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Tag: Mad Max

Million Dollar Movie


The Road Warrior is one of my favorite action movies. Mad Max is creepy as hell, too. The thing about the first two Mad Max movies is that for all the unrelenting action, and despite the fantastic premise, it’s all rooted in credibility. I always felt that part of Miller’s achievement was to make you believe you are there–with these guys coming after you. They are a comic book–and the third movie went someplace that didn’t really appeal to me)–but realistic in a strange way; that’s what made them so frightening and effective. (The second movie also has some nice comedic touches).

Plus, I liked Max’s dog.

The new one looks pumped up with the action and pyrotechnics. I hope that same sense of urgency and credibility exist.

Mad Mad: Fury Road is supposed to be dope. Think I’ll have to cart my ass to the theater for this one.

Over at Esquire, our pal Scott Raab profiles Charlize Theron:

Her career is pure stardust.

She was a teenage model in Italy, came to New York City at eighteen, and left for Los Angeles when her knees gave out for good; there she was discovered by her first manager, who was in line at the bank where she was trying—loudly and without success—to cash her last New York modeling-job check to keep her room at the Farmer’s Daughter, formerly an L. A. fleabag. But Theron came up hard in a hard country, on a hard continent.

“On the street where I was raised—75 percent of the people who lived on that street are not alive anymore. For no reason. For nothing. Life means nothing. In my formative years, I was in an environment that was filled with turmoil—political turmoil—in a world that was incredibly unsafe. And still is. In the early nineties, we were number one in homicide in the world. In HIV/AIDS, we’re still number one. We were number one in carjacking; I think we’re now number three. It became a place where the value of life—there was no value of life.

“You can’t oversimplify it; it comes from a very real place. It’s sad, because the people are good. They’re good people, and they’re resilient people, more than anywhere else in the world that I’ve ever come across. There’s something about South African flesh—we get up and we move forward, and we sometimes don’t take a moment for a little bit of self-awareness or self-pity. We’re such beasts at having to survive—I have the utmost respect for that, but it’s not the healthiest way to go through life. We’ve become a generation in South Africa that is driven by very valid anger, but the cost is coming at such a high level—and that’s a painful thing to watch. A lot of my emotional drive comes purely from the fact that I was born on that continent, and that I was raised there, and that it was different. I have a very strong relationship with Africa, one that’s built on lots of love and massive pain.”

Million Dollar Movie

Double Features. Remember them? They’ve practically disappeared from the cultural landscape, just like double-headers. I used to go see double features at the old Regency Theater which was on 67th street and Broadway. It was a revival house that played old Hollywood movies. Had a balcony and everything.

Saw twin bills of Marilyn (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch) and Bogart (High Sierra, The Roaring Twenties) and Buster Keaton (Sherlock Jr, Seven Chances) and and the Marx Brothers (Duck Soup, Animal Crackers) there.

When I was 12, I visited my mother’s family in Belgium for the summer. My uncle and his girlfriend took me to the seaside for a few days and I’ll never forget seeing the movie posters for Mad Max II (which was renamed The Road Warrior over here). Raiders was out too but Mad Max II looked like something different altogether, something menacing and sinister.

I eventually saw both Mad Max and The Road Warrior many times on videotape and then on cable. Both movies still scare the bejesus out of me in that way you get scared as a kid, ‘specially if I see them late at night. They are corny in a fantastic way but also filmed in such a tense and seemingly credible manner that I get the willies every time.

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