I have been thinking about a culture and entertainment blog. I don’t have a logo for it yet, though I do have a name. In the past, not having a logo led to me not writing/blogging which was a mistake. I am trying to not repeat the same mistakes over and over. So, since I have seen two movies in a movie theater two weeks in a row for the first time in around two years, and enjoyed both of them, I feel a blog about them is warranted. Let’s go!
American Hustle (click images to view trailers) has gotten a great deal of praise and Oscar buzz. I found many similarities between this movie and The Monuments Men. Both are based on true stories. Both have all star casts. Both are classic Hollywood cinema pieces. The Monuments Men however has been getting shit on by critics where as American Hustle is all roses.
I enjoyed both movies equally. I was more emotionally moved by The Monuments Men, probably more entertained by American Hustle. As someone who has formally studied film, I just don’t see why one is considered an Oscar front runner and the other is a one or two star POS. Both films are formulaic. Both stand on the shoulders of genre pieces that have come before them and do nothing to reinvent the wheel. Both are almost exclusively dialog based. Both have happy endings. Both are well acted, well produced, and have quality musical scores.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and personal opinion is not to be confused with law of the land. When it comes to pop culture, even very smart, educated, sophisticated people become immature, ignorant, thick headed bitches. This principle is clearly at play here. I enjoyed both movies. Are either the best film made in 2013-2014? Maybe, depends what your fancy is. I have an equal bias between Bill Murray and Bradley Cooper, they’re both on my hero wall. Perhaps the acting in American Hustle is more intense in one on one scenes, but the ensemble piece paradigm is executed very well in Monuments Men.
I personally enjoyed a WWII movie that was low on nausea induced action scenes. I also enjoyed a movie about New York in the 70s that didn’t involve physical mountains of cocaine and heroin being ingested by the main characters. I enjoyed the historical significance of both of the real people/situations each movie is based on. Both are fresh but familiar, a unique spin on classic American movie formulas. Both are worth a watch, neither is worthy of being confused for the messiah of film and neither tries to be that despite what the lovers and haters of each might have you believe.
Neither depends on the theatre experience so enjoy them on a night in when they get to Netflix. I give them both three stars and recommend the critics of each chill the fuck out. They’re movies, not economic inequality, war, or famine. If you have the luxury of being able to go through the processes of watching a movie, be happy, and enjoy either or both of these quality flicks.