Posts Tagged ‘cult classic’

This is a magnificent movie, and leaving HBO in a couple of days.

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I never knew that Terry Gilliam directed this, and so it is something special. Gilliam has it working on multiple levels, and yet manages great story-book payoffs as the Western viewers expect.

It’s a such a smart, raw film, with real violence and its consequences, real poverty, power disparity, torture, belligerence, arrogance. The acting is phenomenal–Heath Ledger & Matt Damon as battling brothers, the most famous brothers of their age, and begins in the world of the rational. They are con men, charlatans, swindlers.

But magic is real. And it’s enough to carry you away to a most deadly forest.

I love how Terry Gilliam is someone you can trust to deliver some intelligence and a moral compass. Stark contrast to a similar-appearing film called Hansel & Gretel.


Leaving HBO at the end of this month, you have time to catch it now.

This film is possibly the greatest action thriller ever made. The stunts put Hollywood to shame. Everything is real, kinetic, and life-endangering.

Whether or not you like Mel Gibson, he brought Mad Max to the world, and his world is brutal, chaotic, and sublime. The Road Warrior stood as untouchable for thirty years until George Miller delivered Mad Max: Fury Road in 2015, and we had something to finally compare it to.

The Humungous

The opening montage sequence is a bit dated in its style, and perhaps underwhelming as an opening. Start at the first frame after it, however, and all bets are off. The music also seemed a tad old school, but the action is jaw dropping and center stage.

The plot of The Road Warrior revolves around a siege, that of an old oil refinery in the desert, surrounded by The Humungous and his dogs of war. The refinery people have a small society, straining to keep civilization going in contrast to the scavengers of the wastelands. Max must decide which world he belongs to.

And he’s not a great guy.

But he’s not a bad guy either.

What he is is a damaged guy for a damaged world. And he keeps his word.

It’s interesting how everyone sees value in him, but not himself. He seems to consider himself worthless, a rat scavenging guzzoline wherever he can find it. That’s all he’s capable of aspiring to.

I cited The Road Warrior as a major influence on my 2014 novel Transfixion. There is also a siege and with a school bus lodged across the front gate of a school. I made sure there was a truck/car chase sequence or two as well. It truly was effective, if you believe the readers.

It’s not all about Max. Supporting characters make this movie. Top spot goes to the feral kid, whom you have to stop and just cheer for. The feral kid is amazing. We’d never seen him before or since, and he’s perfect. Max’s gyrocopter-flying sidekick is also a key man in the story. And the helicopter afforded magnificent aerial shots of desert chaos that make sense, and so you never think twice as to why they have all these grand overhead views. It’s just magnificent filmmaking.

The Road Warrior is must-see cinema. End of discussion.


Mostly. It’s a Harold Ramis movie, and the visuals keep things chugging along so well. He really was a brilliant filmmaker.

I didn’t used to appreciate this film, because it can get very silly at times. The performances are over-the-top and then some. But now looking back at all those top comedy nutballs having the times of their lives, it’s a joy. They let them go hog-wild, in the era of Animal House, and so many gags pass so quickly, like machine-gun fire.

And now it’s right on HBO, if you have it, and their search function is convenient.

Caddyshack holds up because it’s a class-conflict story. The waspy elite scum are the targets, and even they can’t stand each other. Awesome to behold. Plot ramps up and up, and yeah, it’s got a secret weapon, a bit of an underground character.

This film came out long before this blog existed, and so there was no entry for it. I was critical of the film for not going far enough, but it is required viewing today. Get it.

STREAM ONLINE

It is, of course, a satire about American propaganda and gullibility when it comes to WAR.

I took my time watching and then reviewing this. It’s heavy duty, and I wasn’t in a deep mood to handle this film. Not for a couple of weeks.

Keira Knightly plays Katharine Gun, and the result is a tense political thriller, and also a newsroom hunt and a courtroom drama. It’s quite powerful, and I actually missed the key scene because of a DVD scratch. Still I urge everyone to watch this if just to keep up on the relevant history you’re living through.

I don’t feel right about giving spoilers. So, I won’t even post the trailer. Trust me. This is an important film.

w Oliver Stone commentary

Neon Noir

Posted: July 24, 2021 in -
Tags: , , , , ,

Brian Trenchard-Smith discusses the numerous problems with low-budget filmmaking.