George Miller’s newest movie Three Thousand Years Of Longing promises a fantastic mosaic made of dreams and magic. Starring Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba, the movie follows the peculiar bond between a lonely British woman and the Djinn she accidentally unleashes, who grants her three wishes.
One of the most versatile directors of all time, George Miller offers a filmography as chaotic as it is engaging. The mind behind the world of Mad Max, he also often likes to take a shot at projects different from everything he’s previously worked on, and his new movie seems to be another unique project of his.
10 Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
Using an anthological format just like the Twilight Zone TV show, the movie adapts the show’s most iconic episodes to the cinema, having four talented directors taking over each segment. However, of all George Miller movies, this is clearly the one that least showcases his style, and while his segment is compelling enough, it doesn’t quite add up when considering the movie as a whole.
Miller’s assigned episode is „Nightmare at 20,000 Feet“, following a man recovering from a mental breakdown who witnesses a strange creature lurking on the wing of his plane. While many viewers claim this is the strongest segment of the movie, it doesn’t necessarily provide anything new when compared to the original episode.
9 Happy Feet Two (2011)
Unfortunately, Happy Feet Two exaggerates on the fantastic and pushes the overused new-family trope too much, which keeps the sequel from holding up today. Additionally, the movie also counts with a disastrous performance at the box office that ended up earning the studio a considerable loss.
The charismatic Mumble returns as the father of a penguin struggling to realize his talents. Amid the family drama, a peculiar penguin who can fly comes to shore and new obstacles threaten the Emperor Penguin world and other nearby nations. Long story short, Happy Feet Two tries to cram too many storylines in one, with many of them lacking a reason to be there. The end result is a messy movie that quickly loses track of itself, making it hard for even children to enjoy.
8 Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Pretty much everyone agrees that Beyond Thunderdome is the weakest Mad Max movie, but it’s still a fun watch overall. It’s possible to make a comparison with The Matrix Revolutions; a sequel that reshapes the tone of the franchise almost entirely, but fits neatly in the main storyline without actually changing the lore’s trademarks. Beyond Thunderdome is much more imaginative and ambitious than the two previous movies, but the change of setting and the fantasy appeal doesn’t really work for the majority of fans.
While the film lacks coherence and remarkable characters, Beyond Thunderdome still manages to deliver incredible set designs and costumes, standing out as one of the most memorable movies set in Australia.
7 Babe: Pig In The City (1998)
Audiences can only imagine what was the producers‘ reactions upon learning the Mad Max director wants to make a movie about a talking pig. One of the producers of the first film, the sequel results were positive overall, which is a charming, lighthearted story that clearly was made with true passion.
In Babe: Pig In The City, the eponymous pig must go to the city in order to save Farmer Hoggett’s farm after he is injured and unable to work. Miller delivers arguably his quirkiest movie and the contrast of the city with the unusual group of talking animals makes it all even funnier. Translating typical techniques from animated cartoons to the cinema, Pig In The City is one of the most dynamic children’s movies of the 90s.
6 Happy Feet (2006)
If the talking pig didn’t convince producers how Miller could make any kind of story work, the dancing penguins most definitely did the job. Taking advantage of the underused South Pole, George Miller takes viewers into the world of Emperor Penguins, where one must sing their hearts out to find their soulmates. In the center of the story, there’s Mumble, a penguin who can’t sing but is soon to become a master of tap dance.
Happy Feet’s premise could be compared to Disney’s most bizarre movie ideas, yet it works mainly because the film captures fun like no other. It doesn’t try to be a serious movie, and it doesn’t push the child audience too much either, which makes it a compelling watch for all ages.
5 The Witches Of Eastwick (1987)
The Witches Of Eastwick might not be Miller’s best film, but it certainly has the most memorable cast. Mixing fantasy and comedy, as well as delivering effective hints of horror, the movie follows three dissatisfied single women who have their wishes granted, at an uncanny cost, after the arrival of a mysterious man.
Weighty names such as Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer give life to hilariously peculiar characters. Among spells, unholy creatures, and flames, the interaction between characters is priceless, and the film quickly escalates into a chaotic feast of magic.
4 Mad Max (1979)
Mad Max not only was the movie that launched George Miller into the spotlight but is also one of the best examples of low-budget movies that struck gold at the box office. Set in a post-apocalyptical Australian wasteland, the film follows Mel Gibson as a vengeful patrolman on a dangerous journey to stop a violent motorcycle gang.
Even before Gibson became one of the most legendary actors of all time he delivered one of his most iconic roles, Max Rockatanksy, one of the great anti-heroes of the past century. Clearly limited by its budget, the first Mad Max doesn’t quite match the level of others movies in the franchise but sets the stage for an exciting saga.
3 Lorenzo’s Oil (1992)
A special hidden gem in Miller’s filmography, Lorenzo’s Oil could be just another conventional family drama if it wasn’t for his inventive directing style. In his hands, the heartfelt story about parents fighting to cure their 5-year-old daughter of a rare degenerative nerve disease turns into an honest explosion of emotions, a melodrama of almost divine proportions.
Floating the camera around the lives of each family member and capturing their helplessness and love, each character becomes nuanced and viewers get entranced in the story in a way only a few dramas can do. Being such a valuable, yet overlooked movie, every Miller fan should check it out at some point.
2 Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Fury Road was the movie that brought the Mad Max franchise back into the spotlight and reshaped the increasingly saturated blockbuster scenario. One of the most fast-paced movies ever made, the film is a non-stop action feast from beginning to end, alternating between hand-to-hand combats and on-wheel face-offs. Set mostly under a burning sun and filled with bright colors, Fury Road completely deviates from the gray, dull, and CGI-filled blockbuster formula.
The effect of the movie on both critics and the public audience was massive and immediate, and the film ended up being nominated for 10 Oscars, taking six of them home. Most importantly, it’s the kind of movie that never gets out, the constant high tension keeps viewers at the edge of their seats even after a third or fourth watch.
1 Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
A masterclass in world-building and practical effects, Mad Max 2 is the kind of movie that makes viewers question how certain scenes were filmed even today, over 40 years after its release. Max Rockatansky returns in an exhausting search for gasoline. On his quest, he ends up agreeing to help a small fuel community against an unscrupulous group of warriors led by a violent leader.
Mad Max 2 is a huge step-up in every aspect of the first movie. It is much bolder in terms of action scenes, it arguably delivers some of the best stunt scenes to this day, even though it still lacks a decent budget. Additionally, it also offers an array of characters and different arcs, which add up to the lore of Mel Gibson’s heroic loner.
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