Screening Room Movies at Home: “The Monuments Men,” “Pompeii”

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Available at your local video store or for digital download on Tuesday, May 20.

Columbia Pictures (Sony)

George Clooney’s “The Monuments Men” is a perfectly respectable, well-produced and reverent salute to the men who worked diligently in an effort to save priceless art from the Nazis. Dramatically, however, it sputters like an old WWII Jeep.

Clooney wrote, directed, produced and stars in this compelling true story, and he brought in a great cast that includes Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Jean Dujardin.

While it's a well intentioned and beautifully produced historical epic with a Hollywood sheen, “The Monuments Men” is a bit dull, never quite generating the excitement and intensity the subject matter deserves. Plus, it never seems quite gritty enough for a war movie. While sincere, "The Monuments Men" will never be mistaken for a great work of art.

Shawn says, "It's solid but missing something. This little known story deserves a better movie."

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

2) POMPEII (PG-13)
Tri-Star Pictures (Sony)

‘A hunka, hunka burnin’ love’ could have served as the theme song for “Pompeii,” a third-rate sword and sandal epic surrounded by first-rate special effects. Kit Harington from TV’s “Game of Thrones” plays a Celtic gladiator brought to the ill-fated Italian city of Pompeii in 79 AD to fight for his life. He finds a local politician's daughter to fall in love with just before the fireworks begin.

Everything about the movie is campy except for the impressive production values, which are admittedly spectacular. Keifer Sutherland chews the scenery as a nasty Roman officer and director Paul W.S. Anderson, best known for the "The Resident Evil" movies, thinks subtlety is a dirty word.

The over-the-top visuals are the only reason this movie exists. If you decide to see it, you'd better make sure your home entertainment system has all the bells and whistles to make it worth your while. Otherwise, "Pompeii" just fizzles.
Shawn says, "Silly and over the top. Everything about it just seems forced."

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags

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