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We're shocked -- shocked! -- to discover that two of the biggest stars in the world might be trying to tame the media beast that's repeatedly ripped them to shreds.

This week, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie all but silenced breakup reports with a series of adorable family outings in Venice (click through the photos at left for some highlights), where she's shooting the thriller "The Tourist" with Johnny Depp.

Now, the New York Post is accusing the mega-famous flames of setting up the "happy family" scenes "like a military operation" in order to prove that everything is just dandy in Jolie-Pitt land.

RELATED: Brad and Angelina sue over split rumors

"They are usually very shy about being photographed, but now they're making a point of being seen in public as a happy family unit," posits a source. "They're making a statement. They want the world to know the reports are wrong and they are strong."

Hey, this seems like a smart strategy to us, especially when it yields pictures of Zahara playfully sticking out her tongue at her dad and Shiloh sporting a kicky, big-eared monkey hat.

RELATED: See more pics of Angie

But not every photo op has yielded the supposedly desired solid-as-a-rock story line. On Thursday, the Internet was left scratching its head as to which tot was riding the canals with the A-list parental units and sister Zee.

Several outlets identified the tyke as 18-month-old Knox. But closer inspection reveals that it was actually 3-year-old Shiloh, as evidenced by her size (compared to her smaller doppelganger sibling) and missing tooth. It seems her shorter- and less tow-headed-looking locks threw everyone off.

RELATED: See more pics of Brad

More confusion cropped up on Wednesday when Angelina was captured from an angle that showed a strange muscular outcropping between her chin and ear. Theories on what caused it have run the gamut from face-tightening plastic surgery to Botox to an incubating alien.

The most reasonable explanation comes from one Dr. Black, who tells Us Weekly that he believes the odd bulge is the result of Jolie's single-digit body fat percentage, which has led to "very thinned out skin -- tented and pulled over the edge of the angle of her jaw."

Perhaps the angular actress will be able to add on a pound or two while in Venice, where the family is reportedly crashing in a luxurious palazzo along the canal.

She's already downed some icy goodness after treating Maddox, Pax, Shiloh and Zahara to a trip to her favorite gelateria (the kids opted for chocolate; she chose lemon), and Brad is making sure to keep their wine rack stocked.

RELATED: Find out what Angelina got Brad for Valentine's Day

People magazine reports that, after the ice cream stop, he hit a nearby store to choose some vino.

"Mr. Pitt is clearly quite a wine connoisseur," the store's owner gushes to the mag. "He knew exactly what type of wine he wanted and when I offered him a choice of about 10 different labels he asked specifically to try two, which are without any doubt the best ones we have to offer in our store."

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