrong.
If they'd really had the full history of human achievement at their fingertips, one thing's for sure:
the hoarders wouldn't have bothered with this.

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by LornaDoone on Sun Feb 09 2014, 00:09

Well of course some may have issue with the film.  Those who are complaining that it's showing the Americans in a better light well it IS a film about the AMERICANS who were over there retrieving the art.  The Belgians, the French and whomever else were doing the same just need to make THEIR own film.

I don't get why they would expect it to be about THEM.

And if the Russians don't like the way they were portrayed well then maybe they shouldn't have TAKEN the spoils and instead tried to return them as the Monuments Men did.

Nothing against Germans of today but if you've ever seen the film Judgement at Nuremberg you will see that it points out even if many Germans were not actively involved with the Nazi party and what was happening in Europe, their SILENCE was what condemned them in the eyes of many.  Just as many condemned the Catholic Church for turning a blind eye to what was happening to millions of Jewish people during the war.  And this comment is from someone raised Catholic.  Edmund Burke is credited with the comment which seem apropos:   "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."

Easy now to get on a high horse about how someone is portrayed or that their story was not included now.

It's not a documentary.  One gal today in Germany mentioned a documentary she did on the subject.  Like George, I also would find it interesting to watch.  As long as there was an English translation or subtitles.

But some of these negative reviews sound like sour grapes to me.


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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Joanna on Sun Feb 09 2014, 00:16


Wall Street Journal blog.....


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“The Monuments Men”

How could “The Monuments Men” possibly miss? It’s based on an incredible true story, it stars a staggering array of A-listers, and it’s directed by the typically sure-handed George Clooney.
But miss it does, say critics, who find the film to be a well-intentioned but surprisingly listless and tonally inconsistent heist caper.
It’s the story of a ragtag unit of art experts tasked with venturing behind enemy lines in order to find and secure the priceless art and artifacts that have been looted by the Nazis.
“The Monuments Men” is currently at 30 percent on the Tomatometer; here’s a rundown of the reviews:

Rotten: “What a cast, but also what a waste, since the action part proves to be as synthetic as the art part.” — Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

Rotten: “Despite its intrinsically fascinating subject matter and winning cast, ‘The Monuments Men’ is no treasure.” — Claudia Puig, USA Today

Rotten: “Because Mr. Clooney can’t figure out what kind of story this is, he too often slips into pandering mode, including in his own performance, which is filled with too many smiles and speeches.” — Manohla Dargis, New York Times

Fresh: “The actors skew a little bit older than the historical Monuments Men, but their lived-in humanity forms a nice contrast to the inhumane megalomania that they’re trying to reverse.” — Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Joanna on Sun Feb 09 2014, 00:23


I think I'd better stop searching now !

Are the critics just not getting it ?
Are they thinking it's an "action film" with no action ?
Have they read the book it's based on ?
Are they so brainwashed by CGI and fast moving films now ?

I'm still looking forward to seeing it......



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Contains Spoilers

The Monuments Men – review

George Clooney's second world war art-recovery thriller falls well short
of the required levels of action or excitement

• George Clooney's Nazi art theft film attacked for ignoring real-life British war hero

**

Andrew Pulver
theguardian.com, Saturday 8 February 2014 20.56 GMT

The brakes are on... The Monuments Men

George Clooney's latest directorial endeavour â€" a putative second world war thriller about a special US army unit dedicated to rescuing art works looted by the Nazis â€" has landed with a thud and a splutter at the Berlin film festival.
You might expect audiences here to be a tad sensitive about films portraying their compatriots as irredeemable civilisation-destroyers, but that's actually the least of The Monuments Men's problems.
Filled with unearned patriotic sentiment, sketchy to the point of inanity, and interrupted every few minutes with neurotic self-justification, this displays none of the nimble-witted sleight of hand, nor indeed old-fashioned suspense, of Argo, the last historical caper movie with which Clooney was involved.

The Monuments Men
Production year: 2013
Country: USA
Directors: George Clooney
Cast: Cate Blanchett, George Clooney, Matt Damon

More on this film

Part of Clooney's difficulty may well be the sheer size of the operation he is attempting to render in cinematic form. Over 300 personnel were involved in the real life Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives mission, which recovered some five million works; the film reduces them to seven individuals, of which two are non-Americans â€" included, presumably, to reflect the international make-up of the effort.

Even so, The Monuments Men shifts so rapidly from place to place, art gallery to cathedral, museum to storage pit, that its human contingent remain ciphers. This is despite a strong cast that includes Matt Damon, Bill Murray and John Goodman â€" chosen, no doubt, for their high-impact value. Cate Blanchett, on the other hand, is badly served with a thin role and saddled with a terrible accent as a Parisian curator-cum-resistance operative, and this normally superlative performer is entirely wasted.


Link to video: Monuments Men: watch George Clooney in the trailer for the second world war drama

Moreover, as the film ranges far and wide, over relatively complex art-history issues, Clooney and his co-writer Grant Heslov feel the need to explain VERY CLEARLY AND SLOWLY exactly what is happening, where the soldiers are headed, and indeed the specific contribution to human civilisation certain high-profile art works are deemed to make.
It may have been considered necessary to turn The Monuments Men into a mass-market proposition, but it undeniably puts the brakes on its attempts to generate momentum.

The film does come alive in a couple of scenes, which are precisely the ones extended to a length to enable a bit of dramatic interaction, and allow for more than a couple of lines of traded dialogue.
There's one where two of the monuments men rumble a high ranking Nazi with a farmhouse full of stolen paintings; another when a racehorse grazing in a field conceals potentially lethal danger.
These are the only real traces of the kind of entertaining sleight-of-hand that sustained Argo, as well as another, earlier film that pioneered the wartime art-heist theme: John Frankenheimer's The Train, which revelled in the deceptions with which the resistance outwitted their foes.

All this certainly reinforces the point that The Monuments Men is an action movie with very little action, and a caper movie with precious little capering.

Clooney is certainly an able director – even a brilliant one on occasion, as Good Night, and Good Luck demonstrated; he has tried to make a big old fashioned war epic,
but in the end has got little bang for his buck.

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by LornaDoone on Sun Feb 09 2014, 00:42

And I'm again of the opinion that the issue the reviewers are having is that they had a different expectation of what this film is about. It's not an action movie and to expect it is quite asinine in my opinion.

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Joanna on Sun Feb 09 2014, 00:44

Does the last sentence need discussing on the other thread when we've seen it ?

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Joanna on Sun Feb 09 2014, 00:46

LornaDoone wrote:And I'm again of the opinion that the issue the reviewers are having is that they had a different expectation of what this film is about.  It's not an action movie and to expect it is quite asinine in my opinion.

Quite....


My brain is working overtime and it's my bed time. Lol

Just a thought.....

I think that there's a whole group of people too who believe that
anything to do with World War 2 is "old hat" now.
So unless it's along the lines of Inglorious Basterds etc they really
find it....yawn yawn....too too boring.

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by ... on Sun Feb 09 2014, 13:29

I like this photo from this review. Very Happy
But I don't agree with the critic, Mick LaSalle (whose field of expertise is in Pre-Hays Code Hollywood.)  His interpretation of the tone conveyed and the director's vision is defined by his own expectations.
Many of these two-dimensional critics fail to think outside the box. After all, it's just their opinion, often persuaded by peers.

A few points are valid though.

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The Monuments Men
(excerpts)
"The Monuments Men" is an old-fashioned World War II movie, of a kind Hollywood used to churn out 50 years ago, back when the war was still a fairly recent memory. Today, in the post-"Saving Private Ryan" era, war is invariably presented as a series of individual tragedies, even in tough-minded films such as "Lone Survivor." But "The Monuments Men" harks back to a time when audiences more easily accepted that overall missions mean more than the problems of a few little people.

So the movie has a certain gallantry and a spring in its step that's retro, appealing ....The soundtrack is buoyant, like the one for "Stalag 17" or "Hogan's Heroes," and the overall mood is happy yet serious. It's a little bit funny and a little but schmaltzy....

And in its own odd way, the film makes the case for itself. "The Monuments Men" feels of the same era as the real-life Monuments Men and is a movie those guys probably would have understood and enjoyed. It's based on the exploits of a real-life platoon of mature guys, with backgrounds in the arts, whose task was to find and protect the millions of art treasures stolen and hidden by the Nazis.

The basic outline of the story is true, though the characters and their names have been changed. George Clooney, who also co-wrote and directed, plays Stokes, who heads the operation and enlists the group during the latter part of the war.


Mick LaSalle is The San Francisco Chronicle's movie critic.


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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Lighterside on Sun Feb 09 2014, 13:37

From HuffintonPost

Movie Review Jackie K Cooper
"The Monuments Men" (20th Century Fox)

"The Monuments Men" is an impressive movie because of its story, its cast and its music. George Clooney directed and stars in this true story of a group of art dealers, curators and restorers who joined the Army and worked to save priceless art treasures from being looted by the Nazis. He is joined by Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville and Bob Balaban. To add to the emotion and appeal of the film Alexandre Desplat has composed an impressive musical score.

Frank Stokes (Clooney) is the man who gets the group organized. It isn't a little thing he asks of his friends and fellow art lovers. These middle aged men were required to join the army and go through basic training. Then they were sent into areas where their lives could be in danger. Still this group believed whole-heartedly in their cause and were willing to make whatever sacrifices that were necessary.

Clooney's role does not require a large amount of acting talent from him. He just has to look his Clark Gable best and speak his words with humility and dedication. Damon has the role of another charmer. His character James Granger must try to get as much information out of Parisian museum employee Claire Simone (Blanchett) as possible. The fact he gets her to fall for him is an added bonus.

Murray and Balaban are a perfect Mutt and Jeff combination. They play Richard Campbell and Preston Savitz. These two provide much of the comic relief as well as an emotional centerpiece in the film using music. Goodman is Walter Garfield, a man unaccustomed to the rigors of war but one who rises to the occasion. Jean Dujardin, who was so impressive in "The Artist," plays a man thankful for the chance to fight the Germans even in this odd way. Bonneville of "Downton Abbey" fame is exceptionally likeable as a man trying to make up for his past sins.

Cate Blanchett once again shows why many consider her to be the equal of Meryl Streep in the acting department. She submerges herself into the role of Simone and shows a variety of facets of her personality.

The film is rated PG-13 for violence and profanity.

There is a likeability to all of the characters in the movie and their goals are part of a patriotic fervor that embraces the film. Desplat's jaunty theme is somewhat akin to the sound of the march music from "The Bridge Over the River Kwai."

Clooney and company have created an enjoyable film that plays on patriotism, wartime drama and humor to entertain audiences. They struck the right notes and did the true story proud.

I scored "The Monuments Men" an artistic 7 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper
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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Boshkash on Sun Feb 09 2014, 13:42

I noticed that words like "odd" and "different",are usually associated with Clooneys movies, that's it critics!! they are different, not your usual movie, go open minded and don't except anything..

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by ... on Sun Feb 09 2014, 13:44

silly girl wrote:...hopefully people will go see it enough for him to make some of the money back.

It should do more than just that... Quite well hopefully. Stellar cast. Interesting plot. Beautiful cinematography.
Some great reviews.  
Friday domestic (US) estimates alone are around $7M.  So maybe $20M opening weekend?  
Production budget is at $70M according to data.

(The Lego Movie is a sentimental favorite for many generations.)

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Lighterside on Sun Feb 09 2014, 14:14

This one isn't strictly a review but I'm not sure where else to post it: Huffington Post

George Clooney's 'Monuments Men' Premieres In Europe, Where Lost Art Is A Headline Staple

BERLIN (AP) — George Clooney's World War II art-rescue drama "The Monuments Men" made its European debut on Saturday, coinciding with a recent upsurge of interest in the fate of art looted by the Nazis. Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman and others joined Clooney to present the movie at the Berlin International Film Festival — but attention focused squarely on the director, co-writer and star.

REALITY MIRRORS ART

News in November that authorities had found more than 1,400 art works at the apartment of a reclusive German collector and were examining whether hundreds of pieces were seized by the Nazis shone a spotlight on the issue. "It's a story that's going to keep coming up, because of course there's still an awful lot of art that's missing and will be found in lots of people's basements," Clooney said at a news conference.

"It just happened to be one amazing find," he said. "But I'm glad it's part of the conversation again, because it's a good conversation to have about the responsibility of giving back things that don't belong to you."

UNUSUAL HEROES

The movie follows a World War II platoon whose mission is to rescue artworks from the Nazis as the war moves toward its end. It's based on a true story and adapted from a book by Robert Edsel.

Clooney acknowledged that "Hollywood does like a good World War II story" and has been making them for a long time — but this story, he said, offered something new.

"It wasn't to make a patriotic film as much as I thought it was to talk about a unique group of people who did something for the first time in the history of war — which is the victor didn't keep the spoils, they gave it back," he said. "And I thought that that was a rather extraordinary story to tell."

NOT SO CYNICAL

"The Monuments Men" came to the screen after co-writer and producer Grant Heslov read Edsel's book and showed it to Clooney. "He and I had been doing rather cynical movies for quite some time — and we'd been talking about doing something that was a little less cynical, because we're not quite as cynical as the films we tend to make," Clooney said.

The concept reminded him of films he loved when he was growing up, such as "The Guns of Navarone" and "Kelly's Heroes," he added.

A STICKY MOMENT

A journalist stood up and told Clooney she'd been preparing her question for two weeks. "Are you aware that you play the main role in the erotic fantasies for many women in the world, and that ... you're doing something nice for the mental health of women all over the world?," she asked.

"Why, thank you," Clooney deadpanned — adding, after a long pause: "I thought that you were going to ask a question."

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Lighterside on Sun Feb 09 2014, 14:22

Two more good reviews...thank you to Clooney Aficionados for the links

ChicagoNow

Review: The Monuments Men

Critics and audiences applauded 2011's The Artist for its homage to the early days of cinema. What made the film so engrossing was not only its story about the transition from the silent era to talkies, but its adoration and commitment to honoring the look and feel of the time. While there's certainly other examples throughout the medium, George Clooney's The Monuments Men stands out as another triumph; telling the story of a group of art enthusiasts who risk their lives to save grand works of art all over Europe duringWorld War II.

Clooney plays Frank Stokes, who convinces President Eisenhower to approve his bold mission, and gathers up the best people for the job.  Rounding out his team are the art historians and architects played by Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban and The Artist himself, Jean Dujardin. After a brief trip to England for some basic training (emphasis on the "basic") the team sets off across the English Channel to France where word reaches the team that Hitler is using men to haul all the important works and hide them in anticipation for his own museum. The team splits up to cover more ground, but inside Bruges, alone, Donald Jeffries (Bonneville) is killed trying to protect Michelangelo's Madonna and Child from the Nazis that Hitler has tasked to steal.

Realizing a man has died for their mission weighs heavily on all involved. What is one man's life compared to the value of preserving the world's culture? They ask themselves this very question and it becomes abundantly clear they would all, if put in the very situation that Donald Jeffries was in, risk their lives to protect these treasures for future generations to enjoy as much as generations past.

The Monuments Men has a lot to offer. While it's a bit of slow-burner, this true historical story combined with the chemistry of the cast and characters keeps the audience invested. And while we are dealing with the tough subjects that were very much a part of the war, the film manages to weave comedy with some genuinely touching scenes. A highlight of the film deals with John Goodman's and Bob Balaban's characters run in with a young, lone German soldier. These monuments men weren't there to kill, though they would have all certainly given a limb for an encounter with ol' Adolf, so instead they all sit down and smoke a cigarette before going their separate ways.

I like to think that when Clooney decided this would be his next directing effort, that he set out to tell this lesser-known story in relevance to how the real monuments men would have seen it in the early 1950's at their local movie theatre. Because aesthetically, aside from being filmed in the crisp color of today's technology, Clooney's direction allows this film to stand tall among the many World War II films of that time. In the end, The Monuments Men is a film about protecting art while simultaneously preserving it. [A-]

____________________________________________________________

and this one from Mirror

The Stars

Matt Damon, George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville

The Story

The Monuments Men are a band of soldiers led by Frank Stokes (Clooney). Their job is to trawl through Europe during the Second World War as it becomes clear that German defeat is inevitable, searching for priceless art treasures the Nazis have stolen.

The Verdict

A wartime action-drama brimming with style, The Monuments Men tells the real-life story of a group of soldiers who rescued millions of artefacts from destruction at the hands of the Nazis.

With George Clooney (who also directed), Matt Damon, Bill Murray and Cate Blanchett, it might appear like an Ocean’s Eleven-style romp. But this slick wartime drama is rich in charm and full of memorable moments.

On paper the story may sound a little dry – academics in military gear wandering around war-torn Europe. But Clooney turns it into a fascinating portrait of the most unlikely heroes.

He is typically suave as art historian Frank Stokes, who leads an oddball bunch of academics, including sculptor Walter Garfield (Goodman), art expert James Granger (Damon) and architect Richard Campbell (Murray).

Add to the pot a Brit stalwart (Bonneville) and a gun-toting Frenchman (The Artist star Dujardin), plus the chance of romance between Damon’s character and a French art curator (Blanchett), who knows where the stolen art may be, and you have a compelling story.

Although it’s beautifully shot, there is a niggling sense that Clooney can’t quite decide if the film is ­action-adventure or cute drama.

But The Monuments Men is an extremely watchable film that neatly blends drama with a dash comedy, is packed with great actors and set against a wonderfully mounted, historical backdrop.

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Joanna on Sun Feb 09 2014, 14:40

Phew.....some balanced comments coming through
at last.

I wonder if negative reviews about M M bother them
at all.
I'd like to think not in the slightest !

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by LornaDoone on Sun Feb 09 2014, 14:50

I think word of mouth will be good. Kudos to Cate for such a nuanced role. The woman is amazing.


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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Sun Feb 09 2014, 15:15

The movie will do fine at the box office. It's not aimed at movie goers who have to get to the theatre on opening weekend, and the people who want to see it probably don't know what Rotten Tomatoes is or go looking for online critics. It's a good story, they told it well, and that's what counts for mature audiences. I'd expect to see solid but steady business and little dropoff week-to-week. It will make its money back in domestic box office -- and then some -- and kill in the international market. There isn't a producer, director, or actor in the world who would be unhappy with that.

George knows what he's doing. Screw the professional critics. Most of them have agendas that have nothing to do with the content of the movie.

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Lighterside on Sun Feb 09 2014, 15:15

I agree Lorna.  I haven't felt concerned for the box office on this film from the start.  I think it's a movie that will appeal to a broad audience, as it's good clean fun; entertaining and educational, both at the same time.  It's something people can bring their kids to see and everyone will enjoy it.

@WTOFT...AMEN!

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by ... on Sun Feb 09 2014, 18:49

Yes, I agree with W2O4T too that some of these critics do have an agenda.   
Generally, word of mouth and liking the trailer persuade more people. Plus liking the cast is a definite influence.


Last edited by Ocean on Mon Feb 10 2014, 00:07; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : moved some content of post to other thread.)

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Atalante on Sun Feb 09 2014, 19:24

LINK Ward, our Belgian Movie Reporter with monsieur Clooney. I am still waiting for his review for radio and television.

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

Post by Carla97 on Sun Feb 09 2014, 19:31

"and the people who want to see it probably don't know what Rotten Tomatoes is or go looking for online critics" Agree with w2old4dis, people who are going to see this movie will give a flying f**t what critics are writing...

But good critics only count, naturally  Very Happy 

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Re: Monuments Men 2014 - Reviews

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