Make Canoe my Homepage

Brad Pitt’s 5 greatest roles

- December 17th, 2013

Hey, want to feel old? Brad Pitt is joining the 50-and-over club this week.

But since stealing movie lovers’ hearts in 1991’s Thelma & Louise, Pitt has had one of the most varied and interesting careers in Hollywood. He has never repeated himself (well, okay, he played the same character three times in the Ocean’s movies) and his presence in a film has usually been a seal of quality.

pitt-collage

There have been hits and flops, like all big stars, but in his 25-plus year career, he’s shown a deft ability to flip between the eccentric (Twelve Monkeys), dark (Killing Them Softly) and commercial (World War Z) with relative ease.

Here, I take a look back at Pitt’s five best moments on film. He’s had many great roles, but these are my faves. Don’t like my choices? Sound off in the comments below.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Brad. Here’s to another 50!

Benjamin Button – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The story of a man aging in reverse proved to be a stunning meditation on the passage of time. With a two-and-half-hour running time, it was not only a technical marvel, but one of the most touching love stories ever made. It’s his best film to date.

Detective Mills – Se7en

Directed by then-newcomer David Fincher, Se7en is the type of unrelenting thriller Hollywood rarely makes. And it has an ending that people to this day have never forgotten.

Rusty Ryan – the Ocean’s movies

Pitt has never been above indulging audiences in bits of cinema fluff. But he’s always made sure that when he’s giving us a popcorn muncher, the entertainment factor remains high. His part in the Ocean’s Eleven movies alongside pals George Clooney and Matt Damon are guaranteed crowd pleasers for even the staunchest of film snobs.

Tyler Durden – Fight Club

By 1999, Pitt could have done pretty much anything career-wise. But instead of playing it safe, he made a message-laden film that skewered consumer culture and defied easy explanation. It wasn’t a box office hit at the time, but it is one of Pitt’s most important roles to date, and still boasts a huge cult following.

Aldo Raine – Inglourious Basterds

Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarantino’s collaboration on the WWII blood-soaked revenge fantasy made audiences both cringe and laugh. Before QT retires, they need to do at least one more film.

Other Pitt gems: 12 Monkeys (Pitt at his kookiest); Moneyball (you don’t need to be a baseball fan to enjoy it); True Romance (his bit part turned out to be a scene stealer); The Counselor (critics may have hated it, but there was plenty to love about Pitt’s Westray in this dark tale of greed and murder); Burn After Reading (his dancing gym rat was a hoot); World War Z (a white-knuckle zombie thriller – essential for any film oeuvre); Legends of the Fall (an epic classic in which Pitt held his own alongside Anthony Hopkins); A River Runs Through It (early proof that his Thelma & Louise cameo wasn’t a fluke).

Pitt’s biggest misses: The Devil’s Own (Pitt can do a lot, but mastering an Irish accent isn’t one of his strong suits); Meet Joe Black (how about you go meet him and tell us all about it); Seven Years in Tibet (A for effort, F for results).

‘Dumb and Dumber To’ to square off against Brad Pitt WWII drama

- November 19th, 2013

It’s been almost 20 years since we last saw dim-witted Lloyd and Harry (Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels) on the big screen. So what’s another year.

Universal has announced that its comedy sequel Dumb and Dumber To will hit theatres Nov. 14, 2014.

dumb-and-dumber-to

Helmed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly, the new film follows the duo as they embark on a road trip in search of the child Harry (Daniels) never knew.

Convinced that movie fans have been thirsting for more Lloyd and Harry, the new film will open against the Brad Pitt-fronted Second World War drama Fury.

If that wasn’t enough competition, one week later, Lloyd and Harry will face The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.

When E! Online asked Daniels about the upcoming movie he replied: “The scariest thing? There are some things that’s we’re going to do in Dumb and Dumber To that make the toilet scene [in the original] seem lame. Pales in comparison and I can’t divulge what, but just that they’ve topped it. They best thing about it? I get to work with a comedic genius.”

TIFF 2013: 5 buzzworthy films headed to Toronto

- August 3rd, 2013

tiff-buzz

The Toronto International Film Festival hasn’t unveiled the full slate of films set to play during TIFF, but if last month’s initial announcement was any indication, this year’s edition will be chock full of stars and a bevy of Oscar hopefuls.

The guest list and complete movie list will be released later this month, so even though there’s still a ton of films yet to be named, we’d thought it be fun to look at the five we know of so far likely to garner the most audience and Oscar buzz.

If you have a flick you’re interested in seeing, let us know what it is and why in the comments.

1. Gravity
The space thriller starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock was due out last November, but was shifted to this year so that director Alfonso Cuarón could work on the special effects. The two Hollywood stars play astronauts whose ship is hit by debris while they are outside during a space walk. Bullock’s Dr. Stone has to cut herself loose, but doing so sends her hurtling into space. This is a white-knuckle thriller (with an opening tracking shot that is rumoured to be 17 minutes) that could be one of the year’s best. I’m so positively psyched for this film that I’m including three trailers.

2. 12 Years a Slave
Based on the 1853 autobiography by Solomon Northup, director Steve McQueen’s (Hunger and Shame) latest is a star-studded drama that features Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free black man who was stolen and sold into slavery for 12 years. The ensemble film also stars Brad Pitt (as a Canadian no less), Michael Fassbender (as a ruthless plantation owner) and Benedict Cumberbatch. It looks riveting, but definitely not for the squeamish.

3. The Fifth Estate
Benedict Cumberbatch is going to show up in several films at this year’s TIFF, but his star turn as WikiLeaks mastermind Julian Assange has landed him the coveted opening night slot. The biopic (from Dreamgirls director Bill Condon) charts the whistleblowing website’s rise from taking down a billion-dollar bank in Iceland, to the controversial release of the Collateral Murder video.

4. Don Jon
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the title character in his directorial debut. With his credo: “My body, my pad, my ride, my family, my church, my boys, my girls, and my porn” and a cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, Tony Danza and Julianne Moore – it could be the quirkiest comedy to hit TIFF this year.

5. Horns
I would have expected this one to be part of TIFF’s Midnight Madness, but Daniel Radcliffe’s turn as Ig Parrish, a man who wakes up one morning possessing some of the powers of Beelzebub, looks poised to turn his Harry Potter persona on its head. It’s based on the supernatural murder mystery by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son), who had nothing but good things to say about the film.

“Everything I’ve seen, I’m tremendously happy with; especially Radcliffe, Juno Temple and Max Minghella as the love triangle at the centre of the story. Juno Temple and Daniel Radcliffe really smoke together. They’re a really hot couple. And Radcliffe is a really great Ig (Parrish, the main character)… he’s getting in touch with his inner Voldemort, which is nice.”

TIFF has a long history of debuting creepy films that get under the skin and stay there long after the credits end (Insidious, Saw, Hostel, You’re Next, I Saw the Devil), so I’m looking to Horns to continue that tradition.

radcliffe_with_horns

Other ones to keep an eye out for: You Are Here, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her, Life of Crime, the Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side, Dallas Buyers Club, Paul Haggis’ Third Person, Jason Bateman’s Bad Words and Devil’s Knot.

The full schedule will be announced Aug. 20. For more info visit TIFF.net.

First look at Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in ‘The Counselor’

- June 25th, 2013

the-counselor-javier-bardem-slice

So, Prometheus it ain’t. But it’s stylish all the same. In fact, it looks to be straight out of brother Tony’s filmography.

We’re getting our first look at Ridley Scott’s upcoming crime drama The Counselor, which stars Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz.

The script comes from Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men, The Road), so you know things won’t end well. Fassbender plays a lawyer who gets in over his head after he starts to dabble in the drug trade. Cruz is his love interest (“Have you been bad?” she asks seductively), while her real-life hubby, Bardem, is one of Fassbender’s wild-haired collaborators.

Pitt is another shady character who warns: “You may think there are things these people are simply incapable of… they are not.” And Diaz, well, I’m not sure what her role is, but she sure looks good.

The Counselor hits theatres Oct. 25, just in time for awards season. After this 44-second spot, I hope it debuts at the Toronto International Film Festival this September.

New ‘World War Z’ poster shows a different side of Brad Pitt

- April 4th, 2013

Two new posters for World War Z have surfaced. One shows star Brad Pitt surveying a ravaged cityscape sans zombies. The other shows a mountain of the walking dead attacking a helicopter.

Both are super cool.

world_war_z

worldwarz bodies

The film is loosely based on Max Brooks’ book, which recounts humanity’s near destruction after a zombie epidemic breaks out. Since the novel was a series of vignettes, with no focal character, it’ll be interesting to see how screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan has put it all together. From what we know so far, Pitt plays character, Gerry Lane, a UN worker who races around the globe trying to identify and stop the zombie pandemic.

World War Z has had a troubled history. The original December 2012 release date was moved to this summer, and director Marc Forster had to do extensive reshoots.

The book was great, and from what I’ve seen this trailer promises something completely different.