Daily Archives: January 15, 2016

Mad Max: Fury Road – Director, George Miller

This reboot of the Mad Max franchise is a visual extravaganza with wonderful performances from Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. While I enjoyed it very much and clearly so did the Academy of Motion Picture Arts, I am like many who saw the new Star Wars movie. Yes its great but…. The original was much more mind blowing if you were lucky enough to be around and see it for the first time in 1977. The original Mad Max with a very young Mel Gibson came out in 1979 and was a great sci-fi post-apocalyptic vision with a pretty low budget. It rocketed Gibson to international fame and its sequel Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) was a brilliant follow up. There is no question that this latest take directed by the same director but 35 years later is very good and very special but it’s a sequel and a reboot and it just didn’t grab me the way the original did. So that’s the perspective of a 66 year old movie reviewer. It is interesting that a movie like Mad Max can have a much greater impact when it is first released in the context of movies of the time then it can to younger fans who see it 10 or 20 years later in a world already influenced by those films. It is less of a thrill and less of a novelty and clearly no longer ground breaking since it already did that previously. I will riff on this a bit more in my review of the new Star Wars movie. But for all my reaction from the perspective of an old movie fan don’t get me wrong, this a really fun movie and a great ride just not the same one I was on in 1979.

What We Do in the Shadows – Directors, Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi













As the movie poster suggests, this film is hilarious. It is a very low budget New Zealand mockumentary about a group of four vampires living in modern day Wellington New Zealand. The vampires vary in age from just under 200 years old to over 8000 years old. It chronicles the day to day… make that night to night travails and problems of being undead in contemporary Wellington. From arguments over who will do the dishes, making sure the drapes are drawn at dawn and waking up Peter the 8000-year-old guy who lives in the basement we follow them on various adventures around town. These include befriending a human who they decide not to kill themselves but who is ultimately turned into a werewolf and a new take on racism as the vampires realize that werewolves do not pee on everything and are actually fairly civilized at least when the moon is not full. I highly recommend this for a relaxing evening when you really can’t take anything very seriously and want to just relax in great satire.

It should be noted that director Taika Waititi is working on the new Thor picture due to be released in November 2017. A big reward for a talented young director who stumbled with Green Lantern in 2011 but I suspect will do much better with Thor.