Tag Archives: Brad Pitt

The Set of 400: #72 – My Favorite Movie Theater Inferno

Today! Because if I don’t pick up this phone right here, you may very well get all four, and if you get all four, you’ll end the war – tonight –

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Directed by Quentin Tarantino (x4)

Starring Brad Pitt (x3), Melanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz (x2), Eli Roth, Michael Fassbender (x2), Diane Kruger, Daniel Bruhl (x2), B.J. Novak, Mike Myers (x2), Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, Jacky Ido, Omar Doom, Denis Menochet, Julie Dreyfus, Martin Wuttke, Lea Seydoux (x3), Samuel L. Jackson (x9)

Every Tarantino movie is an event, but Inglourious Basterds was something special. It was his first full length movie in five years – skipping the whole gimmicky Grindhouse thing, which was fine. I mean, come on, you don’t count Four Rooms when jumping from Pulp Fiction to Jackie Brown, do you? Of course not! So it had been since the second part of Kill Bill in 2004 – the rare Tarantino film that didn’t make this list – and this one was coming in a summer. How weird was that? Figure, Quentin hadn’t had a film with serious awards attention since ’94, so to take this movie out of the season for statues and drop it into August – that had to be something else, right? And man, it was.

Was it ever

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The Set of 400: #103 – My Favorite Smirking Revenge

Today! Because you’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis –

Fight Club (1999)

Directed by David Fincher (x3)

Starring Edward Norton (x3), Brad Pitt (x2), Helena Bonham Carter, Jared Leto, Meat Loaf (x2), Zach Grenier (x3), Bob Stephenson, Holt McCallany, Eion Bailey, Peter Iacangelo, Rachel Singer

My second favorite movie from one of my favorite years – 1999! – and my second favorite David Fincher film, Fight Club wasn’t anything when it first came out. Sure, ’99 was a pretty robust year, but considering what this would become, it’s amazing how virtually overlooked it was that fall. It’s hard to even say this is a cult classic – this is a mainstream classic that just got ground up in the marketing and lost in theaters. Hell, when I first saw it I didn’t know what to make of it. The reviews were good, but the trailers didn’t make a ton of sense. Also, because they had a ton of shirtless Brad Pitt moments, I felt like the initial aim was to get women in the theaters, even though it is decidedly a guy movie, and so the commercials didn’t much convey what the hell was going on in this film either. It grossed all of $37 million – sandwiched between My Favorite Martian and 10 Things I Hate About You in the ’99 ranking, at 54th – got one Oscar nomination for Sound Effects Editing and four nominations from The Stinkers, including Worst Supporting Actress for Carter and Worst Hairstyles Male and Female, because that’s what the Stinkers was.

The Stinkers clearly can’t appreciated funky ‘doos

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The Set of 400: #249 – My Favorite Prison Tuxedo

Today! Because you can’t have six cards in a five card game –

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Starring George Clooney (x2), Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia (x2), Elliott Gould (x2), Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Carl Reiner (x3), Bernie Mac, Shaobo Qin, Eddie Jemison, Don Cheadle (x2), Topher Grace, Joshua Jackson (x2)

A remake so much better than the original that it’s almost unfair to mention its existence, 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven was the movie that I think everyone assumed Steven Soderbergh could make, but never would. Sure, Out of Sight hits largely the same tone, and with Clooney, too, but it isn’t quite the bustling movie star popcorn extravaganza that this film is. But while in some cases I’ve advocated that a filmmaker winning an Oscar was detrimental to society as a whole – Spielberg’s four year hiatus after Schindler’s List, James Cameron’s everything after Titanic, etc. – Soderbergh’s win for Traffic may have actually freed him up to make something more purely fun, purely Hollywood than we would’ve expected.

And boy did it deliver. Yes, the sequels were underwhelming and unnecessary, straight through to last year’s okay-if-beating-a-dead-mare Ocean’s 8, but the first movie is a dazzling gem of subterfuge and sleight of hand. From Danny Ocean’s first appearance, getting out of jail in a full on tuxedo, this movie is chocked full of style, attitude, and more than a little winking-at-itself humor that totally works. Sure, with a cast this large and accomplished, it’s bound to feel like some folks got a little wasted through lack of use, but they do manage to give everybody just enough character bits and snappy lines to satisfy – for the most part. Continue reading

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