Sunday, March 23, 2014

'The Monuments Men' - Take A Closer Look

Have you seen this heavily-promoted film The Monuments Men?
Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men focuses on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. It would be an impossible mission: with the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell, how could these guys – seven museum directors, curators, and art historians, all more familiar with Michelangelo than the M-1 – possibly hope to succeed? But as the Monuments Men, as they were called, found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind's greatest achievements.
Okay, so this is a war movie.
But it's a war flick with a difference.
The war is all but over when it begins and the film features no huge battles and little bloodshed. Instead of being about saving private Ryan this film is about saving Michelangelo, Monet and Matisse. 
And, if you've been keeping up with the latest stories about purloined art still being discovered in Germany, this story is as fresh as today's headlines.
Then there's the cast. The all-star lineup includes director and star George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and John Goodman. Plus, we don't want to forget newcomer Dimitri Leonidas who goes toe-to-toe with these veterans in every scene he's in - quite a feat. 
Yes, you will enjoy this movie more if you're familiar with and care about really great art. But that's not a necessity.
The movie moves along at a jaunty pace and has just enough twists and turns to keep you interested.
If you haven't given this movie much consideration, take a closer look.
We saw The Monuments Men and we enjoyed it.
It's fine, intelligent, entertaining Hollywood movie-making. Put it on your list!

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