Archives for posts with tag: Brad Pitt

I just watched Fury. Wow! It’s tempting to just leave it at that, because some movies almost defy coherent reaction. There’s a visceral gut level to this one that leaves me feeling as if I just fought an incredible WWII battle. Though all movies do it to some extent, Fury seriously transports its viewers into a 2+ hour experience that feels like a tank crew ride along. In the time it takes to watch the movie, and for some time afterward, I was a silent partner in the horror of fighting in a world war.

Honestly, the first part was a bit of a slog, though there were parts that were incredibly intense and interesting, with incongruously gorgeous imagery. Then the last hour and a half or so hit, with all the power behind a single remaining tank and the soldiers who practically live in it. At one point Brad Pitt’s character, the tough top sergeant with the heart of the great hero he (and his men) becomes says the tank is his home. Watching what they go through, that sentiment is understandable. Their mantra “Best job I ever had.” is as well. Leader and troops, friends, family, a tight unit that sticks with their “Top” even when he decides to stay with their “busted” tank and take on what seems like a small army of SS.

What transpires from that point
onward is one of the most brutal, awful, and terrifying battles I’ve seen portrayed in movies. Of course that’s the only ones of this kind I’ve seen in any way. I wasn’t even born at the time of World War II, and as I watched Fury I was so very grateful for that. Man or woman, seasoned veteran or reluctant soldier then amazing hero like young gunner Norman, it hits me hard as I watch such movies that people should never have to be asked to fight such battles and wars like that should never happen. The heads of Human beings weren’t made to end in an explosive shower of pink wet haze that’s all that’s left of brain matter… and its protective head…after a machine gun spray blankets its mark. Yet countless thousands have done just that. And so awfully much more.

It’s good to be shown such real life depictions of real life war and be reminded just how fortunate any of us are who have only experienced it through books and movies and the stories of veterans. And it’s good to be forced to remember that so many heroes did the incredible things they did to fight unspeakably heinous enemies. Sometimes a movie is meant to be more than the term implies. It becomes unforgettable. That it’s based on a series of true stories makes it all the more so.

On a lighter note, as Brad Pitt ages into his talent I’m struck by the way he’s becoming the modern day Clark Gable to George Clooney’s Cary Grant. More than an undeniably pretty face, Pitt is the kind of actor who makes me seek out his movies. Shia LaBeouf too is coming into his own. Proven by the fact that I can see him in movies now and not once think he’s Sam Witwicky! Jon Bernthal? He’s good, but I still get flashes of Shane from The Walking Dead. Time will fix that too most likely.

At it’s end Fury leaves images burned into my brain, like a TV screen briefly etched onto my retinas. I can only hope they fade away as fast, and leave only memories of a difficult movie to watch that I’m glad I’ve seen.

Fury–Official Trailer

I never thought I’d like zombies, until I started watching the Resident Evil movies. Those really edge more into traditional science fiction, with a lot of focus on Alice and her world, and super slick cool FX. I wandered into a Walking Dead marathon a couple of years ago and then picked up the thread of new eps. While the focus there is heavily on the living characters and their travails and triumphs, there is a lot of hideously gross gore. Gritty and gutsy, instead of slick (except with putrefying walker blood). Okay. There’s a place for everything.

And then there’s World War Z.

I found that one fascinating, as a viewer and someone who writes screenplays. Here’s a big bad box office zombie movie I expected to be sort of a cross between Resident Evil and The Walking Dead. Instead, I found myself drawn into a war movie. Seriously.

I also found it thoroughly heartbreaking and more terrifying  than any other zombie anything I’ve ever seen. Not the zombies themselves. I was intrigued by the way the camera didn’t linger on obsessively closeup, in your face, here be zombies shots. The undead were terrifying swarms of relentless hunger, but it was the concept of how fast the outbreak happened and escalated that sent me mentally hiding under my bed.
We live in a world plagued by fear. Most of our boogey men are all too real. Threats against our daily lives, way of life, and physical well being are literally everywhere, coming at us from near and far. A really scary thought is that we as a culture turn to the horrifying fantasy of a zombified world as a major form of entertainment. Relief from the real world.

As long as it’s fantasy, though….it’s all good. An escape into an impossible reality much worse than the real one.

Then along comes World War Z, an extremely realistic, terrifying what if. To me it played out exactly like any other war movie. The ones with hope at the end, anyway. Those tend to be about events that have occurred in the past. That’s what World War Z felt like to me. The story of Brad Pitt going up against a new threat. An enemy not human and not familiar. And all the more terrifying for it.

When I’d finished watching it, I felt sort of like I did at the end of Saving Private Ryan. I wasn’t there, but it felt as if I had been at the heart of a brutal, hard fought war. It was so well done that it made me keep thinking about a zombie outbreak as a more real possibility than I’d ever considered  before.

To me that’s the hallmark of a movie well done. Storytelling well done. Intelligent terror so well done that it just may have left me slightly uneasy about the possibility that make believe, the root of all fictional storytelling, may not actually be as unbelievable as we’d all prefer to believe.

That, to me, is great storytelling.

World War Z Official Trailer HD