Showing posts from June, 2024

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

The first thing that must be said about this movie is that it should not work. It's a prequel to one of the most mind-blowing, groundbreaking, and just plain revolutionary action movies of the 21st century—and prequels are a bad idea in most cases, but all the more so when the character they revolve around has already given you their entire backstory in their original introduction, which is also the final, culminating act of their character arc. (To put it another way, if you had asked me, nine years ago, which character I thought offered more fertile ground for prequel storytelling, Imperator Furiosa or Han Solo, I would have picked Han without a moment's hesitation, and I don't even like Han that much.) And it's a follow-up to a movie whose chief virtue lies in its conciseness—in being a single, drawn-out, pulse-pounding, increasingly deranged car chase. Which means you can either try to repeat that accomplishment, which will inevitably feel a bit old hat; or you can

Recent Reading: Henry Henry by Allen Bratton

Hal Lancaster is twenty-two, gay, Catholic, and the oldest son of a duke. He spends his days (and nights) bouncing from party to bar and back again, buying and consuming cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol, sleeping with inappropriate men, and dodging the calls of his father, Henry, who is constantly lamenting his son and heir's profligacy and dissipation, deriding him for his lack of purpose or sense of duty, and making dark predictions about the fate of the family line on the day Hal inherits his role. You may have already spotted some Shakespeare references in that description, but the early chapters of Allen Bratton's debut novel are positively swimming in them. Hal has a best friend named Ed Poins , and a frenemy named Harry Percy — who unlike Hal, perfectly embodies the ideal aristocratic heir while also having professional and political aspirations. Much of his carousing is done in the company of washed-up actor Jack Falstaff , and Henry only became the duke because his cousi