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Where Has All the Talent Gone?

I have always believed that the mission of post-Fred & Ginger movies has been to reduce, insofar as it lay within their power, the manners and morals of the community. Long before the camera was invented, the ancient Greeks used to throw playwrights in jail for corrupting society, old Aristophanes always one step ahead of the sheriff, a practice that has not been followed by our generation because there are not enough jail cells to accommodate all the ruffians responsible. In between, Cervantes was a jailbird and funny with money, Lope de Vega liked talking about rape a bit too much, Ben Jonson killed a man and went to jail three times, Racine was a gigolo to Madame de Maintenon, Milton was a wife beater who ended up in a madhouse, Samuel Johnson did a Taki twice for debts, Voltaire was constantly thrown out of Paris and France and did Bastille time, Diderot stole money from a priest, and the wonderful Tennessee Williams abused booze and boys all of his short life. The list goes on and on, and only the sainted and best of all, Sir Tom Stoppard, escapes the Hall of Shame.[amazon asin=B00OLI95R6&template=*lrc ad (right)]

Now, please don’t get me wrong. The men who directed and wrote the motion picture I’m about to review have as much in common with the above names as popinjays do with lions, their lack of talent constituting a legitimate disability. The movie premier of Fury, starring Brad Pitt, was well attended by homeless people, or so it seemed, as the dress code was expensive rags and pork-pie hats as worn by the richest hobo of them all, Brad Pitt himself, who waved from the stage but said nothing, thank God. I was a guest of Michael Mailer, hence I will control the vitriol; suffice it to say that 15 minutes into the gross-out, porno-violent movie, I was rooting for Brad to be killed, preferably roasted alive inside his Sherman tank.

The blood orgy was directed by one David Ayer, whose imaginative powers are on a par with those of a mosquito seeking blood. (Human faces lie around like dirty underwear, bodies are flattened out by tanks and become parts of the landscape, limbs and heads are severed, all in glorious Technicolor.) Pitt is the non-com officer who leads his crew into battle, taking on single-handedly a German battalion of 600, when all he has to do is walk away and fight another day.

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