THE MONUMENTS MEN DVD (2013)
SYNOPSIS: When a team of unlikely and woefully unprepared heroes is sent to the front lines of WWII to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazis, the race against time to protect a thousand years of culture begins. These curators, architects, artists and historians may not stand a chance... but they're the only chance we've got to protect and defend mankind's greatest achievements!
Boasting a pedigree cast including Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Cate Blanchett and George Clooney himself as screenwriter, producer, director and actor, The Monuments Men is a war drama with a message that unfortunately fails to bring across effectively.
Based on the book by Robert M. Edsel, a motley crew is assembled by Frank Stokes (Clooney) near the end of World War II to save as much historical artifacts from the ruthless hands of the Nazis. You can blame it on the tepid pacing or the clunky narrative, The Monuments Men lacks the urgency and tension of a conventional war drama. This is especially obvious when a portion of the story is focused on the relationship between James Granger (Damon) and an art curator, Claire Simone (Blanchett) which is particularly laborious to say the least.
At times, it fared liked an Ocean’s Eleven caper style thriller with generous doses of humor courtesy of the goofy pair up of Richard Campbell (Murray) and Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban). This of course is the biggest selling point of The Monuments Men as much of the wisecracks are certainly amusing. The movie is not entirely without its memorable moments. As it turned out, the death of a fellow monuments man in a church is beautifully handled and so does a seemingly harmless farmer who is more than what he seems.
Despite the subject, this is likely the tamest war movie in recent history. There’s hardly any vicious killings and a subplot involving the Soviet Union hot on the heels of seizing the artwork is quickly forgotten just as things are about to get excited. Mostly shot in Studio Babelsberg, The Monuments Men boasts detailed set and production designs and also a wonderful score by award-winning French composer Alexandre Desplat (who also snagged a small role here).
Clooney’s fifth directorial full-length effort is best admired for paying tribute to the unsung heroes for keeping our history alive and the insane chemistry of the all-star cast. Still, it can be a lot better considering the interesting subject matter and talents behind the effort.
The main cast chips in to sing praises of George Clooney the director in George Clooney’s Mission.
The cast and filmmakers talk about their roles and filming experience in Marshaling The Troops.
A Theatrical Trailer is also included.
Dialogue is clear with occasional explosion and bullets zipping sound effects. Clarity is ever present and imaging details are impressive.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee