28 May 2015


In 1979 the first Mad Max film rocketed onto our screens. An Australian grindhouse cult classic set in a dystopian future where lawlessness prevailed over the attempts of the road warriors to keep the peace. Next was Mad Max 2 in 1981 where the world has moved on from social collapse to a full on post nuclear apocalypse wasteland, and then Beyond the ThunderDome in '85 continued Max’s story.  Twenty years later and with Tom Hardy as Max we get the next instalment of Max’s adventures.
Some spoilers follow....
Max is captured by a desert culture run by a warlord known as Imortan Joe. Joe has access to a reservoir of water which he uses to control the local people. The majority of the population are dying of radiation exposure due to the historical nuclear war, and Joe hopes to breed a healthy legacy with a large harem of girls he has imprisoned. One of his warlords Imperator Fury (Thoron) recuses some of Joe's “brides”  and escapes into the wasteland. Joe, desperate to have his property back sends out his army of ‘war-boys’  packed into a high octane vehicles.  Nux (Holt) is a sickly war Boy and is using  Max’s using Max as a living blood bag, to keep himself alive. Not wanting to be left out of the bloody flaming glory that awaits, Nux straps Max to the front of his  car and joins the war boys in trying to stop Furiosa, and bring Joe back his brides.  After losing the main war band in a massive desert storm. Max escapes Nux and joins up with Furiousa.

Ensue a visual assault full of hijinks
At first glance the plot of Fury road appears to be very similar to Mad Max 2. While both films centred around a war band of post-apocalyptic raiders chasing Max as he tries to escape in a truck through the desert,  the films are really quite different.  While Mad Max 2 (or the road warrior in some countries) was a straight forward narrative,  Fury Road has a subtext. Furiosa’ s liberation of Joe’s brides and eventual redemption reflects how women can escape abuse and take control of their own lives. Over the course of the film the brides have escaped their fate as chattels for the purpose of breeding to become free.  I can see how this film is empowering to women, especially any that have been the target of abuse, bullies or other scumbags.

However while Fury Road has that subtext it is also a wild and wonder assault on the senses. Writer and Director George Miller has created a highly stylised film full of non stop action. In a way it is every film Michael Bay has wanted to make, but can't because he has too many hang ups and tries too hard.  Mad Max Fury Road is utterly relentless in it's pace and story. I think the best analogy is if Jack Black made a live action version of wacky racers set in the world of his game Brutal Legend!

I must admit I was horrified when I first heard about this film. But that was when I thought this was a terrible remake. It isn't. It is the same writer and director that brought you Max, and he is continuing Max's adventures in the best possible way. Tom Hardy is a great Max, and he has signed up for more movies.  Fury Road  will stun you, and possible make you wonder if you had a good time, or you just got carjacked.

I say both!

8 Monkeys

20 May 2015

Mean Teddies rocks!

In an age where the remake is standard fair many of my friends ask me the same question "have people run out of ideas?"

My answer is no, but with the ever constant fear of failure, studios often go with what they see as a safe bet. Much in the same way as our free to air TV is flooded with Reality TV.  This is reflected in the many sequels and remakes that are in production currently. The remake of Gremlins for example.

But all is not lost, while cruising the Internet I found this cool short animated film created by Tyler Novo, on Jake Vipers cool site Epicstream

There are artists out there creating, and while they create we will always have cool things to watch and enjoy.

I love it and hope you do too.

16 May 2015

Avengers 2

Controversial, classic, and a reasonable sequel.

The Marvel series of films has, for the most part, been highly successful. The Avengers series has taken a group of comic book superheroes and created not only one successful franchise, but successful franchises for the individual members of the Avengers team (excluding Black Widow and Hawkeye who the studio have not felt fit to give them their own movies). This is the second of the Avengers films.

Please note there are some small spoilers.

Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Thor are officially the Avengers team, battling bad guys around the world. During a mission fighting HYDRA in the fictional eastern bloc country of  Sokovia, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) AKA Iron Man has a spell placed on him by the Scarlett Witch, who with her brother Quicksilver, are fighting the Avengers.
Tony has a vision that the Avengers will be killed and he is responsible.  With that vision firmly in his mind he  wants to develop a self-aware  super android who can replace the Avengers, and thus ensure Earth's safety.  Sadly, like Dr Victor Frankenstein before him, his dream goes awry and Ultron turns out not to be Earth's saviour, but the vehicle of its destruction.  Only the Avengers can defeat Ultron, but Ultron creates rifts in the team which might not be able to be healed.
Dun dun DUN!

I am not sure as to how true this story is to the comic books, but from my understanding the current line-up of Avengers is not the classic line up. With the introduction of new characters such as Vision and the Scarlett Witch, Avengers 2 is a return to the fundamental ‘historical’ avengers of the Comics. The whole film as more of a comic feel to it as well with the cinematography of the major fight sequences.
Wheldon has tried to right the imbalance with Hawkeye and Blackwidow by giving them a sizable part of the story over Thor and Captain America. I liked this and it fleshed out the two characters for me.  Also it was clear that Whedon intended to kill Hawkeye as soon as you were introduced to his wife and family. Whedon was setting Hawkeye up like Goose from TopGun, who got cooked later on.  How that plays was clever, but may leave hearts broken.

The script retains some of the humour from the first film to counter the drama. The moment between Captain America and Thor was very well done.  James Spader as the voice of Ultron was cool, he was the perfect choice as the villain and despite being just a voice brought a nice presence to his scenes.
All in all the film was a good sequel, and set the ground work to continue the franchise(s) onward.  However I am unsure what Avengers 3 will be about or look like. If there is a new set of Avengers I will not be as keen to see it. I am simply not invested in those characters.

7 monkeys.

15 May 2015

I'm ba-ack

Well yes slacky McSlackerson is back.  A hiatus due to taking my beautiful wife to Europe on our Honeymoon and then suffering with post Honeymoon doldrums (this is a real thing by the way not like Smurfs, Fibromialgia or the trickle down effect.) and general laziness has lead to a lack of posts.

But I am back and will soon post my opinion about the new Avengers movie. But to tide you over until then here is a picture of a comic that I think I can get my teeth into!

Yes according to this post Dark Horse comics have created this wonder of the modern age. I for one will be looking out for it. 

And for the record I always preferred Betty.