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Monday, May 18, 2015


We are now up to four Max Max films, the original in 1979 starring Mel Gibson.  He became famous and the world began to take a closer look at Australian films.  The first went on for a tolerable 93 minutes, each subsequent one a bit longer and fiercer, and the latest now up to exactly two hours of pure moving hell.  #1 was made for less than $300,000, but #4 had a budget of $150 million.

Picture a post-apocalyptic brutal and toxic world in the barren landscape of Australia, where roving bands of marauders traveling in fearsome Rube Goldberg machines (except Gibson's souped up 1973 Ford Falcon sort of is still being used) attempt to take out anyone who dares to wander into their territory.

After a thirty year absence (#3 was released in 1985, with Mel Gibson and Tina Turner), #4, Fury Road (filmed in Namibia because Australia was going through a period of too much rain),  is an over the top, virtually non-stop series of deadly skirmishes that never ends, and will continue, for #5, Furiosa, will be released. by next year.

Why?  For one, Charlize Theron starred in #4 as Imperator Furiosa, with Tom Hardy as Mad Max Rockantansky.  And there will be more, for Hardy has already been signed for #5, #6 and #7.  Blame George Miller for all the above.  He is to the left, with Charlize and Tom.

Well, Pitch Perfect 2, a mostly female cast and production crew, surprisingly kicked Max's A, making $70.3 million this weekend, with Fury Road only a middling $44.4 million.   The latest Avengers earned $38.8 million, with Hot Pursuit #4 at 5.8 million.

Rotten Tomatoes:
                             Reviewers  Audiences
  Pitch Perfect 2            68%           78%
  Mad Max 4                   98%           92%
  Avengers 2                  74%           88%

It's beyond my comprehension that RT reviewers could give Mad Max 4 a 98% rating.  Those above figures were known before the weekend began, so PP2 being #1--so fluffy, devoid of any action, with predictable outcomes--is a shock.  Oh, I went to see both this weekend, and rather enjoyed PP2, and mostly excruciated through MM4.  Also, given a choice of one movie, women obviously control these movie decisions.  There is that opening scene of Australian Rebel Wilson having a wardrobe malfunction, showing her...well, President and Michelle Obama at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts, spurring, The Bellas, a female a cappella singing group from Barden University (surely looks like the Louisiana State University campus) to, yes, upset, the insufferable aC team from Germany (you need a villain, so Germany is it here) at the World Championships:

Das Sound Machine (not a real a cappella group) might have been the highlight of the flick, led by actress Birgitte Hjorth Sorensen (Game of Thrones), but world class a cappella teams from Canada, the Philippines and the University of Pennsylvania (a Hindi quartet) did perform.

Friday (May 22), Tomorrowland with George Clooney opens, with a 99% audience rating from Rotten Tomatoes.  Also making first showing is Poltergeist, a remake of the 1982 film by Steven Spielberg, with Sam Rockwell and a 94% RT audience rating.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average today broke its all time record, up 26 to 18,299.  The main reason?  A rather weak reason:  the Federal Reserve hinted that there will be no interest rate hike until next year.


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