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Entries in Brad Pitt (58)

Sunday
Oct192014

Box Office: Fury Attacks with a Tank Full of Gas

Amir here, reporting to box office duty. America finally flocked to the theatres to quench its months-long thirst for knowledge: just what the hell is Brad Pitt’s hair cut about? Most of you have surely found out by now, but I have to wait until Tuesday to see Fury, because my favourite actor present or not, I’m just not willing to spend more than the $7 for ticket plus popcorn deal on a war movie in a tank.

What did you see this weekend? Let us know in the comments how you liked it.

TOP TEN WIDE
01 FURY $23.5 NEW
02 GONE GIRL $17.8  (cum. $107)  Jason's Review
03 THE BOOK OF LIFE $17 NEW Interview
04 ALEXANDER AND THE... $12 (cum. $36.8)
05 THE BEST OF ME $10.2  NEW
06 DRACULA UNTOLD $9.8 (cum. $40.7) 
07 THE JUDGE $7.9 (cum. $26.8)
08 ANNABELLE $7.9 (cum. $74.1)
09 THE EQUALIZER $5.4 (cum. $89.1)
10 THE MAZE RUNNER $4.5 (cum. $90.8) Nathaniel's Review

TOP TEN LIMITED
Excluding Wide Releases Losing Theaters

01 ST. VINCENT $.6 68 theaters (cum. $.8) Michael's Review
02 KILL THE MESSENGER $.4  427 theaters (cum. $1.8)
03 BIRDMAN $.4 4 theaters NEW composer interview | opening night party 
04 DEAR WHITE PEOPLE $.3 11 theaters NEW Michael's Review
05 MEN WOMEN & CHILDREN $.3  608 theaters (cum. $.4)

The weekend’s other wide openings, a Día de Muertos-themed film called The Book of Life and a Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Best of oh, who even cares?, both snuck in the top ten, though critical and public enthusiasm seems rather low. I’m happy for Reel FX bouncing back from the train wreck that was Free Birds, though. Meanwhile, the biggest news of the weekend was the per screen average gross of Birdman, where it ranks among the top 20 of all time.

This year’s best average gross still belongs to Wes Anderson’s Budapest Hotel, but Birdman is the bigger surprise. Anderson is one of a series of active filmmakers whose films always pull the same trick, opening on a few screens to massive numbers before expansion – his namesake P. T. Anderson and Woody Allen always do the same to great degrees of success. Yet, for Birdman to pull of similar numbers is genuinely surprising. My guess is that the film’s appeal remains limited outside of the major markets, but I reserve the right to retroactively edit this prediction out if the film does well.

Other films of note opening this weekend: Listen Up Philip, Dear White People, and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, a film I have surprisingly thought about so often since TIFF that it has forced itself into my top 10 of the year. Go see it! It’s magical.  

Tuesday
Oct072014

Familiar Faces: The David Fincher Players

Up until The Social Network (2010), when a version of this article first appeared, David Fincher was, moderately, a creature of habit when it came to casting. Certain character actors would pop up in miniature roles in more than one film though only one star was a recurring lead (Brad Pitt). Since then it's been more of a free for all with (mostly) new faces in his films.

For Gone Girl it's all new faces but for three men who you'll miss if you blink:

Darin Cooper, Brett Leigh, and Lee Norris

Brett Leigh appears as a nervous intern (he was previously a Phoenix Club hazer in The Social Network); Lee Norris, best known for "One Tree Hill" and "Boy Meets World," shows up as "Officer Washington" after a gig in Zodiac; and Darin Cooper, who played one of Facebook's lawyers in The Social Network, returns as  "Moustached Man"

We hope next time Fincher finds a way to reuse these three and pulls more performers from his past, too. Why? When directors apply previous actors like favorite daubs of paint from their auteurial palettes, it adds a little magic, don't you think? It's like the films are all part of the same universe no matter how different they are. Let's investigate further with...

The David Fincher Acting Hierarchy
(Quantitatively Speaking)


4 Films. 
There's a three way tie for the top honor, each beating Brad Pitt by one film, albeit with much much smaller roles...

• Richmond Arquette 
Yes, that's the least famous member of the Arquette clan (brother to Alexis, David, Rosanna & Patricia). Fincher gives him tiny roles but some are key: he makes the dread box delivery at the end of Se7en, makes the first two kills in Zodiac and he's also in Fight Club and Benjamin Button. He recently had a fine co-leading showcase in Chad Hartigan's This is Martin Bonner.

• Christopher John Fields 
He stretches the furthest back with the director, all the way to Fincher's debut feature Alien³ (1992) where he played "Rains" one of the first victims of the acid-blooded beastie (pictured left), poor guy. He's also The Game's Detective Boyle, Fight Club's dry cleaning man and a copy editor in Zodiac. He appears to no longer be working, though.

• Bob Stephenson 
You might recognize this actor from series regular gigs on TV's Jericho or The Forgotten. He's part of the SWAT team in Se7en (pictured left), a security officer in Fight Club and a killer in both The Game and Zodiac. He recently appeared on an episode of both Agents of SHIELD and Mom.

3 Films
Much more and this man that needs no introduction...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep292014

Watson & Lerman: Our wallflowers are making news

Manuel here to bring you some news on your favorite wallflowers.

Sam, otherwise known as Emma Watson, she of amazing feminist speeches at the UN, has been cast alongside Daniel Brühl in the Chilean set Colonia. I was worried there'd been some white-washing here but as it turns out Emma and Daniel are playing a German couple that gets embroiled in the violence and political unrest of the 1973 military coup. The film is directed by Florian Gallenberger (an Academy Award winner for Best Live Action Short) and has begun shooting in Luxembourg.

Charlie, aka Logan Lerman is about to be everywhere as Fury, that Brad Pitt-fronted World War II tank movie revs up its promotional machine. The film released a couple of character posters although the term is a misnomer since everyone but Brad gets to share their poster. That said, all of the posters look gorgeous, as if they were all advertisements for some military-inspired fashion spread.

(Oh, and I couldn't mention both these wallflowers without pointing you to Ezra Miller's new band's music video).

I love checking up on old co-stars as in my head each film is a bit like a graduating class. As Perks alumni go, this trio seems to be doing quite well for themselves, no? Are you excited for Emma’s movie, a clear step in the right direction as she grows into more adult roles? Are you not exhausted enough by war dramas to follow Pitt and Lerman into the testosterone-heavy Fury?

Monday
Sep152014

Thoughts I Had...While Admiring the Beauty of Brangelina in "By the Sea"

abstew here with some random thoughts on the just released new stills from the newest directorial effort of Oscar winner Angelina Jolie, By the Sea. EW received the exclusive pics (hence the magazine's watermark on the photos) and a mini-interview with the writer/director/producer and star that pairs her up on screen with new husband Brad Pitt (their first on-screen partnering since the film that brought them together and launched a million tabloid magazine covers, Mr. and Mrs. Smith). Set in the 1970's, Jolie stars as a former ballet dancer travelling France with her American husband (that would be Pitt, naturally). Their marriage is beginning to show signs of strain and they find themselves drawn to the inhabitants of a small costal town on their journeys...and comedy ensues! (But probably not):

  • Damn. I feel like they just announced this film was in the works and we already have photos after one week of shooting...and just three weeks after a super secret marriage? Beautiful, talented, and hyper-organized. That Jolie-Pitt household must run like a well-oiled machine. Which I guess it would have to considering how many children there are to juggle as well.
  • I love that instead of going on a traditional honeymoon, Brad and Angelina chose to spend 8 weeks filming a domestic drama together. Apparently Angie's calling it a "Workingmoon". Ugh.
  • God, they're both so pretty. Just look at that face. If Madonna were singing about movie stars of today it would be, "Angelina: Gave Good Face."
  • I'm getting serious Sophia Loren vibes from Angie in this pic. 
  • Everyone is always complaining that Angie is a movie star without the movies to back it up. After the commercial success of Maleficent, could this be the critical hit that boosts her film legacy?
  • Film about a failing marriage, starring Hollywood's biggest real-life couple - is it too much pressure to already compare this to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 
  • Although the last time we had Angie in a lush European setting we got everyone's favorite Musical or Comedy The Tourist, so...yeah, maybe too much pressure. I should settle for something in between the two.
  • But how great would it be if Brad and Angie were both nominated for acting Oscars in the same year for the same film? Maybe throw Jon Voight in there too just to make it a complete family affair.

  • Honestly, can we get Brad Pitt an acting Oscar already?! They can keep it on a separate shelf away from the producing Oscars and give Angie's Best Supporting Actress acting statue some company. And Zahara, Shiloh, and lil Vivienne can dress them up in doll clothes.
  • Sideburns, creepy sunglasses, and pornstache? Yep, this is definitely set in the 70's.
  • Although staring into that mirror, I half expect him to reenact the final scene in Boogie Nights. "I am a star..."
  • Isn't Mélanie Laurent in this as well? I want a picture of her, too! God, she's so good in Beginners and Inglorious Basterds (with Pitt!).
  • I actually didn't like Brangelina's last on-screen pairing, but there was no denying their combustible chemistry. I'm curious if after almost 10 years together they'll still be able to make that spark between them light up the screen. And I know we generally wait for an actual trailer before utilizing Yes, No, Maybe So, but I'm already a Yes...

Universal is releasing By the Sea sometime next year (most likely in the Fall). But in the meantime, we'll have countless red carpet and awards show appearances this season for both stars as Pitt has Oscar hopeful Fury opening October 17 and the Angelina Jolie-helmed Unbroken opens Christmas Day.

Sunday
Aug242014

182 days 'til Oscar

Which power couple will be obsessing over in just six months time? The 87th Oscars approach and as long as the movies have been around there have been fabulously wealthy and glamorous movie star couples. Take Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks for instance, the original celebrity power couple. If you must know (I know you are too shy to ask) my favorite films of theirs are His: The Thief of Bagdad (1924) and Hers: Stella Maris (1918) though admittedly I have many more left to see.

Fairbanks & Pickford were married in 1920 when both were superstars, he the original Zorro and she Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and other big hits. He famously gave Pickford "The Star of Bombay," a 182-carat sapphire which was not actually from Bombay but from Sri Lanka. She later bequeathed it to the Smithsonian where it remains. There's your priceless (okay, $½ million in today's dollars) piece of trivia for the day. You're welcome.

Pickford (the original "America's Sweetheart") and Fairbanks (the original "King of Hollywood") were among the 36 co-founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Fairbanks served as its first President and both would eventually receive Honorary Oscars with Mary also winning a regular statuette for Coquette). Could they have ever imagined how obsessive we'd all be about their little annual banquets 87 years later? 

At the 86th Oscars, contemporary Hollywood's most glamorous megastar couple Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt famously ate a pizza (well, he did) but they were also honored. She took home an Honorary (albeit non televised. argh) and he won his first competitive Oscar for producing 12 Years a Slave. They could theoretically both take home Oscars again if Fury and Unbroken are massive hits with AMPAS and reasonably well liked by audiences. 

Do you think they will be?

CURRENT OSCAR PREDICTIONS (which category needs a major rethink?)

Friday
Jun272014

Yes No Maybe So: Fury

Behold, a glorious poster for Fury, the forthcoming war drama (opening in November) starring Brad Pitt and assorted thespians of the male gender. If the movie is great (a big if) this is the kind of poster that would become iconic. It's almost mythic already, what with the perfect but unexpected composition, evocative mood, stormy color and the title painted on the tank's gun. 

The trailer also came out this week so let's break that down with our Yes No Maybe So system after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun112014

Brad Pitt in "Fury"

A behind the scenes look at David Ayer's Fury, which takes place late in World War II and collects a bunch of strong actors (Michael Pena, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, etcetera with Brad Pitt to lead them) for tank duty. Did I underestimate it on my Oscar charts? They're shooting on real film. Good on them.