Tag Archive: Brad Pitt

Movie Review: Fury

fury-review-2Now from what I can tell Fury is not based on any true story. I’m fine with this, not all war movies have to be based on something that really happened. In the last several years we’ve seen a minor come back for war films. David Ayer the director of Training Day brings a gritty vision to a film genre that I believe lost it’s balls recently. Problem is the film almost goes too dark.

Brad Pitt is a stand out in this film. Frankly without him the movie might have really struggled. He is the commanding officer of a tank lead by men who have seen too much combat. They’ve been together for a long time, fought through Africa and France and now find themselves in Germany with their foot on the throat of the Nazi’s.

The rest of the team is made up of “Bible” the religious man of the group played by Shai Labeouf. “Gordo” played by the impressive Michael Pena. Then of course there is “Coon-ass” played by Shane… I mean Jon Berthal. They are paired up with a new kid played by Logan Lerman. They pick at each other and at many times seem like animals. Slowly we see them become brothers. The actors are all fine but really don’t stand out against Pitt.

The best thing about this movie is that there really isn’t any secret mission they go on or anything. They simply lumber forward and fight off desperate Germans. In one scene they fight children armed with rockets. Unlike other movies that try and find some sort of light hearted or meaning to war, Fury makes it clear that war is brutal and disgusting.

My only issue with the movie is its constant mission to be dark. There is no sympathy here in this movie. The balance is just off, at many times I actually disliked Pitt’s crew, that’s fine I guess but it doesn’t balance well with the action. The last almost twenty minutes of the movie the crew fight off a hundred SS soldiers. The violence turns real to suddenly comic book silliness. If you want to go dark and gritty then that should flow right into the action.

That being said the film is still very interesting. Just be prepared this is not a “fun” movie. The violence is brutal and Ayer is never afraid to show it.

Rating: 6/10

Movie Review: World War Z

world war z 2America really loves zombies, so much so we now have different kinds of zombies in movies. There are the originals which are slow and love chewing on flesh. Then in the Dawn of the Dead remake we got fast zombies. In 28 Days Later/28 Weeks Later we got fast zombies that were essentially humans with rabies. The best part of this film is new type of zombie we get here. These zombies could care less about eating flesh, they simply want to bite people once and spread the virus in their blood. For a PG-13 rated zombie film it’s a real nice touch.

We follow Gerry(Brad Pitt) and his family, he used to work for the UN but decided to be a stay at home dad. Then as they try and drive through New York the end of the known world happens as they virus breaks out. The scenes in New York are intense and almost too real. In about seconds things fall apart, people run screaming in every direction, the zombies leap around, no fear or death or pain, they jump through windows  and over each other just to bite any human they can find. Gerry takes his family to New Jersey and they have to hide out in apartment complex, these scenes are also intense, impressive with the lack of violence Marc Foster is able to push up the tension with silence or just leaving most scenes in darkness.

Eventually Gerry and his family are rescued by a friend of his at the UN. They are taken by helicopter to a battle ship where survivors are being taken. From there Gerry is given an ultimatum by the commanding officer, help lead a team to figure out what started this zombie horde or his family gets kicked off the ship. So obviously he agrees to go on the mission. This is kind of where the film starts to run out of gas. The film really hinges on Brad Pitt’s performance, you like him so much you can’t help but cheer him on. Mireille Enos(AMC’s The Killing) plays his wife and is also very impressive. Sadly once they are on the ship she is pushed into the back ground.

Gerry’s first stop is South Korea, he’s not there long before he heads to Israel to find out how they are fairing against the zombies. The movies plot moves so quickly but goes no where. Gerry moves from one action set piece to another without learning anything. Now the fall of Israel is an impressive scene. The one from the trailers where the zombies climb up each other like ants. The scenes are fantastic and frantic. The main issue is that the virus makes no sense and all the action scenes lead to nothing. Gerry learns nothing until he just randomly decides to find a medical facility. I won’t spoil how he comes up with a plan to defeat the zombies, it makes sense but it’s not very complicated and it makes everything that happens in Korea and Israel rather pointless.

The major issue with the film is the virus that is turning people into zombies. I just couldn’t get over the fact that in twelve seconds after being bit you turn into a zombie… That’s impossible. Then later the film just abandons this by having characters say they’ve seen people change in ten minutes and in some cases it took even longer. We never find out where the virus came from or how it spread world wide. The film just chooses to ignore all of this even though Gerry’s first mission is to find out these very things.

Brad Pitt helps make this movie work even though the third act can’t keep up with the first two and when the movie ends you kind of shrug and say “Okay, that was cool.” it really would have helped if the film was rated R. The tension worked really well early on in the film but if there was real danger in violence the movie might stand out more. Also one big battle sequence between soldiers and zombies would have been cool to see too. Over all the movie is a lot of fun and worth your time.

Rating: 6/10

I didn’t really respond or post much about the Golden Globes(Thought they were “alright”). I’ve decided to not stay silent about the Academy Awards though. I’ll be going over the larger categories, listing the nominations and giving thoughts. This is my first year doing this hopefully you’ll be coming here for years and commenting on how wrong I am.

BEST PICTURE: The Artist, The Descendants, The Help, The Tree of Life, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, War Horse, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I’m actually rather surprised by this list and delighted all at the same time. Hugo is really gaining a lot of steam this awards season. I personally loved The Artist and Moneyball, War Horse deserves to be there. The Tree of Life making it is a surprise along with ELAIC which hasn’t really been making any headlines recently. If I had to guess though this is between the Artist and The Descendants, don’t be surprised if Hugo wins though.

BEST ACTOR: George Clooney(The Descendants), Brad Pitt(Moneyball), Jean Dujardin(The Artist), Damien Bachir(A Better Life), Gary Oldman(Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

Wow! Now this is full of surprises. No Leo, no Fassbender(which is a Shame… Get it? The movie he was in was called Shame… I’ll move on) but Damien Bachir and Gary Oldman are in there, they both really deserve it. I really dug Brad Pitt in Moneyball but I don’t think he stands a chance. I think it’s a race between Dujardin and Clooney. I hope Dujardin wins, but I think Clooney is bringing it in.

BEST ACTRESS: Glenn Close(Albert Nobbs), Viola Davis(The Help), Rooney Mara(Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Meryl Streep(The Iron Lady), Michelle Williams(My Week with Marilyn).

This is rather interesting because how close this will be. The Globes copped out by placing Michelle Williams in the “Musical or Comedy” actress role but they couldn’t do that here. All Streep does is win so you have that. Viola Davis made a huge impression in The Help. Glenn Close played a chick who is so ugly she can pull off being a man. Any other year and that wins the award for you. Michelle Williams deserves this one but Mara is going to get over looked which is a real shame. That was such a hard and daring role. I just hope the Academy members realize that Streep has won before, like a lot, so let someone else get a trophy.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Kenneth Branagh(My Week With Marilyn), Nick Nolte(Warrior), Jonah Hill(Moneyball), Max von Sydow(Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close), Christopher Plummer(Beginners).

Well to start off it will probably be Plummer. Love that Nick Nolte got the nomination for a role most over looked, hell the movie “Warrior” got over looked by most of America(Check it out you won’t be let down). I don’t get why Jonah Hill keeps getting nominations, he didn’t really bring anything to that role. I just feel like this is people trying to push him as a real actor, hard to do that when your upcoming movie is the “21 Jump Street” remake. For me Branagh should win, but I don’t think he will.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Berenice Bejo(The Artist), Melissa McCarthy(Bridesmaids), Janet McTeer(Albert Nobbs), Octavia Spencer(The Help), Jessica Chastain(The Help).

Octavia Spencer is getting this even though it should be Berenice Bejo(Who should be in the “Best Actress” category). Sad to see Melissa McCarthy here though. Mainly because she doesn’t belong and it’s obvious this was done as a ratings booster. Try and get people who love this movie to check out if she wins. She won’t but come on really? She was funny but… Come on!

BEST ANIMATED FILM: Rango, Chico and Rita, A Cat in Paris, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots.

Doesn’t this list seem fake? It just is weird first off not seeing a Pixar movie here. Seeing anything with a “2” in it is weird. One of the films is called Puss in Boots. I loved Rango so I hope it wins but for the comedy of it I hope Boots takes home the trophy.

BEST DIRECTOR: Michel Hazanavicius(The Artist), Alexander Payne(The Descendants), Martin Scorsese(Hugo), Woody Allen(Midnight in Paris), Terrence Malick(The Tree of Life).

Well there is a lot of talent there. The list is simply perfect. To me it should be Hazanavicius. Will probably be Payne. Glad Woody Allen got on there and especially Terrence Malick. Wouldn’t be too surprised though if Scorsese came out on top here.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne(The Descendants), Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian(Moneyball), John Logan(Hugo), George Clooney and Grant Heslov(Ides of March), Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan(Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

Yes I’m doing the scripts… Because I write scripts as a hobby. Anyway this is going to the Descendants but I think Moneyball should get it. Ides of March was also a very well done script but I think with the political tone going on right now it won’t get a lot of votes.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Woody Allen(Midnight in Paris), Michel Hazanavicius(The Artist), Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumulo(Bridesmaids), JC Chandor(Margin Call), Asghar Farhadi(A Separation).

Saved the best for last! This is a stacked category. The Artist of course should get it but I really believe this will be the place where Bridesmaids gets one as a “see we’re cool” item for the Academy. It’s nice to see Chandor and Farhadi make the list but I don’t think they stand much of a chance.

Well there it is… Some of the nominees and my responses. I look forward to the show it’s like the Super Bowl for movies and I love every second of it.

Movie Review: Moneyball

We very rarely get sports movies coming to theaters these days. Moneyball is a treat that really everyone should see even if they’ve never gone to a baseball game. The plot which is based on the true story of Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane is important and very much a story of all under dogs just set in the world of baseball. Based on the award winning book with the same name, we open on the 2001 playoffs where the A’s are defeated by the New York Yankees. After the season they A’s loose three of their top players to free agency as big money spending teams like the Red Sox and Yanks sweep them up. Billy Beane(Brad Pitt) must put together a team for a fraction of the cost most other teams can. After meeting a financial whiz kid Peter Brand(Jonah Hill), who helps him put together a formula of using pure stats to pick up players most teams would look over.

The film flows very well, this is due to Brad Pitt’s fantastic performance. You become very connected with him because you get what he’s going through. Most Americans these days are pinching pennies, can’t exactly buy everything they want. That is what Billy had to do. Every team could outspend him so he had to innovate. The story of how he does this is easy to follow even though the film is filled with recent baseball history. What gives the film a little more pull is that we get Billy Beane’s back ground, as a young player, he was told by a scout to not go to college, to sign and go to the minors young. He took the pay check and went into the system. Things didn’t really pan out. This story helps Billy’s arc as we watch him change as General Manager.

The film never really gets bogged down, we flow through what is longest season in sports. A solid balance of baseball and comedy really made this movie fly by for me. Once it was over I really wanted to see it again, in a way I was so taken in by Brad Pitt’s performance I felt like I missed a lot. I can not stress enough that even though this film has a lot of baseball references, if you’re new to the game or don’t know the game at all, you won’t really be lost. Because the game of baseball is a minor player here, the real story is Beane and his arc from being a young ball player, to running a major league club. The film is good on multiple levels, it works as a drama, a comedy and as a sports movie. You’d really be losing out if you miss this one.

Rating: 10/10

The book World War Z was a huge hit. The concept is pretty much something every nerd has through about, the military fighting against a wave of zombies. In every movie/show we see the aftermath of the zombie uprising. Always see empty tanks and dead soldiers. World War Z would basically show us the battle. Brad Pitt was ready to produce and star, but now the rumor is the studio is getting cold feet. This is due to a new trend in Hollywood which is basically ruining everything. The studios only will throw money at big time sequels or remakes. Sequels makes sense to me but the amount of remakes is starting to become pathetic. So any movie that has any vision or even threatens to be rated R is suddenly in danger. This new trend in Hollywood that originally started in the 90’s where the pencil pushers somehow silenced the artists. Now we rarely get big time R rated films and now we rarely ever get original content. Now World War Z is even based off a book and zombies are in right now and they still won’t give funding to this thing? It’s pretty pathetic and where can we start a revolution against the people running these movie studios these days? Things need to change so we can get better movies and not just watered down flicks for teens.