Set in an alternative universe – similar, but far from identical to ours – where a former TV star becomes president (because he played one on a popular, long-running show), an ultra-right-wing Rupert Murdoch-clone rules the airwaves (among other media), and where a Seth Rogen-looking character (played by Seth Rogen) somehow manages to make the jump from unemployed, lefty journo to head speechwriter for a secretary of state, future presidential candidate, to one-half of an unconventional romantic couple, the Jonathan Levine-directed Long Shot asks a tremendous amount from paying audience members and down-the-road future streamers: To set aside any all reality-world doubt and embrace the sheer wish-fulfillment fantasy inherent in the overused schlub-romances-a-beauty-queen-with-brains premise. If you can buy in, if you can get past what any reasonable person would consider the equivalent of a Big Ask, then Long Shot has a semi-random assortment of party favors and weed-soaked pleasures on offer for sporadic enjoyment and/or entertainment. (more…)
Now this looks interesting. Charlize Theron is kicking ass in this Red Band Trailer for Atomic Blonde. Not only is she dishing out the beatings, but taking quite the beating herself. There’s no acrobatics and wrapping her thighs around some guys neck to flip him, no, she is just punching and kneeing and kicking the crap out of the bad guys as she takes what they can dish out and then gives it back with a vengeance. Check out the red band trailer below. (more…)
Of course, we live in an age when the only currency in film seems to be whether there’s life for the story after the credits roll. From sequels, prequels, and spin-offs to books, video games, and TV shows, making a movie isn’t so much its own reward as a downpayment on years of profits made from all the other things you can stamp its name on. And then there’s The Huntsman: Winter’s War. It’s the epitome of these I.P.-obsessed times; a prequel and sequel to a hit film based on a fairy tale, and at once trying to attract old fans while attracting new ones by shaking things up just enough. And thus it fails on many levels. (more…)
2015 was a great year for movies. There were so many great films, even the most discerning and self-assured of movie connoisseurs should have a hard time picking the best. However, one movie that should undoubtedly be near the very top of that list is Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy. Marking George Miller‘s return to the post-apocalyptic landscape that made him famous, Fury Road was also Miller’s first action film in the 30 years since Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. The film is beautiful, tight, unrelenting, emotional, and completely honors and respects its female characters in a movie where women are owned as breeders, while a majority of movies can’t even manage to pass the ankle-level bar of the Bechdel test. As such, Fury Road appropriately War Rig smashed the box office and flame thrower guitared all over critic’s reviews. The buzz for a sequel could not be louder, which makes it all the more devastating to hear that George Miller has absolutely no intention of ever directing another Mad Max movie. Ever.
Yesterday, as per recent tradition, we got a trailer for the trailer for The Huntsman: Winter’s War. The sorta-sequel to 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman promises to be the same kind of effects-filled, Tolkein-esque gothic adventure as the original, but with the focus now on Chris Hemsworth‘s title character. But you know who stands out in this first full trailer? All the ladies. It is the tradition of fairy tales for the men to fight and the women to be saved, but is Winter’s War about to throw shade on that sexist folklore in a big way? If the trailer is to be believed, the answer is a definite maybe. (more…)
From Game of Thrones‘ ominous warning “Winter is coming,” to the accidental chaos of crykinetic powers in Disney’s Frozen, to all those super-villains like Captain Cold, Killer Frost, and Mr. Freeze, fantasy literature has been telling us for years that ice and snow is evil. To wit, the message is sent and received once again in this first teaser for The Huntsman: Winter’s War, in which we meet the Ice Queen as the latest cold-related fairy tale villain in this quasi-sequel to 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman. Even without Snow White, it seems that everything in this magic kingdom is far from alright. (more…)
As we head into the final two months of the year, we’ll be getting a glut of prestige pictures from the various studios and distributors as they try and make a run for Oscar glory. Still, it’s hard to imagine that no matter how good the films will be over the next 10-12 weeks, there will not be another action movie as intense as Mad Max: Fury Road. The nerd class loved Fury Road, and not just on a technical level. In a strange twist, Mad Max Rockatansky played by Tom Hardy was upstaged in a Mad Max movie by Imperator Furiosa played by Charlize Theron. Sadly though, it seems like there won’t be more Furiosa in Mad Max 5. (more…)
Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller has been a busy guy as of late. Critics and moviegoers alike are going crazy for Mad Max, and the film has caused a frenzy in the world of social media. After just joining Twitter yesterday, Miller’s very first tweet promised us “more Max to come” which surely means a sequel. Ideas for such have supposedly been in the works for a while now, although details have changed a bit when it comes to the title. (more…)
Warning – Minor spoilers for Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road are ahead. Nothing Earth shattering but hey, you have been warned.
This weekend, two new movies hit theaters across America and managed to kick the box office juggernaut Avengers: Age of Ultron down from its throne, landing the newest Marvel adventure in third place for the weekend box office. The backdrop of the new releases, Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2, couldn’t be more different. Mad Max: Fury Road is a return to a dystopian world first introduced to audiences back in 1979, with original Mad Max director George Miller back behind the wheel. The movie is dark and action packed from beginning to end and presents a world lacking water, oil, and civility. Its main protagonists are an almost nameless man (Max, played by Tom Hardy) searching for redemption and a woman named Furiosa (played by Charlize Theron), who is searching for the same. Pitch Perfect 2, on the other hand, is a bright, cheerful movie about a group of college girls who are seeking redemption in a completely different way, in a completely different world. While in Fury Road, the good guys are battling mad men with weapons and vehicles that seem to have been literally transported back from a future that we all hope will never come, the girls of Pitch Perfect 2 were singing their way back to former glory while their main antagonists, a German a Capella group, happen to be able to make some great sounds with their mouths. The differences between the movies matter but what matters more here is the one thing they both have in common: Girl Power, in spades. (more…)
Not that it needs it, but I’m going to add my accolades to the reception of Mad Max: Fury Road. This. Is. Awesome. Although we’re mostly right to decry the seemingly endless circle of reboots, remodels and sequels that Hollywood inundates us with, Fury Road says that you can make something that feels familiar, but fresh and engaging and endlessly exhilarating at the same time. Just when you think that director George Miller outdoes himself, he outdoes himself again with seemingly endless action, no exposition, and a baroque sense of art direction. This is a huge summer movie in all the best possible ways. A victory for simplicity of purpose and flawlessness in execution. (more…)