By Bru-Hed All original written content is (c) 2014 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed is a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: Mrs. Angelina Jolie, AKA Brad Pitt, stars as a hardened sarge leading a stereotypical battle-weary, rag-tag tank team deep into Germany near the close of WW II. Logan “Percy Jackson” Lerman stars as the greenhorn typist tasked with replacing one of the driving assistants to get his first and worst taste of the horrors of war. Written and directed by David Ayer.
- Tank crew-members Pitt, Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal and Shia LaBeouf all do their part to bring the characters to life, both good and bad.
- A rare glimpse inside not only an American WW II tank, but what it took to operate one and the conditions the crew had to endure.
- Lots and lots of bullets and bombs. If you like things that go boom and get blowed up good, this is a decent entry, despite the character stuff.
- If you like your war realistic ala PLATOON and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, you shouldn’t be too disappointed. The horrors of war are accurately represented as true horror–physical, mental and emotional.
- The effects and costumes looked very accurate from what I could tell, but I was not there. (This was a bit before my time.) Regardless, the gunfighting and bombing were definitely effective.
- An interesting look at how a non-combat office worker can be turned into a killing machine, albeit reluctantly, in order to survive his surroundings.
- Quite a bit of true, greasy nail-biting suspense, well done.
- Equally cool, graphic, chilling camera work/cinematography.
- LeBeouf was actually believable as a born-again Bible-carrier without a hint of TRANSFORMERS ‘tude or his off-screen insanity.
- Some genuine heroism on display without being the corny “rah-rah-sis-boom-bah” flag-waving kind. I suspect the kind showed here was more typical of what actually happened.
- The title of the movie is the name of the tank! Neither Samuel Jackson nor Marvel’s Nick Fury is anywhere to be found. Obviously a cheap ploy to take advantage of the millions of Sgt. Fury fans who have been waiting for a movie of their hero for the last 50 years.
- Some brutal honesty: the “greatest generation” had its members that weren’t so great. There were bullies, a-holes, thieves, cowards, racists, rapists and cold-blooded murderers on both sides. The Nazis were worse overall, but we had our share and this film doesn’t gloss over that. War is hell and fugly, plain and simple.
- Speaking of the above, the southern hillbilly douchebag stereotype was annoyingly obnoxious. I wanted to frag him myself.
- Lerman’s character was pretty obvious as the rookie, too-young-and-innocent, never-seen–combat audience substitute [MIKE: He means “surrogate.”] (Yeah, what he said.) But once you accepted the stereotype, you could move on.
- One mediocre and one hot Kraut chick but NO skin. (They can show guys’ limbs and heads literally being shot off, bodies cut in two, but GOD FORBID I GET TO SEE GERMAN BOOBAGE. Not even a butt. Come on, man!)
- Brad Pitt’s character had a very dickish side but was complex. A glimpse of his humanity at the beginning was never really shown again, unfortunately. We never got inside his noggin.
- Don’t expect a Disney ending. It’s friggin’ war, man!
RENT IT. Parts of this will be very hard to watch for some viewers. Those looking for a generic thrill-ride/video-game type of war flick will be disappointed. But for every American, especially the younger ones, it’s always a good idea to see what your grandparents and great-grandparents had to endure to give you the right to be a snotty kid or annoying adult today. As Pitt’s character said, “Ideals are peaceful. History is violent.”
P.S.: Pascale can draw war heroes in and out of comics. Whether yer a fan of Sgt. Rock, Sgt Fury, or Sgt. John Doe, he’s yer art man.Get your own original to hang on yer wall or give to a bud. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, Germans, Nazis, Veterans or Americans. Bru hates Nazis but the only combat he’s seen is against the bugs under his fridge.