The Road Warrior

Let’s go for a drive.

Essentially one extended action scene, broken up by small bits of dialogue and drama, this remains one of the great rock-me, sock-me flicks.

Director George Miller, who topped himself 30+ years later with Mad Max: Fury Road, is in fine form here, pitting a grungy Mel Gibson against the dregs of humanity.

There’s a story, or at least part of one, about a bid to transport oil from one barren outpost to another barren outpost, but that’s not why we’re here.

We came for the squeal of metal on metal, and boy howdy, does this deliver.

 

Sound & Fury

It’s something, that’s for sure.

This mix of Sturgill Simpson music and blood-soaked anime isn’t for everyone, but those who like it, will REALLY like it.

A country music twanger who strolled into straight-up rock, one of the few true rebels in modern-day Nashville lets his freak flag fly high.

Each track on the album comes accompanied by eye-popping (and often head-popping) animation, all different in style, with each one very loosely connected to what came before.

Purple death clouds swirl, Buddhist monks die in hyperviolent ways, and somewhere David Allen Coe nods his head and mumbles, “My dude!”

 

The Midnight Sky

In space, no can hear you cry.

A twist on the iconic Alien tagline, it fits this melancholy tale of life struggling to find a way after we’ve killed the Earth.

Directed by and starring George Clooney, it interweaves two stories.

A crew of long-gone space explorers try to make it home while dealing with deep emotional fallout.

But back on what used to be a blue planet, a dying scientist who regrets his life choices broadcasts an ominous message — don’t come back.

PS — Even if you see the big emotional twist in the finale coming, it still works.

12 Monkeys

You don’t have to be crazy, but it helps.

Terry Gilliam has spent a career confounding expectations, making dazzling films which often focus on people being rightfully paranoid about everything happening around them.

Here, working from a template drawn by the classically surreal French short film La Jetée, he tells a tale of time travelers trippin’ across the decades, chasing a world-ravaging virus.

Nothing, and no one, are what they seem, from big ‘n brassy Brad Pitt as an insane philosopher to Bruce Willis going low-key as a man haunted by half-remembered dreams.

What’s real? Everything, and nothing.

 

Reign of Fire

McConaughey! Bale! Dragons!!

It’s a titanic showdown of man vs. beast in a film which never got its proper due at the box office.

Set in the far-off world of 2020, our tale is one of grizzled men (and tough women) reclaiming the Earth from fire-breathing baddies who spend their days gobbling humans like so many (crispy) potato chips.

Is this a smart film? A deep dive into the human experience?

No, and no, and who cares?

It’s an orgy of fire and fury, with McConaughey rockin’ the bald head, baby!

What more do you want? What more do you need?