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Mad Max: Fury Road Movie Review

“Mad Max: Fury Road” is a story about a group people who, quite literally, break the chains of their bondage and rise up against authoritarianism.

In the film, Tom Hardy’s character (Max) is captured and enslaved, his only purpose in life to provide clean blood to the ruling class’s warriors. Meanwhile, Immortan Joe, the land’s ruler, maintains power with an iron fist forged by military might and the flow of resources. Joe keeps his people in line, keeps his subjects suppressed, by restricting their access to water – then preaching his necessity and humility when he allows a few drops to fall on the masses.

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VOTE: Trailer of the Year Award

Welcome to Smash Cut Culture’s annual Trailer of the Year Award.  This is the inaugural year and we are excited to showcase six of the year’s best trailers. It will be up to you to determine which of the six should take home the top prize.

Before we continue, we must address the big elephant in the room, or rather, the big bantha in the room. You will notice that there are a total of zero Star Wars: The Force Awakens nominations.  This was done for one reason, it would have been a completely pointless contest because anything Star Wars on the internet, wins.  I equate it to long discussions about who was the greatest wide receiver in NFL history, in that there are no long discussions because of Jerry Rice. There are long discussions about who is the second best NFL receiver, but the top spot belongs to Rice.

So to keep this interesting and still interactive, Star Wars trailers are banned from contention. Because for the foreseeable future,  there will be a new Star Wars trailer released every year that breaks the internet.  That is unless The Force Awakens turns out to suck, then all bets are off.

Now that that is out of the way, on to the nominations of which each will introduced by a top YouTube comment.

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Raw Behind the Scenes Footage of Mad Max: Fury Road

Reminder as you are watching this footage, director George Miller was 69 years old and cinematographer John Seale was 70.  These two and their production team just schooled every action film made in the past 15 years.  Green screen should used to enhance the story, not be the story.  Mad Max used green screen, but you will notice it only for certain camera angles and shots that required it for the safety of the actors and stunt performers.

Any wonder why the actors in the Star Wars prequels felt like they couldn’t act their way out of a cardboard box? They couldn’t because they were acting to nothing except the chroma green box they were placed in. Never underestimate the power of doing it real.

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Mad Max: Fury Road – The Action and The State

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Furiosa’s War Rig

Mad Max: Fury Road opened last weekend and I finally made it out to see it this weekend. Not only am I thrilled it lived up to my expectations when I first saw the trailer, I am relieved to know that when it comes to making action pictures, there is someone out there willing to work hard, putting in the time and effort to convey their vision to a production team, who all then execute it flawlessly.  In the current golden age of Marvel action films and other CGI driven movies, writer-director George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road destroys this kiddy-field of action films (no offense to the hard working computer animators) much the same way Furiosa’s War Rig plows through the desert destroying everything in its path to liberate its cargo. (Furiosa being portrayed by Charlize Theron in a role that should now forever be the model for what an actual Lady Liberty would like in a world that needed her most,)

The heavy use of practical effects, stunt work and careful, deliberate directing and camera work are key in connecting audiences with the emotional state of the story and characters – and with Mad Max: Fury Road, that emotional state is jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, heart-pounding ecstasy.  It’s the first time in a long while, that I actually sat in a theater and marveled at the stunt work and choreography – all of which you could completely follow with ease – and couldn’t wait to find out how they achieved it all.  I eagerly the Blu-ray special features menu.

When it comes to the plot of the film and the world that is depicted, I’d like to defer to author, publisher and all around  liberty geek Jeffrey A. Tucker of FEE.

“… The setting is usually described as “post-apocalyptic.”

Who destroyed the world (a question one character in the new version asks)? We don’t know for sure, but it’s a good bet that it is the same crew that, in the 20th century, blew up whole cities, dropped bombs on millions of innocents, slaughtered whole peoples in famines, gulags, work camps, death marches, and gas chambers.

I’m speaking of the state. That’s the only institution with means and the will to destroy civilization. So if I had to guess the answer to the question, I would guess: politicians and bureaucrats destroyed the world.”

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Trailer of the Year Award – Mad Max: Fury Road

[Update: Headline was changed to reflect Trailer of the Year Award series]

Not to step on the toes of Patrick Lehe’s Trailer Tuesday, it is Wednesday after all, but when I went to theater this past weekend to contribute to the garagantuan January box office take of American Sniper, I was rewarded with what may have been the most exciting trailer I’ve seen in a decade, Mad Max: Fury Road.  I may be a tad late to this party as the trailer was unveiled a month ago, but I hadn’t seen it yet.

Not only is Mad Max back and with the original’s George Miller in the director’s chair, but our hero is portrayed by the great Tom Hardy and he’s brought along the equally talented Charlize Theron.  The trailer literally (and I mean literally) had me slack jawed throughout and sporting a childlike grin when I turned to my wife when it ended – as if begging her to allow us to go see it.  The visuals are stunning.  The editing, music and tone captures the spirit of the madness that permeates this post-apocalytic future.  Damn, I love bold filmmakers and this trailer is no exception. It remains to be seen how the plot unfolds and if Miller, who directed the animated Happy Feet movies, will set the stage of this future world as one that failed to enact a global cap & trade system, thus sentencing Earth to death by climate change.

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