Tag Archives: adventure

Film review – Mad Max: Fury Road

Week 25, 2015
Joensuu, Finland

Title: Mad Max: Fury Road
Director: George Miller
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Year: 2015
Country: Australia / USA
IMDb: 8.6/10
Thesis: Fight for survival
Watched on 18.6.2015

Before I start with my review I acknowledge I was not ready to watch this movie. Let me clarify: I was invited to watch the film and I happily accepted. For an unknown reason I thought Mad Max was something related to cartoons.  I haven’t seen before a Mad Max film and I did not do my homework to check where I was heading to. So, of course I got a shock in the movie theater and later I read several reviews about the movie. This film apparently has not middle way, people love it or hate it.

In brief, the story of the movie is simple. A group of persons, mainly women, are running for their life across a dessert, while they are chased by a man (Immortan Joe) who “owns” them. All this happen in,  I would call, a dystopia. It is a desert world where people main concern and challenge is to to survive with not water.

The movie starts when people from Immortan Joe capture Max. For those who have seen previous movies of Mad Max, might know more about him. In my case, only for looking at this film, he is a lonely quiet fighter who, honestly, I have no clue how he survives.

Furiosa is the main actress of this film. She is a fighter and a determine woman, who believes, due to her memories, that is a green world out there.

The women in this world are, literally, cows. At least that is my impression. The Immortan Joe wants the fresh, virgin women, which are not that many, to have his children.

Most of the movie, if not all, is mainly action. The chasing starts few minutes after Max is trapped and Furiosa starts driving an AMAZING truck for a mission Immortan Joe send her. But once she on the road, she took a detour to the east to follow her plan. To reach the “green world” and change the destiny of the young women are traveling with her as incognito. As soon as the Immortan Joe noticed this, the movie’s pursue starts because all those women are his.

The women, including Max and Nux (a war boy warrior from the Immortan Joe’s fanatical army, who now is part of Furiosa team) managed to cross the dessert after A LOT of action, where Furiosa remember was her childhood land. Once they reach their destination, they realized they must be back to the original place. So, of them have to cross the desert again, so there is more action.

That would be the story of the movie. It is not a movie of dialogs. It is a movie of action, special effects and fighting. If you are in this type of mood and type of movie, unquestionably: Mad Max Fury Road is well done.

Personally, I like Furiosa’s truck, it is amazing. Her bionic arm was also interesting for me, and some landscapes were really immersive. The film plays with the visuals and sounds a lot. From the action, the “jumping warriors” were interesting. They were fighting from long sticks, and the band creating “heavy metal” music for the army of Immortan Joe was also attractive for me.

Directors look a whole experience, and in this film Miller pays attention to it. Even though I was not ready to watch it and try to close my eyes (and ears) at moment, because I was getting in the experience I was not prepare to have.  Need to watch it, now aware of the facts. 🙂 So, I think Miller did a good job on building the whole experience.

Despite there is not much dialog, there are two quotes I really like of the film:

1. Nux: “Oh what a day. What a lovely day! “
2. The other is between Dag and Toast:
Toast: What are you doing?
Dag: Pray:
Toast: to who?
Dag: anyone who is listening

Here the film’s trailer:

From this type of films, I wonder where the gasoline and bullets are produced? Maybe that would be another film.
So, if you are in the mood and you like this type of movies, I think it is a good movie!
Thank you for the invite!

Film review – The Never Ending Story

Week 11, 2015
Joensuu, Finland

Title: The NeverEnding story
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Year: 1984
Country: West Germany
IMDb: 7.4/10
Thesis: The power of the imagination
Watched on 13.3.2015

The first time I saw this movie, The Never Ending Story, was probably in 1984. I remember look at the film in a movie theater in its release in México City.  I recall, I just loved this film.  The movie truly touched me.

The narrative of  the Never Ending Story film is knitted upon two stories. One story focuses on the mythical land of Fantasia, which it is being destroyed by “the nothing”. The nothing is the consequence of people not using their fantasy any longer. Thus, the less humans use their fantasy the more Fantasia is destroyed by the nothing. Therefore Fantasia needs urgently a hero to safe this magical kingdom. The hero has to find, beyond the boundaries of Fantasia, a human child to safe Fantasia. 

The second story is in our “reality”. A boy named Basting is passing through a difficult period in his life. His mother just passed away, he is being bullied by some boys, he is not doing well at school and his imagination is his only scape from his reality. However, his father aims to bring him “back” to earth and insist to Basting to stop being in a fantasy world. After a conversation with his father about paying attention to real life, he was walking to school and start to be persecuted by some bullies. Basting hides from his bullies in a book store where the clerk introduced him to an “ancient story book” entitled Never Ending Story. He actually temps Basting to read the book. Finally, Basting “borrows” the book and reads it at his school’s attic. Once he started to read the book, he is drawn into the mythical land of Fantasia in which he is part of the story, he is the only one who can safe this mythical land.

The film knits these two stories: the one that belongs to the real life of Basting and the one belonging to Fantasia. The connection of these two stories is, in the film, through the imagination of Basting.

If one looks at the film with the eyes of someone who believes that one can actually change the fate of something the story connects with the viewer in a deep level. It gives you strength to believe, because the movie stresses the inner desire that individuals have to believe.

In its time, when I saw the film on the 80s, I sense the film so vivid. As I mentioned earlier, I just love it!

Looking the same film 30 years later, my memories prevail and got reinforce. I love the narrative of the film and it is one of my favorite movies. But as an adult, one perceives life differently than 30 years back. Perhaps my connection to the film nowadays is less emotional than the first time I saw in in the 80s being now more rational (how sad!).  After seen the film in 2015, I still like it and it still holds fond memories. The film moves  me, but I do not know if it is for the film or for my memories connected with the film.

Imagination and the capability to believe is something so important and difficult to keep.  Unquestionably, I must read the book which it is waiting for me. The reason of my less immersive experience might be in the technology.

Technologically talking, the film does not give me the impact as it did in the 80s. The technology is not impressive anymore. Well, in 30 years we had seen astonishing digital productions. What I found interesting, I am more impressed on the use of the camera and acting from some films of the 50s  (as the filmed I recently from Buñel, los olvidados) than the NeverEnding Story. How much the film message relies on the technology might deserve an analysis on its own. I skim through the review of  Tomas Caldwell related to the Never Ending Story and he also touches the technological aspect of the film.

Paradoxically, the reason why I came to see this movie again is because I need to gain inspiration on representations. Let me explain, we need to sketch destruction without weapons. Then I remember in this film Fantasia’s destruction was not through wars or weapons, instead it was though the “nothing”. Hence, I came to see  how the narrative was expressed visually within the movie. To see through my eyes again and not only through my memories.

I have fond memories and connection to the film from the 80s, which I cannot change. I wonder if the same connection would be made now if I was looking at the movie for first time. I do not know. However, from my personal point of view The Never Ending Story  is a film worth to watch, no for the “technology” (which for the 80s was very good) but to enjoy an expression of the power of the imagination within a film narrative. I beautiful story!

To finalize my post, a complete journey to the 80s with theme of the film by Limahl :

Also you can watch The NeverEnding Story film on line from ffilms.org address.


Korea adventure – day #18: 4DX movie

Week 28
Suwon, Korea

Today we went to see Pacific Rim at the 4DX movie theatre in Cinepark, Suwon, Korea.

Movie Theatre in Suwon

Movie Theatre in Suwon

I confess my major motivation for this movie was the curiosity about the technology. I would have gone to watch the a 4DX movie independently of the title. Before today,  I only had experienced 4D movies in Disneyland but no in a movie theatre. So let’s see.

As soon as I saw the theatre sit, it emerge a promising feeling. In the photo you can see metal supporter for your feet instead to leave them on the floor.

Sit in the movie theatre

Sit in the movie theatre

The first encounter with the 4DX technology, for my surprised, was with an audi commercial (I did not find a vide0). The second advertisement was the one below:

During these commercials one realizes that one’s sit moves, no only as “rollercoaster” type of movement, but as a massage sit. Ok, it is not  a massage, but the idea is that something exactly on your back moves in specific moments. Additionally, one is “shot” with injections of air or water from the front of the sit and from the sides of the sit. Also one can notice a strobe lighting in particular scenes. All these aim to be in synch with the movie.

In this particular film, there was not smell, no bubbles and no smoke. Nevertheless there was a full experience 😉

I am not a film critic, so I cannot say much about the film. In brief is a battle of human kind VS some aliens. As you can see in the trailer below:

My impression of Pacific Rim is: a typical Hollywood movie, despite to be directed by the Mexican, Guillermo del Toro.

The special effects are well done. I like the futuristic ideas, e.g. the computer screens, the robots are cool and some type of biotechnology concepts are interesting. However, the storyline is kind of typical. The movie did not move me. The special effects and technology capture my attention.

After the function, my thoughts have been into how will be the movie theatres in 5 or 10 years from now? What kind of movies we will be able to watch? Technology is AMAZING! but we need equally interesting plots knitting the interactive possibilities.  I know we are starting….

Ok, one personal suggestion for 3D images, ensure that I will not get a headache afterwards. Somehow 3D gives me a headache after certain period of time.

Last but not least, it let me pondering that these 4DX theatres are mainly in “emerging” economies. There are not 4DX in USA, Germany, Finland, UK….

Screenshot of actual 4DX movie theatre up today

Screenshot of actual 4DX movie theatre up today

I confess I wrote this post fast to thank Insung, who organised the going. Thank you for the opportunity to experience this just release movie in a 4DX experience. I had a good time!

Now, good night!