Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

212061

Director: George Miller
Writers: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris
Production Companies: Kennedy Miller Productions, Village Roadshow Pictures
Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoe Kravitz
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Sci-Fi

What It’s About: The road warrior Max teams up with a War Boys soldier named Furiosa, and they embark on an escape from the Tyranny of Immortan Joe.

How I Watched It: Alone in the theater. Small crowd…consisting of a bunch of dudes all wearing baseball caps. Weird.

Thoughts: After being abducted by these weird fellas known as the War Boys, Max(Hardy) ends up making an unlikely team with a rogue War Boy officer named Furiosa (Theron). They, along with several of Immortan Joe’s (Keays-Byrne) prime mating ladies, depart for Furiosa’s maiden land–“The Green Place”.

I was pretty excited going into this, being a fan of the original trilogy. Knowing that George Miller was once again taking the reigns made me hold even more hope. Surely if anyone could carry on the Mad Max legacy on the big screen, and do it well, it would be him. He did not disappoint.

Take your vision for what the original Mad Max films could have looked like with 30 more years of technology available….and multiply it times ten. Holy. Hell. All of the elements of the original films that we loved–the costumes, the crazy characters, the INSANE high speed chases–they’re all still here. Not only are they here, but they are far improved.

One of my only complaints about this film was, surprisingly, Tom Hardy. He is one attractive male specimen. However, there were several times that I just found him taking me out of the film. Maybe if I revisit the old films, I’ll see more correlations between his acting choices and Mel Gibson’s…but I dunno. I always appreciate actors giving their own spins and using their own inspirations for old characters being revamped, but that doesn’t mean I always like their interpretations. Something about him wasn’t working for me most of the time.

Now, this may be a Mad Max film, but this one belongs to Charlize Theron. Furiosa is by far a more integral character to this story, and she is such a frickin’ badass. Even with grease covering half of her face, she’s still incredibly beautiful (Lucky!). She is such an empowering female presence. This may well be my favorite performance from Theron.

Another favorite character of mine was Nux (Hoult). These War Boys are crazy mo-fos who are destined to live short, intense lives. They want nothing more than to die in the heat of battle and to be “witnessed” into the gates of Valhalla. Nux is initially just a War Boy using Max as a blood bank, but he ends up being an unlikely team member on the trek to “The Green Place”. Hoult’s performance was spot-on.

I can’t write a review of this movie without a shoutout to Hugh Keays-Byrne. If you’re not aware, he played the role of Toecutter in Mad Max (1979). It was cool having at least one actor come back to the series in a new capacity.

Mad-Max-1-03

My Rating: Huzzah!
This movie is a fun ride from start to finish, and is easily my favorite film that I’ve seen in the theater so far this year. I truly hope that this spawns even more films in the Mad Max franchise–*wink wink* George Miller *wink wink*. Go see it while you still can!

Where Can I Watch It?: THE THEATER! Right now! Go!  🙂

Advertisements

The LEGO Movie (2014)

lego_movie_ver9_xlg

Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Writers: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman
Production Companies: Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, The LEGO Group, Vertigo Entertainment, Lin Pictures
Stars: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Charlie Day
Genre: Animation/ Adventure/ Comedy/ Family

What It’s About: An ordinary Lego construction worker, thought to be the prophesied ‘Special’, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the Lego universe into eternal stasis.

How I Watched It: Alone in my apartment. Evening.

Thoughts: I’ll preface my review of this movie by pointing out that I’m a fan of the LEGO video game franchise, and I was really stoked for this movie, because I always found those games so fun and entertaining.

Okay.  So…the story.  You’ve got this run-of-the-mill construction worker LEGO named Emmett (Pratt).  He’s one of the masses of everyday people who are ordinary and follow the rules set forth by President Business (Ferrell). Then there are all of these builders who are trying to go up against the President and his secret weapon called the Kragle.  Their mission is to find that one extra special master builder who can locate “The Piece of Resistance” and save their world.

Emmett sort of….falls upon “The Piece of Resistance” and teams up with Wildstyle (Banks) to go on a crazy adventure to save their world.  There’s a lot more to the plot, but I don’t wanna completely spoil the clever little details.

There are so many great characters in this movie. Pretty much every character that has appeared in the game franchise are present–plus some new ones added just for the movie. And what makes the characters even better is that you get these amazing actors to voice them and bring them to life.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Emmet (Chris Pratt): I think I might be a little in love with Chris Pratt, so maybe I’m biased. However, he plays the part of the comedic half-wit so well.  He also plays the part of unlikely hero incredibly well.  They really couldn’t have picked a better actor for the lead.

Batman (Will Arnett): Again. Couldn’t have picked someone better. Arnett’s ridiculously dry humor really shines here.  Also, the song that Batman sings at one point had me laughing so hard, I was worried that I would upset the neighbors.

Bad Cop/Good Cop: (Liam Neeson): I’ve always known that Liam Neeson was secretly funny behind all of those intimidating action roles that he plays. He really steps up to the plate here.  Intimidating, yet silly….and awesome.

I also wanna point out that for a brief scene, the Millennium Falcon shows up with some Star Wars characters…and after looking into it, most of those characters were actually voiced by their original actors!!!  I just thought that was too frickin’ cool. So keep an eye out for that scene.

But behind all of the silliness–believe me, there’s a lot.  There’s a great message for all of the kids watching.  Upon first glance, it seems like a lot of this movie is really meant for the parents watching it.  There are so many great jokes, that you just know kids won’t get until they’re older–but at least they’re not all sexual innuendos like half of the crap I see out nowadays.  You can always hope that, even subliminally, the kids will catch on to watch the movie’s really about.

Oh, and how could I forget?  EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!!  😉

My Rating: Huzzah!!!

I love this movie. I know that a lot of the humor is childish, but I don’t care. It’s so flippin’ clever, and adorable, and hilarious.  I think I laughed more watching this movie than I have in quite a while.  I might have to go out and purchase this one….ya know….for those future kids…I …probably won’t ever have….OKAY, I WANT IT FOR ME!  Bite me.  😉

Where Can I Watch It?:  This one’s available for purchase now!  Also available through Amazon Instant Video.  Oh, and don’t neglect to check your local libraries for this and other titles!  You might be surprised at the selections available to you for free!!