Mad Max
Christian Toto
(”Mad Max” is briefly mentioned in this.)

Fred Dekker’s “Night of the Creeps” is both a full-fledged sci-fi/horror B-movie and a send-up of those types of movies. It’s quite juvenile at times and, because it’s unashamed of being lowbrow, doesn’t always work. “Creeps” is still among the best genre offerings of the 1980s. Dekker later achieved greater cult status for directing the …

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(Review Source)
Christian Toto
(”Mad Max” is briefly mentioned in this.)

In a time when we’re skittish about whether schools should be open or teach online to combat COVID-19, here’s a movie about the fear of school that has no relevance whatsoever. This is Mark L. Lester’s “Class of 1999,” a nasty sci-fi pulp thriller from 1990 about a high school experience even scarier than surviving …

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(Review Source)
Christian Toto
(”Mad Max” is briefly mentioned in this.)

The great renaissance of Disney animation took off in 1989 thanks to “The Little Mermaid” and, two years later, “Beauty and the Beast.” After years of forgettable, ambitious-but-failed animated offerings, the studio had finally returned to the glory days when Uncle Walt called the shots. Nestled in between Ariel the mermaid and Belle the beauty …

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(Review Source)
Christian Toto
(”Mad Max” is briefly mentioned in this.)

“Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula” is the “Caddyshack 2” of zombie movie sequels. Sound harsh? Perhaps, but that captures the chasm between the brilliant original and its successor. Consider what we endure in the highly anticipated follow-up: Paper-thin characters Generic dialogue Zombies reduced to supporting players in their own franchise Maudlin moments a Hallmark Channel …

The post ‘Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula’ Is Unnecessary in Every Way appeared first on Hollywood in Toto.

(Review Source)
National Review Staff
Good luck getting the city’s current crop of civic leaders, elected and elite, to enforce the laws.
(Review Source)
Plugged In
(”Mad Max” is briefly mentioned in this.)
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Society Reviews
(”Mad Max” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Stop me if you have heard this story before... "Set in a world where climate change has brought about the apocalypse"
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Jay Dyer
(”Mad Max” is briefly mentioned in this.)

By: Jay Dyer I remember when I was 14, there was only one VHS rental in the small town where I lived, and as a result, I think I rented...

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Jay Dyer
(”Mad Max” is briefly mentioned in this.)


By: Jay As with many 80s films I grew up with, they seemed quite innocuous on the surface level, but as you mature, you are able to reflect on the...

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PJ Media Staff
(”Mad Max” is briefly mentioned in this.)
PJ Media One of the more prominent among the manifold idiocies of the environmental left is the idea that oil is evil. Recently, according to a press release from the Western Energy Alliance, a non-profit trade association representing more than 450 companies engaged in exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the West, more than 400 groups converged on the White House to demand we keep fossil fuels in the ground.They did this, of course, while waving signs made of plastic and having driven or flown in fossil fuel-powered vehicles to Washington. And probably while drinking from plastic or aluminum water bottles, or while sipping an extra-soy-macchiato latte, all of which require fossil fuels to produce. These are the same sorts who tried to block offshore drilling in the Arctic by blockading a harbor with kayaks and canoes made of plastic.To shine light on the idiocy, this week the WEA challenged people who insist that oil is evil to live a full seven days without using fossil fuels. To any who would accept the challenge, they would find this is impossible.Said WEA president Tim Wigley:Environmental groups have actively promoted ending fossil fuel consumption. The problem is the average person doesn’t understand where things come from....Taking these groups at their word, we created the Challenge to show that oil and natural gas products are not easily dispensable. In fact, it’s quite the contrary; fossil fuels make modern living possible. They power our economy and provide the basic feedstock used to manufacture smartphones, clothing and medicine and make our world safer, healthier and more convenient.Indeed, the world the environmentalists imagine best describes a post-apocalyptic movie. Said Gene Koprowski, director of marketing for the Heartland Institute:This idea of going without fossil fuels for a week -- wasn’t that the premise of the Mad Max series of films, a post-apocalyptic world where fossil fuel was scarce to non-existent?Think life without a car to drive or fuel to heat your home is pleasant? This is just dumb. It’s not pleasant. It is like living after the apocalypse.There are electric cars available from Tesla and other manufacturers today. But to generate power for the batteries for these cars, the owners hook up the car to an electrical outlet ... and rely on energy churned out by the coal-burning power plant down the way.They can’t escape from fossil fuels, these electric car makers. There are lab-based alternatives to fossil fuels for the production of plastics and fibers, etc., but to my knowledge, these are not commercially viable presently.Nearly everything we wear, eat, or use has fossil fuels in the supply chain somewhere. Even the carpets most of us walk on are made of synthetic fibers. To most of the environmental left, food magically appears in the grocery store,; iPhones and other modern conveniences are conjured by Technology Gnomes in the middle of the night, rather than having been manufactured using toxic processes.Perhaps the problem is that environmentalists can't see the overseas plants which make their gadgets -- but they can see the oil rigs. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/oil-trade-group-challenges-environmentalists-enough-talk-try-actually-living-without-fossil-fuels/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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Tim Markatos
(”Mad Max” is briefly mentioned in this.)
What, in 2015, makes a movie one of the best of the year? Does it have to entertain? Enlighten? Does it have to have a flawless screenplay, flawless acting, flawless editing—whatever that adjective even means in such a subjective context? Does it need to have an agenda, or be free of one? Is it allowed to be politically incorrect? If it puts a straight white man to sleep, is it out of the running? If it offends a person of color, does that automatically make it trash? Coming up with an annual best of list is always a tricky business. On the one hand film is, at close of day, a matter of personal preference. I'm personally neutral to superheroes and star wars; many of my friends would never even think of watching anything else. Yet as an amateur film critic, I'm never content to settle for a purely subjective view of cinema. Surely, I think to myself, there must be some objective standard against which to judge everything, so that when I unveil this list every year I can spring to the defense of my picks with more than just my opinion as artillery. If there were such a Holy Grail of criticism, every critic under the sun would arrive at the same conclusions in their year-end curations. That not being the case—for the best, honestly—I have to settle for my intuition. The movies that floated to the top of my list this year all met a basic level of filmmaking competency; so did many others not enumerated here. What I found to be the special ingredient common to my ten "bests" (+one honorable mention) was a certain "why cinema?" factor. The theater will always be the destination for the franchise blockbusters and shows of special effects derring-do, but for any other genre a theatrical release is no longer a foregone conclusion. It isn't just that more and more movies go straight to On Demand: it's that there are ever-expanding ways to tell the stories that once may have only been tellable on the big screen. Why pay upwards of $15 plus parking and popcorn to lock yourself into a room at the edge of town for some 90 to 180 minutes when you could listen to a podcast, binge watch a TV series, read a book? Why go to the movies at all when we have personally-curated newsletters and Instagram feeds and Snapstories? I don't have answers to these questions. What I do have are 11 movies that convinced me of the unique contribution of cinema to storytelling, and I hope you approach them with an open mind to consider sharing them with me. (One last note before we begin: There's a 2009 movie on this list that I included here because it had a U.S. theatrical release for the first time in 2015. For posterity, I wouldn't consider it a 2015 film at all, but for the sake of a year-in-review, I'm opting to keep it here.)
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The Federalist Staff
(”Mad Max” is briefly mentioned in this.)
The 'Purge' films invert political reality by making religious conservatives the ones in favor of lax crime laws that make the streets more dangerous.
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John Nolte
With 37 reviews in, director George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” sits at an impressive 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Many of the reviews are outright raves and make clear that after four decades as a filmmaker, Miller went old school to make the action genre once again feel fresh and vital. “Fury Road’s”  action sequences go back to the future by actually respecting the idea of spatial logic. Better still, there is almost no CGI. Gee, what a concept. The fourquel, which hits theatres Friday, is supposed to launch a brand new franchise. Star Tom Hardy, who steps in for Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky (aka Mad Max aka The Man with No Name aka The Road Warrior), is attached to three more films. This is remarkable for a number of reasons. To begin with, it has been a full 30 years since the last “Mad Max” (1985’s “Thunderdome”). On top of that, Miller is 70 years of age. Most directors are past their prime at that age, especially when it comes to action films. And then there’s the not-small detail that not a single one of the previous “Mad Max” films were huge hits here in America. “Mad
(Review Source)
John Nolte
Mad Max is an open world, third person-action game in which insanity and savagery run free and jerry-rigged cars rule the landscape.
(Review Source)
The Federalist Staff
The ‘Mad Max’ Update Emits A Primal Scream In a world gone mad, the mad are the sane ones. May 15, 2015 By Rebecca Cusey In “Mad Max: Fury Road,” it makes perfect sense that an army wages war with an electric guitarist suspended high above a battle rig. As the army screams, he bangs out their heartbeat in electric metal riffs. The movie is a heavy-metal world, a long expression of emotion and testosterone, a frenetic spin and jive of life and death among the ruins of civilization. The tension hits in the very opening scene. Mad Max (Tom Hardy) is hunted like an animal by a tribe of chalk-skinned warriors and haunted by the voices in his head. The two merge into an endless cry of torment. In a world wasted and controlled by power, his only instinct is for survival. His need to survive intersects with the plans of a battle-scarred woman named, perfectly, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron). She leads a flock of lovely ladies in a desperate quest across the barren landscape. They flee an impossible life for the hope of a future that glimmers in the distance like a desert mirage. Mad Max, along with his warrior captor to whom he is chained, crash into the ladies like the bass riff hitting the high notes with no time to miss a beat. They are pursued. Of course they are pursued. They are things, possessions, belongings, and their strong owner wants them back. A Need for Speed Like a good guitar shredder, the film never stops moving. They flee, they talk, they fight, they love, and they die at full speed, kicking up rooster tails of sand behind them. Men come at them, spinning in maniacal glee, dangling from arching poles, hoisting explosive spears, covered in spikes. The vehicles come at them, muscle cars souped up on tank tracks, motorcycles bristling with warriors, trucks built up like castles, semis armored like mighty ships. The weapons come at them, guns and swords, darts and spears, explosives and chains. If they stop, they die. The road behind them becomes littered with the carcasses of cars and men who could not keep the pace. Even when they pause, they don’t stop. The sense of pursuit, of speed, of the need to move hangs in the air like the dust that surrounds them. The look of the film, the style of it, becomes second nature. You feel yourself choking on the dust, fighting the heat, needing to move, to run. A Modern Epic It’s that primal. If all these words sound epic, that’s because it is. The beautiful, stylized cinematography, the gritty acting, and the relentless action work seamlessly to suck the audience into a world where there is no ambiguity, no nuance. There is only the desert with evil behind and faint hope in the distance. In a world gone mad, the mad are the sane ones. Director George Miller, also the creator, writer, director of 1979’s “Mad Max,” returns to the essence of the world he created. There are things in this movie, like the original, that do not bear inspection. Why do they never eat? In this dirty wasteland, how do the Vogue-model girls keep so white the wispy tatters of linen that try valiantly to cover their perfect bodies and so clean their smooth faces? And what is that chrome spray paint the warriors put on their teeth? None of it matters. In the hands of Miller, you realize it could be no other way. Life reduced to speed and battle, they journey on. This is the stuff of Homer in the key of Metallica. So the guitarist plays on. Rated R, the film has intense, non-stop violence that can be very gory. It also has brief, shocking, spooky images of ghost-like characters. There is no sexuality (they ain’t got time for that) or bad language. Rebecca Cusey is a movie critic based in Washington DC. She is a member of the Washington Area Film Critics Society and a voting Tomatomer Critic on Rotten Tomatoes. Follow her on Twitter @Rebecca_Cusey. Charlize Theron George Miller Mad Max Mad Max: Fury Road movie review Tom Hardy Copyright © 2017 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1463670073398-2'); }); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({mode:'thumbs-2r', container:'taboola-below-main-column-mix', placement:'below-main-column', target_type:'mix'}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({flush:true}); 0 Comments /* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */ var disqus_shortname = 'thefederalist23'; // required: replace example with your forum shortname /* * * DON'T EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */ (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + '.disqus.com/embed.js'; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. comments powered by Disqus ]]>
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The Weekly Standard Staff
<img src="http://cdn.weeklystandard.biz/cache/w640-9136268dfc2bd8343638872decaa8941.jpg"/>Los Angeles It’s a beautiful day, and I’m standing in a courtyard of a private university east of L.A. surrounded by 40 teenagers, most of them desiring to become the next Internet sensation. The youngest are here for SocialStar Creator Camp, which is designed to turn them into social media superstars able to produce content that will attract adoring followers and corporate sponsors willing to pay top dollar for Internet “influencers” to promote their products. And then there’s me, the analog
(Review Source)
The Federalist Staff
On Friday on “The View,” the show that made conservative firebrand Elisabeth Hasselbeck a household name, The Blaze host Tomi Lahren declared she is pro-choice—and not in spite of her conservative views, but because of them. Lahren and the panelists discussed President Trump, Russia, wiretapping, and feminism. Despite being a vocal Trump supporter, Lahren’s comments on abortion were the most surprising: “I’m pro choice, and here’s why. I am a constitutional, y’know, someone that loves the Constitution. I’m someone that’s for limited government,” she said. “So I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies. I can sit here and say that, as a Republican and I can say, you know what, I’m for limited government, so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well.” At this the audience applauded and the Internet exploded. .@TomiLahren explains why she's pro-choice: "Stay out of my guns and you can stay out of my body, as well." pic.twitter.com/0kFXJ7oL9L — The View (@TheView) March 17, 2017 Rule another label out. I am NOT a "constitutional". I believe in LIFE, liberty and property. Just an old fashioned "constitutionalist." — Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) March 17, 2017 Even Hillary Clinton didn't call pro-life conservatives hypocrites. — Kaitlyn Schallhorn (@K_Schallhorn) March 18, 2017 There is no "my truth." There is only the truth. pic.twitter.com/dDdItnPDbp — Kate Scanlon (@kgscanlon) March 18, 2017 Your Rights End Where Another Person’s Rights Begin Let’s take her arguments, such as they are, one at a time. “I’m a constitutional,” Lahren began. Sweetheart, I know those blonde locks are gorgeously real—right?—but let’s at least feign an attempt at grammar: I think you mean constitutionalist. She claims that since she believes in limited government, the government should let her do what she wants with her guns and her body. This is not only the most illogical reasoning I’ve ever heard, but stupid, even dangerous. Coming from pretty television personalities, it damages conservatism and the influence it seeks to have on the public. There are conservatives who are pro-choice, and many libertarians espouse this view, but it’s never been logical or compelling. Abortion is and always has been first and foremost a moral issue. Lahren’s statement is not only a complete misrepresentation of the Constitution and the concept of limited government but a defense of abortion that’s both implausible and immoral. The Constitution certainly dictates the United States keep a limited government. For one, the Tenth Amendment reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” But that doesn’t mean people have an unlimited powers. .@TomiLahren It's not hypocritical for limited government people to call for laws against abortion. (Not trying to hate, just discussion.) pic.twitter.com/xMPNNkCv9O — (((Julie Borowski))) (@JulieBorowski) March 17, 2017 Limited government doesn’t mean no government; that would be anarchy, which culminates in a “Mad Max” scenario where the powerful rule the weak based on their desires rather than enduring principles of right and wrong that apply equally to all people. In fact, that’s precisely what legalized abortion does: enables the powerful (grownups) to prey on the weak (unborn babies those grownups created, in almost all cases in a consensual act). This kind of predatory tyranny is exactly what a constitutionally limited government that guarantees equal fundamental human rights to all is supposed to prevent. Under a system of limited government based on fundamental human rights, particularly the one guaranteed Americans by our Constitution, one person’s freedom ends where another’s begins. When an action adversely affects another human being (i.e. ending the life of an unborn baby) society and (hopefully) the law deems it wrong or unlawful. Abortion is precisely not only about a mother’s body, as Lahren asserted, but also about the body of another human being. https://twitter.com/latinamericanrp/status/843349329456721921 Apply Lahren’s logic to any other misuse of one’s body, and it falls flat. Would Americans support a government that “stayed out of my body” on the issue of theft? The correct principle is not the unlimited power to do whatever you want with your body, which would allow for theft or assault, but to have the freedom to live your life so long as your use of that life does not involve impinging on another person’s rights. In the case of abortion, another person is present. The question is, does he or she have rights? Tomi Lahren apparently says no. That’s not constitutional; it’s anarchist, or at least a utilitarianism that says people’s rights depends on their socially determined worth. But this is all probably a little too complicated for a young lady who says she has “a short attention span” and doesn’t like to read books. Far easier just to memorize and angrily spew bumper stickers, talking points, and Internet memes. Who Is Tomi Lahren? Who is Tomi Lahren, and do her viewpoints matter? One America News Network offered Tomi her own show fresh after her college graduation because she had strong conservative views, sounded articulate, and looks attractive. “On Point with Tomi Lahren” first aired when she was 21. It wasn’t because she held advanced degrees or had vast amounts of life experience. Even she admitted she’d gone to the network looking for an internship, not to host her own show. Eventually, she moved to The Blaze to host “Tomi.” Since then, clips of Tomi’s show that typically involve a yelled monologue frequently go viral. She’s not necessarily an anomaly in the conservative world, unfortunately. With bleach-blonde hair and a penchant for wearing attire that looks more like lingerie, she’s a prettier, less-educated, slightly less unhinged but just as caustic version of Ann Coulter. We’ve seen this movie before, but some people can’t stop watching. Her savvy use of her platform to attack prominent figures and memes has prompted an invitation to “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah and, after one appearance on Fox News, President Trump called to thank her for her “fair coverage.” Yet, as “The View’s” Sunny Hostin said to Lahren in soft-pitching her the opportunity to make headlines by skewering Lahren’s own fanbase with a triumphant smirk, if “68 percent of conservative Republicans think abortion should not be legal across the board,” what does Lahren gain from these comments? It’s certainly not credibility with her current audience, or even with the majority of Americans, which supports at least highly restricted abortion access. Why Tomi Lahren’s Views Matter Not only is her current position on abortion confusing, just three months ago, Lahren was adamantly against abortion. With her contract at The Blaze up in the air and frequent passes at Fox, this entire gambit smells of opportunism. Only 3 months ago, @TomiLahren considered an abortion to be murder, today, she branded pro life conservatives as hypocrites. #NoPrinciples pic.twitter.com/8BqoQTOyD1 — The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) March 17, 2017 Of course, people can change their minds, and Lahren is certainly entitled to shift from pro-life to pro-choice. But it doesn’t do the conservative movement any favors. Lahren wouldn’t have a show if someone didn’t watch it. She has a platform that obviously can influence men and women, particularly younger generations who identify with her. What does this teach them about logic, persuasive argument, and morality? Not only because killing innocent people is always wrong but because her logic in embracing her newfound belief is so sophistic, conservatives should expect better. This is ultimately the problem with Barbie-style talking heads with little specific expertise or experience. Lahren might have culled a fanbase for her vocal opinions and spaghetti-strapped tops, but she’s flip-flopping on important topics and opining with little heft to back up her views. It would be nice to see the Right’s public representatives armed with intelligent information, persuasive beliefs, and solid principles. You know, beauty and brains? ]]>
(Review Source)
The Federalist Staff
(”Mad Max” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Once again, with the possible exception of “The Martian,” those wacky Academy members have nominated films nearly no one has seen. Sure, if you live in Los Angeles, you may have schlepped out to see “Room,” but even there it’s not likely. Silly you, you’ve been too busy doing things like “working” and “watching the kids” and “seeing ‘Deadpool’” to take in “The Big Short.” That’s a problem, because it will come up this weekend. What with everyone desperate to not talk about Donald Trump, the Oscars will be the only safe topic of conversation at cocktail parties for the foreseeable future. Here’s a cheat sheet to help you find some talking points. Talk about Feminism This is a tad tricky because you must simultaneously celebrate the strong female performances this year while lamenting the lack of strong female roles. Women headlined “Room,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and “Brooklyn,” and played huge roles in “Spotlight” and “The Martian.” Out of eight nominated Best Picture movies, women had great roles in five. But that’s not a win. Nope. No way. You must tsk tsk about the lack of female roles in Hollywood. Correct talking point: “Jessica Chastain was breathtaking as the commander of the mission in ‘The Martian.’ Too bad there are no roles in Hollywood that show women can be leaders!” Luckily, this year’s movies are just chock-full of feminism. A lot of people saw “Mad Max: Fury Road” for the awesome effects, the pounding score, the pulse-racing action. But joke’s on you, goobers, because the only acceptable reason to see this movie is for the feminism. It’s a movie so feminist a man asks a woman for directions. That would be enough, of course, but that’s not all. The happy ending is that nobody gets to have sex, ever. No nookie. No whoopee. As nature intended, wise women live by themselves repeating wise things about seeds and stuff they heard from their mothers. Dirty, nasty men bounce around on poles and hit each other with things. Everyone is happy, and there will be no babies. Correct talking point: “So glad this year’s movies taught us there are more important things in life than getting it on. It’s about time we moved away from that outdated way of thinking!” Joke’s on you, goobers, because the only acceptable reason to see this movie is for the feminism. Finally, one last note on feminism. You may be interested in seeing the dresses the stars wear, but please be aware. We must watch the red carpets to catch the brilliant nuggets of wisdom the stunning starlets shout out to the significantly less-stunning press as they glide by in the crowd, glancing past to see if anyone important is nearby. These nuggets of wisdom are priceless and the point of the entire night. Even though the stars pick out dresses months ahead of the awards, have several fittings, starve themselves for weeks, and have a small army to perfect their hair, makeup, nails, and eyebrows, it is rude for the significantly less-stunning press to ask about their dresses. They must be asked about world peace or ISIS or something. They are more than just perfect bodies in dresses and ungodly amounts of jewelry, you know. Correct talking point: “Wow. Jennifer Laurence’s mind really looked amazing on the red carpet tonight. She must have been practicing calculus!” Embrace Populism This year, we are angry. No one is sure at what, exactly, but we know we are angry and we are about ready to grab pitchforks and storm the Bastille (if we knew what the Bastille was, which we don’t because education is elitist). Translate that anger into the Oscars. When someone asks who you think will win, respond that a cabal of old establishment Hollywood should not get to dictate what is the best movie. Then pick your favorite movie of the year and fight for it past all reason. Something like this: Correct Talking Point: “‘Jurassic World’ was far, far better than ‘The Revenant!’ The performance Indominous Rex gave was amazing! It changed my life! Down with the establishment!” Another Correct Talking Point: “‘Furious 7’ is the only movie that is even close to good enough to win. Amazing movie. Flawless. I laughed, I cried. You have to see the deeper meaning. Jumping a supercar between high rises in Dubai not once, but twice, is a metaphor for our Middle East foreign policy. Can’t you see it? Down with the establishment!” Plus, if you’re a “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” geek—and really, who isn’t these days?—it’s a chance to awe your listener with your encyclopedic knowledge of the Star Wars universe. Star Wars Talking Point: “…..and that is why the Best Supporting Actor Oscar should go to the guy who played the junkyard dealer who traded scraps for rations. It’s so obvious. It’s the only choice. Down with the establishment!” Heck, even pick movies that you loved from last year or a few years back. When someone counters that it is ineligible for the 2016 Oscars, counter with “How do you know ‘Spotlight’ is eligible? I heard it was made in Canada. It’s probably a Canadian movie. I could bring a lawsuit right now, challenging its eligibility! Ha!” Highlight Victims There’s been a lot of chatter this year about how, despite many fine performances by actors with pigmented skin, neither a single actor with pigmented skin nor a movie featuring actors with pigmented skin was picked for major categories. For instance, Leonardo DiCaprio is about to get an Oscar for staggering around in the snow and breathing heavy for two hours, but Idris Elba is not nominated for “Beasts of No Nation.” Seems wrong. Pigmented Americans, however, are not the only group tragically underrepresented by Hollywood. There is a large, oppressed, overlooked crowd of Americans who are never, ever given any respect. I’m talking, of course, about Unattractive Americans. This year, the SPWCJ (Society of People Without Chiseled Jawlines) is joining forces with AAWTRT (Association of Americans Whose Thighs Rub Together) to highlight the plight of Unattractive Americans. They fight for the chance to be featured on the big screen in all their hairy-backed, overbite-ridden, honky-nosed, horrifying glory. They even have their own hashtag: #OscarsSoUnrealisticallyAttractive Correct Talking Point: “I mean, why does the system favor beautiful people? I just want to have my daughter see people onscreen who represent her.” Have Your Excuse Ready Maybe you were smart and realized that while “Room” may be a transcendent story of the triumph of the human spirit, a story about holding a woman as a captive sex slave for years wasn’t likely to get you some lovin’ on date night and, because despite “Mad Max” this is still important to you, you took your wife to a nice meal and then to “Mission Impossible.” This is not something you want to admit at the cocktail party. Correct Talking Point: “We stopped to help an Unattractive American—we believe strongly in equality for them—and we were just too late to the ‘Room’ showing. It was sold out, sadly.” Whip Out Tom Hanks If, despite all these talking points, you still find yourself cornered by someone insisting on knowing what you thought of “Carol,” there’s always Tom Hanks. Everybody loves Tom Hanks. His movie “Bridge of Spies,” which you did not see, is nominated for Best Picture. But it does not matter if you did not see it, because Tom Hanks is a national treasure and we don’t have to actually see the movie to know that. He is so tremendously decent, so relentlessly kind, so representative of all that we imagine is best about ourselves, that he can head off any awkward conversation. No-Fail Talking Point: “Hey, how about that Tom Hanks? He’s really great, right? Life is like a bowl of chocolates, right? Wilson!” ]]>
(Review Source)
Mad Max 2
Jay Dyer


By: Jay Dyer Much furor has been raised over Imperator Furiosa, Charlize Theron’s “strong woman” figure in the latest Mad Max reboot: I expected some to retitle it Mad MaxiPad.  Mad Max:...

(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
Works and Days Where’s Mel Gibson When You Need Him?George Miller’s 1981 post-apocalyptic film The Road Warrior envisioned an impoverished world of the future. Tribal groups fought over what remained of a destroyed Western world of law, technology, and mass production. Survival went to the fittest -- or at least those who could best scrounge together the artifacts of a long gone society somewhat resembling the present West.In the case of the Australian film, the culprit for the detribalization of the Outback was some sort of global war or perhaps nuclear holocaust that had destroyed the social fabric. Survivors were left with a memory of modern appetites but without the ability to reproduce the means to satisfy them:  in short, a sort of Procopius’s description of Gothic Italy circa AD 540.Our VersionSometimes, and in some places, in California I think we have nearly descended into Miller’s dark vision -- especially the juxtaposition of occasional high technology with premodern notions of law and security. The state deficit is at $16 billion. Stockton went bankrupt; Fresno is rumored to be next. Unemployment stays over 10% and in the Central Valley is more like 15%. Seven out of the last eleven new Californians went on Medicaid, which is about broke. A third of the nation’s welfare recipients are in California. In many areas, 40% of Central Valley high school students do not graduate -- and do not work, if the latest crisis in finding $10 an hour agricultural workers is any indication. And so on.Our culprit out here was not the Bomb (and remember, Hiroshima looks a lot better today than does Detroit, despite the inverse in 1945). The condition is instead brought on by a perfect storm of events that have shred the veneer of sophisticated civilization. Add up the causes. One was the destruction of the California rural middle class. Manufacturing jobs, small family farms, and new businesses disappeared due to globalization, high taxes, and new regulations. A pyramidal society followed of a few absentee land barons and corporate grandees, and a mass of those on entitlements or working for government or employed at low-skilled service jobs. The guy with a viable 60 acres of almonds ceased to exist.Illegal immigration did its share. No society can successfully absorb some 6-7 million illegal aliens, in less than two decades, the vast majority without English, legality, or education from the poorer provinces of Mexico, the arrivals subsidized by state entitlements while sending billions in remittances back to Mexico -- all in a politicized climate where dissent is demonized as racism. This state of affairs is especially true when the host has given up on assimilation, integration, the melting pot, and basic requirements of lawful citizenship.Terrible governance was also a culprit, in the sense that the state worked like a lottery: those lucky enough by hook or by crook to get a state job thereby landed a bonanza of high wages, good benefits, no accountability, and rich pensions that eventually almost broke the larger and less well-compensated general society. When I see hordes of Highway Patrolmen writing tickets in a way they did not before 2008, I assume that these are revenue-based, not safety-based, protocols -- a little added fiscal insurance that pensions and benefits will not be cut.A coarsening of popular culture -- a nationwide phenomenon -- was intensified, as it always is, in California. The internet, video games, and modern pop culture translated into a generation of youth that did not know the value of hard work or a weekend hike in the Sierra. They didn't learn  how to open a good history book or poem, much less acquire even basic skills such as mowing the lawn or hammering a nail. But California’s Generation X did know that they were "somebody" whom teachers and officials dared not reprimand, punish, prosecute, or otherwise pass judgment on for their anti-social behavior. Add all that up with a whiny, pampered, influential elite on the coast that was more worried about wind power, gay marriage, ending plastic bags in the grocery stores -- and, well, you get the present-day Road Warrior culture of California. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/victordavishanson/california-the-road-warrior-is-here/ previous Page 1 of 4 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
(”Mad Max 2” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Ed Driscoll Both  J.E. Dyer of Hot Air, and Roger L. Simon, our own Maximum Pajamahadeen, reached similar conclusions after watching the rock concert-esque spectacle of the London Olympics' opening ceremonies. First up, after offering kudos to the Queen, Daniel Craig, Danny Boyle, Kenneth Branagh, Rowan Atkinson, and Paul McCartney, Roger writes, “And yet. And yet:”Moving as this most artistically inspired of all Olympics opening ceremonies was, were we watching the end of something — and I am not talking about the end of Bob Costas. How much longer can he go on? (How much Botox is there in the world?)Were (are) we watching the end of the world as we have known it?I’m not saying this is 1936 all over again, even though then, as now, the world was in economic crisis. Those Olympics were in Berlin, being filmed by Leni Riefenstahl, a director even greater than Danny Boyle, but plying her art at the behest of one of the most evil people of all time.That is not the case here. But there is still something ineffably sad, at least to me. It’s hard to be optimistic this Olympic year. These are ominous times indeed, not a moment for celebration.At Hot Air,  J.E. Dyer dubs the opening ceremonies "the death throes of a civilization:"Watching the ceremony last night, I had a profound sense of sadness for the hollow revelry.  There was no dignified memorializing of the greatness, uniqueness, and courage of Britain’s past.  There was “irreverent, idiosyncratic” entertainment, and a very long segment of writhing self-abasement before the shibboleth of socialized medicine.We seemed to be looking last night at a moment frozen in time before a great upheaval, like the last days of lingering sunlight before World War I.  A civilization based on entertainment and ritual political worship is headed for a fall.  But then, a civilization that singles out some humans, like Israeli Jews, to show less care for – less solidarity with – is a weak and unsustainable one.  Nothing else will go right with it.Britain is not alone in her shallow, artistic commemorations of a dying culture.  Western Europe’s official vision of itself largely boils down to that.  I believe there are still many individuals in Europe – as distinct from the ruling precincts of political correctness and utopianism – who have the courage to forge a different future.  But as a useful vehicle for what needs to be done, the continent’s official organizations, its governments and agencies, are beyond their expiration date.  Too many of them do not serve the people now, but only indenture and discourage them.Such a situation cannot endure.  No amount of artistic entertainment can make fear, loss of purpose, and politically correct weakness noble or inspiring, much less invincible.  The post-liberal culture and political idea of Europe are not in a position to triumph today.  They are not even in a position to survive.How grim will the future be? And when will it arrive? How 'bout right now, according to our own Victor Davis Hanson. VDH writes that post-apocalyptic California would make the perfect giant location setting for director George Miller's next Road Warrior movie:Sometimes, and in some places, in California I think we have nearly descended into Miller’s dark vision — especially the juxtaposition of occasional high technology with premodern notions of law and security. The state deficit is at $16 billion. Stockton went bankrupt; Fresno is rumored to be next. Unemployment stays over 10% and in the Central Valley is more like 15%. Seven out of the last eleven new Californians went on Medicaid, which is about broke. A third of the nation’s welfare recipients are in California. In many areas, 40% of Central Valley high school students do not graduate — and do not work, if the latest crisis in finding $10 an hour agricultural workers is any indication. And so on.Our culprit out here was not the Bomb (and remember, Hiroshima looks a lot better today than does Detroit, despite the inverse in 1945). The condition is instead brought on by a perfect storm of events that have shred the veneer of sophisticated civilization. Add up the causes. One was the destruction of the California rural middle class. Manufacturing jobs, small family farms, and new businesses disappeared due to globalization, high taxes, and new regulations. A pyramidal society followed of a few absentee land barons and corporate grandees, and a mass of those on entitlements or working for government or employed at low-skilled service jobs. The guy with a viable 60 acres of almonds ceased to exist.Illegal immigration did its share. No society can successfully absorb some 6-7 million illegal aliens, in less than two decades, the vast majority without English, legality, or education from the poorer provinces of Mexico, the arrivals subsidized by state entitlements while sending billions in remittances back to Mexico — all in a politicized climate where dissent is demonized as racism. This state of affairs is especially true when the host has given up on assimilation, integration, the melting pot, and basic requirements of lawful citizenship.Terrible governance was also a culprit, in the sense that the state worked like a lottery: those lucky enough by hook or by crook to get a state job thereby landed a bonanza of high wages, good benefits, no accountability, and rich pensions that eventually almost broke the larger and less well-compensated general society. When I see hordes of Highway Patrolmen writing tickets in a way they did not before 2008, I assume that these are revenue-based, not safety-based, protocols — a little added fiscal insurance that pensions and benefits will not be cut.A coarsening of popular culture — a nationwide phenomenon — was intensified, as it always is, in California. The internet, video games, and modern pop culture translated into a generation of youth that did not know the value of hard work or a weekend hike in the Sierra. They didn’t learn  how to open a good history book or poem, much less acquire even basic skills such as mowing the lawn or hammering a nail. But California’s Generation X did know that they were “somebody” whom teachers and officials dared not reprimand, punish, prosecute, or otherwise pass judgment on for their anti-social behavior. Add all that up with a whiny, pampered, influential elite on the coast that was more worried about wind power, gay marriage, ending plastic bags in the grocery stores — and, well, you get the present-day Road Warrior culture of California.As Mark Steyn wrote last year in After America:Look around you. From now on, it gets worse. In ten years’ time, there will be no American Dream, any more than there’s a Greek or Portuguese Dream. In twenty, you’ll be living the American Nightmare, with large tracts of the country reduced to the favelas of Latin America, the rich fleeing for Bermuda or New Zealand or wherever on the planet they can buy a little time, and the rest trapped in the impoverished, violent, diseased ruins of utopian vanity.Forget high-speed rail; what's Steyn's describing is what's really coming down the tracks at accelerating speeds in California. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2012/7/30/its-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-2/ ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
Ed Driscoll As Tina Turner sang over a quarter century ago, all we want is life beyond the Thunderdome -- which is the analogy Walter Russell Mead uses to describe dystopian 21st century California:Things are getting worse in San Bernardino. The city filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, but its financial situation has continued to deteriorate. And now with what promises to be a heated court battle over payments to the state pension fund in the offing, further cuts are likely.Things are getting so bad that at a recent city council meeting, the city attorney advised residents to “lock their doors and load their guns” because the city could no longer afford to keep up a strong enough police force. CBS News reports:Back in late July, Fresno resident Victor Davis Hanson described his home state as being the equivalent of The Road Warrior.  Only a few short months later, have we already "progressed" to living out that film's sequel?George Miller’s 1981 post-apocalyptic film The Road Warrior envisioned an impoverished world of the future. Tribal groups fought over what remained of a destroyed Western world of law, technology, and mass production. Survival went to the fittest — or at least those who could best scrounge together the artifacts of a long gone society somewhat resembling the present West.In the case of the Australian film, the culprit for the detribalization of the Outback was some sort of global war or perhaps nuclear holocaust that had destroyed the social fabric. Survivors were left with a memory of modern appetites but without the ability to reproduce the means to satisfy them:  in short, a sort of Procopius’s description of Gothic Italy circa AD 540.Our VersionSometimes, and in some places, in California I think we have nearly descended into Miller’s dark vision — especially the juxtaposition of occasional high technology with premodern notions of law and security. The state deficit is at $16 billion. Stockton went bankrupt; Fresno is rumored to be next. Unemployment stays over 10% and in the Central Valley is more like 15%. Seven out of the last eleven new Californians went on Medicaid, which is about broke. A third of the nation’s welfare recipients are in California. In many areas, 40% of Central Valley high school students do not graduate — and do not work, if the latest crisis in finding $10 an hour agricultural workers is any indication. And so on.Our culprit out here was not the Bomb (and remember, Hiroshima looks a lot better today than does Detroit, despite the inverse in 1945). The condition is instead brought on by a perfect storm of events that have shred the veneer of sophisticated civilization. Add up the causes. One was the destruction of the California rural middle class. Manufacturing jobs, small family farms, and new businesses disappeared due to globalization, high taxes, and new regulations. A pyramidal society followed of a few absentee land barons and corporate grandees, and a mass of those on entitlements or working for government or employed at low-skilled service jobs. The guy with a viable 60 acres of almonds ceased to exist.Earlier today, Hugh Hewitt had on author Laer Pearce. His new book Crazifornia: Tales from the Tarnished State - How California is Destroying Itself and Why it Matters to America sounds like an intriguing look into America's most anticipated fiscal collapse. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2012/12/4/we-dont-need-another-hero/ ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
(”Mad Max 2” is briefly mentioned in this.)
PJ Media One of the more prominent among the manifold idiocies of the environmental left is the idea that oil is evil. Recently, according to a press release from the Western Energy Alliance, a non-profit trade association representing more than 450 companies engaged in exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the West, more than 400 groups converged on the White House to demand we keep fossil fuels in the ground.They did this, of course, while waving signs made of plastic and having driven or flown in fossil fuel-powered vehicles to Washington. And probably while drinking from plastic or aluminum water bottles, or while sipping an extra-soy-macchiato latte, all of which require fossil fuels to produce. These are the same sorts who tried to block offshore drilling in the Arctic by blockading a harbor with kayaks and canoes made of plastic.To shine light on the idiocy, this week the WEA challenged people who insist that oil is evil to live a full seven days without using fossil fuels. To any who would accept the challenge, they would find this is impossible.Said WEA president Tim Wigley:Environmental groups have actively promoted ending fossil fuel consumption. The problem is the average person doesn’t understand where things come from....Taking these groups at their word, we created the Challenge to show that oil and natural gas products are not easily dispensable. In fact, it’s quite the contrary; fossil fuels make modern living possible. They power our economy and provide the basic feedstock used to manufacture smartphones, clothing and medicine and make our world safer, healthier and more convenient.Indeed, the world the environmentalists imagine best describes a post-apocalyptic movie. Said Gene Koprowski, director of marketing for the Heartland Institute:This idea of going without fossil fuels for a week -- wasn’t that the premise of the Mad Max series of films, a post-apocalyptic world where fossil fuel was scarce to non-existent?Think life without a car to drive or fuel to heat your home is pleasant? This is just dumb. It’s not pleasant. It is like living after the apocalypse.There are electric cars available from Tesla and other manufacturers today. But to generate power for the batteries for these cars, the owners hook up the car to an electrical outlet ... and rely on energy churned out by the coal-burning power plant down the way.They can’t escape from fossil fuels, these electric car makers. There are lab-based alternatives to fossil fuels for the production of plastics and fibers, etc., but to my knowledge, these are not commercially viable presently.Nearly everything we wear, eat, or use has fossil fuels in the supply chain somewhere. Even the carpets most of us walk on are made of synthetic fibers. To most of the environmental left, food magically appears in the grocery store,; iPhones and other modern conveniences are conjured by Technology Gnomes in the middle of the night, rather than having been manufactured using toxic processes.Perhaps the problem is that environmentalists can't see the overseas plants which make their gadgets -- but they can see the oil rigs. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/oil-trade-group-challenges-environmentalists-enough-talk-try-actually-living-without-fossil-fuels/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
VJ Morton
(”Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” is briefly mentioned in this.)
gibsonbraveheart.jpg

A good piece in the Village Voice (really)

Thanks, Phil (are you part of an Experiment by the way?) for pointing me to a piece by Jessica Winter on Mel Gibson’s filmography. As you said in the comment field, it’s kinda dumb when discussing THE PASSION OF CHRIST or religion as such. I had to grit my teeth through the nonsense phrase “fundamentalist Catholic” and the imputation of anti-Semitism on the “Traditionalist Catholic” movement (to which the relationship of Gibson himself, rather than his father, is not crystal-clear in any event. Certainly Mel has said some interesting things, but to my knowledge, he’s never publicly declared himself a Sedevacantist, called the Second Vatican Council invalid, or even spoken of his religious beliefs in detail at all).

But when Winter cuts the crap and gets down to discussing Gibson’s movies, she is quite intriguing. If it hadn’t been for SIGNS or BRAVEHEART, I would have been inclined to pooh-pooh the theory of Mel as Christ figure. After all, Jesus is only the most influential figure in Western history. The kinds of images of Christ that Winter analogizes to moments in Gibson’s filmography have centuries of Western iconography or language (“crucified” can now mean just “persecuted unjustly”) behind them, and moviemakers of every variety have drawn on various pieces of them to illustrate images of suffering or “holiness” (first example to pop into my head: Oliver Stone’s PLATOON). And to her credit, Winter recognizes that — there’s a tradition behind whatever gore will be in THE PASSION OF CHRIST that the LETHAL WEAPON movies don’t. But the very lack of context would push me toward the conclusion that it was just writers, directors and actors just using a quickly-available concept without thinking it through (like the superfluous “Death of Marat” shot in ROAD TO PERDITION).

But those two films do make it seem like Gibson’s been leading toward this. I liked SIGNS quite a bit (and a film about a priest regaining his faith fits my own life’s trajectory as a revert), though I preferred it more as a straightforward creepy Twilight Zone episode rather than as Christian theology. It’s pretty threadbare on those latter terms, basically a God of the Gaps. Nothing in SIGNS committed the film to any conception of metaphysical truth. But viewing it as religious psychology, as Winter does, makes it more about how “a man who’s lost his faith in God is as a petulant child who hasn’t gotten his way.”

The execution of Wallace in BRAVEHEART referenced the Crucifixion 100 ways to Sunday. Check out the first picture on the Voice article, which is as clear a Crucifixion reference as it gets, in contrast to say, the pictures from LETHAL WEAPON (which looks like an S&M club), from MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME (which looks more like a Hindu or Muslim funeral, than a Christian or Jewish one), or from PAYBACK (a reference to RAGING BULL or 1,001 other boxing movies). People who have seen THE PASSION OF CHRIST said the violence reminded them of BRAVEHEART, and certainly secular nationalisms, Scottish or otherwise, have tended to try to latch onto a martyr figure. When I was learning Scottish history as a boy, though, Robert the Bruce and his final victory at Bannockburn got a lot more press time than William Wallace and the defeat at Falkirk; Wallace’s execution was mentioned, but not gone into detail, though I was only a wee lad at the time. In other words, Gibson was pouring Scottish history into a Christian template with Wallace as Jesus.

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(Review Source)
Jay Dyer


By: Jay Dyer Much furor has been raised over Imperator Furiosa, Charlize Theron’s “strong woman” figure in the latest Mad Max reboot: I expected some to retitle it Mad MaxiPad.  Mad Max:...

(Review Source)
Jay Dyer


By: Jay As with many 80s films I grew up with, they seemed quite innocuous on the surface level, but as you mature, you are able to reflect on the...

(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
(”Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” is briefly mentioned in this.)
PJ Media One of the more prominent among the manifold idiocies of the environmental left is the idea that oil is evil. Recently, according to a press release from the Western Energy Alliance, a non-profit trade association representing more than 450 companies engaged in exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the West, more than 400 groups converged on the White House to demand we keep fossil fuels in the ground.They did this, of course, while waving signs made of plastic and having driven or flown in fossil fuel-powered vehicles to Washington. And probably while drinking from plastic or aluminum water bottles, or while sipping an extra-soy-macchiato latte, all of which require fossil fuels to produce. These are the same sorts who tried to block offshore drilling in the Arctic by blockading a harbor with kayaks and canoes made of plastic.To shine light on the idiocy, this week the WEA challenged people who insist that oil is evil to live a full seven days without using fossil fuels. To any who would accept the challenge, they would find this is impossible.Said WEA president Tim Wigley:Environmental groups have actively promoted ending fossil fuel consumption. The problem is the average person doesn’t understand where things come from....Taking these groups at their word, we created the Challenge to show that oil and natural gas products are not easily dispensable. In fact, it’s quite the contrary; fossil fuels make modern living possible. They power our economy and provide the basic feedstock used to manufacture smartphones, clothing and medicine and make our world safer, healthier and more convenient.Indeed, the world the environmentalists imagine best describes a post-apocalyptic movie. Said Gene Koprowski, director of marketing for the Heartland Institute:This idea of going without fossil fuels for a week -- wasn’t that the premise of the Mad Max series of films, a post-apocalyptic world where fossil fuel was scarce to non-existent?Think life without a car to drive or fuel to heat your home is pleasant? This is just dumb. It’s not pleasant. It is like living after the apocalypse.There are electric cars available from Tesla and other manufacturers today. But to generate power for the batteries for these cars, the owners hook up the car to an electrical outlet ... and rely on energy churned out by the coal-burning power plant down the way.They can’t escape from fossil fuels, these electric car makers. There are lab-based alternatives to fossil fuels for the production of plastics and fibers, etc., but to my knowledge, these are not commercially viable presently.Nearly everything we wear, eat, or use has fossil fuels in the supply chain somewhere. Even the carpets most of us walk on are made of synthetic fibers. To most of the environmental left, food magically appears in the grocery store,; iPhones and other modern conveniences are conjured by Technology Gnomes in the middle of the night, rather than having been manufactured using toxic processes.Perhaps the problem is that environmentalists can't see the overseas plants which make their gadgets -- but they can see the oil rigs. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/oil-trade-group-challenges-environmentalists-enough-talk-try-actually-living-without-fossil-fuels/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
John Nolte
(”Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” is briefly mentioned in this.)
With 37 reviews in, director George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” sits at an impressive 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Many of the reviews are outright raves and make clear that after four decades as a filmmaker, Miller went old school to make the action genre once again feel fresh and vital. “Fury Road’s”  action sequences go back to the future by actually respecting the idea of spatial logic. Better still, there is almost no CGI. Gee, what a concept. The fourquel, which hits theatres Friday, is supposed to launch a brand new franchise. Star Tom Hardy, who steps in for Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky (aka Mad Max aka The Man with No Name aka The Road Warrior), is attached to three more films. This is remarkable for a number of reasons. To begin with, it has been a full 30 years since the last “Mad Max” (1985’s “Thunderdome”). On top of that, Miller is 70 years of age. Most directors are past their prime at that age, especially when it comes to action films. And then there’s the not-small detail that not a single one of the previous “Mad Max” films were huge hits here in America. “Mad
(Review Source)
John Nolte
(”Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” is briefly mentioned in this.)
With 37 reviews in, director George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” sits at an impressive 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Many of the reviews are outright raves and make clear that after four decades as a filmmaker, Miller went old school to make the action genre once again feel fresh and vital. “Fury Road’s”  action sequences go back to the future by actually respecting the idea of spatial logic. Better still, there is almost no CGI. Gee, what a concept. The fourquel, which hits theatres Friday, is supposed to launch a brand new franchise. Star Tom Hardy, who steps in for Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky (aka Mad Max aka The Man with No Name aka The Road Warrior), is attached to three more films. This is remarkable for a number of reasons. To begin with, it has been a full 30 years since the last “Mad Max” (1985’s “Thunderdome”). On top of that, Miller is 70 years of age. Most directors are past their prime at that age, especially when it comes to action films. And then there’s the not-small detail that not a single one of the previous “Mad Max” films were huge hits here in America. “Mad
(Review Source)
Christian Toto
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)

In a way, previous action movies beat “The Old Guard” to its own punch. Everyone from Dominic Torreto to James Bond acts as if they’re immortal, running into enemy fire or jumping over ravines with little thought for life or limb. You know Hollywood, Inc. wouldn’t dare kill them off. There’s comfort in that silent …

The post ‘Old Guard’ Teases Genre Flip But Can’t Make Good on Its Promise appeared first on Hollywood in Toto.

(Review Source)
Christian Toto
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
true history of the kelly gang review Russell Crowe

We live in strange times. Hollywood is shut down, and the industry’s bizarre virtue signaling has been brought to bear upon shelter in place orders. The media industrial complex has been shown, again, to not be a beacon of resistance to tyranny but a mainstream lap dog possessing no more credibility than any other modern …

The post ‘True History of the Kelly Gang’ Breaks a Critical Biopic Rule appeared first on Hollywood in Toto.

(Review Source)
Sonny Bunch
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
(Review Source)
Sonny Bunch
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
The annual features from the Hollywood Reporter are the perfect antidote to everyone who thinks that these awards actually mean … well, much of anything.
(Review Source)
John Nolte
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
What kind of lunatic puts such a thing in a Star Wars movie?
(Review Source)
The Federalist Staff
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Let's enjoy what Hollywood produced the decade before streaming giants really disrupted the landscape.
(Review Source)
John Nolte
While Banks is blaming men for not showing up, her joyless movie could not even attract 15 percent of the single women in two of the most left-wing cities in America.  
(Review Source)
The Federalist Staff
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
If this is the final bow for the franchise, 'Toy Story 4' will be ending on a note so high that it should be one of the year’s Best Picture nominees.
(Review Source)
VJ Morton
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Gravatar

Knives already out for Mel

Some film critics in a major metropolitan area have the leads already written on Mel Gibson’s THE PASSION, even though they haven’t seen it. They just *know* it’s anti-Semitic tripe from someone whose not *our* type of people, dearie. A member of a private film-discussion group posted about a critics’ screening which he attended and at which THE PASSION was a topic of conversation.

I cite that post here, with his permission and on the condition of anonymity. I cleaned up some spelling and took out one potentially-revealing detail. Remember this post next spring for what it says about the critical establishment’s prior attitudes toward Gibson’s film.
——————————————————————————
Dude, your post was ringing loud in my ears this afternoon as I sat in a [city] Screening Room surrounded by so-called “Professionals” who were getting their rocks off ranting and raving about how Anti-Semitic THE PASSION is.

Never mind the fact that none of these folks had even seen so much as the fucking Trailer for MAD MAX’S JESUS CHRIST, YOU’RE BLEEDING! After all, somebody somewhere said that Riggs hates Jews so much he staked $25 million of his own cash to ruin his career by exposing his k**e-loathing ways to the entire universe — and that was good enough for my (ahem) colleagues to run with for at least half-an-hour.

After all, why bother to actually WAIT TO SEE THE FUCKING MOVIE AND DECIDE FOR YOURSELF when it’s so much easier to just parrot something you read somewhere and score points with your peers. Especially when the gossip regards a filthy homophobic, sexist, meat-eating, conservative Catholic like Mel. (Oh yeah — and he smokes, too.)

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The Passion (of Jesus of Nazareth)In "Archbishop Chaput"

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Mel, Mel, Mel ...In "anti-Semitism"

August 25, 2003 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,

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  1. […] Church of anti-Semitism and assorted other bestialities), and a negative critical reception since some critics already have their leads written, and I refuse to believe this is an isolated attitude. Box office, we’ll have to wait and […]

    Pingback by And now Weekend Update … « Rightwing Film Geek | September 27, 2007 | Reply


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(Review Source)
Jay Dyer


By: Jay Dyer Much furor has been raised over Imperator Furiosa, Charlize Theron’s “strong woman” figure in the latest Mad Max reboot: I expected some to retitle it Mad MaxiPad.  Mad Max:...

(Review Source)
Vox Day
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
I certainly have no desire to see it myself. In addition to all the Grrrl Power nonsense, the core plot obviously makes no sense:
The truth is I’m angry about the extents Hollywood and the director of Fury Road went to trick me and other men into seeing this movie. Everything VISUALLY looks amazing. It looks like that action guy flick we’ve desperately been waiting for where it is one man with principles, standing against many with none.

But let us be clear. This is the vehicle by which they are guaranteed to force a lecture on feminism down your throat. This is the Trojan Horse feminists and Hollywood leftists will use to (vainly) insist on the trope women are equal to men in all things, including physique, strength, and logic. And this is the subterfuge they will use to blur the lines between masculinity and femininity, further ruining women for men, and men for women.

So do yourself and all men across the world a favor. Not only REFUSE to see the movie, but spread the word to as many men as possible. Not all of them have the keen eye we do here at ROK. And most will be taken in by fire tornadoes and explosions. Because if they sheepishly attend and Fury Road is a blockbuster, then you, me, and all the other men (and real women) in the world will never be able to see a real action movie ever again that doesn’t contain some damn political lecture or moray about feminism, SJW-ing, and socialism.
It's a post-apocalyptic setting, right? That means survival is the absolute priority, which means K/selection, which means that having your women behave in a manner consistent with perhaps the ultimate r/selection environment means that you'll be selected out of existence in short order no matter how awesome Charlize Theron pretends to be.

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(Review Source)
Kyle Smith
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
“Not enough pretty people kissing,” was a lady friend’s verdict on “Mad Max: Fury Road.” As for “The Choice,” it’s pretty much all pretty people kissing. And flirting. And smiling. And making weak attempts at banter. I was too bored to hate the movie. Besides, who hates a stuffed animal? If it actually said something...
(Review Source)
Sonny Bunch
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Mile 22

BY:

Mile 22 doesn’t deal in platitudes so much as luxuriate in them, elevate them. James Silva (Mark Wahlberg) and his team of American paramilitary operatives are “option three”—when diplomacy and the military fail, you call in Overwatch to clean up the mess.

(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
Lifestyle The month of July produced a bevy of movie trailers for releases we can look forward to in the fall. The holiday season tends to be where studios place releases they stand most proud of, a showcase for the Academy Awards. That said, there are also some good old-fashioned popcorn flicks on this list, the top 10 most popular trailers released throughout July. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Official Teaser Trailer #1 (2014) - Peter Jackson Movie HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 10. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesPeter Jackson’s Middle Earth saga comes to its presumptive close with this final chapter of The Hobbit film adaptation. Perhaps you’ve been putting off upgrading from your old DVDs to The Lord of the Rings trilogy on Blu-ray in anticipation of the inevitable super-mega-funtime edition of the complete Middle Earth anthology.News that 2012’s The Unexpected Journey would be the first of a new trilogy adapted from the relatively short J.R.R. Tolkien novel evoked suspicion that Jackson and the studio were stretching to wring every last bit of cash out of the franchise. But The Desolation of Smaug redeemed that impression, demonstrating that there was indeed enough story to warrant three films. This final entry looks poised to begin with a bang and sustain the novel’s climax throughout its running time. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/8/15/top-10-most-popular-midsummer-movie-trailers/ previous Page 1 of 10 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Pan Movie (2015) Interview - Nonso Anozie', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Next year stands poised to break box office records. So many successful franchises have highly anticipated releases in 2015 that you may need to make a category in your budget just for tickets and concessions. It’s going to be huge, due not just to the franchises themselves, but the circumstances under which many of them have returned.Expectations are high and, with this much competition, damn well better be met. Here’s our top 10 most anticipated movie releases coming in 2015.10. PanHugh Jackman has done a bang up job of building a career beyond his bread and butter role as X-Men’s Wolverine. Next year, he goes full bad guy in Joe Wright’s take on Neverland, Pan. A prequel to the classic we know, Pan will tell how the titular boy adventurer came to be. Tron: Legacy’s Garrett Hedlund will play an up-and-coming James Hook. It sounds like he may have a rival/mentor in Jackman’s Blackbeard.In the above interview, actor Nonso Anozie tells about his experience working with Jackson, Hedlund, and Wright. He also offers some insight into his new character, Bishop. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/8/17/the-top-10-most-anticipated-movies-coming-in-2015/ previous Page 1 of 10 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
Klavan On The Culture var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Mad Max: Fury Road - Official Main Trailer [HD]', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Mad Max: Fury Road is not a good movie and the ecstasy with which the critics received it was dishonest. Tastes differ, of course, but I think in this case the critics are just lying for political reasons."It's enough to renew your faith in the movies," said Ty Burr of the Boston Globe. Peter Travers at Rolling Stone urged us to overlook the fact the picture doesn't make sense and "Just go with it." He praised director George Miller (who also directed the terrific original Mad Max and its sequel) as an "indisputable visionary genius." A.O. Scott of the New York Times said this: "It's all great fun, and quite rousing as well — a large-scale genre movie that is at once unpretentious and unafraid to bring home a message.... It's about revolution."I believe they said these untrue things because this not-very-good movie is feminist.Now, I'm not a feminist. I'm an individualist who believes each person should do what he or she wants to do and is able to do without fear or favor. I believe that, in such a free world, more men will choose to do manly things and more women womanly things but that strikes me as a feature not a bug, since gender differences seem to me among the great beauties of life. Identity politics, on the other hand, is a misery imposed on us by the powerful in order to divide us so they can consolidate their power.But while I consider feminism a dishonest and oppressive philosophy, I believe good feminist stories can be told. This is because even a philosophy that is a lie in general may be the truth in a specific, individual case and stories are individual and specific. Dishonest outlooks can produce honest stories. The left has been living off this fact for decades.So while ideologically corrupt critics are going wild over Fury Road because it's feminist, I'm not criticizing it because I'm anti-feminist. I'm criticizing it because it's not very good. Its title character is ill-defined. His mission is emotionally muddy. The non-stop car chase action becomes tiresome about 45 minutes in (though I did find myself wondering wistfully if there was a video game to go with it!). The finale is unbelievable even in context. The color palette, I admit, is beautiful but if you're watching an enormous action sequence and thinking about the color palette...  well, you get the idea. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2015/5/17/mad-max-the-critics-are-lying-for-political-reasons/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
Klavan On The Culture Conservative Culture At Work!It was my understanding when I agreed to do a blog that all the commenters would agree with me and all the female commenters would be beautiful. Sadly, only the second of these has turned out to be the case. When, a day or so ago, I put up a post explaining that Mad Max: Fury Road was a not-very-good movie and had been greeted with ecstasy by critics because of its feminist bent, several benighted and also misguided souls took it upon themselves to contradict me. I know, right? Crazy! But there it is. So with the kindly thought that it might be instructive and improving to these lost lambs to learn how they are mistaken, I offer a few responses.First, to those who made comments to the effect that I was "thinking too much" and "politicizing everything," let me assure you that I was thinking only exactly as much as necessary and, in fact, politicizing nothing at all. My point was not that Mad Max was not very good because it was feminist. I enjoy fantasy pictures! My point was that the story was poorly constructed, the central character ill-drawn, the action repetitive and the resolution absurd — and that the critics have overlooked this for political reasons. It was they who were being political, not I.Second, several commenters rejected my idea that outlooks that are dishonest in general may produce honest stories because stories are individual and specific. My point was that while it's absurd to say, for instance, "American women are oppressed," a specific American woman may well be oppressed (just ask my wife!), and if you told a good story about her your stupid feminist philosophy might produce something worthwhile in spite of itself. Socialism is despicable nonsense but Germinal is a great novel — and indeed, its searing honesty ends by exposing the horror of its socialist philosophy, for which Zola was roundly criticized by the left despite his socialist credentials. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2015/5/20/mad-max-redux-i-respond-to-my-critics/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
PJ Media One of the more prominent among the manifold idiocies of the environmental left is the idea that oil is evil. Recently, according to a press release from the Western Energy Alliance, a non-profit trade association representing more than 450 companies engaged in exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the West, more than 400 groups converged on the White House to demand we keep fossil fuels in the ground.They did this, of course, while waving signs made of plastic and having driven or flown in fossil fuel-powered vehicles to Washington. And probably while drinking from plastic or aluminum water bottles, or while sipping an extra-soy-macchiato latte, all of which require fossil fuels to produce. These are the same sorts who tried to block offshore drilling in the Arctic by blockading a harbor with kayaks and canoes made of plastic.To shine light on the idiocy, this week the WEA challenged people who insist that oil is evil to live a full seven days without using fossil fuels. To any who would accept the challenge, they would find this is impossible.Said WEA president Tim Wigley:Environmental groups have actively promoted ending fossil fuel consumption. The problem is the average person doesn’t understand where things come from....Taking these groups at their word, we created the Challenge to show that oil and natural gas products are not easily dispensable. In fact, it’s quite the contrary; fossil fuels make modern living possible. They power our economy and provide the basic feedstock used to manufacture smartphones, clothing and medicine and make our world safer, healthier and more convenient.Indeed, the world the environmentalists imagine best describes a post-apocalyptic movie. Said Gene Koprowski, director of marketing for the Heartland Institute:This idea of going without fossil fuels for a week -- wasn’t that the premise of the Mad Max series of films, a post-apocalyptic world where fossil fuel was scarce to non-existent?Think life without a car to drive or fuel to heat your home is pleasant? This is just dumb. It’s not pleasant. It is like living after the apocalypse.There are electric cars available from Tesla and other manufacturers today. But to generate power for the batteries for these cars, the owners hook up the car to an electrical outlet ... and rely on energy churned out by the coal-burning power plant down the way.They can’t escape from fossil fuels, these electric car makers. There are lab-based alternatives to fossil fuels for the production of plastics and fibers, etc., but to my knowledge, these are not commercially viable presently.Nearly everything we wear, eat, or use has fossil fuels in the supply chain somewhere. Even the carpets most of us walk on are made of synthetic fibers. To most of the environmental left, food magically appears in the grocery store,; iPhones and other modern conveniences are conjured by Technology Gnomes in the middle of the night, rather than having been manufactured using toxic processes.Perhaps the problem is that environmentalists can't see the overseas plants which make their gadgets -- but they can see the oil rigs. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/oil-trade-group-challenges-environmentalists-enough-talk-try-actually-living-without-fossil-fuels/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
(Review Source)
PJ Media Staff
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
LifestyleCultureMoviesentertainmentreviews2017 The Fate of the Furious (2017) pushes the Fast and Furious franchise to its limits. Brian O'Conner is gone. Dominic Toretto turns on his family. The team faces an all-powerful hacker villain. But the virtues of the series shine through, bigger and better than ever. Fans might find it hard to believe, but the eighth movie actually bests many of the iconic scenes from Fast & Furious 6 (2013) and Furious 7 (2015). What could be more cool than the tank chase in Furious 6 or the helicopter-drop car chase in Azerbaijan in Furious 7? Just wait and see. The Fate of the Furious is an inspiring thrill ride from start to finish — and the characters do not disappoint. The movie makes excellent use of the all-star cast, featuring (of course) Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto, Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson as Luke Hobbs, and Jason Statham as Ian Shaw, and that's just the top three! Series favorites like Michelle Rodriguez (Letty Ortiz), the hilarious Tyrese Gibson (Roman Pearce), Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges (Tej Parker), Kurt Russell (Mr. Nobody), and Nathalie Emmanuel (Megan Ramsey) also put in solid performances. There are three new faces, each perfectly fitting their roles. Scott Eastwood (Fury, 2014) joins the team as Mr. Nobody's trainee, and of course Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road, 2015) makes a fantastic villain. Her sidekick, Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones, 2011-2018) brings the creepy ebullience of his role as Tormund Giantsbane into the Fast and Furious franchise, and it fits surprisingly well. Deep personal connections drive the film, which makes for great intimate action. Twisting Dom's devotion to family on its head, the new villain Cipher pits him against his team, using his expertise and badassery to steal some of the most valuable technology in the world. This combination of Dom as a pseudo-villain and Cipher as a powerful hacker makes for mind-blowing violence. The trailers hint well at some of the fantastic scenes. Using upcoming technology which will allow cars to drive themselves, Cipher hacks every car in New York City, turning the metropolis into a wasteland of zombie automobiles. Cars actually fall through the sky (without parachutes this time!) as they drive outside high-rise parking garages, wrecking the streets below with well-planned carnage. Did Hollywood Make a Pro-Gun Movie? 'Hell or High Water' Features Armed Citizenry class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2017/04/12/the-fate-of-the-furious-family-broken-and-remade/ load more ]]>
(Review Source)
Christian Toto
keepers of the magic documentary review

Vic Sarin’s “Keepers of the Magic” interviews some of the greatest cinematographers who ever lived.

These artists’ contributions to cinema can, indeed, be described as magical.

While Sarin, a gifted

The post ‘Keepers of the Magic’ Offers Long Overdue Praise appeared first on Hollywood in Toto.

(Review Source)
John Nolte
With 37 reviews in, director George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” sits at an impressive 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Many of the reviews are outright raves and make clear that after four decades as a filmmaker, Miller went old school to make the action genre once again feel fresh and vital. “Fury Road’s”  action sequences go back to the future by actually respecting the idea of spatial logic. Better still, there is almost no CGI. Gee, what a concept. The fourquel, which hits theatres Friday, is supposed to launch a brand new franchise. Star Tom Hardy, who steps in for Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky (aka Mad Max aka The Man with No Name aka The Road Warrior), is attached to three more films. This is remarkable for a number of reasons. To begin with, it has been a full 30 years since the last “Mad Max” (1985’s “Thunderdome”). On top of that, Miller is 70 years of age. Most directors are past their prime at that age, especially when it comes to action films. And then there’s the not-small detail that not a single one of the previous “Mad Max” films were huge hits here in America. “Mad
(Review Source)
John Nolte
Mad Max (Tom Hardy) has truly gone mad. Groomed like a caveman, and seemingly able to communicate only in grunts; figuratively, our Road Warrior has become the Feral Kid. He eats two-headed desert lizards alive and drives through an endless wasteland without purpose. The world that was is now so far gone, nothing left is recognizable — except the vehicles, including Max’s now iconic Pursuit Special. What really drives Max, though, are regrets come to life as demons, not a machine. Without giving away too many plot points, the first act of “Fury Road” is spent in a fascinating dystopian society of physically deformed and mentally warped haves, and desperate have-nots. The mad asylum (a wonder of imagination, detail and production design) is run by the tyrannical warlord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Burn) and his cult of deadly War Boys. For her unique resourcefulness and scavenging skills, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) is revered in this warped society. Like a celebrated Roman general, Immortan Joe sends Furiosa off into the desert on a mission. Furiosa has her own agenda, though, and a nearly non-stop two-hour chase begins. You would think that after nearly 50 years and thousands of centerpiece automobile chases (starting
(Review Source)
John Nolte
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Because I am lucky enough to live in the sticks of North Carolina, unlike my Los Angeles days, I don’t see everything because most of the smaller Oscar-bait movies fail — with good reason — to make their way out into the Real World. Which is a good thing because most of those movies are pretentious pails of crap. If you think I’m at all disappointed that I missed the chance to watch Eddie Remayne pretend to be a Danish Girl — yeah, no. The worst movies in the world are those Hollywood makes for themselves, and life is just too short. That’s the long way of telling you that my list of the best and worst movies of 2015 is based on what I had the opportunity to see, which was primarily the mainstream commercial stuff, which are the movies I usually enjoy the most anyway. By the time the Oscars rolls around,  with the help of the miracle of pay-per-view, I’ll catch up on the pretentious pails, but in the meantime, here’s the rundown. Overall, this was not a great year, even for commercial movies. Last year we got “American Sniper,” “Captain America: The Winter Solder,” “X-Men: Days
(Review Source)
The Weekly Standard Staff
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
<img src="http://cdn.weeklystandard.biz/cache/w640-s_953ba9d76300b403ba86555bcee13662.jpg"/>Endnotes and digressions from the latest show: * We opened the show talking about how Harriet Tubman might be the original American badass. If she had been a professional wrestler, I like to think her entrance would have been something like the Undertaker’s during his biker gimmick. * Also, we all agreed that there needs to be a Harriet Tubman movie which re-imagines her as an X-Men-style mutant superhero. After much discussion, we agreed that she should probably have Kitty Pryde's power
(Review Source)
The Weekly Substandard Podcast
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
<img src="http://cdn.weeklystandard.biz/cache/w640-e4532799a6591082f8e3247ecef0016a.jpg"/>On this week's episode, the Substandard takes on M. Night Shyamalan and the art of the movie twist , Sonny reviews Split , Vic admits to watching Ghost (ditto!), and JVL wears his Prada jeans in studio. Plus inauguration memories and an ending you won't believe! This podcast can be downloaded here . Subscribe to the SUBSTANDARD on iTunes or on Google Play . Show Notes : Endnotes and digressions from the latest show: * Vic mentioned the Mark Russell appearance from The
(Review Source)
John Nolte
Because I am lucky enough to live in the sticks of North Carolina, unlike my Los Angeles days, I don’t see everything because most of the smaller Oscar-bait movies fail — with good reason — to make their way out into the Real World. Which is a good thing because most of those movies are pretentious pails of crap. If you think I’m at all disappointed that I missed the chance to watch Eddie Remayne pretend to be a Danish Girl — yeah, no. The worst movies in the world are those Hollywood makes for themselves, and life is just too short. That’s the long way of telling you that my list of the best and worst movies of 2015 is based on what I had the opportunity to see, which was primarily the mainstream commercial stuff, which are the movies I usually enjoy the most anyway. By the time the Oscars rolls around,  with the help of the miracle of pay-per-view, I’ll catch up on the pretentious pails, but in the meantime, here’s the rundown. Overall, this was not a great year, even for commercial movies. Last year we got “American Sniper,” “Captain America: The Winter Solder,” “X-Men: Days
(Review Source)
John Nolte
My friends at PowerLine, one of the sites crucial to exposing 2004’s RatherGate, have already done the yeoman’s work in detailing the seemingly unlimited number of lies told in “Truth,” a “jerk store” flop, hysterically desperate to rewrite the history of a black eye that forever scars CBS News. Knowing it was a propaganda piece, I was sure I would hate “Truth.” The exact opposite ended up being the case. Man, I had a blast. Politics and propaganda aside, writer/director James Vanderbilt’s adaptation of fired and disgraced “60 Minutes” producer Mary Mapes’s 2005 memoir “Truth and Duty: The Press, the President and the Privilege of Power,” is not a very good movie. With a reported budget of less than $10 million, there is nothing cinematic about anything. “Truth” looks, sounds, and feels like a television movie. Despite the presence of Cate Blanchett as Mapes and Robert Redford (too lazy to even dye his hair black) as Dan Rather (along with Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid, and the great Bruce Greenwood in support roles), the acting isn’t even all that impressive. That’s not the fault of the actors. Propaganda does not make for fleshed-out characters or believable dialogue. All-in-all, Greenwood (as CBS
(Review Source)
John Nolte
So how bad is I Feel Pretty? Not having seen it (yeah, right -- you first), I can only put the following pieces of information together and assume it is freakin' hideous, because  1) when a left-wing sacred cow like Schumer gets 2) terrible reviews, the movie's 3)  gotta suck so hard.
(Review Source)
John Nolte
Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir has seen “American Sniper” twice and is now pretending he has cracked its cultural and political code. Naturally, what he discovered perfectly fits his own leftist leanings. And that must feel pretty good. After all, director Clint Eastwood’s masterpiece is breaking more than a half-dozen box office records.  That must mean America’s love for the cultural sensation equates America agreeing with O’Hehir’s noxious political beliefs. There is just one problem: In his analysis O’Hehir leaves out one very important fact — the actual moment when the audience is told what “American Sniper” is about. O’Hehir’s analysis is an audacious act of lying through omission. To leave this particular jaw-dropping revelation out of a piece of analysis on “American Sniper” is like analyzing “The Wizard of Oz” without including the fact that the Wizard is a fraud or that Dorothy was dreaming. O’Hehir is completely off his rocker. After falsely defaming the subject of “American Sniper,” war hero Chris Kyle, as a “racist and xenophobe,” O’Hehir closes with this epic piece of anti-science wishful thinking: After sitting through the film twice, I’m more convinced than ever that there’s a level of sardonic commentary at work that is sometimes
(Review Source)
John Nolte
Because their “American Sniper” analysis is much more thoughtful than what we saw from Salon’s Andre O’Hehir’s lunacy Wednesday, I want to be clear that I’m no in any way lumping the LA Times’ Steve Zeitchik and Variety’s Scott Foundas into the category of misleading. Nevertheless, it is fascinating to watch two intelligent film writers analyze what a film is about while at the same time writing around the film’s most important revelation and pivotal scene. Foundas: The defining moment of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” plays out twice onscreen and countless more times in the mind of the movie’s central character, the late Navy SEAL marksman Chris Kyle (played by Bradley Cooper). … [D]own below, a woman in a full burqa emerges with a young boy in tow. … [S]he [hands] a live grenade … to the boy, who begins running toward a line of advancing U.S. soldiers. Kyle sets the boy in his rifle sight and hopes against hope for fate to somehow intervene. But this is do or die, and so he pulls the trigger, earning the first of his 160 confirmed kills. …. Like Kyle in his memoir, Eastwood never puts a convenient label on things —
(Review Source)
John Nolte
With 37 reviews in, director George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” sits at an impressive 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Many of the reviews are outright raves and make clear that after four decades as a filmmaker, Miller went old school to make the action genre once again feel fresh and vital. “Fury Road’s”  action sequences go back to the future by actually respecting the idea of spatial logic. Better still, there is almost no CGI. Gee, what a concept. The fourquel, which hits theatres Friday, is supposed to launch a brand new franchise. Star Tom Hardy, who steps in for Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky (aka Mad Max aka The Man with No Name aka The Road Warrior), is attached to three more films. This is remarkable for a number of reasons. To begin with, it has been a full 30 years since the last “Mad Max” (1985’s “Thunderdome”). On top of that, Miller is 70 years of age. Most directors are past their prime at that age, especially when it comes to action films. And then there’s the not-small detail that not a single one of the previous “Mad Max” films were huge hits here in America. “Mad
(Review Source)
John Nolte
Mad Max (Tom Hardy) has truly gone mad. Groomed like a caveman, and seemingly able to communicate only in grunts; figuratively, our Road Warrior has become the Feral Kid. He eats two-headed desert lizards alive and drives through an endless wasteland without purpose. The world that was is now so far gone, nothing left is recognizable — except the vehicles, including Max’s now iconic Pursuit Special. What really drives Max, though, are regrets come to life as demons, not a machine. Without giving away too many plot points, the first act of “Fury Road” is spent in a fascinating dystopian society of physically deformed and mentally warped haves, and desperate have-nots. The mad asylum (a wonder of imagination, detail and production design) is run by the tyrannical warlord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Burn) and his cult of deadly War Boys. For her unique resourcefulness and scavenging skills, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) is revered in this warped society. Like a celebrated Roman general, Immortan Joe sends Furiosa off into the desert on a mission. Furiosa has her own agenda, though, and a nearly non-stop two-hour chase begins. You would think that after nearly 50 years and thousands of centerpiece automobile chases (starting
(Review Source)
The Federalist Staff
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Deadline.com reports that Disney has begun the process of reviving the Indiana Jones franchise and it’s considering casting Chris Pratt to play the role Harrison Ford made famous in “Raiders Of The Lost Ark”—one of the few flawless movies ever made. If you’re not sure who Pratt is, you’ll soon see him in the “Jurassic Park” reboot and then in a remake of “The Magnificent Seven” (the original was a reimagining of Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai”) where he’ll costar with Denzel Washington, who’s coming off a remake of “The Equalizer.” Because why waste a good story. My impulse, whenever I hear one of my cinematic heroes is being “reimagined,” is to reimagine the producers as Nazis engulfed in excruciating face-melting biblical fire. My social media feeds was in visceral harmony with this position. Some things simply can’t be rebooted. But then I remembered that “Raiders of the Lost Ark” was not actually a sacred item passed to humankind on Mount Sinai and Steven Spielberg was not a god. River Phoenix did a fine job playing Indy—why couldn’t someone else do it? I also recalled that Indiana Jones was basically a reboot of 1930 serials that George Lucas loved as a child. And then I realized being annoyed by reboots was just perfunctory. I love reboots. The first, and most obvious, reason is that it doesn’t really matter if the reboot stinks. I’m not sure there was a more exhilarating moment in my preteen life than the day I first saw the trailer for “The Empire Strikes Back.” Not even “The Phantom Menace” could stain that memory. I recently watched the first three Indiana Jones movies with my kids and, for me, it was as if “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” never happened. When we finally got around to the fourth movie, they didn’t perceive much of a difference in quality or entertainment value. And maybe there isn’t much. Actually, there’s probably a strong argument to be made that “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” was a more entertaining film than the “Temple of Doom.” Anyway, for a generation of young people, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is “Star Wars” (or as close as they’re going to get to it in the days of multiple blockbusters), which means Chris Pratt is Harrison Ford. Second: reboots, remakes, sequels, and reimagined franchises are not only often technically superior to the originals, but they tend to bring a level of storytelling sophistication that outdoes them. It can be overdone, no doubt. Watching the impenetrable “Prometheus,” a quasi-prequel reboot that exists in the same mess of a universe as the Alien films, felt like auditing a class on quantum physics. But Daniel Craig’s James Bond saved the franchise from the too comedic or too formulaic or too infantile and replaced it with a hard-edge that contemporary audiences can enjoy. “Skyfall” (featuring a glimpse into the origin story, no less) does not make “Goldfinger” any less enjoyable to watch. Then again, always remember that losing sense of humor sometimes mean missing the point, entirely. I’m looking at you, “Robocop” and “Total Recall.” The best balance was probably offered by J.J. Abrams, whose recent Star Trek films restarted familiar storylines in fresh ways without losing the essence of the original. Abrams has promised that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will not only honor the characters of the original but avoid relying too heavily on CGI in favor of locations to create aesthetic continuity, as well. I’ve been waiting since 1984 to know what happens to these people. And Star Wars will also produce one-offs about Boba Fett and a young Han Solo…. so, please, reboot at will. And they are. The slate of forthcoming remakes and reboots is pretty amazing. Here are some just a few from a quick scan of the Internet: “The Fantastic Four” (the first trailer looks tedious) “Mad Max: Fury Road” “Blade Runner” sequel (rumored with Harrison Ford) “The Crow” “Point Break” “Highlander” “Naked Gun” “Ghostbusters” “Independence Day” “Westworld” Another “Terminator” film A “Goonies” remake Many of these will not work. A good story gives a franchise the malleability and possibilities to be interesting and worthwhile. “Terminator” seems like one such franchise, though it often fails, as does “Highlander” and “Westworld” (an HBO series coming soon) because the central premises offers so many promising roads to go down. On the other hand, “Ghostbusters,” which will be rebooted with all female leads, was idiotic. Funny, because of the pitch-perfect performances from Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, and the rest of the impressive cast. This matters. It’s the difference between “Caddyshack” and “Caddyshack II.” So it’s not a sexist, I hope, to point out that Melissa McCarthy is not Bill Murray. Because Matthew Perry is not Jack Klugman and he’s certainly not Walter Matthau. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and predict that the “Odd Couple” reboot (the new TV show based on the old TV Show that was based on the movie*) is likely to be nearly as catastrophic as remakes of the “The In-Laws,” “The Out-of-Towners” or “Arthur”—all superfluous because they were great solely because of the actors involved. It’s hopeless to reclaim a role invented by someone like Peter Falk or Alan Arkin, as Arkin could probably tell you when he tried to play Peter Sellers in a Pink Panther reboot in 1968. Unfortunately, no one had the decency to inform Steve Martin. Twice. On the other hand, Dirk Benedict isn’t exactly integral in propelling the “Battlestar Galactica” storyline. And the primary plot of that 1978 series, as it turned out, was ripe for development, and the reboot became one of the most intriguing television shows ever. Perhaps one day the same will be said about TV reboots like “12 Monkeys” or “Fargo,” which is already on its way  (and it’s coming back this year). It’s true that viewers are often turned off by reboots because we tend to romanticize and overrate the movies and actors of our youth. Every generation believes that their music and films and books are the most powerful and important ever. But I have little problem arguing that Tom Hardy is as talented an actor as Mel Gibson ever was. And hell yes, I want to rebooted Superman to square off against sullen Batman. Because Christopher Reeve was unconvincing and Tim Burton’s Batman was sort of silly. I want to know what happened to Rick Deckard. And I want to see where Indiana Jones goes next. Because it’s better than the alternative. *Which is a remake of the play. ]]>
(Review Source)
The Federalist Staff
The ‘Mad Max’ Update Emits A Primal Scream In a world gone mad, the mad are the sane ones. May 15, 2015 By Rebecca Cusey In “Mad Max: Fury Road,” it makes perfect sense that an army wages war with an electric guitarist suspended high above a battle rig. As the army screams, he bangs out their heartbeat in electric metal riffs. The movie is a heavy-metal world, a long expression of emotion and testosterone, a frenetic spin and jive of life and death among the ruins of civilization. The tension hits in the very opening scene. Mad Max (Tom Hardy) is hunted like an animal by a tribe of chalk-skinned warriors and haunted by the voices in his head. The two merge into an endless cry of torment. In a world wasted and controlled by power, his only instinct is for survival. His need to survive intersects with the plans of a battle-scarred woman named, perfectly, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron). She leads a flock of lovely ladies in a desperate quest across the barren landscape. They flee an impossible life for the hope of a future that glimmers in the distance like a desert mirage. Mad Max, along with his warrior captor to whom he is chained, crash into the ladies like the bass riff hitting the high notes with no time to miss a beat. They are pursued. Of course they are pursued. They are things, possessions, belongings, and their strong owner wants them back. A Need for Speed Like a good guitar shredder, the film never stops moving. They flee, they talk, they fight, they love, and they die at full speed, kicking up rooster tails of sand behind them. Men come at them, spinning in maniacal glee, dangling from arching poles, hoisting explosive spears, covered in spikes. The vehicles come at them, muscle cars souped up on tank tracks, motorcycles bristling with warriors, trucks built up like castles, semis armored like mighty ships. The weapons come at them, guns and swords, darts and spears, explosives and chains. If they stop, they die. The road behind them becomes littered with the carcasses of cars and men who could not keep the pace. Even when they pause, they don’t stop. The sense of pursuit, of speed, of the need to move hangs in the air like the dust that surrounds them. The look of the film, the style of it, becomes second nature. You feel yourself choking on the dust, fighting the heat, needing to move, to run. A Modern Epic It’s that primal. If all these words sound epic, that’s because it is. The beautiful, stylized cinematography, the gritty acting, and the relentless action work seamlessly to suck the audience into a world where there is no ambiguity, no nuance. There is only the desert with evil behind and faint hope in the distance. In a world gone mad, the mad are the sane ones. Director George Miller, also the creator, writer, director of 1979’s “Mad Max,” returns to the essence of the world he created. There are things in this movie, like the original, that do not bear inspection. Why do they never eat? In this dirty wasteland, how do the Vogue-model girls keep so white the wispy tatters of linen that try valiantly to cover their perfect bodies and so clean their smooth faces? And what is that chrome spray paint the warriors put on their teeth? None of it matters. In the hands of Miller, you realize it could be no other way. Life reduced to speed and battle, they journey on. This is the stuff of Homer in the key of Metallica. So the guitarist plays on. Rated R, the film has intense, non-stop violence that can be very gory. It also has brief, shocking, spooky images of ghost-like characters. There is no sexuality (they ain’t got time for that) or bad language. Rebecca Cusey is a movie critic based in Washington DC. She is a member of the Washington Area Film Critics Society and a voting Tomatomer Critic on Rotten Tomatoes. Follow her on Twitter @Rebecca_Cusey. Charlize Theron George Miller Mad Max Mad Max: Fury Road movie review Tom Hardy Copyright © 2017 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1463670073398-2'); }); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({mode:'thumbs-2r', container:'taboola-below-main-column-mix', placement:'below-main-column', target_type:'mix'}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({flush:true}); 0 Comments /* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */ var disqus_shortname = 'thefederalist23'; // required: replace example with your forum shortname /* * * DON'T EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */ (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + '.disqus.com/embed.js'; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. comments powered by Disqus ]]>
(Review Source)
The Weekly Substandard Podcast
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
<img src="http://cdn.weeklystandard.biz/cache/w640-962216a54800465ec23d7f8e98f3e0d8.jpg"/>On this week’s episode, the Substandard takes on Logan and the X-Men series. What does Sonny really think about parents who take their kids to R-rated movies? Plus JVL has a special surprise in store for Vic! All on this week's Substandard! This podcast can be downloaded here . Subscribe to the SUBSTANDARD on iTunes or on Google Play . Endnotes and digressions * We opened the show talking about how Harriet Tubman might be the original American badass. If she had been a profess
(Review Source)
The Weekly Standard Staff
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
<img src="http://cdn.weeklystandard.biz/cache/w640-e4532799a6591082f8e3247ecef0016a.jpg"/>Endnotes and digressions from the latest show: * Vic mentioned the Mark Russell appearance from The Simpsons . Amazingly enough, he even remembered the correct episode title—"Lisa Goes to Washington." I can't find video, but the synopsis is here. * Sonny's giant, spoiler-filled thoughts on Split are here and you should read them because spoilers should not impact your enjoyment of a film. * I generally follow the Robot Chicken view of M. Night Shyamalan twists. * We mention Vi
(Review Source)
John Hanlon
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
The names in bold were the winners of this year’s Academy Awards. Best motion picture of the year “The Big Short” “Bridge of Spies” “Brooklyn” “Mad Max: Fury Road” “The Martian” “The... <img src="http://www.johnhanlonreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Oscars-Poster-2016-270x400.jpg" type="image/jpeg"/>
(Review Source)
John Hanlon
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
The end of 2016 is quickly approaching. With that in mind, patient I went back and created a list of all of the films that I reviewed this year and the different ratings I gave them. Of course, story this isn’t a complete list of all of the films I saw this year.... <img src="http://www.johnhanlonreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Star-Wars-The-Force-Awakens-Photo-270x350.jpg" type="image/jpeg"/>
(Review Source)
John Hanlon
Mad Max: Fury Road is an unapologetic action film and it feels like all of the filmmakers relished in that fact. Instead of being loud and obnoxious though, order the high-octane action scenes that dominant this film are beautifully crafted— inviting audiences to both enjoy... <img src="http://www.johnhanlonreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Password-5.19.2015-270x344.jpg" type="image/jpeg"/>
(Review Source)
John Hanlon
Mad Max: Fury Road is an unapologetic action film and it feels like all of the filmmakers relished in that fact. Instead of being loud and obnoxious though, information pills the high-octane action scenes that dominant this film are beautifully... <img src="http://www.johnhanlonreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Mad-Max-Fury-Road-Poster-105x88.jpg" type="image/jpeg"/>
(Review Source)
Crosswalk
Movies Every year, Crosswalk endeavors to provide our readers with a comprehensive guide to the latest films. Though we strive to engage pop culture from a Christian mindset, we also hope to encourage original art, Biblical craftsmanship, and maybe even a few laughs along the way. The following are the most read movie reviews of 2015.   10. Spielberg Touch Makes Jurassic World a Worthy Successor No one expected a return visit to Jurassic Park, but the new prehistoric adventure was well-worth the price of a ticket. With fresh faces, fantastic design, and an oddly self-aware story, Jurassic World showed us that Hollywood can still do sequels right. Key Quote: “This year's Mad Max: Fury Road and Jurassic World show how well done sequels can be. Rather than giving us Hollywood at its worst, these films have energized a franchise-heavy summer. While one wouldn't wish for more remakes and reboots, these films are making the case that storylines that seem dated, played out and way past their prime can be refreshed in sensational ways.”   9. Still Plenty of Magic Left in Cinderella's Glass Slipper Disney kicked off a new era of live-action films last year with the classic tale of a girl and a glass slipper. Though the reimagined story lacked the charm of the original, it still featured a number of outstanding performances from Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, and Helena Bonham Carter. A small step into a promising future.SEE ALSO: Jesus, Pixar, & Disney: Crosswalk’s Top 10 Movie Features of 2015 googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); Key Quote: “While the storyline is familiar, there’s no need for contempt because there's still plenty of magic left in that trademark glass slipper, including inspired direction from a strong stage presence like Kenneth Branagh (Thor), an underlying message about the importance of kindness, and striking visuals where every detail is lovingly and elaborately crafted.”   8. The Drop Box Will Touch Your Heart, Bring You to Tears What else is there to say about The Drop Box that hasn’t already been said? The film is a painful, yet beautiful reminder of God’s relentless love for mankind. With its steadfast message of love, hope, and family, The Drop Box will steal your heart. Key Quote: “Christians everywhere will fall in love with this film, because it reminds us of God’s unrelenting love, and of the task he's set before us. God came for the orphaned and forgotten, filling them with a love so great it's still talked about to this day.”   7. Inside Out a Literal Train Ride of Emotions in the Best Way Possible With Inside Out, Pixar turned its gaze inward to examine the subtle workings of the human mind in their own, unique fashion. There was a lot to love about this new film, including but not limited to the priceless voice work of Amy Poehler as Joy. Just avoid mentioning Bing Bong unless you feel like bursting into tears!SEE ALSO: Marriage, Divorce & Ruining Children: Crosswalk's Top 10 Family Articles of 2015 Key Quote: “To an adult, Inside Outis almost painfully funny. All those emotions are oh-so-familiar and their reactions are spot on. That's not an accident; director Pete Docter (Up) did his research to make the science as accurate as possible because, as he told NPR's Terry Gross, ‘You just don't want to make a film that scientists go to and roll their eyes at.’”   6. Minions a Gru-Some Addition to Despicable Me Series You would think after two successful films, the lovable yellow Minions would be able to carry their own movie. Alas, this was not the case. This prequel to the Despicable Me franchise left much to be desired among viewers, and no amount of bananas could save it. Key Quote: “Lackluster sequels aren't unusual—they're the rule, not the exception—but because Minionsis aimed at a younger audience, the dissatisfaction in this case feels all the more despicable.”   5. American Sniper an Important, Harrowing Account of Modern Warfare's Toll The late-blooming American Sniper never truly received the accolades it deserved. Clint Eastwood’s adaption of the true-life story of Chris Kyle served as a powerful treatise to the horrors of war. With a healthy mix of bravery and faith, American Sniper will resonate with audiences everywhere. Though technically a 2014 release, this review was, nonetheless, one of our most-read in 2015.SEE ALSO: False Teaching, Hell & Gay Marriage: Crosswalk's Top 10 Trending Articles of 2015 Key Quote: “American Sniper takes a sympathetic view of the military without being blindly pro-war. The fact that it's not overtly anti-war will no doubt result in some knee-jerk cries of jingoism (especially given Eastwood's outspoken conservatism), but in truth what we have here is a film that’s respectful, honest, and complicated.”   4. 90 Minutes in Heaven Video Movie Review Crosswalk’s Shawn McEvoy and Steve McGarvey take on Don Piper’s miraculous story of survival in this video review of 90 Minutes in Heaven. Did this faith-based movie spend too much time in limbo? Click below to find out! CrosswalkMovies.com: from crosswalkmovies on GodTube.   3. CrosswalkMovies.com: Our Top 10 Movies of 2014, Video Version Near the end of every January, we release our take on the previous year's top movies, and it's always one of our most popular 'reviews' of the year. Hoping for another walk Into the Woods? Perhaps another foray into the world of Legos? Just click play on the video below! (Look for our 2015 list coming out January 29!). CrosswalkMovies.com: Top 10 Movies of 2014 from crosswalkmovies on GodTube.   2. Kendrick Brothers Starting to Win the Battle with War Room War Room proved to be one of 2015’s most popular films, dominating the box office and defying the expectations of critics. The film served as an encouraging reminder to Christian viewers on the power and importance of prayer. We can only hope more films like it are on the horizon.       Key Quote: “War Room’smessage is one that Christians embrace: that prayer is the key to winning battles in life that we can’t win on our own—or, as Miss Clara puts it early in the film, ‘Victories don’t come by accident.’”   1. In Defense of Christian Cinema: A Review of Do You Believe? Crosswalk’s number #1 review of 2015 turned out to be much more than just a review. Author Christian Hamaker used the new film as an opportunity to consider all Christian films and their place in the world of pop culture. While it posed some difficult questions, it also encourage readers to engage the world with powerful, Christ-centered stories.        Key Quote:“Do You Believe? is a multicharacter study about lives that ultimately intersect. Some of them are believers, some are skeptics, some are grieving and some are being tested. They're all dealing, in one way or another, with the cross of Christ and the message it conveys.” What about you? What were your favorite movies of 2015? googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); *Published 1/13/2015 ]]>
(Review Source)
Crosswalk
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Movies Shawn and Steve from CrosswalkMovies.com and ChristianMovieReviews.com explain why each of these 10 fabulous movies from 2015 has something to offer the Christian audience. Let us know your favorite, and what you think should have made the cut!]]>
(Review Source)
The Federalist Staff
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
This being Hollywood awards season, one thing we can count on is one thing we have become inured to: the celebrity activist display. From cause-ribbon-wearing to red-carpet pontificating, it is not enough for us to fawn over luminaries—we also have to get preached at by our beloved betters. Hosts delivering political barbs and presenters who use their camera time to tout pet causes pepper awards ceremonies. Producers always grant these grandstanders their allotment, then moments later chase the winners off-stage during a truncated acceptance speech. The recent Golden Globes delivered an unintentionally hilarious counterpoint to the proselytizing. During a segment to announce the Best Picture nominee, Jennifer Lawrence walked out to present with her newest best friend, (alleged) joke larcenist Amy Schumer. Schumer has quickly risen to the entertainment A-list, and has parlayed that into joining the Societal Harridan List. Along with her relative in DC, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Amy has become a voice of opposition to guns in this country. Cue the irony. After some scripted spontaneous banter, Lawrence and Schumer introduced J-Law’s nominated film, “Joy.” Next, a minute-long video montage played, culminating with the scene where Lawrence brandishes a firearm, delivers some dialogue, then fires the weapon—nearly into the camera lens. Amazing to note: This jarring imagery during a tranquil awards celebration was shown to the audience without a trigger warning! To those who endured Amy’s recent anti-gun lectures, her introducing a clip of her new best buddy shooting off a firearm is prime for ridicule. But this hypocrisy probably never occurred to Schumer. Hollywood serves as a paradox of weapons morality. Its participants are free to condemn and lecture us on the depravity of individuals and organizations affiliated with guns, with a glaring exemption granted to themselves and their industry. The Lesser of Two Demagogues The Acela Set is no less occupied with rewarding themselves. One thing about the current Democratic Party election season: It clearly brings out the anti-constitutionalists. Sure, they couch their document-lacerating platforms with palatable euphemisms, such as “common-sense regulations” or “reasonable safety laws.” These fluffy terms do little to veil the reality that they intend to encroach directly upon the rights our supreme law has commanded shall not be infringed. One thing about the current Democratic Party election season: It clearly brings out the anti-constitutionalists. Hillary Clinton’s platform includes stricter gun regulations. She uses this stance as a cudgel against Bernie Sanders, who once backed a law protecting gun manufacturers from wrongful-death lawsuits. Not be outflanked on the left wing, Sanders now says that law needs to be repealed, paving the way for people to sue gun makers out of existence. In their quest to make us a less-armed populace, these proponents share a common enemy: The National Rifle Association. It is a testament to the effectiveness and accuracy of that organization that not a single firearm outrage can be uttered without an automatic connection to the group. School shootings, highway snipers, and homegrown terrorist attacks consistently are laid at the feet of the NRA. (Some may say, “What about Chicago’s high gun-death rates?” but note I said firearm outrage. The gun-snatchers always bypass that city’s victims.) Little evidence supports these accusations. The NRA supports background checks, educated handling, firearm safety, comprehensive training, and legal usage. Accusations against it tend to ring hollow since the organization does not promote activities that lead to “mass shootings.” Every gun tragedy involves breaking numerous laws and contradicting the NRA’s recommended use—such as funneling rifles to Mexican cartel members, for just one random example. As gun opponents place the NRA in their cross-hairs (not apologizing for that macro-aggression) they expose the impotency of their outrage. Yet another industry guilty of the same charges manages to elude being called complicit. All The Blame, None of the Proof Indulge me in a small exercise. Take a look at the following phrases that you undoubtedly have either heard before, or a variation thereof: The NRA romanticizes a pro-gun agenda The NRA creates a culture of violence The NRA profits from glorifying guns These have become the tropes politicians and activist groups like Moms Demand, Everytown, et al. employ for demonization. These accusations are used interchangeably, based on the particular details of a gun event. Did someone use a stolen gun, taking the background checks argument off the table? Then blame the NRA for fostering a violent atmosphere. Homegrown terrorists shoot up San Bernardino? They wouldn’t be armed if NRA didn’t ensure it’s “easy” to buy guns. Its entire product defines culture, and we all have instant recollection of a movie or TV show with heavy firearm visuals. But here is a stark reality. The proof behind these accusations is always ethereal. Nothing tangible is ever offered to bolster the charges. The mere suggestion is enough, because the accusation has been bandied so frequently. Now for the interactive portion of this article. Go back and look at those three comments, but apply a simple alteration. Replace “The NRA” with one word: Hollywood. Not only do all of the phrases become more accurate, but you are greeted with recall imagery. Does Hollywood create a culture of violence? Its entire product defines culture, and we all have instant recollection of a movie or TV show with heavy firearm visuals. Hollywood romanticizes a pro-gun agenda? The studios sure have not curtailed titles with plotlines wrapped around heroic firearm use. Does Hollywood profit from glorifying guns? Not only is this an obvious “Yes,” there is no shortage of guns on the very posters used to sell their films. Despite this, no one hurls vitriolic charges at Hollywood on par with the regular NRA taunts. The profit accusation is especially stark in the juxtaposition. The NRA is not in business; it derives funds from membership fees, paid willingly by people who want the organization to continue its practices. Hollywood Makes Billions by Glorifying Guns Hollywood studios are instead profit-driven, and they create a cultural product of gun-steeped content for the direct purpose of generating revenues. The industry touts guns, lovingly displays firearms, and glorifies the violence the weaponry can deliver. All of this for the singular purpose of turning a profit. Each of us can instantly conjure specific visuals supporting this reality. The industry touts guns, lovingly displays firearms, and glorifies the violence the weaponry can deliver. Despite the voluminous catalogue of blatant evidence that studios are culpable of the very charges foisted by the rifle-nabbers, they rarely endure the insults and blame. This goes beyond mere hypocrisy. It’s a blind spot, as if all gun-control groups and politicians have suffered the same stroke. Activists wishing to blunt a gun culture would do better than to attack a constitutional protection lobby and instead try to curtail the industry that relies on guns for corporate earnings. It takes very little to prove this out. Let us look at just one prime example. At the same time political candidates and anti-Second Amerndment groups were blaming the NRA for glorifying guns, Universal Studios was running commercials for “Ride Along 2” during the NFL playoffs. In those spots, Kevin Hart is shot on-screen, entirely for laughs. Well, not “entirely”; it was a commercial, after all, to lure people into theaters. So generating revenue was also in play, even though we have been told profiting from gunplay is evil. Quixotically, nobody anticipates a vicious backlash of outrage hurled towards the studios for the venality of their greed, fueled by cultivating violence and promoting guns. Loud Words, Contradictory Actions “The NRA is a disaster area,” declared film mogul Harvey Weinstein to Howard Stern two years ago, “And they’re going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.” Harvey was referring to a supposedly anti-gun film he said was set to star in with Meryl Streep, tentatively titled “The Senator’s Wife.” During this rant, Stern asked if Weinstein owned a gun. “I don’t think we need guns in this country. And I hate it,” he replied. This may seem to display a lack of hypocrisy, but only if you don’t apply the fact that Weinstein employs armed guards for personal security. During this same period, Harvey doubled down on his firearms opinions during a visit with fellow gun opponent Pierce Morgan. I have to choose movies that aren’t violent or as violent as they used to be. I know for me personally, you know, I can’t continue to do that. The change starts here. It has already. For me, I can’t do it. I can’t make one movie and say this is what I want for my kids and then just go out and be a hypocrite. Well, it turns out Weinstein can be a hypocrite, like most of Hollywood’s loudest Second Amendment opponents. There is no shortage of celebrities who have touted gun control after starring in movies brandishing guns, but a growing number are starring in such movies after their rants. Beyond a double standard, this displays abject self-awareness. Those who love to look at themselves in a mirror are horrible at introspection, and about gun control they exhibit zero self-control. This year, Liam Neeson leapt at the chance to declare his position that the Second Amendment should be repealed. One niggling detail lost on the star: to express these views he was using the forum of the press junket for his career-rejuvenating gun-porn franchise entry “Taken 3.” In fact, he seems completely incapable of starring in a film lately without wielding a weapon—not only on-screen, but also on the poster. Sean Penn made a bold announcement last January that, at the behest of his beau Charlize Theron, he would be melting down his gun collection to make a statue to auction for charity. He proudly described the act: “How liberating of b******t and ugliness it would be not only to get rid of the guns I have…but also to destroy them.” Neeson seems completely incapable of starring in a film lately without wielding a weapon. This is just fine, an individual ridding himself of “cowardly killing machines,” as he described them. But it became more than confusing when he followed that by starring in a film cowardly entitled “The Gunman.” Doubly confusing: after this gesture, his disarming muse Theron appeared with cowardly killing-weapons in the movies “A Million Ways To Die In The West” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.” As for Weinstein’s sweeping takedown of the NRA and his pledge to stop his studio from releasing further violent, gun-toting titles—yeah, both became completely impotent announcements. “The Senator’s Wife” has not progressed beyond his bombastic talk show pitches. Meanwhile, his promise of a pacifist release schedule has also become simple balloon juice. This past Christmas, Weinstein Co. gave us Quentin Tarantino’s violent fantasy “The Hateful 8,” followed by the January 29 release “Jane Got A Gun.” Hypocrites, Schmypocrites All of this could be dismissed simply as hypocrisy. However, in yet one more area Hollywood is guilty of the charges they assign. Weinstein was a massive campaign bundler for President Obama’s reelection bid, and numerous celebrities have backed Hillary’s bid this year, as well as more slowly coming out in favor of Sanders. They tell pols it is evil that a lobby tells pols what to do. Stars and studios frequently bend the ear of DC politicians, and one of the issues they wail about is the lobbying power of The NRA. While telling pols it is evil that a lobby tells pols what to do, these entertainers are too oblivious to the irony to even entertain the contradiction. While the NRA is routinely excoriated as being a hardcore gun lobby in Washington, how is the Hollywood set excused for worse? Considering celebrities have an absolute love affair with Obama/Hillary/Sanders, how do they reconcile their staunch anti-gun stance while becoming recidivists who can’t stop themselves from profiting off gun violence? Easy answer: they don’t. The NRA is evil. Just take the word of the gun-loving Hollywood industry. ]]>
(Review Source)
The Federalist Staff
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Once again, with the possible exception of “The Martian,” those wacky Academy members have nominated films nearly no one has seen. Sure, if you live in Los Angeles, you may have schlepped out to see “Room,” but even there it’s not likely. Silly you, you’ve been too busy doing things like “working” and “watching the kids” and “seeing ‘Deadpool’” to take in “The Big Short.” That’s a problem, because it will come up this weekend. What with everyone desperate to not talk about Donald Trump, the Oscars will be the only safe topic of conversation at cocktail parties for the foreseeable future. Here’s a cheat sheet to help you find some talking points. Talk about Feminism This is a tad tricky because you must simultaneously celebrate the strong female performances this year while lamenting the lack of strong female roles. Women headlined “Room,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and “Brooklyn,” and played huge roles in “Spotlight” and “The Martian.” Out of eight nominated Best Picture movies, women had great roles in five. But that’s not a win. Nope. No way. You must tsk tsk about the lack of female roles in Hollywood. Correct talking point: “Jessica Chastain was breathtaking as the commander of the mission in ‘The Martian.’ Too bad there are no roles in Hollywood that show women can be leaders!” Luckily, this year’s movies are just chock-full of feminism. A lot of people saw “Mad Max: Fury Road” for the awesome effects, the pounding score, the pulse-racing action. But joke’s on you, goobers, because the only acceptable reason to see this movie is for the feminism. It’s a movie so feminist a man asks a woman for directions. That would be enough, of course, but that’s not all. The happy ending is that nobody gets to have sex, ever. No nookie. No whoopee. As nature intended, wise women live by themselves repeating wise things about seeds and stuff they heard from their mothers. Dirty, nasty men bounce around on poles and hit each other with things. Everyone is happy, and there will be no babies. Correct talking point: “So glad this year’s movies taught us there are more important things in life than getting it on. It’s about time we moved away from that outdated way of thinking!” Joke’s on you, goobers, because the only acceptable reason to see this movie is for the feminism. Finally, one last note on feminism. You may be interested in seeing the dresses the stars wear, but please be aware. We must watch the red carpets to catch the brilliant nuggets of wisdom the stunning starlets shout out to the significantly less-stunning press as they glide by in the crowd, glancing past to see if anyone important is nearby. These nuggets of wisdom are priceless and the point of the entire night. Even though the stars pick out dresses months ahead of the awards, have several fittings, starve themselves for weeks, and have a small army to perfect their hair, makeup, nails, and eyebrows, it is rude for the significantly less-stunning press to ask about their dresses. They must be asked about world peace or ISIS or something. They are more than just perfect bodies in dresses and ungodly amounts of jewelry, you know. Correct talking point: “Wow. Jennifer Laurence’s mind really looked amazing on the red carpet tonight. She must have been practicing calculus!” Embrace Populism This year, we are angry. No one is sure at what, exactly, but we know we are angry and we are about ready to grab pitchforks and storm the Bastille (if we knew what the Bastille was, which we don’t because education is elitist). Translate that anger into the Oscars. When someone asks who you think will win, respond that a cabal of old establishment Hollywood should not get to dictate what is the best movie. Then pick your favorite movie of the year and fight for it past all reason. Something like this: Correct Talking Point: “‘Jurassic World’ was far, far better than ‘The Revenant!’ The performance Indominous Rex gave was amazing! It changed my life! Down with the establishment!” Another Correct Talking Point: “‘Furious 7’ is the only movie that is even close to good enough to win. Amazing movie. Flawless. I laughed, I cried. You have to see the deeper meaning. Jumping a supercar between high rises in Dubai not once, but twice, is a metaphor for our Middle East foreign policy. Can’t you see it? Down with the establishment!” Plus, if you’re a “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” geek—and really, who isn’t these days?—it’s a chance to awe your listener with your encyclopedic knowledge of the Star Wars universe. Star Wars Talking Point: “…..and that is why the Best Supporting Actor Oscar should go to the guy who played the junkyard dealer who traded scraps for rations. It’s so obvious. It’s the only choice. Down with the establishment!” Heck, even pick movies that you loved from last year or a few years back. When someone counters that it is ineligible for the 2016 Oscars, counter with “How do you know ‘Spotlight’ is eligible? I heard it was made in Canada. It’s probably a Canadian movie. I could bring a lawsuit right now, challenging its eligibility! Ha!” Highlight Victims There’s been a lot of chatter this year about how, despite many fine performances by actors with pigmented skin, neither a single actor with pigmented skin nor a movie featuring actors with pigmented skin was picked for major categories. For instance, Leonardo DiCaprio is about to get an Oscar for staggering around in the snow and breathing heavy for two hours, but Idris Elba is not nominated for “Beasts of No Nation.” Seems wrong. Pigmented Americans, however, are not the only group tragically underrepresented by Hollywood. There is a large, oppressed, overlooked crowd of Americans who are never, ever given any respect. I’m talking, of course, about Unattractive Americans. This year, the SPWCJ (Society of People Without Chiseled Jawlines) is joining forces with AAWTRT (Association of Americans Whose Thighs Rub Together) to highlight the plight of Unattractive Americans. They fight for the chance to be featured on the big screen in all their hairy-backed, overbite-ridden, honky-nosed, horrifying glory. They even have their own hashtag: #OscarsSoUnrealisticallyAttractive Correct Talking Point: “I mean, why does the system favor beautiful people? I just want to have my daughter see people onscreen who represent her.” Have Your Excuse Ready Maybe you were smart and realized that while “Room” may be a transcendent story of the triumph of the human spirit, a story about holding a woman as a captive sex slave for years wasn’t likely to get you some lovin’ on date night and, because despite “Mad Max” this is still important to you, you took your wife to a nice meal and then to “Mission Impossible.” This is not something you want to admit at the cocktail party. Correct Talking Point: “We stopped to help an Unattractive American—we believe strongly in equality for them—and we were just too late to the ‘Room’ showing. It was sold out, sadly.” Whip Out Tom Hanks If, despite all these talking points, you still find yourself cornered by someone insisting on knowing what you thought of “Carol,” there’s always Tom Hanks. Everybody loves Tom Hanks. His movie “Bridge of Spies,” which you did not see, is nominated for Best Picture. But it does not matter if you did not see it, because Tom Hanks is a national treasure and we don’t have to actually see the movie to know that. He is so tremendously decent, so relentlessly kind, so representative of all that we imagine is best about ourselves, that he can head off any awkward conversation. No-Fail Talking Point: “Hey, how about that Tom Hanks? He’s really great, right? Life is like a bowl of chocolates, right? Wilson!” ]]>
(Review Source)
The Federalist Staff
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Lately we’ve become somewhat obsessed with movies, TV shows, books, and video games that envision a post-apocalyptic world. This October, “The Walking Dead” will premier its seventh season on AMC, while its spin-off “Fear the Walking Dead” debuts its second season in April. Although zombie movies have been around for decades, it’s only been in the past 15 years or so that the post-apocalyptic tale has become an important cultural touchstone in America, particularly in imagining what life would look like in the aftermath. What does this fixation on the idea of survival say about our society? And more importantly, what does it say about ourselves and how we interact with our own mortality? The Apocalypse Craze Has Lasted More than a Decade The recent zombie-pocalypse craze began in 2002 with Danny Boyle’s acclaimed “28 Days Later,” a story about a man who wakes up in a London hospital only to find out that a virus has wiped out most of England and perhaps the world. Those infected are like crazed zombies. “World War Z,” a personal favorite, is an adaptation of a novel in which the United Nations tries to find a cure for a zombie virus after all major world cities have fallen to the lightning-fast “zekes.” Video games like “The Last of Us” allow you to enter into these kinds of worlds and try to survive. In all of these stories, something disrupts regular life for everyone on Earth. Zombies aside, countless post-apocalyptic tales have utterly captured our imaginations in recent years. In films, we’ve had major productions like “I Am Legend,” “Children of Men,” the Planet of the Apes series, and last year’s Oscar-nominated “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Young adult fiction features an endless supply of these kind of stories, from the Hunger Games series to “Maze Runner” and “Divergent.” In literature, there was Cormack McCarthy’s harrowing novel “The Road,” which was adapted for film in 2009, and Emily St. John Mandel’s 2014 novel “Station 11,” which features a virus that wipes out much of the world and breaks down society. In all of these stories, something disrupts regular life for everyone on Earth. People are no longer going to their jobs, playing sports, or watching TV. Perhaps most importantly, no one is spending time on computers and smartphones. The Meaning Inside Fighting for Your Life Many of these narratives contrast a main character’s otherwise struggle-free pedestrian Western life with the disaster that is soon to strike. They are thrown suddenly into a chaotic world of roving bands of criminals, zombies, or government agents. They depict man going back to a near state of nature. He must recreate organized society, even if that society is made up of only the few people with whom he has thrown in his lot. They have to start over wherever they are. Water is scarce and must be fought for and protected. The survivors make their own clothes and grow and hunt for their own food. Life is hard but in some ways straightforward. Existence is so easy, especially in the West, that it disconnects us from our humanity in some ways. Here we get down to the kernel of why we are so drawn to these stories. They show people having to fight for their very life. They aren’t checking Twitter or posting a selfie on Instagram. They aren’t picking out their favorite variety of cruciferous leafy greens at Whole Foods. They’re just trying to make it one more day. We, as a society, are utterly out of touch with what it would mean to live every day with only one goal: survive. We work hard, sure, but it’s not the same. Everything is easy. The water just comes out of the pipe. The food is sitting at the grocery store for us to pick up. What’s more, much of our existence is made up of leisure time. So we wonder what it was like when people used to have to work from morning to night just to keep their small household going. What if, like in “The Walking Dead,” my social network shrunk to just the people within a few miles of myself? What would it look like if everything in my life suddenly changed? Somewhere deep down, perhaps we are aware of the superficiality of our day-to-day life, so we crave having to struggle for our survival. It puts us in touch with our own mortality, not by provoking fear and insecurity, but by awakening a desire to touch our human frailty and really feel it. Existence is so easy, especially in the West, that it disconnects us from our humanity in some ways. The numbness of modern existence becomes a burden. On some instinctual level, we want to fight for our life. In Distress, We Drastically Simplify to What Matters These days, we are overwhelmed with media and information and leisure. Surely some part of us wants to go back to basics, without cell phones and social media, gossip and politics. In most of these post-apocalyptic books and movies, technology has broken down completely. The stories appeal to us because they show people returning to the fundamentals of existence, struggling to meet their physical needs and maintain real human relationships—offline. The stories appeal to us because they show people returning to the fundamentals of existence. This phenomenon manifests itself, increasingly, in the survival industry and the more than 3 million real-life “preppers” in America who stockpile food and water, and sometimes guns and ammo. Some even take survivalism courses on how to hunt for food, do basic first aid or get clean drinking water. They aren’t restricted to the militia crowd, and they aren’t wackos out in the woods. They include professional upper-middle-class men and women who want to be ready if disaster strikes. It wouldn’t be fair to say these people are hoping for such a calamity, but some part of them yearns for things to be hard yet simple again. There is a certain excitement in people’s voices when they talk about a possible EMP attack, or when Ebola first appeared in the United States. It’s not sick morbidity or ungratefulness for this prosperous Western life. Nor is it golden-age syndrome. It’s just a desire to put one’s finger on the pulse of life. To know and acknowledge our mortality in a society that constantly tries to shield us from it. So we watch “The Martian” or “Revolution,” or play “The Last of Us.” We stockpile water and ravioli (high in protein and vitamin C to fight scurvy). And we imagine what it would be like to fight to stay alive. ]]>
(Review Source)
Crosswalk
Movies DVD Release Date: September 1, 2015Theatrical Release Date: May 15, 2015Rating: R (intense sequences of violence throughout, disturbing images, and some strong language)Genre: ActionRun Time: 120 minDirector: George MillerCast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoe Kravitz, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton While most sequels offer more of the same, the original Mad Max trilogy could be described in terms of technology upgrades. From concept to execution, 1979's Mad Max was Version 1.0, 1981's The Road Warrior was 2.0, and 1985's Beyond Thunderdome was 3.0. Each new installment made discernable leaps in scale and scope; the first's microbudget couldn't fully express director George Miller's vision, the second finally matched it, and then the third actually expanded it. Now, thirty years later, Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t simply Version 4.0; it's exponential versions way beyond that. If the first three were gonzo manifestations of a barren post-apocalyptic landscape, this belated fourth entry is a flat-out insane hellscape – but brilliantly and masterfully so. Marvel has been the modern standard-bearer of what will "blow our minds," but this just proves how low that bar has been set. Furthermore, Fury Road elevates itself with a trait few blockbusters even broach anymore: emotional weight. And it does so with a performance that has the power to join the ranks of all-time action greats. Mad Max: Fury Road works as a stand-alone piece, but for those unfamiliar with the previous films, here's the gist: It's Earth, in an undefined near-future, after a global reckoning that has laid waste to the environment. The planet is a desert, with small pockets of civilization. These pockets are built upon and operated by the juiced-up spare parts of the past, and each is ruled by tyrannical overlords. It's a world in which fuel is scare but violence is not. As people barely survive in these isolated dystopias, Max Rockatansky – a.k.a. Mad Max (Tom Hardy, The Dark Knight Rises, taking over for Mel Gibson) – remains a nomadic drifter, and is taken captive in the Citadel, a fortress controlled by the masked oppressor Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne, best known from the original Mad Max as the notorious Toecutter). When Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron, Prometheus), a warrior leader of the Citadel, betrays Immortan Joe by leading an escape of young women who serve as Joe's baby-making sex slaves, Max goes from exploiting the women for his own escape to aiding them in their cause.SEE ALSO: Jupiter Ascending Lacks Gravity but Owns Spectacle googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); This sets up the film's second extended action set piece, the first being an opening road chase that leads to Max's initial capture. More spectacular car chases follow, and while these sequences have been a staple of the series it's safe to say that, in pure volume, Fury Road (and its 100 million dollar budget) offers more of them than previous entries, and on a much grander scale. Indeed, to call them "car chases" greatly undersells what they are: elaborately imagined and choreographed extravaganzas of overblown muscle cars, tanks, and colossal mechanical beasts that ultimately defy description. Heightening the action even more is how Immortan's army of ghoulish villains swing and catapult themselves to and fro between these various machines, all while wielding weapons, chainsaws, and gunfire. It’s artfully-controlled chaos – hyper-kinetic yet clearly depicted – and all staged at a level of violent ballet not seen since the Matrix trilogy, involving even more live-action components (and margin for error) than those sci-fi game-changers. This isn't just muscle car action; it’s truly a road war. Yes, CGI does enhance these sequences at times (most notably with epic sandstorm hurricanes) but, on the whole, what you see is not animated by computers. It's real people doing real stunts, flying through the air on real motorbikes, and colliding in real vehicles. In an age of increasing reliance on digital effects, environments, and even digitized action replacing stunt work, Fury Road's practical approach is intensely visceral. More spectacular still is that returning director Miller is now in his 70s, putting much younger “cutting edge” blockbuster directors to embarrassing shame. Sure, Miller offers up destruction overkill, but his is not mindless action; it's visionary. Making the spectacle resonate beyond the eye-popping surface is a level of character and thematic depth rare to action movies. Big budget tentpoles generally keep their ideas and backstories about as formulaic as their plots, and while Fury Road doesn't necessarily boast unique versions of those elements they are portrayed with much more thought, even contemplation, and felt much more deeply.SEE ALSO: The Equalizer: Not Enough Good to Equalize the Brutality, Language Thematically, Miller is telling a Feminist Action Fable, but not one that preaches political ideologies from a screenplay's soapbox. Fury Road serves as an examination of what happens when humanity loses its femininity, and is reduced to barbaric carnal savagery. We see this not only via the sex slaves, but also in the backstories of Max and Furiosa. Max says early on, "As the world fell, each of us in our own way was broken," and we feel the tragedy of that in these performances. Max, Furiosa, and these women may be seeking redemption for themselves, but by extension they seek it also for the feminine half of humanity itself. Hardy and Theron take their roles as seriously as they would for any Oscar-season awards contender. Theron in particular (along with her controlled physical prowess) gives a performance of considerable emotional depth, to the point that Max is nearly reduced to a supporting character in his own movie (but all to the movie’s benefit).  Theron's Furiosa has moments of heroism – laced with subtexts of anger, grief, and loss – that elicit chills. The Aliens and Terminator sagas gave us, respectively, Ripley and Sarah Connor, the top female action heroes of movie history. Furiosa deserves to join their ranks. In an era when every blockbuster seems to be market-tested within an inch of its creative life (and littered with product placements, too), or must meet the obligations of a "cinematic universe," it's exhilarating to see big budget cinema be as bold as Mad Max: Fury Road, solely guided by the vision of a great filmmaker. Sure, it's a riskier business model (see Jupiter Ascending for how it can fail), but when it works, the results are what we always hope for when we go to the movies. CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers):SEE ALSO: Pattinson Surprises in Post-Apocalyptic Arthouse Film The Rover googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); Drugs/Alcohol: None. Language/Profanity: One F-word, and a couple instances of coarse language and sexual references but, on the whole, almost no profanity. Sexual Content/Nudity: Partial but no full female nudity in a few scenes, including buttocks, but with breasts and private areas partially covered and the rest of the body exposed. Some of the characters are sex slaves; we don’t see this activity in any way, but the topic is a part of the narrative. Violence/Other: Various forms of physical violence throughout. A lot of gun play, shootings, etc. Some arrows are shot into people, into their torsos, hands, legs, and heads. Scenes of torture (or suggesting torture) occur, although not too graphic. A lot of related violence during the intense car chase scenes (violent collisions, people fighting atop the machines, people being run over), but it’s rarely too graphic or grotesque, and even when so it’s brief. Some beatings, stabbings, and electrocution. Moments when blood and tissue damage is briefly seen. While much of the depiction could be described as disturbing, it’s rarely gory. A couple of instances of eating live reptiles and bugs. There are ghoulish/scary characters. Also, many scenes have a nightmarish filmmaking style that could feel disturbing. Publication date: May 14, 2015 ]]>
(Review Source)
Crosswalk
(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Movies So, the Academy didn't nominate our runaway Number One movie for Best Picture. Nor our Nos. 4, 5, 7 or 10 for that matter. That's okay. A list compiled by a panel of eight believers should look a little different. Speaking of different, 2015 for us stood in contrast to the past few years in one rather notable way. There were just not as many secular films with faith themes to really enthrall us, at least not in the way that Calvary (2014), Philomena (2013), Les Miz (2012), The Tree of Life (2011), Prisoners (2013), Of Gods and Men (2011) and Selma (2014) did, and it showed when we each had to hammer something into the category of "Best Film with a Faith Theme" for our personal picks below. But the other side of that coin is the fact that CrosswalkMovies.com reviewed 17 'Christian' faith-based films in 2015, more than ever before. And we were very pleased to give more than half of these movies a positive review. Progress, y'all! So what else defined 2015 at the multiplex?SEE ALSO: CrosswalkMovies' Top 10 Films of 2014 googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); High-quality action movies, for one. Consider how Jurassic World, the second-highest-grossing movie of the year and a real fan-favorite, couldn't even roar its way into our nominees for "Best Action Flick." If you were after thrills and chases with pretty decent stories in 2015, you had your pick: Mad Max: Fury Road, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Avengers: Age of Ultron, Everest, Ant-Man, Furious 7, The Transporter Refueled, the aforementioned dinosaur movie... even a little flick called Star Wars, all received positive reviews at CrosswalkMovies.com. And speaking of Star Wars VII, Disney movies yet again conquered the cinema. We saw not just one, but two, Disney-Pixar releases (Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur) for the first time ever. There were also two Disney-Marvel movies (Age of Ultron and Ant-Man) and a lively Disneynature pic called Monkey Kingdom. Disney studios additionally gave us such treats as McFarland, USA, Cinderella, and Bridge of Spies. Of course, with so many Disney films being released, at least one was bound to be a dud. We're looking at you, Tomorrowland. But here's the bottom line: every film on our list below resonated in some way with what the eight of us, as Christians, notice when we encounter a work of art that has something to say. We invite you, however, before seeing any film we recommend, to visit our full review (just click on the title or the image) for a list of cautions and objectionable content. And so, without further ado, our editorial staff and film critics proudly present CROSSWALKMOVIES.COM'S TOP FILMS OF 2015... ***SEE ALSO: CrosswalkMovies' Top 10 Films of 2013 10 CREED Here because: It turns disbelief, maybe even disbelief in itself, into belief. Creed is the film you can't believe is being made (we really needed a Rocky 7?), perhaps can't believe you're watching ("I don't even like boxing movies"), and then can't believe it all worked, and worked so well. Similarly, Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), a troubled - and then privileged - youth who learns he is the biological offspring of Rocky's former rival and friend Apollo Creed, comes to believe in himself and accept his identity. The film may lack the true villain of other Rocky films, but makes up for it with clever nods to the original and stirring interactions between Jordan and Stallone, Jordan and Tessa Thompson (love interest Bianca), and Jordan and Phylicia Rashad (Apollo's widow who adopted young Adonis). From our review: "It's surprisingly good. When I say 'surprisingly good,' I don't even mean 'surprisingly good for a sports movie.' ...Creed rises above well-worn conventions and not only pays homage to the original with plenty of knowing winks and nudges but raises the bar with a solid storyline, memorable performances and yes, even a little existential food for thought. ...It may even be the best Rocky movie since Rocky." ~Christa Banister   9 THE MARTIAN Here because: The only movie in our Top 10 to have received an unenthusiastic review on Crosswalk this year, The Martian was a favorite of enough other members of our panel. We've not been kind to Ridley Scott films in recent years (Exodus: Gods & Kings, The Counselor, Prometheus), but The Martian, adapted from Andy Weir's 2011 novel, delivered the excitement of non-stop, life-or-death problem solving by botanist-astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon), even if it was deemed "not as good as the book." The film also offers this fantastic takeaway: we may not be stranded, alone, on Mars. But we all wake up each day on a planet where the laws of the universe can interfere with our chances to survive or thrive, and we all get to choose how determinedly we get to work solving our problems. After all, if Watney can do it there, without community and with limited resources, what's our excuse? Finally, for Lord of the Rings fans, having Sean Bean - Boromir himself - explain the literary reference behind 'Project Elrond' was one of the best movie moments of the year. From our review: "During the scenes where the film focuses on Watney and his ingenious methods for survival, it's interesting and even surprising.... [But] as the finale drags on, little moments... begin to add up, keeping the film from being the home run it could have been were it not spread so thin." ~Christian HamakerSEE ALSO: Crosswalk.com's Top Movies of 2012 See also: The Martian Video Review   8 BROOKLYN Here because: Sometimes you just need a film to be a good old-fashioned Love Story. Brooklyn, based on a novel by Colm Tóibín, uses the narrative of a young Irish-American immigrant in the 1950s to explore universal themes of adventure, the resiliency of the human spirit, love, and homesickness. We may not all move to a foreign land, but we all must leave home sometime. We might not be torn between two suitors, but we've experienced heartbreak and had our loyalty put to the test. Brooklyn stuns not because it is filled with surprising twists and turns, but because it takes its time to tell a story we can all relate to, making this a moving must-see for lovers of drama and romance. From our review: "It is in the small and relatable moments that Brooklyn shines and most tugs on our heartstrings... Ellis is a heroine both practical and spirited... Ronan carries the role with heart and honesty... and is supported by excellent performances from the rest of the cast... She takes us on a journey through the leaf-framed streets of Brooklyn... and her story reminds us how hard it is to straddle both freedom and family." ~Debbie Holloway   7 MR. HOLMES Here because: Yes, it's a Sherlock Holmes movie. Yes, there are mysteries to solve. But the smartest thing about Mr. Holmes - aside from Ian McKellen's performance - is that this is a PG movie about mortality, studied through the lens of a beloved cultural icon who, despite his keen, well-known mental prowess, must also succumb to the reality of time. We all hope to age gracefully and keep our wits about us, so what would it look like if one of the greatest minds in all of literature started to lose his? The hopeful message the film ultimately imparts to an aging culture is this: at the end, when friends have passed, when regrets surface, when impersonal logic and intellect begin to fade, where then can you turn? To love, to youth, to the future. From our review: "Director Bill Condon has created a thoughtful, beautiful film that investigates one of the biggest mysteries of all: what connects humans to each other… McKellen is, of course, brilliant. The best actors are the ones you can see thinking. As Holmes, we not only see him thinking, but stuck between thoughts trying to remember how… The film highlights the aging process, but the overriding theme is loneliness... And yet, there's an undercurrent of rebirth..." ~Susan Ellingburg   6 MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Here because: For the second time on our list (see Creed), I (Shawn) found myself wondering, "Why am I watching this?" and "Did we really need a fourth Mad Max movie?" (I hadn't seen any of the first three, by the way). Then the movie started. We've never seen a car-chase-centered, adrenaline-fueled action film quite like this. Max may be the titular star, but the real heroes are Furiosa (Charlize Theron) and her band of freedom-seeking women. 2015 was a good year for powerful female characters, and Fury Road turns out to be shockingly life-affirming for what many assumed would be a popcorn flick. The stunts are reminiscent of Cirque du Soleil, the apocalyptic setting draws you in, and the sparse (in a good way) script exemplifies the definition of "show, don't tell." Fury Road reminds us of the power of good sci-fi in exposing societal flaws and giving us hope for a brighter future... if we fight for it. From our review: "Serves as an examination of what happens when humanity loses its femininity and is reduced to barbaric carnal savagery... Max says early on, 'As the world fell, each of us in our own way was broken,' and we feel the tragedy of that in these performances. Max, Furiosa, and these women may be seeking redemption for themselves, but by extension they seek it also for the feminine half of humanity itself." ~Jeffrey Huston See also: Why Mad Max: Fury Road Isn't Just an Action Movie   5 CINDERELLA Here because: As Disney continues cranking out live-action versions of their classic stories (the success of Cinderella has us happily anticipating 2017's Beauty and the Beast, directed by Mr. Holmes's Bill Condon), the studio has smartly learned to imbue all the expected, familiar, magical elements with something new. In this case: a lesson to "have courage and be kind." While some have criticized the naïve simplicity of such a mantra, Lily James's Ella makes it mean something by contrast. Consider her father, who is kind but lacking in the courage to see tough family matters through, and her stepmother, who is brazenly courageous but without an ounce of kindness. Ella's stepsisters have neither trait, while Ella balances them both, eventually showing an entire kingdom how worlds become better through grace. From our review: "There's plenty of magic left in that trademark glass slipper, including inspired direction from Kenneth Branagh, an underlying message about the importance of kindness, and striking visuals where every detail is lovingly and elaborately crafted… Watching is nothing short of enchanting. Cinderella is as sweet as buttercream frosting but an enjoyable diversion where princesses are more than pretty and boy-crazy." ~Christa Banister See Also: Cinderella Video Review   4 STAR WARS VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS Here because: Talk about expectations! The long-awaited, Disney-produced, J.J. Abrams-directed seventh film in the Star Wars saga met or surpassed nearly all of them. As proof, this is the only film in the history of Crosswalk's Movies of the Year list to be named on 100 percent of ballots. The Force Awakens is Star Wars at its best - a good old-fashioned romp set free from the politics and convoluted storylines of Episodes I-III. New heroes are seamlessly integrated into the world of already-established, beloved characters, and new villains are appropriately bad. It's surprisingly funny, and the sets and effects are expertly crafted. Looking for depth of theme and answers to questions left open? We may have to wait until Episode VIII for those, but we're sure anticipating that installment now. Just don't let our Jeffrey Huston catch you calling The Force Awakens unoriginal! From our review: "After the excitement and energy of the first act, this film develops an emotional core that involves some measure of regret and even, you might say, spiritual struggle... These elements evoke much of what gave the earlier films emotional heft, and culminate in a moment that may just equal the great 'I am your father' encounter from The Empire Strikes Back." ~Christian Hamaker See also: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Video Review5 Christian Messages Found in Star WarsDeath Stars and Déjà Vu: Hollywood is Out of Ideas   3 ROOM Here because: You know going in you're facing a heavy plotline - this story is about a young woman held captive in a shed for seven years. For the last five of those, she's raised a boy - fathered by her kidnapper - whose only knowledge of the outside world is a tiny window in the ceiling and what he sees on television. What you don't realize is how much the film will make you think about so many subjects. Not only is there the primary question of rescue, but your mind may start wondering, "To what extent do we accept the worlds we're presented with?" "How limited is our view of Heaven and the afterlife from here?" "How can one person's hellish prison be another person's boundless heaven?" And if that's not enough, there are heartwarming moments such as when Ma (Brie Larson) tearfully confesses to young Jack, "I haven't been a very good ma." "But you're Ma," the boy simply responds. One of Room's many wonderful themes is that children define 'quality of life' much differently than we realize, valuing time and presence so much more than perfection. From our review: "There's a reason why Room won the Audience Award at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival, a prize generally reserved for feel-good Oscar contenders... It's an inspiring account of human resilience, will and sacrifice in the face of a devastating ordeal, anchored by an unforgettable performance from Brie Larson... Sure, it's an exhausting and draining [journey], but it's too emotionally profound to be missed." ~Jeffrey Huston   2 SPOTLIGHT Here because: The true events of Spotlight may have occurred in 2001-02, but it's an example we'll cling to of what can be accomplished through good, responsible, investigative journalism even today. When the Boston Globe began to realize they had a deep-reaching, delicate story about sexually-abusive priests on their hands, the reporters and editors of Spotlight division avoided the temptation to run rushed, salacious headlines that would have been quickly buried and forgotten. They knew they had one chance to effect meaningful change, and they made sure every 't' was crossed. We still feel the results of their reporting today (and boy do we "feel it" when the closing credits reveal all the places around the world where similar abuses have since been uncovered). It's nothing short of amazing that Tom McCarthy's direction manages to, if not affirm faith, then to at least avoid lambasting it, arguably making it a part of some characters' drive to find justice for the victims. Meanwhile, believers in the audience - Catholic or not - are forced to confront the question of how the Church ever got so far down the road to systemizing such horrific sin. From our review: "It does confront the corruption of a religious institution (with the aid of a governmental one), but it never extends that confrontation to make an indictment on the nature of Christianity, its beliefs, people of faith, or Roman Catholic dogma. Spotlight is neither anti-Catholic nor anti-Christian. It has no secular axe to grind. It's simply anti-corruption, and seeks justice for the abused." ~Jeffrey Huston   1 INSIDE OUT Here because: Half of our panelists named this their #1, with good reason. From 2007-09, Pixar films ranked in our Top 2 for three consecutive years (see "Our Past Winners" below), and with Inside Out, the studio has returned with possibly their best effort yet (that's too big an argument to get into here). This story of the personified thoughts and emotions inside an 11-year-old girl's head is revolutionary, original, hysterical, instructive, and the kind of film you'll want to watch over and over. We relate to Joy's desire to keep Sadness away from the precious person in her charge, until, that is, we're just as forced to admit that humans can't properly emote, empathize, or communicate without feeling sad. There's something new to see and fresh insights to glean with every viewing; there's sacrifice, redemption, loads of love, and lessons like this one for parents. Inside Out may be about our minds, but what it touches is our hearts. From our review: "[The] adventures take [us] deep into Riley's memory, a world so imaginative the only thing we can do is sit back and enjoy the ride—including one on a literal train of thought. Take some tissues along... Inside Out teaches a good lesson on the importance of acknowledging all emotions, even the not-so-fun ones… To an adult, Inside Out is almost painfully funny… Bonus: we learn the answer to the age-old question of where those annoying songs that stick in your head come from." ~Susan Ellingburg See also: Inside Out Video ReviewInside Out Can Help Parents Avoid This Big MistakeWhy We Can't Stop Talking about Inside OutWhat Christians Should Learn about Sadness from Inside OutThe Gospel According to PixarWhat are Your Top 5 Pixar Movies? *** OUR PAST WINNERS2014: 1 - Selma; 2 - Calvary; 3 - The Grand Budapest Hotel2013: 1 - 12 Years a Slave; 2 - Gravity; 3 - Frozen2012: 1 - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; 2 - Lincoln; 3 - Les Misérables2011: 1 - Hugo; 2 - The Help; 3 - Moneyball2010: 1 - Inception; 2 - True Grit; 3 - The King's Speech2009: 1 - Fantastic Mr. Fox; 2 - Up; 3 - Star Trek2008: 1 - Wall-E; 2 - The Dark Knight; 3 - Slumdog Millionaire2007: 1 - Ratatouille; 2 - Amazing Grace; 3 - The Bourne Ultimatum2006: 1 - The Pursuit of Happyness; 2 - The Nativity Story; 3 - United 93 / World Trade Center2005: 1 - Cinderella Man; 2 - Because of Winn-Dixie; 3 - Batman Begins *** CRITIC'S CHOICE We also asked each of our panelists to name his or her selections for the various categories below. Each person's "Honorable Mention" is a film that was highly-rated on his or her personal list which didn't end up making it into the overall Crosswalk Top 10. CHRISTA BANISTER, Film CriticHonorable Mention - The Big Short: The 2008 financial crisis has all the elements of a Shakespearan tragedy, which is precisely why it's made such great cinematic fodder. But it wasn't until The Big Short where learning about complex economic concepts also became a whole lot of fun. Thanks to expert direction from funnyman Adam McKay and compelling performances from Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale and Brad Pitt, The Big Short is part cautionary tale, part financial primer and a chilling, fast-paced account of how it all went so very wrong. Whether it's how big banks took advantage of hard-working wannabe homeowners, or how a handful of ordinary men managed to figure things out before the rest of the world did, The Big Short is equally entertaining and infuriating, a potent one-two punch that'll stick with you for the long haul.Best Animated Film - Inside OutBest Family Film - CinderellaBest Date Movie - The InternBest Action Flick - Avengers: Age of UltronBest Film with a Faith Theme - Love & MercyBest Faith-Based Film (i.e. 'Christian Movie') - Do You Believe? Favorite Male Performance - Joseph Gordon-Levitt, The WalkFavorite Female Performance - Jennifer Lawrence, JoyMost Disappointing - SpectreMost Pleasant Surprise - The WalkI Laughed - SpyI Cried - Room RYAN DUNCAN, Culture EditorHonorable Mention - The Drop Box: This moving documentary of a South Korean pastor and his wife cuts to the very heart of Jesus's message. Every year, hundreds of newborn children are abandoned in South Korea, many of them with severe disabilities. This led Pastor Lee Jong-rak to create the drop box, a small alcove in the side of his home where abandoned babies can be protected and kept warm. Though its stories are heavy, this film will challenge viewers to take action. For it is only when we look beyond ourselves that we truly become God's hands and feet.Best Animated Film - Inside OutBest Family Film - CinderellaBest Date Movie - Inside OutBest Action Flick - Star Wars: The Force AwakensBest Film with a Faith Theme - The Drop BoxBest Faith-Based Film (i.e. 'Christian Movie') - Pass the Light Favorite Male Performance - Jacob Tremblay, RoomFavorite Female Performance - Brie Larson, RoomMost Disappointing - The Good DinosaurMost Pleasant Surprise - Yellow DayI Laughed - SpyI Cried - Spotlight SUSAN ELLINGBURG, Film CriticHonorable Mention - Black or White: There are good movies... and then there are movies that stir your soul. Black or White strips away the veneer to expose hidden prejudice on both sides of the color bar, and it does so in a gripping, funny, emotional story with Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer both in fine form. All the actors give beautifully nuanced performances, but it's the unflinching honesty of the film that took my breath away. Truly, I haven't felt this way about a movie since Schindler's List; if I had my way it would be required viewing.Best Animated Film - Inside OutBest Family Film - McFarland, USABest Date Movie - The WalkBest Action Flick - Star Wars: The Force AwakensBest Film with a Faith Theme - The WalkBest Faith-Based Film (i.e. 'Christian Movie') - War Room Favorite Male Performance - Ian McKellen, Mr. HolmesFavorite Female Performance - Laura Linney, Mr. HolmesMost Disappointing - SistersMost Pleasant Surprise - The Transporter RefueledI Laughed - Inside OutI Cried - Black or White CHRISTIAN HAMAKER, Film CriticHonorable Mention - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: This story of a male high school student forced to befriend a cancer-stricken female classmate could easily have become maudlin or, in an effort to steer clear of easy tears, too wacky. But director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon pitches the material just right. Leads Thomas Mann and Olivia Cooke give Me and Earl and the Dying Girl an appeal that extends far beyond the teenage audience, encompassing older viewers as well as movie buffs who will appreciate the classic-film spoofs created by Greg (the "Me" of the film's title) and his best friend, Earl. Still, it's the "dying girl" who gives the film its emotional payoff, one that contrasts effectively with the witty repartee that precedes the moving finale.Best Animated Film - Shaun the SheepBest Family Film - PaddingtonBest Date Movie - Mission: Impossible Rogue NationBest Action Flick - Mad Max: Fury RoadBest Film with a Faith Theme - The RevenantBest Faith-Based Film (i.e. 'Christian Movie') - Do You Believe? Favorite Male Performance - Oscar Isaac, Ex MachinaFavorite Female Performance - Daisy Ridley, Star WarsMost Disappointing - Terminator GenisysMost Pleasant Surprise - PaddingtonI Laughed - Me and Earl and the Dying GirlI Cried - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl DEBBIE HOLLOWAY, Film CriticHonorable Mention - A Brilliant Young Mind: Released in the UK in 2014 with the title X+Y, this is the story of a young boy learning to love his family, understand himself, and pursue his dreams in the face of the immense challenges he faces as a teenager with sensory disorders. Sally Hawkins (who also shines in Paddington) and Asa Butterfield are radiant and heartbreaking as mother and son, and the script and direction are thoughtful and powerful. The movie is a window into a world many of us know nothing about: what it's like to be - or be close to - someone on the autism spectrum, or to have a gradually debilitating disease / drug addiction. A Brilliant Young Mind is more than a night at the movies; this film gives hope that we can bring more empathy, love and understanding to our own real-life relationships.Best Animated Film - Inside OutBest Family Film - Inside OutBest Date Movie - Star Wars: The Force AwakensBest Action Flick - Mad Max: Fury RoadBest Film with a Faith Theme - SpotlightBest Faith-Based Film (i.e. 'Christian Movie') - The Drop Box Favorite Male Performance - Mark Ruffalo, SpotlightFavorite Female Performance - Saoirse Ronan, BrooklynMost Disappointing - PanMost Pleasant Surprise - PaddingtonI Laughed - Inside OutI Cried - Brooklyn JEFFREY HUSTON, Film CriticHonorable Mention - The Revenant: Set in the unforgiving American frontier of the 1820s and based on a true story, The Revenant is the tale of one man's grueling, hypnotic descent into an earthly hell. But will it lead to a resurrection? On one level, The Revenant savagely (but beautifully) depicts the physical and psychological ordeal Leonardo DiCaprio's Hugh Glass must endure. But this visible struggle is simply the incarnation of what's really going on beneath the surface: his spiritual gauntlet. It's a journey that goes to brutal lengths to see if mercy travels just as far as, or further than, revenge.Best Animated Film - Inside OutBest Family Film - The Peanuts MovieBest Date Movie - BrooklynBest Action Flick - Mission: Impossible Rogue NationBest Film with a Faith Theme - The MartianBest Faith-Based Film (i.e. 'Christian Movie') - The Letters Favorite Male Performance - Harrison Ford, Star WarsFavorite Female Performance - Brie Larson, RoomMost Disappointing - TomorrowlandMost Pleasant Surprise - JoyI Laughed - The InternI Cried - Room SHAWN McEVOY, Managing EditorHonorable Mention - Paddington: Consider the strikes this charming family film had against it: it opened in January (often a dumping ground (see: Norm of the North)), there were issues with replacing Colin Firth as Paddington's voice, and poorly-edited trailers made the film look awful. So imagine our surprise when it arrived to a 98 percent fresh rating at RottenTomatoes! I rushed out with my kids to see it... and we rushed to the store on our way home to joyfully purchase marmalade! As I stated in our video review, the best word to describe Paddington is "delightful," but others that come to mind include "innocent," "funny," "refreshingly restrained" (no pointless 3D), and "adorably British."Best Animated Film - Inside OutBest Family Film - PaddingtonBest Date Movie - The Man from U.N.C.L.E.Best Action Flick - Mad Max: Fury RoadBest Film with a Faith Theme - RoomBest Faith-Based Film (i.e. 'Christian Movie') - Woodlawn Favorite Male Performance - Ian McKellen, Mr. HolmesFavorite Female Performance - Daisy Ridley, Star WarsMost Disappointing - TomorrowlandMost Pleasant Surprise - Other than Creed? A Walk in the WoodsI Laughed - Star Wars: The Force AwakensI Cried - Inside Out STEPHEN McGARVEY, Editor-in-ChiefHonorable Mention - Bridge of Spies: Best Animated Film - Inside OutBest Family Film - Inside OutBest Date Movie - The Man from U.N.C.L.E.Best Action Flick - Mad Max: Fury RoadBest Film with a Faith Theme - CaptiveBest Faith-Based Film (i.e. 'Christian Movie') - Captive Favorite Male Performance - Mark Ruffalo, SpotlightFavorite Female Performance - Brie Larson, RoomMost Disappointing - TomorrowlandMost Pleasant Surprise - CinderellaI Laughed - The Big ShortI Cried - Inside Out *** OUR MOST-READ REVIEWS OF 2015 (the films you the audience wanted to know about most) 12. Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, by Christian Hamaker 11. Beyond the Mask, by Debbie Holloway 10. 90 Minutes in Heaven, by Christa Banister 9. Ant-Man, by Christa Banister 8. Jurassic World, by Christian Hamaker 7. Cinderella, by Christa Banister 6. The Intern, by Jeffrey Huston 5. The Drop Box, by Ryan Duncan 4. Inside Out, by Susan Ellingburg 3. Minions, by Christian Hamaker 2. Do You Believe?, by Christian Hamaker 1. War Room, by Christian Hamaker OUR MOST-WATCHED VIDEO REVIEWS OF 2015 12 Paddington 11. Spectre 10. Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation 9. Avengers: Age of Ultron 8. Shaun the Sheep 7. Inside Out 6. Tomorrowland 5. Woodlawn 4. Cinderella 3. Minions 2. 90 Minutes in Heaven 1. Top 10 Movies of 2014, Video Edition   googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); Publication date: January 28, 2016 ]]>
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Action/AdventureSci-Fi/FantasyDrama We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewWater. Gas. Blood. Those are the currencies in Mad Max's world—liquid assets, if you will. Water and gas are rare wonders in this dry, dusty dystopia—the elements that keep its people alive and their vehicles moving. Blood is cheaper and easier to come by; of value only to the person to whom it belongs, and sometimes not even him. But there are those who crave the blood, who treat it like a narcotic biofuel. Immortan Joe built his empire on these three commodities. He hoards the water inside his stone citadel. Sometimes he'll open the floodgates and allow it to gush from the rocks, where his serfs below can lap it up. He relies on raids for his gasoline, sending out war parties in their makeshift machines to pillage and steal precious fuel. The blood is for his War Boys, white-bleached zealots who form his army's spine. They love the stuff, and so Immortan Joe keeps them happy with a steady supply. Yes, Immortan Joe is a rich, rich man. He owns everything of value in this picked-over world, including the women. He keeps several "breeders" in his citadel, for both his amusement and his legacy. There's nothing he'd like more than to have a bevy of Immortan Joe Jr.'s all set to inherit his broken kingdom. So when one of his most trusted generals, Imperator Furiosa, absconds with the women and speeds into the desert driving one of Joe's most intimidating war machines, the Immortan one takes issue. He sends his army out to retrieve his stolen goods, with he himself taking the lead. His War Boys are thrilled: They pick up their steering wheels, strap a few living "blood bags" to the front of their vehicles and settle in for a few hours of glorious carnage. But one blood bag—Max—plans on being more than a hood ornament today.Positive ElementsMad Max: Fury Road is as bleak as all get-out. But if you dig into the dust of this flick, you'll find that it's actually (just like its predecessors) about hope. Sure, the world's been shattered, but maybe, somewhere, there's a little glue to piece some of it back together. First piece: The idea that people are not property, no matter what Immortan Joe says. "We are not things!" Joe's wives insist. Furioso believes that to be true, and so she rescues them and promises to take them to a "green place of many mothers." It's a risky mission. She admits that she's looking for redemption—a way, perhaps, to make up for all the nasty things she's done in Joe's employ. And, frankly, she's more a consistent hero here than the titular one. See, Max starts off a little crazy. He says that the stress of this broken world distilled his motivations to one very simple instinct: "survive." But as he spends more time with Furioso and her truckload of beautiful stowaways, he begins acting more self-sacrificially. He risks his life for them and, when given a chance to go his own way, continues on with them—helping them to see what they all hope is a more promising future. Their example seems to rub off on their cargo. During the course of this adventure, Joe's "breeders" become more than pretty, objectified playthings. They become helpmates, sometimes putting themselves in harm's way for the benefit of others. They also stress the value of all life, even the lives of their enemies, begging Max and Furioso to not kill needlessly. A War Boy named Nux has a change of heart, too: After he falls out of Joe's good graces, he finds a new purpose with Max and Furioso.Spiritual ContentImmortan Joe styles himself as a sort of savior-god. "It is from my hand that you will rise from the ashes of this world!" he thunders to his serfs before bestowing upon them his "gift" of water. He promises his War Boys that if they fight and die well for him, he will meet them in Valhalla (the violent Norse heaven), perhaps leading them through the gates himself. The War Boys believe his shtick: When Joe casts a glance in Nux's direction, the pale rider sounds like an 8-year-old boy who got a real Iron Man suit for Christmas. They go to their deaths with zealous glee, coating their mouths with chrome spray so they'll look their shiny best when they arrive in the afterlife. They seem to pray before a pile of steering wheels. The good guys are not so superstitious. When one of Joe's ex-wives prays, another woman asks her, "To who?" "Anyone that's listening," she responds.Sexual ContentThe women taken captive by Joe are referred to as both "wives" and "breeders," and he regularly calls them his "property." They are indeed his sexual slaves, and he forces them to always dress provocatively. Cloth or leather covers critical areas, but legs, shoulders and midriffs are frequently bared, and sometimes those bits of critical cloth aren't very thick. Each woman initially wears what looks to be a fearsome, teeth-lined chastity belt. (They remove them at the earliest opportunity.) Joe also keeps a number of heavy, well-endowed women on hand for their breast milk. We see their breasts and the devices used to milk them. (Characters both drink and wash their faces in the milk.) Max, Furioso and the rest happen upon a naked woman in a crane-like tower, begging to be released. (We see her from the side and rear.)Recommended ResourceA Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About SexKevin LemanEven the bravest parents feel timid about discussing sex with their 8- to 14-year-olds! This resource offers reassuring, humorous, real-life anecdotes along with reliable information to help you with this challenging task.Buy NowViolent ContentMad Max: Fury Road is, essentially, a two-hour car chase through the wastelands of Armageddon. It stops only reluctantly for the occasional breather. And the violence it proffers is sporadically extreme. A good chunk of someone's face is ripped away at one point, with the camera giving us glimpses of the resulting gore and blood. Max is shot through the hand by a crossbow bolt. Chained to an unconscious War Boy, he tries to shoot the guy's hand off (but the shotgun doesn't work). People hang upside down from Joe's citadel ceiling, providing blood for the War Boys. Some of the bodies don't look like they're still all there—a suggestion, perhaps, that they're being slowly eaten, too. (There's no indication that many of these folks are alive.) War Boys are analogous to today's suicide bombers, and they consider it a point of honor to die in battle. As such, we see one warrior leap onto a flaming porcupine of a car to blow the thing up. Another fills his own vehicle with gas, planning to smash into a massive war machine, Kamikaze style. People are shot, slashed, stabbed, choked, run over, die in cataclysmic explosions and are thrown around by storms. One man is smashed repeatedly by a piece of machinery. Lots of the combatants here are women, including (of course) Furioso. That means that much of this violence is perpetrated by or against them. Furioso and Max themselves tangle, hitting, kicking and trying to strangle each other. We see Max remove a hook from his neck. When someone's lung begins to collapse, Max stabs her in the side to help her breathe, then transfuses his own blood into her (via a pain-inducing makeshift IV) so she'll survive. He stomps on a lizard and seems to eat it while it's still squirming. Joe demands that a dying pregnant woman's child be cut from her body. It is (offscreen). When the baby also dies, we see its body carelessly discarded like refuse. (The umbilical cord becomes a plaything.)Crude or Profane LanguageWhat with all the explosions and such, there's not a lot of room for dialogue in Fury Road. And what there is is often muffled by the cacophony of kabooms. But we still hear characters utter one instance each of the words "b-llocks" and "f-g," and perhaps a full-blown f-word as well. Drug and Alcohol ContentAs mentioned, the War Boys seem to treat blood as a kind of narcotic. One such warrior is eager to take a half-crazed Max out on the warpath with him (they're connected via a chain and a thin tube), believing that Max's madness will make him super-aggressive, too.Other Negative ElementsSeveral people are burdened with horrific infirmities, including bulbous bumps and boils and grotesquely swollen ankles. People spit in others' faces. Max occasionally "sees" frightening flashes of his dead daughter as a wraith or skeletonized specter.ConclusionMel Gibson may no longer be Mad Max, the mantel now having fallen to big, glowering Tom Hardy. But even though the defining star of the series has long since driven out of the frame, Fury Road may well be the most Mad Maxian of all the movies. All of the series' elements are supersized here. Crazy vehicles? Crazier. Creepy, theatrically dressed villains? Creepier, more theatrically dressed. Bloody action? Bloodier. Director George Miller takes what fans loved about the now-classic series and blows it up like a supersized balloon, and the results have triggered a litany of glowing reviews. One such write-up, published on southcoasttoday.com, declared that "Mad Max: Fury Road will leave your inner 12-year-old giggling with glee." Now, hold on there one minute, bub. Isn't Fury Road rated R? When you set it up beside Avengers: Age of Ultron, doesn't it look a wee bit like Saw on wheels? Should we really be saying that Fury Road is made for tweens, inner or not? Look, there's no question Fury Road has its merits, including that thread of hope I mentioned earlier. And for an R-rated movie, it is actually more restrained than it could've been. But we should not lose sight of the brutal fact that this movie caters to our childish affection for frenetic activity and explosions with some very disturbing content in tow. The world of Mad Max, for all the ludicrous dystopian license it takes, is a world that's designed to haunt and shock. If the movie's endgame is to show us 10 minutes of humanity in an inhuman world, let's not forget that 110 minutes is filled with some terrible inhumanity indeed.Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
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(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
We all have to grow up sometime … but our entertainment doesn’t. If you look at some of the big movies coming out this year, you’ll see that a whole bunch of them are predicated on pretty old properties. Full disclosure: I am old. I am 45 years old, to be exact. My first favorite movie ever was Star Wars (That’s Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope for you young ‘uns out there.) I forced my parents to take me to that thing seven times in the theater. Why? ‘Cause VCRs weren’t even a part of my 7-year-old imaginings, much less Blu-ray players or Netflix. I never knew when I’d be able to see the thing again. So what’s the most anticipated movie of 2015, according to Fandango? Star Wars. That’d be Episode VII – The Force Awakens, featuring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford. And who knows? Maybe the late Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin) will make an appearance somehow. Sure, both he and his character are dead, but did a little thing like that ever stop a great idea? The new Star Wars movie beat out Avengers: Age of Ultron as the year’s most anticipated flick. Sure, Avengers might feel like a pretty new franchise, but I remember my friends talking about its titular superhero team back in elementary school. Oh, also on the list: Jurassic World, another sequel to the 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park. I stood in line on opening day for that thing when I had hair, and I read Michael Crichton’s original book when I was still in college. Fandango also created a list of the five most anticipated family films, too. Two of them—Cinderella and Pan—are reimaginings of venerable Disney cartoons. I think I watched both of the originals before I could tie my shoes. There’s a Mad Max movie coming out in May called Mad Max: Fury Road. Terminator: Genisys will be trundling out in July. Another Fantastic Four movie is slated for August. Oh, and James Bond will make yet another onscreen appearance (it’s his 24th, I think?) come fall (in Spectre). All hail from franchises and properties that were big deals when I was a kid or, at the very latest, a young adult. It’s interesting how many of our hottest cinematic properties are intrinsically linked to the past. It’s been that way for a while now. It speaks to our love of nostalgia and says a number of things about the movie industry … as well as us, the paying moviegoers. Sure, you can read this parade of remakes and reimaginings and umpteen-million sequels as a sign that Hollywood has run out of ideas, or that it’s simply so risk-averse that it doesn’t want to spend big bucks to bring a new thought to the screen. We can look at some of those properties and wonder why anyone would want to bring them to a new audience. But for me, this predilection to look toward the past says something kinda cool about family and culture, too. As a parent, I wanted to introduce my own kids to almost everything I loved and treasured when I was younger … just as I think my parents did with me. And when it comes to the movies we watch—the stories we share—they become mutual memories. Just like a watch or a set of dishes might be passed down from generation to generation, these new properties give us an excuse to pass down our past, in a way—at least some of our most fondly remembered bits of it. According to Fandango, the new Peanuts movie—a computer-animated take on Charles Schultz’s eternally youthful cartoon—also made the list of most anticipated 2015 family films. Interesting. When I was a kid, my dad gave me a tattered book of Peanuts cartoons that he used to read … when he was 12. I loved it, of course, and those old Charlie Brown television specials gave me an excuse to introduce that very same book to my kids. Now my daughter has her own almost encyclopedic set of Schulz cartoons from the 1950s. And maybe, if this new CGI Peanuts movie is any good, it’ll give her an excuse to pass her own affection for Charlie Brown and Snoopy on to her own children. Imagine: Four generations reading and laughing over the same characters—a mutual love spread out, potentially, over nearly a century. The movies we watch can be crass and problematic. They can often feel cynical and devoid of any real art or substance. But sometimes we find stories we love in the midst of it all. And, as is the case with all things we love, we long to share them with those whom we love as well. We may have grown up. But our entertainment can still bring out the child in all of us, and pass on a little bit of our childlike selves. ]]>
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(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
If you’ve been to a big-budget blockbuster at the multiplex recently—and by recently, I mean, oh, say, the last decade or two—you might have noticed some significant similarities between films when the heavy cinematic artillery swings into action. Namely, whether we’re dealing with science fiction, super heroes or fantasy, the scope of destruction is simply epic. Vast. Cataclysmic. Apocalyptic. There’s never nothing less at stake, it seems, than the very future of humanity. Cities are sure to be destroyed. (The only thing that might exempt this Friday’s Mad Max: Fury Road from the same metropolis-crushing treatment is that, in Mad Max’s world, all the cities have already been crushed.) In the first Avengers film back in 2012, for instance, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes square off against a horde of aliens known as the Chitauri. Oh, and that Norse god of mischief, Loki. Result? New York City takes it on the chin. Hard. And if the Avengers fail? Well, it’s lights out for the carbon-based bipeds we like to call humanity. Though the villain is different in the latest Avengers’ film (a megalomaniacal, homicidal robot instead of a megalomaniacal, homicidal alien), the scope of destruction is similar. Sure, the Avengers talk about wanting to limit civilian casualties. And, well, perhaps they do. A little. Meanwhile, three cities (one in Africa, one in Europe, one in Asia) get the full New York-style treatment. (I’m sure residents of the Big Apple were breathing a sigh of relief.) Even in a more serious movie like, say, like Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, everything hangs in the balance should Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway fail in their quest to locate a new home for humanity. As visually spectacular as these ginormously expensive special effects sagas are, sometimes it all feels a little much. It can leave an apocalypse-weary filmgoer wondering, Does everything have to get blown up? The answer, according to screenwriter and producer and producer Damon Lindelof, is yes. Lindelof rose to prominence alongside J.J. Abrams as one of the main writers for ABC’s cult hit Lost. Among his other high-profile writing credits are Star Trek Into Darkness, Prometheus, World War Z and Cowboys & Aliens. Another Lindelof story, Tomorrowland, debuts next week. In an interview given to vulture.com two years ago, Lindelof talked about his two massive movies released that summer, Into Darkness and World War Z. And though two years is generally a mighty long time in pop culture, his comments about this apocalyptic, cinematic arms race are as relevant now as they were in the summer of 2013. “We live in a commercial world, where you’ve gotta come up with ‘trailer moments’ and make the thing feel big and impressive and satisfying, especially in that summer-movie-theater construct,” Lindelof said. “But ultimately I do feel—even as a purveyor of it—slightly turned off by this destruction porn that has emerged and become very bold-faced this past summer. And again, guilty as charged. It’s hard not to do it, especially because a movie, if properly executed, feels like it’s escalating.” Lindelof further notes that just saving one person—or even a single city—just doesn’t raise the emotional stakes high enough for the average 21st-century viewer. Once you spend more than $100 million on a movie, you have to save the world. And when you start there, and basically say, I have to construct a MacGuffin based on if they shut off this, or they close this portal, or they deactivate this bomb, or they come up with this cure, it will save the world—you are very limited in terms of how you execute that. And in many ways, you can become a slave to it and, again, I make no excuses, I’m just saying you kind of have to start there. In the old days, it was just as satisfying that all Superman has to do was basically save Lois from this earthquake in California. The stakes in that movie are that the San Andreas Fault line opens up and half of California is going to fall in the ocean. That felt big enough, but there is a sense of bigger, better, faster, seen it before, done that. He also added, “It’s almost impossible to, for example, not have a final set piece where the fate of the free world is at stake. You basically work your way backward and say, ‘Well, the Avengers aren’t going to save Guam, they’ve got to save the world.’ Did Star Trek Into Darkness need to have a gigantic starship crashing into San Francisco? I’ll never know. But it sure felt like it did.” Elsewhere in the lengthy article, Vulture writer Scott Brown noted: Hollywood’s gigantism, Lindelof points out, is practically algorithmic—and the effect tendrils all the way down to the storytelling level. When ever-larger sums are spent to make and market ever-fewer, ever-bigger movies, and those movies are aimed at Imax screens, then world—shattering comic-book I.P. and gigantic special effects are expected, with larger-than-life characters wielding those effects. No one necessarily asks for it; it just kind of happens. It’s what Lindelof calls Story Gravity, and dealing with it—whether that means resisting it or simply surfing it skillfully—is the great challenge of writing this new breed of tentpole blockbuster. The question used to be: How do we top ourselves? The new one seems to be: How do we stop ourselves? With Avengers: Age of Ultron well on its way to another billion-dollar-plus haul in just a couple of weeks in global theaters, this ever-escalating, bigger-is-always-better trend in blockbusters shows no signs of abating any time soon. ]]>
(Review Source)
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In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Gatsby says of his great love, Daisy, “Her voice is full of money.” Perhaps the same can now be said of Fat Amy. In an appropriately pitched battle at the box office, Pitch Perfect 2 took on two lauded actioners and warbled past them both, trilling its way to an estimated $70.3 million. That’s singing for more than your supper, I’d say. Mad Max: Fury Road towed its apocalyptic freak show into second place, banking $44.4 million for a solid silver-medal debut. Granted, all the millions in the world aren’t good for much in Max’s dystopian future. But for now, all that folding money’s still enough to buy a nice chunk of Australian real estate. Maybe a stone pillar with a Warner Brothers logo carved into the side or something. Given the strong one-two punch of Pitch Perfect and Fury Road, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that Avengers: Age of Ultron eased all the way back to third place. It lost about 50% of its weekend-over-weekend audience to collect a still tidy $38.8 million. And while it might not be number one at the box office this week, it is the top domestic movie of the year, its $372 million sprinting past Furious 7 ($343.8 million) for the honors. Toss in the $770.5 million Ultron has earned overseas, and it has already pocketed a cool $1.1 billion worldwide—and it still hasn’t opened in China or Japan yet. If you weren’t one of the big three this weekend, you had to carry a badge to crack the Top Five. Hot Pursuit (wherein Reese Witherspoon plays a dainty police officer) finished fourth with $5.8 million. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and the deputized drivers of Furious 7 tied for fifth place with $3.6 million. Hey, star Kevin James’ voice might not be full of money, but is it full of fake buttered mall popcorn? Yeah, probably. Final figures update: 1. Pitch Perfect 2, $69.2 million; 2. Mad Max: Fury Road, $45.4 million; 3. Avengers: Age of Ultron, $38.9 million; 4. Hot Pursuit, $5.7 million; 5. Furious 7, $3.6 million; 6. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, $3.5 million. ]]>
(Review Source)
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Disney’s Tomorrowland opens today. If you’d like to read about it, check out my review. But in this space, let me just say this is the most optimistic rumination on the future that I’ve seen in a long, long time. Seems we don’t do optimism very well these days. I saw Tomorrowland hot on the heels of writing our review of Mad Max: Fury Road, where the remnants of a shattered world are on the verge of, well, further shattering. Before that, I stuck on my dystopian reviewer hat for The Divergent Series: Insurgent, about a ragtag band of apocalyptic survivors fighting in a hollowed-out Chicago. Late last year, I reviewed such chipper sci-fi stories as Interstellar and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. Before the year is out, we’ll be treated to Terminator Genisys and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and the final, cataclysmic Mockingjay movie and— Well, let’s just say that, at the movies, the sun doesn’t always come out tomorrow. Hey, all in a day’s work. And truth be told, I kinda like dystopian fiction. I think Christianity, especially evangelical Christianity, has a bit of dystopian tint to it. Oh, we all know that our story ends happily enough. But read Revelation or Daniel or even Left Behind, and you’ll know that the future of this ol’ earth of ours won’t be as smooth as raspberry yogurt. Bad stuff is going to happen, and the Scriptures go into some serious, squirm-worthy detail about it. The language we use in even our secular dystopian stories—apocalypse, Armageddon, the Four Horsemen, the Seven Seals—is ripped straight from the Bible. Tomorrowland’s soaring towers are nice and all. But examine its veiled promise of a bright future built on technology, and we have a right to be skeptical of that model’s long-term prospects. We believe in a spiritual form of the law of entropy: What God stitched together is in the process of coming undone, thanks to sin, and only God can repair the damage. Those outside Christianity can sometimes mistake that dystopian thread in our faith as pessimism, or even fatalism. Some imagine we don’t care much about tomorrow because we think we know how tomorrow ends. But Christianity is a faith full of glorious paradox, and that’s no more obvious than when you look at the countless Christians around the globe who clearly do care about tomorrow, and who are doing their best to make the world a better place. Christian doctors take vacations to work in terribly poor countries—without receiving a single penny. Christian youth workers work at 90-hour weeks to help the young, sometimes lost kids in their care. Christian philanthropists dump their fortunes into ministries designed to light the way to a brighter future. The list goes on: teachers, counselors, missionaries, auto techs, waitresses … Christians in all walks of life figure out how to be God’s instrument for a better tomorrow—for our neighbors and co-workers, for our friends and family. Those of us with children don’t think of dystopian futures when we see our sons and daughters. We think of Thanksgiving dinners and backyard barbecues and grandchildren. We think of laughter and love and promise. We have hope. Sure, the world is broken. We broke it. But each of us, in our own way, can serve as God’s hands and feet to fix it a little—to help other people see that, despite its flaws, this world of ours, this life of ours, is a divine creation full of light and wonder. My daughter is getting married tomorrow. I’ll walk her down the aisle tomorrow afternoon, and I’ll give her away to another man who loves her just as much as I do. They’ll exchange vows, open presents and maybe smear some cake on each other’s faces. And when that’s done, they’ll get in their car and drive away west—toward the setting sun. They’ll honeymoon in Disneyland, appropriately enough. They’ll start their own tomorrow in Tomorrowland. Tomorrow will be a new beginning for them. For me. For you, too. Tomorrow is a fresh start for us all, full of promise and adventure. Tomorrow we can set aside our past sins and disappointments. We are God’s creation, and tomorrow we have a chance to step a little closer into being what God always wanted us to be. We know a bit of what the future holds. We know it won’t always be pretty. And yet tomorrow—God’s tomorrow—will forever be glorious. ]]>
(Review Source)
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It wasn’t exactly a win for the ages. But hey, maybe that means hard cold cash won’t be so important in the future. Tomorrowland strapped on a currency-powered jet pack and then bounced and tumbled across the box office field this weekend with an estimated $33 million take ($40.7 million if you count Memorial Day in the tally). Those, admittedly, aren’t Matterhorn-sized numbers: Folks spent a lot more time barbecuing, it seems—or, in Texas, buying flotation equipment—than going to the movies, making this Memorial Day weekend one of the slowest on recent record. But did Tomorrowland make enough to scale the gentle slopes of Space Mountain? You bet. Pitch Perfect 2, last week’s champ, gave Tomorrowland a run for its Astro-Orbiting money. But in the end it slid to second with $30.8 million. Mad Max: Fury Road took the weekend’s bronze medal with $24.8 million. Poltergeist, the weekend’s other major new release, scared up $22.6 million—more than three times what its predecessor earned on its opening frame. ‘Course, the original Poltergeist was released in the dark days of 1982, when most of us were still bartering pigs and eggs for our movie tickets. But the folks over at 20th Century Fox will crow about whatever they can come up with. Avengers: Age of Ultron slipped all the way to fifth, suggesting that the superheroes may finally be losing steam. Still, the $21.7 million it earned vaulted it over the $400 million mark domestically. Not only does that make Ultron the year’s biggest money-maker so far, it’s also more than any film made last year. It looks like the only real challenger Ultron will have for the year’s box office crown will be Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. And we’ll have to wait ’til December for that titanic space battle to commence. Final figures for these films will be posted when they’re released. ]]>
(Review Source)
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Well, it wasn’t exactly the biggest box-office tremor of the year. Avengers: Age of Ultron still has that title sewn up for the year. Still, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s San Andreas proved to be a stone-cold winner, shaking moviegoers out of an estimated $53.2 million to shimmy up to the top of the box office. No other entrant was even close to Johnson’s rumbling B-movie, which literally shook Hollywood up. San Andreas also banked another $60 million overseas, suggesting that international audiences enjoy seeing a good chunk of America destroyed as much as Americans do. Pitch Perfect 2 continues to sing a happy little ditty for itself, trilling out a $14.4 million weekend for second place. It topped Tomorrowland for that silver medal slot, and it appears that Disney’s optimistic rebuttal to sci-fi’s gloom-and-doom storytelling may be heading for a dystopian ending itself. It earned a mere $13.8 million in its second week out, barely staving off an onslaught from Mad Max: Fury Road ($13.6 million). Avengers: Age of Ultron added another $10.9 million to its ever-growing Swiss bank account and finished fifth, spoiling the debut of Aloha, the weekend’s other major release. Despite the all-star cast (including Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Bill Murray) and the presence of director Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous), the quirky romcom made a mere $10 million during its opening weekend. Aloha famously means both “hello” and “goodbye.” Given its box office performance, the name may be fairly appropriate. Final figures for these films will be posted when they’re released. ]]>
(Review Source)
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(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
It’s that time of year again, the time when we movie geeks hold our collective breath at the brink of Oscar nomination time, wondering what lucky films will be nominated for Hollywood’s highest honor. Well, the nomination news is in. And some of the choices this year feel a bit, well, surprising. I’m going to focus mostly on the eight films nominated for Best Picture: The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room and Spotlight. Before I begin to delve into what did—and didn’t—make that coveted list, however, I’ll note that The Revenant, a brutal survival story from 1820s starring Leonardo DiCaprio, scored the most total nominations: 12. It was followed by Road Warrior sequel Mad Max: Fury Road with 10; Ridley Scott’s Red Planet rescue, The Martian, with seven; Spotlight (a drama about the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal) with six and Wall Street thriller The Big Short with five. The Best Picture nominee list this year, it could be argued, strives mightily to be all things to all movie fans. Big-budget box office spectacle is well represented by actioners The Martian and Fury Road. Grim ‘n’ gruesome grit—always an awards season proclivity—permeates The Revenant. Touching ‘n’ tender narratives unfold in the indie dramas Brooklyn (a sweet story about a young Irish woman immigrating to New York City in the 1950s) and Room (a difficult but deeply poignant tale of an abducted mother and her son). Meanwhile, Steven Spielberg’s Cold War espionage thriller Bridge of Spies joins Spotlight and The Big Short in the burgeoning “based on a true story” subgenre. It’s an interesting list, to be sure. But just as interesting, perhaps, are some notable films many thought were strong contenders this year. Perhaps highest on that list is Quentin Tarantino’s latest Western, The Hateful Eight, which has been one of the most buzz-generating films of the last several months and one many observers felt was a lock for at least a nomination, if not outright victory in the hallowed category. Another critical darling was the 1950s-based lesbian love story Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Now, I’m not shedding any tears about this one’s exclusion (nor The Hateful Eight, for that matter), but given Hollywood’s embrace of all things LGBT in the last decade or so, it’s a bit of surprise that this one didn’t make the list. Where I might have a tear or three to spare, however, is the exclusion of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now I understand that it may not be an arsty, critical darling. But it was an immensely satisfying film (for me as a long-time fan of the franchise, at least) that would likely have brought a few more eyeballs forcefully to the Oscar broadcast. But, alas, no. I mean, seriously, even Avatar (a vastly inferior film, in my not-so-humble, Star Wars fanboy opinion) got a nom back in 2010. Fan interest aside, I thought the Academy would’ve been interested in capitalizing on the success of a beloved sequel that’s well on its way to making a cool billion dollars at the domestic box office. Guess not. For that matter, another fan fave that failed to make the cut this year is Pixar’s truly delightful Inside Out. Admittedly, animated films are often an even bigger longshot than sci-fi and fantasy fare, in part because they have their own category. Still, Inside Out was, in many reviewers’ estimation, one of Pixar’s best efforts to date, a psychological and relational journey that worked as well (or perhaps even better) for adults as it did for kids. Other films that had been considered possibilities but were shut out of the premier category include the latest Rocky sequel, Creed; the border drug-and-police drama Sicario; and the biopic about the influential rap group N.W.A, Straight Outta Compton. Speaking of Creed and Straight Outta Compton, controversy is brewing for the second year in a row with regard to the all-white field of best acting nominees, with Michael B. Jordan (Creed) and Will Smith (Concussion) failing to earn noms after critically praised performances in their respective films. New York Times writers Brooks Barnes and Michael Cieply say of those omissions, “Without the diverse Straight Outta Compton—last year’s field at least had Selma—the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is certain to face blowback for its selections. ” So there’s the list for this year. What do you think? Did the Academy get it right, wrong or somewhere in between? What, if anything, surprised you about the choices this year? ]]>
(Review Source)
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What does it take to topple an utterly dominant, seemingly invincible galactic force? You need a vertically challenged, fast-talking cop, apparently. Oh, and maybe a very angry bear. After four weeks bestriding the box office charts like a colossus, Star Wars: The Force Awakens fell to third this weekend—slipping behind both the comedy Ride Along 2 and Oscar powerhouse The Revenant. Ride Along 2, starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, squealed its tires to an estimated $35.3 million payday over the regular three-day weekend—$41.6 million if you count ticket sales from Martin Luther King Jr. Day. That practically guarantees that I’ll be reviewing Ride Along 3 before too long. Lucky me. The Revenant, buoyed by 12 Oscar nominations (including ones for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director), held firm in second place, banking a $31.8 million. The brutal survival flick has already collected $97.2 million in its month-long run—and only two weeks in wide release—which makes the Best Picture Oscar derby this year feel surprisingly populist. Two Best Picture nominees have already crested the $100 million threshold (The Martian has earned $227.2 million; Mad Max: Fury Road $153.6 million), and The Revenant looks like it’ll join ’em by the time you finish this paragraph. Of course, the grosses from all the Best Picture nominees together wouldn’t equal what The Force Awakens has banked in its own five-week run. The latest Star Wars flick collected another $26.4 million to run its domestic record to a truly cosmic $858.5 million. It’s also banked more than $1 billion overseas now—only the fifth film in history to do so—bringing its overall grosses to a cool $1.872 billion. Disney may need to build its own Death Star just to hold all that cash. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi finished fourth with $16.2 million, while the Will Ferrell holdover Daddy’s Home closed out the Top Five with $9.5 million. ]]>
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Hail, Panda! Kung Fu Panda 3, that is. Despite a trio of shiny new movies galumphing into theaters this week, America’s most popular animated bear since Yogi (scientists no longer think that giant pandas are just big raccoons) fended them all off and won its second straight weekend box office title. It earned $21 million, according to early estimates, bringing its two-week gross to about $69.1 million. Hail, Caesar! was the weekend’s biggest newcomer­­­. The Coen Brothers’ latest strange cinematic offering kidnapped about 11.4 million aging dollar bills from moviegoers to finish second. Meanwhile, Oscar darling The Revenant crawled into third place with another $7.1 million, officially making its famous Leo DiCaprio-eating bear only the second-most fearsome ursine in today’s box office countdown. The Revenant has earned a whopping $149.7 million—a huge number, considering best picture nominees typically gross about as much as your typical hedge fund manager. But this has been a surprisingly populist Oscar season: Three best picture nominee have crested the $100 million mark, the others being Mad Max: Fury Road ($153.6 million) and The Martian ($228 million). Granted, take the earnings of all the best picture nominees and add ’em all up, they still wouldn’t come close to the next entrant. Star Wars: The Force Awakens added another $6.9 million to its already ludicrously high total North American gross, bringing it to $906 million. Oh, and add in its overseas earnings, and The Force Awakens recently became the third movie to earn more than $2 billion. It’s now at $2.008 billion, just behind Titanic’s $2.187 billion and, of course, Avatar’s $2.788 billion. Another newcomer, The Choice, sauntered into fifth place with $6.1 million, while Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was more dead than alive with a $5.2 million, sixth-place take. Final figures update: 1. Kung Fu Panda 3, $21.2 million; 2. Hail, Caesar!, $11.4 million; 3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, $7 million; 4. The Revenant, $6.9 million; 5. The Choice, $6.1 million; 6. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, $5.3 million. ]]>
(Review Source)
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(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Oscars weekend is upon us. Are you ready for the 88th Academy Awards? Do you even care? We here at Plugged In don’t tend to put much stock into what the Academy likes or dislikes. Our criteria for what makes a film great differs pretty significantly, after all. But, in spite of all the debate about its relevance, the myriad conversations surrounding the Oscars make one thing pretty clear: the culture still cares about them and pays them heed. As such, we think it’s important to talk about the stories that the culture is soaking up. Because if we are to guard our hearts and minds, it’s beneficial to know about that with which we are grappling. It allows us the opportunity to not only shine a light on the world of popular entertainment, but also into that same world. So, without further ado, I present to you the return of the Plugged In Oscars Roundtable wherein we attempt to discuss all eight of this year’s Academy Award Best Picture nominees (The Martian, Mad Max: Fury Road, Brooklyn, Room, The Revenant, Bridge of Spies, Spotlight, and The Big Short) in eight minutes or less. ]]>
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Gods of Egypt proved to be just a bunch of false gods—and certainly for their would-be devotees at Lionsgate. Not a single box office receipt was turned into a money-making snake, as far as I know, and the only things that ran red were the studio’s ledgers. Oh, and Deadpool, of course. That guy loves red. For the third straight week, the bloody, scarlet-clad superhero claimed the box office crown for his very own. The superhero movie banked an estimated $31.5 million, bringing its three-week domestic total to a remarkable $285.6 million. That’s already the third highest gross for an R-rated movie ever, trailing only The Passion of the Christ ($370.3 million) and American Sniper ($350.1 million). Oh, and keep in mind the flick was made for less than $60 million—a pittance in today’s Hollywood and near impossible when to comes to superhero movies. Deadpool’s creators are probably diving into pools of profit these days, Scrooge McDuck style. Incidentally, Deadpool has already earned more in three weeks than the total gross of any one of 2015’s Academy Awards Best Picture nominees—representatives of which optimistically filed into Hollywood’s Dolby Theater last night for the Oscars. Even though it was a relatively populist roster of hopefuls (the eight Best Picture nominees earned an average of $97.8 million, according to Box Office Mojo), only three of those films crested the $100 million threshold: The Martian, which walked into the awards with seven nominations and walked away with nothing, at least lugged around the biggest gross of any Best Picture nominee—$228.3 million. The Revenant, winner of three Oscars including Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), has banked $170.5 million and counting during its run so far. Mad Max: Fury Road, which took home a whopping six statuettes in its souped-up post-apocalyptic vehicle, earned $153.6 million. And Best Picture winner Spotlight? Just $39.2 million. In fact, just one of last night’s Oscar winners can boast as big a windfall as Deadpool: That’d be Pixar’s Inside Out, winner of Best Animated Feature and collector of $356.5 million simoleons. I’m sure that fills Disney with oodles of joy. In contrast to this year’s cash colossus Deadpool, Gods of Egypt looks downright impoverished. Made for an estimated $140 million, the fantasy romp scrounged just $14 million—and let’s face it, if a seven-year famine hits Lionsgate, that won’t fill the barns with food. In fact, I’m not sure if that cash would be enough to (in the movie’s own uncertain theology) pay its own way into the afterlife. Kung Fu Panda 3 continues to thwack and parry in the Top Five. Its $9 million take this weekend was enough to land the family-friendly flick in third place, just ahead of the $7 million earned by the Christian movie Risen. Meanwhile, two newcomers are duking it out for fifth place. Eddie the Eagle, the inspiring story of arguably the worst ski jumper in Olympic history, earned $6.3 million—about $200,000 ahead of Triple 9′s $6.1 mil. But these are early estimates, remember, so stay tuned. Final figures update: 1. Deadpool, $31.1 million; 2. Gods of Egypt, $14.1 million; 3. Kung Fu Panda 3, $8.9 million; 4. Risen, $6.8 million; 5. Triple 9, $6.1 million; 6. Eddie the Eagle, $6.1 million. ]]>
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(”Mad Max: Fury Road” is briefly mentioned in this.)
About midway through Sunday’s Oscar telecast on ABC, host Chris Rock brought out his daughters’ Girl Scout troop and had them sell cookies to Hollywood’s A-listers. “Leo, you made $30 million—come on!” Rock hollered in the direction of Leonardo DiCaprio. By the time he tallied the troop’s earnings for the evening—somewhere north of $65,000—I was munching on my own stash of Thin Mints. And, since I was live-tweeting the Oscars, I guiltily confessed as much. “So … you’re saying our entertainment choices really DO influence how we live …?” tweeted back Antilles58. On Hollywood’s biggest night, the entertainment industry did its best to influence how we live, how we think and what we care for. Even though the evening was ostensibly to honor the art of moviemaking, this was a night in which issues took center stage and commanded it almost all evening. All due respect to DiCaprio, Spotlight and Mad Max: Fury Road, the #OscarsSoWhite controversy was the evening’s biggest star. Rock found a way to discuss the issue pointedly and repeatedly—and with lots and lots of yuks. Rock’s monologue and a handful of pre-produced segments skewered Oscar repeatedly for its lack of inclusivity, and a number of presenters made mention of it as well. Even the Academy’s president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, showed up to perform a bit of a mea culpa. “Our audiences are global and rich in diversity,” she said, “and every facet of our industry should be as well.” But societal and global concerns didn’t stop there. Many people who gave awards, and nearly everyone who received one, had something weighty to say. Vice President Joe Biden and Lady Gaga teamed up for perhaps the most emotional segment of the night, drawing attention to sexual abuse perpetrated against both men and women. Sam Smith, when he collected an Oscar for Best Song (“The Writing’s on the Wall,” from Spectre), dedicated the honor to the worldwide LGBT community. Jenny Beavan, who grabbed an Oscar for Costume Design for her work on Fury Road, concluded her speech with this: “I just want to say one quite serious thing, I’ve been thinking about this a lot, but actually it could be horribly prophetic, Mad Max, if we’re not kinder to each other, and if we don’t stop polluting our atmosphere, so you know, it could happen.” She wasn’t the only one who was thinking of the environment Sunday night. Most of DiCaprio’s acceptance speech was focused on climate change. He said: Making The Revenant was about man’s relationship to the natural world. A world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history. Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. The Oscars telecast—ostensibly an entertainment show about the entertainment industry—was more interested this year in inspiring or shaming or calling its viewers to action than it was in, well, entertaining. Nothing inherently wrong with the idea of this, of course. In fact, it’s right along the lines of what Plugged In has preached for more than 20 years: movies matter. Each #OscarsSoWhite rib, each advocacy speech, was an effort to either change or further societal dialogue—an effort to influence our thoughts and feelings and, if possible, actions. And we’re not just talking about the messages in the Oscar ceremony. It extends, in many cases, to the movies themselves. Consider Spotlight, the year’s Best Picture, according to Oscar. The movie chronicles The Boston Globe’s coverage of the Catholic priest pedophilia scandal, which broke in 2002. This wasn’t a movie meant to “entertain,” but to convict. “This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” producer Michael Sugar said in his acceptance speech. “Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith.” Or there’s The Big Short, a movie that takes on the housing crisis of 2007. “If you don’t want big money to control government, don’t vote for candidates that take money from big banks, oil, or weirdo billionaires,” said director Adam McKay in accepting an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. These movies are meant to move us not to just laugh or cry, but to do something different in the world at large. Movies matter, we were told Sunday night. They impact the way we think and feel. They have the power to change the world. It’s always ironic that entertainment moguls believe movies matter in the ways in which they want them to matter, but often pooh-pooh any negative influence they might have. Never mind how these films may influence our sexual mores, our predilections for violence or our ever coarsening culture. This is their idea: The Big Short will teach us all to mistrust big banks, and everyone who watches it surely won’t be impacted by its 100 f-words or dog-eat-dog worldview. And when organizations like Plugged In point out some potentially causal links between problematic entertainment content and the world around us, we’re subject to eye rolls. Perhaps, ironically, a profanity-laden email or two. And yet, those links are there—even if we wish they weren’t. Movies can influence us for better and worse, and sometimes in ways we’re barely aware of. Celebrities can sway us in myriad ways, even when we insist that they don’t. The media we see and hear and feel matters. It impacts us in areas both big and small. My Thin Mints can attest to that. ]]>
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