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Mad Max: Fury Road [XDBX Film Club 05]

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Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road

About

  • Released


  • Rating


    7.4
  • Genre


    • Action
    • Adventure
    • Science Fiction

Overview

An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and most everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order.


Trailer

Credits

  • Tom Hardy
    Tom Hardy
    Max Rockatansky
  • Charlize Theron
    Charlize Theron
    Imperator Furiosa
  • Nicholas Hoult
    Nicholas Hoult
    Nux
  • Hugh Keays-Byrne
    Hugh Keays-Byrne
    Immortan Joe
  • Josh Helman
    Josh Helman
    Slit
  • Nathan Jones
    Nathan Jones
    Rictus Erectus
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LimeGreenLegend

This month the film club is hitting the road, with the theme being road movies.  The winner, nominated by @Squirrel, is Mad Max: Fury Road.  This is a sequel/reboot of the legendary Australian film series, the fourth entry, and the first in thirty years.  It was written and directed by the creator of the original films, George Miller (Happy Feet, Happy Feet 2, Babe: Pig in the City) and stars Tom Hardy (Bronson, The Dark Knight Rises) as Max, replacing Mel Gibson in the role, and Charlize Theron (Monster, Prometheus) as Imperator Furiosa.

The plot sees Max helping Furiosa in her attempt to free the enslaved wives of tyrannical ruler of the wastes, Immortan Joe, which mostly involves driving cool looking post-apocalyptic vehicles covered in spikes that shoot fire.  The entire film is basically one huge car chase, and the action never lets up.

I saw this in the cinema when it was released, and it is still one of the best looking films I've seen on the big screen.  The way Miller directs the action sequences is perfect, and the way he presents the post-apocalyptic wastes to us is both beautiful and terrifying.  

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Oh, what a lovely day!

mad max GIF

 

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Squirrel

I went to see this on the first date with my girlfriend so it does have a special meaning for me. Can’t believe it’s been four years though. 

 

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Squirrel

Looks like I'm kicking this one off. I've watched it a couple of times this week already :D

Mad Max Fury Road, a film that deserves to be watched in 7.1 surround sound to make the most of the Oscar winning sound mixing. It’s a film which takes traditional film writing methods and turns them on their head. It’s a fast paced action circus stage show and extreme motor sports event combined with jaw dropping special effects at high speed on 140km long set in the Namibian desert

Usually a film begins life as a script or book. This is then given further rewrites and fleshed out and the storyboarding process begins. Fury Road was different, director George Miller had a vision of an epic chase film in his head and then spent two years working on a 3,500 panel storyboard before writing the screenplay based on those sketches. It was co-written with an artist from the 2000ad comic book series This is why the film has a certain comic book feel, many of the shots look like they were lifted directly from a graphic novel.

The reverse script writing process wasn’t the only divergence when it comes to the typical action movie, in an industry dominated by CGI, Fury road actually went the other way with very limited CGI. It was mainly used to remove safety equipment and to change backgrounds.

If a shot could be done practically it was, all the vehicles were fully functional, the Doof Wagon complete with the electric guitar playing Doof Warrior was a real vehicle, the drums and guitar could be played and there definitely wasn’t anything fake about the fire it was spitting out. It didn’t need to be real as the guitar sounds were added after it just shows the length the producers went to make everything within the film as real as it could be. 90% of the crashes, stunts and explosions you see are practical effects, all the cars flipping over record numbers of times were genuine stunts, the pole cats swinging on the poles onto the trucks was all done for real, at 60mph.

This is a video of some of the shots without filters and other editing

 

 

For the film itself, it may be a Mad Max film but the film isn’t about Max, it’s about Furiosa and her bid to escape with Immortan Joes prize breeders. She’s been building up to this moment her whole life since being kidnapped as a child. She takes the opportunity to run towards the memory of her home.

Furiosa’s journey is actually a mirror, this is a both a literal mirror as the route they take beyond the green place and back to the citadel and a metaphoric mirror as Max helps Furiosa to reflect on who she is, a choice between carrying on into insanity or going back to fix what was broken. Instead of running away from her problems she turns back and faces them head on. She realises the world she wanted to escape to is actually the place she is running away from.

The films opening and closing scenes are also a reflection of each other. As the War rig is lowered from the citadel you can see the desperation of the survivors hanging on for life as Joe wastefully rations out the precious water, a stark contrast to the return of the wives when the mothers finally unleash the life giving fluid the people desperately need.

Although the movie has definitely has a strong female focus but you don’t feel like the film is trying to put any special emphasis on female strength and power, it’s one of the few recent films where they have the balance spot on when it comes to gender equality, it never feels forced. Furiosa takes the final shot with the rifle because she is a better shot. The heavily pregnant Angharad is never slowed down by her pregnancy because she’s grown up in a harsh world and only the strong survive. Even physical disabilities are no detriment to how well someone can perform their role in the cruel apocalyptic world. There’s a strong emphasis on mutual dependency, even though there is strong gender discrimination within the film. The men can’t survive without the mothers. It also does away with the need to have a romantic interest between the lead characters. In the end they have mutual respect and trust but that’s all they need from each other.

While it may not have some of the complex drama & script of your average Oscar winner it completely cleaned up in the technical and creative side of things, dialogue is certainly lacking in some points, this however was deliberate as George Miller wanted the film to be enjoyed in as many languages as possible with the minimal amount of translation, something inspired by Alfred Hitchcock used to do. It does mean it’s quite a simple film in terms of plot and missing some depth.

Personally, I love the little call backs to the previous Mad Max films like the little music box and boomerang, lots of references to the Road Warrior including many of the same props, cars and even some of the original stunt men. I strongly recommend watching the extras, the feature on the cars is worth watching on its own if you’re a petrol head.

 It’s definitely one of my favourite films and I don’t need much excuse to put it on and watch. If you can find it I also recommend the Black & Chrome version. It’s the same film but edited in black and white. For some reason, taking the colour from the film brings out the detail and you get to see it in a whole new light.

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djw180

I didn't think I was going to like this and I wasn't wrong. Pure action films are not my thing. I need decent dialogue and acting to keep me interested and this had very little of those. I read what Squirrel said about why there is so little dialogue, but it wasn't just the lack of dialogue it was how mundane it was when there was some. Apart from a brief bit in the middle where they meet the motorcycling grannies (whatever they were called) it was just one long action sequence, and no matter how well done that was it didn't keep my interest. I genuinely struggled to pay attention to the second half of the film. Had it not been for this film club I may well have turned it off. The guitarist and drummers made me think this would be a great 10 - 15 minute rock music video but a nearly 2 hour film is too much for me.

 

So it's 2/5 from me. Just not my sort of film at all. It's gets 2 rather than 1 because the action is very well done, but I want more than that.

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Fido_le_muet

I watched it a couple years ago. I won't be rewatching it as I don't really like the Mad Max Universe. 

I don't like the atmosphere and I couldn't care less about the characters. I don't find it particularly interesting. 

That's always been the cas with Mad Max films for me. Ever since the first one I didn't like it. I gave it another try when Fury Road was released but I still felt the same way. 

No review from me this month. I just don't like these movies. 

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Con
Posted (edited)

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

First let me say that I watched The Road Warrior many years ago and probably have watched it twice in my lifetime and really don't remember enough to even write an honest review of it because all I remember is the post-apocalyptic setting and Mel Gibson being a real badass like Han-Solo.

Okay on to Fury Road.... I watched it twice because the first time I fell asleep as soon as we meet the biker grannies...but that's because I had the Fire OG inserted instead of the Strawberry Cough :D , and had nothing to do with me finding it boring. But I cannot lie, during the first viewing, I did ask myself..."What is the point of this film? I have not learned a lot from the dialogue, who wanted this movie made, it's just like a long chase and I'm not caring about where we are going...". We then get to the grannies and I was lights out, Zzzzz....So the next day, I watched it fully from the start: 

The first reaction the film got out of me was the opening sequence...holy unholy fuck!!!! that sequence that leads to the Title was just the ride my adrenaline was looking for...I was ready to watch whatever was coming my way!! 

Of course the best thing for me without question  was the setting and art design, it was both beautiful and deadly but it also made me feel sick to think about what if my life ended up like that, on a dry barren land with no bodies of water and no vegetation, just sand. That would so suck. Maybe if i was born in that world but coming from this one, I feel bad for the apocalyptic peeps.

Anyhow, i will say that setting is why I immediately felt for Max (Tom Hardy) when he is captured, imagine how bad it would be to live there and even worse to be a prisoner in that desert world. I don't know why but I didnt like Hardy as Max for me he came across more as "Irritated Max" than "Mad Max", I saw him as a weakling from the start and when he breaks free and starts to escape, I just knew he was going to be caught and he was. From there we meet Furiosa (Charlize Theron) and instantly I could tell the movie was going to be about her, something about the way her character looked more alert than Max, I dont know, either way, Max is caught and then the film started to make me laugh because they hook Max up to the I.V. because his blood is universal, making him valuable, but then they uncomfortably mount him in front of the car leaving him vulnerable to death. I laughed so hard because to me it made no sense and then it did because im in this crazy fuck world and the film was telling me to expect anything and just go with it, so I did. Yeah it bothered me that a few moments were way too exaggerating like Max surviving some serious fucking collisions....i mean, wow, surely if shrapnel didnt hit you, the sand would have scraped you up on the falls-----but then we are shown the amazing fucking vehicles that are chasing our heroes and I forgot about those little details and just wanted to see what was coming next...sadly once we rescue the victoria secret girls and we have to listen to exposition, I felt a bit let down, I wanted some cracking dialogue but we get this awkward fight sequence and then Max drives off with the truck and we get a silly line from Furiosa along the lines of...."Listen to me if you want to live.", making me say, FUCK YEAH!!!  she now is going to figure out a way to rescue her and the victoria secret girls by maybe sabotaging one of the cars thats chasing them...but nope, it was all just a throwaway line as Furiosa knew all along that her truck Max had stolen would come to a halt due to the operating system in it, a better line could have been her turning to the vic girls and saying..."Don't worry, He wont get far with that brain."---that would have made it hilarious when the truck comes to a stop and Furiosa catches up with it and then tells Max why the truck stopped, but this leads me to one of the things I disliked most....Max! Most people like Hardy in the role but I dont like the way he portrays him and maybe its just me and my memories of Mel Gibson or the complimentary role he is giving to Furiosa, either way it just didnt work for me but that is not the filmmaker's fault or flaw. Another thing that left me a bit let down was the revelation about the Green Place and what basically turns into the longest U-Turn in movie history...i actually chuckled when I said to myself, "Well Furiosa, you didnt plan this out very well. Now you have to go back. lol." So i was finding it kind of silly, especially when Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) tells the people "Do not,my friends, get addicted to water..." ...lol... now im not sure if he says that because he was selling breast milk to the people making water like a drug cause while breast milk would be mostly water anyways, i'm guessing its the only way we would survive without water? I dont know, If this was explained in the film, I missed it. We cant help but be addicted to water, it was moments like this that made me wish they did not stop driving. lol. 

The strength of this film is the action and its pretty damn great...if you aren't concerned with storylines or dialogue or anything besides just wanting to see action...then you will cream your spinach watching this because the collisions and destruction are simply phenomenal!! Mainly because 80% of what you see is practical effects and very little CGI was used and the film benefits from this immensely and have to credit the filmmaker for keeping it as real as possible. 

So while I felt the story was a bit of a letdown and I didn't particularly like Hardy as Max (I expected more of that nostalgic Mad Max characterization), the film seemed to center more around Furiosa, and while watching it, it felt like one big rinse and repeat chase scene, i'm going to give this film a high score....here is why:

My biggest issues were with the simple chase story and felt the film was more about Furiosa...but this is EXACTLY what the filmmaker was aiming for...and while I have read (and dont share the same opinion) that the film is pro-feminist and all that victimized-incel bullshit, the fact is that no one is responsible for the story and film content more than George Miller, who the fuck is George Miller you ask? Well he is just the guy that created the entire Mad Max universe to begin with and is the only person responsible for the female centered story and pretty sure when the film was being written the #metoo movement was nowhere to be found so that tells you how much research the incels do before crying in public. George Miller wanted the film to be a long chase scene, that was his vision, and that is exactly what we got. He did not issue any apologies and made what he wanted to make, a Mad Max story that had Max fighting along someone just as "road warrior" as he. After reading and hearing the creator speak about this film, i had to put aside my annoyances and told myself, "well he told us what he wanted the film to be and it's exactly that and done superbly when considering his specific vision."  So as you can see, that covers both my big issues...its supposed to be a chase story and Furiosa is supposed to be Max's equal if not more...after all she does take that last critical shot, probably cause she was a better shooter, and hey, she does lay the weapon on Max to stabilize her shot. This also ties into the script, you see, I wanted some real good interesting dialogue and exposition, but I felt I got got poor versions of both instead, and then I learned that they didnt even use a conventional script and instead storyboards!!!! Holy unholy shit....that blew my mind in every direction!! All that action and no script!!! The ACTION IS THE DIALOGUE!!!!!! THE ACTION IS THE DIALOGUE!!!!

So knowing that the story I just I watched wasn't some mistake or some clueless direction or studio interference, the film takes on another life for me and what was set out to do, it does so richly, as every chase sequence and action filled-mayhem moment is done superbly with amazing production design value. I can see why viewers that dont get into the behind the scenes of filmmaking and just wants a creative dialogue led film, were let down....I was let down at first too but that was because I wanted it to be well written and what we get is a visually well-told story instead...I mean, every scene with those vehicles made me want to log in to GTAV and do some Arena Wars!!!! I was inspired!!!!  When I took out the conventional, inside the box, filmmaking expectations I usually apply when watching a film, and began watching the film through the vision of the creator (he just wanted to make a bad ass non-stop action chase film), I had to really applaud the skill and mastery of this film. Besides the film being shot beautifully, there is no denying that the action scenes are tremendous and when you consider all the moving parts on the vehicles and costumes, it really is an amazing feat. While watching it, I had no idea, most of what I was watching was practical, especially not the cars, but 95% of what you see on the cars is real and functional. In today's CGI-heavy laziness, it was cool to learn just how much was real in this film. I will say that I found some scenes to be really comic-bookish like the scene with the Bullet Farmer (Richard Carter), he calls himself the Conductor of the Choir of Death, but I was like, "No dude, you blind. You now have to rely on hearing and you are riding on a loud fucking car." lol. So yeah, some hits and misses for me but the hits were big so....

My final verdict is 4/5....but I have to first tell you that the movie uses action for dialogue and what you see will be more important than what you hear. This is a chase film set in the Mad Max universe and if that is what you want to see, then you are going to love it!! It is action-filled baby!! Emphasis on the action!!! Best way I can put this is, there are action movies and then there is Mad Max: Fury Road. As a fan of the technicalities of filmmaking, I really appreciated this once I found it's meaning. Sure I would still have wanted better dialogue and interesting exposition about the world we see and the people, but this was not a "Road Movie" it's a "Chase Movie" and you gotta either roll with it, find value in it, or dislike it. Either way, you wouldn't be wrong. I found some more behind the scenes videos on the making of Fury Road and will watch them and probably end up rewatching the movie and looking for those behind the scene elements, plus there is so much to see in those action sequences that I'm sure I'll see something cool I missed the second time. So for what this movie is intended to be, it almost gets a perfect score from me because if there is a movie like this one, I can't remember it being better crafted than this, as far as how beautifully and incredibly intense the action is done. 

In short:

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The Action: Death Metal

The Visuals: Heavy Metal

The Story: Hard Rock

The Dialogue: Country

Edited by Con
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Con
On 6/23/2019 at 4:58 AM, djw180 said:

I didn't think I was going to like this and I wasn't wrong. Pure action films are not my thing. I need decent dialogue and acting to keep me interested and this had very little of those. I read what Squirrel said about why there is so little dialogue, but it wasn't just the lack of dialogue it was how mundane it was when there was some. Apart from a brief bit in the middle where they meet the motorcycling grannies (whatever they were called) it was just one long action sequence, and no matter how well done that was it didn't keep my interest. I genuinely struggled to pay attention to the second half of the film. Had it not been for this film club I may well have turned it off. The guitarist and drummers made me think this would be a great 10 - 15 minute rock music video but a nearly 2 hour film is too much for me.

So it's 2/5 from me. Just not my sort of film at all. It's gets 2 rather than 1 because the action is very well done, but I want more than that.

 You are not wrong. As I said in my film report, during my first attempt, I did ask..."What is this about and who?". That's because when you show me so much cool stuff, I wanna know more and instead we go through one more chase catch-up encounter. I probably would have given this a "3/5" in a pre-internet era since I would not have been able to read about the director's vision and trust me, i don't expect most people to care about his vision, you wanted to be entertained by every element and were not. I think not having a standard script was not wise and we get moments like when one of the wives discovers Nux is a stowaway and we get that moment of romance, or whatever that was...that dude is trying to capture you and take you back from what you are running away. Just felt out of place and a tense moment would have played out better in my opinion. I do give them credit for killing one of the wives. Didn't see that coming. I don't think enough  is really established about the wives and their suffering for me to invest in their escape, but I guess smuggling a baby has been overdone. 

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