Mad Max Delivers A Fury Of Action

Director George Miller makes a triumphant return to the post-apocalyptic desert wasteland of Mad Max in the fourth installment of that pulse-pounding saga. Mad Max: Fury Road now stars Tom Hardy as the sullen, scarred highway loner “Mad” Max Rockatansky and he is the same embittered road warrior as in the previous Miller films.

joeAt the start, Max is captured by a bizarre cult called the War Boys led by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), a hulking tyrant with long, flowing white hair and a chilling breathing mask adorned with horse teeth and vacuum pipes. During his captivity Max is swept up in an escape by Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), who flees the cult’s territory with a souped-up War Rig along with Immortan Joe’s prized Wives­: nubile young women he enslaved solely for breeding. From there it’s a frenzied pursuit caper with Furiosa in her rig frantically outrunning her former leader’s outlandish armies and their tripped-out vehicles.

fury road

As with the other Mad Max films, there isn’t a tremendous amount of plot. Basically the heroes have to get from point A to point B and avoid the bad guys. Max is still haunted by his past and uncaring about Furiosa’s dilemma at first, before allowing his heroic side to emerge. But Mad Max: Fury Road is still an outlandish, adrenaline-fueled action film! What makes this exciting film so fantastic is its simple nature and ability to deliver the pulsing goods. Astounding practical guitar playereffects and stunts, plus a non-stop pace add to this exhilarating viewing experience. Then there are the many off-the-wall images like a hellish guitar player that is used to spur on the War Boys and terrify the enemy with a flame-shooting electric guitar. Other moments include the sickening sight of women used as cows to pump milk or men used as mobile blood banks. Those along with long-sweeping vistas of imposing desert lands enforce the notion that hell has come to this future Earth.


Interestingly, the film isn’t afraid to slow things down once in a while because these moments allow the audience to know and care about the characters. One of the more interesting people in the film is Nux (Nicholas Hoult), a War Boy that was obsessed with capturing Furiosa and the Wives, but winds up fighting for them instead. More importantly, Hardy is a worthy successor to Mel Gibson, the original portrayer of Max. It’s a relief to see that the character is in good, stoic hands with Hardy. That is because Max is able to exhibit his savage and noble heart in the heart-pumping climax where he and Furiosa have their final confrontation with Joe and his army.


Given all of its fast-moving and engaging merits, Mad Max: Fury Road is as terrific as The Road Warrior and in some ways better. That’s because it harkens back to the good old-fashioned action/car chase films from the ’70s and ’80s, while delivering something more tangible.

Waldermann Rivera

Coming Soon: Summer Films 2015

iron man, cap thor

The summer movie season is about to kick off this coming weekend with the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron. The sequel to the hugely successful film The Avengers is just the start of a deluge of eagerly (and not so anticipated) genre films due to be released this summer.

Will this be a summer to remember like in 1982 or 1984 or more recent summers like 2008 or 2012? That will be decided in the near future, but for now here’s is my personal ranking of films that I look forward to.

Avengers: Age of UltronFrom looking at early reviews, it appears that this sequel suffers from Iron Man 2itis, where too much time is being spent on setting up future films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Putting that aside, this film looks terrific and a Marvel fan’s dream film. Let’s hope it does a better job of setting up future films than Iron Man 2 or The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and that we come away with happy memories of the Marvel Comics heroes stomping on rogue androids.

Jurassic World I’m a dinosaur junkie, I admit it. Put rampaging dinos and hapless human prey on a film and I’m there. Jurassic World may not top the original classic Jurassic Park but the trailers look fantastic. And despite what some gripers may say, I dig the idea of Chris Pratt using tamed velociraptors to take on the big, bad dinosaur baddie. Seriously, I just love that scene of him riding his motorcycle with his dinosaur companions running alongside like prehistoric attack dogs.

raptor dogs

Tomorrowland What I like about this film so far are two things. One it’s not a sequel or reboot but something original. Two, being that I have no idea what’s it about, I was blown away by the visuals of a girl discovering a futuristic city. The added bonus is that Brad Bird is directing this film, which is good enough for me.

Ant-Man I don’t care about Edgar Wright leaving the project and all the production headaches. Honestly, I think Wright’s films are way overrated and him walking away from Ant-Man weeks before filming was to start was no big loss. The first trailer was, let’s face it, underwhelming. But I was sold with the recent trailer that showcased that goofy and exciting throw down between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket, featuring the threat of Thomas the Tank Engine!

Maggie This film came out of nowhere and caught my eye. Arnold Schwarzenneger as a father trying to protect his teenage daughter who is becoming a zombie. It sounds like a ludicrous Arnold actioner from the early ’90s, but I liked the serious tone of the trailer that features Arnold as more of an everyman type. At this point, I’d rather see this than the latest Terminator film.

Mad Max: Fury Road George Miller who directed all the Mad Max films returns after too long with the latest entry of our favorite post-apocalyptic warrior driver. The loony visuals from the trailers embellished with bombastic music is a great throwback to the classic ’80s action flicks.

Self/Less I just love a good, solid science fiction film with a baiting premise and expert execution. Ben Kingsley is this dying guy who transfers his consciousness into a healthy body (Ryan Reynolds). As expected, all isn’t as it seems when evil corporations and past life pathos come into the fray.

Poltergeist The trailers were surprisingly creepy and made me interested in this remake of the Tobe Hooper horror classic. There’s a lot of skepticism with recent remakes of classic genre films like Robocop or Total Recall. And for good reason because they seemed unnecessary and didn’t bring anything new to the table. So…I hope Poltergeist will have a different fate.


San Andreas and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation These last two films aren’t strictly genre fare, but they look exciting! And if you think about it, they are borderline sci-fi with those life-like masks that are a Mission: Impossible standard and San Andreas’ premise of the “Big One” finally happening in California.

Other genre films scheduled for this summer include Terminator: Genisys, Inside Out, Sinister 2, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Fantastic Four, and Pixels. IMHO these films do not interest me and will probably blow, but I wouldn’t mind being proven wrong

T. Rod Jones

Fifteen Films To Look For In 2015



This year’s slate of genre films looks incredibly thrilling for fans. We have the return of Star Wars, the Avengers and many high-profile sci-fi wannabe epics, plus a slew of fantasy, horror and animated films. Of the many scheduled releases, these are the ones to look for in 2015.

15. Jupiter Ascending

This eye-catching space adventure jupiterfilm starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum can be either a magnificent comeback vehicle for the Wachowskis or another in a long string of flops for the directors after their early success with The Matrix. (Release Date: February 6)

14. Inside Out

Pixar is offering two animated films for 2015 and the first one out is about the emotions of a young girl being played out in her mind by distinct characters. Think of that old Fox show Herman’s Head for the younger crowd. (Release Date: June 19)


Usually January is a dumping ground for inferior movies, and found footage films are now considered passé. But Project Almanac has an interesting premise: A bunch of young adults record their discovery of time travel and its negative repercussions. It could go either way. (Release Date: January 30)

12. Monsters: Dark Continent

Even though Gareth Edwards, the monsters dark continentdirector of the first Monsters film, isn’t returning, he is still involved in this sequel that expands the premise of Monsters. Now the alien behemoths have spread throughout the world and this film chronicles a soldier looking for a comrade in monster-infested territory. (Release Date: February 27)

11. Terminator: Genisys

Fans of the Terminator films have been burned by the last two entries in the series. The production team behind this latest entry hope to start afresh with this semi-reboot/sequel that returns Arnold Schwarzenegger as an older version of the killer cyborg. The trailer was a bit offputting, yet somehow intriguing with the idea that the original timeline of the first film has been radically altered and combines elements of Terminator 2: Judgment Day with the original film. (Release Date: July 1)

10. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part Two

The final film of The Hunger Games saga promises to deliver the ultimate confrontation between the young victor of the Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), and the District 13 rebel forces against the tyrant President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and his armies of Panem. (Release Date: November 20)

scott lang9. Ant-Man

This film is probably a case of any publicity is good publicity. Ant-Man has always been an obscure superhero. The only interest in this film was due to director Edgar Wright’s involvement. Awaresness ratcheted up a thousand fold when Wright quit the film and Marvel Studios went through a very public search for a director, any director to take over. It’s easy to right off Ant-Man because of its behind-the -scenes headaches, but this is Marvel Studios, who were able to sell the just-as obscure Guardians of the Galaxy. (Release Date: July 17)

8. The Good Dinosaur

Out of the two Pixar releases for this dinogoodyear, this film seems the more interesting of the two. It’s about dinosaurs for Pete’s sake! And according to publicity material The Good Dinosaur takes place in world where the mighty giant reptiles never died off, making the film a rare alternate history film. Even though it’s had a troubled production, Pixar should be able to pull off another winner. (Release Date: November 25)

7. The Martian

Based on the book by Andy Weir. Ridley Scott directs this outer space survival tale starring Matt Damon as an astronaut stranded on Mars. Think of Survivorman in space or rather that underrated cult classic Robinson Crusoe on Mars, but with today’s scientific knowledge and special effects. Hopefully Ridley Scott might have better luck with The Martian than he did with Prometheus. (Release Date: November 25)

6. Chappie

Neill Blomkamp’s third film stars Hugh Jackman and is about a sentient chappierobot finding his way in the world. From the bits shown in the trailer, Chappie might become the latest endearing robot to capture our human hearts in the mode of WALL-E or R2-D2. In any case, this film offers Blomkamp a chance at redemption after Elysium failed to match the success of District 9. (Release Date: March 6)

5. Mad Max: Fury Road

Everyone’s favorite futuristic Road Warrior is back! In the newest Mad Max film, the titular hero is now portrayed by Tom Hardy and is being directed by series creator George Miller. If what has been shown on the trailers is true, we’re going to be treated by the same high-octane road thrills that defined the original films and make the Fast and the Furious films seem pedestrian. (Release Date: May 15)

4. Jurassic World

Dinosaurs never get old on the silver screen! With that said, we’ve been itching for a return to Jurassic Park even though the last film, which came out in 2001, was a bit disappointing. Chris Pratt stars as a park warden in a perfected dinosaur theme park that has a front-seat viewing of dinosaur genetic experiments gone awry. (Release Date: June 12)


3. Tomorrowland

The newest film by Brad Bird is still a mystery at this point and the teaser released served only to bring up more questions and entice us even more. Bird has proven to be a phenomenal director and the imagery shown in the trailer were beyond entrancing. Fingers crossed that Tomorrowland will be as extraordinary and scintillating as the teaser, well, teased. (Release Date: May 22)

2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Yes, this latest Star Wars film is on the top of many anticipated lists for 2015. This is just based on director J.J. Abrams’ credentials and an exciting teaser trailer. But remember how we were all excited when the trailer for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace came out. Then there is the undeniable fact that Abrams has his critics, especially with his overuse of lens flares. And depending on one’s point of view this is the first Star Wars film not under the guidance of George Lucas. Putting all those reservations aside, it’s freaking great that we’re actually getting a brand new Star Wars films that takes its inspiration from the Original Trilogy. (Release Date: December 18)

m falcon star wars 7

1. Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The Avengers was as influential on superhero films as The Dark Knight and Superman. A large measure of thanks had to go to director Joss Whedon, who crafted a well-balanced character/action piece that was exciting, witty and plain fun. Avengers: Age of Ultron looks like it will take the route of other well-regarded sequels in adopting a darker tone. This came across with the trailer’s use of a chilling rendition of “I Got No Strings”, which accompanied despairing scenes of our distressed heroes as they faced off against the robotic Ultron, voiced unnervingly by James Spader. Also it’s been hinted that the film’s events will lead to 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, which pits superheroes against one another. The takeaway impression is that Avengers: Age of Ultron will not play it safe. (Release Date: May 1)


In addition to this list there are many more genre films currently scheduled for 2015. Some of the more interesting ones include Predestination (January 9–next week!), a time-travel piece starring Ethan Hawke; Seventh Son (February 6) features Jeff Bridges in a medieval knight story with fantastic monsters and witches; The Divergent Series: Insurgent (March 20), the sequel to last year’s Divergent is also an adaptation of Veronica Roth’s second Divergent novel and stars super popular Shailene Woodley; Home (March 27), Dreamworks Animation presents this sci-fi buddy comedy about aliens invaders; Ex Machina (April 10) marks the directorial debut of 28 Days Later writer Alex Garland in a tale about artificial intelligence; Pan (July 24) is a prequel to Peter Pan featuring Hugh Jackman; Pixels (July 24), Chris Columbus directs this sci-fi comedy about 1980s-era video game characters used by aliens to invade Earth; Poltergeist (July 24), a remake of the Tobe Hooper horror classic; Self/Less (July 31) stars Ryan Reynolds as a dying man whose consciousness is transferred into another body; Sinister 2 (August 21), the sequel to the surprisingly scary Sinister; The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials (Sept. 18), based on another popular young reader sci-fi book series, it’s the sequel to last year’s The Maze Runner; Victor Frankenstein (October 2), James McAvoy stars as the infamous scientist while Daniel Radcliffe plays Igor; The Jungle Book (October 9) is a live-action version of the Disney classic adaptation directed by Jon Favreau; Crimson Peak (October 16), a Gothic romance directed by Guillermo Del Toro; and Midnight Special (November 25) is a sci-fi chase film about a father and son who go on run after the son develops special powers.

José Soto