Loving on Captain America Civil War without giving away spoilers

So I saw Captain America: Civil War  and oh my lord I am not okay. If you haven’t seen it yet you need to.

It was fantastic. I’ve been gushing about it all weekend with my friends but I refuse to be the A-hole that divulges spoilers about amazing movies so I want to share all the aspects of the movie that I loved without ruining it.

Let me start by saying this: If “Age of Ultron” was the failure at Marvel practicing using a movie to set up other upcoming movies then “Civil War” was the success story. There were hints at other movies to come in the next few years that, rather than taking away from the plot, added to it gracefully and without distracting the audience. It’s like, you know that this character has been added in because they have a movie coming out later but they weren’t added in JUST because of that fact. Everything done to set the stage for upcoming movies branching off of “Civil War” were so seamlessly integrated into the plot it just made the movie that much better.

Speaking of plots, Civil War’s was awesome. Marvel made damn sure this time to tie everything together throughout the movie so no one left the theater going “WTF was that one bit about” or “But what about this thing that never got resolved?” I could not find even one part of the plot that was left unattended or open.

What’s more the base of the plot made you think. It is interesting too because this movie is coming out at a time where the questions it raises are very appropriate. I was honestly on both Captain America’s side and Iron Man’s side by the end of the movie because I could related to Black Widow in feeling like neither side was fully right or wrong.

Making the plot even better, too, was the emotional growth the crowd sees in this movie. We are watching several characters go through some major events and growing through them though the results may not always be beneficial at first. Also we see a little hint at a new relationship starting up in this one which I am very much on board with.

One thing I do want to set aside to give Marvel some serious credit for is Iron Man’s emotional growth. I’ve been noticing that Marvel has been unpacking the effect that years of combat and extreme situations have had on Tony Stark and I have to say I’m impressed. They have been doing it in stages starting in Iron Man 3 (I think) and they are keeping it up and keeping it realistic. Tony isn’t going to go through his emotions in a healthy way because he is, well, he’s Tony and Marvel knows that. He is going to fight it and cause damage to his own life (“Civil War” addresses this blatantly) and eventually one can hope he will reach a good place but it will be far down the road. However Marvel has been giving him room to grow and change while keeping his character true to form. I hate seeing him hurting because Tony is one of my favorite characters. I know though that it is part of who he is and if he flew through hard emotional growth without the fight it wouldn’t fit with him. If and when he does get to the healthy stages we will likely be in the year 2025 and that’s fitting with his character as much as it will suck for him.

In summation I loved “Civil War.” I loved being in the movie theater with a bunch of fellow nerds and cheering when a favorite character appeared and laughing together when they got sassy or weird with each other. I loved the effortless humor included in the movie, the added characters that allow the universe to keep expanding, and the sheer intensity of the bromances going on in this movie (Cap is a VERY loved man).

And so Marvel I give you a sound round of applause. You did good on this one guys. I am still disappointed about “Age of Ultron” but I can tell you learned from your mistakes and applied what you learned in “Civil War” so good on you. Keep it up!

Also, for everyone planning to watch this movie be aware, THERE ARE TWO AFTER-THE-MOVE STINGERS! TELL YOUR FRIENDS TO SAVE LIVES!

unnamedWritten by Brianna Gibbons, writer, book reviewer and avid reader. For more book-based talk, follow her on Twitter @Bookworm_ish.

The fascinating world of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

 

It is the time of the year when many of us are searching for one of the highlights of our year: the perfect summer read. I normally delve into my stacks of books to find what I will be enjoying on my warm Saturdays but I think this year I may have read a good summer novel a little early.

“Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan is actually quite the interesting book. Its just light enough to be a great, guilty pleasure summer read but also delves into some major socioeconomic ideas without making the reader feel as though they are reading a textbook. All in all I loved the mix of social commentary, gossip column and love story aspects that made up this book.

“Crazy Rich Asians” focuses (mostly) on the main character Rachel who is invited to travel to Singapore with her long-time boyfriend for a wedding. This means she will be visiting his family home and meeting his family. Too bad she doesn’t know that these people make Donald Trump look like a temperamental child with a fiver. Rich doesn’t do these people justice to be honest but it is the best word I have for what they are.

Interspersed with small interludes from other characters involved in Nick’s family the reader gets a real view into the world of, well, crazy rich asians. It is interesting to read about Rachel’s encounters with some of these people and painful at time to see how closed off they can be to her because she is not from their world. Kwan’s story roller coasters between light hearted, gossipy and deep but does so quite skillfully so readers don’t feel like they are getting whiplash.

One of the biggest themes I noticed was how money defined so many of the people in this book. It provided a host of different personalities created from their reaction to money. These personality types can be categorized into three main groups

  • Rich royalty:These people are so loaded they are essentially royalty in Asia and in some cases they are actually descended from old royalty that did good business after the monarchy faded out. However, they are also essentially invisible This group prides itself on being very fortuitous but never flaunting it (to a point). The more recent generations of people in this category were raised to never talk about money and never to show off how rich they were because it is seen as crass which I can respect. However this also means they are SUPER cruel when it comes to outsiders who are seen as being from a lower socioeconomic class join the family.
  • The elegantly rich: This group is comprised of the people who also have loads of old family money but are able to flaunt it in style. This means new designer clothing each season but never being flashy. Characters in this group are classy about their spending going for well-known quality rather than attention grabbing. They are investing their riches into looking effortlessly valuable while adding to their stores at the same time. Often they appear as societal icons for fashion and business.
  • The showy rich: A group made up of those who are either on the outer edges of a family with old money or have come into major money with business ventures that exploded over the past few years. Those individuals tend to be quite showy to say the least. This means buying major purchases like planes and yachts, spending excessively for big parties and needless luxuries (think Wolf of Wall Street style) and throwing money in people’s faces to show off their economic status. They also tend to be rather gluttonous when it comes to getting more money even if this means sacrificing love to marry someone with more money. These people are the types that tend to make readers sick with how shallow they are (Kwan does a good job of writing that part in, I hated Eddie).

Kwan did an amazing job of exploring the different personality types created by wealth in this side of the world all while showing how someone from a more “regular” lifestyle world might experience encountering such amazing wealth.

One other major aspect that Kwan explores is how money affects relationships whether people wanted it to or not. He looks at how familial loyalties are entrenched in the goal of being written into the will of their wealthy relative. He gives examples of relationships that mean nothing now because of one spouse’s obsession with social appearance or status. In another case we see how a difference in socioeconomic background can literally destroy a marriage because it so intensely affects one spouse’s pride and how they are viewed and treated as lesser. We even see how socioeconomic status affects Nick and Rachel in some intense ways. Like I said, “Crazy Rich Asians” does a great job of social commentary but it quite subtle about doing it.

To say the least I was impressed by this book. It kept me involved, invested me in the characters, made me want to kick the shit out of other characters, gave me a little guilty pleasure in the more gossipy moments, and gave me a love story that was realistic that I could root for. I give Kwan major kudos for this novel though I curse him for leaving it on a romantic cliffhanger which has left me looking to hunt down book two of what turned out to be a trilogy. I was not forewarned about this but it is not stopping me from harassing my local library.

unnamed

Written by Brianna Gibbons, writer, book reviewer and avid reader. For more book-based talk, follow her on Twitter @Bookworm_ish.

Windows 10 Solitaire- Review

You know, I was going to write about maps, and have it be all whimsical with some light philosophical touches on life, but then my internet went out.

Only misery remains.

And so you, dear reader, are getting a review of solitaire, the classic on hold waiting for your cable companies IT game!

I haven’t played solitaire on Windows 10 yet, but let me just say, wow! The graphics are a huge improvement over Windows 97 solitaire. I mean here the cards are all shiny and new and utilize what seems to be particle effects?

Windows, you are spoiling me here. Particle effects! I feel like I am playing Hearthstone and I don’t even play Hearthstone!

Okay, now that the visuals are out of the way, let’s get down to the mechanics here. And just like every other AAA game developer, Windows 10 solitaire has been dumbed down massively. I get hints all the time, the damn Herpstone effects flash all on my face constantly, and it just keeps giving you hints even when I’ve turned those off!

No! I don’t want to be hand held anymore Windows! Stop holding my hand! Yours is all clammy and moist and blegh!

You know what makes me feel real sick? I take those hints even when I’ve done my damnedest to make sure they don’t pop up! I am the very thing I hate about the hint system in Windows 10 solitaire!

This game, this game, has just cut me to my core. Its revealed something I didn’t know about myself, a flaw that I will now examine until I feel nothing and will never again know what joy truly is.

And the IT guy is back. He’s the step above the previous IT guy, according to this T2 moniker, and he’s having me repeat the steps of the previous guy. I do not blame this man, for he is trying, but I blame myself for being a sponge on society.

A giant hairy sponge that must be burned!

Window 10 Solitaire score: Questioning reality of out Ham

‘Hellhole’ AKA the sci-fi book that I love even though I don’t like sci-fi

I am not normally a lover of science fiction stories. To date I have now read about three books in the sci-fi genre, one being a school assignment, another being a short story in a collection of other thriller/sci-fi stories and the latest a book that I actually chose, purchased and read. That last one if the book “Hellhole.” It is part of a series and I now want all the books because it is a book in this genre that I honestly truly enjoyed.

Written by Kevin Anderson and Brian Herbert, “Hellhole” transports the reader to a futuristic world in which planets are managed like the countries under Roman rule (albeit without the gladiators and religious persecution). The planets are divided into two categories: The Crown Jewels and the Deep Zone planets. The book starts with an attempted and failed rebellion. This sets the stage for a story divided between activities occurring in the Deep Zone planets (where the rebellion leader is exiled to the planet Hellhole) and the political movements among the Crown Jewels. The story ultimately involves multiple characters and has a multitude of twists and turns, all adding to my love for it.

Along with its engaging and well-paced plot, there are a host of reasons why I loved “Hellhole” such as:

The universe is futuristic without being implausible

“Hellhole” doesn’t limit itself by giving a possible date or year for when the events are occurring, giving it a huge amount of freedom. The organization of the planets, travel system and other factors that make up this universe are thankfully tight enough to comprehend but loose enough to make plausible.

The story ties back to humanity on Earth without weighing the story down with the past

Several times throughout the story different details tie back to humanity on Earth. These passing comments or side notes give the reader the implication of the characters’ ancestry and a gauge for how far they have come. Bless Anderson and Herbert though because they don’t waste time with a timeline of how far the story is from where we are now. The relation to humanity on Earth gives a small, brief origin for the characters without diverting the story. Also no mention of race (maybe racism will have actually died out by the time we can fly between planets like countries!)

The planetary system is unique without being overly complicated

As previously mentioned the planets are organized like countries while being governed like the United States: all planets under one ruler. By manipulating trade and transportation the reigning government is able to keep control (to a point as the reader finds out later). It is an efficient and easy to understand system without going into intense details about rules, regulations etc.

Readers get to know minor characters without being overloaded with a billion characters to keep track of just before killing them (cough cough George R.R. Martin you murderous fuck)

Between the con man on the run, the girl on the run from a murderous ex, territorial governors, an unknown alien race and others, “Hellhole” offers a host of different minor characters to get to know. They all play a role in the larger overall plot but don’t interfere with it by diverting the story to focus on their life stories. Additionally they don’t die off in droves so there is no need to always get to know a whole new cast of characters.

The plot includes a few twists that make you want to know (read) more

These include a hidden rebellion, an assistant seeking nobility status, alien consciousnesses joining with human minds, the book is jampacked with events you don’t see coming. It all works with and adds to the main plot though and makes you just want more.

The characters have a good amount of depth that makes them relatable

The characters were great. Love or hate certain character though the reader might, it just proves the level of depth the authors gave them. Each one has layers showcased without going into extensive detail and enough flaws to make them relatable. Its a great balance overall, provides humanity and a sense of reality to the characters and doesn’t give you one flawless hero who you feel you must love entirely.

Looking back after just finishing the first book it is easy for me to see why I loved the book and would gladly recommend it to others, whether they like sci-fi or not. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books that wrap up this story. At this point I don’t have much choice in whether or not I buy them since my copy was signed and I got to meet the author. I couldn’t get rid of it even if I wanted to, and I don’t so I might as well get all of the books in the series and get through the entire story and pray that things don’t tank.

Now I must return to scouring the web for the second and third books (Anderson and Herbert let me buy your books, damn you)!

unnamedWritten by Brianna Gibbons, writer, book reviewer and avid reader. For more book-based talk, follow her on Twitter @Bookworm_ish.

Words in pixels- Tom Clancy’s The Division

My business is one of words, and seeing as I have worked in video games in such a capacity, I figured it would be interesting to go into the mechanics of storytelling in different video game titles. In most reviews, the story is relegated to a paragraph, maybe, and doesn’t get a lot of the spotlight. Really, it’s more like a synopsis than it is an analysis of the game’s story.

What I wanted to do here was give video game stories the attention they deserve. What mechanics did they use to tell the story? Did they work or did they cause more harm than good? Why did this story work or not? These are questions that I haven’t seen the answers for and are usually glazed over in most write ups.

Let’s dive into a title that is currently holding my attention- Tom Clancy’s: The Division.

Summed up : It gives the best argument to never leave the house.

The story is New York (Yes, the city where every thing happens) is hit by an outbreak of a virus spread on 20 dollar bills during Black Friday. This kills almost everyone and while the rest of the nation is dealing with this virus, the government has sent off a majority of its forces to find those responsible. With an almost barren city, filled with corpses, local gangs and militia (Not state run) have taken over the streets and overwhelmed the JTF (Joint Task Force).

You are an Agent apart of The Division, a sleeper cell that is activated during a crisis to help keep law and order going in the face of totally anarchy.

At it’s best, The Division (To be known as DV moving forward) has some moments that really make you feel for this city. The level design only reinforces the despair here, and the random logs, video, and synthetic ‘ghosts’ hit home the humanity of the situation.

At its worst, it’s a bland ‘Thanks hero for stopping the orcs! You’re a great fighter!’


It’s AYSO: Everyone is a hero, everyone gets praise

Division 1At its core, DV is an MMOish/Single Playeris campaign, and this means it’s making the player the central hero to save the world as we know it; while thousands of other players are being cast in the same role. This is wish fulfillment and while many players don’t mind it or even love the crap out of it, I really don’t.

When I play a game, in a huge open world, I tend to be a fly on the wall. I like exploring, helping when I can, moving on to secure and build up either my base or my gear. The central narrative in DV is meh to say the least, there are some great set pieces and awesome moments along the way, but overall the main story is just okay.

Mostly what kills the mood for me is when NPC soldiers say the same thing I have heard in so many games:

-Hey, glad you’re on our side!

-Man, did you see what you did? That’s awesome!

-Wow, you know what you’re doing!

It just feels contrived and frankly my eyes could never roll hard enough when I hear those lines. The JTF are just about the worst thing, I get they’re on the ropes, but the amount I have helped, a single person, in getting them back in order is ridiculous. And yes, I mean me singular, I know this game is about the squad elements, but in the narrative of the story I am the one being acknowledged for putting the city back together.

Which is just nuts to me.

The core of this game’s story is: This is our home, our city, and we are going to take it back.

That is an awesome premise to start from because who is not going to want to want to help? Problem is, you are then cast into the role of a singular savior and that small sentiment of ‘your city’ gets lost. It’s like when I was playing Fallout 4, as soon as I got a hint of being this big damn hero, I lost interest, and if it were up to me, I would just avoid the main story line in DV because it isn’t doing anything for me.

The mechanic of the central narrative is missions, which are actually really fun and cool, but the cut scenes and importance placed on me and the only other agent in the headquarters is just too much to the point of cheese.


What is doing something for me, is the world you get to explore.

E315_TCTD_Final_screenshot_Macys_213016The mechanics in which the game tells its story is through missions, and while the central missions have some wonderful moments, the most impactful part of the game is New York City. Exploring the streets, finding people, and giving them supplies makes me feel like I am helping. It was the experience I was looking for when I originally saw DV and the act of giving someone some water or saving them every once in a while from a thug, hits me more than the central story.

Let’s get this out of the way, I am not from New York City. I have never lived in a big city, so in order to get me to care about this place you have to get me attached. Moments are going to get player plugged in and feeling like they are a part of this world. Video games are experiences and the stories that live in them have to amplify this experience.

Seeing the trash, the sheer chaos in the streets, really gets me attached to this world and trying to help it. The use of side missions is well done, because the dialogue gives just enough flavor and information to make me want to go in and push that button. And it will be pushing buttons because that’s about all you have to do in this game, mission wise.

Do I feel that the actions in the side missions could have been changed up a bit? Oh yes, but as they stand, I’ve played worse ‘busy work’ filler content. What keeps me going here is the movement in game, the combat, and my sweet beanie.

Overall, The Division is more of an experience than a story.

Which is great for a video game, because that is the most important part. The world is well constructed, the movement smooth, the shooting fun, and that it carries me past the meh ‘I am the hero’ story. I really wish I could have just move through Brooklyn and solve problems organically rather than getting put in the center of the rescue effort. I am one of thousands of Agents in this city, how I am I that damn important? And really, I’m not, I just wish I could eke out a small effort of helping to reclaim the city from my stronghold in a subway depot.

In future expansions, there is talk of this feature showing up, and frankly I cannot wait for it. I really do think that this game could do something really interesting from a storytelling aspect. The basics are already there in the form of seeing sections of the town have more patrols and the HQ having more people that don’t look broken residing inside of it. By letting the player feel like they are doing enough to help, and reinforcing that feeling in the world around them, The Division could really make me feel like a New Yorker.

Although, I still wouldn’t be a Yankees fan.

IMG_9638Nick Mazmanian is a content creator and designer on Ironclad Words. He enjoys making things and drinking coffee, specifically the latter, for without it the former wouldn’t get done. He also wrote a book.

Jurassic World… yeah.

This film had one job, and that was to be better than The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3. It achieved this feat, but that isn’t the most challenging thing to do. I certainly wasn’t expecting the film to be better than Jurassic Park, and why people thought it would be or used that as a measuring stick makes zero sense to me.

The only way for Jurassic World would have been better than Jurassic Park is if you invented a time machine and released that film first; and even then I wonder.

Was Jurassic World a bad film? No, it was fun. Was it a good film? No, it was not, and it isn’t because of the plot or the super 2-D characters or the fact that Claire is the fall guy whom the audience doesn’t care at all about; my beef with this movie is one thing:

The references

It’s fun when a sequel or a remake does this, the nod to the previous entry or the first film, but when you nod so much that we begin to worry that you’re having a seizure, that’s when it’s a problem. We get the Mr. DNA, great, that’s something everyone wanted. Then you get the guy wearing the t-shirt from the original park design and getting called out for it, even though it’s the same design that’s plastered everywhere in the park. Okay, that’s funnyish, but kinda hypocritical.

Then you get the t-rex feeding scene from the first film, a goat on a chain, and a flare, and it all goes downhill from there.

This movie was pointing and shouting so hard at the first film to make sure we understood that it is not trying to be the previous two entries in the franchise that it began to resemble a five year-old child throwing a fit. It even took us to the original visitors center that had working goggles and Jeeps! We get it! You are not the other films, can we please move on?

When your movie is constantly doing this sort of thing it’s relying on the past nostalgia of the returning audience of the previous three films to go, “Oh yeah, I loved the flare thing!” and make the new comers go, “This must be important so how, but why? Better go watch the other movies.” The film isn’t standing on it’s own at this point, it’s leaning heavily on the foundation of the original film. Yes, The Lost World and JP3 did it too, but it was the singular nod, the one you’re used to seeing in a franchise film series because it is neat to revisit the places that blew your mind the first time.

This becomes an issue when the filmmakers don’t try to make new mind blowing scenes in the sequels.

Think about it like this, the riveting part in JPW is when the Indo-rex, t-rex, and velociraptor are duking it out, but even then it doesn’t stick with us after the fight is over. Why? Because the human characters are not really threatened here, they move around the fight, but t-rex is their friend here and is defending their honor.

JP3, the parasailing part was neat, but it’s a chase scene and it didn’t have a point of focus for the audience to grab on to and remember.

TLW had the velociraptors and they were being all velociraptoriee, hiding in the tall grass, pouncing, but the memorable scene in the compound on the island ninja-ruled these guys. They were laughable, which isn’t something you want associated with your monster.

None of these scenes stick with us because we are not allowed to be held in wonder, we are told that this is the exciting part!

Then you go to Jurassic Park, the power goes down, the tour stops in front of the t-rex cage, power will come back on surely? Then you get the rumble, then you see water move, then you begin to doubt. Then comes the flare and the potty humor and everything else we remember about that scene. It sticks with us because of the build up, even later on in the kitchen with the velociraptors, the build up matters; and this isn’t a build up of action but rather a build of tension. The action is the release of the tension, and for some reason filmmakers have forgotten that this is the case. Action can build up but it needs to go somewhere else for the audience, to a pause, to a moment, but instead we are drowned in meh-action. There used to be a moment in a movie when the action was over and you felt relieved, like you had just chewed the most refreshing gum ever, but I haven’t had that feeling in a long time.

I never truly felt that spearmint feeling in Jurassic World. This movie was throwing so much action at the screen, but none of it registered because there was no build up, there weren’t any stakes. As soon as the first ethnic guy and fat guy were eaten, I knew none of the main characters were in danger, unless they were ethnic. That lack of fear is a killer in an action film, even though we know most of the time the heroes won’t die, we still need a holy shit moment with them in order to make us care a little.

This isn’t to say that it is all doom and gloom here. The hidden gem, the treasure of this film, was one man:

BD Wong Jurassic World1

 

B.D. Wong saved this movie for me because of his spot on performance as Val Kilmer. This isn’t a knock in any way, shape, or form; his mannerisms, the way he talked, it was eerie! If you think I am being a dick, I am not, and if you think I am talking crazy then re-watch his scenes and tell me you are not seeing 90’s Kilmer!

Overall, it was fun, but I found the experience to be a little hollow. Of course, it’s made over 200 million, so who the hell am I, right? I recommend you check it out because I want you to form your own opinion, and it can be in direct conflict with mine here, that’s your call.

But, I think we can all agree that B.D. Wong needs more feature films.

Fire, gears, and weird: Mad Max Fury Road


This is a post about the insanity that is Mad Max: Fury Road, if you haven’t seen this film yet, stop now and go and see it because like a hard boiled egg left in an unplugged fridge for two weeks, this post will have spoilers in it.

I have loved Mad Max since I was 13 and Fury Road did not disappoint. It’s the first film in a long time to make my head explode in the most pleasant of ways, which has made me return to the movie theater twice now, with a third waiting in the wings. This film, like its action, has a lot going on and is the most subtle film you will see this year.

Yes, a movie with spikey hot rods and metal shredding freaks is subtle.

Its storytelling is so focused that a lot can be missed as this world blurs past the audience in a fireball of themes and ideas. This moving metal album cover has a lot going on under the hood.

Visual storytelling

There is very little dialogue in the movie. I wouldn’t say it approaches Once Upon A Time In The West  level of silence, but it is on par with that film. We see character development that is shown and not told.

Look at the beginning of the film, with Max and his V8 Interceptor standing alone against the wilderness. Max is more animal than man here because of the fact that he has had to become an animal in order to survive; as per his intro, survival is the only thing left in him. Fast forward to the end of the film, where he disappears into the masses of people and into the society he left behind. Through his journey we see him become more and more human. As he gets his stuff back, his boots, jacket, and gear, he becomes more of a man. His increasing interaction with women also helps to civilize him and make him into a functional person once again.

Then you have Furiosa (As a friend of mine said is the best female action hero since Ripley, I wholeheartedly agree), when we meet her it’s a close up of her Immortan Joe brand on the back of her neck and we pull back to see her getting into the war rig. She seems cool but tense at the same time. The reason why is because this is probably her last time attempt to escape the Citadel and if it fails she will die. She is a woman who knows exactly what she is doing and knows she cannot let her guard down. The only time we ever really she her guard down is when she meets The Vulvani tribe of Many Mothers and at the end of the film.

The actors are showing the character development rather than letting the editing show it. There isn’t a specific moment in which they become better people or suddenly appear in a Deus Ex Machina sort of way. They carry the film and drive it forward, rather than just being carted along by the plot.

It’s about people

This film has people in it, and I don’t mean that people can be seen in it, but rather it has people in it that care about one another. Obviously if you’re on the opposite side of the gun, the care is quite small, but within the individual groups from Immortan Joe’s Warboys to The Vulvani, they truly care about one another. It’s a connection that is strong and serves a purpose in the film as the Warboys bow and salute one another and The Many Mothers respectfully remember those who have gone in their hearts.

These tribes of people become family to one another and it is through this connection that they are able to live.

At one point the group talks about satellites and how TV shows were everywhere. It’s something that is almost unimaginable to the younger group as that kind of connectivity seems almost god-like.

Max begins to earn his humanity once more by being around these women who care for one another. He sees a piece of himself in Furiosa and begins to regain his humanity through her while she has him to assist in her plans to return home and save the wives from their life of slavery. Max at the beginning of the film is more animal than man and when he finally says his name, he almost doesn’t believe it himself because it probably has been a long time since even he uttered it out loud.

How freaking weird it is

There is nothing in this film that is normal or even remotely close to normal, I mean it had a breast milk farm, and I loved it for that reason. For the last ten years a lot of sci-fi films have tried to go weird, but wind up being the goth kid version of Star Wars. In fact, many modern sci-fi films have been heralded as the new Star Wars or something to that effect and because of that marketing tilt, and probably the pressure of the film’s producers, they usually do feel like a watered down SW.

This film isn’t trying to mimic another film or even be “the new XYZ” it really is unique. If you look at the designs of the film, from the cars to the other tribes to the gear that the characters in the film use, it is analog. Nothing in this film is slick, all of it is boxy, rough, and tangible.

This film is a 1980’s film and 80’s sci-fi or fantasy films were all freaking strange. I mean look at what came out of the 80’s:

  •     Krull
  •     The Dark Crystal
  •     Legend
  •     The Masters of the Universe
  •     Highlander
  •     The Last Starfighter
  •     Explorers
  •     Mad Max

All of these films have bizarre designs and even stranger story lines, but they were each different in their own way and did something. Most modern sci-fi is very similar, in both design and story, and follows a rigid structure we have seen hundreds of times. The closest films to Fury Road, in my mind, are The Road Warrior and Stagecoach.

I really do hope we see more bizarre stuff in the theaters, because that’s what’s really going to get me in there every weekend.

May you be shiny and chrome!