Sunday, February 16, 2014

Mini-Review: The Monuments Men (2014)

Maybe the critics aren't as fond as I am of those history lessons Golden Age Hollywood used to serve up—e.g., The Life of Emile Zola, The Story of Louis Pasteur, The Pride of the Yankees—but I thought George Clooney's movie The Monument Men, about the real life efforts to rescue stolen art from the clutches of the Nazis, was a pretty interesting yarn.

Okay, it's not that old Burt Lancaster movie, The Train, which is both a great action picture and a great think piece, but I learned stuff I didn't know, never looked at my watch and didn't feel like I'd wasted my money. As Freud said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."


With Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, and a bunch of other people.

3.5 stars out of 5.

7 comments:

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

The Monkey's reviews have all the film smarts you could ask for but also and almost uniquely the street smarts & empathy to recommend a pretty good yarn to those of us who are just plain fried, burnt, & otherwise exhausted and need a pretty good yarn & no more & no less. I'll definitely see this one.

mister muleboy said...

This is a case of agreeing with almost every review that I've read. The critical reviews noting the problems with the movie mostly seem dead on. Similarly, mistermonkeyman's recommendation of "a pretty interesting yarn" is also dead on. With a cast like this having a ton of fun, but remaining true to the movie, you'd be unlikely to have a dud. And this is ms blanchett's most fun performance ever, in my humblest estimation.


I am, of course, as biased as hell. I, like Clooney, Murray, Goodman, and Clooney's production team,[and mistermythicalmonkeyestofmonkeys and almost certainly HisWhoAmUsNess], grew up with my snout deep in the trough of gritty-yet-pretty WWII movies made between 1959 and 1972. This movie is a worthy successor to that subset of the "War Movie" genre. . . .

Mythical Monkey said...

It's not Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers or Schindler's List -- it's not even The Train, which blows up real trains, lets Burt Lancaster do some amazing stunts and concludes with a 100% out-of-the-box wow -- but it is interesting, the sort of history I'd happily read on an airplane or watch one afternoon.

I didn't feel cheated and Katie-Bar-The-Door and I left the theater in a better mood than when we arrived. So, thumbs-up from me.

Erik Beck said...

Blanchett was certainly fun. In the scene in the apartment, where she finally lets her hair down, I turned to my wife and said "Here's where Damon realizes, 'Hey, she's Cate Blanchett.'"

Good fun that did a great job of taking scenes from the book and adapting them to the tone of the film.

Mythical Monkey said...

"Here's where Damon realizes, 'Hey, she's Cate Blanchett.'"

I thought Matt Damon's character showed remarkable restraint when Cate Blanchett offered him a one-night stand.

I, too, would show remarkable restraint because Katie-Bar-The-Door is a remarkable woman, but you know, still, Cate Blanchett in Paris -- jeepers. And she even gave him a tie!

Andrew Clay said...

At least he called it a tie. . . .

Anonymous said...

they butchered the book that this was based on.

could have been amazing and yet it was just blah.