Tag Archives: Brad Pitt

Moneyball eschews convention

You know that fall Oscar season is on the march when the “based on a true story” dramas start rolling out to your local cinema.  Moneyball looks to be cashing in on this tired format, combining baseball with all-American star Brad Pitt as he tries to win the big game against all odds.  Yet it refuses traditional trappings that are both pleasurable and middling. Continue reading

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The Tree of Life a lyrical study of the soul

Brad Pitt once asked, “If our fathers are our models for God, what does that say about God?”  Starring Pitt, Terrence Malick’s latest film The Tree of Life taps into the familial as it relates to the supreme “I Am,” with the great human questions of the soul echoed in spectacular images of the cosmic and earthly.  There’s a human compulsion to categorize and simplify and it’s no different when it comes to religion: whether Richard Dawkins ridicules ignorant blind believers or Pat Buchanan scolds godless heathen countries, it’s an unseemly dichotomy especially virulent in U.S. society.  Anyone who tries to perform the same flimflam in describing Tree of Life should be shackled in the town square, as it shoots for the human holy with carrying a crusading flag. Continue reading

The Tree of Life a deeply philosophical American masterpiece

Here at The Filmsmith we have followed the development of this project, from filling you in on the debut of the trailer, to including it in our list of anticipated films. When it was at Cannes, we covered it from afar, and when it seized the top prize, our enthusiasm reached its apex. But now that it has been seen, can it possibly hold up to our vast expectations? In short, no. No film is ever quite what you think it will be, especially one shrouded in mystery, which Terrence Malick’s films tend to be. The better question is whether or not it disappointed. The answer to that is a resounding no, also. It was an altogether strange film, challenging in many regards, and far more experimental than even Malick has produced before, but none of this stopped it from being an incredibly moving portrait of childhood that managed to ask questions about life and death, good and evil, nature and grace. It really blew my mind. Continue reading

Trailer released for Terrance Malick’s Tree of Life

Director Terrance Malick (The Thin Red Line, The New World) has a new film being released in 2011, The Tree of Life.  Previously only attached to screenings of Black Swan, the trailer for Tree of Life was released online yesterday. Continue reading

Dreamworks’ “Megamind” still can’t compete with Pixar

Since late spring there has been continuous buzz about the latest from Dreamworks, Megamind.  Starring Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Brad Pitt, and Jonah Hill, this animated superhero film about a supervillain switching sides sounds pretty enticing – which it is and is not.

There are some enjoyable aspects to Megamind, but it fails to reach the dramatic heights of a Pixar film. Instead it’s more of an “eh” movie experience.  A Donkey Kong reference, allusions to Superman (comic book origins and the original film), and  other general comedy bits had me laughing more than the kids in the audience; and when the usual setup between superhero and supervillain is subverted, I was actually impressed.  However, this surprising moment occurs early and there aren’t any other intriguing plot elements to sustain the film for the rest of the run time.

Overall it’s an okay film, but nothing sublime.  You probably don’t want to pay to see this in cinemas, but would be a decent rental.

*In the film, supervillain Megamind has posters made of himself much like the Barack Obama posters of 2008, except they say “No you can’t.” which provides an amusing, albeit, sad sting after the 2010 elections this week.

Inglourious Basterds: Cultural Edition

So my friends, I have now seen Tarantino’s latest film twice, in the United States, and here in Scotland.

Now, if you have not read it yet, I would like to direct you to Ben Creech’s analysis of the film. His words do a better job than mine:

http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=ben+creech&init=quick#/note.php?note_id=125778207609&ref=mf

The quick review is that the film is better than “Kill Bill” but still not able to eclipse the elephant in the room that is his best film, “Pulp Fiction.” So go see it.

But to get to business:

As I stated, I’ve seen the film twice now in two different countries. Each screening, however was a different experience. Continue reading