Cinecast Episode 396 – Rated ‘R’ for Mood

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It has finally happened. Matt Gamble shows up and forces a co-host to say enough is enough and leave the room. In these parts, it is probably the best way to handle things until cooler heads prevail – which takes a few minutes. You might think is the grotesquery on display in Fury Road or the non-necessity of the Pitch Perfect sequel becoming this weekends box-office champ. But No. Appropriately it is the Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 6. If Beinioff and Weiss, HBO’s show-runners are looking for a reaction, they have gotten it… Things devolve into semantics, call it the “Daybreaker’s Effect.” But fear not, intrepid listener with ringing ears, we move on to happier, less controversial places created by Mike Judge, Neil Marshall and Alfred Hitchcock.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

 

 
 

 

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Review: Mad Max Fury Road

There and back again, a breeders tale.

When you boil all of the fireworks and prop-fetish out of the latest Mad Max film, Fury Road, you really have simplicity. The women are fed up with the men using them as chattel – literally, as seen in a human dairy farm made for the purposes of feeding the big-bad, Immorten Joe, and his mutant children, ‘mothers milk.’ The remaining, less tethered, women decide to leave, but then, given few options for emigration in a desert planet, decide to return. Vehicular mayhem of the likes never put up on screen in the history of cinema ensues. And there are consequences of upsetting the social order of things, mostly the crashing and burning of things, but a few lessons are learned along the way.

Mad Max, at least in the ever-increasing-in-budget sequels, has always been the iconic Ronin who wanders into town, tipping the scale of social order by his masculine independence. He is a symbol in a world of warlords and cowering, dirty plebian peasants.

In the rather muddled opening prologue seemingly run at 1.5x speed and laden with superfluous micro-flashbacks of the disappointed children who have taken root in Max’s subconscious, Max is captured by Immorten Joe’s ‘War Boys,’ stripped of his V8 Interceptor, and arrives at the Citadel to coincide with the younger women, those not tied to a milking apparatus, making their exodus. The gambit involves the outposts only female warrior, Charlize Theron here a hard-beaten alloy of Pris, Cherry Darling, Meredith Vickers, and Sarah Connor folded to steel and decorated in cosmetic axel-grease foundation. Imperator Furiosa has a plan to smuggle out the last of humanity’s corn-fed center-fold DNA to the mythical ‘green place,’ beyond the desert sandstorms under the guise of a regular gasoline and ammunition resupply run. Joe straps on his Vader-meets-Bane breathing apparatus and engages in pursuit. Max gets entangled.

Fury Road is essentially a remake of the (superior) template-setting 1981 sequel, The Road Warrior. It replaces gasoline with lady-flesh clad in fluttery white maternity wear, and aims to get way-the-fuck-beyond the Thunderdome. This is helped considerably by hundreds of millions of 21st century studio dollars. For George Miller nerds, there are enough callbacks to the original films (from actors to onscreen images) to fuel a good sized jerrycan. The wild practical stunts involving vehicles and men leaping from car to truck to monster-truck, or dangling from poles and any number of resulting slap-stick visual gags buried in a modern CGI spectacle reminded me more of the set-pieces in Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger than George Miller’s previous desert chases. Perhaps this seeded the desire for the film to be about how we watch these kind of movies. Maybe it is.

Would you like to know more…?

Final Fury Road Trailer

The final, Mad Max: Fury Road trailer popped up online yesterday. It features much of the wild tone and imagery of all the previous trailers, but this one exists more or less to communicate the actual story beats.

At this point, I’m not sure what Warner Brother’s feels they need to sell with the film, either people are chomping at the bit to see the promised insanity and over-the-top imagery, or they have decided it is not for them.

I’d argue that the marketing folks nailed everything there is to nail with the Comic-Con trailer last year, with its Clockwork Orange meets massive post-apocalyptic chase imagery, but if need to scratch the itch for a few new bits of Fury Road before the films May 15th release date, this trailer more than hits the spot.

First Look: Mad Max Fury Road

madmax-magcover[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #a9a883;”] O [/dropcap]ut side of some kids’ films, the great George Miller hasn’t been behind a camera for nearly 20 years. What he has done has been slightly better than mediocre but I don’t think I’m alone in saying I’m ecstatic that he’s going back to his post-apocalyptic roots with more Mad Max in Mad Max: Fury Road ! Tom Hardy will be in the titular role and along for the sure-to-be high-octane ride is Charlize Theron (apparently with some sort of robotic, prosthetic arm), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Nicholas Hoult and Zoë Kravitz.

The closest we have come to visiting the Mad Max world on any kind of a budget was in 2007s (awesome) Doomsday from Neil Marshall. And if these pictures released in the July 4th issue of “Entertainment Weekly” are any indication, this going to be awesome; plain, simple and pure.

Take a look and tell me you’re not excited (so that I can ban you from the third row 😉 )

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Friday One Sheet: The Minimalist Hobo (with a Shotgun)

 
 

Having seen Jason Eisener’s tribute to the Grindhouse, George Miller, Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson, I can say that a minimalist style poster is kind of weird and mis-representative of the circus-side-show nature of the film, but hey, it’s retro, modern and purdy all at the same time, ain’t it?

Speaking of retro/modern. There is an 8-Bit Hobo game available for your iPad/iPhone. I find this not only hilarious, but appropriate when you see how the film is actually shot/constructed/toned with a clear foot in each the retro-room (did you know the film is actually an early 1980s period piece?) and the modern digital cinematography (a la the Red.)

Lastly, in the spirit of Jason Eisener and Rob Cottereill’s original meal ticket on Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s original Grindhouse Contest (which got the Hobo With A Shotgun faux-trailer attached to at least all the Canadian prints of the double-bill extravaganza), they are holding a Trailer Contest.

And you thought this would be just a simple Friday One Sheet Post, didn’t you? Hobo With A Shotgun opens in Canada on March 25 with an American release soon to follow. If you are in Toronto or Montreal, there are plenty of cult film sites giving away advance passes. (You probably want to see this with a rabid anticipatory cult audience, because the film is going to baffle and piss off the mainstream folks who wander in.)

“Mad Max” Announced for Blu-ray

That title takes on a whole new meaning these days. Still, this is the type of good looking movie that should translate awesomely to a nice, hi-def, 1080i transfer. MGM has announced their plan to release the disc on October 5th.

This Blu-ray disc will include a new 5.1 digital soundtrack and an additional 5.1 dub track that makes dialogue more comprehensible to American audiences (wft?).

Special features include:

  • Filmmaker commentary by Jon Dowding, David Eggby, Chris Murray and Tim Ridge
  • Documentaries:
    – Mad Max: The Film Phenomenon
    – Mel Gibson: The Birth of a Star (on the DVD)
  • Theatrical trailers
  • TV spots
  • “Road Rants”: Trivia & Fun Fact Track (on the DVD)
  • Photo gallery (on the DVD)
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Two Mad Max Films!? Nice.

George Miller, the name brand for P-A flicks, is reportedly working on a second Mad Max film to nearly coincide with the already underway Fury Road. Twitch is claiming the the second film is titled Mad Max: Furiosa. Just as filming is wrapped for Mad Max: Fury Road, shooting will begin on Furiosa.

The idea apparently is that the two films will also be released in fairly rapid succession (ala Matrix 2 & 3 or the Kill Bill movies). Though no date has been set for the theatrical release, we might be able to bet on (or at least have our fingers crossed for) some early 2012 screenings.

Though no Mel Gibson, Charlize Theron is set to star and the young Tom Hardy will be in the titular role…

“It’s a relaunch and revisit to the world. An entire restructuring. That’s not to say that it’s not picking up or leaving off from the Mad Max you know already, but it’s a nice re-take on the entire world using the same character, depositing him in the same world but bringing him up to date by 30 years.”

Two of these things? I’m down – even if I do have to wait a relatively long time to see them.

Review: The Road Warrior

Doomsday Movie Marathon
Mad Max 2

[Chris Edwards, who writes extensively about silent films on his blog, Silent Volume, has written the following review of The Road Warrior (a.k.a. Mad Max 2). To see the full programme click on the Doomsday header image above.]

Sequels are like relay runners: when one film stops, it passes the baton of character, plot and possibility to the next film, which continues the journey. The world of the films stays consistent, familiar and the brand, to put it cynically, stays profitable. The director and screenwriter of the new film must account for what came before.

Between Mad Max (1979) and Mad Max 2, however, there is no baton passed; merely a miming of it. There’s Mel Gibson, yes; there’s Aussie accents and the apparently battered remnants of Max’s creep-killing car from the first movie. But otherwise, this second Max occupies a world far more alien to our own. His past is trivia, illuminating nothing. And he occupies a true action film—well-done, but firmly part of its genre, from beginning to end. Would you like to know more…?

George Miller Making Cars for “Mad Max 4”

More bad assery is on the way from George Miller. The new Mad Max picture is definitely in the works and the proof of that lies in the video below in which Mr. Miller shows us some of the vehicles that are in production for the feature.

Towards the end of the video Miller talks a little bit about the future of film in New Zealand and how he views cinema in general; name dropping some favorite directors of ours around here. Prepare for another high octane romp from Mad Max and Miller. The apocalypse is coming!

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