Under the Radar

'Fury': 2014's Other Great Military Movie

Brad Pitt;Shia LaBeouf;Logan Lerman;Michael Pena;Jon Bernthal

Fury, director David Ayer's movie about a WWII Sherman tank crew, arrives on Blu-ray this week and the home video release adds a wealth of new material that makes it a must-own for fans of the film and anyone who's interested in the history of tanks. The movie follows the crew in Germany on a mission behind enemy lines in the waning days of the war.

We've got a nine-minute excerpt from the film, featuring the scenes where Private Norman Ellison (played by Logan Lerman) meets his tank commander Sgt. Don "Wardaddy" Collier (Brad Pitt). Trained as a typist, Ellison gets assigned to a tank. Whether that's by clerical error or because there's a shortage of men isn't really made clear, but that lack of clarity plays to one of the film's strengths: the film is told from the point of view of the men as they're actually serving. No one has the big picture or the historical perspective that's usually such a big part of WWII films. 

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We've also got a documentary clip of tank veterans talking about what it was like to fight in Sherman tanks during WWII. It's excerpted from "Armored Warriors: The Real Men Inside the Shermans," one of the amazing bonus features included on the disk. There's also "Taming the Beast: How to Drive , Fire & Shoot Inside a 30-Ton Tank," a 13-minute documentary detailing the technical details of how they were able to use real Sherman and Tiger tanks for the film's action scenes; David Ayer's "Director's Combat Journal," a video account of Ayer's experiences making the film and why he insisted on shooting film instead of digital video; and "Blood Brothers," a featurette about the cast's training and experiences meeting with actual tank veterans from WWII.

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If that's not enough, there are 50 minutes of extended and deleted scenes. Unlike the "bonus clips" that litter most home video releases, these are substantial scenes that are worthwhile viewing for anyone, including an explanation of the scars on Wardaddy's back.

Ayer talks about how much he wanted to base his film on actual documentary footage, photographs and accounts from the men who served instead of the version of WWII created by Hollywood in the years after the war. Fury looks like no other World War II movie ever made and offers a perspective we've never seen before.

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