Brad Pitt;Logan Lerman

Directed by: David Ayer
Written by: David Ayer
Starring: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman and Michael Peña

There are a lot of despicably violent images in David Ayer’s Fury, a World War II movie set in the scorched-Earth Germany at the end of the conflict.  It begins with a majestic white horse carrying an anonymous soldier through a battlefield, though it’s not long before he’s identified as the enemy when we see Don Collier (Brad Pitt) jump out from a tank and stab him in the neck and eyes.  He lets the horse run off.

Not long after that moment, Collier tells a newbie named Norman (Logan Lerman)  to clean out his seat in their tank, which includes plenty of blood and the upper quadrant of a human face, eye and all.   Norman vomits, and you may want to too.  Not only are the images in Fury grotesque, but much of the behavior is too.  At first, Collier’s tough-but-fair-ness is insisted upon by the script, but then it’s slowly chipped away.   There are times when he seems at risk of transforming into Colonel Kurtz.

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REVIEW: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Directed by: Stephen Chbosky
Written by: Stephen Chbosky (screenplay & novel)
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller and Paul Rudd

The high schoolers in The Perks of Being a Wallflower are much, much cooler than you.  They are trapped and also largely defined by their pasts just as much as their pop cultural tastes, and so is the movie.  It is an earnest, emotional journey to the beginning of identity, and while it is engaging and at times beautiful, it occasionally bogs itself down with pretension.

It helps that it was adapted and directed by the same man who wrote the original, seminal ’90s novel, Stephen Chbosky.  The dimmed, warm look of many of the evening social scenes lend his movie version an ominous glow.  Many high school movies, especially comedies, are drained of almost any visual element, but not Wallflowers.  Some of the school scenes feel a little tight and generic by comparison, but that may be intentional.

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