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Description: An Iraq fight veteran wrestles with PTSD and his transition to civilian life. Tormented by hyper vigilance, insomnia, isolation and the lingering questions of his actions in combat, Johnny is visited fleetingly by Abdullah, an Iraqi teenager whom he killed in Iraq. Johnny tries to ask the lingering questions that crowd his mind, but Abdullah's answers do not deliever any respite. Johnny is frequently in a state of hyper vigilance on the bustling roads of NYC. He struggles with the helmet-cam video footage of combat that he has brought back from Iraq: The video provides Johnny with the comfort of precision that memory does not have, but it also induces anxiety. The movie compares combat video playback to the memory of a traumatic happening that many veterans experience. True combat footage is used in the film.
Description: Set in apartheid South Africa 1984, this is the storyline of a young boy whose Afrikaner values are inspected as he accepts the compulsory draft into the military and befriends a rebellious Englishman. He gotta decide to either stand up for what is right or respond the Call to the Republic and his family.
Description: Carlyle Blackwell stars as an American in Germany at the outbreak of Globe Fight I. A mysterious stranger bursts into his room and proclaims him her husband. What's a gentleman to do? He poses as her husband to deliver "papers" to French headquarters. Journey follows.
Description: After America enters Globe Fight I, young William "Bill" Jones tries to avoid military service by saying the draft board that he is the sole supporter of his family and is employed by businessman Roger Winthrop, his sister Helen's boss.
Description: Featuring rare archive footage of Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and Churchill. The leaders keep imaginary conversations around WWII, revealing their private takes of wartime events.
Description: A Jewish-American pilot is shot down behind opponent lines. With tiny more than his wits and a sidearm, he gotta outsmart a brilliant enemy, rescue his captured crew, and foil a plot that should change the course of the war.
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In bringing together elements from Inglourious Basterds, Ocean's Eleven and Museum Hours, George Clooney certainly had plenty of occasion for a rich and interesting story. Fight heroes who appreciate fine art played by the likes of Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray and John Goodman (plus a several "that guy"s), attempting to steal back priceless works of art from the Nazis, it sounds amazing.So what went wrong? Well, to start with, for a film about a team, we're given very tiny time with them as a group. Almost instantly they pair off on their own tiny adventures. Instead of using these exploits to allow us know a tiny more about the characters as individuals, we receive the usual oddball pairings and some mildly amusing, but ultimately hollow, vignettes. Even when we lose some of our team, it really feels like nothing more than just something that happened on the trip, like "oh, and I also saw a horse." We have hardly any sense of them as a group and far less about them as people. The only hero whose motivations we can understand is the one played by Cate Blanchett, but her limited chemistry with Matt Damon dooms what tiny redemptive quality her hero had.Also, and particularly troubling for a film involving art, George Clooney's lens has tiny reverence for the work it shows. Though the movie heavy-handedly ponders whether a piece of art is worth a human life, the camera never does. Even when a hero lays down his life for a sculpture, it comes off less dramatic than inevitable. The movie treats the works as being mostly historically significant and never finds that lover's gaze that says the audience why.What we're left with is a bag of spare parts. It's a popcorn film with no setpieces. A fight film with no battles. A heist film with no scheming. An art film with no inspiration. Were they to have found some of Inglourious Basterds' bluster, Ocean's Eleven smarts or Museum Hour's insight, they may have found a formula that works, but that's not the film we have here. I'll be damned if George Clooney doesn't look nice in a moustache, though.
If you wish to see George Clooney enjoy George Clooney, Matt Damon enjoy Matt Damon, Bill Murray enjoy Bill Murray, John Goodman enjoy John Goodman, and Jean Dujardin enjoy a clichéd Frenchmen (right down to the French beret and scarf)...in a incredibly mediocre movie based on a compelling real storyline that's badly written and directed, go see "The Monuments Men". It's an "Oceans 11" squad of art curators, historians and architects sent into France and Germany. Their mission? "Saving Personal Art". The obstacles? Almost none, once they knew where to look. It was apparently the easiest art heist in history. The plus side? it's a stretch...but I did like Hugh Bonneville testing someone kinder and gentler than King Grantham in "Downton Abbey"...and Cate Blanchett? She's everytime great, but she truly doesn't have much to do here, another than speak with a French accent and look irritated. Don't be fooled by the star-studded cast like I was. This film is a waste of your cash and time. All of these actors have made far superior films. And this storyline would have been better served by a more accomplished screenwriter and director.
The Monuments Boys is directed by George Clooney, staring himself, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett. It says of a group of troops tasked to locate and preserve pieces of art that have been stolen by the Nazis during Globe Fight II.It's no secret that The Monuments Boys was one of everyone's most anticipated films of 2013, and looked like a solid awards contender, until it was pushed to a February release date, purportedly due to the need for more time to be spent on the unique effects.The truth is, The Monuments Boys should be, and really could be much more entertaining than it is. The greatest part of the film, and at the same time, its major problem, is the script. There are seemingly continuous laughs coming from fast one liners and witty hero interactions, which keeps the audience somewhat engaged, although with such bleak topics matter, it's debatable that a film dealing with the eradication of an whole culture's achievements could be as lighthearted as it is. But the flaw with the script is that it seems like the first act eats up almost all of it's running time. It's as if the movie is missing huge portions of the current plot to create room for heavy amounts of unnecessary exposition. Secondly, the film's characters are stale and one dimensional at best. I invite anyone who sees the movie to wait an hour after finishing the movie, and test to remember even three of the character's names or what their role in the point was. There isn't a moment in the whole movie where it isn't simply John Goodman or Bill Murray dressed as Globe Fight II troops and not fleshed out characters. Albeit all of the actors are exceedingly fun to watch, I assume that just watching all of these actors talk together at a press symposium would be just about as entertaining.The Monuments Boys isn't even close to the worst film of 2014 by a long shot, even though it is only February, but it's arguably the most disappointing movie of the year as of yet. I take no pleasure in telling this, but it's noble intentions fell utterly short due to terrible pacing, and forgettable characters. I haven't read the book, but I have to think that it gotta be much better constructed and does this wonderful true life storyline more justice.
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