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George Clooney is a movi star. This much I am sure of. Matt Damon? Also a movie star. Combining the two tends to yield a highly enjoyable product. (See: 11, Ocean’s) World War II? A highly bankable subject that his been translated onto the big screen thousands of times. John Goodman and Bill Murray? Comedic icons that have both received acclaim for their parts in dramatic films. Cate Blanchett has won one Oscar, will take home another this year barring a story about her clubbing baby seals, and has been nominated three other times.

So why, then, am I concerned about February’s The Monuments Men? All aforementioned pieces are present in a story I find genuinely compelling. Hitler and Co. are aiming to destroy any evidence that a group of people ever existed. While most WWII movies deal with the physical and literal horrors of Hitler’s regime, this movies appears to tap into a dark, more existential form of derangement. Which is good when you are talking about the subject of a movie.

It’s the release date that has me worried. The movie had buzz as a potential 2014 Oscar nominee but was bumped to the awards graveyard of February, rendering it ineligible for this year’s Academy Awards. Clooney, who directed and stars in the film, told the Los Angeles Times that his production team did not have enough time to complete the visual effects and “If any of the effects looked cheesy, the whole movie would look cheesy.”

So gone too, in all likelihood, are the 2015 Oscar chances for Clooney and friends. There has not been a movie released in February that was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar since Silence of the Lambs was won in 1991. (There have, however, been quite a few notable comedies released over that stretch. Among them, Wayne’s WorldBilly MadisonHappy GilmoreOffice Space and Old School.) Clooney, however, doesn’t seem to share the concern that others may have, worrying that perhaps the movie was not worthy of the acclaim it prematurely received. So perhaps I shouldn’t be either.

In any event, Anthony and I discuss the movie, along with the reboot of Robocop, another offering from Kevin Hart and the bastard Jon Snow taking over the big screen. And at the end, the guys give their thoughts on the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Movies discussed are listed below, in order of when they were discussed. Continue reading