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The Monuments Men Review

Review by contributor Austin Winklerimage

The Monuments Men is a war film directed by and starring George Clooney. The film also stars Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, Matt Damon, and John Goodman. Based on a true story, a group of museum directors and art historians are tasked with going into Europe to protect or retrieve pieces of artwork stolen by the Nazis. I was really looking forward to this movie. I remember first seeing the trailer in the theater before watching Captain Phillips. When I noticed the release date was set to February, I got really worried…and now know why the release date was set so early. The film is completely unaware of what it wants to be. It can’t make up its mind on whether to be serious or comical. I have nothing against dramatic comedies, as a matter of fact I love them. But with the exception of one scene, this movie can’t execute the dramatic and serious emotions it shoots for at times.

I also didn’t like the characters. Honestly, I didn’t care for any of them. The film spread the characters all throughout Europe, causing them to lose the emotional connection they would have had. I understand the filmmakers were trying to pay respect to the source material, but it just couldn’t work for the movie in terms of character development and emotional connection. This film does have a few bright spots. The cast is great, and chemistry between the characters (when they’re all together) is entertaining to watch. The writing is also in good shape as far as dialogue goes, and George Clooney isn’t a bad director, either. The pros in this movie frustrate me because it tells me the film has the potential to rise above mediocrity, but it never does.

Big potential, squandered results.

Bottom line, The Monuments Men has good intentions and tries its best, but can’t reach its full potential. It’s not a terrible movie, but an unfortunate weak spot in 2014. If you want to see it, I’m not going to convince you otherwise because the premise is interesting. But if you have no desire to watch it, it’s not worth your time.


Gravity Review

Gravity CoverGravity stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock and takes place in space. This film is incredibly well-produced and brilliantly executed. It features Bullock’s best performance of her career and an overall desolate but peaceful feel. It’s also very human and doesn’t mind delving deep into human emotion. Overall, the acting is wonderful, the direction is precise, the visuals are simply breathtaking and it will no doubt be in the running for several Oscars. Despite being so grand in nearly every category, it does have a downfall, which is being almost too reserved and melancholy. At times, while you respect it’s grandeur, you may begin to feel a little disconnected. It’s pacing is what kept me from giving it a perfect score. Nonetheless, Gravity is a sight to behold in all it’s splendor and its story is quite remarkable.

4.5 out of 5

Review: Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox

November 25, 2009

Rated PG

Directed by Wes Anderson

Starring George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson

87 Minutes

Fantastic Mr. Fox is unique little animated picture with some heavy hitting stars. Just to name a few, George Clooney, Bill Murray, Meryl Streep and Owen Wilson. The film is directed by Wes Anderson, a genius of his time. Here, he creates a brilliant and funny piece worthy of much praise. It’s simply high quality entertainment. The film is full of touching, heartfelt moments, plenty of wit, many clever laughs and top-notch voice acting.

Fantastic Mr. Fox stands alone in a different realm. It’s animated, but it’s something both children and adults can relate to. It has more of an adult feel to it due to the writing style of the script. There are many things children simply will not understand. Some movie goers will find it boring, but I will be the first to tell you, if someone says it’s boring or “stupid”, they are uneducated and unappreciative of this fine work. The script is finely written with plenty of ambition and flair. The story is just plain good. Watching everything unfold is highly entertaining. The animation is superb. You will notice little things here and there that’s just plain cool, like how they use wool for smoke. It’s all done so well, and makes for something not seen in animation and certainly not as well done. Clooney is brilliant playing Mr. Fox, just brilliant. It’s a pleasure to watch the film and just bask in it’s animated glory, with the combination of all the great voices and set pieces. All in all, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a spectacular film, and should not be missed, by adults or children.


4.5 out of 5