Mad Max: Fury Road Official Teaser Trailer


What a lovely day, indeed.

At this year’s Hall H over at Comc-Con this past summer a trailer was shown that figuratively blew off the roof at the convention. It was the trailer for all the upcoming films for 2015 and beyond that everyone ended up geeking up over. It wasn’t the sizzle reel for the upcoming Age of Ultron (though it seems that was a close second). It wasn’t the brief tease of Batman v. Superman (though from people I know who went the teaser went a long way in removing doubts about the film).

No, the film the trailer was all about was George Miller’s return to his post-apocalyptic world inhabited by one of the original badasses of the 1980’s: Max Rockatansky aka Mad Max.

Yes, we are going to have sandwiched between Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens a new Mad Max film (4th in the series) with Tom Hardy in the title role. The title to this latest entry in the series will be Mad Max: Fury Road.

The Comic-Con teaser for Fury Road whetted the appetite and this latest teaser trailer released by Warner Brothers today will just feed the thirst for post-apocalyptic vehicle mayhem.

Mad Max: Fury Road will be set for a May 15, 2015 release.

George Romero Finally Picks Out His Hero In “Empire Of The Dead : Act Two” #4


Is it just me, or has the second act of George Romero’s Empire Of The Dead positively flown right by? I mean, here we are with only one issue left to go, and it feels like it was just the other day that the series started up again after the conclusion of the hiatus that followed its first arc. I have no doubt the book lost a fair amount of readers during the break — in fact, like most comics it probably lost a good half of its initial readership right after the first issue — but for those of us who’ve stuck with this thing, the payoff in the form of a big “fireworks” finale does seem to be approaching, albeit slowly. Remember, if all goes according to plan we’ve still got two more five-part acts to go following next month’s wrap-up of the current one, but there seems to be a steady flow to the story that’s been established here in the second chapter that wasn’t there in the first, with its sometimes-fitful starts and stops.

All that being said, though, it’s not like that better overall narrative hasn’t come at a price. George Romero’s Empire Of The Dead Act Two has been plagued with some seriously forced and unnatural dialogue at times — a flaw more apparent than ever in this fourth issue since Romero seems to have fallen back on dropping a whole lot of “—“s into his sentences in order to impart them with some cheap n’ easy pseudo-gravitas, and hey, I’m not ashamed to admit that I still miss Alex Maleev’s art, despite the continued improvement of Dalibor Talajic as he’s grown more comfortable and confident with horror-themed material (the addition of Rick Magyar on inks beginning with issue 3 also helped, as he’s given the imagery a darker, more subdued tone, a trend that I’m pleased to say continues this month).

The biggest qualm that many of us readers have, though, is that eight issues into this sprawling zombie saga, we still don’t know — or didn’t know, at any rate, since that seems about to change — who the hero of the story is supposed to be. There are various points of identification that the average reader can clearly see with a number of the characters, sure, but no clear-cut “good guy,” a la Ben in Night Of The Living Dead, has stepped forward.

And that’s where the often-neglected “zombie wrangler” Paul Barnum enters the picture here. There have been a number of issues where he’s been given precious little — if anything — to do, but now that the “love triangle” between himself, Dr. Penny Jones, and Mayor Chandrake seems to be evaporating — with no one in a position to “get the girl” (and that’s all that I’ll be saying about that due to the internet’s penchant for breeding self-appointed “spoiler police” around every digital corner) — our guy Paul seems to be out to bring the whole vampire cabal running post-zombie-apocalypse New York down. Mess with the girl he’s sweet on, and you’ve messed with him, I guess.

The only other significant story developments in this issue focus on the machinations to replace Chandrake with Chilly Dobbs now that nephew Billy is out of the way and the oncoming aerial-and-land assault being planned for the city by the militaristic forces using Dixie Peach and her southern hell-raisers as their ostensible (and quickly disposable, should the need arise) front. A common theme in both of these plot threads — which do, in fact, intersect in the pages of the comic itself and not just thematically — is that the devil we don’t know is often worse than the one we do, and that “leaders” of various movements — whether in the halls of government or out on the streets — are perfectly interchangeable pawns in the hands of the power brokers who really pull the strings, so that seems to be where Romero is aiming his always-present social commentary in his latest zombie epic.

All in all, then, shaky dialogue and an uncharacteristically impressionistic (and not, I might add, succesfully impressionistic) cover from the otherwise-reliable-to-this-point Alexander Lozano aside, issue four of Empire Of The Dead Act Two is an intriguing piece that Romero has moved into position on his grand chessboard. The focus of the story is tightening, events are coalescing with a kind of subtle yet undeniable force, and I think we’re headed for a bang-up conclusion to the second arc in 30 days or so.

Here Are The SAG Nominations!

Earlier today, the Screen Actors Guild nominations were announced and I love them!  Not because I agree with all of them but because they’re a nice mix of the expected and the surprising.  Every category had at least one surprise and really, it’s the surprises that make Oscar Season so much fun.

For what they are worth, here are a few observations from yours truly:

When it comes to predicting the actual Oscar nominations, the SAG are usually an excellent precursor.  It makes sense — the Actors Branch is the biggest of the Academy’s voting branches and many of the same people who determined the SAG nominees will also be casting ballots for the Academy Awards.

At first, I was really shocked to see that Selma was totally snubbed.  However, I then read over at Gold Derby that apparently, because of production delays, a screener of Selma was not available for the SAG voters.  So, a lot of the voters made their nominations without having seen Selma.

Foxcatcher did not receive an ensemble nomination but it did receive nominations for Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo.  That’s especially good news for Carell, who has yet to be much of a factor in the precursor voting.

Speaking of which, everyone keeps taking about how Foxcatcher hasn’t been a major player in the precursors. What about Unbroken?  For a so-called Oscar front runner, Unbroken certainly hasn’t received much from the critics groups.

(I should note that I have yet to see either Foxcatcher or Unbroken so I don’t have an opinion on whether either one of them deserves awards.)

Among the big snubs: Amy Adams for Big Eyes, Jessica Chastain for A Most Violent Year or Interstellar, Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night, and Oscar Isaac for A Most Violent Year.

My favorite nomination was Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler.  I haven’t seen Cake but I was happy to see Jennifer Aniston nominated because it was unexpected.  Robert Duvall’s great but wow, was the Judge ever a disappointing movie.

I was shocked to see Naomi Watts nominated for St. Vincent but it actually makes sense.  Her role in St. Vincent really was awards bait.  And who doesn’t love Naomi Watts?  (That said, I thought her performance was a bit cartoonish.)

Both the Grand Budapest Hotel and especially The Theory of Everything are looking more and more like probable best picture nominees.

And here are the nominees:


Best Ensemble:



The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

The Theory of Everything

Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler

Best Actor

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game

Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler

Michael Keaton in Birdman

Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

Jennifer Aniston in Cake

Best Actress

Jennifer Aniston in Cake

Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore in Still Alice

Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon in Wild

Robert Duvall

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall in The Judge

Ethan Hawke in Boyhood

Edward Norton in Birdman

Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

Naomi Watts

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood

Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game

Emma Stone in Birdman

Meryl Streep in Into The Woods

Naomi Watts in St. Vincent


Outstanding Stunt Ensemble


Get On Up

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


X-Men: Days of Future Past