Tag Archives: Tom Hardy

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

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Despite it being 30 years since the release of Beyond Thunderdome – the third, mediocre instalment in the Mad Max saga, George Miller’s franchise remains iconic and still capable in 2015 of generating rabid passion, gigantic anticipation and millions of dollars from film geeks and action junkies alike. It’s ironic that the Tina Turner/Mel Gibson blockbuster was such a misfire because (not surprisingly) Fury Road does borrow a little from its predecessor, though more obviously from the ground breaking and inspiring chapter before that; The Road Warrior. But this is no reboot or remake and you’d be stretching to call it a sequel even.

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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The Dark Knight was the second film in the re-booted Batman saga kicked off in 2005 by director Christopher Nolan’s genre levelling Batman Begins. Both of those films have received praise for various reasons, possibly none more so than their influence upon the modern comic book based or more specifically, “superhero” film.  The seriousness and intelligence Nolan as director and his co-writer David S. Goyer approached the initial material practically reinvented not only the genre, but an iconic figure. Batman, whom had seen no less than four films in the two decades before Begins arrived, was reborn as a brooding wall of justice, inhabiting a real-world looking Gotham City. A decided change that had already occurred many times over in comic book and graphic novel form, though in the pre-reboot movies, was brought to life in a much more garish and campy sense (though Tim Burton’s original film retains a respectable comic book flair the three sequels didn’t). Established British thespian Christian Bale was given the task of taking on the mask, cape and alter ego of Bruce Wayne. Bale, not really known to mainstream audiences at the time, later appeared in Nolan’s film, The Prestige. The combined involvement of all three men meant the tone was set and anticipation was high for a new, darker take on one of DC Comic’s marquee franchises (the other being Superman; soon to be rebooted itself after one already failed attempt).

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UPCOMING: Lawless; Gangster Squad

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HBO’s Boardwalk Empire is a show I have yet to see one full scene from, but it’s success is having a lingering effect on studios and screenwriters it seems. Last week saw the debut of two trailers for upcoming films showcasing the same gangster noir milieu as the award-winning TV drama. By all means this is not a new genre of course, and in 2009 Michael Mann possibly re-energized the trend itself with his flawed take on John Dillinger’s escapades, Public Enemies. That film was released before Boardwalk even aired, and it felt more like a biopic than a straightforward genre piece. The two films set to be released in the second half of this year definitely have a more self-contained concept much like James Mangold’s 3:10 to Yuma remake did as a Western. It is fair to say then, Boardwalk specifically has gotten the execs in Hollywood clambering to bring the latest genre flavour of month to the forefront; and that would be gangsters of the Tommy Gun variety. Given that the trend has allowed studios to reel in some high-profile actors and directors onto each project as well, I thought I’d showcase them here which doing so may or may not become a trend of my own.

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