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Friday’s openings: Action-packed Pitt and Jo Koy

Dan Webster

Above: Brad Pitt stars in "Bullet Train," which opens on Friday. (Photo/Columbia Pictures)

In his long career, Brad Pitt has proven to be a dependable box-office draw. His combination of physical attraction, acting chops and ability to snare the right roles has boosted the appeal of a number of feature films.

Among those I would list his breakout role in “Thelma & Louise,” his partnership with Morgan Freeman in “Se7en,” his google-eyed performance in “12 Monkeys,” his shirtless splashes in “Snatch” and “Fight Club,” his understated characterization in the “Oceans” series, his lead role in “Moneyball” and his Oscar-winning turn in “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.”

And there have been a number of others … too many to list here. Now, however, we have a new film opening on Friday, the action-packed “Bullet Train.” It is scheduled to be joined by the domestic comedy “Easter Sunday.”

“Bullet Train”: Directed by David Leitch, and adapted from the novel by Japanese novelist Kōtarō Isaka, “Bullet Train” features Pitt as one of five assassins vying to obtain and protect a briefcase on a train bound from Tokyo to Kyoto. Violence ensues, though the movie’s trailers suggest a certain comic overtone.

In one of the few positive reviews I was able to find, Rolling Stone critic David Fear wrote, “The amount of casual charisma and commitment Pitt is bringing to this is the one thing that actually differentiates this from being just another stylishly lit, stupid-hip snarkfest.”

Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly added, “ ‘Bullet Train’ doesn't have a destination, really, or a moral imperative other than mayhem. But it's got a ticket to ride.”

“Easter Sunday”: Based on the comedy of Jo Koy, and directed by Broken Lizard member Jay Chandrasekhar, the film is shaped around Koy’s stand-up act and involves his character taking his son to attend a family Easter Sunday celebration.

No reviews at this point, seldom a good sign. But if you’re familiar with Koy’s comedy – click here – not to mention Chandrasekhar’s track record, you’ll know what to expect.

I’ll keep updating as the week progresses.

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