Tag Archives: Brad Pitt

Fight Club Review

Hard, isn’t it? To avoid making a joke about “the first rule of fight club.” Yes, very good. Everyone is thinking it. Jot it down on a bit of paper. Scrunch it up. Bin it. Everyone else that came before you have done it, and everyone else after will do it too. It’s not original, it’s not interesting, and neither is Fight Club, not really, anyway. Fight Club? Fine club. Fine indeed. It’s fine. But what makes Fight Club a struggle to view is not its commentary and fundamentally skewered take on Chuck Palahniuk’s view, but the response to it. The misunderstanding of it. An audience problem, that one, albeit a benefit to Fight Club anyway.

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The Lost City Review

Feel for the Daniel Radcliffe fans. Presumably, it is hard to be a fan of the former boy who lived these days. His appearances as bit-part villains as he does in The Lost City or deranged action leads in Guns Akimbo are slim pickings for a career heavily dependent on Harry Potter and the variations of adventure that kid had. All grown up, like many a child actor, Radcliffe stumbles from feature to feature. It’s a shame to waste such variety, but The Lost City gives him the new role of “generic villain” to add to a charming list of underwhelming features. It wouldn’t be a Channing Tatum and Sandra Bullock feature without a sincere depiction of mediocrity.

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Burn After Reading Review

Who appears on the cast of an ensemble feature is just as much a reason to view as the plot or those in the directing chair are reasons. It sounds unreasonable, but it is true. Many have suffered through the slog of catching up with the unknown, shadowy parts of their favourite filmographies. There is a reason, naturally, that people have watched Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. Whether that is because their father marks it as their favourite film or because it is a feature that J.K. Simmons featured in is beyond the reasoning. Take refuge in the ensemble feature, good or bad. Burn After Reading happens to be good. Just good, mind. Not more than that.

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Thelma and Louise Review

Partners in crime is a genre like no other. The open road and that rebellious attitude siphoned off into good-hearted people trying to fend for themselves and make the best of a humdrum situation. For the eponymous characters in Thelma and Louise, that reaction to the inevitable pin drop moment is a fascinating bit. Director Ridley Scott manages to capture the cultural period, the outlook of disgraced events and the follow-up of protagonist reactions with just one scene that echoes around the rest of the film with such pertinent responsibility. It is quite a stunning achievement, as the whole of Thelma and Louise is with its cast of future stars and genre-defining dynamics.

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The Big Short Review

Compiling the build-up and fallout of the seismic actions and reactions to the financial crisis of 2007-08 is not a particularly promising project for Adam McKay. His works before The Big Short had been withering comedies like The Other Guys and Step Brothers. All directors must make their leap from comedy to drama at some stage. Jay Roach tripped through Austin Powers: Goldmember and made it through, unscathed, to Trumbo. But for McKay, the desire to adapt modern history was overbearing. His need and lust to shed a spotlight on the political machine and the problems of it was too much to resist, not just for the director and his cast but audiences who fell at the shocking revelations that McKay made.

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Review

There is little else greater to be curious about than life itself. Benjamin Button is a study of life. Director David Fincher uses Button, played by Brad Pitt, to speak of age and how nothing should stop us from achieving what we must. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is, on a surface level, indeed a curious one, but beyond that, there is much to be desired. Brad Pitt is indeed curious, but that is due to his erratic series of casting decisions. He chooses projects that elevate the picture, not himself. Despite all the talent and name-value involved in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, there does not seem to be that spark of big-budget magic. Perhaps that is why it is so tiring. Almost as tired and weak as its ancient, decrepit leading man.

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Twelve Monkeys Review

Initial, raw hatred for Twelve Monkeys has subsided over the three years since my last viewing. Somehow, I had failed to realise, all those years ago, that the real charm of Terry Gilliam was his artistry. No, I unfortunately do not remember what affliction to the brain I was suffering from all those years ago, but it must have been something near-fatal to consider Twelve Monkeys as anything less than a great piece from the former Monty Python member. His atmosphere and world-building abilities are dysfunctional and dystopian, as they always are. Inevitably, he borrows from the tones of Orwell and his own work on Brazil a decade before, but therein lies the fun and beauty of Gilliam’s consistency.  

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The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford Review

While the western may have died long ago, the modern period of revisionist brutality has paved the way to a few stand-out classics. Bone Tomahawk and The Hateful Eight inspired the attractive allures of hyperviolence and the natural elements cowboys and bandits would face off with. The former was a collation of spectacles and narrative elements that made up the best of the genre, while the latter hoped to capture the tensions of claustrophobia to the backdrop of The Great Silence or McCabe and Mrs. Miller. Both are successful to varying degrees, but it is the bold work of director Andrew Dominik on The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford that marks the return of the western epic.  

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Ocean’s Eleven Review

My personal dislike for the latter-day efforts of director Steven Soderbergh comes from a part of me that can’t shake the feeling that his stories are often empty. A burst of interest in Contagion (for obvious reasons), led me to the conclusion that he can certainly make some interesting premises but following through on those ideas to create interesting conclusions or depth is something I don’t believe his direction can bring. Ocean’s Eleven is perhaps his most famous piece of work, and if not it’s by far his most famous trilogy (solely because this is his only trilogy). Although littered with the tropes that I dislike from his direction, I find Ocean’s Eleven to be a completely amicable heist movie.

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