June 4, 2005

Why Brad Pitt is fun to watch half the time.

I agree with this theory. And don't forget "Fight Club," where Brad's good.

12 comments:

Dave Schuler said...

Unfortunately, the problem Brad Pitt has is that Hollywood is very rigid. It has a relatively small number of fixed roles: “Leading Man”, “Leading Lady”, “Hunk”, “Sex Kitten”, “Comical Sidekick”, “Best Friend”, “All-Purpose Character Actor”, etc. Great stars make their own slots (eventually) cf. Katherine Hepburn. Brad Pitt isn't a great star and there is no slot for a hunk sidekick. So they'll keep sticking him in unsuitable “Hunk” or “Leading Man” vehicles until his box office runs out.

JohnF said...

Interesting. You're the first woman, Ann, who I know of, who has admitted to liking Fight Club.

I'm sure there are more women out there who like the movie.

Arthur said...

Don't forget Snatch. He was great.

Ann Althouse said...

I love "Fight Club." It's one of my favorite movies of the last 10 years. I find the revelation of the central secret one of the most thrilling things I've ever seen in a movie. Maybe the most: I literally get chills, even on repeated viewings and even just remembering it!

Wm said...

Gee whiz... you brokes rules number one and two.

Joan said...

Excellent insight into Pitt's abilities and limitations.

I adored "Fight Club", and "Twelve Monkeys" too... but have never been sufficiently interested to see a film that Pitt has headlined.

lindsey said...

I think even Pitt has admitted he's a character actor in the body of a leading actor.

I'm surprised by that review of Mr and Mrs Smith though. Everything I've read so far has claimed the film's really good and that they have excellent chemistry.

Wade_Garrett said...

I loved Fight Club when it first came out. I was a sophomore at Yale at the time, and since Edward Norton and a couple of the film's producers went to Yale, the film's east coast premiere was held at a small theater on Yale's campus immediately following its true premiere in LA. At the time, I was 19 years old and surrounded by a ton of rich kids, so certain aspects of the film really spoke to me.
Over the years since it came out, my enthusiasm has lessened. I think its pretty cynical to seemingly renounce materialism, but at the same time always portray its characters wearing $250 shits, leather jackets worth thousands of dollars, and fancy sunglasses. In the wake of 9-11, the collapse of all those buildings at the end makes me a little uncomfortable. And, perhaps most importantly, I think that too many men left that movie wanting to start a fight, instead of re-evaluating their masculinity and their materialism. Does anybody else feel this way about it?

Ann Althouse said...

Terrence: I haven't watched the whole movie through since 9-11, but I did rewatch the ending, which can no longer be experienced the way it was back in 1999. The idea of a group of people bent on blowing up buildings to protest Western materialism doesn't work the way it did before. But, as you note, the movie tries to say something worthwhile by using extreme exaggeration. If people take it literally, they are fools!

Wade_Garrett said...

I had forgotten about this, but another reason I really liked the movie was that I thought it was an improvement on the book. There aren't many movies about which that is true . . . and most of the ones for which it is true, for instance The Godfather, were based on pretty mediocre books. But Fight Club is an improvement on a pretty good book -- I was very impressed.

Ann Althouse said...

I read the book after seeing the movie and didn't like it at all. The tone was entirely different -- I can't remember exactly how -- and it just didn't appeal dto me.

lindsey said...

"I think its pretty cynical to seemingly renounce materialism, but at the same time always portray its characters wearing $250 shits, leather jackets worth thousands of dollars, and fancy sunglasses."

That's the whole point. The renunciation of materialism throught Tyler Durden is a total joke. It's practically impossible to renounce materialism unless you go naked and live in the woods. Think about all the computers, fax machines, cell phones, etc that the narrator character gets from his workplace when he leaves. He had an enormous shopping cart full of gadgets! Think of all the black outfits they had to buy for Project Mayhem. Project Mayhem was just as fetishistic about consumer products as they were in the beginning. The smiley face fire they make on the buildings: Isn't that smiley face a famous logo from the 60s/70s?

Remember the scene on the bus where Norton asks about a Calvin Klein ad: Is that what a man looks like? Both Norton and Pitt snicker at it, but Pitt's an almost perfect reflection of the ad. Norton's character runs around inveighing against materialism, but he's projected who he wants to be as an ideal man and it's a near perfect reflection of what the movies, magazines, tv and Hollywood tell him to want. Tyler Durden selling anti-materialism is like MTV selling rebellion.

Kids run out and buy all the Punk! Merchandise and get to be rebels!

In attempting to push away from mainstream consumerism/fascism/sameness (Ikea, Starbucks, etc), he goes to the extreme where there's nothing but counterculture consumerism/fascism/sameness, and eventually what's counterculture becomes mainstream :) (Fight Club/Project Mayhem gets bigger and bigger.) He only really finds any meaning in his life when he reaches out to another human being as himself, not Tyler Durden. In the end, the film is anti-consumerism in that you're only going to find meaning through human relationships, not chic black outfits or expensive leather jackets, which is where a lot of people make their error. Working extra in order to buy more junk to chase the Joneses instead of paying attention to their children only when they shoot their classmates. An extreme example, yes.

This is so jumbled and inarticulate. I apologize.