21 May 2015

At The Movies: A Royal Night Out, Wild Tales, Mad Max: Fury Road

From At The Movies, 7:30 pm on 21 May 2015

Mad Max

Simon Morris goes to three very different films:
A Royal Night Out puts the future Queen Elizabeth into a frothy comedy, and gives her – if not us – a good time…
Wild Tales is an Oscar-nominated Argentinian collection of short, dark stories of of revenge, and surprise…
and Mad Max Fury Road sees Max return 30 years after his last outing. Veteran director George Miller shows how it’s done.

The big picture with Simon Morris

We’re deep in the heart of the blockbuster season, but it’s a blockbuster season unlike the last three or four. It looks like the studios have put a little thought into the likely audiences for these films.

In the past, blockbusters weren’t so much ‘transformed’ as ‘duplicated’. You got the biggest film of a couple of years before, made it again even bigger, and put a numeral after the title, letting the punters know they could expect business as usual.

That still happens – The Avengers 2, Fast and Furious 7 and a new Mission Impossible on the way – but many sequels are smaller, and potentially more profitable. This year you’re as likely to see a follow-up to a modest comedy like Ted and Magic Mike as an under-performing monster movie.

Older audiences too have been recognised, following the success of the Marigold Hotel films and the award-winning King’s Speech. We can expect an older Sherlock Holmes, big costume dramas like Far From the Madding Crowd and Madame Bovary – and this week, a chip off the old King’s Speech – A Royal Night Out…

Also aiming at an older – or at least wiser – audience is one of the highlights of last year’s Film Festival, Argentina’s Wild Tales. It’s a cunning collection of short, darkly comic stories about revenge, though it’s been crowded out of most cinemas by the month’s biggies.

Another significant aspect of this year’s blockbusters is how many of them are reboots of old favourites. Star Wars is the headline grabber, of course, though fans will have to wait for Christmas for that. But before the Force is with us, we can revive memories of past glories like Jurassic Park, The Terminator – and this week Mad Max.