Trailer Tuesday: The Monuments Men

Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies, since I’ve always found trailers to be endlessly fascinating.

It’s usually never a good sign when a film that was originally scheduled for release during Oscar season gets postponed into the next year, but I feel like it might be a good choice for The Monuments Men.  While the film seemed like Oscar bait, the way the awards season is shaping up it’s pretty clear that it doesn’t have a chance against the likes of 12 Years a Slave, Captain Phillips, Gravity and others, despite the fact that World War II movies do well and the cast they rounded up for this film is phenomenal.  Instead of competing for this year’s Oscars (it will of course be eligible for next year’s, but movies released in February are forgotten by the time December rolls around) it will instead release in the doldrums with little competition and can be a much bigger box office hit.  The tactic worked for The Great Gatsby, so why not here?  Take a look at the trailer and read on for my thoughts:

The Monuments Men tells the true story of a platoon of Allied officers who went into Germany at the end of the war in an attempt to protect, preserve and recover art stolen and threatened by the Nazis.  The movie is based on the “Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Program” that was established in 1943 for that purpose.  As Nazi troops progressed across Europe during the war, they plundered many museums and stole works of art, including works from some of the most famous artists in history.  Alternately, some museums were cleared in advance of Nazi progression, with their contents hidden from the Germans.  The “Monuments Men” as they would come to be called, were a group of art historians, curators, and museum workers who were sent into the war zone to help protect and catalogue these works of art and eventually return them to their proper locations after the war.

Many of the best war movies focus on telling just one small story from the war, rather than trying to encapsulate the entire scope of the conflict, whether it’s Saving Private Ryan or The Great Escape, and the story of the “Monuments Men” is compelling and interesting enough to bring a fresh take to one of the most “popular” historical subjects for film.  George Clooney, who directed the film, has shown that he can handle both comedy and drama, so it will be interesting to see how he strikes a balance between the reality of the war and the largely comedic cast.

And boy what a cast, in addition to Clooney we’ve got Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban and for a little international flare, Hugh Bonneville, Cate Blanchett and Jean Dujardin.  They’re all actors with comedic talents, but they’ve also all proved their dramatic chops as well.  The trailer has several great moments, including Dujardin and Goodman arguing over who is going to shoot at the Nazis, but I expect that this is a film that is difficult to boil down into a two and a half minute trailer, especially as far as tone is concerned.  With a cast like this, and Clooney at the helm, The Monuments Men is a film that will be hard to ignore, and I think the move to February will benefit the movie a lot.

What do you think?  How does The Monuments Men look to you?  How awesome is this cast?  Do you think the move from December to February will help or hurt the film?  What’s your favorite World War II movie?  Let me know in the comments?

Tell me what you think!

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