Archives for category: Films

bradpittfightclub

Opinion
By James Pavel

 

‘Killing them Softly’

·         The most disorganized bank robbery in history. Could you imagine going into such a crime without ever discussing the ins and outs before hand? My adrenaline was thrusting through the ceiling, but I can’t imagine the internal struggle going on between these two knuckleheads.

·         Brad Pitt at his most intimidating.

·         The film takes a useless detour with James Gandolfini ranting about hookers and booze.

·         The moment Brad Pitt’s character enters the movie, it loses almost all excitement. While the bank robbery scene is pure excitement and the bind that Marky (Ray Liotta) finds himself in, introduces a highly-intriguing plot, it is all lost upon the introduction of Pitt’s character.  

·         The final scene delivers the greatest line – ‘America is not a country. It is just a business. Now pay me.’ Potentially everything wrong with America, all in one paragraph delivered by Pitt.

 

‘Fight Club’

·         Fight Club remains the character Brad Pitt seems forever linked to. When we reflect on his career, it may remain as his signature work.

·         After a third watch, the film finally makes complete sense. Try it.

·         This desire to fight random strangers is clearly a plot reaching for a higher idea. So why were men in the late 90s so desperate to feel something? The film tackles materialism, the greatest internal and societal war that men appeared to contend with. Now 18 years in our rearview mirror, it is astonishing to see that we have appeared to have traded in our materialism ideals for narcissism. Status symbols and name brands have been slightly blurred while the way one is perceived by others online has taken greater prominence. Material items can easily be forged in today’s online world. What is important in today’s world is the appearance of materialism and not necessarily actually owning a Mercedes Benz or dressing like the Queen of England every day. What would Tyler Durden have to say about 2017? It seems that we need a Fight Club more than ever. To truly feel, to truly connect is lost on today’s world – nothing could solve that faster than a punch to the ribs.

·         The fact that Tyler Durden is as cool as he is remembered is a remarkable feat – He wore absurd red sunglasses, tops intended for hookers and slept and bathed in an abandoned dungeon. 

 

’12 Monkeys’

·         Pitt displays his greatest range at this point. As a result, he won a golden globe award for best supporting actor.

·         By the end of this journey of Brad Pitt films, this will contend for the title of his greatest film.

·         Pitt at his ugliest. Cross-eyed, witch-haired and sufficiently bat-shit loco.

 

‘Spy Game’

·         Pitt was two weeks away from graduating from Journalism college, before dropping out. With that in mind, his role in ‘Spy Game’ seemed to come naturally to him.

·         The flash-backs make the entire movie. A viewer will wish that the movie focused more on the spy’s past together as opposed to the present-day circumstance Pitt’s character finds himself in.

·         It’s possible that the film began Pitt’s fascination with spies as he will go on to play a spy in at least two more films. ‘Spy Game’ is likely the greatest of the Pitt/Spy genre.

To be continued..

 

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moneyball_brad-pitt-535x343

Opinion
By James Pavel 

After watching the semi-enticing ‘7 years in Tibet’, I have decided to completely commit myself to watching every Brad Pitt movie in no particular order. Here are my thoughts on the first batch of Brad:

‘MoneyBall’

Billy Beane is the ultimate story of failing to meet grand expectations. I can’t think of a moment that would compete on a scale of frustration.  His inability to perform at the standards he was accustomed to was not a conscious decision nor was it because of any new strategy or unexpected variable. It wasn’t a decision like choosing to leave the club that drafted him or a personal one like choosing to have an affair. It was a mentally excruciating ordeal that was completely out of his control – The sudden saga of no longer being any good has no equal. He will forever be labelled a bust of the greatest proportions. There are few experiences in sports that would be as difficult to overcome as this. To suddenly have the results drastically dwindle for every other past experience would be overwhelming and yet Beane finds a way to squeeze out success in the pros, just in a much different setting. This is certainly one of Pitt’s greatest films.

‘Burn after Reading’

-Brad Pitt’s ability to manipulate his age is second to none. He looks no older than 28 years old in this film despite being well into his 40s

-By far the funniest scenes are of Pitt dancing like a goof

-John Malkovich has some of the greatest anger outbursts in Hollywood. He is the white man’s Samuel L. Jackson.

-This film has potentially the worst ending of Pitt’s career (at this point anyway)

‘Ocean’s 11’

-Likely Brad’s worst fashion/hair phase. The 2000s showed no mercy and even poor Bradley was not spared. His hair urges to grow long but is haulted by the quirky and bizarre trends that defined the new millenium.

-RIP Bernie Mack. Truly hilarious.

 

‘The Devil’s Own’

-Pitt’s worst attempt at an accent.

-The film had the ingredients to be an Irish powerhouse but was petrified to be too dark and focused  heavily on contrived, light-hearted moments that did nothing for the story’s development. We needed to feel Pitt’s character’s pain, but we rarely were given the chance because scenes were either rushed (the opening break in/murder scene) or time is allotted to the police department’s pursuits of no-name crooks. The audience immediately recognized that Harrison Ford’s character was a fine chap, yet the film repeatedly drove this point home instead of defining Pitt’s character as a hell-raising Irish terrorist with a plethora of reasons to be pissed off at the world.

-Pitt reminds us how great an Irish sweater with a leather jacket can look

-A fantastic time warp back to the simplicity of the 90s’. When the father warns the daughter that she is only allowed five more minutes on the telephone, they both know he has the ability to cut the conversation off at any time, unlike a buzzing cellphone that knows no boundaries.

-This story doesn’t have a happy ending. “It’s not an American story…it’s an Irish one.”

‘TROY’

-Probably the most bad-ass opening scene of Pitt’s career. You immediately stand behind Achilles.

-Man versus boy has never been clearer than the relationship between Orlando Bloom and Eric Bana.

To be continued..

 

 

 

 

 

everest

Opinion
By James Pavel

  • The strongest emotion that I experienced during this movie was sadness. There are some great shots, some satisfactory action scenes, but to summarize this movie with a singular emoticon, it would be a 😦 with tears streaming down.
  • Jake Gyllenhaal is in this movie for about a third less than I anticipated. Yet, he still stood out to me as one of the most intriguing characters. He is a reckless hippie with a strong passion for Grandpa’s old, cough medicine, and eventually succumbs to his stubbornness to play by the rules.
  • Gyllenhaal is the most unpredictable actor in Hollywood at the moment.
  • I could never and would never attempt to climb Everest or any mountain remotely close to its tremendous size. I genuinely believe that humans aren’t really meant to attempt such a feat. We can’t get planes or helicopters up there, what makes us think our brittle bones belong that high up?
  • In my eyes, the idea of being that cold for that long is a vivid and accurate portrayal of Hell.
  • It is ironic that many believe that Heaven is up above, but the highest point on the planet is actually an area where one’s nose could freeze off after five minutes. #Justsayin.
  • There are scenes in this film that remind me of the Alberta winter. Yes folks, winter really is that brutal in the prairies.
  • I wonder if little Sarah has any interest in climbing.
  • Freezing to death, falling under ice and drowning, and being eaten by sharks remain the top three worst ways to die in my books.
  • Jason Clarke is the best lead actor that no one has heard of. He has now starred in ‘The Great Gatsby,’ ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ and now ‘Everest.’ Say it with me – Jason Clarke. He ain’t going nowhere.

tom-cruise-mi5

Opinion
By James Pavel

-Mission Impossible is America’s version of James Bond and rather than compare who is better, I feel they are both necessary in the fictional world of terrorism and nuclear attacks.

-Yes, Tom Cruise is crazier than a senior home. But that is why we must hault celebrity worship. They are JUST people. That means they convey idiotic ideas similar to your toddler brother or your crystal-meth addicted sister. They are actors – that’s it. So appreciate him as an actor and do not view him as some sort of all-knowing idol or as someone who should automatically know right from wrong, or crazy from sane.

-Three of the most badass action scenes of the year all occur in this film: Firstly and obviously, the opening scene where Tom Cruise rides on the side of a departing aircraft. Secondly, the underwater sequence where it has been reported that Cruise held his breath for five minutes. Thirdly, the motorcycle scene where Cruise travels at mach 7 speeds to catch a spy carrying an extremely important memory card.

-Toned, pouty-faced, Eastern Europeans/Russians are the new blonde.

-For 53 years old, Tom Cruise is stupidly jacked.

-For 53 years old, Tom Cruise has amazing hair.

-For 53 years old, Tom Cruise is cooler than most 17 year olds.

-This movie was entertaining, but it is the second installment of this series that will likely be considered the greatest version when it’s all set and done.

-I can’t look at Alec Baldwin without thinking of Jack Donaghy.

-What a shame that Tom Cruise has come to be such a polarizing character. In the past five years, he has released three of his greatest action movies: Oblivion, Edge of Tomorrow, and now  Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Cruise is the greatest action hero of all time, but his career has taken such a savage blow from his personal beliefs and antics, that his accomplishments will forever be cast in a dismal shadow of controversy and confusion.

compton

Opinion
By James Pavel

  • Ice Cube’s son looks exactly like him. Duh.
  • Paul Giamatti excels at playing a slime ball. I mean that in the best possible way.
  • I didn’t anticipate Eazy-E to be the focal point of the movie, especially with Dre and Cube exercising so much creative control over the film.
  • After watching Dre’s version of how business went down with Ruthless Records and Death Row, it’d be wise to argue that the album ‘2001’ was the true pinnacle of his career. Dre had complete creative freedom, had no one to report to with the exception of Jimmy Iovine, had all of his apprentices on the album, and it features Dre’s most creative lyrics ever. The album ‘2001,’ which dropped in 1999 also set the precedent for all rap music that followed over the next six to eight years. There would be no “In da Club” or “Without Me” without the influence of Dre’s classic album. It also features arguably Eminem’s greatest lyrics ever. You know, the ones where he threatens those “loud-ass motherfuckin’ barkin’ dogs.”
  • Suge Knight is a horrible human being.
  • ‘Ain’t nuthin’ but a G thang’ is an amazing song, until you fast forward to the future and hear ‘Still D.R.E.’
  • I wish they had explained Eazy’s influence on Bone Thugs n’ Harmony a bit more. The audience only sees a tape labeled “Bone”, but this group continues to rep Eazy til’ this day, meaning that his influence on them was likely akin to Dre’s influence on Eminem.
  • Ice Cube had easily the most versatile and unpredictable career of any star showcased. Cube went from a gangster group, to writing a wildly successful movie, to eventually releasing an album (The War album) that merged rock/rap and came off as a gothic, apocalyptic adventure that rap has never really seen before or after. He then formed a new group called Westside Connection that became the greatest ambassadors of California outside of Snoop Dogg and the dead-too-soon Tupac Shakur. Sure, Cube went on and made a bunch of terrible movies, but at the end of the day, he still got paid, which was kind of always the plan wasn’t it?
  • Love that they included the Rodney King drama. Police brutality obviously was a huge influence on the creation and direction of NWA.
  • I can’t imagine having to make a movie about my own life. Obviously Dre and Cube have accomplished a great deal, making it somewhat easier to know what should be included, but how do you dramatize certain points and know what exactly would be considered turning points? The film made me realize that life isn’t like a movie at all. There is no one to film the tears or the climatic moments that transform a boy into a man. It’s all a blotched, confusing memory that becomes more difficult to explain as the years pass.

hoffman 4

Popcorn Banter10 thoughts on A Most Wanted Man

Opinion
By James Pavel

1. A Most Wanted Man is basically about an elongated, potentially corrupt, charity donation.

2.The final, audible word that Philip Seymour-Hoffman utters is a booming F-bomb in the conclusion of A Most Wanted Man, which turns out, is his last word ever recorded of him playing a starring role. If only we could all ask for such a memorable, everlasting quotable.

3. Unfortunately, this movie will be rapidly forgotten. What will not however is that Hoffman coined the brilliant term “sharted.” For full definition, please see Along Came Polly.

4. The lines and wrinkles on the face of Willem Dafoe should be studied by engineering and art students for their exquisite symmetry and pronounced depth.

5. It appears Hoffman agreed to do this movie on two terms a) He was permitted to relentlessly chain smoke throughout the entire movie and b) he could inhale a quarter glass of scotch every second scene.

6. The final development of A Most Wanted Man is Hoffman in a state of sour hopelessness. He is beat-purple from screaming and he is walking aimlessly with a defeated stare under grey and hazy skies. It’s awful to think, but it may be possible that he dwelled in a similar cast of clouds shortly before his death.

7. I completely believed Rachel McAdams as a German social worker.

8. Hoffman is one of the greatest actors of the past decade and it is a remarkable feat. He isn’t a dashing, leading man, or a box-office king. He was an unattractive, overweight man with a ghostly, unmemorable face. He has starred in uneventful and terribly overrated movies, such as his final project (A Wanted Man,) and definitely, The Master. And yet every performance was shockingly great. Every role felt like his defining role. He could characterize a movie with a single scene.

9. He was what the majority of us men will eventually look like. He was wonderfully average, dangerously talented, and beautifully ugly.

10. Hoffman looked like a man who enjoyed a good laugh and an even better drink. RIP.

sin city

Opinion
By James Pavel

1. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has temporarily taken over from Ryan Gosling as the most badass actor of the moment.

2. Eva Green is naked the entire movie and I refuse to pretend that this isn’t awesome.

3. This film does what other superhero movies are afraid of attempting, which is transforming a movie into a comic book instead of a comic book into a movie. It is why Sin City is so ascetically pleasing and is a source of non-stop excitement, despite zero plot development.

4. She’s so “Eva Green.” That is exactly how to describe a woman that isn’t necessarily hot, but is astonishingly sexy.

5. If you are going to feature Bruce Willis in any capacity, give him the screen time he deserves.

6. Jessica Alba’s role is greater than the sum of her entire professional career. It isn’t that Sin City is that remarkable, it’s just that her past career choices are that unremarkable.

7. Josh Brolin might be one of the top three leading men in Hollywood.

8. An additional villain as twisted and spooky as Elijah Wood in the original film would have served this sequel well.

9. Besides Charlie Sheen and maybe George Clooney, no actor seems more enthusiastic about playing a version of themselves more than Mickey Rourke. You desire a drug-fuelled, heavy-drinking’ bruiser that loves to reminisce about the long-ago glory days? Sign him up.

10. Powers Booth, the man that plays Senator Roark, is frightening and menacing in all the right ways. He reminds me of The Jungle Book’s “Shere Con.” He is exactly the way a villain is supposed to be; Heartless and a little bit disgusting.