Allied (2016): WWII Spy Romance and Brad Pitt’s Still Face

Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard in Allied

Written  by Steven Knight and directed by Oscar winning Robert Zemeckis,  Allied is a romantic spy tale set in WWII. Starring the beautiful and talented Marion Cotillard  and the somewhat still-faced Brad Pitt. The story, one of love and betrayal in England during the second “big” war, is well done and entertaining, although perhaps a bit too transparent in places. 

The main problem with Allied is Pitt’s immobile face. Whether the recently divorced male half of “Brangelina” has opted for plastic surgery to erase those signs of character, aka crow’s feet and laugh lines or gone the botox and collagen route to plump out and freeze his features is unclear.

What is certain is that there is no real physical chemistry between Pitt and his romantic lead. To her credit, Collitard evokes enough emotion to almost make up the lack of response from Pitt, but it is not enough.

To be fair, cinematic acting is on the “down-low,” in other words; the best acting is down played and low key. However, the complete lack of expression on Pitt’s face removes any nuances of romantic interest. In fact, the actor has no facial reaction to anything.

Because of this lack of reaction, it seems that perhaps Pitt has opted for botox, which freezes the face and done some plumping up with collagen. While he looks years younger, it has hurt his performance in this instance. The end result is a one-sided love affair, with Cotillard convincing the audience that as a suspected double-agent, she really has given it all up for Pitt (Wing Commander Vatan).

While the film can be seen as a variation on Mr & Mrs Smith, without the humor, or indeed, the former Mrs. Pitt,  it was entertaining enough that I never found myself looking for the old English electric sockets during the domestic scenes.

(I did, however, find myself noting that the set designers made sure that every thing was glossed, with multiple layers, including the older stair post seen in several scenes.)

There are some gaffes, such as having a party during the Blitz with all the window shades wide open and there were other black out conditions that were ignored, but overall things moved along well enough that these moments did not distract too much.

The biggest problem with Allied is the film’s male lead. Pitt could almost be sleepwalking through his role and it is this, combined with that immovable face, that lets the film and his co-star Cotillard down badly.

From the very start of the film I spent more time on wondering what was going on with Pitt’s features, and their lack of movement and previously spotted lines and creases, than the plot or the storyline. This preoccupation almost kept me from noticing the relevancy of the Casablanca storyline.

There are nice touches in the film. Pitt’s character reads a Graham Greene novel in one of the scenes, where he has to plant evidence to convict his wife, and it is a clever addition to the film. Greene was a brilliant writer who turned out a number of spy stories; each one a cracking tale, and this nod and wink was well done.

Overall, Allied is a 4 star film. Despite Pitt’s painfully obvious lack of emotion, the tale entertains. Cotillard convinces, as does Jared Harris, but the main male protagonist badly lets the side down here.

The film is available on DVD and can be streamed via the major platforms on the internet. Have a look at the trailer below:

American Sniper: Sergeant York for a New Generation

Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle in American Sniper

While reading the reviews of the Clint Eastwood/Bradley Cooper feature about America’s deadliest sniper, aka American Sniper, it is easy to be reminded of another film about a decorated war hero. One Sergeant Alvin York (played brilliantly by the iconic Gary Cooper [the Clint Eastwood of his day] who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the reluctant World War I hero) who was one of the most decorated soldiers in his day. It now seems that Chris Kyle is the Sergeant York for a new and more cynical generation.

Read the rest of the article on Viral Global News…

The Imitation Game Benedict Cumberbatch is Quirky British Hero (Review)

The Imitation Game Benedict Cumberbatch is Quirky British Hero (Review)

The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch as the quirky British war hero Alan Turing is a fascinating film, it strives to be somewhat autobiographical in nature, while it gives a truncated version of Turing’s contribution to the mastering of the Nazi code machine Enigma. The movie also tells of the horrid injustice done to the man who could be called the father of the modern day computer. Alan was a homosexual at a time when it was against the law in England and after the war the man was prosecuted under the Draconian laws of that time and rather than go to prison, Turing opted for chemical castration, aka hormonal treatment. Two years after his conviction the 41 year old secret war hero was found dead from cyanide poisoning.

Unbroken: Angelina Jolie Tribute to Olympic POW (Review and Trailer)

Unbroken: Angelina Jolie Tribute to Olympic POW (Review and Trailer)

The Angelina Jolie tribute to an Olympic WWII POW in her film Unbroken, can either be seen as a patriotic salute to one man’s incredible spirit and refusal to give in under the most extreme of pressures. Or it could be an overlong attempt to ride the long wave of popularity caused by Laura Hillenbrand’s best selling 2010 book of the same name. Not that this latter possibility should be seen in a negative light, what the late Louis Zamperini went through, and survived, is an amazing story of a young man who beats his captors by never giving up.

American Horror Story Edward Mordrake Part 2: The Darkest Hour

American Horror Story Edward Mordrake Part 2: The Darkest Hour

In Edward Mordrake Part 2 of American Horror Story Freak Show the demon headed myth has arrived at the Jupiter, Florida camp to question the freaks about their darkest hour, the worst moment of their lives and those with the most blood and pain on their hands will be doomed to join the legend and his troupe. At first the dark legend speaks to the “seal boy” and the half-woman. Their tales are sad and bring a tear to the demon on the back of Mordrake’s head. Each have their darkest moments and have committed “sin.”