Friday, April 18, 2014

AWESOME -The LEGO Movie

Let you in on two things.

First up, as a child, my very favourite toy was Lego. We had a box of it that sat behind the dining room door and Lego made up a lot of my free time into my early teens. I made houses and all sorts of things regularly over many years - but this was in the days when Lego came in six colours in bricks with two, four, six, eight and twelve dots on it. There was none of the technical stuff, no special sets - if you were really lucky, you got wheels to make a car. As I was leaving the realms of Lego into the joys of adolescensce, bras, boys and books, new Lego sets were coming out that had all sorts of strange other bricks.

Give me a chance now and I'll sit down with Lego and get absorbed by making something - anything - anytime. I love Lego.

Second tidbit of information. My least favourite word in the English language is "awesome". Hate it. One too many sessions with the guys from the Landmark Forum, I'm afraid.

This morning I went along to see "The LEGO Movie" with Blarney and her nearly four-year-old boys Chance and Lance. The ten a.m. crying session at the Sun Cinema at Yarraville is a delight. Lots of young families with kids. If the boys chose to misbehave, we were in good company.

Thankfully, this wasn't the case. Chance and Lance were on their best behaviour as the film rolled on.


This is not a kid's film. This is a very clever and very entertaining adult's film that kids can watch happily while the adults sit there giggling and snorting into their lattes.

The best way to describe it is it's "Alice in Wonderland" mixed with "The Matrix" with a good deal of modern conspiracy theory and a bit of a moral edge to it.

Blarney and I loved every minute of it. Chance sat there awestruck through the whole film (Chance will end up being an evil scientist one day). Lance wasn't so convinced (Lance has a bit of the rugby 5/8th about him).

Will Ferrell voices one of the main characters - Lord Business - or  President Business in his less evil guise. He's a bit like a mix of Tony Abbott, Tim Wilson and George Brandis all rolled into one - this person who wants the world to be just as he sees it and he will do everything to keep it that way.

Along comes Emmet, a  lowly, lonely construction worker who cannot do anything unless there are instructions. Emmet is the unwitting hero of this whole adventure who somehow becomes the champion of the film.

I won't go into details of the rather thin plot, needless to say, if you mix "The Incredibles" with "Alice in Wonderland" with "The Matrix" you'll get the gist of it.

As a Lego fiend the imagination that was used to come up with this film is incredible. Technically, this flm doesn't put a foot wrong - but it's more than the cinematography. I spent a good part of the film pondering how I could make some of the items on the screen.

The characters are great too, from the gormless Emmet to Wyldstyle, or Lucy as she's known to some, the plucky heroine. Morgan Freeman puts a voice to Vetruvius the wizard, complete with lollypop wand (I'm sure there was one of those in our Lego box. Batman and 1970's generic spaceman were cool too. Oh, and Unikitty - watch out for Unikitty.

What Blarney and I loved about this film was that beneath the pretty colours and the child friendly plot was a moral tale about corporate greed and conformity. As a community we're not encouraged to think outside the square, particularly in big corporate companies. Lego, as a toy, teaches you to use your imagination.

The Lego Movie is a scathing indictment on modern corporate greed and our conformist society.

But with pretty colours, great action and fun and of course, with Unikitty.

The only down side to the film is it's anthem.

"Everything is Awesome".

It's all over the place throughout the film - one of the worst and most insidious ear worms** I've had the misfortune to hear. And it knows it.

"Everthing is Awesome" sticks in your head worse than these songs all rolled into one.



and

and

and

I've put these clips in here just to get rid of the wretched tune from my head.

Highly, highly recommend The Lego Movie. Find the prerequisite child to take along or do what I do and profess to the person at the ticket booth that you're really just a tall twelve-year-old. This is going to be a classic, if it's not banned by our current LNP government for being subversive or for the fact that it's embedded ear worm will drive you nuts.

** Ear worm - from the German ohrwurm "An earworm is a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person's mind after it is no longer playing.[1] Phrases used to describe an earworm include musical imagery repetitioninvoluntary musical imagery, and stuck song syndrome."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Lunatics

Making my way across the city, I was on a mission. Clear my post office box, go and find an ice cream, then make my way to a footbridge.

Easy enough you would think.

The ice cream proved a bit more difficult than I thought. I’ve got my favourite flavours and unfortunately the Tramopline chain at Southbank doesn’t quite cut it, but it was okay. Settling on a Lamington and Violet Crumble scoops I was set. (Really could have done with a Jock’s Chocolate Chilli or Turkish Delight flavour, or maybe green tea or white chocolate and wasabi flavoured scoop – alas not to be)

It was twilight and the bridge was waiting for me.



I had to be on the bridge at 5.46 pm on the evening of 15 April 2014. Call it destiny or something. I needed to be near water and a crossing over point. This bridge was the perfect place.

Knowing I had book group after this auspicious event I was going to hang around for as long as possible.

So there I stood, on the bridge, ice cream in one hand, phone in the other with the Sky Map on the screen looking toward the horizon over the MCG.

Looking down the bridge, there were a few like me, phones in hand, staring into the distance.

“Hi, you’re here from the eclipse?” I asked the guy next to me.
We laughed at each other.
“I’ve come to see it too.” said somebody else nearby.
“Me too – I was here yesterday scoping out possies – this is the place to be. The moon rose right over the “G” last night.”

“Cool!” we chimed pretty much in unison.

So here I was, ice cream in hand with a group of randoms on a footbridge waiting for the eclipse.

As the sky was losing its light, Jonella turned up. She was on her way to book group across the river.

“What are you doing? She asked.

“Hanging out with these randoms waiting for the eclipse.” With that she was introduced to Robbie the IT nerd from Sydney, Joe the lawyer, Peter the business man from Chicago and a few others who I’d been talking to whilst staring out to the MCG.

“You always talk to random people.” she stated.

Only random people who were on the same mission as myself.

Jonella stayed on the bridge. Georgie turned up about five minutes later, joining the gathering crowd standing around facing the east.

Many passers-by asked what we were doing.


“Waiting for the full moon in total eclipse to come out from behind the MCG” was the standard answer. If I was asked I added in that it was right at the top of a cardinal cross between some pretty powerful planets. If they were really lucky I pointed out Mars and Jupiter, because I’m a nerd like that. Some moved on, but many stayed, 

Slowly it appeared. A pink glow just above the trees. At first so faint and then it began it's rose glow as the light faded into a constant deep blue.

The moon glowed pink, deepening as the minutes went by. My photo doesn't do it justice.

Completely and totally mesmerized, the group of randoms stood on the bridge, happily watching this rarity of nature.At one stage, the moon took on a three dimensional perspective. It was like you could reach up into the sky and pluck it down.


We heard about the randoms celestial sightings.

Robbie, the IT guy with the ponytail had been up in far north Queensland for the last total solar eclipse a couple of years ago. The businessman from Chicago told of watching the stars in the Nevada desert.

Me, I've been fortunate enough to see the Aurora Australis - just once, at home as a teenager. I still remember standing out on the back veranda watching the night sky light up.

I also remember watching a brilliant full moon setting over Mykonos Bay from the top of the hill. The moon lit up the bay, the fishing boats bobbing in the gentle breeze. 

Over the years I've seen Halley's comet, shooting stars and partial eclipses. I make a point of watching the night sky. My not so closet nerd loves learning about astronomy - and astrology for that matter. 

So last night, on the footbridge, with some friends and a group of randoms watching this very powerful, very beautiful phenomenon, I felt incredibly privileged. And incredibly lucky. Robbie the IT guy was down in Melbourne on business - if he was in Sydney he wouldn't have seen this event as it was raining up there.

As time went on the moon brightened and the white light began to show through at the edges. By 6.30, the moon's full power was shining through and Jonella, Georgie and I started talking about making our way to book group.

I would have happily stood there and watched until the eclipse was completely over.


We bid a warm goodbye to the lovely randoms on the bridge.

I look at last night as one of the more perfect evenings of my life. 

Okay, I'm a lunatic - somebody effected by the waxing and waning of the moon. I feel the power of the full moon. It can effect my moods - though I'm aware of this rather than succumbing to the edge that the full moon provides.I have many friends who feel the same - full moon, you feel a bit ratty, moody, empowered, on edge... whatever it does, the moon has you in its thrall. 

I'm also aware that the busiest nights in police stations and hospitals are those around the three nights when the moon is at it's fullest.

Last night I knew I had to watch this most special event - to pay homage to this inconstant constant in my life. I also needed to be on water at the time. The footbridge was the only place to be.

I am so very grateful that I had the opportunity to share it with good friends - and new friends as well. 

It's times like this I recognise that I am truly blessed.



Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel - Quirky Brilliance

I've just checked RottenTomatoes.com and it's not just me.

The movie rating website gives The Grand Budapest Hotel a 90% wonderful.

We're in agreement.

This is the best film I've seen this year, just surpassing "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" in greatness. Loved every quirky, strange, glorious, camp, rompy over the top minute of this Wes Anderson soon to be classic.

To preface this, I've started on a temporary job and at the base of the building is an arthouse cinema. I finished work at 4.45 and made it into the cinema as the trailers were starting, not that I needed a cinema fix, I just wanted to see this and have done since I saw the adverts for it a few months ago.

For those who don't know about Wes Anderson, he's the writer / director behind movies like "The Royal Tannenbaums" and "The Darjeeling Express". He's got a stable of actors with whom he likes to work - Owen Wilson, Bill Murray and Adrien Brody to name a few. His films are filled with a lot of pastiche, tableau scenes, over the top acting, dysfunctional families and the ensuing hilarity that all of these features bring.

This type if cinema isn't for everybody. The plot is pretty thin, the character tend to be stock and there is nothing remotely realistic about the film, which is why I loved to whole scenario.

The film centres around the life of the concierge of the Grand Budapest Hotel back in the thirties. Told from the point of view of the owner of the hotel and one time Lobby Boy, Zero, we follow M. Gustave and the loyal Zero as they try to discover who murdered one of the hotel patrons.

For me, Ralph Fiennes stole the show as M. Gustave. When I think of Ralph Fiennes the two things that come to mind are the mile high club and Voldemort, but he's actually a great actor who normally does darker, heavier films. He blew me away in "The English Patient". He was allegedly fantastic in "Schindler's List."not that I've seen it (on my list, just need somebody to watch it with). In this film he looks like he's having a hoot, playing the over the top M.Gustave. M.Gustave is somebody we'd all love to be for a day. He's a cultured ratbag. I will not say anything more about it.

The cameos in this film a truly inspirational. Willem Dafoe as the creepy contract killer, the never dead Jeff Goldblum as the elderly victim's lawyer. Adrien Brody as the victim's son and a plethora of Wes Anderson's stable in small but integral roles.

Most of all the cinematography is just divine. Gloriously shot, it's rich in colour and form. The hotel, in it's current form and in it's former glory jump off the screen.

The film had me cheering, cursing, gasping and doing to odd spit take as it continued it's scurrilous ride around the mythical country of Zubrowka, which looks like a bit of mix between Poland and Transylvania.

Okay, it's a bit camp, a lot silly and completely unbelievable, but coming out of the cinema I called my mum and recommended it to her, more for the fact that it's light, fun and glorious to see.

It's out on limited release around Australia at the moment. Hunt it down and go enjoy yourself for a couple of hours.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Movie Review: Noah - "Smell the Fart" acting at its best

Australian's have a dreadful habit of claiming things that originate from New Zealand for our own. Pavlova, Split Enz, Phar Lap, Keith Urban, just to name a few.

I've long been of the opinion that Russell Crowe, another Kiwi born "Australian" is quite welcome to piss off back to Taupo or wherever the hell he came from when ever he likes. It's been long enough. He's had his time.

The movie "Noah" is an adequate reason for him to bugger off back to where he came from. If I was feeling even more mean spirited it's an adequate reason to revoke his permanent residency.

Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh.

I loved him in Brides of Christ some 25 years ago. He was very good in "Romper Stomper", "LA Confidential" and "A Beautiful Mind". He wasn't too bad in "Les Miserables" either, playing Javert, a cop hell bent on slapping Hugh Jackman's character in the clink. Still think the best part of that film was when dear Rusty jumped off the bridge near the end of the film.

For the rest of his films, Russell Crowe gets to play this tough guy with a marshmallow centre that gets to wield a sword or a gun and puff up his chest a lot, all the time getting to give withering looks at the camera from over his shoulder.

Yep, you got it, I'm not really a Russell Crowe fan.

Having a couple of discount movie vouchers up my sleeve, I grabbed my friend the Naughty Librarian and went along for a Friday afternoon showing. This wasn't a film I'd pay full price for. I'm glad I've seen it. I'm glad we didn't go see it 3D as I think we would have got seasick, but as films go it's a funny one - funny peculiar, not funny comedic.

There are bits of it I liked.

There are bits that had me wanting to stand up and scream "Cut the wank you pretentious snotbag!" and throw the hard popcorn bits at the bottom of the bucket at the screen.

The pretentious stuff is not Rusty's fault. That stuff I will lay in the hands of the director, Darren Aronofsky, director of both "Black Swan" and "The Fighter", the former of these films still has my jury out - a work of art or pretentious crap. I don't think I'll ever make up my mind on that.

On the good side of things, the film gives a completely different spin on the Noah story. The cinematography is brilliant and some of the concepts, like the building of the ark and the earth bound angels are excellent. The ark was great, seriously cool stuff going on there, as was the scenery which I believe was filmed partly in Iceland. Wonderful stuff to take in, a bit like the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy on spots.

The movie sort of sticks to the story in the Bible as I remember it from Sunday School. Noah good man, descendant of Methuselah has three sons. He and his family have to gather up all the innocent animals and save them from the flood.  They build the ark, it rains for forty days and nights, then they send out a dove who comes back with a branch and there's a rainbow and they start the world anew, but not after Noah gets an attack of the guilts, does a David Hasselhoff and gets messy drunk and his son, Ham, the sensitive one, sees him naked and he gets banished because of this.

I liked how they answered the question I've always had about the ark - like what did they do with all the manure? And how did you feed that many animals for over forty days and nights with the feed on board. That got answered and that was pretty good.

That's where my liking of the film stopped.

The acting was if the "smell the fart" variety for most of the characters. (See below for a proper description)


There were these photo montages that sort of worked in places.

The huge environmental bent I liked, but I wasn't so fond of the preachy tone the whole movie took.

And I know that they put Ray Winstone as Tubal Cain in for a bit of dramatic effect, but first of all, I don't remember Tubal Cain in the Noah story  - please forgive me if I'm wrong, but since when did Tubal Cain stow away on the ark? And really, two middle aged men knife fighting amongst the animals on the ark. Hmmmm, sorry, that one didn't wash.

"Noah" is a film that I'd normally avoid. Thinly veiled environmental allegory, well-known story, huge effects, slightly dodgy acting with holes the size of the one in the ozone layer when it comes to plot and substance. A bit like "Titanic" you know exactly what's going to happen - it was just a matter of how and when.

The Naughty Librarian and I walked away a little flummoxed. We agreed that we wouldn't pay full price to see it, though we were glad we got to witness the effects.

But that was about it.

And I'm still very much of the opinion that Russell Crowe should piss off back to Taupo or where ever it is he comes from. I'll hold no ill will if he chooses to do that in the near future. Maybe he can take Lleyton Hewitt with him when he goes.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cuban Fury

Despite the fact that I don't dance, or at least, I don't dance in public, I occasionally enjoy the odd dance movie and sometimes the odd dance show - though Dancing with the Stars has no appeal whatsoever.

I do however, love a good English film. What's not to love. Underdogs, banter, strange relationships with drinking too much alcohol as the norm, strange characters... the list of endearing qualities is nearly endless.

So when I saw Cuban Fury advertised it was quickly put on my must see list. Fat bloke Salsa dancing - how bad could it be?

Coming from the stable that brought the world "Sean of the Dead" one of the best zombie films ever made, along with "Run Fat Boy, Run", another film I can completely relate to, it goes along a fairly set path. Chubby fellow, attracted to girl well out of his league ("Like she's a butterfly and I'm a parsnip...") goes out of his way to get the girl. Combine this with the stock characters of the flaky sister and the douche canoe of the workmate, played with aplomb by Chris O'Dowd, and you have a good two hour diversion.

I have a bit of a connection to this film as in my twenties I shared a flat with a fellow who was a dancer. Dancers are another subset of humanity, just like left-handers, redheads and engineers. My flatmate would travel the length and breadth of London to go to his Ciroc meets. He'd practice, partnerless, in the lounge room in his socks. He was forever trying to get me to come along to these dance meets. As a non-dancer I had no desire to do this.

But I get the dancer mentality regardless. As a Shakespeare buff, people look at me the same way as they looked at my flatmate when he talked about dancing.



"The Parsnip" Nick Frost's character, Bruce, was a dancer in his teenage years who was mercilessly bullied before a major contest and never danced again. Bruce is a bit of a pitiful character, bullied about work by the work wanker, played with aplomb by Chris O'Dowd. Things heat up when the new boss, a woman, an attractive woman, comes into the engineering firm in which they work. The boss is also into Salsa dancing.

What follows is an hour a half of light entertainment. Perfect Friday night fodder. Underdog made good. The Parsnip subtly goes after the butterfly. The sleazy fellow gets his comeuppance. It's all there.

The highlights for me in this fun but formulaic film were NIck Frost's affable and slightly gormless Bruce and Ian McShane (Lovejoy, Deadwood) as his oily dance teacher, Ron Parfait. He's just magic.

This film I will place firmly in the group of movies that you can sit and enjoy without thinking too much. I'd take my mum to see it. She'd love it. Have to say, I really enjoyed it too. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Just like riding a bike

A couple of years ago I entered a short course triathlon, more for the experience than anything else. The thing that freaked me out the most was the cycling leg - mainly because I hadn't been on a bike since I was a kid. Needless to say, getting back on a bike is really one of those things that you don't forget.

After a minute or so you get your balance back and you're back into it. Getting your confidence on the road or bike track is another matter, but riding a bike is one of those things that you never forget.

It was like when I got behind the wheel of a car after four years of living in London without one. It comes back in an instance.

I'm in between jobs at the moment so I'm doing a few things that I don't normally get to do at the moment. I've been going into these situations with some trepidation, but it appears that there are some things you just don't forget.

Here's a few of the things I've worked out I can still do quite happily.

Use a sewing machine:

I've been blessed with a chest which requires industrial scaffolding to allow me to walk, let alone run comfortably. As you can imagine, industrial scaffolding doesn't come cheap. Another thing about industrial scaffolding is that two parts of the bra will go quickly - the underwires and the hooks and eyes that keep them strapped to your body.

In the weeks before I went to Bali, two of my favourite and most comfortable bras went at the back. To replace them would cost a lot. Having some time being between jobs, I contacted a friend of mine, Effie, who has a mending and embroidery store out in the suburbs. After scouting around a couple of sewing stores (never let me back into Lincraft or Spotlight again, seriously, I'll buy the place out)  I found some new fasteners, drove out to Effie's shop and she fixed them for me for a nominal fee, a coffee and a chat. I was thrilled with the result.


 (One of my bras - image courtesy of www.coloribus.com)

The next day I found another bra, a rather sorry looking sports bra, also gone at the hooks and eyes. A new back panel would give them a few more months of ware.

Rather than take them down to Effie, I traipsed back to Spotlight and found another panel and called Jonella. Could I borrow her sewing machine for ten minutes or so.

That night, I dropped around to Jonella's after the gym. I'd got everything ready, pinned on the new hooks and eyes ready to sew them on.

It was then I realised that the last time I used a sewing machine was at university.

Like riding a bike, it all came back easily. I used to make a lot of my own clothes at high school, it amazing how much muscle memory using a sewing machine uses.

The bras were fixed in five minutes, and I'm thinking about making things once again.

Stargazing

How often do you really look at the stars? In Bali I'd fallen into the habit floating in my private pool at the end of the holiday to check out the stars while skinny dipping at night. It was a fantastic thing to do.

On Sunday I was round at Blarney and Barney's. Blarney is back in Ireland at the moment after the passing of her mother, so I offered Barney to come round on Sunday night and make dinner for him and the boys. Ended he had a few friends over for a barbeque.

At the end of the night, after everybody had gone home I was talking to Barney, his mum (who's over helping him keep Chance and Lance in line) when something came up about stars. It was twilight by now.

"Hey, Lance, want to see if we can see some stars?"
"Okay." His chubby hand grabbed mine and we went out into the front yard."
We looked about and I spotted Venus over the roofs of Spotswood and pointed it out to him.
"Wow! Where are the rest of them?" he asked.
"Ah, it's a bit early. When it gets early they will come out. But there are clouds about, that hides them."
"I want to see more stars!"

By this time, a few more came out. Mars, Jupiter, Alpha Centauri came into view as the evening deepened. These were pointed out as well.

"Come on, inside. It's time for you two to have a bath and go to bed."
"We want to see more stars!"
"Not tonight, They're hiding behind the clouds."
"Why?" they asked in unison.
"Because there are clouds. When you go down to Grandpa's next, have a look at the stars down there. The stars are great down at Grandpa's." Grandpa live in Tasmania where the nights are darker than the Melbourne CBD. How can you explain a light leakage to a three-year-old?
"Where do the stars go in the day?" Asked one of them.
"They're always there. It's just too light to see them.
"But we saw stars tonight?"
"Actually, we saw Venus. Venus is a planet." I told them.

Happy with this, they went inside to tell Barney and his mum what they saw.

I've always been fascinated with astronomy (and astrology) It was so lovely to show the boys the night sky. It's one of those cute little moments that I treasure.


 (Van Gogh - Starry Night)

A few other things I've been doing now I'm off.

Spin class - or 45 minutes of sweaty torture on a stationary bike. I always think I can't do a class. Turns out I can. I'm fitter than Allan in this clip - thank goodness. I can walk afterwards without issue.


Lunching

The girls at Sparks and Ladders used to call me Lady Lunchalot. I've been out to a lot of lunches with friends in the last two weeks. Thank goodness. I've missed being in the city, feeling alienated because I didn't have access to my friends.



(Image courtesy of www.paintersoflouisville.com)

Sleeping

Seven hours of sleep each night is doing me the world of good. I normally manage on six when I'm working. It's been a long time.

Working on Losing Weight

It's time to bite the bullet. Watching what I eat and exercising at the moment. After working out that I'm going to have to get myself into a French Maid's costume for a celebratory Rocky Horror performance I've been very, very good with my food.

Okay, I was born to be Magenta. Still, Magenta has never had back fat and bingo wings.


I have some work to do.

It's still to be decided if I turn up to Rocky Horror as I used to back in the mid-nineties. It's not the same if you don't throw rice at the wedding....


Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Monuments Men

Movie Review: The Monuments Men

Despite some fairly dodgy reviews that came out saying that his was a bit like Dad's Army with Art, or Ocean's Eleven with Nazis, I took myself along to this on Friday afternoon. One of the wonderful things about being between jobs is that you can take yourself along to an afternoon movie.

Having my expectations lowered by a rather few bad reviews, I went along very happily as I had a free ticket up my sleeve. I don't mind seeing not so good films if they're discounted.

Regardless, I came away two hours later pleased I'd gone along.

Okay, I will attest to the the fact that I love movies and books about the second world war. I'm also a sucker for Matt Damon, George Clooney, Bill Murray, Hugh Bonneville and John Goodman. I'm also a sucker for art and art history.

The premise of the story, a crack team of art historians is called together to help save the great art of Europe which has been stolen and hidden away by Hitler at the back end of the second world war. These men, all over forty, get the call to go into battle zones in an attempt to find the lost treasures. Matt Damon's character is based in Paris, sent to gather information from Kate Blanchett's character, a gallery curator hell bent on saving the treasures.

Okay, it's a bit of a hotch-potch of a film, flipping from one mission to another as the group break apart to search for information on these great piece of art, including the Van Eyk altarpiece of Ghent. Most of these pieces had been buried in mines around Germany ready for inclusion in a planned Fuhrermuseum if the German's had won the war. Needless to say, this didn't happen and this team were sent to find the art before Hitler's men destroyed it all.



(The Ghent Altarpiece, courtesy of Wikipedia)

There are tragedies. There are some laughs. I found the whole film very entertaining, but then again, I'm somebody who 'visits' paintings as a matter of course on my holidays. I've made it to San Gimingnano to see frescoes in a church, just as I've spent hours scouring galleries, sitting in front of paintings thoroughly flummoxed, awe struck by the beauty in front of me. When in London, an afternoon is normally spent at the Sainsbury's wing gawping at the Da Vinci Cartoon. Amazing stuff, but this is my foible.

Some of the biggest tragedies, apart from the human tragedy of what happened during the second world war was the outright destruction of some of the world's greatest art at the hands of the Nazis.  The history surrounding this movie is fascinating and I'm keen to track down the book to find out more.

What was vaguely annoying about the film was some of the relationships the film chose to focus on - inparticular, the Bill Murray and Bob Balaban character grated at times. They played themselves, So be it. This was minor and forgivable as after some of these sections, the action hotted up.

What the movies lacks is a bit of cohesion. George Clooney loves climbing up on his soapbox at times and there are times when this film feels a little bit preachy. Personally, I don't mind this as it's things I'm interested in and to the most point agree with. I really do believe that Art is part of the make up of humanity. It provides a starting point to who we are. It reminds us that we are more than just flesh and blood. Art is VERY important to us all, no matter how many people have never set foot in an art gallery.

It was because of this that I really enjoyed the film. For most other people, I'd say get it out on DVD

I liked the very end of the film too,where a group of officials were asking Clooney if it was worth the waste of life to liberate these items. Clooney's father plays his older self in a cameo part believes that it was.

I agree with him entirely. I'm also looking forward to getting my hands on the book to find out more.