May 14, 2015 | 1:33 p.m.
With “Mad Max: Fury Road” crashing into theaters Thursday evening, this week’s Throwback Thursday column recalls the first installment in the “Mad Max” series. Australian director George Miller’s dystopian tale starred Aussie actor Mel Gibson as protagonist Max Rockatansky, a widower on a quest for vengeance, and introduced the young actor to an international audience. “Mad Max” made its debut Down Under on April 12, 1979; American audiences had to wait until May 2, 1980. Though critics were split, public reception was positive and the film grossed nearly $100 million worldwide and earned a nomination for best original screenplay (by Miller and James McCausland) from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts. The film was also nominated for best film and direction and won for editing, original music score and sound. Not everyone was impressed. Los Angeles Times movie […]
July 27, 2014 | 10:14 a.m.
In the 35 years since Australian director George Miller made his debut with a gritty, high-octane post-apocalyptic action film called “Mad Max,” his road has taken many a twist and turn. The shoestring-budgeted “Mad Max” launched its star, Mel Gibson, to worldwide fame and spawned two hit sequels — 1981’s “The Road Warrior” and 1985’s “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” — and Miller went on to make such varied films as “The Witches of Eastwick,” “Lorenzo’s Oil,” “Babe: Pig in the City” and “Happy Feet.” Now, much to his surprise, Miller’s road has led him back to the “Mad Max” franchise, which he is rebooting with “Mad Max: Fury Road,” starring Tom Hardy — in the role Gibson originated — along with Charlize Theron. Hero Complex caught up with Miller just hours after footage from the film, which opens May 15, 2015, was greeted with raucous applause at Warner Bros.’ Comic-Con International panel. Hero […]
Feb. 06, 2012 | 4:48 p.m.
Reserved and reflective, Mel Gibson came to the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood to celebrate the legacy of his “Mad Max” films but, of course, the 56-year-old star’s recent career calamities were the silent passenger that accompanied him during the trip down memory lane. Thirty-three years have passed since “Mad Max” exploded on the scene with a high concept and a low budget (about $400,000) and began the minting of an international movie star. Sitting in the dark with the time-capsule moment, Gibson found it hard to recognize his 21-year-old self up on the screen. “I thought,” he said, “it was one of my kids.” Above, you can watch the full video from the American Cinematheque event where I interviewed Gibson about the career-launching franchise and you’ll hear that the conversation veered off at times to his filmmaking future, the TMZ era and the emotional wear and tear of recent seasons. There […]
Dec. 21, 2011 | 1:51 p.m.
Mel Gibson is going back into the Thunderdome of public opinion. The actor, filmmaker and polarizing persona will appear onstage on Jan. 21 for a “Mad Max” triple feature at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Gibson will sit for a Q&A at the American Cinematheque event that will include screenings of “Mad Max,” “The Road Warrior” and “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” the post-apocalyptic action trilogy that helped launch Gibson’s star in America. The films were directed by George Miller (the third one had George Ogilvie as co-director) and he has plans now to return to the brand with a fourth film, “Mad Max: Fury Road,” this time starring British actor Tom Hardy, who is also playing the villain Bane in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.” For Gibson, who turns 56 next month, the event is a way to focus on his silver-screen glory. But […]
April 09, 2011 | 5:35 p.m.
“Game of Thrones” and “Lord of the Rings” star Sean Bean is a big fan of “Braveheart” and, more than that, he sees a noble heart in Mel Gibson, that award-winning film’s troubled star and director. “People say this and that, but Mel Gibson is a good man. He’s always been a good man,” the 51-year-old British actor said during a recent visit to Los Angeles. “He’s had longevity and he’s had this and he’s had that. He’s prepared to put his money where his mouth is and he’s come out with these wonderful things. Even the people that didn’t like him had to say, ‘That’s brilliant.’” Bean has a flair for playing hard-edged men — in HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” which premieres April 18, he plays Eddard Stark, a lord who has dark forces conspiring against him in the medieval fantasy setting — and […]