Meet Brad Pitt – American Movie Celebrity

Without any doubt, Brad Pitt is one of the most famous movie celebrities in the world. For 25 years, he has been acting in some of the popular films ever produced by Hollywood. And, on top of that, his celebrity romances with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie have kept him on the pages of celebrity tabloids on a non-stop basis for nearly two decades.

But life did not start out with Hollywood glamour. Pitt was born in Oklahoma and grew up in Missouri, where he attended high school. He later enrolled at the University of Missouri, where he made up his mind to get involved with the world of film in the mid-1980s. Just two weeks before graduation in 1986, he moved to Los Angeles, determined to get involved in TV and movies.

Early work as a Hollywood actor

From 1987 to 1992, Brad Pitt’s career began to take shape. His first-ever roles in films (“No Way Out, No Man’s Land” and “Less Than Zero”) were actually uncredited. He made guest appearances on TV sitcoms and soap operas, but nothing really hinted at the fame and fortune ahead of him. Perhaps Pitt’s most critically acclaimed performance during that time was his role in the 1990 NBC made-for-TV movie, “Too Young To Die?”, in which he played alongside Juliette Lewis.

Pitt’s breakout performance came in the 1991 cult film “Thelma & Louise.” In this film by Ridley Scott, Pitt played a small-time criminal who had a much talked about love scene with Thelma (played by Geena Davis). Many reviewers now credit that performance with people talking widely about Pitt as a sex symbol.

Then, in 1992, Pitt worked with Robert Redford on “A River Runs Through It,” and received almost universal acclaim for his performance. Many now began to see Pitt as an actor capable of a much larger range of roles. For that, Pitt has always given credit to Robert Redford.

Emergence as a true Hollywood star

In 1994, Pitt had another breakout, career-defining performance. He starred as the vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac in the cult horror film “Interview with the Vampire.” The movie, based on the bestselling book by Anne Rice, featured an ensemble cast of some of the biggest Hollywood names – including Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas. For his part in the movie, Pitt picked up two MTV Movie Awards in 1995.

The following year, Pitt picked up new roles that would begin to define him as one of the most important emerging Hollywood superstars. He had an important performance in the movie “Seven,” playing a detective on the search of a serial killer. That movie also featured Morgan Freeman and Gwyneth Paltrow, with whom he would later become romantically involved.

But it was his performance in the science fiction movie “12 Monkeys” that really made him into a superstar. He won a Golden Globe award and also picked up his first-ever Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Other Oscar-worthy roles soon followed, such as a leading role in the fantasy romance movie “Meet Joe Black.”

Solidifying his role as an iconic actor

The period from 1999-2003 helped to solidify Brad Pitt as one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood. The role that made him into a real star was his portrayal of the anarchist Tyler Durden in “Fight Club” (1999). From there, he began to star side-by-side with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. For example, in 2001, Pitt played alongside Julia Roberts in “The Mexican.” He also co-starred with Robert Redford in “Spy Game.”

Then came “Ocean’s Eleven,” a blockbuster crime heist movie starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia and Julia Roberts. Few could doubt that Pitt was now part of the Hollywood elite. After that, he had a cameo role in George Clooney’s first-ever movie, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” and became a fixture in the celebrity tabloids.

Superstar A-lister

From 2004 on, Pitt enjoyed a golden age of blockbuster Hollywood film roles. It was no longer the case that he was playing a supporting role or appearing as part of a larger ensemble cast. It was now the case that he could command top billing as a real A-list actor. For example, he appeared as Achilles in the blockbuster film “Troy” in 2004.

In 2005, Pitt made a movie that came to define the way the celebrity tabloids talked about him and his personal life. That movie, of course, was “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” in which Pitt co-starred with Angelina Jolie. At the time, Pitt was undergoing a divorce with Jennifer Aniston, and rumors persisted that Pitt’s on-stage romance with Angelina Jolie was at least part of the reason.

From 2005 to 2010 came a string of critically-acclaimed and well-received movies, including “Babel” (2006), for which Pitt picked up a Golden Globe Best Supporting Actor nomination. Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment, also produced its first film, “The Departed” in 2006. It was clear now that Brad Pitt’s role in Hollywood had significantly expanded to include not just actor but also producer.

During that time period, Pitt also starred in a number of big-name movies every year. In 2007, it was “The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford.” In 2008, it was “Burn After Reading.” In 2009, it was “Inglorious Basterds.” Then came even more movies and even more awards, including a star turn in both “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Moneyball.”

After 2010, Pitt starred in the kinds of blockbuster movies that pulled in some truly staggering box office numbers. These included “World War Z” and “12 Years a Slave” in 2013 and “Fury” in 2014 and then “The Big Short” (2015) and “Allied” (2016). In 2017, Brad Pitt starred in “War Machine,” a Netflix original movie.

Future stardom ahead

The next big movie to feature Brad Pitt could be a sequel to “World War Z” – the movie had been tentatively planned to have a smash debut in summer 2017, but now it looks like plans have been pushed back to late 2017 or early 2018. Meanwhile, his production company Plan B Entertainment continues to work on new TV and film projects.

And don’t forget that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are still very much the epitome of the superstar Hollywood couple. Although the two officially divorced at the end of 2016, their names continue to appear on the front pages of newspapers and tabloid everywhere.

Looking back on Pitt’s work on the big screen, it’s almost hard to believe that it has been more than 25 years since his first breakout role in “Thelma & Louise.” Since that time, Pitt has worked with some of the leading names in Hollywood, and has been romantically linked with several of the most beautiful women ever to appear in TV or film. He truly is a one-of-a-kind Hollywood A-list original.

“The Lego Batman Movie,” Perfect for All Ages

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DC and Warner Bros. have always struggled with superhero movies. They spend big money, hire the best of actors, and offer the best special effects. Together, they should make for a memorable cinematic experience. But, when you make a list of their joint projects, you are almost always left disappointed. This is particularly true for the Batman movies. Be it the 1966, 1992 or 1997, DC and Warner Bros. have never been able to do ‘justice’ to this character. For once, Christopher Nolan did an exemplary job with The Dark Knight series. Although Batman’s next reincarnation in Batman v Superman was great, the movie itself suffered from many issues, including overly gritty theme, dense story, and inconsistency. With Suicide Squad, it appeared that DC and Warner Bros. committed the Hollywood’s equivalent of suicide. Against the backdrop of all of this pain filled history, The Lego Batman Movie comes as a breath of fresh air.

The Lego Batman Movie is not just another superhero movie; nor is it another somber Warner Bros + DC production. It is everything that you wanted from a Batman movie. Hell, it is everything you wanted from a superhero movie. It is funny, deep, never gets boring, imaginative, and self-aware. The movie is full of humor. In fact, every dialogue, every scene has at least one joke, sometimes many. It is the best thing to ever come out of a Lego factory.

The movie begins with a typical action scene in Gotham, where Batman is again trying to foil one of Joker’s latest terrorist attacks. This incident becomes the backdrop for the hell that is soon going to be unleashed on Gotham. And, you will be hard put to answer the question – is Joker alone responsible for all this chaos? The one thing that will make you ask this question to yourself is the one thing that you won’t expect – Batman.

Joker feels that he is the arch nemesis to Batman, and that they both push each other to be the best at what they do. On the other

hand, Batman does not think that the two of them share a codependent relationship. This makes the Joker angry, very angry. And, anyone who has followed the decades’ worth of history between Batman and Joker knows that nobody wants to make Joker angry, which Batman will soon find out the hard way.

Can we really blame Batman for not acknowledging the bromance (or whatever you call that superhero-supervillain relationship between these two) between himself and the Joker? Batman aka Bruce Wayne is a recluse. The billionaire businessman builds sci-fi toys and practices martial arts during daytime, which he promptly uses in the night to beat the bad guys to a pulp. When he does have bad guys to beat, he sulks in the darkness of his Batmobile, while looking at the pictures of his dead parents. Any semblance of romance in his life comes with its own set of complications. *cough Talia al Ghul*. *cough Bat Girl*. His only companion in life is his butler, Alfred. He doesn’t need anyone in his life. At least that’s what he thinks. So, when a self-proclaimed arch nemesis comes to Batman seeking acknowledgement of his special status in Batman’s life, well, he had another thing coming.

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To exact his revenge on Batman, Joker hatches a diabolical plan. He empties out the entire Arkham Asylum. Fans need no introduction regarding what evils and pathos Arkham Asylum is home to. But, that’s just the beginning. Joker, then goes ahead and opens up the gates of the super-prison, Phantom Zone. Superman fans might recall Phantom Zone as the ultra-maximum security prison created by the Kryptonians to hold their prisoners, and from which there is no escape. So, you can imagine if something was too much for Kryptonians, then it definitely is too much for the beings of earth, super or not. If this gets too gritty for you, don’t worry. The innocent, cute voice of young Dick (future Robin) will keep you plenty happy with where Batman is going with his life.

Although the movie follows a serious theme, it is done in a more comedic style. In fact, there is a particularly satirical tone to the movie. Much of the satire is focused on its own past. It is very rare to see DC movies being self-aware of their own history. The Lego Batman Movie indicates that it is aware of the existence of previous versions of Batman. There are some references, and everything is part of the same universe. This is one of the things that make the movie a great watch for the adults. Those who have followed Batman’s long history since their childhood, will love the jokes that many others will simply miss. But, if you are not updated on Batman’s history, there is nothing to worry. There are so many jokes, and so closely placed that by the time you will be laughing at one, you will have missed the next one. You will never feel that you are missing anything on this hilarious rollercoaster of a laughing marathon.

Finally, there is the cast. Will Arnett resumes his role as Batman, and is as exceptional as always. A special nod to Ralph Fiennes for giving his voice to Batman’s butler Alfred. He has simply nailed the performance. Hector Elizondo’s Commissioner Gordon, Rosario Dawson’s Barbara Gordon, and Michael Cera’s Dick have all managed to pull off their roles perfectly. Although Zach Galifianakis’ Joker is a welcome performance, he dwarfs when put against the legends like Mark Hamill, John DiMaggio, and others who have come before him.

Perhaps, the best thing that works in favor of this movie is its unassuming nature. It is not targeted at any specific age. The quality of humor is good for all ages, the story gripping for every type of crowd, and there are enough references to keep the hardcore Batman fans satiated as well. This is everything that everyone wanted out of a superhero movie. Short of Nolan’s Batman trilogy, this is easily the best Batman movie in the recent years.

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Movie Review: M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split”

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It seems like we’ve been waiting forever for M. Night Shyamalan to return to form, back when he was delighting us with movies like “The Sixth Sense” and “Unbreakable.” His new film “Split” is as good as we’ve seen him. He’s eschewed some of the big-budget special effects of some of his more recent films, and instead, focused on writing a taut, suspenseful horror-thriller.

If you don’t already know the basic storyline from the movie trailer, it’s basically this: a deranged man (played by James McAvoy) suffering from multiple personality disorder abducts three teenage girls, and subjects them to various torments as he struggles with his 23 different personalities.

The problem, of course, is that there’s one more personality that has not yet fully surfaced, and when it does, it will seek to dominate all 23 of his other personalities. It’s safe to say that this 24th personality is going to be the most dangerous one, certainly more so than some of the other personalities – an LGBT fashion designer, a deranged church lady, a 9-year-old child and a clean freak.

In many ways, “Split” marks a split from other films – like “Psycho” or “Dressed to Kill” – that used the existence of a hidden personality as a major plot twist. Indeed, from the very outset, we’re told that “Kevin” has 23 different personalities vying for control. On a regular basis, he visits his therapist, Dr. Fletcher (played by Betty Buckley), who has a chance to explain to both Kevin and the audience what the heck is going on here.

Unlike other people suffering from multiple personality disorder, Kevin actually has a rare and dangerous form of it known as dissociative identity disorder, which means that he assumes the specific physical attributes for each personality.

That leads to a star tour de force role for James McAvoy, who is absolutely brilliant in being able to use his body language, his facial expressions and even his accents and dialects to show viewers which personality he’s currently experiencing. (Oh, and don’t forget the tiger-like teeth!) The unique aspect of his disorder is that only one can “come out to play” at a time. Thus, we see McAvoy transforming himself almost effortlessly into a mix of different “alters,” all of them are, presumably, almost an entirely different person with different physical and mental attributes.

Since this is a Shyamalan film, you know there are going to be plot twists and subtle turns in the narrative. And it’s here that the director is a master of mood, pacing and perspective, showing us just enough to hint at what might come next, but keeping enough out of view to keep us grasping for more. We’re like the three teenage girls, held behind a dungeon-like door, and only able to see bits and pieces of all the craziness happening around them at any time.

In many ways, though, Shyamalan may be trying too hard to keep us on the edge of our seats. At times, what happens is just preposterous, and there’s no way to put it any other way. And some of the characterizations from McAvoy are so overwrought and over-the-top that we wonder if Shyamalan is toying with us, letting us know that he knows exactly what we must be thinking about his films.

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While it’s hard to argue with the prodigious artistic output of M. Night Shyamalan – “The Sixth Sense, “Unbreakable,” “Signs, “The Happening,” “The Village,” “Lady in the Lake” – it’s also clear that he’s never going to achieve his enormous promise of a decade ago. Remember when Newsweek anointed him as “the next Spielberg”?

Unfortunately, there’s a lot in “Split” that’s derivative of many of the top horror franchises today. “Saw” comes to mind, because that film also features the story of someone who wakes up in an unrecognized chamber of horrors, confronting a villain of unimagined evil. But, to Shyamalan’s credit, his film is literally a PG-13 take on the “R” horror film genre. The film is not especially bloody, gruesome or horrible, even if it is sinister and more than a little creepy. You will be creeped out, but not grossed out. And, certainly, the abuse of children theme is something that maybe we’d rather not see on camera, even if it’s something certain to add a layer of creepiness to the film.

While a lot of credit for the box office success of the film has to go to the name brand recognition of M. Night Shyamalan and the main star, James McAvoy, credit also has to go Betty Buckley, who’s a key part of making sense of the plot, as well as the three girls – Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson and Jessica Sula – who are abducted by McAvoy’s character.

Of these, Anya Taylor-Joy is deserving of especial notice. Other critics have described her as a “brooding outsider”, and that’s a good description of her. She’s really the key to the three girls making sense of their situation and escaping. As it turns out, though, she’s more than a little bit damaged herself. She’s carrying a lot of emotional baggage, in the form of some childhood traumas that she would rather not relive.

Ultimately, “Split” is a worthy take on the psycho-slasher movie, if only because the “psycho” element is so clearly announced up front (and the title of the film should tell you as much, as well). It is, as Variety has suggested, “an unhinged new mind bender.” We know the plot twists are coming, but we are still largely powerless to predict them (although more than a few “Split” fans have said that it’s possible to piece together a number of clues that prepared them for the film’s final “blow your mind” plot twist.)

Hollywood’s horror-thriller has been in need of a reboot, after the whole “Saw” genre gave it a boost for so long. And so this is what we could be looking forward to – films that focus more on star power and PG-13-level terror.

We won’t be seeing a “Split, Part 2” yet but the film clearly aims to be taken seriously. It was released under the Universal Blumhouse label, which is the same label that gave us “Insidious,” “Paranormal Activity” and “The Purge.” The film “Split” may have split personalities of its own at times, but it’s certainly a compelling two-hour romp through the mind of a lunatic.

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The 5 Most Anticipated Films of 2017

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It’s shaping up to be a tremendous year for new movies in 2017. Buzz is already starting to build for many new movies – including a few that will be hitting cinema screens as early as March. Based on what fans are saying on the Internet’s top movie sites, these are the 5 most anticipated films of 2017 (listed in the order they will be released).

#1: “Beauty and the Beast”

This film is going to be full-on Disney goodness, with Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast. Unlike the Disney animated classic, this will be a live-action cinematic drama. So get ready for some gorgeous castle scenes and some really cool special effects for the Beast and his castle.

Even kids will know the basic storyline – Belle is taken prisoner by the Beast in an enchanted castle, but learns to look beyond his external hideousness. This is a romantic dark fantasy filled with all kinds of enchanted special effects – like teacups and clocks that sing and dance. Similar to the 2015 live-action remake of “Cinderella,” this might be the type of movie that even adults will want to see again and again.

Release date: March 17

#2: “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2”

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If you worried that “Guardians of the Galaxy” would be a one-hit wonder, no worries now. Marvel Entertainment is releasing “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2” at the very start of this summer, and it looks like a real winner. The film, directed by James Gunn, stars Chris Pratt (as Peter Quill/Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (as Gamora), Dave Bautista (as Drax) and Kurt Russell (as Peter Quill’s father, Ego). And there are two great actors who will voice the roles of Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel).

We already know this is going to be an action blockbuster with all kinds of glorious special effects – what remains to be seen are all the unique plot twists that are going to happen. For example, one of the plotline will involve the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. And, based on the trailers already available on YouTube, there might be a romantic angle involving Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana (yes, please!).

Release date: May 5

#3: “Wonder Woman”

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You can never have too many blockbuster superhero movies, especially ones featuring strong, charismatic heroines like Wonder Woman. 2016 may have been an off-year for DC Comics (e.g. “Batman Vs. Superman” and “Suicide Squad”), but 2017 is going to be absolutely wonderful. “Wonder Woman” introduces us to the super stylish and super sexy Diana Prince (played by Gal Gadot), an Amazon princess who discovers her true powers as Woman Woman.

Based on trailers that are out for “Wonder Woman” (due to hit screens on June 2), we known that Diana has been living on an Amazonian remote paradise before a U.S. air force pilot mistakenly crashes there. What unfolds then is a story set during World War I, in which Wonder Woman must use her superhero abilities to stop the war. This is going to be a delirious mash-up of superhero powers set amidst wartime. Oh, and did we mention that Wonder Woman just looks dreamy divine in her outfit?

Release date: June 2

#4: “Spider-Man: Homecoming”

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Mark down July 7 on your calendars. That’s when “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is going to hit the cinematic big screen. It has the potential to be the biggest superhero blockbuster of the year, and that’s really saying something, given the competition from “Wonder Woman” and “Thor: Ragnarok.” Unlike other Spider-Man movies starring Tobey Maguire, this one stars a young Peter Parker (played by Tom Holland), as he begins to learn more about his super powers and his unique destiny.

So it’s really a coming-of-age story as much as a superhero story, and that’s what makes this such an intriguing film. Especially when you add in the supposed love interest of young Spider-Man — the beautiful Michelle, played by Zendaya. And there are plenty of supporting characters who also bring their Hollywood A-game to this movie: Marisa Tomei (as Aunt May) and Spider-Man’s new mentor Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey, Jr.). Tony Stark, of course, is Iron Man, so you can see all kinds of delicious Marvel Entertainment tie-ins here. The only question, really, is how Spider-Man going to take on the villain Vulture (played by Michael Keaton).

Release date: July 7

#5: “Star Wars: Episode VIII”

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It’s hard to keep track of which “Star Wars” movies are prequels or sequels, and which part belongs to which “Star Wars” trilogy, but here’s all that you have to know: the new “Star Wars” is going to drop in December 2017 and it’s going to be huge. We’ve already seen how big “Rogue One” was during the holiday 2016 season, and there’s no reason not to expect that the “Star Wars” movie won’t be just as big. In fact, the buzz online is that the other major Hollywood films scheduled for release in December 2017 are now scrambling to move around their distribution times, so that they won’t have to compete head-to-head with “Star Wars: Episode VIII.”

This is definitely a “trust me” pick. Because, well, we don’t know that much about the movie. It was originally scheduled for release in May 2017, but was pushed back to December. All that we know is that it will feature Rey (played by Daisey Ridley) and Finn (played by John Boyega) from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (Episode VII). (And there might be a romantic sub-plot!)

There haven’t even been any official studio trailers released for the new film – although there are plenty of fan tribute trailers already all over YouTube. We’ll surely have more intergalactic adventures, and learn more about the force and the Jedi code. We might even seen Mark Hamill as an old Luke Skywalker (and Carrie Fisher as well!). Right now, even the uncertainty about the exact casting and plot line hasn’t stopped the buzz from building around the film franchise — “Star Wars: Episode VIII” is now the #1 most anticipated film on Fandango while “Rogue One” is the #1 pre-ordered film on Apple iTunes as well as the #1 film at theaters.

Release date: December 15, 2017

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So, those are the top 5 most anticipated films of the year, but that’s not to say that there aren’t a lot of other great films scheduled for release throughout 2017. One film trailer that’s going viral right now is the one promoting the follow-up (“50 Shades Darker”) to the “50 Shades of Grey” film that captivated movie audiences in 2015.

And we’re also going to be treated to new installments in the “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Fast and the Furious” and “Transformers” franchises, so that’s good news for movie fans everywhere. And as we get through the summer, we’ll get a better idea of all the films that the major studios are placing their Oscar bets on, so there’s really a lot to look forward to in 2017.