Mad Max: Fury Road

3.25 stars (out of 4)

Released 2015

Very little dialogue was required in this film because the almost non-stop action spoke for itself. The plot was simple and easy to follow, and it did not bore me for a second. It also didn’t take long to start feeling sympathy for the characters, even though they were pretty much thrown into the mix without prior introduction.

Since the settings and resources were clearly established early on, when they came into play later, it was logical and satisfying.

Not a complicated story, by any means, but Fury Road was thoroughly fun and thrilling. And it was great to see plenty of girl power balancing out all the testosterone too.

As far as potentially objectionable content goes, I didn’t really find much. Of course there was violence, but the camera did not linger on gory parts or glorify the bloodshed. The most disturbing elements were probably the body deformities and what was considered to be food in the post-apocalyptic environment of the story. Also, no unnecessary profanity, I believe, and no unnecessary romantic subplot either!

The warlord leader of The Citadel was a nasty piece of work, to be sure, but you gotta give credit where it’s due. He certainly knew how to put together a proper war party. Ceremony and a motivational soundtrack are absolutely vital when heading into combat. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about!


2.5 stars (out of 4)

Released 2014

Based on the true story of the legendary Japanese-Canadian Asahi baseball team, which achieved success against brawnier Caucasian opponents through its members’ “brain-ball” style of playing.

The acting was better and more restrained than in many Japanese films I’ve seen. English lines were delivered competently by both Japanese and non-Japanese actors for the most part, as well. We were warned ahead of time that the film’s pacing would be on the slow and deliberate side, especially for a sports movie.

This was a Japanese-made film, but the subject matter was not truly a Japanese story at all. Its focus was on the challenges faced by Canadians of Japanese descent in the years leading up to WWII, with racial discrimination as the primary root cause of the struggles.

As borne out by historical events, baseball obviously did not change the world in this instance; the war continued and the internment occurred. But it was a baby step toward mutual understanding and The Asahi served as a symbol of hope.

To this day, some discrimination against visible minorities still exists in Canada, but I’d like to think that we’ve come a long way in these past 75 years.