Monuments Men {some people liked, some people didn't: edited title}

Did anyone else waste money to see this piece of crap too?

George Clooney just cannot act, I expected that. But Matt Damon is front and center on the cover and you also have Bill Murray, John Goodman and Bob Balaban. Actors participate is faulty projects from time to time just to cash paychecks, but with this many great actors I expected pride alone would be enough for everyone to bring their A game. The plot is a true story, so I understand writers and directors wanting to stay true to the source material even if it was less than ‘Hollywood worthy’.

Still, what you are asked to sit though is a painful collection of scenes from a movie no one was really interested in making, from the full gamut of writers to score composers.

From what I’ve read, it’s not all that close to the source material.

Haven’t seen it, but if it does indeed suck, this wouldn’t be the first example of “too much talent spoils the pot.”

Maybe you’re right, this would have been improved if the entire cast were no names, but I doubt it. Even these talented actors looked like they were sitting around waiting for an actual scene. The writing was just pathetic, the jokes dry and predictable, the plot scattered. Really, it was almost a Mel Brooks farcical slapstick comedy.

I know there’s another thread, but I do not wish to post in a thread with such a negative and over-the-top Subject Line.

I liked it. It’s a great story, one that needs to be told to a modern audience. While not perfect, this was decently well-told and also well-acted. It has a great cast. Besides George Clooney (who often gets undeserved flack, but he can act, very well, as he’s proven time and time again), there’s John Goodman, Bill Murray, Matt Damon, Bob Balaban, Jean Dujardin and Cate Blanchett, among others.

It has an odd structure that audiences aren’t used to seeing too often. It leans more to a series of vingettes hopping around to the different characters (who are rarely if ever at the same place at the same time) and checking in on what they’re doing. I know some people will have problems with the episodic nature of the movie, and yes, it has been done better in other movies, but it worked for me. They could neither include everything that ALL the Monuments Men got up to nor tack on a “plot” that tied one or two main characters together forgetting the others. It was a tough balance and they did the best they could.

The movie’s not brilliant but the story of the Monument Men is a fascinating story that’s practically unknown to the general public and I’m glad someone told it. Even by a liberal.

It’s funny how in Yahoo and other Comments sections, it seems that teabagger types are going out of their way to sabotage this movie simply because of who directed and stars in it. Something they most likely wouldn’t be doing if were directed by anyone else, except maybe Sean Penn. I imagine they’d be falling all over themselves to praise it if it starred Bruce Willis. IMO deliberately trying to sabotage a movie about an interesting and important piece of the World War II story seems a bit unpatriotic.

The sheer amount of negative hyperbole I see is both astonishing and amusing. So it’s not an instant classic. So it won’t be listed as one of 2014’s best. Instead of “meh” reactions I see outright hatred for the movie and everyone in it for no apparent reason. It certainly doesn’t “suck ass” and at the very least should be given credit for bringing the Monuments Men’s story to a wider audience.

I agree with you. I liked the movie, but sometimes the cuts were a bit harsh, and the plots of John Goodman and The Frenchman were not suspenseful, being that we only saw the bad things. I actually like the visuals of the first guy with the Madonna and child. It was so unlike the stuff with John Goodman and The Frenchman, which I found to be predictable. (predictable in the way it was shot)
But on the other hand I really liked the stuff with Cate Blanchett and Matt Damon. I wanted more of that.

I guess I agree that it was a lot of information to get through, and without being able to make the movie around 3 hours long, they had to make some tough decisions.

We liked it, I don’t get the hate either.

I was so looking forward to this movie and have to admit I was disappointed. It could have been a great movie, but instead it was an o.k. movie. The story is so interesting yet I felt the movie lacked emotion and depth. It is a story that needed to be told so I’m glad that people will know about it. One thing I didn’t realize is that the Russians were just as interested as stealing the art as the Germans were. The bit at the end where the Americans had to leave the German city because the Russians were arriving–was that because of how territory was divided? Russians got certain areas and the U.S. got certain areas?

Yes, that was stated in the film.

I liked the film but I think it would have worked better as a cable mini-series akin to Band of Brothers.

Now I want to rewatch The Train…

Don’t worry about spoiling anything for me. Who knows if I’ll ever bother to watch it.

Based on interviews, the actors seem to refer to an incident in the movie where they uncover the stash of Nazi Gold! As in, the Fort Knox of Hitlerdom. Supposedly this hastens the end of the war since the Nazi’s finances are in ruins.

Q1: Is there something like this in the movie?

Q2: Nothing like this really happened, right? It was just in the movie. Small stashes here and there (mostly after the war). But no big one while the war was effectively still going.

After all, such a stash would be in Bavaria or Austria in all probability. And by the time the Allies reached those areas, starting in mid-April, gold or not, the war was going to end the way it ended. A lot of Nazi gold had already been safely stashed in Swedish banks, anyway. (And moved out later thanks to the Vatican Bank of all people.)

The movie shows the discovery of the large stash of gold in the Merkers mine in Germany. This was a real discovery that happened in April 1945 and got wide media coverage. The picture shown in the Wikipedia article was recreated almost exactly for the movie.

I too thoroughly enjoyed this movie and do not understand all of the negative reactions. The only thing that I thought might have put people off was the episodic nature of the story (it wasn’t just a single band of men taking on actions together, but a group who acted independently with a common purpose). I thought the acting was great (what a tremendous cast) and the story was well told. One of the most common complaints on this board is that a movie wasn’t realistic enough, and yet this film, which seemed determined to tell a historical story without Hollywood embellishment, is being heavily criticized.

I’m just glad Equipoise started this thread, because I wanted to talk about the movie and didn’t feel like jumping into the negative one.

I just found an article from the National Archives about the Merkers stash, with more details:

I saw it, and I enjoyed it. shrug

I read the book and want to see it. Might wait until it goes to the cheap theater.

Thanks for the props, the Merker link and the Archive quote SpoilerVirgin. I’m one of those people who had never heard this story before, and since I’ve seen the movie I’ve done a lot of reading about it. I hadn’t read about that inventory. Wow.

Now I want to read the book, and see The Train. If the movie were to prompt a miniseries at some point in the future I’d watch that too. They barely scratched the surface.

I can’t search and link right now, but I read that one of the reasons Clooney knew about this story and wanted to make the movie is that he’s related to the guy he played. Later I’ll see if I can find the article.

ftg, did SpoilerVirgin’s post help? Not in making you want to see the movie if it doesn’t interest you, but in answering your questions.

I had meant to include the National Archives link in my post.

Nazi Gold: The Merkers Mine Treasure

Ditto, and I’d love it if the miniseries expanded more on the Soviet trophy squads and the perspective the occupied museum staff.

I saw it and merely thought it was okay. To me, it kinda felt like a longer movie that was cut for time. The stuff we saw was pretty good and enjoyable, but I felt like I was missing a lot of stuff. We saw the guys doing a lot of stuff, but I never really got a feeling for what exactly they were doing to find the art. We’d see vignettes of stuff that happened along the way and I’m sure the stuff they were doing most of the time was boring stuff like searching through maps and records, but I wanted to get a little better idea of how exactly they were conducting their search. Instead, we got a musical montage with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, which was really well done but felt a little beside the point because it felt like they’d just recently got over there (even though it was clear that it had been something like six months).

We’d see Matt Damon trying to get Cate Blanchett to talk about the art she knew, but aside from that, I didn’t get a feel for what exactly he was doing in Paris.

But still, I did like the movie as a whole, it just didn’t feel particularly memorable.

I read here that the score was so horrible it practically ruined it all by itself, insinuating itself into every scene to tell you how to feel. Did you guys find the soundtrack distracting?

I liked the movie - an interesting story, reasonably well told. A couple of things I liked - everybody smoked (!), just like they really did at the time. Also, I was glad that Matt Damon’s character didn’t sleep with Cate Blanchett - another reminder that it was indeed a different time!

Don’t you mean Swiss banks?