Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Monuments Men


I’m always enticed by movies that are “true” stories.  When I saw the previews for “The Monuments Men” starring George Clooney and Matt Damon – I knew I wanted to see the movie not for the big name actors, but for a story I knew nothing about.  I’m not a history buff, so I was really surprised to learn about The Monuments Men and to know why they risked their lives for art.  The movie told the story of a group of men, who believed in saving the masterpieces from the countries which Hitler had ravaged, for the generations to come and for the people that had lived and died.  These men, portrayed by Clooney, Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, and Hugh Bonneville are curators and historians of art who have been tasked with the unfathomable job of finding missing pieces that Hitler has stolen to use in a museum he was to create after the war.  To be honest, there were parts of the movie that dragged on, that weren’t needed, and sometimes the action was rushed, but, the story itself of the self-sacrificing commitment these men had was what really moved the movie along.  The end of the movie was very interesting as they told how many pieces of artwork were stolen and the incredible places they hid most of it. The more I read about this story, the more I appreciate what they did and how they saved historical pieces that are still in museums today.  (The more in-depth story can be found in the book with the same title as the movie by Robert Edsel).

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Her

This movie was different.  I should have known with Joaquin Phoenix, you never quite know what you’re going to get.  I’m not sure if it was a look into our future, if it was a desperate, heartbroken man looking for some companionship, or if it was just weird and creepy.  It may be all of them!  Phoenix plays a lonely man whose long relationship has just ended.  He makes his living writing caring, personal letters for others and sees a new computer operating system that says it’s unique and learns from you and is its own unique entity.  When he starts it up, he meets “Samantha” – who seemed like a futuristic, high-tech version of Apple’s Siri.  She talked exactly like a human, had feelings, and understood his jokes – she just didn’t have a body – since she’s a computer!  The more they talked, the more she learned, and the closer they became – so close that she became his “girlfriend” and he considered it an exclusive relationship.  That’s when it started getting weird for me!  It was nice that he was able to find something to make him happy and help him move on in his life, but it just felt almost uncomfortable to me at times – but hey, maybe that’s where we’re heading???  You would definitely have to be in the mood for this one…

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Nebraska

I loved this movie!  It’s about an old man who is sure he has won a million dollar prize and is going to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect his winnings, even though he has some dementia and shouldn’t be making a trip like that alone.  He’s a little out of touch and doesn’t realize it’s just a magazine marketing letter, so in order to try to get to know his dad better and spend some time with him, one of his sons offers take him there.  I don’t know if it was meant to be as funny as it seemed to me – I was laughing the whole movie – but it was just that I could recognize people I know in almost every character and they were hilarious!  It could change from one moment to the next and be incredibly serious and thought-provoking, too.  It's quietly poignant and still very powerful.  I laughed, I cried, I was worn out, yet still exhilarated when I was finished with this one.  I don’t know if everyone would connect with it the way I did, either.  Not sure what else I can say about this film - it was just one of the best movies I’ve seen in a very, very long time.