A few weeks back I praised Alex Garland‘s Ex Machina for being an “anti-blockbuster” of sorts. For having the gall to rely almost solely on story and character rather than huge set pieces and explosions during the summer movie season. Today, I’m going to celebrate George Miller‘s Mad Max: Fury Road for mastering all of the above. For providing me with the most exhilarating, breathless movie theater experience I can remember having and for telling me a great story with interesting characters along the way.
By now I’m sure you’ve heard the near universal acclaim for Fury Road. How it’s a modern action masterpiece, a wildly inventive, fiercely inspired, over the top piece of filmmaking that belongs alongside some of the best films that the genre has ever produced. For what it’s worth, I believe all of this to be true and I fully expect the film to withstand the test of time. More important to me than all of this deserved praise, though, is the fact that this beautiful piece of organized chaos was made by a 70-year-old man. Fury Road has energy seeping from its pores. Every frame is filled with purposeful action, a sense of urgency and an unwavering passion for the story at hand. Not for the stories of yesteryear, but for the here and now. It inspires me as a 28-year-old not just to take pride in my work but to never be so comfortable with my past that I stop challenging myself today. It’s a cliché lesson to be sure, but an important one that you don’t expect to be reminded of while watching what essentially boils down to being a two hour chase scene.
All Fury Road love aside, let’s get to this week’s Top 5:
1. TOMORROWLAND Interviews and Review
Although Disney’s Tomorrowland isn’t receiving the critical buzz I was expecting, my love for Brad Bird’s previous work is more than enough to get me to buy a ticket regardless. If nothing else, I’m interested in seeing it for myself so I can decide whether it’s just an “OK movie” or an “OK Brad Bird movie”. Those are two different things. Whether you’ve already watched it and are looking to dig a little deeper into the film or you’re still on the fence about seeing it, you’ll do well to check out Matt’s review; Steve’s video interviews with Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof, Britt Robertson, and Raffey Casidy; and Christina’s press conference recap with George Clooney, Bird, and Lindelof.
2. First Teaser Trailer for STEVE JOBS
Universal released the first teaser trailer for Steve Jobs last Sunday and what it lacks in footage it makes up for in sweet, sweet Aaron Sorkin dialogue. “I sat in a garage and invented the future” is the new “If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook”. This is one of my most anticipated films of 2015.
3. POLTERGEIST Interviews and Review
Tobe Hooper’s (or perhaps Steven Spielberg’s) Poltergeist is an undisputed horror classic. Nothing is going to change that. From what I can gather, Gil Kenan’s remake is aimed at a younger audience than its predecessor and I think it’s a wise decision to try and appeal to a new demographic because let’s face it: attempting to stand toe-to-toe with the 1982 film is going to end badly for the 2015 feature every single time. Better to try and make your own standalone experience which is what Kenan and Co. appear to have done. For those interested in learning more about the film, check out Perri’s review and Steve’s video interviews with Gil Kenan and Sam Rockwell & Rosemarie DeWitt. Also, in the spirit of Poltergeist‘s release, I recommend checking out Chris’ collection of five overlooked haunted house films.
4. Cannes Film Festival 2015 Coverage
The 68th Cannes Film Festival comes to a close this weekend and for those of us who find ourselves more than a hop, skip, and jump away from France, it’s nice to have someone like our Talia Soghomonian covering the event for us from the ground floor. You can browse all of our festival coverage by clicking here or you can check out some of my personal favorites such as Talia’s reviews of Pixar’s Inside Out and Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario.
5. David Letterman’s Final Top Ten
If you’ve had any interaction with the outside world this week then you’re probably already aware that David Letterman bid farewell to CBS’ The Late Show on Wednesday, ending a run that spanned nearly 22 years. Regardless of your affinity for the show, I think you can appreciate the sentiment of having some of Dave’s most memorable guests show up to read his final “Top Ten” list in person. They’re each great in their own way, but my personal favorites belong to Alec Baldwin and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Click here to watch.