Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (13)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (5)
| Rotten (8)
| DVD (1)
Regrettably, "Men at Lunch" obsesses over disappearing ghosts instead of the records we already have and the history we should know.
The film feels meandering. Not only does it offer a jumble of ideas that aren't followed through, but it's also structured oddly.
Shots of modern men rebuilding One World Trade Center stirringly evokes the majestic photo's continuing connection to the present.
Relies too much on blarney and not enough on the rich history of New York and photography.
Men at Lunch loses sight of its lede and fumbles away viewer interest. The photo itself says more than this muddled documentary.
Few New York City photos are as familiar or evocative as the one that inspired the documentary "Men At Lunch."
But just as the documentary doesn't really have the goods when it comes to solving the photograph's mysteries, it only skims across the surface of what the picture represents.
Whether it merits a feature-length documentary or a slot on PBS, I'm not sure.
While some interviewees proffer genuine insights worth pondering, these can't balance the film's wayward focus and runaway aggrandisement.
The core image is striking, but it's not quite as "iconic" as claimed. The allusions to 9/11 are unnecessary. But Men at Lunch remains an honourable, worthwhile effort.
By the time an extremely misjudged 9/11 montage swings into view, you'll be wishing they'd just let the photograph speak for itself.
For the record, watching a documentary try and describe New York City while watching it within the city limits is sort of odd but at least we get said descriptions in the dulcet tones of Fionnula Flanagan in the documentary "Men at Lunch." And as maddeningly vague as it is with the identities of the 11 men photographed having lunch on September 20, 1932(two definite and two more probables from Ireland) 800 feet above the ground at the construction site of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, that's not really the point here.(There is a valuable reminder here of the photographers who were also risking life and limb to get those photos, however staged they might have been.) What the documentary is really after and does so in fine form is to salute the work and lives of all of the anonymous ironworkers who still put their lives on the line everyday to build the city.(Of the two Irish workers identified, one died back in Ireland at a ripe old age, the other one not so much in New York City.) So, after the movie was over and I was walking south down Sixth Avenue, I tipped my hat towards the new One World Trade Center and all the workers there.
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