‘Fury’ Review

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Dir: David Ayer

Cast: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, Jim Parrack, Brad William Henke, Kevin Vance, Xavier Samuel and Jason Isaacs

Synopsis: April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany

 

 

*Reviewer Note:  This will be a spoiler free review*

 

 

Unlike most wars movies, David Ayer’s Fury sets the action near the end of World War II. The Allied forces are moving into Germany, troops are starting to break down, and the tank forces are down to only a few. The film follows one particular tank, “Fury” which is lead by Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Pitt) and his crew Boyd “Bible” Swan (LaBeouf), Trini “Gordo” Garcia (Pena), and Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis (Bernthal). We find out that they have just lost someone in the crew and has been replaced with new recruit and typist Norman Ellison (Lerman), who is completely out of his element. The crew is then sent out and have survive not just the war but each other, which is easier said than done.

 

We quickly learn who our main characters are. Pitt’s “Wardaddy” is the tough no nonsense sergeant, Pena’s “Gordo” is a hard drinking wise-ass driver, Bernthal’s Grady is the loader and is more “beast than man” as someone points out to him and “Bible” is religious – hence the name – and is the tank’s gunner. The group isn’t perfect. They have their little arguments and fight here and there, but the next minute they would be willing to die for each other. However, the group dynamics really show you how war can break a man and what happens when you do it for a long time.

 

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While we get to know the crew of “Fury,” the story could really be about Wardaddy and Norman. Both men are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to war. One being a seasoned fighter and the other is desperately trying to survive after being thrown in hell. One understands that you need to let the urge to kill off and it’s a kill or be killed world – which he shows him the hard way. The other is still trying to keep his innocence and acts as a surrogate for the audience to show us that these men might be far too gone.

 

This is driven more home by a scene that involves the whole group in a home with two German women (played by Anamaria Marinca and Alicia von Rittberg). The difference is light and day. Although I will admit the scene is a bit long but it does serve its purpose and builds up a lot of tension.

 

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The movie is brutal. Pitt’s Wardaddy even makes a statement that sums it up pretty nicely, “ideals are peaceful, history is violent.” Fury doesn’t hold back on the violence, at all. The first death comes within the first two minutes of the film and it gives you an idea on how violent and brutal the movie is going to be – also the fact that it’s a war movie should give you a good impression too.

 

Of course the movie is about a tank crew, so you can guess there is some a pretty good amount of tank action. The action is pretty great and you get a good feel that these characters have been doing this for a while. They all have their part of play and play it well. They can’t afford to not by in sync because everything needs to be lined up just right. One standout tank sequence comes near the end of the film where it’s a three-on-one tank battle. It’s got great tension, cinematography, and well action.

 

As you can probably assume, the cast is great here. Pitt is obviously good at barking orders, and does have moments where he cuts loose on the action. But it’s also his performance when he’s not being a leader, those moments when it looks like he’s trying to keep a grasp of some humanity. Lerman holds his own against the rest of the seasoned cast and shares most of his scenes with Pitt, and it shows that he stepped up his game to be on that same level of talent.

 

Bernthal is basically the bully and most unhinged of the group, but has his reasons. LaBeouf has his moments and one standout moment near the end but along with Pena doesn’t get much to do and get thrown a bit in the backburner. Jason Isaacs also shows up as a commander that gives “Fury” its order but is nothing more than just a very small role.

 

All in all, Fury is a brutal, action drama that shows us that sometimes heroes are not always perfect and have to cross into the grey area to survive. There are some problems here and there, but the great performances and tank action make the film easy to seat through.

 

Brad Pitt in Fury

 

Fury

4 out of 5

October Movie Preview

I did this once at the beginning of the year a couple of years ago and at the time I didn’t know it was a mistake because movie change release dates all the time and the year wasn’t even finalized yet.  I intended on doing this every month, but of course I never did. Better late than never right?

The way this list will work is I’ll give you the full schedule, some buzz and my thoughts. But instead of telling you let me show you. I’ll also mainly be talking about nationwide releases, with a few limited releases. Also some of these limited releases will most likely get wider releases as the release date approaches. (Release dates are according to Box Office Mojo and IMDB)

 

3rd

Left Behind: The movie’s buzz is mostly because of the fact that it stars Nicholas Cage as a pilot with a small band of survivors, that include Chad Michael Murray, Lea Thompson, Nicky Whelan, Martin Klebba and Jordin Sparks, during the supposed Rapture. The trailer alone got people talking so maybe this has some chance. (It also happens to be based on a book that I didn’t know about).

Gone Girl: This probably has the most buzz of any film coming out this month. Based on the very popular and best-selling book of the same name by Gillian Flynn, the movie is being directed by the great David Fincher and is headlined by Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Scoot McNairy and more. The movie has some people talking because of the supposed final act change – although those rumors had died down since then – the film looks great nonetheless, so I can’t wait.

Annabelle: The horror movies so far this year have been a bit meh, and now that October has rolled around, they might begin to pull a little more weight. What better way to start it off with the prequel/spinoff of The Conjuring. The movie will follow the events following the Annabelle doll, which has a real spooky history, but also the events before the opening of The Conjuring. The trailer promises some scares and the same aesthetic from James Wan films (he is also producing the movie).

 

10th

The Devil’s Hand (limited): At first I thought this movie was going to get a wide release but after hearing nothing for a while and then the movie going through three title changes, I guess a limited release is the way to go. The cast includes; Rufus Sewell, Adelaide Kane, Jennifer Carpenter, Thomas McDonell, and Leah Pipes.  Synopsis: When young girls start to go missing within a religious cult, older followers fear a long-told prophecy while the younger members suspect abusive elders are killing them off.

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (limited): Dead Snow got some attention for its horror comedy mash-up that followed a group of friends out in the mountain trying to have fun before zombie Nazi’s coming back. The sequel will see those Nazi Zombies coming back to battle the survivor of the first movie and a group of rag-tag zombie killers.

Whiplash (limited): This has been getting a lot of attention out of the Toronto International Film Festival. The movie follows a young jazz musician played by Miles Teller who gets more than he bargained by asking for help from a drumming instructor played by J.K. Simmons. I can’t for it.

Addicted: I really feel like this is just a rehash of a movie that came out last year but can’t recall what it was called. I really don’t have anything to say considering this doesn’t peak my interest. Synopsis: A wife is tested when she cheats on her husband, and it threatens to ruin her and her family.

Kill the Messenger: Talk about a loaded cast; lead by Jeremy Renner, Michael Sheen, Andy Garica, Paz Vega, Rosemarie Dewitt, Richard Schiff, Tim Blake Nelson, Michael K. Williams, Barry Pepper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ray Liotta, Robert Patrick, and Oliver Platt. The movie is based on true story of reporter Gary Webb, who reports on exposing the CIA’s role in arming rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine into California. The trailer makes it looks like a great tense thriller.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: Based on a child’s book of the same name, the movie has the lead cast of Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, and Ed Oxenbould playing the lead character. The movie looks like a typical Disney family film, which isn’t a bad thing and actually looks better than I thought.

Dracula Untold: The movie has a crazy production story as it’s has gone through so many delays, different directors and actors in the lead that it was kind of a surprise when it finally got made. But now it’s here and Luke Evans will be portraying Vlad Tepes aka Vlad the Impaler and the man that, in this version, turns into the famous character Dracula. The movie looks okay and I’m a huge of Evans and can’t wait to see this take of the character.

The Judge: This one wasn’t on my radar because I didn’t really know anything about it, but with a cast of Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga and Billy Bob Thornton and a great looking trailer, I’m all for it.

 

17th

Men, Women, & Children (expansion): Yet another movie that had a lot of buzz out of the Toronto International Film Festival that follows “a look at the sexual frustrations that young teenager and adults face in today’s world.” I don’t know about the movie other than that and that it had good buzz. The cast stars Ansel Elgort, Kaitlyn Dever, Jennifer Garner, Adam Sandler, and Judy Greer.

The Town that Dreaded Sundown (limited): This is acting like a reboot/spiritual sequel in where the first movie apparently existed in the movie’s world and is now happening in real life. The first trailer came out and there have been some mixed reactions. I still don’t know how I feel.

The Best of Me: It’s a Nicholas Sparks movie. What else do you want me to say.

The Book of Life: Produced by Guillermo del Toro and taking it’s style off Mexico’s Day of the Dead art, the movie looks like a great fun movie. Visually it also looks beautiful.

Birdman: Directed by the impressive Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel and Biutiful), this looks absolutely crazy, but in a good way. This follows a struggling actor played by Michael Keaton, who played an iconic superhero called Birdman, trying to stay relevant. The rest of the cast includes Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Amy Ryan and Zach Galifianakis.

Fury: Another one I’m really excited for is David Ayer’s (Harsh Times, Street Kings, and End of Watch) WWII tank action drama that follows a crew at the tail end of the war. The movie stars Jon Bernthal, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, and is lead by Brad Pitt playing someone named Wardaddy. Yeah.

 

24th

St. Vincent (expansion): I really knew nothing about this until recently and follows a “young boy whose parents just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic, war veteran lives next door.” The movie stars Bill Murray, Naomi Watts, Melissa McCarthy, Terrence Howard and Chris O’Dowd.

White Bird in a Blizzard: Based on a book by Laura Kasischke, it stars Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Thomas Jane, Gabourey Sidibe, and Angela Bassett. This is another movie I didn’t know anything about until I looked at the schedule but I don’t see myself watching this. The movie will follow a young girl whose mother disappears and her life gets thrown into chaos.

Ouija: Yes, it is a horror movie based on an Ouija board. The movie is trying to pull a story together about a group of friends that want to find out to their friend that just died. The movie doesn’t really look that good and it’s being produced by Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes banner, ugh.

Laggies: I didn’t know anything about this until some good reviews came out of film festivals last year. The movie has Keira Knightley who hasn’t “grown up” and lies to her fiancé about going on a retreat but ends up hanging out with a high school student played by Chloe Grace Moretz. The movie also stars Sam Rockwell as Moretz’s father. The trailer made it look like a fun, charming, pseudo-coming of age movie.

John Wick: I was completely surprised by how pretty good this looked in the trailer. The movie has Keanu Reeves playing a former hit man who gets back in the business after some people take the last good thing from him, he gets back in the business and ends up killing a lot of people. The rest of the (impressive cast) has Adrianne Palicki, Willem Dafoe, Bridget Moynahan, Jason Isaacs, Alfie Allen, Lance Reddick, Michael Nyqvist and Ian McShane.

 

31st

ABCs of Death 2 (limited): 26 short horror movies directed by different directors. I hadn’t gotten around to watching all of the first movie.

Horns (limited): Based on the very popular book by Joe Hill of the same name, Daniel Radcliffe plays Ig Perrish who wakes up after his girlfriend mysteriously dies (played by Juno Temple) and starts to grow horns on his head. The movie has some descent buzz around it and with the book being pretty good, I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Before I Go to Sleep: Yet another movie I didn’t know about until I looked at the schedule but follows Nicole Kidman as a woman who wake up every day remembering nothing after an accident and then starts to remember things that makes her question everything. The movie also stars Colin Firth and Mark Strong.

Nightcrawler: This has been getting a ton of buzz recently and some are saying that Jake Gyllenhaal might get nominated for an Oscar and that’s it’s one of his best performances in his career. The movie follows Gyllenhaal’s character as he delves into the criminal underground of L.A. The movie looks great and also stars Bill Paxton and Rene Russo.

 

So what movie or movies are you looking forward to in October?