Tag Archives: Monuments Men

The Best Movies Of 2014

2014 has been a very interesting movie going year for me. While I did not see any movies that would substantiate a worst movies of 2014 list, there have been more than a few that are vying for best movie of 2014.

Honorable Mentions

5. Noah-While this movie tried, it lived up to the title of biblical disaster for several reasons.

4. Get On Up– A biopic is always more interesting when the audience gets to know the whole person, warts and all.  However, that doesn’t mean there can’t be a few scenes that can be saved for the extra’s portion of the DVD.

3. Monuments Men– I like this untold World War II stories, but there was something lacking.

2. Wish I Was Here– A realistic view of adulthood that felt a little too real.

1. Begin Again– Keira Knightley, breaking from her previous BPD (British Period Drama) roles and Mark Ruffalo as a disgraced music exec.

And now the fun begins. (Drum roll please) The top 5 movies of 2014 are….

5. Tie between Philomena and Maleficent– Two women who must go on a journey to re-discover their pasts and who they are.

4. Tie Between Captain America: The Winter Soldier and X-Men: Days Of Future Past– Two excellent comic book movies which could easily stand on their own, but fit in perfectly with the rest of the genre.

3. Belle– A BPD with a woman of color and an engaging true story.

2. The Theory Of Everything– The life story of Stephen Hawking.

1. Ida– This movie is story telling at it’s best.

There you have it folks. My list of the best movies of 2014. See you next year.

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Monuments Men Review- Monumental, Maybe

History is a surprising thing. Something when you think that all of the details have been shared, a new twist appears.

This is Monuments Men.  The movie is based on a book by Robert Edsel, about a group of art specialists who are dispatched to Europe just after the Invasion of Normandy during WWII. Their mission to find and save precious works of art that are in danger of being destroyed by the Nazis.

They are led by Frank Stokes (George Clooney). The motley band of anti heroes include James Granger (Matt Damon),  Bill Murray (Richard Campbell), Walter Garfield  (John Goodman),  Cate Blanchett (Claire Simone), Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban),  Jean Claude Clermont (Jean Dujardin), Sam Epstein (Dimitri Leonidas) and Donald Jeffries (Hugh Bonneville).

Among World War II movies, this is something new and different. It was little long, but I enjoyed the movie. The movie had a fish out of water quality to it, being that the characters that were part of the Monuments Men were not young men in their teens and early twenties, but men old enough to be their fathers.  Cate Blanchett as the only woman, whose character is critical in assisting our heroes in reaching their goals is in the beginning questionable on where her loyalties lie, but it becomes clear as the movie progresses on what she is looking to get out of this journey.

I enjoyed it, I just wish it was a little shorter.

 

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Downton Abbey Series 4 Episode 6 Recap

*-As usual, these recaps contain spoilers. Read at your own risk if you haven’t seen Episode 6.

Upstairs

Can we talk about Mary and Charles Blake in the mud and then eating scrambled eggs, which she made?  That was a rom-com setup if I ever saw one, especially with the pig man conveniently not around when he is needed.  A part of me says that any man that Evelyn Napier, who tepidly attempted to tell Mary that he is attracted to her,  brings to Downton and attracts Mary’s attention should come with a warning sign.  However, Charles Blake is smart, attractive and realistic and he has a Benedict and Beatrice relationship with her.  And of course just as we think that Mary and Charles Blake might be going somewhere, Anthony Gillingham returns and dodges the question about his off screen fiance. Did we honestly think that Julian Fellows would let us off that easily?

Robert has to go to America to bail out Cora’s brother. We all know why Hugh Bonneville wasn’t seen for the rest of the episode. He is in Monuments Men, which I hope to see very soon.

Do you remember that childhood rhyme about the kissing couple? Rose and Jack, sitting in a boat, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes an explanation about why her parents have biracial grandchild.   She also does the walk of shame and evades Rosamund’s questions about why she really in London. Wasn’t there a little movie called Titanic about a doomed couple called Jack and Rose on a boat? I don’t think this will end well.

I like the changes in both Edith and Rosamund’s characters. Rosamund, who previously was Downton’s resident Yenta, promised Edith her complete support, even if it meant a scandal.

Edith, over the past four seasons has grown from an angry, hurting and vindictive young woman to a mature woman who must make some real life altering decisions. The kudos goes to both Laura Carmichael and Julian Fellows, as both performer and writer to show the audience how this character has grown.  The decision on whether or not to abort her pregnancy just broke my heart.

Some have used the story line as a platform for their pro-life views.  The way I see it, Julian Fellows did not use Edith’s decision as a platform to share his opinion on abortion as either pro-life or pro-choice.  I don’t think a recap of a television show is the right place to share one view’s on this topic.  However, I will say that the decision she made was the  one she thought was best for her, her future and the fetus that will become her child.

That being said, let’s go down a to a lighter topic.  Isobel plays Florence Nightingale to  Violet, who does not want to show her son that she is sick. Forced to go to the political event alone, Tom briefly meets a young woman who might become the next Mrs. Tom Branson?

Downstairs

Bates does not want to go America with Lord Grantham, still worried about his emotionally fragile wife.  Mary convinces her father to bring Thomas instead. While in America, Thomas gives Baxter the task of reporting back to him the reason that he and not Bates was to go to America.

Alfred returns for a visit and Daisy and Ivy are back to the same old argument. Am I the only one who is tired of this?

With the return of Lord Gillingham, comes his valet. While the rest of the downstairs, is laughing, Mrs. Hughes and Bates are both sending death stares toward Mr. Green.  Elsie “Mama Bear” Hughes is back,  not afraid to face Anna’s rapist.

Analysis

Julian Fellows continues to surprise us.  Not only with the decision for Edith to keep the pregnancy going, but also for the scene between Mary and Charles Blake in the pig pen. We haven’t seen that kind of smile from Mary since last series, before Matthew died.  We’re coming to the end of the series, I have a feeling that Julian Fellows has a few more tricks up his sleeve.

Dowager Moment/ Line Of The Week

“Goody, goody.” Violet, playing a game of Gin Rummy with Violet after spending the last few days in bed. Tempered, but still Violet.

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