Tag Archives: john goodman

Review: The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men

The Monuments is an ensemble movie that details the journey of a commissioned group of unexpected heroes within World War II. While most people know the Nazis for their horrific crimes against countless lives, you might be surprised to learn of their ruthless transgressions towards art of areas within Europe they occupied.

The good; the movie features some of Hollywood’s biggest names. The movie emotes a great range of feelings for viewers. At times it is comical, giving viewers clips that could stand alone if reworked for Saturday Night Live. Other times, we encounter truths about World War II that remind us how ugly  man can get when led by the worst men. Through the thick and thin, we see the importance of camaraderie during war.

The bad; I straddled with how this movie was pieced together. There are a handful scenes, while entertaining, that seem of very little value. There are so many faces on the poster for this movie. They are all wonderful talents on their own and maybe that’s a double edge sword. We never really get to know each character as much as we hoped. This movie could have been an AMAZING mini-series.

Overall – Like most movies based on non-fiction, this may not be an ideal source to learn about the Monuments but it is entertaining. If you’re a fan of any of the actors, you should definitely check this out. For some, it may even be worth checking out just to see Cate Blanchett with a French accent.

Review: Argo – in which Affleck does the Bieber

Saw Argo this weekend, directed by Ben Affleck, and inspired by true events about six American diplomats rescued from Tehran in nineteen seventy nine during the Iran Hostage Crisis.

The good; knowing the ending of this movie, cause it’s a true event, so anyone with novice computer skills can look up how the real story happened.  Much like Valkyrie or Titanic (to a lesser extent), I found myself caring and at the edge of my seat during the climax of the film.  Bravo, when the simple act of a plane taking off receives an applause from the audience.  And that’s not a spoiler, for those of us who can read, and learn something from history.

The casting is great, I found myself caring for all the characters, not just the Americans, but everyone… the hostages, the bureaucrats, everyone.

There are lots of in-Hollywood jokes, was not expecting that many.

I keep thinking back to the writing and directing.  The two melded together beautifully to create an atmosphere of danger and tension.  And what’s more is that it was able to be sustained throughout the film.

The bad; Affleck’s hair, it’s a little distracting and it took some getting used to.  I can’t find anything to place in this section.  But I can think of what people will not like, so let’s go with that… yeah.

Not a lot of action, this film is methodical and slower paced.  Argo is classified as a “thriller” movie… with that genre comes certain expectations and sign posts.  So the average movie going public will probably be disappointed that most of Argo is a bunch of people talking, much like Tinker, Sailor, Soldier, Spy.

Overall Argo is great, it’s the first film on my radar to scream best picture.  I waited a week to see it and it’s still getting applause in the theatres, not sure if at a carnal level that it speaks to our patriotism, but it does evoke a certain emotion given the current state of things abroad.

Argo is well thought out, and historically it’s an amazing story that deserves to be told.  My prediction, best picture and best adapted screenplay nominations.

*[excerpt from the trailer, and of course the movie]*
John Chambers: [after telling him his plan to get the hostages out] Let me get this straight, you want to come to Hollywood, make a fake movie, and do nothing?
Tony Mendez: That’s right.
John Chambers: [Smiles] You’ll fit right in!