Tag Archives: Pluto TV

Mad Max

So hey, we watched another one of the weeks of that “watch a movie genre we pick with a film you’ve never seen” challenge thingy, probably from early November? That week’s theme was Road Movies, and we decided upon Mad Max. Which, I was thinking this whole time the theme was road trips, and I wasn’t really seeing that until the last third, but as just a road movie, yep, they spend almost the whole time on roads, so that checks out.

Max (you’re not going to believe this) Rockatansky is a cop in what all of the film’s advertising / copy will have you believe is a post-apocalyptic hellscape after a recent nuclear war, but I’m sorry, the signs of this are minimal at best. But okay, let’s pretend that it’s at least possible, so when they retcon it into later movies of the series, nobody has to get angry. Anyway, he’s a cop. And his fellow cops are like 75% of the keystone variety, but he’s cool as a cucumber. Until a vengeful motorcycle gang kills his partner and stalks his family, and then he gets… yes, I’m going to say it, I really have no choice here… mad.

So here’s the thing. It’s not a bad movie. But it is badly advertised[1], has huge pacing problems, an anticlimactic, er, climax, and the payoff on the title is just horrible[3]. It’s a mediocre ’70s car chase movie, in a decade where that art form was perfected. I have to say, I don’t understand how they ended up with sequels, even though I’m glad they did.

[1] Or, if you prefer, it’s terrible at showing post-apocalypse. Like, there are hints here and there that I could see if I squinted at them[2]. Note: spoilers in footnote 2
[2] Note: spoilers here. Like, there was the one “danger don’t go here” death sign, but it had regular traffic on the road beyond. And there was the one gas siphoning from a fuel truck chase scene, but honestly, the bikers could have just been criminals. (There’s other evidence of this, I promise.) The “Halls of Justice” thing and the pretty uncommon breed of police, they hint at something. And the scene with Max’s mostly dead wife, it seemed like the doctors were planning to harvest all her organs without clueing in her husband that she was gonna die, and that was sketchy. So like, is the world falling apart at the seams? Probably! But it’s only barely obvious, and even less so that nukes were why.
[3] That’s not fair. It was actually excellent as a cinematic moment, and apparently Max inspired Saw?? But the biker’s dialogue surrounding the moment was wretched.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

Anyway, there was one more Paranormal Activity movie that I missed, prior to the current new one that doesn’t yet count as missed. So now I’m caught up, yaaay.

The Ghost Dimension dares to ask the question: what if a paranormal activity movie, but it’s a new family who moved into the prequel house, and also they find a magic camcorder that can see what has until now been left unseen? You can often tell that by the sixth movie in a series, maybe the well is running dry?

I’m being unfair, though, this was a legit entry to the series, for the following reasons: 1) they came back around to a creepy kid. This is always the way to go, so that was a great start out the gate, and this little girl oozes creepy. Hopefully because she’s a good actor, as otherwise I feel bad for her now. 2) for the first time ever, there’s a good reason to hold onto the camera even when things are completely insane. Because you can see what’s going on and use it to save yourself in a way that people in the prior movies could not[1].

Okay, that’s not a lot of reasons, fine. But it represents a correct direction for the series and I’m not sad that I bothered with this like I might have otherwise been. Now, the problems with the movie: 1) the time travel stuff does not make a lick of sense. It didn’t when they introduced it, and it does even less now. As far as I can tell it’s there only so new characters can stumble into scenes from older movies. 2) watching movies with commercials sucks. …okay, that’s not a problem with the movie per se, but it is a problem with the distribution people not selling streaming rights to the right vendors. No, I will not pay a rental fee. Ugh, get off my lawn.

[1] I mean, you can’t. It won’t help, at all. Obviously. But it’s still a good excuse!