The Road Warrior. Yes, there is some silliness … if in the future, gasoline is so precious, why do the bad guys waste fuel driving around in circles acting scary? So what. The final chase scene is unmatched in film history, taking The General and Stagecoach into the future and cranking up the pyrotechnics so that, even though I’ve probably seen this movie a dozen times, I still grip my chair anxiously. The movie is best at providing thrills; if it took Joseph Campbell to give George Miller his vision, that’s fine with me, but really, it’s all about the action. Still, the archetypical characters suck us in … that hardly any of them actually speak only adds to the feeling that they’ve been dredged up from our common visions of hell. It’s a rare movie that can overcome its own pretensions and win us over because of the masterful use of space, editing, camera work, and iconic characters. Even Brian May’s “I Am the Max Steiner of the Future” soundtrack works. Max is a hero for his time, which is to say he is no hero at all … despite the film’s attempt to present his story as one of growth, there is no evidence that he is any different at the end than he was in the beginning. As he says, he doesn’t have a choice when he drives the tanker … he hasn’t decided to be good, he’s just out of wheels. This film is the standard by which all such action movies are judged, and you can’t blame Miller that almost every attempt to duplicate its success was crap (well, OK, you can blame Miller for Mad Max 3). #391 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They list of the top 1000 films of all time. 10/10.
The Brothers Bloom. I think this movie, in the con-artist genre, has something it wants to say about something. Or maybe it’s just a con. Entertaining, good acting, confusing plot, and totally inconsequential, even if it is about something. Which is probably isn’t. 6/10.
Battlestar Galactica: The Plan. If these weekly posts are meant to highlight movies I’ve seen, then this probably doesn’t belong. It’s hard to say what it is: a movie, a special episode of a TV show, or what it really feels like, a compilation of deleted scenes. Not that the scenes are actually deleted … while The Plan uses footage from the series (the only chance we get to see Starbuck … Katee Sackhoff is otherwise MIA), there is plenty of new material. But none of it is essential … it’s about as valuable as the deleted scenes on a typical DVD. You learn a little more about a few characters, you find out that the infamous “Plan” wasn’t much more than One being petulant, you get to see a little bit of nudity (none from Six or Eight, for you fans of Tricia Helfer and Grace Park) that will be gone by the time this airs on Syfy … and you get something that will be completely incomprehensible to anyone who has never watched the series. The rest of us get a barely coherent hodgepodge of scenes, not without interest but not really a movie. 5/10.