The Monuments Men (2014)
This is an important WWII story about a bunch of men who knew more about art than war, being tasked with hunting for art treasures behind enemy lines. They were to rescue whatever they could from the Germans who were hoarding and in some cases destroying these works of art.
Featuring an amazing cast including, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, and Bob Balaban. With a cast like that, it can’t help but be entertaining.
My problem with it was that the story, it seemed, was just too big. Even for that cast. The enormity of it just didn’t come through the screen for me.
Still, it is a fascinating story of bravery and dedication to a cause that needs to be told.
Escape from Tomorrow (2013)
A most unusual film. It is about a very surreal family vacation at Epcot Center. It was filmed at the park, in black and white. Doing it this way helped the ambiance of the darkness going on in this most happy and cheerful place. It is stated, up front, that neither Disney, nor Siemens (who held a smaller role), had anything to do with the film. What they had to do to get this made could be another movie. Much like Bowfinger, where they filmed Kit Ramsey, the actor, without him knowing it.
The story is rather difficult to follow. It’s kind of an apocalyptic, Big Brother tale. (Disney does keep very tight surveillance on their parks.) Maybe the story line threads through the dad, as he chases after two adorable young French girls. They lead him to bizarre situations. The places he found himself in were at times humorous, others sci-fi goofy, or downright gruesome. Could it be, especially so, in the contrast of black and white? It seemed to be for me. The blood looked almost more ominous in black. This is not kid fare.
The next morning it seemed to grow on me. Seeing the extras can shed light on the hazier points. I’m still not sure exactly what it was about, but now I think it had something to do with imagination. It was certainly imagination that brought Mickey Mouse to Walt Disney in that dark garage. In this film, nightmares of youth, mixed with the ego, drive, and knowing-too-much paranoid imaginings of adulthood, drive the theme.
As the Disney song states, “When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires will come to you.” Though the road to get there can be pretty scary, maybe Escape from Tomorrow is about being granted a new tomorrow. It’s worth a watch.