Franchise Weekend – The Never-Ending Story Part II: The Next Chapter (1990)

Director: George Miller

Writer: Karin Howard (Screenplay) Michael Ende (Novel)

Starring: Jonathan Brandis, Kenny Morrison, Clarissa Burt, John Wesley Shipp, Martin Umbach, Alexandra Johnes

 

Plot: A young boy with a distant father enters a world of make-believe and magic through a portal within an antique book.


Tagline – Begin an all new adventure as a young boy returns to a world of wonder on the wings of his imagination.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Addition to the World

 

Story: The Never-Ending Story Part II: The Next Chapter starts as Bastian (Brandis) is back in the real world and struggle to overcome his fears while his father remains distant from him. He returns to the book story where he learns that books are different second time around, which leads him to borrow the Neverending Story again, this time he gets taken into the book, where they need his help in Fantasia again.

With Xayide (Burt) taking over the world, the Childlike Empress (Johnes) is imprisoned and now Atreyu (Morrison) joins Bastian on the quest to save Fantasia and free the Childlike Empress.

 

Thoughts on The Never-Ending Story Part II: The Next Chapter

 

Characters – Bastian still feeling isolated in the real world, resorts back to the Neverending Story, this time he gets taken into the world where he must complete the quest to save the world, his wishes could bring an end to both worlds though. Atreyu is the warrior that joins Bastian, this time he doesn’t seem as strong as last time almost taking second fiddle to Bastian. Xayide is the evil ruler looking to take control of Fantasia by letting Bastian use the wishes to be his undoing.

PerformancesJonathan Brandis does a better job as Bastian this time, this is partly because he is part of the world this time too instead of the character just reading the tale. Kenny Morrison does well with his version of Atreyu, even though he doesn’t get the strong moments the last actor had the chance too. Clarissa Burt fits the beautiful villain eager to rule the land.

StoryThe story plays into the idea that books can be different on the second reading, which shows us how Bastian can go on a second adventure that is different than the last, it might have the same consequences if he doesn’t succeed, but it does show us just where an imagination can go. There is a deeper meaning about needing to not take wishes for granted and is a good continuation to the neverending story world.

Adventure/Family/FantasyThe adventure continues this time with Bastian entering the world and the fantasy world needs saving once again, which is why Bastian goes on the adventure.

SettingsThe world looks great again, showing us how the busy lives can be changed once you enter into a book to escape the world you live in.

Special EffectsThe effects are fine, for the time they would have bee considered good, but sadly they have dated in places.


Scene of the Movie –
Giants entrance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Atreyu does seem weaker this time around.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good addition to the world of the Neverending story, it has an important message about wish making, eve if the film ends up following a similar formula.

 

Overall: Good addition to the saga.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

madDirector: George Miller, George Ogilvie

Writer: Terry Hayes, George Miller (Screenplay)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Adam Cockburn, Tina Turner, Frank Thring, Angelo Rossitto

 

Plot: After being exiled from the most advanced town in post-apocalyptic Australia, a drifter travels with a group of abandoned children to rebel against the town’s queen.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Finish

 

Story: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome starts as Max (Gibson) is rob in the wasteland when he heads after the person responsible he ends up in Bartertown making a deal for 24 hours of his life to search for his belongings.

The leader of the town is Aunty Entity (Turner) recruits Max to eliminate The Blaster from the pig power factory to keep her reign over the people. This means Max challenges The Master Blaster to a one on one fight in the Thunderdome with the winner getting the freedom and Max getting his belongings back.

When Max backs out of the deal he finds himself facing the wheel that will decide his fate in bartertown. After being exiled Max sets out on a revenge mission to get his stuff and bring down the home of the thunderdome once and for all.

 

Thoughts on Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

 

StoryThis is the third story of the Mad Max saga and this time around we dive deeper into the dystopian world where we meet different pockets of survivors that Max must interact with to make a better future for the right ones but like before he wants to keep to himself and go about hi business only getting involved when he is affected by the choices. This story feels bigger but this is also part of the downfall in this one because it was the simple story that made the last one so great.

Action/ThrillerThe action feels different but does lack the use of vehicles this time around and feels like it is in the post-apocalyptic world we are sold on. This also doesn’t feel as edge of your seat anymore because of the number of characters involved.

Characters/PerformanceMax continues to be the character that fights for the right things but also the one who wants to be isolated from the others. The villain continues to be over the top with Tina Turner taking this role well but otherwise this also feels like a step back from the last outing in the series.

SettingsThe settings are created to make us fully believe we are in the post-apocalyptic wasteland with both main settings coming off bigger and much more settled that last time which is one of the highlights of this film.

Special EffectsThis outing doesn’t have as many special effects with well-planned stunts that all come off.

Final ThoughtsThis feels like a step back in the franchise even if it still keeps the basic idea together for the mad world this works very well indeed.

 

Overall: Tidy conclusion to the saga but easily the weakest of the three.

Ratingcard

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior (1981)

roadDirector: George Miller

Writer: Terry Hayes, George Miller, Brian Hannant (Screenplay)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michal Preston, Max Phipps Vernon Wells, Kjell Nilsson, Virginia Hey, William Zappa

 

Plot: In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Big, Better and Bloodier

 

Story: Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior starts by showing us the dystopian world Max (Gibson) roams and just how destructive it has become with oil running low. Max is now deadlier than ever taking zero prisoners when it comes to fighting on the road.

When Max meets, the wasteland guy The Gyro Captain (Spence) he learns about an endless supply of gas which keep Max supplied for years but there is one problem it is controlled by warriors who are under threat from The Humengus (Nilsson) and his bloody thirsty gang that want the gas for themselves.

Max reluctant helps the warriors defend the gas from the gang in what is a battle in the middle of the desert for the most valuable resource in the new world gas.

 

Thoughts on Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior

 

StoryThe story picks up where the last one finished with the character of Max now ready to rule the wasteland, the first film introduced us to Max this one unleashes him to be the bad ass action character we need and the story shows just how he is willing to work for the greater good when need be. This also enters into the time when stories were simple and this one shows just how simple story telling can be something the audience of the Fury Road chapter learnt in 2015.

Action/ThrillerThe action is bigger with the chases being riskier and edge of your seat throughout but this time when it comes to the genres it makes everything very clear that this a post-apocalyptic world we are now in. The film uses the genres to improve this film to the next level.

Characters/PerformanceMad Max is the strong silent type not having many lines in the whole film and this works for Gibson who continues to shine in the role, this time we get some comic relief to lighten the higher end action going on. The villains on the other side feel like a much bigger threat and wildly over the top so much so that not one but two of the references whether it be the nickname of image became huge through the World Wrestling Federation.

SettingsThe settings are again very simple but effective as nearly the whole movie is set on battle to protect the gas supply, this continues the trend this film set by making sure the story is big but simple.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the special effects everything is all perfectly placed stunt work to make sure the chase or battle scenes come off to their full effect.

Final ThoughtsThis is the improvement the fans wanted from the original, everything is bigger, bloodier and just overall way more entertaining.

 

Overall: How all action films should improve themselves.

Ratingcard

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Mad Max (1979)

maDirector: George Miller

Writer: James McCausland, George Miller (Screenplay)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley, Tim Burns, Roger Ward, Lisa Aldenhoven

 

Plot: In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic

 

Story: Mad Max starts in the near future from now which would be the past for us watching I guess as we have police of this world chasing down criminal in their flashy yellow pursuit vehicles. We see how hapless the two first pursuit vehicles and motorcycle were but the criminals had no idea the Max (Gibson) was waiting for them.

When Max learns the people, who supporting the man he killed are after him he just laughs it off like nothing but the gang led by Toecutter (Keays-Byrne) comes for revenge by causing trouble causing Max to respond but when the case is thrown out Max’s partner flips but the pursuit team get can do what you want on the streets from their sergeant.

When the gang make things, personal Max becomes Mad Max and goes on a bloody mission of vengeance against the whole biker gang leaving bodies in his path.

 

Thoughts on Mad Max

 

StoryThe story behind Mad Max comes off as a simple revenge story as we follow a police officer who loses everything he has to a gang of criminals and goes on his own mission to kill them all. This work on so many levels because we are introduced to one of the icons of action cinema. I do think a lot of the scenes are shot to feel like a bloody version of Batman which adds light hearted comedy to what is going on.

Action/ThrillerThe action going on through this film are all over the top car chases with explosive consequences on each one, we are told this is in the future but it just doesn’t feel like the dystopian world it is advertised to be in the later chapters. The car chases do keep you on the edge of your seat throughout though.

Characters/PerformanceMel Gibson becomes the overnight sensation with his performance and this character becomes one of the popular action heroes of cinema. When it comes from the rest of the cast we don’t get too much special going on with the villain being slightly out there but never a true threat and the rest of the performances being good enough for the film.

SettingsThe Australian outback is perfect for the setting for this film as we get to see the open roads for the chase scenes and they show how they can go on for miles with no safety.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all great for the budget behind the film making everything work for the world created by the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is the beginning of the film franchise following the adventures of Mad Max but this film is actually a very slow build to meet him for the origin story because his quest for vengeance doesn’t start till well over the hour mark and is over within the hour and half run time. I did find this disappointing but great for what it is.

 

Overall: Never dated, never dull often misleading though.

Ratingcard

 

 

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

logoDirector: George Miller

Writer: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris (Screenplay)

Starring:  Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Josh Helman, Nathan Jones, Zoe Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough

 

Plot: In a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max, a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa, a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Marvellously Mad Mental Max

 

Story: Mad Max: Fury Road starts by showing Max (Hardy) a broken man who travels alone through the dessert wasteland the world has become. He gets tracked down by savages who want to parade him around on their fancy cars. Immortan Joe (Keays-Byrne) keeps the water supplies strict while his best warriors go out in search of the next gas shipment. His warriors of choice include Imperator Furiosa (Theron), but Furiosa has other ideas taking the convoy into hostile territory taking of Joe’s woman planning to take them to a safe place.

Joe sends out his troops to retrieve his property with Nux (Hoult) seeing this as a chance to prove himself to the leader, his car also gets a new ornament of Max. These actions instantly get us into a position where we have three different fighting sides all out for their own goals. It also shows us just what level of action we will be seeing through the film.

When the dust settles Mad somehow makes it out alive but attached to Nux where he finds Furiosa and the woman where they team up to get to safety as Mad sees this as his chance to make it out of his captivity. What follows is an all-out race to the safety zone for the one rig against countless followers.

Mad Max: Fury Road tears up the rulebook on sequel, reboots or remakes here by not focusing solely on the character we all know in Max whose name we don’t even learn until very near the end of the film. The film mostly focuses on Furiosa and her mission where Max helps out. I am will to go far enough to say this isn’t even really a Mad Max film this is an Imperator Furiosa film that Max is part of. As the story it would be fair to say the idea is very simple with the idea of trying to rescue a group slaves and making them free from their evil master. The story works because the film lets the action unfold with the whole film literally being a car chase going on for 2 hours. This really is how you make a popcorn action film with ease on the story side. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Tom Hardy: Max is the lone warrior captured by the Warlords before being used as a hood ornament where he manages to escape teaming up with Furiosa to rescue the brides of Immortan Joe in the all action race across the wasteland. Tom does give a good performance but almost lets his character slip into the background too often. (7/10)

 Max

Charlize Theron: Imperator Furiosa is the lady freeing the brides of Immortan Joe but she finds herself outnumbered and out gunned before teaming up with Max and Nux to escape once and for all. Charlize gives a great performance becoming the dominate presence in every scene she is in. (9/10)

furiosa

Nicholas Hoult: Nux is one of the follows who is always out to impress but when he finally starts getting noticed things go wrong leaving him outside the loop and teaming up to escape with Max. Nicholas continues to show he isn’t afraid to take a chance on his role choices with a good performance as the deranged Nux. (7/10)

 nux

Hugh Keays-Byrne: Immortan Joe is the leader of the warlords who gets tricked into losing his people before setting out with all his men to bring them back from the people he believes betrayed him. Hugh makes the character feel like he is part of the world with ease because of his unique over the top cartoon like image. (7/10)

 joe

Support Cast: Mad Max: Fury Road has countless supporting characters we have the brides but most of all we have the seemingly endless amount of warriors trying to track them down who fill up the body count.

 

Director Review: George Miller – George brings his classic into the modern era with ease here making it one of the most enjoyable films of the year. (9/10)

 

Action: Mad Max: Fury Road could easily have given us the best action scenes of the year with the crazy mental car chases. (10/10)

Sci-Fi: Mad Max: Fury Road brings us into a very bleak future where we don’t seem to have much hope but will always fight on. (9/10)

Thriller: Mad Max: Fury Road really keeps you guess because you just want to know what could possibly happen next. (9/10)

Settings: Mad Max: Fury Road puts us in the wasteland world where we have to see our character deal with the problems of that world. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Mad Max: Fury Road uses brilliant mostly practical effects for the car chases but makes everything come off stunning on screen. (10/10)

Suggestion: Mad Max: Fury Road is simply put a must watch for all action movie fans, but anyone who is into serious films should really skip it. (Action Fans Must Watch)

 

Best Part: Endless car chases.

Worst Part: Not enough focus on Max.

Action Scene Of The Film: Most of the first hour is one action scene.

 

Believability: NO (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could easily have another film in the series.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Could easily get a few special effects nominations

Box Office: $50 Million Opening Weekend in US

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours

Tagline: Only the mad survive

Trivia: Instead of the reboot being a remake of Mad Max (1979), revealing how Max Rockantasky became The Road Warrior, George Miller decided that the reboot will take place in the post-apocalyptic Australia, years after the new Max (Tom Hardy) lost his family, because he did not wish to do a remake or retell the story that had already been told and had wanted to update the universe and the wasteland and wanted new moviegoers to remember Max as a man with nothing to lose after losing his family.

 

Overall: Mad Max is brilliant action pack car flying crazy film that will leave you saying one word ‘Wow’

Rating 90