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Fury - Blu-ray Review

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Fury - Movie Review

4 stars

Machismo gets a proper dusting in writer/director David Ayer’s Fury.  This WWII tale of American soldiers at odds with themselves and the Germans around them is as grizzly and as violent as the war genre gets.  While it might not be an entirely true tale, a revisionist’s view of history Fury is not.  Everything about Ayer’s latest movie looks and feels absolutely believable and, especially in this day and age, it is a good reminder about the consequences and true casualties of war.

Fury doesn’t really have a traditional plot but the idea behind it – about the endlessness of war – is very visceral.  Ayer has designed the film to be episodic as one U.S. Army sergeant in the 2nd Armored Division nicknamed “Wardaddy” (Brad Pitt) commands an M4A3E8 Sherman tank called "Fury" and its crew through town after town ridding them of the enemies.  The dread of the soldier’s situation is exquisitely felt through most of Fury in that way only the great Sam Peckinpah could master as the men gregariously rib each other “until death do us part”.

Set during the last month of the European Theater of war, “Fury” and its crew – actors Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, Michael Peña – would probably like to be anywhere else.  They are living hard inside a rusty tank and wallowing in the violence around them as heads and limbs pop like watermelons in this all-out declaration of total war.  Kill or be killed is the order of the day and they would be foolish to not follow it.  We don’t learn a lot about them but their weary faces – especially Pitt’s – tells the narrative we don’t dare ask about.  These men have seen hell up close and it has changed them, forcing them to part with their own humanity.

Ayer’s has been with asshole characters like these before.  Sabotage gave audiences the steely-eyed bravado also seen here but that script didn’t need to deliver the heart to get its point across.  Fury, in order to land its big ol’ wheels of gritty Saving Private Ryan-sized ambition, needs to handle the bravado with the emotion and does so in surprising moments of quiet that reveal the depth of character inside these soldiers.  They aren’t just fleshy shells following orders and yelling out racial slurs as bullets fly.  Witnessing just how inhumane these men have to become in order to survive the demands of these war games is the point of Ayer’s piercing screenplay.  Some audiences will have to shield their eyes at the level Ayer takes the grisly matter of war.  This is not a game.  It is not fun.  

It is this delicate balance between balls-out brawn and quiet grief that makes Fury a standout film for Ayer.  He comes very close to perfection with several key moments between Pitt and Lerman, including a scene where Wardaddy forces the reluctant Cobb to gun down an unarmed German prisoner.  This is a character-driven look at the paradox of war that misses being a classic film because of its commitment to the grueling cynicism created by the endless barrage of makeshift Molotov Cocktails.  It is a tough film to recommend to the casual filmgoer looking for Friday night entertainment. 

Fury, being all about its own survival, is anything but escapism.

Fury - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout.
Runtime:
134 mins
Director
: David Ayer
Writer:
David Ayer
Cast:
Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman
Genre
: War | Military | Drama
Tagline:
War never ends quietly.
Memorable Movie Quote: "It will end, soon. But before it does, a lot more people have to die."
Distributor:
Columbia Pictures
Official Site: http://furymovie.tumblr.com/
Release Date:
October 17, 2014
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 27, 2015
Synopsis: April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.

Fury - Movie Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - January 27, 2015
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD); UV digital copy; Digital copy
Region Encoding: A, B

This is a fantastic looking film. The 1080p transfer to Blu-ray is spot on with dark and depressing colors but adding a tremendous amount of excitement in every scene.  It adds so much grit to its style that makes it feel authentic and as if you’re right in the middle of the battle.  There’s a very healthy layer of grain throughout – yes, it was shot on film, so that will be very pleasing to the eye. You’ll be the sixth crewmember in that Sherman tank once you pop this Blu-ray into your player.  There are several scenes that take place in complete darkness and in darkly lit interiors.  Crush was absent and all of those levels were deep and inky and free from compression artifacts.  There is only one sequence on the film that adds “color” to the film’s very muted color wheel and that happens when the boys drive into town and meet up with some town folks. Outside of that Fury has an almost sepia tone throughout.  The sound design – mastered here in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 – is absolutely incredible.  From the big explosions to the bullets banking off the Fury tank, all the sound effects make the film an epic thing to listen to.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Hold on to your helmets! With over 50 minutes of character-building deleted scenes, Fury is this week’s best bang for your buck. I smell an extended version of Fury hitting the streets in a year or so. Standard DVDs hold one featurette, but Blu-ray packages have more — four making-of featurettes that include interviews with the cast and crew are available. Blu-ray buyers also get almost an hour of deleted scenes. Director David Ayer put so much work into this film and you definitely see it. In one of the segments, the main cast talks about the making of the overall film and their experience with researching for their roles. They actually sat with war veterans to gain any sort of information and knowledge they could receive. There’s also a great segment on veterans discussing their life experiences at war and although haunting to hear, it’s also incredible. Finally, there is a fun segment on the cast learning how to drive the tank that was almost a character in itself so that’s pretty badass to see.

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (56 min)
  • Director's Combat Journal (18 min)
  • Armored Warriors: The Real Men Inside the Shermans (12 min)
  • Blood Brothers (10 min)
  • Taming the Beasts: How to Drive, Fire and Shoot Inside a 30-Ton Tank (13 min)
  • Photo Gallery

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