Five-time Academy Award nominee Brad Pitt delivers another gritty performance in this intense, gripping World War II thriller. The 50-year old actor more than holds his own as the very capable and confident Army sergeant leading a five-man tank crew against Nazis in 1945 Germany. Pitt, along with the other well cast soldiers in the movie, poignantly demonstrate the horrors found on the battlefield while showcasing the courage to stand up for each other even when their situation turns dire.Moviegoers hoping that “Fury” resembles the 1998 Oscar-winning “Saving Private Ryan” (11 Academy Award nominations) will be mildly disappointed. Some similarities, however, do exist between the two war stories. The high point in “Fury” is marked by exceptional cinematography with very realistic, but gruesome, battle scenes. In fact, the final 30 minutes of “Fury” are extremely captivating and will make audience members feel almost as though it’s them fighting the Germans from inside an American tank. In several scenes, it’s easy to draw connections to Tom Hanks’ squad pinned down by enemy fire throughout France during “Saving Private Ryan”.“Fury” departs, though, from any likeness to the most successful war movies due to its blandly written script and the lack of any meaningful investment in the film’s characters—including Pitt’s—from the audience. For most of the actors we’re never even told their names; instead only given a nickname…like the movie’s title for their armored ride and the real star of the film. Between the fascinating battle engagements, none of the characters or their actions becomes particularly endearing to viewers or noteworthy. We care for these guys because of their vital mission and the extremely dangerous circumstances they find themselves, but the film doesn’t afford us much more than that on a personal level to the soldiers.The bottom line is that “Fury” is a violent war movie that graphically illustrates the heavy burden America carried to stop fascism and Adolf Hitler in Europe. Rightfully, the movie pulls no punches on the violence of war and the high price paid by our nation and her greatest generation. While “Fury” may have sold the military storytelling a bit short in detailing the bigger picture, it gets the small stuff spot-on. It exhibits the many superstitions and silly slogans of those wearing the uniform, along with the foxhole bonding found only in men under deadly fire. “Fury” offers a grisly, unvarnished look inside one Sherman tank and her courageous men battling evil. It honors all those who have ever served our country and found themselves fighting long odds for survival. For that reason alone, “Fury” is worth seeing and remembering.Grade: B+(Editor’s Note: Patrick King is a resident of Oro Valley and writer for the REEL BRIEF movie blog at www.reelbrief.com. You may email him at email@example.com.)
Staff of Tucson Local Media made its way to Harvest for October’s monthly Sippin’ Social – an event which the public is welcomed and encouraged to join to engage in conversation or simply enjoy happy hour selections. The turnout continues to grow each month, this go-around seeing about 15 faces – some new, some familiar. The idea behind the meetings – which take place on the third Thursday of each month, is twofold. First, it allows newspaper staff to collect public input on the type, quality, and amount of content being delivered through Tucson Local Media’s publications, which include The Explorer, Tucson Weekly, Inside Tucson Business, Foothills News, Desert Times, and Marana News. Tell us what you like or don’t like, what you’d like to see less and more of, or whether you think reporting is balanced. Have a story in mind? Pitch it to us. We as a newspaper rely on reader input when it comes to this. The second purpose is to provide a happy hour review of the particular month’s restaurant of choice. These restaurants/bars are generally located on the northwest side, alternating between Oro Valley and Marana, but with the acquisition of additional newspapers, could expand to fit the readership of those publications.In the case of Harvest, it’s a must try, if for nothing else than the mountain views and broad wine selection. Located in the heart of Oro Valley, Harvest, with its reasonable happy hour, won’t kill the wallet, either. While abundant conversation in this case took priority over reviewing food and drink, I did enjoy a 20-ounce Deep Canyon Amber ($4.85), a familiar brew made locally from Thunder Canyon Brewery. Wine was a popular choice of the others at the table, but what is most important was our server’s ability to keep up with a 15-person group, always remaining courteous and prompt. Next month on Thursday, Nov. 20, staff will try out Fox and Hound, located at 7625 N. La Cholla Blvd from 4-6 p.m.