dvds of the weekDVD of the Week Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
Mad Max: Fury Road
This third sequel to the post-apocalyptic classic Mad Max is the best action film in years: jaw-dropping, bold, ambitious and thrilling. At the beginning of the new film, Max (now played by Tom Hardy, replacing Mel Gibson) is again a loner on the run in the barren wasteland left by a nuclear war. He’s captured by the more-or-less insane followers of a disfigured megalomaniacal water-hording warlord known an Immortan Joe, who is played by Hugh Keays-Byrne. It is Miller’s visual storytelling, from the wrenching and dusty roller coaster chase scenes to the still moments of sometimes horrid desert beauty that feels totally new, even if it is clearly descended of Miller’s previous work.
The D Train
Jack Black plays Dan Landsman, the self-appointed chair of his high school’s 20th reunion committee. He is arrogant about his likability and popularity, and yet is neither likable nor popular. It’s more than trying too hard and it’s discomfiting; Black is obviously perfectly cast. One night he sees an advertisement for Banana Boat suntan lotion and it stars Oliver Lawless (James Marsden), the stud of Dan’s class of 1994. Despite the doubts of his wife Stacey (Kathryn Hahn), Dan gets it into his head that if he can get Oliver to come to the reunion, everyone else from the class will, too. Oliver was that popular. There’s some very funny bits, but the film seems to be an updated retread of Mike White’s Chuck & Buck. The D Train is worth seeing before re-watching that cult classic.
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