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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
The Tomatometer is 75% or higher, with 40 reviews (movies) or 20 reviews (TV). At least 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
***2014 ACADEMY AWARDS (if I picked the winners)***
- "The Wolf of Wall Street"
- Alfonso Cuaron for "Gravity"
- Matthew McConaughey
- Cate Blanchett
- Jared Leto
- Sally Hawkins
- "Her" or "American Hustle"
- "The Wolf of Wall Street"
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
- "The Hunt"
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:
MY DVD/BLU COLLECTION:
What sets "Fury" apart from the bulk of modern war movies is it's dedication to the grotesque aftermath of battle. Especially in it's first half, David Ayer's expertly crafted war drama uncomfortably exposes us to the grisly cleanup of the battlefield; bodies and meat being transported, buried, and burned. The innards of a tank being scrubbed down to extinguish the remnants of a fallen tank crew member. In a horrific, memorable scene, a German soldier lay pancaked on a muddy road as a tank formation proceeds to drive over him; and it's not until close observation that we even realize what the inconsequential obstruction really is. This queasy detail that has rarely if ever been touched upon in many a Hollywood war picture establishes "Fury" as a gritty, intensely grounded period piece. But that's only one side of it. "Fury" is also a thrilling action movie with terrifically staged tank warfare sequences and an (uncommonly) unsentimental and unpatriotic portrait of male bonding under the most extreme of circumstances. The cast is stellar. Brad Pitt gives one of his finer performances as Wardaddy, the tough, battle-scarred commander of a five-man Sherman Tank deep behind enemy lines, and Logan Lerman is almost equally strong as the Tank's newest recruit struggling to keep his life and perspective under duress. Michael Pena provides much needed comedic relief while John Bernthal plays that Southern stereotype we've seen in countless war films, and will no doubt encounter again. Ultimately it is Shia LaBeouf, playing a man struggling with his devoutly religious values, who is the scene stealer in this strong cast. His sensitive portrayal has proved the naysayers wrong. He can act and is an immense talent. The film's finest moments involve a prolonged sequence in which Pitt's Wardaddy and Lerman's fish out of water seek temporary solace in the home of a German woman and her young niece. It's here that Ayer's push to cement "Fury" in the annals of war cinema is most evident. It's a powerful segment that heightens an already impressive feature. After this point (immediately after in fact... you'll see), the screenplay takes a slightly uneven turn that relies on and relishes in a few too many cliches... in stark contrast to the bold film that had avoided them until then. The film's explosive final act is of strong technical merit, not quite up to the standards of say a "Saving Private Ryan" or "The Thin Red Line," (and not QUITE as believable) but wholly impressive in it's own right (Despite a few questionable choices is dialogue). With a few quibbles aside, "Fury" is the kind of World War II film I've been waiting for. It's a crowded genre, and I thought maybe even a tired one, but Ayer's point of view is refreshingly unique and uncompromising. "Fury" is one of the stronger films of the year.
Every so often we are treated to a brand new film from Director Wes Anderson. He's that rare gem of a filmmaker whose grasp on a singular vision seems not to allow for a dip in quality. He's truly in a league; a world of his own and his cinematic output needs to be judged accordingly. 2014 is another year, and as predictable as that is, equally predictable is "The Grand Budapest Hotel" being another great Wes Anderson picture. If it's not his best, it is arguably his most ambitious on a narrative level, and unarguably on a visual one. The production design is gorgeous, the writing and humor work in quirky tandem, and Ralph Fienne's terrific work as the headlining Gustave H. highlights one of Anderson's most memorable, strange, and strangely likable creations.