Last year was the year of the most iconic feminist leading lady in action/sci-fi, arguably the most in cinematic history: the one and only Imperator Furiosa played be Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road. Thanks to a fellow NOC, I have finally finished the way too short first season of Into The Badlands. Following Furiosa and a long history of leading women in Hong Kong action cinema with better acting chops and doing more roundhouse damage than their male co-stars (Michelle Yeoh will be back soon as Yu Shu Lien people!), Into the Badlands also introduced us to strong heroines whose stories I hope to better understand in more detail in a second season. More than Wu’s Sunny, more than the avatars, even more than my man Cung Le, it was Emily Beecham’s show-stopping performance as The Widow that locked me in.
Much like 2014, I did not expect 2015 to offer a str0ng selection of cinematic gems, but offer it did.
Quite an impressive feat considering that the general law for media I consume is that it must pass My Media Litmus Test.
Without further adieu, the winners are:
As humankind ventures deeper into a digital being, Mad Max: Fury Road reminds us that we still live in an analog world. Life after the apocalypse will have no synthesized dings or chimes for audio cues, we will have only the roar of revving engines, bursting flamethrowers, war drums, and a gas-powered electric guitar to warn us that danger is in the distance.
It took 30 years for George Miller to return to the wasteland, but the timing couldn’t have been any better. Miller has taken the uncompromising arthouse nature of the original Mad Max movies, and combined it with 30 years of experience and the technology to create the fully realized, seemingly impossible world of Fury Road.
The result is an action movie that will be the benchmark to which every one to follow will be judged.