14 items from 2015
"You want to get out of here? You talk to me."
Following our look at the first Mad Max movie in the wake of Fury Road's frenzied rampage, our attention turns to its sequel. Just how could George Miller top such a scintillating and thrilling action movie that left so many noses bloodied and hearts broken? By making it a much bigger visual voyage for the audience and reversing the emotional journey for Mel Gibson's wounded hero.
The wastelands we encounter at the beginning show how the post-apocalyptic world has crumbled further since the end of Mad Max. The trees are now dead stumps sprouting from the barren earth, a lifeless look that Max Rockatansky tries to project from behind his embittered eyes. The trauma of losing his wife and child has caused him to shut off his own humanity and empathy, or at least try to, in a »
An undetermined amount of time has elapsed since Max’s (Mel Gibson) previous high stakes adventure. Now with a few more grey hairs, he traverses the treacherous Outback with camels and a stagecoach, looking for who knows what. His long walk is interrupted by a renegade pilot (Bruce Spence), who flies low, thus blowing up sand and obscuring Max’s field of vision. During the interruption the pilot and his son steal the wagon and make way for the only nearest outpost: Batertown. Batertown is governed by the megalomaniacal Auntie Entity (Tina Turner), although her authority is frequently challenged by a duo of characters that run the town’s fuel compound where methanol is extracted from pig feces. They are Master Blaster, or rather, Master (Angelo Rossito), a little man that »
- Edgar Chaput
Directed by George Miller
Mad Max 2, or as it is more commonly recognized in North America, The Road Warrior (upon its release not enough people had actually seen Mad Max, therefore prompting the title change) , begins with a brief montage of archival documentary footage and scenes from the first film that set up the world viewers are about to launch into. Society has now collapsed. When resources became scarce, the people revolted. The institutions tried to retain order, but it was too late. What was hinted at in 1979’s Mad Max is now a harsh reality, with the titular character (Mel Gibson) driving the dusty Australian roads in search for food and resources for his amazing car, the Ford Falcon. This time his efforts at scavenging are temporarily thwarted by the pilot »
- Edgar Chaput
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome should serve as a cautionary tale, not about non-renewable resource use, nuclear warfare, or time's ability to corrupt history, but about watering down a film with the aim of giving it broad-market appeal. I don't know if this was George Miller's intention, or perhaps an after-effect of his partner Byron Kennedy's untimely death, but the film's PG-13 rating, relative reduction in violence, and story focus on a tribe of lost children makes Beyond Thunderdome a stand-out in the franchise for all the wrong reasons. Let's start with the pedigree of action established by Mad Max and Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, which I reviewed previously. The first film was a slow-burning revenge plot while the sequel was more of an anti-hero Western piece, both of which culminated in an epic highway chase sequence after building up the tension through a series of smaller action scenes. »
- Dave Trumbore
The best way to describe Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is to call it a misguided attempt at a dark, post-apocalyptic adaptation of Peter Pan with a side of "Lord of the Flies". If that sounds interesting that's because Thunderdome is somewhat compelling, the plotting is just all wrong. Director George Miller, this time returning to his Mad Max franchise with co-director George Ogilvie, seems intent on telling two stories at once, neither feeling as if they are of the same story. That said, once each jarring and coincidental switch in the plot is made, the result provides avenues that would be otherwise interesting to explore on their own as Miller was clearly searching for a story arc unlike the first two films when he sat down to write the screenplay with The Road Warrior co-writer Terry Hayes. Similar to the opening of its predecessor, the film begins with the titular Max (Mel Gibson) being chased, »
- Brad Brevet
Two years after Mad Max was released in its native Australia and only a year after it finally hit U.S. theaters, director George Miller brought his title character back to the big screen in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and created what many consider to be one of the best (if not the best) post apocalyptic movies of all-time, not to mention one of the best action films of all-time, and deservedly so. This is a film experience unlike many we've ever seen and, thanks to CG run amok, unlike many we'll ever see again. It's hard to comment on The Road Warrior without recognizing its place in the hearts of many. It's almost impossible to not look at it through the lens of its place in the history of cinema. Tell someone seeing it for the first time today that it's believed to be one of the »
- Brad Brevet
The last time I saw Warner Bros. put together a big soundstage full of costumes for a film, it was "Man Of Steel," and my kids loved getting the chance to get close up to Superman's costume or the twisted bank vault door. At Friday's "Mad Max: Fury Road" press day, they had a soundstage set up for all of the interviews and then also to display some of the costuming from the movie. While I'm embargoed until May 12th on the film itself, I'm allowed to say that there is a remarkable depth to the world that Miller has created this time around. The budget for "Fury Road" is more than all three of the other films combined, and then some, and it seems like a lot of that was used to help build a physical world in which Miller and his cast could get lost. One of the »
- Drew McWeeny
A new distributor owned by one of America.s richest men has bought Us rights to writer-director Michael Petroni.s Backtrack after its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Saban Films put up a seven-figure guarantee for the psychological thriller which stars Adrien Brody, Sam Neill, Robin McLeavy and Bruce Spence . "We're thrilled at the sale to Saban; they made an aggressive offer which is testament to their strong belief in the film,. said See Pictures. Jamie Hilton, who produced with Antonia Barnard and Petroni. .A deal this size coming out of Tribeca is a great result and we'll go to Cannes with confidence as we screen the film for the first time to European and other international buyers." Brody plays Peter, a troubled psychotherapist who suffers from nightmares and eerie visions, which prompt him to revisit his remote hometown where he becomes obsessed with the need to solve a decades-old mystery. »
- Don Groves
Backtrack (2015) Film Review from the 14th Annual Tribeca Film Festival, a movie written & directed by Michael Petroni, starring Adrien Brody, Sam Neill, Robin McLeavy, Chloe Bayliss, George Shevtsov, Anna Lise Phillips, Olga Miller, Jenni Baird, Bruce Spence, Matthew Sunderland, Malcolm Kennard, Jesse Hyde, Alexander McGuire, and Emma O’Farrell. When it became clear that haunting memories of his deceased daughter, Evie (Emma O’Farrell), […] »
- Sam Joseph
In the film, trouble psychotherapist Peter Bowers (Adrien Brody) is suffering from nightmares and eerie visions. When he uncovers a horrifying secret that all of his patients share, he is put on a course that takes him back to the small hometown he fled years ago. There he confronts his demons and unravels a mystery 20 years in the making.
Check out the new clip.
Petroni is an AFI alumnus. After winning AFI Screenplay of the Year for Till Human Voices Wake Us, he made it into a feature starring Guy Pearce and Helena Bonham Carter. Fox 2000 is currently producing Petroni’s script Afterlife with Kevin Lima directing. »
- Michelle McCue
Shot in Australia, Backtrack follows the troubled psychotherapist Peter Bowers (Adrien Brody) who is suffering from nightmares and visions. When he discovers all his patients are ghost of people who died in an accident 20 years ago, his life is thrown into turmoil..
It is Petroni's first Australian film in over ten years, with credits including The Book Thief, The Rite and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader..
Backtrack will screen as one of the 40 films in the festival.s Spotlight category, and is one of 24 to have its world premiere..
- Emily Blatchford
The picture also stars Australian screen legend Jack Thompson (“The Man from Snowy River,” “In the Garden of Good and Evil,” and “The Great Gatsby”) and Jake Ryan (“The Great Gatsby,” TV’s “Underbelly”).
The story involves Ryan as a reluctant hero who discovers an unknown civilisation, which he wrongly believes may hold the key to curing his comatose daughter.
Principal photography wrapped this week after location shooting in and around the Australian federal capital Canberra, which is a relatively rare location for film-making. Production is by Canberra-based Full Point Films and producer Sarah Mason.
The film is set for release in early 2016. Arclight Films will handle international sales. Label is set as the local distributor.
“’Blue World Order’ has been completely independently financed through a group »
- Patrick Frater
The 2015 SXSW Film Festival will be running from March 13th through March 21st in Austin, Texas and the first wave of selections were announced today to get attendees excited for all the amazing films coming our way next month. And while horror fans have to wait until next week for the announcement of the Midnighters slate, here’s a look at some of the genre-related titles already revealed amidst SXSW’s other film categories for this year.
Narrative Feature Competition
Director/Screenwriter: J. Davis
The story of two brothers: one who’s devoted to his family, the other who’s obsessed with the Manson Family. Cast: Jay Duplass, Linas Phillips, Leonora Pitts, Tobin Bell, Adam Chernick, Davie-Blue. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Alex Garland
- Heather Wixson
South by Southwest, the multi-faceted film, music and technology festival held annually in Austin, TX will feature such upcoming films as Paul Feig’s Spy, David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn, Alex Gibney’s documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, and Ondi Timoner’s Russell Brand profile Brand: A Second Coming as headliners in this year’s film festival lineup.
SXSW runs from March 13 to 21 in Austin and is now in its 22nd year. Variety has details of the 145 films and 100 world premieres bowing at this year’s festival. Brand, as previously reported, will be the festival’s opening night film.
Other notable titles on the list are the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard, a rough cut of Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, the directorial debut of 28 Days Later screenwriter Alex Garland, Ex Machina, and a new comedy by Michael Showalter, Hello, My Name is Doris.
On the small screen, »
- Brian Welk
14 items from 2015
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