Fury Movie Review

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WARNING: SPOILERS

It’s sometime during World War 2 and a tank battalion loses everyone but one tank. In the mists of the fight one of the crew members gets killed. So they roll into the nearest US base and are immediately assigned a new gunner. Unfortunately, he’s a typist and doesn’t know a thing about tanks. They haze the rookie by making him clean out their gut and blood covered tank hoping it would toughen him up to what he’s about to face.

I liked this movie, but it was very intensely gory. This is basically Saving Private Ryan if the beaches of Normandy lasted for 2 hours and 30 minutes. Some areas don’t involve the in your face gore, but it shows it very subtly. Which is neat since most movies now-a-days are either shaking the camera in order to give it a ‘realistic’ feel or showing blood and guts every 6 seconds and so in your face for so long it becomes obnoxious. This shows a image and the gore is hidden in the image. It’s weird, but it slowly builds up a very dreary and morose atmosphere. Like there’s one scene where it’s showing a artistic shot of a tank rolling through mud. If you look long enough you can see the uniform of a soldier. Then as it slowly rolls over the uniform it can clearly be seen that the soldier is still in it, but others have run over him about a million times already. It’s gross and brutal, but it shows the unforgiving nature of war rather then spend half the movie about the soldiers wanting to go home, like many others do.

The thing I liked about this film the most was the different characters. They didn’t rely off of stereotypes or tropes of most war movies. In turn it gave many of them a more genuine feel. Like Jon Bernthal (Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis) was a hardcore redneck who knew he wasn’t ever going to be rich and wasn’t worth for much other then labor or, as he put it a few times, killing. This isn’t seen much in movies, or at least this kind of character isn’t given that much screen time. Many war movies they are the first to go insane and become just another ‘bad guy’ and get killed. Shia LaBeouf (Boyd “Bible” Swan) was a crazed Bible thumper who is suffering from various parts of PTSD while still trying to do his job. This is another one you don’t see too often merely on the fact that strongly religious people are either mocked, chastised by newly found atheist allies, or flat out made to look like their completely insane. While it was obvious he had problems, the character didn’t wane from his beliefs and still respected his fellow allies. Even if they gave him a weird looks while he recited Bible verses they respected him enough to keep their mouth shut. Brad Pitt (Don “Wardaddy” Collier) was a cool to the core Sergeant who didn’t give any fancy “we’re going to win” speeches. This, from my experience, are what seasoned veterans are like. They might not be as cold, but they weren’t like Patton, who was a little flashy. Logan Lerman was the everyman. Instead of having long speech about how killing was wrong and how he had to do it for whatever reason his change was gradual and without dramatizations. Which was nice to see. Due to all this it built a foundation for a more believable look into soldiers lives during wartime. Michael Pena was basically the guy with really bad PTSD and sever depression. Now in a lot of movies he’d go insane or be given a medical discharge from the movie, then never seen from again. This was refreshing because it showed they could be worked with while doing their job.

While it included a slew of familiar faces, and A Lister Brad Pitt, I’d say everyone did exceptionally well. Brad Pitt did a great job playing a hard nosed war machine who pretty much knew what he was doing and how to corral a bunch of rough necks. Shia LaBeouf did exceptionally well as the stressed out religious Bible thumper and seemed extra weird for this performance. Jon Bernthal needs to stop impressing me or I might start rallying behind the guy to get him a Oscar nod. He’s demonstrated a various amount of range from the movies I’ve seen him in, especially since he was a nervous wreck in the last film I saw him in: Snitch. While, yes, he is usually cast as a bad guy in this movie he’s the redneck who’s crass to everyone and was rather convincing. He was great as one of the good guys who knows what good is but does it in his own way. Logan Lerman has always been a subtle leading man while picking roles who were more conservative then the characters they interacted with. So this married up to his other roles, but it was a stronger performance due to the subject matter. Michael Pena was good as the standard depress and over worked soldier, but many will have seen this performance before. However when he does get lines he nails them out of the park and makes the character different enough to warrant the audiences attention. Other then that everyone’s elses role was small, but not negligible. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to compliment or constructively criticize others, but the movies doesn’t much leave the tank they are in.

Fury is above average when it comes to WW2 movies. This is a very worn genera, but this breaths new life into these kinds of movies just by simply telling a different kind of story. It’s different approach in character development, its presentation of the tragedies involved, and even the way it shows other perspectives of war without making the people involved look psychotic is welcoming. All of the acting involved was top notch. The visuals were stunning, grotesque, and a little different then most. All in all this is a great WW2 film and it would be a good idea to add it to your collection once it comes out.

7.5/10

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Dumb and Dumber To Movie Review

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Lloyd Christmas has become catatonic after the first Dumb and Dumber movie. Harry Dunne visits him every day. Eventually Lloyd admits it was a prank and Harry confesses he needs a kidney transplant. So they go to visit Harry’s parents looking for a possible donor. There they give him mail they’ve collected for him over the years. One of the letters is from Fraida Felcher saying she’s pregnant with Harry’s kid. Then the adventure begins…

This is no where near as good as the first one. It’s also really sad when I can summarize it in one word: lame. The story felt forced after the first 30 minutes. The character development was rushed, unlike the first one. A good half the film is either a rehash or referencing the first one. The characters are stupider then before, which feels unrealistic. Why? Because people that stupid don’t live into their 50s or however old the characters are. To a certain extent this hurts the story more then some of the cliches in the writing. Which is bad since the story is almost one for one with the original. Like something happens. They meet someone who befriends them that tries to kill them. It turns out the loved one of whomever is trying to extort money, etc. etc. etc.

The other thing that bothers me about it is that it’s riddled with cliches. The set up, the timing, the conniving wife, well ya, we’ve see it before. It’s all writes itself a bad detective story with morons in it. Unlike the original is that the original that slowly led up to things and has a smoother flow throughout the movie. Then my next problem with it is the comedy. A lot of the comedy in the original was what I call “casually dumb”. Its kinda honest mistakes but it makes people think you’re dumb. For example: Harry gets pulled over by a state trooper (the always funny and weird Harland Williams). Before Harry stops the state trooper yells at him “PULL OVER!” Harry replies with “No it’s a Cardigan, but thanks for noticin’.” It’s like a honest mistake that makes someone look stupid. Now when something happens in Dumb and Dumber To it’s very much relies off prat falls and painfully stupid lines. A lot of examples can be found in the trailer. It’s very blatant they are dumb at which most of it is cringe worthy.

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are at the top of their game. They fully embrace the characters and you can see that they are nearly the same, if not better, at their performance as the first one. Rob Riggle was only good in one scene where he seemed generally upset. Other then that it reflects much of his other roles and doesn’t seem too much of a stretch for him. Laurie Holden was good as the “bad woman” villain. However, it seemed stale because either she wasn’t unaccustomed to being a turd or as said before the cliches in the story wouldn’t allow her to develop more of the character. Rachel Melvin was a nice addition to the group. She was cute, spunky, and unrealistically stupid in some scenes. She didn’t stand out too much, but her delivery on the comedy was done well despite the material. Kathleen Turner was a reliable talent and helped push the story along.

Dumb and Dumber To is nowhere near what people are making it out to be. It is funny, but the story is no where near as good as the first one. The comedy is funny, but I don’t think it will be as memorable. Much of the acting is on par with what it should be with only a few exceptions. It’s something to see while in theaters, but it will leave a few saying “What?” at some of the jokes or sighing heavily.

5.0/10

Django Unchained Movie Review

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A slave named Django is bought by Dr. King Schultz. Django reviles that he was sold separate from his wife. He’s then taken under Dr. Schultz wing and makes him into a bounty hunter. Many of the plantation owners, and slave owners, hire wanted men, unknowingly, for odd jobs around the plantation. In turn Django and Dr. Schultz go and hunt them down for the bounty and revenge.

For the most part I was disappointed with this film. If it wasn’t reminding the audience of the racist past, various untrue Southern stereotypes, then it was saying nigger a ton of times. There’s a difference between saying it creatively and making it part of the character or even a reflection of the time period. However it felt forced since it seemed like it was everyone’s favorite adjective, verb, and noun. That is just stupid to do. I don’t object to the use of the word in the historical context, but, well, if it seems like if Tarantino cast a baby for something it would be the first word out of its mouth.

Yes it’s suppose to be a creative take on history, but there were a lot of historical inaccuracies that I couldn’t let go. Like if you cursed in the South back then, or anytime prior to the 1920s or so, you’d be beaten by your fellow hillbilly because it was severely rude to curse in public, and in many times in private as well. Even men of questionable characteristics lived by this. So everyone in the movie, with some except to Christoph Waltz character, would have been socked in the mouth, multiple times. Also another thing you didn’t do was curse in front of women. That happened a lot in this film for some reason. There were many others, but in order to avoid a flame war I’m not posting them here.

The good part of this film is the style. It is 1 for 1 representative of the 70s movies made back in the day. The faulty sound and visuals add to the stress in more intense scenes. Other times it used some of the weird styles of 70s films. Like it began with a song about Django and it almost sounded like Tom Jones was singing it. It’s kinda terribly written. Also many of the scenes were well shot and very entertaining to watch. They consisted of quick cuts and would flow into continued running shots, which are difficult to due and do make some great visuals.

This, like all Quentin Tarantino films, has a slew of familiar faces. Some get under used, and some shamefully get NO LINES AT ALL. So it seems like they are either underused or intentionally pick these roles in order to film with Tarantino. Sorry I don’t get it. Like James Remar had NO LINES. Yet he’s always a great bit actor. Besides that Leonardo DiCaprio did a great job at being the bad guy. He was convincing enough to make me wonder if there will be more chances for him to be a complete dick. Jamie Foxx didn’t deliver all his lines well so it came off slightly generic or almost stale in some areas. Christoph Waltz, well, he deserved the Oscar. Its rare for someone to pulled off the smooth smart good guy and do it both well. Sophistication oozed from him while looking like a murderous bounty hunter and injecting twists along the way.

As stated I don’t care for this film. I don’t know why it got all the hype it did. It was very well shot, but the story killed it. Now I usually like revenge films, but the constant reminder of how ‘evil’ every other Southerner was back then was sickeningly cliché. On top of that it used just about every other trope to it’s fullest extent. From the damsel in distress to the underdog making a successful comeback. It even had cliché moments like the good guy watching his bad guys house blow up and look back at the camera and smile. It’s riddled with cliches, historical inaccuracies, is completely racist, and unoriginal in almost every extent. The constant reminder of racial ties is sickening and inaccurate of the time. Also the need for characters to spell things out for everyone on things that are COMPLETELY OBVIOUS is super irritating.

If you like revenge films see more noteworthy ones like Man on Fire, The Crow, Leon: The Professional, or even Lucky Number Slevin. Until then I’d skip this one.

5.0/10