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Author Topic: Go see Mad Max
Lyrhawn
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Seriously.

Maybe it's just because I went in without any sort of expectations. But it left me literally speechless.

I'll repeat the short review I posted on Facebook:

quote:
Mad Max is easily the best movie of the year so far.

Visually sumptuous, an aural delight, gritty like sand but almost blindingly bright, choreographed better than a Russian ballet, so sparing in dialogue you lean forward to savor every word, and yet the most emotionally gripping thing I've seen in years. It delights in its own high concept art and is unapologetically simple while commanding incredible levels of expression.

I'm going to be thinking about it for weeks to come.



It's the kind of movie that makes me want to go home and write. Not to copy it, not to write ABOUT Mad Max, but because it gets my imagination going.

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Nato
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I saw it on Friday. Super fun. Every time I go into battle from now on, I'm bringing a flamethrowing guitar and drums truck for morale.
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Samprimary
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"At the time of this publication, Mad Max: Fury Road stands at a 97 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes."

"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."

"Fury Road may be the first Tantric action flick. Sting will love it."

"...[I]t’s possible Miller recognized the limitations a male director and three male writers faced in trying to cover every nuance of a story about female exploitation and survival. ... director George Miller enlisted the help of activist, feminist icon, and Vagina Monologues author Eve Ensler in order to ensure that Fury Road wasn’t just another story about helpless female victims."

"In the same way that the original 1979 “Mad Max” was the “Citizen Kane” of gut-bucket Australian exploitation cinema, “Mad Max: Fury Road” may well be the “Götterdämerung” of drive-in movies."

"Films are built painstakingly in fractions, one moment at a time, but Fury Road is like a thing born in an explosion, roaring to life fully formed as the end product of some cinematic Big Bang. It feels more new than we have a right to expect from any sequel, and even with missteps in mind is bracingly progressive, and a triumphant return for George Miller."

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Samprimary
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The Verge's review featured Spencer Hall typing it out in all caps and for the final verdict he wrote "IT DESERVES NO RANKING OR STARS BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE THAT IN THE POST-APOCALYPSE AND DON'T NEED. THIS MOVIE IS A MASTERPIECE AND ONE OF THE BEST FILMS EVER MADE. I GIVE IT ONE ARTIFICIAL KILLING ARM AND EIGHT HIDDEN GEARSHIFT KNIVES. THAT'S THE HIGHEST RANKING AVAILABLE IN THE POST-APOCALYPSE."
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Men's Rights Forever
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It is nothing less than the redemption of cinema as an art form.
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Glenn Arnold
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Oh, I get it. Sarcasm. You people owe me 2 hours of my life back.
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Wingracer
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Just saw it. Liked it but not as blown away as some seem to be.
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Xavier
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Yeah I thought it was just "pretty good".

*** Mostly Minor Spoilers ***

*

*

*

The action scenes were intense, and I thought Charlize Theron was great. I was blown away by her look. That grease warpaint on her naturally beautiful face was incredibly cinematic.

But the protagonist was pretty boring, and the slave girls were mostly terrible actresses. The cheese was a tad thick at times too. And I thought the war-boy's heel face turn was far too quick and unbelievable.

Overall I'd say perhaps 7.5/10.

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
Oh, I get it. Sarcasm. You people owe me 2 hours of my life back.

Lol.

I've actually heard multiple people tell me it's really great, and when asked to clarify (about the fact that it's supposed to be a 2 hour car chase but also excellent cinema), one friend said it was mostly about the cinematography and various small well-crafted novelties.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
Oh, I get it. Sarcasm. You people owe me 2 hours of my life back.

Lol.

I've actually heard multiple people tell me it's really great, and when asked to clarify (about the fact that it's supposed to be a 2 hour car chase but also excellent cinema), one friend said it was mostly about the cinematography and various small well-crafted novelties.

I wasn't being sarcastic at all. I actually thought it was very good.

I thought the gender dynamics were groundbreaking. I also think you can quibble over who the protagonist actually is. As far as I'm concerned, it's Furiosa. Maybe Max is thet title character, but he's certainly not the one the story is either about. Furiosa is quite literally driving the action.

It's hard to get away from the gender debate, both cinematically, because it was so well done in that regard, and from what the movie has to say about gender dynamics in the modern world, who is disserviced and who is really in power, and what it even means to refer to "patriarchy" when men are oppressed by it as well. Sort of helps frame the debate over the language we use to describe gender roles and where conflict is.

But if you just want to look at it as a simple action movie - I still thought it was fun and imaginative. The soundtrack was great. The choice to make the apocalpyse look blindingly bright instead of unbearably bleak certainly made it stand out, since we haven't gotten than in a long time (Waterworld comes to mind). The the visuals were incredibly impressive, the fact that they used practical effects rather than CGI for most of it is a retro and much appreciated.

I thought the War Boy turnaround was a bit fast as well. I liked what they did with his character in the second half, though it all seemed to stem from magic lady touches. It's one of the few parts I felt I had to handwave away for disbelief.

In an era where most action movies aren't about anything at all, and it all just feels recycled over and over and over again, I found Fury Road delightfully fresh.

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Wingracer
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Yes it is indeed a 2 hour car chase and I'm fine with that. After all, the original gone in 60 seconds, vanishing point, the gumball rally, smokey and the bandit and of course the road warrior are all favorites of mine. Still, there was something missing that I can't quite put a finger on. It's not the thin plot, done well I love a thin plot. Still liked it though.
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Elison R. Salazar
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I think I might see it out of spite for MRA's who've been busy furiously being furious about portraying women as anything other than inferior.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Men's Rights Forever:
It is nothing less than the redemption of cinema as an art form.

This definitely seems like sarcasm or at least like a humorous exaggeration.

It's a really good movie but I think the degree of enthusiasm I'm seeing from various sources is a bit over the top.

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I thought the War Boy turnaround was a bit fast as well. I liked what they did with his character in the second half, though it all seemed to stem from magic lady touches. It's one of the few parts I felt I had to handwave away for disbelief.

Few? Almost nothing about it was realistic.
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Samprimary
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people who don't feel alive when they watch this movie need to take more drugs and then watch the movie again
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Lyrhawn
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Scifibum -

quote:
Few? Almost nothing about it was realistic.
How do you mean realistic?

Do you mean to say "that would never happen in real life?"

Or are you saying "within the context of the universe within the movie, that's unbelievable."

If you mean the former, then sure, it all seems pretty unlikely, but I don't find that a particularly usefull standard for a piece of fiction.

If you mean the latter, I don't agre, but I'd be interested to hear why you think so.

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scifibum
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Well, I assume the movie's universe is meant to be a future Earth where physics and biology work much the same way they do now. In that universe, very little of what happens is realistic. I'm including things like how many times you can get a giant truck out of a quagmire in a couple of hours with a handful of people and limited tools, how much food and water it takes to survive and where it comes from, how much gasoline you can carry on an already overladen motorcycle (160 days of riding??), etc.

Now, as you say, this is not a standard to which we hold action movies in general. It's certainly not a standard that makes any sense for this movie.

I just am not sure how "sudden change of heart" is more in need of handwaving than anything else we're handwaving away. Which is nearly everything.

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Samprimary
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quote:
how many times you can get a giant truck out of a quagmire in a couple of hours with a handful of people and limited tools
from miserable personal experience and a few boards of plywood and hard plastic I can say at least 15
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scifibum
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Was it a tanker truck and were most of the people wearing gauze? Sort of suspect yes but
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Samprimary
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it was a large vehicle with considerable heft. a large drywall hauler with stocking crane and a full load of sheetrock. Our nemesis was a long stretch of what was assured to us was not a quagmire but was a relatively dry level means of accessing the property across a stretch of farmland. oops it wasn't dry too bad

i regret to inform that there was little in the way of gauze wearing but by the end of that hateful day most of us were stripped down quite a bit

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
it was a large vehicle with considerable heft. a large drywall hauler with stocking crane and a full load of sheetrock. Our nemesis was a long stretch of what was assured to us was not a quagmire but was a relatively dry level means of accessing the property across a stretch of farmland. oops it wasn't dry too bad

i regret to inform that there was little in the way of gauze wearing but by the end of that hateful day most of us were stripped down quite a bit

Been there, done that only with race car haulers in a giant field after a torrential downpour. First few can get out fine but after that, the land is turned into a churned up mud bog. At least the war rig had a winch.
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Glenn Arnold
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Scifibum is right on. Riding 160 days on a motorcycle was one of the things that destroyed any suspension of disbelief. So was ripping a roots blower of the top of a running engine and throwing at someone.

And I have a hard time imagining that Sams quagmire was nearly as axle deep as the one in the movie, but I actually gave that one a pass.

I didn't really want to waste too many brain cells on it, but I guess if you consider outright waste of limited resources to be commentary on the generally stupid path humanity is on, well, maybe that's a redeeming value for the movie. But then, making a movie that wastes those same resources is pretty pathetic.

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Rakeesh
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I look forward to the same realistic, scathing critique of action movies in general!

Seriously though, watching the first couple of episodes of Daredevil with my mother she was heard to say, "Oh, come on, he's hearing that?!"

I find myself reminded of this conversation;)

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Well, I assume the movie's universe is meant to be a future Earth where physics and biology work much the same way they do now. In that universe, very little of what happens is realistic. I'm including things like how many times you can get a giant truck out of a quagmire in a couple of hours with a handful of people and limited tools, how much food and water it takes to survive and where it comes from, how much gasoline you can carry on an already overladen motorcycle (160 days of riding??), etc.

Now, as you say, this is not a standard to which we hold action movies in general. It's certainly not a standard that makes any sense for this movie.

I just am not sure how "sudden change of heart" is more in need of handwaving than anything else we're handwaving away. Which is nearly everything.

I don't know, maybe we're focusing on different aspects on it.

My "is this realistic" was focusing more on the character elements than the technical aspects. I'm not necessarily saying one is much more important than the other, but in this particular movie, a believable character moment (or unbelievable) is more important to me than the likelihood of moving a truck out a bog, which seems like far less of an important element in the grand scheme of things.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I look forward to the same realistic, scathing critique of action movies in general!

Seriously though, watching the first couple of episodes of Daredevil with my mother she was heard to say, "Oh, come on, he's hearing that?!"

I find myself reminded of this conversation;)

Honestly and truthfully, one of the biggest detriments to me enjoying Daredevil (which is a pretty great show) is the tendency to - other than a few nifty tricks here and there - treat his super hearing exactly like sight. It kind of completely ruins the point of him being blind in the first place and it would be nice if they treated it a little more "realistically." (like, he should be able to locate people by their heartbeats/breathing, and fists/weapons by the noise they make "whooshing" when they're swung and so on, but how they hell can he "hear" where an object or surface or (non-fired) gun and so on is...)
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TomDavidson
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He also has a radar sense that, in some versions of the character, is so detailed that he can actually read.
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Dogbreath
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That's still better than the Ben Affleck version where he can apparently tell what people look like by how they smell.

(By this I mean, after it's first established that he knows Jennifer Garner is hot because of how she smells, the meant-to-be-touching final scene of the movie after she's dead is someone who *looks* like her walking into the restaurant and him smelling her and getting all nostalgic. Yes, Daredevil can tell if you look like Jennifer Garner by the way you smell)

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FlyingCow
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I think he relies as much on his sense of touch for his "sight" - air displacement, body temperature, etc.
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Men's Rights Forever
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
Originally posted by Men's Rights Forever:
It is nothing less than the redemption of cinema as an art form.

This definitely seems like sarcasm or at least like a humorous exaggeration.

I should have added..."for me."

I used to be a huge cinephile, going out to see art movies, consuming the classics, looking forward to Ebert's reviews every Friday (someone who's voice I dearly miss.) Sometime in 2007 though all movies started feeling the same. Christopher Nolan's stuff came close to making me care again (at least he's ambitious) but I don't believe he ever hit it out of the ballpark like Miller.

This new "Mad Max" film did something right that I haven't seen in an action movie in a while, which is to make genuinely care about the consequences of the unfolding spectacle. The action sequences are drenched in suspense. There's nothing I dislike more than watching some action set piece that cost tens of millions of dollars and being bored. This is almost always the result of poor storytelling. The action in Mad Max is very gripping. Also I loved the exuberance and confidence of the film.

If I were to quibble about the film I would say: But what about the big milk ladies. Weren't they worth saving too? [Confused]

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Rakeesh
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If that were a serious quibble, it would be easily answered: finite resources for escape.
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Xavier
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quote:
But what about the big milk ladies. Weren't they worth saving too?
A related quibble: If I were to pick a woman to be a "breeder" for me, she wouldn't look anything like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley or whatever model played the pale one.

Sure they are attractive and all, but wouldn't you pick women with attributes associated with easily birthing children? The "big milk ladies" prove that the nutrition is available to not have your breeders looking half starved.

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scifibum
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If you want to justify rescuing the breeders and not the "milk ladies" you can go with this: they were locked in a vault together with Splendid who was their leader who convinced them all to go along with the plan. Other people outside the vault weren't available to be vetted/recruited.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
Just saw it. Liked it but not as blown away as some seem to be.

Yeah, I'm not getting the effusiveness of the reviews. I saw it in the cinema. It was deeply bizarre. It was interesting. I don't know what else to say about it.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
it was a large vehicle with considerable heft. a large drywall hauler with stocking crane and a full load of sheetrock. Our nemesis was a long stretch of what was assured to us was not a quagmire but was a relatively dry level means of accessing the property across a stretch of farmland. oops it wasn't dry too bad

i regret to inform that there was little in the way of gauze wearing but by the end of that hateful day most of us were stripped down quite a bit

Been there, done that only with race car haulers in a giant field after a torrential downpour. First few can get out fine but after that, the land is turned into a churned up mud bog. At least the war rig had a winch.
We got out but we were on the hook for substantial damage to the land (which turned out not to be the homeowner's land whoops) and without any other options I had to go out a few extra days with shovels and just sort of, like 'puff up' the soil they had smashed flat

It was a cruel time

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Samprimary
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I also don't know how someone can go see that movie — assuming you LIKE action movies, anyway —and not just be like "aw yiss that was a super rad action movie"

it was well-made madness. it was a visual feast. Miller could manage four or five lines of simultaneously running action and keep the progression clear and awesome.

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Samprimary
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or, this:

quote:
Like Mr. Jones’s universe, Mr. Miller’s world has its rules. Viewers raised on the more baroque, digitally enabled forms of blockbuster spectacle are likely to admire the relative simplicity of “Fury Road,” while aficionados of the traditional slam-bang methods will revel in its coherence. Even in the most chaotic fights and collisions, everything makes sense. This is not a matter of realism — come on, now — but of imaginative discipline. And Mr. Miller demonstrates that great action filmmaking is not only a matter of physics but of ethics as well. There is cause and effect; there are choices and consequences.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/15/movies/review-mad-max-fury-road-still-angry-after-all-these-years.html?&_r=0
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Emreecheek
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I've seen it four times now. It's probably the best theater experience I've had in years. [Big Grin]
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Samprimary
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all week this has been happening

- girlfriend sees me lurking

- girlfriend goes 'yeass?'

- i mock spraypaint my mouth and then shout WITNESS MEEE

- she goes AAAAA and tries to run

- i tackle her and make exploding spear noises

it has been a terrible loss of productivity. MEDIOCRRRE

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Men's Rights Forever
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
people who don't feel alive when they watch this movie need to take more drugs and then watch the movie again

legit
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Dogbreath
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We finally got the chance to go see it tonight.

It's a breathtakingly beautiful movie. I can't remember the last time I've been this enthralled watching an action movie - probably The Terminator when I was 9. In a genre that's become so unimaginative, dark and repetitive, this is like nothing I've ever seen before, and yet I felt right at home. Like, of course the villain has a backup rock band with a flamethrower guitar. It just makes sense. And the internal logic of the movie (which is delightfully insane) meshes well.

That's another thing - I absolutely loved the carefree, gibbering maniacal madness of the warboys and the environment. After the recent trend of endlessly making dark and edgy "realistic" reboots of campy 80s movies and shows, Mad Max goes in the exact opposite direction where it is, if anything, even more over-the-top absurd and stylized to the point where there's only a tenuous connection to reality as we know it. I mean, it's hard (for me at least) to start critiquing how "realistic" elements of a movie where the soundtrack music is literally being performed in-universe. You just kind of go with it.

I'm definitely going back to see it again. Probably several times.

There's a lot of allegory and themes and symbolism too, of course, which is enjoyable on it's own level. I really liked that, in a genre full of stoic, hard bitten middle-aged men action heroes, we get Furiosa- a stoic, hard bitten middle-aged woman action hero. Well, we actually get a lot of women action heroes, which is pretty awesome, but her performance really stands out. At no point does she (or any of them) prance about in a skintight suit or do a bunch of goofy gymnastics, and she actually shoots rifles (action movie women are normally only allowed pistols, for whatever reason) and drives a truck.

Also, most importantly, she's not there to swoon over the male lead, and at no point is there a romantic subplot between them or a dramatic final kiss. She's not an overly-acerbic tomboy who secretly pines for a manly enough man to come in and sweep her off her feet so she can show her hidden feminine side. She's just herself, and pretty comfortable being that way. Which is normal and just what you would expect, but vanishingly rare in this genre. It's also one of the very few action movies where the female lead is older than the male lead.

And most of all, it's just good fun. You can't help but love how gleefully evil the bad guys are and how much fun they seem to be having - even (especially) when they're getting blown to bits. I loved it.

tl;dr It's no Kung Fury but it's still pretty great.

[ May 30, 2015, 06:00 AM: Message edited by: Dogbreath ]

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Men's Rights Forever
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Well said Dogbreath.

The only thing the movie was missing is a good single like the one Beyond Thunderdome had.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq4aOaDXIfY

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CT
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It's not the same, and I know it's stolen from another show, but I adore this:

Mad Max's Imperator Furiosa Gets The Unbreakable Theme Song She Deserves

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by CT:
It's not the same, and I know it's stolen from another show, but I adore this:

Mad Max's Imperator Furiosa Gets The Unbreakable Theme Song She Deserves

I had just finally gotten that song out of my head about 2 weeks ago. But thanks for sharing, it's pretty awesome. [Smile]
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Shanna
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I saw it last night and was absolutely blown away.

I will say that I spent the first part of the movie wondering what I'd gotten my friend and I into. I love weird movies but not everyone appreciates the same. And the initial action scenes were visually interesting but largely didn't do much for me.

I'm not an action film fan. My mom has been telling me for years to turn my brain off when they'd drag me to whatever big Hollywood nonsense was passing for suitable family entertainment when I was growing up.

But that moment when one of the "wives" hung out the door using her body as a shield, I was hooked. We spent the rest of the movie curled up in our chairs with our hands over our mouths, gasping and flailing at each other because OMIGOD DID YOU SEE THAT?!

I've been reading alot of different reviews and there's one observation that has stuck with me. Action films with a "Strong Female Protagonist" are not completely unusual in Hollywood. But that women is usually the only one in the movie. But in Mad Max we don't just have Strong Furiosa. We have the fragile "wives" who have a different kind of strength and bravery. They may not be able to go punch-for-punch with Max, but they defiantly use their bodies as shields, they play at submission to sneak onto another car to help Furiosa, they repeatedly affirm their independence as people not things, etc. And then there's the old biker women. I don't know that I've ever seen old ladies kick so much butt. And at the end of the movie, they don't just escape their captors, they challenge and bring them down, saving countless others. We never get to see so many different types of women who are strong in so many different ways.

And then there's Nux who is the embodiment of every typical female love interest action film trope.

And it helps that after making me care so much about these characters, the movie gave them such incredible action scenes for them to conquer.

I used to think that I hated action films because of the mindless explosions. Turns out that I LOVE explosions when my heroes are taking out the bad guys.

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Samprimary
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the typical STRANG FEMAIL PORTANGONIST will have her SASSY INTRODUCTION where she STRUTS HER STUFF and shows that she KNOWS KUNG FU and gives the male hero a HARD TIME but then the antagonists prove to be TOO MUCH FOR HER so she becomes a DAMSEL IN DISTRESS and the hero comes to save her as she FALLS FOR HIM SO HARD repeat ad infinitum

Nothing about Furiosa was formulaic. By the end they've saved each other's lives a number of times and Max, initially by circumstance, is driven back into aiding a worthy cause by his conscious, and by furiosa's willingness to risk trusting him. Whole pages of dialogue are NOT said in the movie and conveyed with more showing than telling.

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Men's Rights Forever
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I saw the film again, and I was struck by this sequence of the sountrack, which played at a very excellent moment (the sandstorm scene):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liPiHSVtloQ#t=3m27s

The sequence starts at 3:39, I linked to about 12 seconds earlier. That particular part appears to have struck many people as notable as well.

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Geraine
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I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. I though Max was a little underused, but I actually didn't mind one bit because Charlize Theron was kicking so much ass.

They could have left Tom Hardy out completely and had Charlize be a female "Max" and I would have been just as happy. George Miller did say he is open to a female Max afterall.

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