The good movies are supposed to come out in the second half of the year. January through June, that’s the dumping ground; the crap that was so toxic it had to get buried in the winter, followed by the empty-headed excitement of summer blockbuster season.
Mad Max: Fury Road
When viewers head to the theater to watch Jurassic World this weekend, they’ll find a movie that transports them, almost literally, back to the first Jurassic Park. Colin Trevorrow’s new film is a sequel to Steven Spielberg’s 1993 original — and only that film. In an interview with ScreenCrush, when Trevorrow was asked about whether his movie pretended The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III never happened, Trevorrow explained, “Our film is just more of a direct sequel to the original Jurassic Park.” He made a similar comment to Yahoo! Movies; he told them the earlier sequels “aren’t being written out of continuity so much as placed to the side, as they both unfolded on a different island.”
Much has been made about Mad Max: Fury Road and the film’s reliance on practical effects. Director George Miller has even said that 90% of the film is practical effects, an almost remarkable achievement for a big-budget summer action movie. But, just because the movie is mostly practical effects, there were still over 2000 visual effects shots used to accentuate what was done on set.
Within hours of Mad Max: Fury Road hitting theaters, Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram exploded with fan art featuring the neon wasteland desert and its high octane inhabitants. One character, though, inspired artists like no other --- Imperator Furiosa, the steely warrior of Immortan Joe's army. ComicsAlliance has compiled a collection of our favorites, including a brand-new piece by the talented Greg Ruth, and an exquisite black and white sketch by Jamie McKelvie.
Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t your average post-apocalyptic film, nor is it your average action movie, as I’m sure you know by now. Although the first set of promo photos from the film were de-saturated and had a more conventionally gritty look, the final product was gorgeously vibrant. But according to director George Miller, his preferred version ditches that bright, beautiful coloration entirely.
You can tell when a film has really struck a cultural nerve when the fan art and video mash-ups start arriving. Mad Max: Fury Road did decent business at the box office, but it’s making its real impact among the fervent fans it has inspired. Seriously, has there been an artist who has watched the film not immediately sketched Furiosa? Anyway, the latest crazy example of “excited fan with waaay too much time on his/her hands” is this video, which tweaks Fury Road so it’s actually a Mario Kart movie. Really.
Mad Max: Fury Road takes place in a world so full of detail and imagination that it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that director George Miller has a backstory for just about everything on screen. In the finished film, everything feels like it has a history. Every corner of every frame is alive. Rather than confine this information to his imagination, Miller has put it in a comic book.
Perhaps we should have seen this coming — one of those things that’s so obvious that you’ll wonder why you hadn’t thought of it earlier. We all know Furiosa is the real badass star of Mad Max: Fury Road, a film that shows you that females are strong as hell. And in keeping with that idea, some genius took to YouTube to publish their mashup of the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt opening/theme song with footage of Furiosa and the tough ladies of Fury Road. And just when you got that damn theme song out of your head.
The best science fiction stories are smugglers. Underneath the high concept that drives the action lurks an ulterior motive, a message that is being quietly transported into your mind. Genre filmmakers have long used the impossible to comment on the mundane, jumping into the distant future to comment on the here and now. Politics and science fiction go hand-in-hand – H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds slyly revealed the harsh terrors of colonialism and Robert Wise’s The Day the Earth Stood Still pointed an angry finger at mankind’s war-like nature. Both of those stories were indebted to the times in which they were made, drawing on the ugliness of the world around them to bring weight to the fantastical. It’s easy to settle in for what you think is a movie about aliens, only to find yourself watching something else entirely. Truly great sci-fi gives you what you need, not what you want, even when it tastes bitter in your mouth.
Mad Max: Fury Road didn’t have a pitch perfect weekend at the box office (because Pitch Perfect 2 scored a massive debut and earned about $25 million more dollars than it did), but its $44.4 million opening already makes it the highest grossing Mad Max movie of all time in the U.S., and its $100 million worldwide and counting is nothing to sneeze at. Director George Miller has already made it clear that Fury Road is designed to kick off a whole new run of Mad Max films with new series star Tom Hardy, and if the next sequel does happen, he’s even got a title picked out and everything. Miller told Jeff Goldsmith on The Q&A Podcast that the fifth Mad Max film would be called Mad Max: The Wasteland.