Mad Max: Feminist Road

Forget that (probably) self-important Suffragette movie coming out later this year, Mad Max: Fury Road is the flick that women (and men) will hopefully flock to. I’d almost go so far as calling it a chick flick, if only that term didn’t feel so patronizing and weird.

George Miller’s Mad Max movies have always put women in strong, powerful positions while the men are all broken followers or maniacs. From Virginia Hey’s aptly named “Warrior Woman” in Road Warrior to Tina Turner’s fierce “Aunty Entity” in Beyond Thunderdome; women in Max’s world are equal, if not superior to the men folk.

Women’s liberation from a patriarchal society is not the hook on which this story is based – in Fury Road, it’s the entire story. It’s as if Miller took the plot of Road Warrior and replaced the “gaazoleeeeene” with abused and controlled women. He even asked renowned feminist, activist and writer of the Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler to help craft his vision. All the men in the movie (apart from Max, of course) are either easily-led followers or murderous dictators, while all of the women – young and old – are wise, caring, nurturing, tough as nails and ultimately there to save a world destroyed by men.

As happy as I am that George Miller’s genius has given us powerful women characters in dynamic roles, and all wrapped in a testosterone-pumped, manwich of a movie; I’m still a bit sad that it’ll probably be ignored (or more likely misunderstood) by those fundamentalists who endlessly shriek from behind their pricey, skinny, fruity-named laptops. You know ’em, those horrid middle class types whose feminist ideals amount to (mostly) twitter-bashing films like (and you’re gonna think I’m lying) Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. To all those angry, self-loathing types, please ignore this little blog – like with most things, you’ve probably missed the point – to everyone else, go and see Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s a whole lot of mentalist fun.

But not in 3D. 3D sucks. Honestly, it really does.

And just in case you’re a shrill type who needs something to rant about, then have a rant about Tom Hardy’s accent in the movie. What is that all about?

Fast and Furious 7: SALVAGE TITLE

The upcoming release of #Furious7 (I assume the # will be part of the story in this installment), marks a landmark in movie insurance claims after the film’s producers received a record payout following the untimely death of Paul Walker. For a better understanding of the situation, and acknowledging the film’s automobile obsession, let’s look at the claim as if it was car insurance.

When Paul Walker tragically died in a car accident, he hadn’t finished filming #Furious7 and thus rendered the production (according to the producers) a “total loss” (to use insurance terminology). The producers received a reported $50 million dollars by claiming the film could not be completed without him. Once the payment had been made, the producers decided not to cover their costs and write a new film, but to complete the film with Paul Walker at top of the credits.

By doing so they’re (sticking with the car insurance comparison) essentially labeling the movie as a salvaged title and Paul Walker (in terms of the film) as damaged goods. They would have had to announce that the film could not be completed without him to receive the “salvage payment” (they did) and if they then decided to “fix” their ruined film, the now “salvaged” film would have to be listed as such before it is traded, sold or exchanged; just like a car. In this case the producers released detailed explanations of how they were going to continue shooting scenes using Paul Walker’s brothers and CG effects – thus allowing them to still use Paul Walker’s name (er, now also salvaged?) on the bill (which was the original loss they had received payment for). Phew!

And if the unholy irony of Paul Walker’s tragic death and the glorifying theme of the entire Fast & Furious saga still sits a little uncomfortably with you; then consider the irony that if the huge claim for #Furious 7 was compared to a simple car insurance – Paul Walker’s brothers would not have been covered by the film’s original insurance while they completed his scenes. Due to the “salvaged” elements, of which they’re a part of “repairing”, they would only have been covered for their liability to harm others on the set.

So why did I compare this movie to a car? Oh, I don’t know. You made it this far didn’t you?

Enjoy the (salvaged) film, in theaters this Friday. I hear it’s pretty good.

RIP Paul.