The Mad Max series is notable because the original movie came out in 1980 and it not only made the careers of Mel Gibson and director George Miller, it held the record for the most profitable movie of all time for many years (it was made for $200,000 and went on to gross over $100 million).
North American audiences really did not know Max until the sequel called The Road Warrior came out in 1982 and then Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985.
Over the past 30 years, Miller tried to produce Mad Max: Fury Road, but was unable to do so due to many contributing factors. His intent was to have the sequel featuring the series’ original star, however, Gibson’s array of public embarrassments made that difficult. He then cast Tom Hardy (Star Trek: Nemesis, The Dark Knight Rises) as the iconic Max as well as Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Jack the Giant Slayer) and Zoë Kravitz (Divergent, X-Men First Class).
Set in the year 2060 after a series of catastrophic worldwide calamities cause the downfall of civilization, Max is a former highway patrolman whose family was killed in the early days of the apocalypse. Still fighting to survive in the wasteland, he comes across Furiosa (Theron) who is leading a group of women who are trying to escape the clutches of the tyrannical leader of a bloodthirsty military force called the War Boys. Max initially refuses to help them but when he gets captured by the War Boys, his only hope for escape is the group of women.
Mad Max: Fury Road is getting universal acclaim from critics proving that 70-year-old director Miller still has his magic touch.
When Pitch Perfect came out in 2012, it went from being a low-budget musical comedy produced by actress Elizabeth Banks (best known as Effie Trinket in the Hunger Games movies) to worldwide hit. It made Anna Kendrick (Into the Woods) a leading lady (who also had a hit single with Cups from the movie) and Australian Rebel Wilson a household name.
Both are returning for the sequel with Banks getting an opportunity to direct her first feature film. Pitch Perfect 2 also brings back most of the appealing cast of the original and begins with the Barton Bellas performing in front of the President of the United States at the Lincoln Centre. However, a wardrobe malfunction on the part of Fat Amy (Wilson) results in the Bellas being suspended from the a capella circuit. In order to regain their status, they must enter an international competition that no American team has ever won. Like the first movie, it is light and fluffy entertainment that will have you humming a tune while leaving the theatre.
At the Paramount Theatre, writer-director Andrew Niccol re-teams with his Gattaca star Ethan Hawke for Good Kill. Hawke stars as a former U.S. Air Force pilot who now fights the Taliban from afar using drones. Already disillusioned with flying drones, he questions the ethics of his occupation due to the collateral damage he causes as well as taking orders from the CIA. Critics are liking this timely view of 21st century warfare in which operatives target enemies from half a world away.