This Week In Home Entertainment: Monuments Men, Pompeii And More

By Jessica Rawden 2014-05-20 21:46:29discussion comments
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The Monuments Men Box
The Monuments Men Blu-ray
The Monuments Men is a classic case of over-expectations. The film sports a dream cast and follows one of the most interesting true-life stories from the World War II era. Its writing is solid and its cast is spot-on, but thanks to a few script choices, The Monuments Men never turns into the epic movie experience many viewers were expecting. In fact, perhaps thanks to those bloated expectations, it didnít get the moderately entertaining reviews the film deserved, but that doesnít mean audiences should avoid Sony Pictures Home Entertainmentís Blu-ray release.

Director George Clooney goes old-school with his tale of a group of WWII soldiers fighting to protect famous works of art from the clutches of the Nazis. Despite the urgency of the war efforts, the pace in The Monuments Men is long and winding. The lengthy narrative follows art conservationist Frank Stokes (Clooney), a lieutenant in the Army who assembles a ragtag group of British, French and American individuals to travel around Europe conserving priceless works. With a cast comprised of Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban and Hugh Bonneville, you would think there would be plenty of opportunities for boisterous joke-making, but the setup of the story actually means these moments are few and far between.

In order to save art, it makes sense that the men in the film would split up in order to cover as much ground as possible. However, in the context of the story, when the characters are split into numerous groups, not only is the enjoyable banter cut back on, but the storyline becomes convoluted and there are too many narratives competing for time. Still, despite its faults, The Monuments Men is a worthwhile story, with enough intriguing and amusing moments to keep the average viewer invested through its lengthy 2-hour runtime. As long as audiences donít plan to catch an Oscar-worthy heart-tugger, they should enjoy The Monuments Menís breezy movie experience.

You can order The Monuments Men over at Amazon.

Best Special Feature:
The Monuments Men isnít anything particular special. A lackluster menu page and bonus features make up the disc. Of those, the most interesting award has to go to "In Their Own Words," a short featurette told from the perspective of the real-life Monuments Men (or at least those who are still living). I probably would have enjoyed the extra if it had featured more background historical information, but Iíll take what I can get.

Other Bonus Features:
Deleted Scenes
"A Woman Amongst The Monuments Men"
"George Clooneyís Mission"
"Marshaling the Troops"
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