Director: Tomohiko Ito.
Voices: Haruka Tomatsu, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Koichi Yamadera. Japan 2017. TBC mins. Japanese with English subtitles.
Sword Art Online was a 2009 Japanese light novel that spawned a run of manga comics, TV series and video games, all wildly successful both in their home country and with fans globally. This movie spin-off is set in 2026, when a new virtual-reality invention called the Augma is launched to compete against the dominant devices, the NerveGear and the Amusphere. TV series director Tomohiko Ito’s brashly thrilling big-screen debut has regular characters Asuna and her gang – already fans of the popular game Ordinal Scale – quickly embracing the Augma and its deeply immersive VR powers. But soon they discover that it has a dark side.
Director: George Miller.
Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult. Australia 2015. 120 mins.
Ditching the vibrant colours of the 2015 cinema release, this black-and-white version is director George Miller’s preferred vision of his post-apocalyptic world, set chronologically between Mad Max and The Road Warrior.
Max Rockatansky (Hardy) joins a band of renegades fleeing across the wastelands, led by elite Imperator Furiosa (Theron). Furiosa is hell-bent on crossing the desert in her War Rig truck to reach sanctuary in her childhood homeland. They’re hotly and viciously pursued by the warlord Immortan Joe (franchise alumnus Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his ruthless followers, including the fearsome convoy driver Nux (Hoult).
Nominated for an impressive ten Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography, this is an awesome, pyrotechnic epic.