First Trailer for THE MONUMENTS MEN

The Monuments Men is one of those movies I knew I wanted to see long before there were any trailers or promotional material for it. Based simply on the cast and the intrigue of George Clooney returning to the directors chair to tell a story that seems perfectly suited for Spielberg's filmography, I was hooked. The film is based on the true story of an unlikely World War II platoon composed of museum directors, curators, and historians who find their pleasure in works of art and literature not in battle and bravery. Still, FDR tasks them with the job of going into Nazi Germany and recovering pieces of art before they are destroyed and lost forever. Clooney's last foray behind the camera was 2011's Ides of March which was a fine enough political thriller while this film seems to be operating on a much bigger scale. While the first trailer isn't too impressive as I wasn't inspired, filled with laughter or heartbreak, and inherently felt no immediate reaction to it whatsoever I am still intrigued and hope that the final product might offer all of these things. With actors like Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Bill Murray making up the team of historians it is hard to worry too much and Clooney is also starring along with directing the picture so there is still much to be optimistic about, I simply expected more from the first look. There is nothing of intrigue here that would lead me to want to see the film were it filled with actors and makers who didn't have the resumes these guys do. I do like the look of the film as it seems Clooney and cinematographer Phedon Papamichael (The Descendants) have captured a tone that elicits the harsh atmosphere of war and the palette of an old picture while still having the sharpness of a present film. The music doesn't fit as I imagined something more symphonic to go along with the story, but the rapport between the actors is also of a lighter tone than I expected, so not getting what we want isn't always a bad thing as I'm sure it will be a joy to just see Goodman, Balaban and Murray play off one another. Let's just hope this is indeed more along the lines of Ides of March (if not better) than Leatherheads as far as quality goes. The film also stars Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, and Hugh Bonneville. The Monuments Men opens on December 18th.