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Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)


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I was sold on this movie long ago.  I'm trying not to watch any more trailers for it.  Unfortunately, if I want to see any other movies in theater between now and the Ides of May, I probably won't be able to keep that commitment.

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Well... it only kind of led to "now." The brilliance of the original trilogy was simply that - it was comprised of a beginning, middle, and an end. The end was not as post-apocalyptic as it was apocalyptic. It featured a narrative of return from exile, and we saw the first few glimpses of that restoration.

 

And since then, Mad Max viewers had closure. The story was neatly contained, with Max ultimately serving a Messianic role in all this. But now, it is back to being a franchise. I am very interested in seeing how they connect, or unconnect these dots in Fury Road.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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So, so different from the original teaser (or trailer) -- but man, is this turning into my most-anticipated movie of the summer. The VISUALS!!

 

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Hmmm. A big improvement over the earlier trailer, but still very much, by the end, a loud and rather obnoxious trailer. I'm most surprised at how much Charlize's character is played up in this trailer. You'd think the movie is about her, despite the brief Max voiceover. 

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I'm pretty sure this reaction isn't widespread--but it is hilarious and disturbing in equal measure:

 

Furious about Furiosa: Misogynists are losing it over Charlize Theron’s starring role in Mad Max: Fury Road

 

Clarey worries that

men in America and around the world are going to be duped by explosions, fire tornadoes, and desert raiders into seeing what is guaranteed to be nothing more than feminist propaganda, while at the same time being insulted AND tricked into viewing a piece of American culture ruined and rewritten right in front of their very eyes.

 

 

You might think that someone this worried about the legacy of the original Mad Max might have noticed somewhere along the way that Mad Max is not actually a “piece of American culture” at all. It was an Australian film, filmed in Australia, directed by an Australian, and starring an American citizen who’d been living in Australia since the age of twelve.

Edited by NBooth
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I'm worried about the large number of cuts. The first preview I saw had me worried -- I mentioned the concern earlier in this thread - but the most recent preview was reassuring. Now I'm reading excited comments about the art of fast-cutting in the new film.

 

I was going to see the film tomorrow night, then not, and now ... I'm not sure. Maybe tomorrow, otherwise probably opening weekend. Early reviews confirm this is a must-see, even if I end up overwhelmed and tune the whole thing out.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I'm worried about the number of cuts too.  Sure it might be a great action film.  But will it be a great Mad Max film.  One of the great things about those early films was their pacing.  Sure there were some action cuts, but those films also had good breathing room.

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Surely Road Warrior is well within the contemporary shot length standard, if not above it. One of the key features of Miller's direction involves cutting back and forth rapidly between characters in an action scene simply because there are so many of them. As a result, part of the staying power of the trilogy is the sheer clarity of these complicated, climactic sequences.

 

So I don't think shot length should be any concern here, other than to indicate that his action sequences have been done very similarly to those prior. Which is good news. 

 

And there is no way Road Warrior is only 120 cuts. There are that many in five minutes of the chase scene. If you just count how many times we move from truck to posse and back again, you are going to run out of fingers real quick. I wager there are around 40-50 edits around the lovely little story of feral kid alone.

 

Stop messing with Max people!

Edited by M. Leary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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The reviews have been ecstatic, and I am chomping at the bit to see this one.

 

That said, assuming that the high critical praise is warranted, this marks the first time in recent memory, that the original creator of a franchise returns to that same franchise over many, many years, and crafts a film equal to, or perhaps superior to, its original franchise's best installment.

 

Compare this to Spielberg, who had returned to the Indiana Jones franchise, and created the subpar Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

 

Compare this to Ridley Scott, who had returned to the Alien franchise, and created the subpar Prometheus.

 

Compare this to Wes Craven, who had returned to the Nightmare on Elm St franchise with the forgettable "New Nightmare."

 

And compare this to George Lucas, who had returned to the Star Wars franchise with those prequels.

 

I think that the biggest reason why I am so gobsmacked with the critical praise of this film is because there has never--in my mind--been a precedent... of a franchise creator returning to the series after a considerable absence, and improving upon his originals.

 

Anybody else have an anecdote to prove me wrong?

Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Romero's Land of the Dead.

 

I remember Guillermo Del Toro exclaiming, in some advertisement or other, something to the effect of, "The master returns to finish his Sistine Chapel."

Edited by Nathaniel

"A great film is one that to some degree frees the viewer from this passive stupor and engages him or her in a creative process of viewing. The dynamic must be two-way. The great film not only comes at the viewer, it draws the viewer toward it." -Paul Schrader

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Thanks for the reply, Attica. I tried to quote your post, but the "quote" function doesn't appear to be working.

 

I've decided to see the film tonight. Possibly worse than the number of cuts: The PR company is screening it for us in 3D, announced before Miller expressed his preference for the 2D version. Maybe we'll be surprised and the film will be shown in 2D after all.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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NBooth quoted:
: You might think that someone this worried about the legacy of the original Mad Max might have noticed somewhere along the way that Mad Max is not actually a “piece of American culture” at all. It was an Australian film, filmed in Australia, directed by an Australian, and starring an American citizen who’d been living in Australia since the age of twelve.

 

That *is* hilarious. And the lead actors in this new film are British (Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult) and South African (Charlize Theron).

 

The discussion around the film's feminism *could* be interesting, but I haven't been reading too much on the film because I want to be "surprised" when I see it. But apparently Vagina Monologues author Eve Ensler was one of the film's consultants or something.

 

Meanwhile, I finally saw the original Mad Max (1979) for the first time ever yesterday and was... surprised... at how it wasn't at all what I expected. I "live-blogged" it on my Facebook wall ("friend" me if you haven't already and want to read it).

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Thanks, Ryan. (And again, I hit "quote" and the post in question is not quoted in my reply.)

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Here's a round up of positive reviews, some of which are referenced above. Love this quote:

 

 

 

The fourth instalment of George Miller’s punky post-apocalyptic ‘Mad Max’ saga feels like a tornado tearing through a tea party. In an age of weightless movie spectacles, here’s a movie that feels like it was made by kidnapping $150 million of studio money, fleeing with it to the Namibian desert, and sending footage back to Hollywood like the amputated body parts of a ransomed hostage.

http://screenrant.com/mad-max-fury-road-reviews-preview/

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