Would Watch Again: Fury Road


This movie is awesome.  It is awe-inspiring.  It is, very literally, spectacular.

If you like action movies, or you like the post-apocalyptic aesthetic, this movie is for you.  If you normally turn up your nose at action movies because they are laden with troubling bullshit, you can still try this movie.  Not because there aren’t troubling themes dealing with sex slavery and the subjugation of women, but because these things are dealt with well, with considerable respect and aplomb, in a movie that treats its female characters as real and very impressive people even when some of the movie’s characters do not.  Fury Road may or may not be a feminist movie (more on that later) but I think it’s a movie that you can watch without feeling like someone snuck you a shit sandwich.

Plus, it’s a really well made action movie, period.  I saw it on Saturday and would happily see it again RIGHT NOW.  It isn’t the tightly-plotted / intricately arranged tapestry of Die Hard; it’s like a formidable piece of Brutalist architecture.  It dominates the landscape with its physicality, its constant tension, and the relentless pace of its driving (heh) narrative.  For more of my thoughts on the matter, read on.

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As Fancy As It Looks: Furious 7


I’ve now seen both Furious 7 and Age of Ultron.  I like both of these movies, but I think I might actually like Furious 7 more. To be fair, my expectations were so startlingly low when I walked into Furious 7 that the movie had nowhere to go but up; even so, this supremely goofy movie successfully hit me in the feels when I hadn’t expected it, and I like that.  It hit me in the feels partly for reasons outside of the movie itself, but it didn’t really matter in the end.  It was still good.

On the topic of my low expectations, it seems that I’d forgotten what I learned with the previous movie in the series, 6 Fast 6 Furious, or whatever it was called.  It turns out that I really enjoy the speed and enthusiasm of this fast-car soap-opera-with-guns.  I still have some significant problems with it, from the omnipresent male gaze to the inconsistent outcomes of characters’ consistently dangerous shenanigans, but … somehow I still found it highly entertaining.  Maybe I’ll be able to explain. Continue reading

Guns, Gams & Go-Fast Machines: Fast & Furious 6

I feel a little embarrassed saying this, but I recently watched and enjoyed the fast-car soap-opera-with-guns Fast & Furious 6.  It was just as intelligent as I had expected it to be, with plenty of zoom-zoom-bang-bang to make up for its intellectual shortcomings.  Which is to say, the movie was almost entirely about action and cars.  Much as in other entries in the series, women’s legs also made an important appearance by filling the screen at (in)appropriate moments.

While the writers clearly didn’t care one whit about how computers actually work (normal for the genre), they surprised me by offering a genuine sense of continuity with the other Fast/Furious films.  This made me very happy indeed, as the various tie-ins towards the end brought Tokyo Drift into relation with the rest of the series.  They also clearly established where the next action will most likely take place and why it will be exciting…

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