Movies

Peter Suderman Reviews Fury

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FURY (Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Reviews have been somewhat mixed so far, but I thought there was a lot to appreciate in Fury. From my review in today's Washington Times:

'Fury" is one of the most violent, brutal, nightmarish movies you'll see all year. It is a movie about carnage and killing, chaos and madness, blood and dirt, and the will to kill. It's a war movie, one of the most intense I've ever seen, and, for the most part, it's a rather good one, even though it's not always easy to watch.

"Fury" is set aboard a tank at the tail end of World War II. The Allies are pushing through Germany, taking town after town, frequently hitting fierce resistance, despite the seeming inevitability of the outcome.

Despite its World War II setting and its fetish for visual accuracy, the movie is not much of a history lesson. Instead, it's a violent, often nihilistic meditation on the nature of war and the drive to continue fighting and killing to the bitter end.

This is probably not quite the Oscar-contender that the filmmakers hoped, but it's a strong, intense quasi-revisionist look back at World War II. I say "quasi-revisionist" because, while it certainly plays as an attempt to undercut the case for WWII as "the good war," it doesn't go all the way. The movie rejects the idea that there's something honorable or noble about war, but it seems uncertain about whether or not it's sometimes necessary, and, in the end, it suggests that war can ultimately provide…well, not meaning, exactly, but a kind of release. 

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  1. OT: Fed officials getting wobbly on stopping QE in October.

    Pro L was right. “October of what year?”

    1. We’ll see. Yellen and other Feddies seem nervous about overdoing this. She still reduced QE to a ‘mere’ 15 billion a month.

  2. The movie rejects the idea that there’s something honorable or noble about war, but it seems uncertain about whether or not it’s sometimes necessary,

    Sometimes war comes to you.

    1. Yeah, tell a Pole or Belgian or Finn about how unnecessary war is…

      1. Its Suderman world. Reality doesn’t enter into the equation.

        1. Or good taste in movies. I want to be excited for Fury but he and the other reviewer whose name I forget have a long history of shitty reviewing.

          1. I think it looks pretty good. And really Suderman’s only bitch seems to be that it was violent (its a fucking war movie) and just wasn’t quite the polemic against the evils of fighting the Nazis he had hoped it would be. I am still not seeing a reason not to go see it.

            1. I don’t think he’s complaining about the brutality indeed that appeals to his suspicions of glorifying war. Other reviewers seem put off by all that ickiness.

              1. Movies that glorify war gloss over the brutality. Movies that are anti-war generally emphasize the brutality. I don’t understand how the movie showing war in a really brutal and hard to watch way could be interpreted as glorifying war.

              2. Nevermind. I misunderstood you. Again though, I still think it looks good.

          2. “but he and the other reviewer whose name I forget…”

            I believe Jay Sherman is who you’re thinking of.

            1. No that’s not it.

      2. He did say “sometimes”.

    2. Statements like that one from Suderman underscore for me why I’m a Heinlein libertarian rather than a Rothbard libertarian.

  3. The movie rejects the idea that there’s something honorable or noble about war, but it seems uncertain about whether or not it’s sometimes necessary, and, in the end, it suggests that war can ultimately provide…well, not meaning, exactly, but a kind of release.

    WTF? I sure haven’t been in any war like that. Release of what?

    1. Hollywood’s pent-up pretend-aversion to violence?

      1. There once was a girl named Pandora …

        1. And she slept around like a whore-a.

  4. Sounds pretty good. I’m very pleased that Hollywood is using CGI to make more historically accurate war movies. No matter how good some of the older movies are, it always distracted and annoyed me to see American tanks and airplanes simply repainted with enemy markings.

    1. All those war movies from the 70s with repainted Shermans.

      1. Are you telling me those Tigers in Kelly’s Heroes were Shermans?

        1. Always with the negative waves, Moriarty, always with the negative waves.

          1. God I love that movie.

            1. Me, too. Interestingly, that was my first Clint Eastwood movie.

              1. I think my first was Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, which is a classic if you have never seen it. Jeff Bridges and Clint Eastwood. How could a movie like that not be great?

                1. I saw Kelly’s Heroes around the same time I saw my first Charlton Heston movie, Planet of the Apes.

                  The late 60s/early 70s had some awesome movies.

                  1. They do not make them like they used to. Not even close.

                    1. The story focus of the directors in the 70s is something that’s sadly lacking from most Hollywood films today.

        2. The problem in that movie (which I love, don’t get me wrong) is the abysmal tactical doctrine they have the Germans use.

          Tiger drivers weren’t that stupid. Putting your giant tank in the middle of a little village on a narrow little street sounds smart to laymen. But that was always a recipe for letting infantry advance under cover and launch a disabling attack.

          The Russians would have already killed anybody that stupid.

          1. This is true. They also were out in the open in the middle of the town square. They might as well have had a “bomb me” sign on them for American P47s.

            That said, it was a necessary dramatic concession. Without the tanks in the town, you really can’t have the ending to the movie.

            1. Act III isn’t really the point of that movie, anyway.

              Fucking Act I, man. Holy shit do they introduce their characters better than maybe any other war movie ever other than The Dirty Dozen.

              1. And they portray life in the Army in a combat zone with dead on realism. I am not kidding. Yeah, the movie is a farce. But the look and the feel and enormousness of it and the general surreality of the entire thing is spot on.

                Whenever people ask me what is a realistic war movie, I always like to say Kelly’s Heroes, not because it shows tactics and such as it is but because it shows people at war as they are.

              2. Indeed. Though the best entrance ever was by Orson Welles in The Third Man, which is the second time I’ve mentioned that film in this thread.

          2. Look, all that gold was distracting. Besides, it worked out for the crew of one Tiger tank, didn’t it?

            1. That’s what makes it one of the best caper movies ever, on top of being a cool war movie.

              They resolve the dramatic conflict by cutting the last of the villains in on the deal. I love that.

              That’s how Deep Cover should have ended, too, man. I am still mad about that. And nobody else besides me has ever even SEEN that movie.

              1. I have totally seen Deep Cover and you are correct about how it should’ve ended. Fishburne was really good in it.

              2. I saw it in the theater, even.

      2. Not true. Many of them were post war American M48s

        1. Yes, they were not only American tanks, but period incorrect!

  5. Speaking of movies, I finally watched I Sell the Dead. It was endearing in an Evil Dead sort of way. It stars one of the lesser hobbits (Dildo, maybe?) and another guy I didn’t recognize as Dildo’s grave robbing mentor Willie Grimes. Expect much chuckling, possibly a guffaw or two.

  6. OT: I saw Winter Soldier the other night. Captain America is now my favorite comic book superhero.

    1. That movie was awesome.

        1. Just read the synopsis to this. So sad that marvel chose Stark to be the front man for the government. Given the way his character acted in the first Iron Man movies, I have a hard time seeing him as the “Help government round up innocent people” type of guy.

          I never read the comics, just going from the movies. I hate it when some of my favorite characters seem to completely abandon that which made them cool to me.

          1. I think the idea is that he holds himself responsible for the creation of some supervillain, which might have been prevented had there been better oversight of himself.

    1. YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH

    2. Also

      The tank team’s other longtime members ? Bible (Shia LaBeouf), Gordo (Michael Pea), and Grady (Jon Bernthal)

      Haha. “Michael Pea.”

    3. That one counts as a Tarantino movie that has Brad Pitt in it. Tarantino hasn’t made a good movie in fifteen years.

      1. “His earlier work is better” may or may not describe Woody Allen (I don’t watch his stuff), but it totally describes Tarantino.

        Oh look! His next movie is about bounty hunters in the Civil War era! And Samuel L. Jackson is in it! Way to stretch yourself, QT!

      2. All Tarantino movies were never really movies as much as they were compilations of awesome one-off scenes.

        The individual scenes in Basterds are as good as anything he’s ever done. If they don’t assemble into a perfect movie…well, none of his movies have ever assembled into a perfect movie. They don’t need to.

        1. I’m not much of a fan of his stuff. I liked the Kill Bill movies okay, but that’s about it.

          1. I think Kill Bill is when it started to become clear he was losing it. Admittedly there were some good scenes in there, but it should not have taken 4 hours to tell the story of “here’s a woman, and here’s a handful of people she wants dead.”

            1. I actually really only like the second movie. I was being nice.

        2. Fair enough, but that’s why, IMO, it only worked twice – once with Reservoir Dogs, which is a short-story, really, almost a one-scene movie, and once with Pulp Fiction, which gleefully swept coherence aside as an irrelevance.

          Since then, he’s just repeating himself, and it gets more and more stale every year.

          Same with David Lynch, who is also good at scenes, but sucks at movies.

          1. Lost Highway was David Lynch’s best.

              1. The unmade movie is always more interesting than the made one.

                The trailer and interviews sure do make it seem interesting, but I could see it devolving into a campy farce that ends up an unintentional comedy.

                1. Sadly, yeah. Jodorowsky seems to have boundless vision but not enough kitestring to tie it down. The bits about having his his son trained to take on Paul Atreides’ role borders on lunacy.

                  1. It’s fun to think about that insanity, but good movie it would’ve never been.

              2. I highly, highly recommend that documentary. Fascinating and funny.

                I think Taschen should publish that giant book they made to try to sell the movie.

    4. Me too. The sad part about that is that there really is a great movie to be made about the actual vigilantes that ran around Germany after the war. It is a little known story but there actually were bands of Jews and dissident Germans who hunted down and murdered various Nazis who had tortured or imprisoned them or murdered their families.

      Too bad Tarantino got a hold of the subject before someone else who could have made a decent movie did.

      1. He should do a movie about the penicillin black market in Vienna right after the war. Using zither music.

        1. Not enough movies use zither music.

          1. Quentin Tarantino’s The Third Man. With more ultraviolence.

        2. They already did that with Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

          1. That was in Vienna and involved the penicillin black market? Was Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten in it, too?

            1. It involved a Mandolin which can sound like a zither.

      2. They could do it about the related expulsion of Germans from Czech. Whole lot of scores were getting settled up there, at the end.

    5. All you of suck at movies. That is all.

      1. Your taste reminds me of Otto in A Fish Called Wanda.

        1. Okay that was funny. But you all still have terrible taste in movies.

    6. WHORE MOUTH SHUT YOU YOUR

  7. Monday I was in a place that had CNN on and Nick Gillespie was the guest on the show. I forget now what the topic was but he said in so many words “well if it were up to me they would ban war”. He said with a total sense of smugness like he was actually saying something intelligent and witty. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.

    1. “Let me put this in language your CNN audience can understand.”

    2. I’m sure it would be at least as effective as banning pot, Mexicans, and ass sex.

      1. The funny part is it has been done. Its called the Kellogg Briand Treaty. It was signed in the 1920s.

        So yeah, it has been about as effective as banning pot and ass sex.

        1. The problem with banning war is that it creates a black market in war. Look at the illegal wars that followed, like WWII. Much worse than legal wars.

          1. Precisely – legal wars can be taxed and regulated.

        2. Bans on pot and sodomy significantly reduce pot use and sodomy. The Kellog-Briand pact preceded the most brutal war in history which was followed by an age of innumerable small scale wars. If the KB treaty was as effective at curtailing war as sodomy bans were at curtailing sodomy and openly gay behavior then the treaty would recognized as sheer brilliance.

          1. Bans on pot and sodomy significantly reduce pot use and sodomy.

            “Look, if people don’t talk about it, it ain’t happening!”

    1. LOL

      I fairness, judging from her twitter profile picture, she got her job for assets not related to her brain. Just saying.

      1. Her picture makes her look like she talks like Miss Teen South Carolina. So it’s fitting that she also re-tweeted that meme.

      2. Re: John,

        I fairness, judging from her twitter profile picture, she got her job for assets not related to her brain.

        How. Dare. You!

        She clearly got that job not because of her looks but because of her obvious intellectual capabilities and by knowing who to blow.

    2. Read it a short time ago.

      The funniest part? She tweets later “Hi all: clearly a poorly researched tweet, know a lot are fired up & I apologize. Will do better next time. Thx for keeping me honest.”

      1st. She will do better next time. Which implies she had been spewing lies until now on Twitter

      2nd. She admits she wasn’t being honest. Because she did not end her Tweet with “thanks for the correction. Appreciate it. Will dance around a pole for you, honest!” or something of that nature.

      1. She at least apologized. She didn’t claim it was a “typo” in a long form article in the magazine she edits, like Ezra Klein did yesterday.

        1. Mein Kampf was a typo. The whole thing was just a big misunderstanding.

    3. Reporters for straight new networks probably shouldn’t have twitter accounts.

  8. Instead, it’s a violent, often nihilistic meditation on the nature of war and the drive to continue fighting and killing to the bitter end.

    So it’s like Masada except with tanks. And fewer Jews.

    1. Gotta put in a plug for Slaughterhouse Five.

    2. The one with Peter O’Toole?

      Is it wrong that I find myself rooting for the Romans in that book/movie? Not in any anti-Semitic sense, mind you. . .more pro-Roman. It’s wrong also (to answer my own question) since I’m favoring the imperialist conquerors over the native people.

      1. Re: Pro Libertate,

        The one with Peter O’Toole?

        I wasn’t aware of the existence of anoth…. Oh, you’re making a rhetorical question!

    3. Fewer Jews, really? Fury stars three Jewish actors in the lead (Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, and Shia LaBeouf) and one in supporting (Jason Isaacs).

      1. They are not playing Jewish characters, especially not LaBeouf.

  9. The only WWII movie I am interested in is Heroes of Telemark, but that’s not on Amazon streaming. Nor is Knut Haukelid’s book about the raid on Kindle. That’s one of the most fascinating and harrowing stories of WWII.

    1. I’m partial towards Cross of Iron, best anti-war movie with brave and resourceful German soldiers for a change. You can find it for free (I think) in Youtube wtih Serbian subtitles.

      1. Great cast.

        I even kind of like the sequel they made with Richard Burton.

      2. That’s a good one. Also: The Dam Busters.

    2. What? No, go watch Kelly’s Heroes and The Dirty Dozen. Only then will you know the true meaning of WWII.

      1. The one with Trini L?pez?

          1. Don’t even joke about remaking that movie. And don’t even mention Trini Lopez without crying. He was so close to making it man. So close.

            1. They’d remake it, but there’s no one who can run with grenades as well as Jim Brown.

              1. I can’t even imagine how modern day Hollywood would fuck that movie up if they ever got their filthy paws on it.

                They would make it into an all girl mission with Lena Dunham playing the Lee Marvin part and Halley Berry as Jim Brown.

                1. Lee Marvin is irreplaceable, too.

                  1. He’s great with Gloria Grahame in The Big Heat.

    3. Have you checked out “Cross of Iron” with James Coburn. Wehrmacht grunts vs. Russians, fight to the death.

      1. The one I just mentioned?

        1. No, he’s suggesting the graphic novel.

    4. I’ve always wanted to see the original Norwegian version.

    5. Katyn is still free on youtube. It’s extremely harrowing and tough to watch. As you’d expect, given the subject matter. The end scenes are among the most clinical and chilling I’ve ever seen. Makes you realize just how far from the mark Spielberg hit with Schindler’s List.

  10. Since this thread is attracting war movie fans, somebody help me out.

    Maybe 25 years ago at one in the morning on cable I saw a fucking Italian made war movie (Italian with dubbing) about an Italian division in Libya that starts out as a full division but gradually loses men and equipment until at the end they’re left with like 5 guys hiding in holes using these weird WWII IED’s to try to hold the British off.

    Does that sound familiar to anyone? I’ve been trying to track it down again for MOTHERFUCKING 25 YEARS.

    It probably is total crap and I remember it fondly because it was one of those weird one in the morning TV experiences that destroys your perspective. But still, I’d like to figure it out if I can.

      1. Unfortunately, no Lee van Cleef in this one.

        1. I just rewatched a bunch of spaghetti westerns and was thinking how awesome he was. He’s one of the few guys who could hold his own against Clint in a western.

          Really, he’s the hero of For a Few Dollars More, too.

    1. I have never seen that one but maybe you can help me with mine. What is the American movie from the 1970s where they have gone out to the Libyan desert and found the wreckage of an American bomber that had crashed there leaving the crew to die. So the movie takes place in the 60s or 70s but one of the people on the group that came out to the plane can see and talk to all of the ghosts of the crew.

      I remember seeing that as a kid and have never seen it since and have no idea the name of it.

      1. It’s not this, is it?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S…..1970_film)

        If so, I must see this immediately BECAUSE SHATNER.

        1. You dorked the link up

            1. That is it. Thanks. And it is really kick ass as I remember.

    2. The only one I remember seeing about Italians fighting in WWII that did not include Alberto Sordi is Italiani Brava Gente and they were not fighting in Libya but in Russia.

      1. I don’t think it’s that one, but wow…I would like to see that.

        Italian-Soviet production? Yes please.

      2. You haven’t seen Rossellini’s war trilogy?

        Rome, Open City is quite good.

    3. And fucking Google is no help because when you Google any combination of “Italian Libya war movie” you get 1000 links to Lion of the Desert.

    4. If Sophia Loren wasn’t in it, I won’t be familiar with it.

      1. Damn it, I really need to learn to scroll down before commenting.

  11. Great World War II movie, 12 O’clock High.

  12. You jerkoffs let a war movie thread die too early.

    I’m to understand Fury uses an actual Tiger tank from the Bovington tank museum. May I also suggest:

    Stalingrad (the German one)
    Come and See
    Generation War (was in theaters this year, with subtitles)

  13. CitizenFour!

  14. Saw Fury. Very brutal, and not just for the soldiers, as is war. Good story, excellent effects, good film.

    Despite its World War II setting and its fetish for visual accuracy, the movie is not much of a history lesson.

    POV is a sergeant. From a non-com viewpoint The Big Picture isn’t on the list of things to worry about, which list is full of “who can kill me and how can I kill them first.” In a WWII tank the world is limited to line-of-sight. (There are things further away that can kill you, like artillery, but you can’t do anything about them so they’re pretty well ignored.)

  15. If Where Eagles Dare isn’t on the list of all-time great WWII movies it is an incomplete list. It was Castle Wolfenstein before there was one.

  16. Saw this movie last night. Some spoilers in what follows.

    The thing I found most interesting and good was the attempt to portray a small unit tank battle from the point of view of the crews.

    One of the problems for me is that the characters are almost completely unlikable for most of the movie. Most of Fury’s crew have been fighting together for the entire American involvement in the European Theater and they are worn down to nubs of human beings by having survived it, and dealing with the Nazi government’s increasingly desperate attempts to stop the Allied advance(it is very late in the war when the story opens). There are a lot of the brutal element that seem completely over the top. With some exception the veteran American soldiers are depicted as completely merciless (though that is explained as pragmatism).

    They regard the SS as the villians, but one of the crew is saved by the mercy of an SS soldier.

    There are a lot of elements of Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, and The Big Red One making up the plot of this movie. It is technically very well done, a liked aspects of it, but I cannot say I really liked the movie overall.

  17. “… it suggests that war can ultimately provide…well, not meaning, exactly, but a kind of release.”

    It seems to be along the lines of Churchill’s quote about there being nothing so exhilarating as the experience of being shot at and missed.

    1. It seems to be along the lines of Churchill’s quote about there being nothing so exhilarating as the experience of being shot at and missed.

      Speaking from experience this is very true.

      Coming perilously close to death is profoundly invigorating. Which is precisely why people become addicted to “extreme” sports and constantly push the envelope until they either have a scare they can’t handle, or die.

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