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The Monuments Men

The film is based on a documentary book by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter. It is all about the greatest treasure hunt in history. Events unfold in the years of World War II, when Adolf Hitler came to power. He visited Italy and was just amazed at the beauty of this city. Perhaps at this time he decided to assemble the largest collection of art objects. Whatever it was, his art critics were secretly conducting an inventory of museum treasures from various European cities. Well, everyone knows about what happened to these values ??in the future: the agents of the Third Reich did not disregard any museum or private collection.

However, The Monuments Men (2014) movie tells not about them, but the heroes of the war who are rarely mentioned in history books. This is the story of the art critics who voluntarily put on uniforms to move with the army often being on the front line to save the works of Rubens and Vermeer, Rembrandt and Van Dyck. The search for these treasures demanded from them not only courage, but also exceptional detective abilities. That is why the film based on the documentary book (very wittily written), turned out to be more fascinating than any thriller. Great cast, interesting directorial finds, beautiful camera work – this is something that is worth watching. It is one of the most important productions proposed in 2014. And it’s not just the artistic merits of the movie. It brings us back to one of the most important topics about which lately is not often remembered and used to say quite rare. Well, the story about courage – this is true in any era.

The Monuments Men is based on true events about the greatest worldwide hunt for precious treasures in the whole history. In those days when there was a severe war, some people who were engaged in a variety of art and artifacts would come together in a few groups in order to save at least something. For example, works of art of the greatest painters that somehow were stolen by the Nazis and the best part was specifically destroyed, but not all objects of art were destroyed, and before the Nazis have time to destroy them, they need to hurry. A small group of people need to have time and patience to find and to pick up all the expensive artifacts as quickly as possible.

George Clooney has left only the most famous masters: Michelangelo, Picasso, Rembrandt – in short, only recognizable “brands”. Clooney’s art critics behave as if they are not scientists, but enthusiastic amateurs: we won’t hear any curious and original thinking about the art. And when you consider that Clooney caricatured the stereotypes concerning his nationality in each character, it becomes clear that the film in front of us is intended to be a hit of the movie world. No more and no less.

Gravity

Alfonso Cuaron is the kind of director who can inspire strong emotions- positive and negative- from audiences, simply by being attached to a film. The Mexican director has been nominated for three Oscars and has brought home a total of 29 awards for films as different as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the dystopian Children of Men and the steamy Y Tu Mama Tambien.

Cuaron’s unique visual style and dark humor have helped cement him a place of honor among many American film audiences, and his skills have matured with each successive film. The style is not for everyone, though, and plenty of viewers find themselves feeling exhausted or disoriented by the ambitious storytelling.

All of which makes it supremely interesting that Cuaron’s newest film, Gravity, has been heralded as “the best space film ever done” by James Cameron, and Guillermo del Toro called it “completely mind-blowing.” With praise like that from two huge names in Hollywood, it’s clear that Gravity is something special– but what can movie audiences really expect from it?

What is Gravity?

If you haven’t heard about the movie previously, don’t worry: You don’t know much less about it than the rest of us. The film’s official trailer does little to reveal much of the plot. Instead, it simply features one long, uncomfortably tense scene between a pair of astronauts – played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney – as they attempt to make a repair outside of a spaceship. A piece of floating debris hits Bullock, sending her reeling, and she tumbles away into space.

Until recently, that’s basically everything audiences knew about the film.

Now that Gravity has hit film festivals and has been released in theaters, everyone who watches it seems to have only great things to say, but details of the story are still maddeningly vague. From the film’s IMDB page, we know that the film is a survival story set in space, and it’s billed as a techno-thriller. And from what we’ve seen of the trailer and reviews from Cameron and other industry giants, it’s quite clear that Cuaron’s pulled out all the stops to make this a visually stunning cinematic event.

Gravity

A Technological Feat

Gravity, which should have been an easy story to film, reportedly took Cuaron four and a half years to make because it demanded technology that did not yet exist. Instead, his team had to innovate new solutions to create the effects.

When watching the trailer, the graphics are so beautifully rendered that the viewer is completely oblivious to how the film was made: with two actors suspended in harnesses inside a 9 by 9 foot chroma-keyed cube. From a technical perspective, then, it’s no wonder that other filmmakers are praising the film as a marvel of cinematography; Cuaron’s managed to accomplish something that no other space movie has done successfully, and it may come to be held up in film school as a hallmark of the genre.

Most space films spend a rather limited amount of time actually in space. They take place instead on the deck of a spaceship or surface of a planet, with the occasional CGI or stock footage establishing shot of the universe to put things in perspective. By and large, these movies were constrained by the limitations of a sound stage and what type of sets could be built. The real vastness of space is something the audience must accept and remember but never really see in its full glory.

Cuaron’s film doesn’t seem to do that. Gravity appears to be giving us more space than ever. His signature long takes and wide-angle shots are meant to portray both the enormity of space and the intimacy of personal stories, and the reviews so far suggest that he’s perfectly achieved this goal. Undoubtedly, we’ll see something new in Gravity, and that newness certainly earns it some of the praise it’s received so far.

Gravity

Story-wise, the film seems to be breaking some new ground as well. The overwhelming majority of space stories have been science fiction tales that use space travel metaphorically or as a backdrop for another type of story. Gravity seems to be a more realistic tale, a film that works within the framework of existing space technology. It appears to be taking the well-worn path of the survival story and planting it in a new atmosphere. If it can deliver something new to the genre, it might be truly interesting.

Will it live up to its hype? Go see it and decide for yourself. Though it may be both technically proficient and visually stunning, its strength will ultimately lie in the quality of its plot and performances. If the story can carry its visuals and provide a framework for all of Gravity‘s innovations, Cuaron’s movie might just earn a position alongside the other great space dramas of all time.

new films coming out on 9.3.10

This weekend we have a surprisingly good weekend of new movie releases regardless of the end of the crazy summer season of blockbusters. The four new big movies couldn’t be more different, and while I still have films from the last few weeks that I want to see (Scott Pilgrim, The Expendables), I also sorta want to see some of these. We’ll start with the film that is most likely to get an Oscar nomination…

The American
Directed by Anton Corbijn, this action thriller that stars George Clooney as an American assassin that is being hunted in Italy while on his last assignment.  It is a story that has been told many times, but I trust George Clooney. He usually has a great eye for characters and has been on a great streak with his acting (Michael Clayton, Up in the Air, Fantastic Mr. Fox). I’m not familar with Corbijn, and from the look of his IMDB he has more experience in directing concerts and music related projects. The flick co-stars Irina Björklund.

Machete
Robert Rodriguez’s spoof trailer turned movie is the one I’m most excited about this weekend! It is an over the top b-action/horror/crime/thriller that stars one of film’s biggest badasses, Danny Trejo, as Machete.  Machete is an ex-Federale who launches a brutal rampage of violence after being betrayed by an organization that hired him. The flick co-stars Robert DeNiro, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, Don Johnson, Cheech Marin, and Lindsay Lohan.

Going the Distance
Next up is the long distance romantic comedy Going the Distance. The movie stars the on again/off again real life couple of Justin Long and Drew Barrymore, along with Christina Applegate, and Always Sunny‘s Charlie Day (who needs to be in more films!). The trailer was cute, and while it didn’t fully pull me it, it pulled in my wife who wants to check it out. A perfect dinner and a movie date movie. The flick is about two lovebirds that try to keep their romance alive regardless of living across the country from each other.

The Tillman Story
Last up is a documentary by Amir Bar-Lev that focuses on Pat Tillman, a pro football player who left a multimillion-dollar contract to join the military in a time of war and how the government manipulated his death into a tool for propaganda.

Will you be going to the movies this weekend?

The Pit v3 Logo

Hey everyone, trying to keep things fresh with a new logo as we approach the end of the year. TV is mostly taking a break, but this is about the time we get a big push in theaters. We have at least 5 big films hitting theaters on Christmas alone.

  • I’m still shaking my head over the success of New Moon.  The sheer fact that the movie could open so huge when the first film was easily one of the most poorly put together films in recent memory disappoints me.  The only bright side is the fact that they might make Breaking Dawn, which sounds hysterical.
  • This week I’ll be seeing Up in the Air in theaters, and so should you. Jason Reitman + George Cloony = Awesome.
  • Funny Video: The gang over at College Humor take on a Grease classic.
  • Interested in casting your favorite stars and releasing your dream movie? Then you should try Hollywood the Game. The Internet’s longest running Hollywood Simulation Game and Community.
  • This week from DC Comics is Superman: World of New Krypton #10.  The series, which pulled Superman from Earth, has been one of the best stories featuring big blue in a long time. Maybe all he needed was to be away from the constant crossovers of the DCU. You can check out a preview for the new issue on DC Comic’s official site.
  • FOX’s 24 will be returning for two nights of episodes on Sunday, January 17th at 9pm and Monday, January 18th.  The network’s main powerhouse American Idol will be returning the same week (also for two episodes), on Tuesday, January 12th and Wednesday, January 13th at 8pm.

ER Final Episoe George Clooney

Tonight at 9pm on NBC is the series finale of one of primetime’s most successful series, ER.  In the final episode of the medical drama, Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle) opens a medical facility to help Chicago’s less fortunate and old friends from County General past and present show up to support him.  Who will show up? In addition to all of the regulars, I hope that all of the first season’s cast, including George Clooney, Juliana Margulies, Sherry Stringfield, Eriq LaSalle, and Anthony Edwards (in a photo or as a ghost maybe?). What better way would there be to close the series, than getting one last look as the actors that made the series what it is.

Also on tonight…

8PM

  • ABC: In The Motherhood/Smantha Who? (Comedies)
  • CBS: Survivor: Tocantins The Brazilian Highlands (Reality)
  • CW: Smallville (Sci Fi Drama)
  • FOX: Bones (Crime Drama)
  • NBC: ER Retrospective (Clips)

9PM

  • CBS: CSI (Crime Drama)
  • CW: Supernatural (Supernatural Drama)
  • FOX: Hell’s Kitchen (Reality)

10PM

  • CBS: Eleventh Hour (Sci Fi Drama)

Welcome to a new edition of The Pit.

  • This past week, George Clooney returned to ER. Did ya miss it? Well, you have one more day to check it out for free online. (NBC)
  • Looking for a community of writers/filmmakers? Or how about a Hollywood simulation? (Hollywood the Game)
  • Wow, The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon did good [really good] in its first week. Will he be able to keep up the momentum? (Variety)
  • Did you see Jon Stewart lay the smack down on Jim Cramer?  The little bald man didn’t see it coming… (CNN)
  • Check out the full first issue of Image Comics’ Proof, from Alexander Grecian, Riley Rossmo, and Tyler Jenkins. (Image Comics)

Have a wonderful Sunday!

It is time for another addition of the Weekly Pit. Sit back, brew a cup of coffee, and enjoy!

  • And while we are on the subject of Sci-Fi, EW picks their top 20 favorite Sci-Fi shows. (EW)
  • What would Ferris Bueller’s day off had been like, if it was his last? (College Humor)
  • George Clooney enjoys staring at goats? (Buzz Sugar)
  • I’m not sure what my fascination with top lists is this week, but here is an interesting list of made for TV horror flicks. (Bloody Disgusting)

Tomorrow, we’ll be posting our weekly recap along with some new comic book, TV and film news.

Posted on September 14th, 2008 by ThePit | Leave a Comment
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