OPENING FILM: Big stars save historic art in ‘The Monuments Men’
by Mark Bialczak - Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Also: Legos on the block, Vampires battling for the world

The art treasures of the world were quite worth the Allied military swiping them from the clutches of the Nazi regime.

In “The Monuments Men,” written for the screen by George Clooney and Greg Heslov from the pages of historic non-fiction by co-authors Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter and directed by Clooney, that leads to a platoon of oh-so-unlikely soldiers to take on the mission.

The art-saviors are played by Clooney, Mat Damon, John Goodman and Bill Murray, to name some of the biggest stars.

The trailer humorously shows them trying to pass the physical tests of basic training. And it also shows them facing fire and danger as they try to save some of the world’s most important pieces that have been stolen by the Nazi party.

Also opening this weekend is “The Lego Movie,” where the animated block heroes try to stop a dastardly Lego villain from gluing the universe together.

As any Lego-lover in our real world knows, the blocks need snapping, not glue, to build the best Lego structures.

The block-buster adventure (there, somebody had to call it that) was written by Dan and Kevin Hageman, and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

Famous voices include Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks and Craig Berry. Other voices include: Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum, Liam Neeson and Shaquille O’Neal.

Fans of the fanged-set will be served the opening of “Vampire Academy.”

Mark Waters directed this comedy-adventure-fantasy story, taken from the pages of the novel by Richelle Mead and written for the screen by Daniel Waters.

Half-vampire/half-human Rose Hathaway (the term is Dhampir), played by Zoe Deutch, is charged with the defense of the Moroi. That’s a group of mortal and peaceful vampires that are attempting to live without pomp in our world. The evil-doers are the Strigoi, blood-thirsty and immortal vampires.

My blood runs cold at the thought.

Box office report

Checking in on the opening flicks first: Twentysomething exploits and angst came in at No. 3, while adult drama placed No. 7 in last weekend’s list of top grossing movies, according to boxofficemojo.com.

That Awkward Moment” grossed $8.74 million with its pal-comedy exploits, and “Labor Day” took in $5.17 million with its whirlwind-five-day-romance.

Holdovers “Ride Along,” at No. 1 with $12.03 million, and “Frozen,” No. 2 with $8.93 million ruled again. Cop-buddy comedy “Ride Along” has now hauled in $92.69 million in three weeks, and animated Ice Age piece “Frozen” keeps chipping away impressively, with an 11-week take of $359.63 million.

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