‘The Monuments Men’ deserves at least a small monument of its own

The cast of 'Monuments Men' (from right to left): John Goodman, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray
The cast of ‘Monuments Men’ (from right to left): John Goodman, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray

In 1943, at the height of World War II, it became clear that the Germans were engaged in the systematic looting of every major art work in Europe.  It was up to the soldiers and civilians who worked in the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Program to recover and repatriate this stolen art back to its rightful owners.  That is the true story on which the film The Monuments Men, written by George Clooney and Grant Heslov and directed by Clooney is based.  If you know anything about the actual events, you know that poetic license is in play.  The choices to exercise such license are good ones in this case, as was the decision that the film wouldn’t take itself so seriously.  This allowed the filmmakers to poke fun at situations where humor works, and still display the high drama that is war right up on the enemy lines.

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‘Moonrise Kingdom’ marks Wes Anderson’s return to brilliance

Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, and Bruce Willis in 'Moonrise Kingdom'
Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, and Bruce Willis in ‘Moonrise Kingdom’

On a small island, in 1965, a young boy who is a member of the Khakhi Scouts of North America, “Sam” (Jared Gilman) is found missing from his tent during breakfast.  He has cut a neat hole in the side of his tent that he covered with a piece of paper, and dug a tunnel to escape from the confines of the Khakhi Scout’s Fort Lebannon.  A search is quickly organized by “Scout Master Ward” (Edward Norton), who immediately contacts the island’s head cop “Capt Sharp” (Bruce Willis).

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‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ has intriguing characters, beautiful dialogue and nuanced performances

The cast of 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou'
The cast of ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’

[rating=3]Starring: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum
Director(s): Wes Anderson
Writer(s): Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach

Recently I went on a couple of dates with a beautiful blonde who may or may not have been out of my league. We got along well, I made her laugh, and I thoroughly enjoyed the making out (and the potential for more). But abruptly, after the second date, my phone calls went unreturned. Now, I’m not one to bear ill will at such an early stage, so the experience left me with nothing to say but a declarative “Huh”. I enjoyed the time that we had, but I ended up feeling like there was something that I missed.

Read more‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ has intriguing characters, beautiful dialogue and nuanced performances

‘Lost in Translation’ is just two bored people in Japan who do nothing

Scarlett Johansson in 'Lost in Translation'
Scarlett Johansson in ‘Lost in Translation’

[rating=2]Starring: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson
Director(s): Sofia Coppola
Writer(s): Sofia Coppola

This is a great film, critics raved. Sofia Coppola has finally done it! She’s the first female up for Best Director because of this film! So I watched and tried to take it all in… I warn you, this is going to be more of a rant than a review.

Read more‘Lost in Translation’ is just two bored people in Japan who do nothing