9/17/2018

Franchise Chronicles: Mad Max: Fury Road

 
Our first film saga reaches its culmination today on “The Franchise Chronicles,” with Mad Max: Fury Road (1985). Most film series crash and burn at the end but this may be the one exception where the best was saved for last. After taking a break for three decades to work on some serious dramas like Lorenzo’s Oil and family fair like the Babe and Happy Feet films, George Miller was ready to take us back to the world of Max. After two failed attempts to get the film off the ground with Mel Gibson, Miller eventually recast Tom Hardy in the title role and gave us a film that reached a new pinnacle for special effects and serves as one of the decade’s prime examples of imaginative storytelling.

Each Mad Max installment has had a bigger and bigger budget. Well it doesn’t get much bigger than Fury Road. Every new locale is bursting with imagination from the caves of the Citadel to the pounding sun of the road to the mist of the quagmire. The costumes and vehicles are more outrageous than ever. Basically, it’s awesome! I don’t know what else to tell you! Like most other stand-out contemporary action pictures, it employs CGI effects but does not overuse them. Almost all of the stunts are practical and this makes them feel more effective because you can sense the danger.

The main knock against Beyond Thunderdome was the disjointed narrative. Miller and co-writers Brendan McCarthy and Nick Lathouris avoid that mistake here by simplifying the story and providing more developed characters. The nuts and bolts of the plot bear much resemblance to The Road Warrior, just instead of protecting a town from armored maniacs, Max finds himself helping a small group of women escape from a town full of armored maniacs. Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) is a souped-up evolution of Humungus so full of power it is making him rot.
Once again Max is a mostly passive character at the start, getting captured and turned into a “blood bag” for Joe’s radiation riddled minions. His previous experiences have taken their toll. Max is haunted by the voices of those he could not save. This element seems to fade away part-way through the story and I wish they played it up more. In true Max fashion, he is initially out for himself and tries to leave every chance he gets, until he realizes that the right thing to do is help the women and even go as far as to liberate the entire Citadel from Joe’s tyranny. Once the day is saved, Max does not take a bow or settle down. As always, he fades into the crowd and presumably back to the road, where the next adventure awaits.

Of course, I am burying the lead. I can hear you screaming at me for taking this long to mention Charlize Theron’s performance as Imperator Furiosa. Well, slow your roll. I love her just as much as you do. I’m just doing a thing here. I had to talk about the evolution stuff before I got to the cool new elements: the new characters. Max was always a passive character but this is the first time since Jim Goose in the first Mad Max that another character becomes the main focus of the film. An argument can be made that this is more Furiosa’s movie than Max’s. Her arc is more developed and quite compelling.

Attention should also be paid to Nicholas Hoult’s turn as Nux. His dark past and path to redemption are haunting and tragic. He is the saddest example of what happens to children born into this world after the Apocalypse. A warped extension of the Feral Kid, Nux’s disillusionment comes too late and he sacrifices himself in the hope that the others can find freedom in this living hell.

There have been rumblings that George Miller has another Mad Max planned that would include Furiosa. Theron has said she wants to return and Hardy is also up for it. As of this writing there has been no official announcement and Miller has found himself in legal battles with Warner Bros. concerning Fury Road’s financials. There can never be enough Mad Max in the world, but if this is the last film, it is a fitting ending that serves as a perfect crescendo for Miller’s vision.

So ends the first chapter in “The Franchise Chronicles.” I won’t spoil our next conquest yet. Let’s just say it’s going to be “spooky.”

WTP 175 - Hold The Ketchup


This week it's just Bill, Bob, and Ed chillin' like villains on Batman Day!

In News: Hot news from Hollywood Paul Aaron added to WestWorld. Henry Cavill is out as Superman, so what will DC do next? Swamp thing news! Is Kelsey in or out?

Then the chatroom game Other Superhero’s Kryptonite, where we diverge into many tangents. Including cartoons and breakfast cereals.

Meanwhile, Bill and Bob finished Iron Fist Season 2 and we liked it. Bob saw Yoga Hosers and we discuss what Kevin Smith's secret big project is. Ed went to the movies and saw White Boy Rick and he listened to a podcast from Stitcher Premium called “In Vorhees We Trust With Gourley and Rust.”

 Then Ed announces the NEXT franchise for his written series.

Emails! Camping yay or nay? And drinking before 10 am…

And somehow we go out on some deli talk… No Ketchup!

This is The Wicked Theory Podcast, and for that, we apologize.

But thanks for listening! Hear us wherever good podcasts are given away for free or LISTEN LIVE every Saturday at 7pm eastern until … whenever! (On desktop just go to http://Mixlr.com/wicked-theory  or download the FREE Mixlr app and search for us! Join the chatroom and click the “FOLLOW” button for reminders when the show goes live!)

Support our humble endeavors for as little as just $1 a month with other reward tiers available! http://patreon.com/wickedtheory

Follow the guys on twitter: Bill (@WickedTheory)  Dom (@Dom_Torre)  Bob (@BobWTPC)  Ed (@EdwardOHareTBD)  Jay (@UncleJaysThing) and Provisional Remote Assistant Producer @AgentPalmer

Still bored? Check out WickedTheory.com and visit our YouTube Channel and join our FB Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/500230130359994/


Thanks For Listening!

9/16/2018

DC TV Report for week ending 09/15/2018

Riddle me this: What’s better than a Minotaur in a maze? Getting to watch it on the new DC Universe platform, of course! Join Ed and Sara as they discuss this week’s Batman: The Animated Series retro pick, along with fresh DC TV casting news, a Funko Pop controversy, hazy recollections of The Walking Dead, and predatory work-for-hire practices. Spoilers ahead, so jump over the ones you don’t wanna know about.
 
News updates:
 
The Arrowverse crossover - 7:22
Arrow - 11:17
The Flash  -  13:31
Supergirl  -  18:58
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow - 24:26
Gotham - 25:13
Doom Patrol - 27:18
Swamp Thing - 34:27
Watchmen - 36:39
 
Batman: TAS recap/ next week’s retro pick - 39:21
 
Got a burning question or keen observation? Send an email to dctv@wickedtheory.com or chat on Twitter at @dctvreport, @EdwardOHareTBD and @SaraNetzley. And don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review. Shazam


Check out this episode!

9/10/2018

WTP 174 Mutual Fun Exchange


This week the it’s Bill, Bob, and Ed, a Geeky Trifecta and we start out talking about confidence so it can only get better, and Ed apologizes for a thing.

In News: William Shatner wrote another memoir and we remember Burt Reynolds. On a brighter note we get our first look at Captain Marvel, young Nick Fury, and Skrulls!

Then Bill drops some serious Captain Marvel knowledge...

Then we guess 1 Lie 1 Truth from the Chatroom!

Meanwhile we recommend a lot of Season Twos! Ozard Season 2 and The Chris Gethard Show, a short Iron Fist Season 2 report, and Ed enjoyed GLOW Season 2.

Ed went to the movies to see Operation Finale and it's a "meh."  

Email: What movies do we suggest for a Burt-athon in honor of Burt Reynolds?

This is The Wicked Theory Podcast, and for that, we apologize.

But thanks for listening! Hear us wherever good podcasts are given away for free or LISTEN LIVE every Saturday at 7pm eastern until … whenever! (On desktop just go to http://Mixlr.com/wicked-theory  or download the FREE Mixlr app and search for us! Join the chatroom and click the “FOLLOW” button for reminders when the show goes live!)

Support our humble endeavors for as little as just $1 a month with other reward tiers available! http://patreon.com/wickedtheory

Follow the guys on twitter: Bill (@WickedTheory)  Dom (@Dom_Torre)  Bob (@BobWTPC)  Ed (@EdwardOHareTBD)  Jay (@UncleJaysThing) and Provisional Remote Assistant Producer @AgentPalmer


Still bored? Check out WickedTheory.com and visit our YouTube Channel and join our FB Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/500230130359994


Thanks For Listening!

9/09/2018

DC TV Report for week ending 09/08/2018

The DC TV Report turns one this week! Join Ed and Sara as they celebrate their 52nd episode with the latest news (Parallax! Swamp Thing casting! Questionable hires in the Star City DA’s office!) and a fantastically fun Batman: The Animated Series retro pick. Spoilers ahead, so jump over the ones you don’t wanna know about. 

News updates:

Arrow — 8:11

The Flash – 15:16

Supergirl — 19:46

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow — 24:57

Black Lightning — 26:42

Gotham – 29:06

Doom Patrol – 31:07

Stargirl – 32:08

Swamp Thing — 37:19

Emails and chatter celebrating one year of episodes — 41:33

Batman: TAS recapnext week’s retro pick — 59:08

With no new episode, nobody really won the week … except Batman. Always Batman.

Got a burning question or keen observation? Send an email to dctv@wickedtheory.com or chat on Twitter at @dctvreport, @EdwardOHareTBD and @SaraNetzley. And don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review. Shazam!



Check out this episode!

9/03/2018

WTP - 173 What's In The Box?


This week the it’s the hearty trio of Bill, Bob, and Uncle Jay!

In News: Alec Baldwin was Thomas Wayne for about a minute… That minute is over and we discuss replacement options. Mr. Robot’s final season will be extended to 12 episodes. Matt Smith, is joining Star Wars Episode IX. Snipes is taking Blade and so are we! Could Kurt come back for the Big Trouble in Little China sequel? And Victor Vran: Overkill Edition for the Nintendo Switch, would you like to play as Lemmy?

Meanwhile, we watched Jack Ryan, read Oblivion Song, found SpectreSoundStudios on YouTube and checked out Brainstorm mow on Blu-ray !

Chatroom Game: something new called Story Time!

Emails: What nostalgia would we put on our personal streaming services? And what’s our favorite Spike Lee joint?

And Uncle Jay has “One Last Thing…” talking about The Banger Sisters.

This is The Wicked Theory Podcast, and for that, we apologize.

But thanks for listening! Hear us wherever good podcasts are given away for free or LISTEN LIVE every Saturday at 7pm eastern until … whenever! (On desktop just go to http://Mixlr.com/wicked-theory  or download the FREE Mixlr app and search for us! Join the chatroom and click the “FOLLOW” button for reminders when the show goes live!)

 

Support our humble endeavors for as little as just $1 a month with other reward tiers available! http://patreon.com/wickedtheory

 

Follow the guys on twitter: Bill (@WickedTheory)  Dom (@Dom_Torre)  Bob (@BobWTPC)  Ed (@EdwardOHareTBD)  Jay (@UncleJaysThing) and Provisional Remote Assistant Producer @AgentPalmer

 

Still bored? Check out WickedTheory.com and visit our YouTube Channel and join our FB Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/500230130359994/

 


Thanks For Listening!

9/02/2018

DC TV Report for week ending 09/01/2018

Ed and Sara bid farewell to Preacher with an assist from their first-ever guest: Bill Sweeney from Preacher vs. Preacher and the Wicked Theory podcast! Join the trio as they discuss the Preacher finale, a cat-tastic Batman: TAS retro pick, and the ins and outs of savings bonds. Spoilers ahead, so jump over the ones you don’t wanna know about.

Preacher finale recap — 9:49

News updates:

The Arrowverse — 42:40

The Flash – 43:29

Black Lightning — 49:14

Lucifer — 54:20

Titans – 57:16

Doom Patrol – 59:59

Swamp Thing — 1:05:09

Stargirl – 1:07:09

Batman: TAS recapnext week’s retro pick — 1:13:13

As always, Ed and Sara (and Bill!) close with the winner of the week: 1:28:50

Got a burning question or keen observation? Send an email to dctv@wickedtheory.com or chat on Twitter at @dctvreport, @EdwardOHareTBD and @SaraNetzley. And don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review. Shazam!



Check out this episode!

8/31/2018

The Franchise Chronicles: Mad Max: BEYOND THUNDERDOME



It’s dying time this week on the Franchise Chronicles as we step into Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985), George Miller’s third venture into the crazy world of Max. Once again Miller ups the ante visually but the story gets a little muddled. This movie may not be as impressive as The Road Warrior (few films can be), but I feel like it has been unfairly made the whipping boy of this franchise and overall it is still a great accomplishment that people should see.

The stakes gets raised again in this film and the world-building continues. If Road Warrior had a big Australian budget, Thunderdome got the big Hollywood budget and an American star to boot in Tina Turner as Aunty Entity. All of the green pastures have now become desert wastelands. Yet each new locale has its own specific look and feel. Bartertown is a horrible, mud-filled mill. The Waiting Ones’ forest camp has a Neverland vibe. The harsh yellows of the road feel more unforgiving than ever. My personal favorite is the night desert Max wanders in and how the cool blue moonlight beams off the white sand creating images that look almost painterly.
It's never too hot for chain mail.
The only aesthetic element that does not seem to jive with this series is the heavy use of the Saxophone in the first act. If you remember, Max’s wife played the Sax in the first film but its use here does not feel like a conscious reference to that moment and this world has become so “metal” that R&B feels out of place. Of course, I realize that Turner is an R& B singer and headlines the soundtrack. This may be one of the first clear compromises that Miller had to make. Maybe he was just a fan? Who knows?
The Jugger-not.

Max is not the only character to carry over from the last film. Bruce Spence returns as the Gyro Captain, who not only gets promoted to an airplane pilot, but also gets a first name: Jedediah. Jedediah has a young assistant he calls Junior that looks suspiciously like the Feral Kid but is played by a different actor (Adam Cockburn). However the narration at the end of Road Warrior makes clear that the Feral Kid never met Max again. Do they not recognize Max? Are they completely different characters? In the end it does not really matter. Miller continues in the spirit of the franchise by only revealing what’s necessary and does not get bogged down in exposition. He trusts the viewer to figure it out for themselves.

I stated before that I felt the story got muddled and I mean that literally. It seems as if Miller took two separate Mad Max stories and mashed them together. The first is Bartertown. Max winds up in a backwards town run by a power-hungry debutante, takes down a big dumb guy and rescues a small smart guy. The second is the Waiting Ones. Max encounters a group of children who believe him to be their savior, gets tempted with authority, leaves some behind and leads the others to a so-called promised land. Either one of those stories would be compelling on their own. Put together, they feel disjointed.

Best Substitute teacher, ever.
The first act is both a condensed and amped up version of the last film. All of the set pieces are there. The vehicles are crazier and the action is just as powerful. The second act has a very different vibe. I wonder if fans in 1985 treated the Waiting Ones the way Star Wars fans treated the Ewoks. From a certain point-of-view it feels like the filmmakers went “Well they loved one feral kid. Let’s throw in a whole pack of them!” For some reason these scenes reminded me of the weird TV movies the Disney Channel pumped out in the 1990s. That is not a knock. Everyone thinks of Disney as squeaky clean but many of their properties have a dark underbelly to them. These aspects make the film feel more family friendly (or as family friendly as a post-apocalyptic action movie can be). Watching this it started to make sense to me that George Miller would move on from here to the Babe and Happy Feet movies.

I also noticed that the third act tones down the carnage a bit and some of the deaths are not as grizzly as they might have been in the first two installments. This may have been because kids were involved or it might have been Warner Bros. trying to soften the film a bit for American audiences. This is the only film in the series rated PG-13 instead of R and that definitely takes away some of the classic Mad Max edge.

While this film is not perfect it is definitely still Mad Max. It takes the franchise in a different direction and many of the choices are questionable but I guarantee this film will leave you thinking about it for a long time afterwards. Next week we jump ahead 30 years to a new pinnacle for this franchise on the “Fury Road.”


Edward O’Hare, nickname TBD, has been poking around the deep caverns of pop culture for some years now. His hobbies include making Starfleet org charts and badgering people who haven’t seen the Adventures of Captain Marvel movie serial from 1941. He one day dreams of teaching Bill Simmons that superheroes and pro athletes are not all that different.