Art worth dying for

The Monuments Men Columbia Rating: PG 118 minutes

The Monuments Men is a pleasant, enjoyable, but curiously unaffecting movie. It is based on the real story of a group of art historians and artists tasked with saving art, including sculptures and even buildings, in danger of being destroyed by the Nazis during the Second World War. And yes, a couple of them even died doing it, according to this Hollywoodization of the events.

It’s not often you get a high powered cast like this together. It includes George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Hugh Bonneville (from Downton Abbey) and even Cate Blanchett as a Parisian who knows what the Germans are doing. There are some dramatic sequences, a little bit of wartime humour and even a shade of romance, although it’s hard to believe Damon turning down a night of passion in Paris with Blanchett.

The script lets down the story and the actors. While many individual sequences work very nicely, there is no overall cohesion here. It’s more a series of vignettes combined with pro-American jingoisms and blatant attempts to tug your heart strings. For example, the scene where Bill Murray is having a shower and buddy Bob Balaban plays a record of Murray’s family wishing him Merry Christmas over the camp PA system.

Clooney also directed, co-scripted and co-produced with Grant Heslov, but considering the acting talent involved and an intriguing, but little known story, this should be a much better movie. One reviewer described it as Ocean’s Eleven meets The Dirty Dozen.

Rating: three deer out of five

New on Video

Ender’s Game is an okay science fiction film as youngsters fight off alien invaders.

Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.

Just Posted

Rebels lose to Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-1

Tigers break Rebels’ three-game winning streak

Red Deer’s newest outdoor ice facility opens to the public next week

The speed skating oval at Setters Place at Great Chief Park will be open Dec. 17th

Exhibition explores the rich history and culture of Métis people

The exhibition is on display from Dec. 15th to March 10th at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

2019 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship host sites announced

A total of 39 Provincial Championships will be hosted across the province

40-year Big Brother match a gift to Lacombe man

Andy Pawlyk and his Little Brother Chris Selathamby honoured at BBBS Awards Night

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Language on Sikh extremism in report will be reviewed, Goodale says

A public-safety ministry document indicats terrorist threats to Canada included a section on Sikh extremism for the first time

Most Read