Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

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Jack Phillips
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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#51 Post by Jack Phillips » Sun May 17, 2015 7:49 pm

Roger Ryan wrote:
tenia wrote:A question for those who've seen it : I had an issue with the overall look of the movie, which seemed like it was shot and projected in 720p. For a very recent and not a small budget movie, definition was frequently average at best, and many shots looked as if they were digitally sharpened...
Not only did the image looked sharpened to a ridiculous degree at the screening I saw last night, but there was a constant juddering effect that looks like a frame-rate transfer problem. I recognized there are numerous shots that are sped-up for effect and everything is shot using a high shutter speed to eliminate motion blur, but even the few calmer scenes featuring slow pans of the landscape are jittery. It consistently had the look of a TV broadcast of a film that has been electronically time-compressed to fit it into a shorter time slot (you start getting the impression that frames are being dropped every second). I wonder if the theater I attended was doing this to fit in more screenings per day or if anyone else experienced this unappealing look?
That look is clearly there by design, and similar to the one achieved for Crank 2. At the time, 2009, a reviewer offered this as his explanation of what was going on technically:
Start with the look of the picture. When you first see it, you can’t quite put your finger on why it looks different, but pay close attention: the motion has a stutter. When people and objects move quickly in a typical film, they smear. In this picture, fast motion looks more like a series of stop-action photos flipped past very quickly. (Turns out this is achieved using a “narrow shutter angle”—simply put, each frame is exposed for less time than in a typical shoot, so there’s less motion to record.) Combined with modest overexposure (overexposed for light but underexposed for motion–hmm), the effect is hyper-reality: sharp edges, crisp foregrounds, rough textures.
It's possible that Miller was able to achieve this effect by other means, but the first thing I I was reminded of when watching Fury Road was the look of Crank 2.

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whaleallright
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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#52 Post by whaleallright » Sun May 17, 2015 8:00 pm

Right—but there were moments when the shifts in frame rate seemed obviously expressive, and other moments when they seemed almost random. It's very possible that all of these moments are attributable to changes made by Miller and his editor in post, but they don't all seem of an equal purposefulness. Of course, I've only seen it once. And given the relentless speed of the film, I can't say that it distracted me except in the slower moments.

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YnEoS
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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#53 Post by YnEoS » Sun May 17, 2015 8:38 pm

I thought this was a lot of fun, but the huge critical appraisals its getting might have more to do with the poor state of action cinema today. I can imagine the action scenes being more comprehensible than shown here, but the fact that it allows you to keep track of the situation of all the characters and the different tactics being used by their pursuers at any given time is a huge step up from most of today's super hero movies which are content to just throw waves and waves of disposable minions against heroes amongst shots of cities blowing up. Of course I can dream of an hour longer cut that builds each set piece up to Wages of Fear levels of tension, but perhaps that wouldn't be as fun for a lot of other people.

I don't think the minimal character development is the same having bad character development, and I frequently find that can be one of the more effective narrative strategies to take in films with huge amounts of action sequences. Often just seeing different personalities and skill sets come together to achieve difficult physical tasks and seeing how they change as a result of their experience is all I need to relate to them. There's not a lot of sitting and talking in the film, but I think it does reasonably well with its various minimal character arcs.

Having just watched the film and still mulling it over these outlines may be a bit rough and miss some details but just to throw some initial thoughts out...
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Nux shifting from his more wreckless suicidal pursuit of extremes and competition into using his skills to help keep the truck running as exemplified in the later scene where he's going up against his old partner and is less suicidal in his willingness to drink gasoline. We see Furiosa's ability to manage different personalities and be resourceful under very tense situations in the beginning, which is nice setup for the shift later in the movie where they decide to reform their old home instead of hoping to escape to somewhere better. Admittedly the Mad Max flashbacks during action scenes don't do as much for me, but his shift from being solely focused on self survival to joining with the group definitely helps carry the early scenes.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#54 Post by Mr Sausage » Sun May 17, 2015 8:57 pm

What I appreciated most is the film's sense of basic action structure: it had specific action set-pieces set apart from each other by a rare commodity in modern action movies: quiet. Indeed, there are several scenes where there is no sound at all. That willingness to punctuate the action with down time is appreciated; it stops the film from seeming endless and numbing and adds intensity to the action when it does arise.

As was said above, the action scenes are great fun because they are not a montage of energy and movement: they are organized around strategy and motivation, with each side using a specific set of tools to combat the other. Something like the final chase, in which both sides have a clearly outlined set of tactics and motivations: the cars must get in front of the truck to take out its tires, the truck must stay ahead of the cars. All of the actions and events are built around that, so the action is logical: the cars try to slow the truck with drags, so Max must sever the cables; the truck's engines are going down, so Nuk must repair them quickly enough for them to maintain their speed advantage. Stuff like that makes the action scenes so enjoyable. They're dramatic as well as visceral.

Regarding the villain's end,
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seemed clear to me that Furiosa used a grapple head to hook the villain's mask, detached her arm, then tossed the buckle from her prosthetic's harness into the axel, ripping off his mask and his lower jaw (the two being attached, evidently).

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Roger Ryan
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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#55 Post by Roger Ryan » Mon May 18, 2015 8:41 am

Jack Phillips wrote:...That look is clearly there by design, and similar to the one achieved for Crank 2...
In my initial post I acknowledged that Miller uses a high-shutter speed for effect throughout (which I don't have a problem with). However, as "jonah.77" and I have been discussing, there is something else going on with the visuals which seems less motivated and less appealing. This consistent "frame-drop" look is, frankly, distracting and there seems to be no aesthetic reason for it to be there in calmer scenes. It is also something that doesn't show up when shooting on film (or projecting film); it's usually seen as a defect on poor quality film-to-video transfers.
jonah.77 wrote: ...I think it could be argued that the sheen generated by all the monkeying around in post-production (including the limited and sometimes monochromatic color palette)—itself possibly done in an effort to elide the differences between "real" and computer-generated elements in the frame—gives everything an unreality that undermines the effect of the stuntwork...
This was my issue as well. After hearing that Miller did so much of the stunt work practically, I was expecting the action sequences to have a more visceral impact on me. Instead, I found the artificiality of the action, although clearly intended, to be somewhat disappointing. I'm one who prefers simpler, more realistic action set-pieces which, in the end, was not the intention of this film. The action scenes were still fun and were consistent in approach and inventive choreography.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#56 Post by jindianajonz » Mon May 18, 2015 9:59 am

Mr Sausage wrote:What I appreciated most is the film's sense of basic action structure: it had specific action set-pieces set apart from each other by a rare commodity in modern action movies: quiet.
On a similar note, I was struck at how little dialogue there was in the movie. Especially in some of the early scenes, I had a very tough time understanding what was being said, but honestly it didn't matter- this is one of the most purely visual films I've seen in a long time, and it was quite refreshing to go non-stop for dozens of minutes on end without having a scientist character stop to explain what everybody is doing and why it matters. I can't remember the last time an action movie successfully managed to sustain that kind of momentum for so long, or weave exposition into the action so seamlessly.

One other thing that stuck out at me was how competent everything was, which shouldn't need to be pointed out but when compared to most modern blockbusters somehow it is warranted.
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Take the scene where Max meets Furiosa for the first time, after escaping the storm. While introducing us to some new important characters, Miller also introduces the elements that are going to play a role in the upcoming fight. We are given full knowledge of the shotgun, the car door, the chain, and the bolt cutter, as well as details about these items that will impact the course of the fight, such as the gun being a dude and the chained door hindering max almost as much as it helps him. We also have a good spatial awareness of where all these items are in relation to the characters and the set (i.e. the truck). Thus when Miller does give a surprise reveal with the gun hidden on the side of the truck, the audience can more clearly feel the importance of this item since we have a good idea of all the other elements in play. Compare this to something like Iron Man, where new enemies tend to stream in and deploy poorly understood technologies at a whim. Because these devices come out of nowhere and interact with other poorly defined defices- can Iron Man's armor withstand an RPG to the chest, or does it pose an actual threat?- we don't have an understanding of how they impact the battle. These things are very basic parts of filmmaking, but in an industry that seems to thrive on gradually ramping up the size and color variation of whatever CGI baddie fits the movie, it was refreshing to see somebody go back to the basics.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#57 Post by domino harvey » Mon May 18, 2015 10:07 am

Can people who keep invoking "other" mainstream action films that commit sins this film allegedly does not please be specific as to which films exhibit the Goofus behaviors and how this film is the Gallant answer or corrective? Because I keep seeing this bandied about here and elsewhere but rarely in specifics

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#58 Post by tenia » Mon May 18, 2015 10:58 am

While watching Fury Road, I thought of most Marvels movies as to how badly edited and framed they are in terms of "spatial awareness". If you take The Avengers for instance, look how much screen time exposition it takes to get to Loki's escape. Look also how long it takes for the final fight in Manhattan to start. It seems as if the action can't happen at the same time than explanations. First one, then the other. Iron Man 2 & 3 are also awful at this.

I also thought of the 3 Expendables movies which are awful at frame composition, frequently underscoring the intensity of the fist fights or car chases on-screen, and have a heavily-split plot VS action narration scheme.

Finally, Taken 2 is the exemple of what not-to-do, with an awfully shot car chase and fist fights not much better.

This being said, as YnEoS wrote, maybe this also has to do with actually how poor these movies are, point. So obviously, anything doing stuff at least correctly will seem as doing things very well. Cognitive bias, I guess.

In terms of narration rolling in, Fury Road is vastly superior to all these, and I think jindianajonz explained very well how things are explained in the movie while never slowing the pace of other things on-screen. I believe that's how Fury Road is able to have this relentless pace during its car chases at both the beginning and the end of the movie : because everything is well defined seamlessly, allowing many things to happen simultaneously without feeling overwhelming.

On the contrary, the aforementioned movies frequently stops to explain you what is where how and when for who. Because I'm bad at comparisons, I'll do a bad one : Fury Road does with all this what The Social Network did with dialogs. It allows everything to move together, saving time while achieving a smooth but fast pace.
Last edited by tenia on Mon May 18, 2015 12:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#59 Post by jindianajonz » Mon May 18, 2015 11:53 am

domino harvey wrote:Can people who keep invoking "other" mainstream action films that commit sins this film allegedly does not please be specific as to which films exhibit the Goofus behaviors and how this film is the Gallant answer or corrective? Because I keep seeing this bandied about here and elsewhere but rarely in specifics
It's tough to offer examples because it's been a while since I've seen any (I skipped the recent Avengers) but one that stands out is Captain America 2. The film was based around a handful of action scenes- off the top of my head, I recall
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the initial boat infiltration, the shoot out at Nick Fury's apartment and associated car chase, and the final fight at SHIELD headquarters and aboard the helicarrier. Each of these scenes was bookended by long chunks of exposition- after the boat, everybody stops to talk about how important the data they recovered is, and before the final fight, Captain America has to take a jaunt to the underground computer room where he finds Mr Screenface and his evil infiltration plot.
Rather than integrate the plot with the action, they seem to fight with each other for screen time- if people have been talking too much, let's put the plot on hold to watch a car chase, and once the action wraps up we can move ahead with the story. Every scene in the movie can be readily sorted into "plot" or "action" bins, and very few of them would cause a viewer confusion as to which one fits better.

Conversely, Mad Max: Fury Road blends the two together much more smoothly. Sure, there are moments where the action dies down so that the plot moves forward, but most of the characterization (which is admittedly sparse) occurs during action scenes-
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Nux's exile from the warband when he fails at his task, or Furiosa realizing that she needs to trust Max with the start sequence as they push through the pass.
In Captain America, you never see characters change through the action sequences-you may get big reveals like Winter Soldier's identity, and people expound afterwards that this fight has altered them in some way, but you rarely see any growth or change during the fight itself. In Mad Max, the action actually provides the characterization, and while this seems like it should be textbook stuff for the genre, it has been pretty absent from most summer blockbusters I've seen in recent years.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#60 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon May 18, 2015 1:05 pm

domino harvey wrote:Can people who keep invoking "other" mainstream action films that commit sins this film allegedly does not please be specific as to which films exhibit the Goofus behaviors and how this film is the Gallant answer or corrective? Because I keep seeing this bandied about here and elsewhere but rarely in specifics
I'd bet most here have a set of films they have in mind. Mine are Michael Bay's films, Snyder's Superman, and the Captain America movies, because I've watched them recently enough that I can think of specific examples. Otherwise, it's a general feeling.

I've seen Captain America 2 most recently, so I'll use it as a contrast in terms of dramatic action. Compare Falcon's fight with the flying machine to Mad Max's final battle. In Mad Max, a clear set of simple motivations are outlined and the action is designed around the tactics both sides employ to achieve them, with the consequences of those choices (who goes where and why) determining the ending (who ends up on what car). In Captain America 2, the action has no tactics or motivation. It's pure speed and movement. The flying machine shoots big guns while Falcon zips close to the screen and out again while the camera zips in and out like a flying machine itself, shaking and moving for no purpose aside from kineticism. It is skillfully done; it accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do; but it has no drama or structure. At no point does it feel like characters are doing anything. It's objects moving fast for the pleasure of seeing objects move fast.

Recently, my go-to example of the kind of action scenes Mad Max does is Casino Royale, which similarly posed questions to its characters that needed to be answered with recognizable tactics. The opening chase is not just two guys running and climbing all over; it's someone who finds himself physically outmatched and needs to use his environment intelligently in order to overcome his comparative physical limitations. And it's one of the best action scenes ever filmed. Quantum of Solace provides the best contrast to it since its opening chase scene is everything Casino Royale worked so hard not to be: a confusing mash of edits in which people's tactics and spacial relationships are irrelevant: the movement is meant to be exciting, not the drama.

Finally, I was surprised that there were moments of total silence in Mad Max. I can't cite any specific examples of action movies with no silence since I'd have to go back and watch specifically for that (my memory is imperfect). I have a general sense that most action movies are never silent: at the least, there is music playing or even some low or high frequency noise filling the background. This impression I have is grounded in something, else I wouldn't have been so surprised when the soundtrack stopped dead those few times.

Mad Max is a lot of fun; it does things I like that not enough action movies do. This does not make it revolutionary, merely pleasing and above average.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#61 Post by domino harvey » Mon May 18, 2015 1:23 pm

Thank you for the examples so far, it helps me see what y'all got out of this with regards to this specific line of defense. I must confess I haven't seen any of the films thus far evoked negatively in comparison, so it's possible I would have gotten more enjoyment with a closer frame of reference to the "bad" apples. As earlier stated, I thought the film was a solid three star marginal success but I can think of at least a dozen action films I found better executed, though none more recent than the Bourne Legacy (an infinitely better film than this, but that's an opinion few seemed to share last time I talked about it here), so I'll concede that it might be a superior example of the genre from the past couple years. I still don't see the exceptional qualities others are getting out of it that make it one of the best ever, tough. I liked the streamlined plot and characterization but still found the hubbub surrounding the action scenes overblown and unearned by the overall assault of the editing. Miller may have indeed used almost all practical effects, but when they're thrown together so rapidly as to distract from the individual movements within the larger set-pieces (as in the first action sequence wherein Furiosa's band of protectors are attacked by identical-looking aggressors and respective cars and combatants get tossed without much regard for distinction between the two factions), it doesn't seem to matter that much. I'd have rather Miller used CGI in a creative way to allow for more clear distinctions between players and their behaviors and actions, because I'm afraid I don't share the "choreography" praise for this film's action "noise," as David M astutely put it. Also, these things probably wouldn't have stuck out as much if the film's action scenes (scene?) didn't feel so monotonous!

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#62 Post by YnEoS » Mon May 18, 2015 2:06 pm

It's been too long since I've seen it for me to comment on specifics, but I recall some of the action scenes in Captain America 2 being by far the best of the recent wave of Marvel movies. The Russo Brothers had mentioned what a huge influence The Raid (Which I still think is the highest benchmark for action scenes in the 2010s or so) had been on the way they thought of action scenes, and I thought they showed a good effort to do stripped down, comprehensible, tension filled action scenes up until the obligatory big CGI action and explosions finale.


Anyways the comparison I'd pick would be Avengers 2, because it's what I've seen most in recently, and because Joss Whedon does a pretty good job of handling character development amid his big action sequences, but I don't think the way he shows action is done particularly well, which makes a more interesting point of comparison to me than a random film that fails at both.

I still might have to be slightly vague, going on memory, but once these films come out on DVD, I'd be more than happy to break down two action scenes from each shot by shot, if anyone's still interested in diving into that kind of minutiae.

In Avengers 2 there's a big cool set piece where a huge piece of land is launched into the sky becoming basically a floating island, which I thought would make the geography of the scenes pretty clear, but outside the CGI establishing shots, I was frequently confused if we were seeing people on the floating island or back on earth. Again, to Joss Whedon's credit there's plenty of good interaction between characters that pays off relationships set up earlier in the movie... and Joss Whedon puts people in danger which the heroes then have to save, which makes for good mini objectives amongst the main objective. But the enemies are just a generic swarm of Ultron's robot army, which don't seem to be dangerous at all to our heroes (whether it's a god like Thor, or just exceptional humans like Hawkeye or Black Widow). All the heroes seem to be able to pick them off without breaking a sweat, which gives me no sense of danger or of the different abilities or tactics of each hero. Hulk smash, Thor's hammer, Captain America's shield, Hawkeye's arrows etc. all seem to equally just make the robots explode and are quite interchangeable in any given moment.

When Joss Whedon goes for a character moment, like having Hawkeye talk Scarlet Witch into having confidence in herself, this manifests itself in her effortlessly dispatching waves and waves of Ultron robots. This undercuts any strength this scene would've had since apparently all she had to do was decide that she wants to fight, and the actual task of engaging in combat proves to be quite effortless for her when she's made up her mind.


I think Mr Sausage has done a good job of describing the strengths of Mad Max's action sequences, I do think there is room for improvement, but it was definitely a lot better than the action movies I've watched recently. Again for examples of things I would say were better, I think it could've taken more time with certain set pieces to really raise the tension like in Wages of Fear, or if it wanted to go in a more fun direction, I was secretly hoping the guys swinging on poles at the end would end up going the Hong Kong action route where you feel like every possible use for the set piece is explored like in the end ladder fight scene in Once Upon a Time in China. Not to say that Mad Max should have more gravity defying flips, but just the idea of starting with a simple premise and steadily building the complexity of how its used over the course of a long action scene.
domino harvey wrote:Miller may have indeed used almost all practical effects, but when they're thrown together so rapidly as to distract from the individual movements within the larger set-pieces (as in the first action sequence wherein Furiosa's band of protectors are attacked by identical-looking aggressors and respective cars and combatants get tossed without much regard for distinction between the two factions), it doesn't seem to matter that much. I'd have rather Miller used CGI in a creative way to allow for more clear distinctions between players and their behaviors and actions, because I'm afraid I don't share the "choreography" praise for this film's action "noise," as David M astutely put it. Also, these things probably wouldn't have stuck out as much if the film's action scenes (scene?) didn't feel so monotonous!
I guess I had a better experience with this scene. The second raiding party having all their vehicles completely covered in spikes was enough of a visual clue for me to distinguish them from the main group they were escaping from. The first few smaller cars were more easily disposed of to demonstrate their overall tactics and then the bigger more difficult to destroy vehicle escalated the scene. Seeing how easily the War Boys were willing to wrecklessly endanger themselves or take suicidal actions in the chase also added to the tension of Max being chained to one of their cars, which was another smaller obstacle that had to overcome amidst the larger chase scene. My memory of the exact timeline of the details isn't 100% clear, but was the rest Furiosa's party also starting to realize her plans of treachery at this time, or was that slightly earlier?

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#63 Post by tenia » Mon May 18, 2015 2:29 pm

domino harvey wrote:Miller may have indeed used almost all practical effects, but when they're thrown together so rapidly as to distract from the individual movements within the larger set-pieces (as in the first action sequence wherein Furiosa's band of protectors are attacked by identical-looking aggressors and respective cars and combatants get tossed without much regard for distinction between the two factions), it doesn't seem to matter that much.
That's one of the reserves I have : there are what seems to be tremendous ensemble shots that have been ostensibly cut through due to the fast editing. I wish some of these shots were not intercut but rather given a few more seconds in order to breathe their grandiose-ness.
There are what seems on screen to be huge caravan-type car chases, but you never feel how big, how long they are, and the few times you can, it's only through a glimpse.

I don't say the 2700 shots should have been halved, but I strongly believe a hundred less would not have hurt the movie, but on the contrary would have emphasise the sheer size of the non-CGI caravans of cars and trucks and motorcycles. Sometimes, it really felt as a waste because it makes the movie lacking truly magnificent car-chase shots, leaving this type of stuff for things displayed months ago in the trailers (like the shot of Furiosa on her knees).

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#64 Post by lacritfan » Tue May 19, 2015 5:56 pm

Terrific action film but count me in the camp that wishes there was less CGI.
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I wish the Citadel set piece wasn't so huge. The explosion that ends with a steering wheel coming right at you. I could've even done without Furiosa's mechanical arm, all I could think was oh she's wearing a green screen glove in this scene, that scene.
All took me out of the movie for awhile. I did enjoy the small nods to the past films, Hugh "Toecutter" Keays-Byrne playing Immortan Joe, the music box, etc. Great new vehicles too.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#65 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu May 21, 2015 6:32 am

CGI discussion moved here.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#66 Post by Lost Highway » Mon May 25, 2015 8:50 am

lacritfan wrote:Terrific action film but count me in the camp that wishes there was less CGI.
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I wish the Citadel set piece wasn't so huge. The explosion that ends with a steering wheel coming right at you.
I could've even done without Furiosa's mechanical arm, all I could think was oh she's wearing a green screen glove in this scene, that scene.All took me out of the movie for awhile. I did enjoy the small nods to the past films, Hugh "Toecutter" Keays-Byrne playing Immortan Joe, the music box, etc. Great new vehicles too.
Furiousa's arm was a seamless effect and it was exactly shot as it should have been, with the camera never paying particular attention to it, like it was a regular arm. It confirms to me that perception has often more to do with accepting CGI real than the quality of the effects work. You know that something can only be CGI (Theron is not an amputee) even though it looks perfect, so a CG effects still sticks out to someone as looking fake when it doesn't.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#67 Post by krnash » Mon May 25, 2015 12:08 pm

kidc85 wrote:With regards to that character's death, the film almost sets it up that you're not meant to particularly care. Max lies about witnessing the death because he's playing a numbers game - he refuses to risk the lives of many to save one. Regardless of Furiosa being the driving force, having more lines and being more developed as a character, it's still very much Max's film. Max feels no real attachment to the people he's saving beyond a sense of justice and appeasing his own conscience. Countless people die but he/we can't stop to think about this, because so much more is at stake than just one, two, three, or even a dozen people's lives.
I think there's more to his character than this. I don't know if you caught this, but:
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The pregnant wife slips out of the car because the congealed blood on her leg from when Max shoots her earlier in a show of dominance slips against the metal of the vehicle. In my opinion, Max doesn't want to go back because he can't face his own guilt. The relief we see on his face when he gives the woman a thumbs-up right before she falls is something we hadn't seen until that moment. When she's suddenly gone, Max feels the crushing weight of responsibility.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#68 Post by MoonlitKnight » Thu May 28, 2015 8:15 am

As much as I loved the original trilogy, this still looks largely like a death metal version of Mario Kart (or Wacky Races, if you prefer) to me. I also get the impression Max isn't really the central character here as he was in the original movies -- not to mention it looks more like it takes place between "Road Warrior" and "Beyond Thunderdome." Perhaps this is more of a reboot than a belated continuation of the series.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#69 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu May 28, 2015 10:08 am

The movie's been out for a couple of weeks, why speculate? The information you seek regarding its quality and storyline is readily available to you now.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#70 Post by Lost Highway » Thu May 28, 2015 10:48 am

I've read on several forums now that many people (all men, I presume) seem tremendously put out that Max is not front, right and centre of the film and that the character who drives the plot is a woman, heavens forbid !

I never found Max a particularly compelling character. He's your standard silent stranger/reluctant hero type with little in terms of depth or quirks. And that's fine. With a Mad Max film I'm more interested in the always evolving post-apocalyptic world we revisit. Max is a cypher because he's become de-humanised by the events of the first film.

Max's role in this is pretty similar to that one in the 2nd and 3rd films. He wants to be left alone, just survive and then he gets dragged into an adventure by others who need or even force his assistance. He is in almost every scene of this film but Theron's Furiosa just happens to be a far more compelling character with an intriguing agenda, where Max's only plan is to just get by. Since at least the 2nd film Max has been overshadowed by a cast of outsized and frequently grotesque supporting characters, who all are much more fun than he is and that's fine by me.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#71 Post by captveg » Thu May 28, 2015 3:13 pm

Yeah, I don't get the complaints over Max's role either. Aside from the original film he's the lone wanderer who is in it for himself but comes to help a group he comes in contact with in the Wasteland. Fury Road fits right into that groove.

Arrow
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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#72 Post by Arrow » Thu May 28, 2015 4:23 pm

He may not be the main character, but he does make the crucial descision that resolves the film, or at least comes up with the idea. That alone establishes a strong character arc from where he started the story. I thought it balanced the characters very well.

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domino harvey
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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#73 Post by domino harvey » Sat May 30, 2015 8:47 am

In-depth look at the film's use of special effects-- I'm actually surprised at how much of what was on-screen was CGI, but clearly much of it was effective in being convincing since I haven't heard anyone bemoaning many of these shots

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#74 Post by YnEoS » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:40 pm

Mad Max: Center Framed

In case anyone hasn't caught this video yet, this is a nice short demonstration of the approach the film took towards framing and editing the action.

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zedz
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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#75 Post by zedz » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:26 pm

PfR73 wrote:
The Doogster wrote:There are no comic relief characters.

Uhhhh, did you SEE the guy with the flame-thrower guitar???
I'd say he counts as a sight gag, not a character.

On balance I enjoyed the movie, but that was entirely down to the inventiveness and excellent staging of the action set pieces. All the basics - plot, characters, themes - were miserably impoverished (are critics seriously praising the film's thematic (sub)text?) This might have helped streamline the action, but a) I don't think you really need to reduce all of that stuff to the level of a video game or superhero comic in order to deliver coherent action; and b) if they were so hellbent on stripping everything back to the basics so brutally, they shouldn't have retained the vestiges of hackneyed narrative tropes all over the place (e.g. giving Nux a three-line 'love interest' so that his death becomes 'meaningful'; giving Max those flashbacks to the origin story they'll dutifully trot out in one or more of the sequels; trying to milk Wise Old Seed Lady We Don't Even Know's death for pathos at least half a dozen times before she actually kicks it.)

In terms of the action, I think the use of practical effects is significant, but has been overstated. There are plenty of directors who can't direct practical action sequences coherently, and plenty that can create beautifully logical and compelling action sequences with CGI, and if you think this film works, you need to credit Miller and his editors, not any one production decision. I personally am not a fan of all the frame-skipping and speed variation, but I have to admit that it was completely integrated into the film's overall cartoony aesthetic.

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