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James Hinshaw - Sunday, November 02, 2014

Fury is the name of the tank, a genuine Tiger I tank. Fury is "Tiger 131" from the UK's Bovington Tank Museum, the only fully functioning Tiger tank in the world.  The movie takes place in Germany in April, 1945, as the Allied forces march into German territory while Hitler has commandeered every man, woman and child to fight in the "total war".  Brad Pitt (Fight Club, Moneyball) stars as Wardaddy, the Sargent who runs this tank group behind enemy lines.  The movie also stars Shia LaBeouf (Transformers 1, 2, and 3) as Bible, Logan Lerman (3:10 to Yuma, Perks of Being a Wallflower) as the new guy, Michael Pena (Shooter, American Hustle) as Gordo, and Jon Bernthal (Wolf of Wall Street, Snitch) plays a character called Coon-Ass.  The nicknames are all appropriate.

The movie is a war movie, with all of the typical carnage, it is not a rom-com.  But it is a story of men who are forced to work in a confined space who come to depend on each other for survival.  Some of the trivia from the movie include the fact that Shia is reported to have pulled out his own tooth, and more importantly, became a Christian while filming the movie.  His character is a tough Christian, and quoted bible verses, had prayers while in combat.  He claims that while reading the prayers, he came to know God personally, "I could have just said the prayers that were on the page, but [...] it's a full-blown exchange of heart, a surrender of control."  He also refused to shower during the filming.  The men were in the tank for hours at a time, and when not in the tank, in a set made up exactly like the tank on a sound stage, just as small and cramped as the real thing.  It was pretty stinky.  Brad Pitt is 50, a lot older than the other men.  They attended a full blown boot camp prior to filming, he participated in every physical challenge, to get the flavor of battle. 

So we watch these guys go after the Germans, first in a small village, then one on one in a test of tank versus tank.  The American Tiger tanks were outgunned, the German tanks were Tiger 2 and Tiger 3 versions, were faster, more maneuverable, just better tanks.  Brad is good as a tank commander, he knows how to move his tank into battle, when to drop back, when to advance, and how to fire.  They do a good job in battle after battle.  They end up taking a small village after clearing it of Germans, relax for a few hours.  They are then asked to stop the Germans from advancing across a pivotal cross roads, so Brad leads out 4 tanks to secure the area.  They are surprised by a German tank placement, it don't go well.  Brad and his crew are left alone to defend the cross road.  They have a break-down and are surprised by 2-300 SS troops on the move. 

This sets up the final scene of the movie, which I won't spoil, just suffice to say they are all tested to their limits.  Brad has a plan, and it works surprisingly well, do not go for popcorn in the last 15 minutes.  

May went with me, we enjoyed the movie, we will go with 4 "jack in the boxes", a phrase that describes a tank that has the turret blown off. 

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