Archives for posts with tag: Brad Pitt

Grade A

Manny’s Movie Musings: a tale of love, grief, loss, and redemption that spans three generations.  Set in Montana before the start of World War I, the lives of a father and his three sons (played by Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn, and Henry Thomas, respectively) are forever changed with the arrival of Thomas’ fiancée (played by Julia Ormond).  The secret passions and a tragic death will threaten to tear the family apart.  Love can heal many things, but will it be enough for this family?  “Legends Of The Fall” is a romance story on steroids.  Great acting, amazing scenery, beautiful cinematography, expert direction, a memorable score and a script filled with drama — in some instances melodrama — makes this movie a romance/drama fan’s dream.  My most memorable, movie moment is the prolonged, trench warfare scene, which gives us a glimpse of the brutal and gory nature of that war.  It was unexpected in my first viewing, but the scene was necessary to set up the spiritual/emotional journey of the main character, played by Pitt.

— M

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Grade B +

1945, Germany.  The Americans are pushing hard toward Berlin.   Hitler has mobilized every German he could get his hands on (old men, women, children) to try to stop the American advance.  At the front lines is a Sherman tank crew headed by a tough Sergeant played by Brad Pitt.  Short one crewman who was killed in action, Pitt receives a completely green, teenaged soldier (played by Logan Lerman) who specializes in typing and never had one minute of training in a tank.

Knowing that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, Pitt forces Lerman to grow up much faster than the kid is able to.  With a huge push deeper into enemy territory coming up fast, Pitt’s crew must work together as one, cohesive unit if they are to have even a small chance of staying alive.

My most memorable, movie moment on “Fury” is the scene when Pitt’s platoon of tanks line up side by side and fire at a treeline ahead of them where German soldiers have taken a defensive position.  With all guns firing (main cannons, .50 Browning heavy machine-guns, .30 machine-guns) the Germans are slaughtered within seconds, with many bodies blown to pieces.

The outer shell of “Fury” is a vicious, gruesome tale of WW II combat.  Within this shell is the story of Pitt, a veteran warrior who is near his breaking point, and is further burdened with a boy he must teach to be a hardened soldier; and in doing so, risks further dehumanizing himself as well as the boy.

“Fury” is one of the best war movies made in the last 20 years; and had it not been for the slight — I’m being kind here — unbelievable nature of the final battle, “Fury” would have been destined to become a classic.

— M

Notice how Matthew Fox is in this movie?  Well, you could easily miss the star of one of the most loved and discussed t.v. shows of all time (“Lost”) in “World War Z” because he’s barely in it.  Maybe a total air time of 30 seconds, and I’m being generous here.  Fox isn’t even given a proper name for his character, instead he’s credited as “parajumper.”  What the hell?  Did Fox get into an argument with the director or studio head?  Well, my snooping around the internet revealed drastic changes to the story during production, so Fox’s role was eventually whittled down to almost nothing.   Oh, well, back to the movie.

“World War Z” has the world as we know it turn into one big, s*@t sandwich, and we all have to take a bite.  Some type of plague turns people into rabid maniacs — ha, sounds like the logline to my screenplay, “The Plague” — who attack people, and those who are bitten by the “zombies” turn into “zombies” within seconds.   The disease spreads so fast that most of the world didn’t have the time to contain it.  Survivors form groups, large and small, all throughout the planet, hoping to live through this nightmare.

Remnants of the U.S. military, along with U.N. personnel, seek the help of Brad Pitt to find the origin of the disease, and with that information, possibly find a way to cure it.  Of course, Pitt wants no part of being separated from his family and be dropped into an area teeming with rabid maniacs; but if he doesn’t cooperate, he and his family will not be given shelter and protection by the military.  Given that ultimatum, Pitt accepts the offer that he really can’t refuse; and we are taken on a wild ride to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe as Pitt battles the human monsters while he searches for information that will help the world combat this disease.

Did I like this movie?  Oh, yes.  And this is coming from a guy who has been watching zombie movies since the early 1980s.   I’ve been planning on surviving the zombie apocalypse long before the term “zombie apocalypse” was coined, long before zombie movies and planning for the day the dead would walk the earth became fashionable.  My friend, Ed and I.  Countless hours spent talking about how we would fight off the undead hordes and ruthless gangs of survivors.  What weapons we would use.  What type of cartridges.  What type of flashlights, food, and other emergency gear we would carry.  Yep, conversations that would end only because we had to turn in early to go to school the next day.  Ha ha!  Fun times.

Well, enough of me reminiscing like an old woman in a Nicholas Sparks novel.   “World War Z” is a damned, good, zombie movie.  It’s not the best, but it’s damned good.  There are lots of intense,  zombie action for the die hard, zombie movie fans.   And although the movie is rated PG-13, it contains a good supply of violence and gore.  Of course, I believe the studio should have had the balls to make this rated R…I mean, it is a zombie flick.  Screw the damned kids.  They have their retarded cartoons, let the adults have their horror movies.

One of my most memorable, movie moments of “World War Z” is the scene that shows us an aerial shot of Jerusalem, with its 100 feet high walls to keep out the rabid hordes who are ever on the lookout for any way inside.  Of course, the monsters do find a way in, which is only because the Israeli soldiers weren’t vigilant enough in keeping tabs on what was going on outside the walls.  What?  Israelis not vigilant enough, especially in that dire situation they were in?  Yeah, I call shenanigans!  The director and screenwriter were a bit lazy in that part.

My most memorable, movie moment of “World War Z” is the sequence when Pitt and his family are in Newark, NJ, looking for a drug for Pitt’s asthmatic daughter.  We see a society that has completely broken down: looting, fires, shootings, cops out to get food and supplies for themselves, men looking for any opportunity to rape…if you don’t have a gun to protect yourself and your family and your property, you’ll be in a world of hurt.

So, zombie apocalypse planners, stock up on guns and ammo, build up your supplies, create multiple, exit strategies; then watch “World War Z” as you wait for the next disaster to happen.  And be good to your doggies.

M

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