REVIEW: Fury

Brad Pitt;Logan Lerman

Fury
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: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Directed by: Michael Bay
Written by: Ehren Kruger
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Frances McDormand, and John Malkovich

There isn’t a negative comment that Michael Bay hasn’t heard.  One of the most critically despised and commercially successful filmmakers in history, he has become a lightning rod for the sorry state of modern Hollywood.

Many critics are bitter because his movies render them utterly useless.  Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was one of the worst reviewed films in years and also one of the highest grossing.  He injects levels of mind-numbing shock and awe into almost every scene that isn’t establishing the almost non-existent plot in almost all of the movies and Transformers: Dark of the Moon is no exception.

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If they were in television… Michael Bay

Notable Films: The Rock, The Island, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Transformers series. 

Famous for: Explosions, great action sequences, narrative incoherence, military propaganda, the decline of mainstream American cinema, shooting women like he is filming porn.

Hypothetical title: The Colony

Hypothetical premise: Focuses on the first station in space to host private citizens from Earth.  It starts off peacefully enough, but soon enough the mixed cultures start feuding, and in order to keep order, the station’s AI turns on them and begins killing anyone who starts a fight.  This doesn’t sit well with the nearby military installation, who begin planning to rescue everyone with the latest military technology.  The series rotates between a couple brave American soldiers and a witless but charming protagonist on the colony, his shallow love interest, and over-bearing but comical parents.

Cross between: The Island, The Rock, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Wall-E, and Transformers.

Likely to bring: Some Bay regulars are Ben Affleck and Shia LaBeouf, so why not cast them in the two lead roles?  You can place pretty much any attractive super model in the love interest role, but why not take an exceptional actress like Scarlett Johansson and drain her of life?  For the parents, why not add in Patricia Clarkson (she’s a mom in everything now) and John Turturro. 

Likeliness of this happening: 4/10.  Bay couldn’t make enough money in television and explosions don’t look nearly as good on a small screen.

REVIEW: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Directed by: Oliver Stone
Written by: Allan Loeb & Stephen Schiff
Starring: Michael Douglas, Shia Labeouf, Carey Mulligan, and Josh Brolin

There are political movies, and there are political movies done by Oliver Stone.  A man so unapologetic about his politics, he is for the fictional film what Michael Moore is for the documentary.  He aims not to provoke, but to convince.  Over the years, he has become the maker of subtle, brilliant excercises of filmmaking technique (the original Wall Street) to someone merely out to give a speech on an issue.

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TRAILER: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Directed by: Oliver Stone
Written by: Allan Loeb & Stephan Schiff
Starring: Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, and Josh Brolin

It’s kind of weird that with the slew of franchise reboots and unwanted fifth entries in series, Oliver Stone has decided to make a franchise out of his 80’s exploration of the costs of big money.  Even when you look at the times we’re in, it seems odd that Stone wouldn’t just make a completely different movie with different characters that explored the modern age.  But here we are, leaving one of the worst summers in recent memory, heading into a fall that hopefully lifts the year up.  Stone can either help or hinder with his oddly risky sequel, and from the looks of the trailer, he may in fact knock it out of the park.

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