Things almost took a fiery turn on ‘Fury Road’ for ‘Mad Max’ star Nathan Jones

18 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Mad Max’ no match for ‘Pitch Perfect’.

Universal Pictures slotted ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ for mid-May, confident that it could contend with the summer’s superhero epics. The Elizabeth Banks-directed sequel to the 2012 sleeper hit and video-on-demand phenomenon cost Universal Pictures only $29 million to produce and was expected to open in the $50 million range.

This photo released by Universal Pictures shows, Anna Kendrick as Beca, in a scene from the film, “Pitch Perfect 2.”(Photo: Richard Cartwright/AP Photo) LOS ANGELES — The ladies of “Pitch Perfect 2” hit all the right notes opening weekend, amassing a $70.3 million debut, according to Rentrak estimates Sunday.Actor Adam DeVine (L) and actress Rebel Wilson pose at the after party for the premiere of Universal Pictures’ “Pitch Perfect 2″ at the Nokia Theatre L.A.Deep Purple famously asked their sound engineers to make “everything louder than everything else”, a phrase variously adopted by the likes of Motörhead and Meat Loaf to characterise their OTT ethos. Photo: RICHARD CARTWRIGHT/Universal Pictures via Associated Press Heading into the weekend, analysts expected the sequel to premiere in the $40 million range. The first film, for comparison, grossed only $65 million domestically across its entire run. “It’s aca-awesome,” said Universal Pictures’ President of Domestic Distribution Nick Carpou, using one of the catchphrases of the film about a cappella singing. “We knew that the film would be a success, but there’s something that happens when movies grow in their success beyond a range that’s easily predictable.

It’s clearly struck a chord with George Miller as he reboots his low-budget 1979 road-warrior hit with more money, more trucks, and much more noise. When that happens, the sky’s the limit.” Carpou attributed some of the massive success to savvy positioning and the widespread appeal of the popular music and the charismatic, diverse cast. Watching Mad Max: Fury Road is the cinematic equivalent of putting your head in the bass-bin at a death-metal concert where everything is turned up to eleventy-stupid. Jones wields, among many pieces of heavy weaponry, a flamethrower as Rictus Erectus, the massive son of villainous overlord Immortan Joe (played by fellow Aussie Hugh Keays-Byrne). Hell, we even get sonic assault vehicles armed with drummers, speaker stacks and a mutant axe-man wielding an Ace Frehley-style guitar-slash-flamethrower.

George Miller’s critically acclaimed “Mad Max: Fury Road” landed a distant second in its debut weekend with a solid and expected $44.4 million from 3,702 locations. Add to this Finnish Eurovision winners Lordi’s wardrobe and a shooting/editing style designed to make you feel like you’ve been run over while being shouted at, and this insane post-apocalyptic pile-up runs little risk of understatement.

He lived to tell us about his experience: “I had fuel being sprayed all over me and no one could see what was going on and I eventually got their attention.They cut me loose and got me out of the way just in time, no problems. Make no mistake, this is not a film of light and shade – it is an orgy of loud and louder, leaving us alternately exhilarated, exasperated and exhausted. Tom Hardy is Max Rockatansky, chased and imprisoned by the vampiric War Boys of Immortan Joe (one-time Toecutter Hugh Keays-Byrne), bolted into a post-Bane face mask and used as a human blood bag.

This is a world in which water, oil and ammunition are currency, with a sideline in “mother’s milk” pumped from steam-punk contraptions that cross Terry Gilliam with Tinto Brass. I guess there’s a sick side to me.” Jones loved the original Mad Max as a kid, so he was admittedly biased on the fact that Mel Gibson was his favorite Mad Max OF ALL TIME. Fellman said that many of the showings ended with applause, only adding to the hope that word of mouth will contribute to a lengthy and successful run. “Each film absolutely found its target audience,” Dergarabedian said. “They were running on parallel tracks, and both exceeded expectations by not cannibalizing each other.

Teaming up with renegade War Rig trucker Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron, sporting an Alien3-era Ripley crop), Max and co strike out in search of “the Green Place” – a mystical land of mothers, a lush riposte to Waterworld’s elusive “DryLand”. This weekend’s performance is the second-highest debut for a movie directed by a woman, after Sam Taylor-Johnson’s “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which Universal released in February. After going toe to toe with Tom Hardy in the new one, however, the former WWE pro wrestler and powerlifter might have a new choice after some fight scenes: “I don’t mind mixing it up and taking a few hits here and there to make everything look nice and crisp.

It was the perfect release strategy for two very different, high-profile films … it really paid off handsomely.” After opening in China six days ago, the “Avengers” sequel brought in $185 million internationally in its fourth weekend. Their cargo is a highly combustible cocktail of petrol and pregnancy, Joe’s enslaved wives (dressed in diaphanous floaties and One Million Years BC haute couture) making a bid for freedom from his breeding farm. Women made up about 75% of the opening-weekend audience for “Pitch Perfect 2.” Overseas, the movie has grossed $38.1 million in 29 territories, with 30 to go. En route, they encounter an array of variously hairy stilt-walking, motorbiking, chainsawing crazies, suggesting that a militarised wing of the French circus troupe Archaos has escaped into the desert and gone feral. While the first Mad Max was essentially a stripped-down Roger Corman revenge movie (high on concept, low on budget), this head-banging $150m fourth instalment – part (non)sequel, part reinvention – inclines more toward the retina-scorching, eardrum-bashing territory of Michael Bay, the casting of pouty Transformers: Dark of the Moon star Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as The Splendid Angharad setting talismanic alarm bells ringing.

The dystopian movie, filled with extended car-chase scenes as Max and Furiosa flee an evil ruler across a post-apocalyptic desert, is the fourth of the “Mad Max” franchise that originally starred Mel Gibson in the 1970s and 1980s. “Fury Road” was distributed by Time Warner Inc. Yet while Bay’s CG-driven oeuvre has always lacked weight and substance, there’s a crunchy physicality about Miller’s balletic visual aesthetic – a belief that actions really do speak louder than words.

Envisaged at one point as an Akira-style anime, this graphic-novel-inflected chase movie (co-written with British graphic-novelist/designer Brendan McCarthy and veteran Grease Rat/dramaturge Nico Lathouris) eschews dialogue in favour of explosive demonstration, the versatile “Edge Arm” camera system – a swooping vehicle-mounted crane – providing a visual sword that cuts a defining swath through the narrative. Eye-catching Namib desert locales provide end-of-world backdrops, while layer-cake vehicle designs (cars bolted on to cars bolted on to trucks) turn everything into a mobile pile-up from the outset, with cheeky nods to Peter Weir’s influential The Cars that Ate Paris.

He really surprised me.” “The hydraulics and the brakes and the steering failed, it jackknifed a bit and I ended up landing on top of the blower and smashed my head. While Mel Gibson always had a touch of madness in his eyes (more so in retrospect), Hardy lets his bulky body do the talking, his muscular movements recalling the taut choreography of his title role in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson.

Meanwhile Nicholas Hoult is all but unrecognisable as Nux, the tumour-ridden foot soldier who wants to chrome-plate his teeth and suicide-bomb his way into Valhalla, a misguided martyr in a very contemporary unholy war. Putting the pedal to the metal for 90 minutes is one thing, but at two hours it’s more of a slog, battle-fatigue teetering on the edge of burn-out and even boredom. More problematically, for all its avowed feminist credentials Miller’s film can’t quite reconcile its horrors-of-patriarchy narrative with its exotic fashion-shoot depiction of “The Wives”, leaving its gender politics weirdly conflicted.

But if you can work round such snarl-ups there’s plenty of mileage in this monster, which, significantly, was press-screened (and indeed shot) in 2D, with zero need for stereoscopic “enhancement”.

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