6 Degrees: Friday Flix

6 Degrees of Film

Welcome Film Fans! Check out the 6 Degrees of Film Magazine to read:
The Review round up of: Featured reviews this week include the Murder on the Orient Express review from Variety; Goodbye Christopher Robin is reviewed on SF Gate and The Florida Project has seen excellent reviews
There are two actor Profiles in Film Inquiry; one for Brad Pitt and one for Tom Hardy. Willem Dafoe of The Florida Project is interviewed at the Daily Actor site.
Classic reviews: If you are a fan of Jack Nicholson, there are two of his greatest films reviewed here: The Shining and The Two Jakes. And for Kubrick fans, there’s a review of 2001: A Space Odyssey along with The Shining piece.
A look at the blog posts weekly: After reading through some of the film blogs and looking for interesting items, I can’t help but notice the ads and the distractions on the pages that prevent a “clean read” for the review or the article. That’s why some of these pieces aren’t included. The film sites that are interesting and recommended include: Film Inquiry, Roger Ebert and Film Comment, Indiewire and The MacGuffin; She Blogged by Night and Immortal Ephemera, David Bordwell’s site and Film School Rejects site (great name!). I like the site, A Potpourri of Vestiges written by my friend, Murtaza Khan, but as stated, there are some distracting ads that prevent the site from giving you what I consider a “clean read.” Oh, and of course, 6 Degrees of Film will give you Quarterly Newsletters, weekly readouts for the best film blogs and articles, and coming soon, excerpts from the 2013 book, “Six Degrees of Film: The Future of Film in the Global Village.”
Coming Soon: The dreaded end of year “Best of” lists for awards, for the best films of the year, the decade, etc…Some of these are helpful and interesting, and as I go through them, some of them are fairly worthless. So we’ll try and cull out some of the best of the best of lists! Stay tuned for the Holiday Film News coming soon from 6 Degrees. Till then, stay classy film fans, and see you at the movies!-ML

Fury-Capsule Review

Fury 2014What’s the point of making what some critic referred to as a “B-movie about World War II” in this day and age? The acting is the best part of this film. Shia Labeouf does a credible job as does Brad Pitt in the suitably intense role of “Wardaddy”, the leader of a band of men fighting in a tank during the last days of the European combat theatre in WWII.

The point: Resolve on the part of the U.S.  And belief in finishing the job. So when assigned to hold an important road, the leader of the team doesn’t question authority nor does he shirk his duty. All of the important words: duty, honor, courage, and heroism in the face of insurmountable odds-all of these factors are in play here.

One of the stand-out scenes in this mostly by rote war film depicts Pitt/Wardaddy going into a civilian German apartment and simply sitting down and behaving as someone would who is on holiday. He is simply taking a break from war.

Although not quite as effective as, say Spielberg’s use of the child in the red coat inserted into the stark black and white film, ‘Schindler’s List’, this gives us a stark and vivid reminder that not everything in war is black and white. Sometimes the nuances we see or infer become the most memorable take-a-ways from a film.

In some parts of the action sequences, I remembered how my father, a World War II veteran himself, would speak of the way the United States was always depicted in a war film. The John Wayne Mythological hero was just that -a myth. While the Allies were basically a brave and honorable group of men, no one was above reproach when it came to the treatment of Prisoners of War on the battlefield.

This film reminds us that the bravery we see is still very real in times of war, and the morality, or lack of it is sometimes lost in the “fog of war”. It makes even the most moral and upright souls begin to question their humanity and at times, even the existence of God. If that’s not part of the message of this film, then perhaps it’s one that should be considered.

And perhaps the revival of the WWII soldier/ensemble movie will continue. Or maybe this is the last gasp of a dead genre-but for those who love action/adventure films, or war movies in general, this film should satisfy.