Review: The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men had a bit of a rocky road to the theaters.  The film, produced, written and directed by George Clooney and featuring an all-star cast, was set for release at the height of Oscar-bait season in mid-December, and audiences had begun to expect big things from it.  Then, news broke that it was being pushed back to a February release, due to difficulty finding the right balance of tone in the editing room (or, depending on who you ask, because they needed more time for the visual effects).  Making a PG-13 World War II movie that focuses not on the war directly but on countless works of art that most audiences have never heard of was always a dicey prospect, and from that perspective The Monuments Men is definitely a success, if perhaps not as much as might have been hoped.

In 1943, as the Allies advance into Europe and the Germans retreat it becomes clear to Frank Stokes (George Clooney) that the cost of the war will be greater than the loss of millions of lives.  Continue reading

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:

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