The elegant visual insanity of Mad Max: Fury Road

Fury Road posterAfter a thirty year hiatus director George Miller returns to cinemas with the long-awaited fourth installment in his Mad Max franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road. This movie had a famously troubled production, going over budget and falling behind schedule, but sometimes nightmarish film shoots end up producing true cinematic gems (see also: Apocalypse Now, Jaws, The Hurt Locker), and this is undoubtedly the case with Fury Road. It’s a gonzo blockbuster of epic scale that pushes reset on the CGI-dominated spectacle of mainstream movies. It’s simultaneously a dumb movie about people in a wasteland chasing each other in souped-up cars, and a smart movie about feminine assertiveness and agency. Fury Road is gorgeous and exhilarating, but it’s also an elegantly told story that requires no exposition to understand. Continue reading “The elegant visual insanity of Mad Max: Fury Road”

Skyfall: Not your grandpa’s Bond

Mildly spoilery.

There’s a lot of talk in the latest Bond film, the Sam Mendes-directed Skyfall, about Bond being from another time and the relevancy of an old-school cloak-and-dagger espionage agent in a world of computers and cybercrime. It’s a question that works both for the character and the franchise, which turns fifty this year. It’s also a question that Skyfall answers with a resounding YES. Bond is still relevant and interesting as a protagonist and yes, you still believe he plays a vital role in covert intelligence. Continue reading “Skyfall: Not your grandpa’s Bond”