Clooney's 'Monuments Men' comes to DVD, Blu-ray

Akron Beacon JournalMay 19, 2014 


    These DVDs were released this week:

    Films: About Last Night (remake of 1980s rom-com starring Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant); Three Days to Kill; Pompeii; McCanick; In Secret (period drama with Elizabeth Olsen and Oscar Isaac); Vampire Academy (based on Richelle Mead's bestselling books); Grand Piano (mystery thriller with Elijah Wood and John Cusack); 16 Acres: The Struggle to Rebuild Ground Zero (documentary); Weekend of a Champion (1972; Roman Polanski documentary about racing great Jackie Stewart competing in 1971 Monaco Grand Prix); The Great Flood (Bill Morrison documentary on the 1927 Mississippi River flood); The Right Kind of Wrong (Canada); Way of the Wicked; John Wayne: The Epic Collection (40 Warner and Paramount films); Like Someone in Love (in Japanese, by Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, Criterion Collection); Crook; The Revengers (1972, William Holden classic); Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley; Sophia Grace and Rosie's Royal Adventure; Arthur Hailey's The Moneychangers (1976); Secrets of the Third Reich (four-part Smithsonian series); Civil War 360 (three-part Smithsonian series); Chased by Dinosaurs (2003); Martial Arts Movie Marathon.

    TV series: Mountain Men: Season 2; Call the Midwife: Season Three; Doctor Who: The Enemy of the World (1967); Waking the Dead: Season Nine; The First World War: The Complete Series (2003); The Abbott and Costello Show: Second Season (1953); L.A. Law: Second Season (1987-88); Dalziel & Pascoe: Season Nine (2009); Duck Dynasty: The Duck Days of Summer; Warehouse: The Complete Series (2009-14, 16-disc set).


Just ahead of Memorial Day, Sony is releasing a different kind of wartime tale, the George Clooney-directed The Monuments Men.

The movie ($30.99 DVD, $40.99 Blu-ray/DVD/digital combo) stars Clooney, who also co-wrote the script, as the leader of a fictionalized version of the real-life teams of art experts who, during the waning days of World War II, tried to save major works from destruction in battle or by the retreating German army.

The film tries to be a thoughtful examination of the importance of culture — much the way Clooney has often looked at cultural issues in his directing projects — but it lacks much passion. It often seems as detached as Clooney's performances can be, even when the story itself calls for intensity.

But Clooney seems to be making an old-school movie, something that would have comfortably fit alongside military adventures in the '60s. It has the expected mismatched team (including John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Hugh Bonneville and Jean Dujardin) and the soaring soundtrack of earlier films. But it is handicapped by tone, some obvious plot turns and an occasionally sluggish pace.

Extras are two making-of pieces on DVD, then more on the Blu-ray, with the latter including deleted scenes.

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