The Monuments Men, Blu-ray (2014)Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, Cate Blanchett Director: George Clooney Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent. [5/20/14] (Blu-ray+DVD+UV/Digital Copy) Video: 2.40:1 anamorphic/enhanced for 16:9; 1080p HD Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA; French Dolby Digital 5.1 Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish Extras: Featurettes: (“George Clooney’s Mission”, “Marshalling the Troops”, “In Their Own Words”and“A Woman Amongst The Monuments Men”); Two deleted scenes; Trailers for “Pompeii”, “American Hustle”, “Stalingrad”, “Gambit” and “A Fighting Man”; DVD copy; UltraViolet digital copy Length: 118 minutes Movie Rating: ***1/2 Video: ***** Audio: ****
Based on true events, The Monuments Men is the story of a group of art scholars and experts who travel to Germany near the end of World War II. This group, who call themselves ‘The Monuments Men’, is led by Frank Stokes (George Clooney) and tasked with a specific mission: to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return those masterpieces to their rightful owners. Their task is made all the more difficult as the location of the stolen artwork is not known so the mission becomes something of a treasure hunt.
While this movie was interesting to watch (given that it is centered upon real-life events), it seemed like a missed opportunity to be a much better film, especially given its talented ensemble cast. The movie drags at times and is overall lacking in emotion. Bill Murray and Bob Balaban contribute a few light moments but there isn’t a large amount of humor or action either. On the plus side, the film looks and sounds beautiful and it is a compelling story that needs to be told. Fans of the movie will certainly want to own the top-notch AV presentation of this Blu-ray disc, but others may want to view this as a rental first before considering a purchase.
The overall high-definition video quality of this Blu-ray is excellent. The video is mastered in 4K and is all the better for it. Images are pristine with exquisite detail. Black levels are rich and deep throughout the movie. Colors are vibrant and warm with fully-saturated hues. Picture defect mastering is perfect with no major flaws or compression artifacts. The overall audio quality is very good. The soundtrack actively incorporates all of the discrete channels into its mix. Dialogue is natural sounding, always audible, and correctly located in the forward channels. Although this a dialogue-driven movie, the surround channels are still moderately active and well-utilized for the sound effects and music score. There are a handful of split rear effects and some directional pans. The low frequency effects channel is smooth and nicely-complements the rest of the audio.
—Calvin Harding Jr.