Quick-Thoughts: Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

2nd Viewing

Umm… the head works too, ya know?

A Fistful of Dollars: a tale about how one man single handedly turned a suffering town into a ghost town. Leone’s birth into the spaghetti western genre and unofficial remake of the samurai one just barely misses the 100 minute mark, making it the shortest entry in the Dollars Trilogy. The entire town as director Sergio Leone displays it is nearly made up of criminals, showing only small proportions of actual citizens who suffer through these bandits and swindlers’ rivalries. Thus, this gives way for a very interesting “protagonist” to play with this sort of scenario. Eastwood’s Joe is clearly no shy man to causing death left and right, as long as it sympathizes with his past which we briefly hear about once in a kind of spoon-feed line. He’s really a narcissist if you think about it, emphasizing himself as a Mr. Moral character who ironically creates a death toll large enough to keep morgues in booming business more so than they were even before, toying around with two ruling, corrupted kingdoms with his intelligent but inconsiderate manipulations.

I think there’s no doubt that something with a story as umm… familiar as it is here could’ve been potentially rated lower from not only me but audiences alike, but that’s where Leone’s collaborations come in to make that less of a reality. Ennio Morricone’s score for this film is absolutely heart-stopping on a number of occasions, and paired with Leone and crew’s free-will camerawork reveals the beginning of what would later consistently be improved upon film by film; that being Leone’s ingenious emotive intensity. The characters and sympathies aren’t quite there for me in this western debut as they are in his other works; there’s a huge reliance in this film on using cutesy quotes told by one another to wrap arcs and dynamics up around the pawns of the narrative, which don’t personally evoke much from me, but it is admittedly always exciting to see origins take their first steps before greatness. 

You could look at how the woe of the town or the ambiguity of heroism is conveyed to judge whether or not Yojimbo or A Fistful of Dollars is the superior movie, but part of the breaking point funny enough for me is in Leone’s obnoxious dubbing, which stands out like a sore thumb here far more than in his other films. Not wanting to strip away great performances by allowing actors to speak in their own languages makes sense, but then proceeding to overlay those great performances with polarizing voice-work kind of makes the practice therefore pointless? The child dubbing in this has always bothered me most of all; I’m pretty confident that Caillou was born the day people thought the voice acting for the kid was passable. Sinful! 

Verdict: B

Sergio Leone Ranked

“A Fistful of Dollars” is now available to rent on Amazon Prime.

Quick-Thoughts: Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (1966)

Screened at Cinépolis • 2nd Viewing

This is the ultimate “it’s complicated” bromance movie. The protagonists and the antagonists have become blurred by the mutuality of their friendships and foeships. 

AKA, A Million Ways to Die in the West? The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is a gloomy, violent, and merciless three-hour race to greed, and for some odd reason that I can’t quite put a finger on, it’s beautiful to witness. The title names are pretty arbitrary (the good, the bad, the ugly) if you sit on them for awhile, knowing that the only reason Blondie is considered “good” is for his minor keenness to forgive wrongdoers, recognize the dying/dead, and enforce a hypocritical sense of discipline, but that speaks level towards the hideousness of the time period — he’s sadly the peak of altruism aside from the priests; Blondie even steals money akin to Tuco (the ugly) who is only considered worse for applying vengeance, perfidious homaging, and manipulative, demeaning lies into the mix. You could even argue Angel Eyes (the bad) has a level of bare minimum morality to him, obliging and keeping some promises to even that of his enemies and victims. Nobody prefers war, nobody prefers death, but the shallow emptiness and minimal opportunity for happiness in the west forces them all to just drink it down and go with it. Like Tuco insinuated, out here during these strident times of Civil War and economical plumage, you‘re either forced to become a practical bandit or a hopeful priest, and maybe even something that fuses between the two. 

Yet, even with the often melancholy nature of the movie, I totally forgot about how funny it is. The final film in the Dollars Trilogy really does feel more like Tuco’s story than anyone else’s. Eli Wallach is the shining star of the picture — minus Ennio Morricone’s score, of course. The vast DOF is a noticeable strong point, as well.

Though, despite how intense this movie still holds to be on a second viewing, after seeing Once Upon a Time in the West for the first time a year ago, this almost seems like child’s play put up against that follow-up. Emotive evolution! 

Verdict: A-

Sergio Leone Ranked

“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” is now playing in select Cinépolis theaters.

Quick-Thoughts: Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Martha (1974)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder Marathon Part IV of X

Fassbinder’s strong point really is “horror”. I can’t believe this just ended up being a TV movie, smh. 

Martha (aka try not to let the Electra complex control you into tolerating a psychopathic husband) thinks love and marriage simply cannot compensate with reason sometimes. Imagine being so corrupted and beaten down by the power of jurisdiction that you can come to talking yourself out of recognizing your own power and importance. When you’re manipulated from the very start by gender authorities you begin to feel a withdrawal when it’s suddenly taken away from you, not knowing the happiness that free-will can bring you and conditioned to only finding that nonsensical dependence once more. If we treat each other like children all our lives, we should only expect childish, inequitable, and toxic relationships to be the definitive outcome of it.

Fassbinder smartly takes on a graphic approach here, continuously pounding violent visuals at us in a world that seems to be completely oblivious to them; there’s an absurdity to them yet a clear emphasis of realism towards what they represent. It reminds me of Luis Buñuel’s That Obscure Object of Desire just a tiny tiny bit with its constant heaving of abuse upon our lead protagonist, rippled off in the first place from their desperation for “objective” satisfaction through approval, as how society or rebellion demands it to be. This movie is incredibly shelled with a haunted house feeling of female oppression, showing how plenty of men incline themselves into basically locking women of the family up in cages and training them like pets through psychologically degrading methodologies; the abhorrence of female to male relational dynamics are so apparent in Fassbinder’s savage depiction of a woman unsure of her way in life that you embody this force inside of her to continue undergoing the abuse of men because they’ve tormented her to be so all her life by distancing her independence, swiping egoism (the basic human necessity) needed to truly experience freedom from their reach.

Of course, Martha‘s composition is dilated with more of Fassbinder’s signature blocking, yet with maybe my favorite color choices by him thus far with the set/light design — the library, the wedding, the garden… ugh! If that red and blue mirror/hallway contrast shot at minute 25 ain’t the sole definition of “visually appeasing” than I don’t know what is. Ohhh, and that relatable spin of anxiety that the camera does when Martha and Helmut (the two “lovers”) first see one another had me dizzy.

All in all, Martha is a pretty sturdy allegory for being an eternal victim, but one who occasionally walks right out in the open for nobody watching to understand. Precisely, though, it’s one dedicated to a bourgeoisie subject living in a 1970s Germany, a country currently recovering from their own past blind loyalties for leaders due to systematic manipulation (i.e. Hitler). Hint: these habits haven’t quite left them yet. 

Verdict: B+

Rainer Werner Fassbinder Ranked

“Martha” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

Quick-Thoughts: Wolfwalkers (2020)

It’s always such a treat when you get the entire theater to yourself, but also disappointing to see when it happens during a screening of a pretty decent movie. Anyways, man! It has been quite some time since I last saw a BRAND NEW hand-drawn animated movie in theaters.

This is another one of those children’s stories where I probably wouldn’t really care for if it weren’t for how beautiful its visual storytelling is. Despite Wolfwalker’s mediocrity when it comes to its deadly familiar narrative, it’s however always nice to see animation that isn’t afraid to constantly switch between style perspectives. Tom Moore and Ross Stewart’s almost comic-book/picture-book-esc presentation truly sold me on this movie especially when it was able to colorfully diversify its contained setting through daytime/nighttime changes, as well as its creative balance of human and wolf viewpoint. The movie’s themes of fear of authority, loss, and alternative perspectives are projected simply enough for kids to insightfully chew on and for adults to not completely doze away at, so I guess that’s what’s most important. Frankly, it kind of gave me Brave and Lion King vibes, and its quality lies just in between the two, with… umm… Brave being the worst and Lion King being the best, in case you didn’t catch that…

Verdict: B-

2020 Ranked

“Wolfwalkers” is now available to stream on Apple TV and watch in select theaters.

Quick-Thoughts: George Miller’s Mad Max Fury Road (2015)

Screened at Harkins • ?? Viewing

Still the most PURE “action” movie ever made…

…and it’s not even geared to 100%, although, it sure feels like it after being conditioned to the onslaught of mediocrity that straightforward action movies often deliver, until… voila: our new textbook example for simple premised yet diligently crafted action filmmaking. Mad Max: Fury Road beholds the absolute best edited action sequences of all-time in my humble opinion. From the radioactive post-coloring effects (ex., ex., ex.) to the creative CGI add-ins, I have gained the illusional, almighty power to feel like a violent madman for a couple hours. OH, AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE TRANSITIONING; when a handful of your cutaways look like —> this < — then you have truly earned yourself god-status. I love this film’s subtle use of fast-mo and slow-mo too, blending the pacing and glory of the visuals into tonal harmony; it’s little details and quirks like this that subconsciously make action movies more engaging to a viewer. Furthermore, instead of filling in the gaps with 12 different cuts of someone jumping over a fence, the constant quick-cut momentum of Fury Road is complemented by blood transfusions occurring on the front of a f**king moving car, or people getting branded with tattoos by multiple psychopaths, or vehicles ripping cars in half with claw machines, or a classic fuel-spitting race, or these schizophrenic skeletal memory delusions that bog up the perspective of the world we see through Max’s; UGH, my BRAIN! I’ve seen this movie probably almost eight times now, and this s**t still feels like a quick 10-minute steampunk car chase dream despite its over two-hour long runtime.  

Okay, story-time: there was this yucky 50/60-ish-year-old guy in front of me by himself at my showing who started moaning during that showering scene with the wives, and then at one point when the (very young looking) white-haired woman walked up in that full shot, I kid you not, he said out loud “damn that is a nice piece of p***y” — PTSD flashback to when I saw Hustlers in theaters, kickinnn… IN… no… STOP. I can only assume the dude was probably rooting for the wrong side of the coin in his delight, that being one for Immortal Joe — who is a solid villain though by the way! The dude at my theater kinda looked like he could be him too as a matter of fact; I mean, he sure as hell acted like him. 

To bounce off of the Joe talk, it seems as if the post-apocalyptic world has transpired into such a s**tshow that he’s been able to use a made-up prophecy of Valhalla (i.e. a suicidal protection mechanism for himself) to control an army while keeping loyalty over the poor by providing them with petty resources in a landscape mainly composed of sand. Immortal Joe is simply RULING over these War Boys UNLESS, however, they find themselves a girlfriend — social commentary, yo. Speaking of that jazz, this movie somewhat benefits in how short and sweet the arcs are, allowing the action to take over for nearly the entire runtime while giving us the bare minimum (in a good way) of what characters need for us to care: Max is constantly distracted and sometimes even mentally compromised by visions of the lives he failed to save in the past while being in this new journey where he hesitantly comes to care for more of the lawful, Furiosa is altruistically inclined to save the oppressed wives of Immortal Joe, and Nux is determined to execute himself in a worthy sacrifice, but among who will he do it for? The good or the bad?

We need a sequel with Gas Town now though; from a distance, that place looked GNARLY.

Verdict: A- 

“Mad Max Fury Road” is now available to stream on HBO Max.

Quick-Thoughts: Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Ali Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder Marathon Part III of X

I hope Fassbinder is at least getting paid for the sheer amount of Coca Cola product placement he’s been hammering in so far.

You never see this in films that sort of cover xenophobia too often, but I was quite fascinated by how the younger generation in Ali: Fear Eats the Soul were also the ones guilty of bigotry, since their era seemed like one of the first to expect German people to work with those from different backgrounds, unable to assimilate to the new out of nostalgic destruction of the old, therefore encouraging racism. F**k you, Hitler. 

Fassbinder surveys jealousy, envy, and how the two end up being a racists’ defense mechanism whenever they’re wrong about foreigners. Yet, an elderly lady named Emmi was able to connect and emphasize with those victimized by discrimination because she too felt secluded, just like how Ali must’ve felt being distanced from the rest of the country. Loneliness truly does instigate the strongest forms of unity, but also the toughest experiences of adversity. 

Verdict: B+

Rainer Werner Fassbinder Ranked 

“Ali: Fear Eats the Soul” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel and HBO Max.

Quick-Thoughts: Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993)

Screened at Cinépolis • ??? Viewing 

Ugh, the musical score for this is like home to me. ️

Ahh, yes, Jurassic Park: one of my personal favorite “ok boomer” movies. We got the Jeff Goldblum (excellent performance by the way) philosophy of tampering with nature by pre-evolving it with a lack of adversity, and a theme-park-gone-wrong disaster full of nincompoops to validate that theory. This movie is kind of a “faith-based” statement now that I think about it, insinuating that we should trust God, Mother Nature or whomever is pathing Earth’s course in creation and extinction rather than bringing it into our own hands by reversing it all. It makes sense though; dinosaurs weren’t built to be a compatible species in an entourage of soon-to-proceed humans; it seems like there really was a reason for them to be replaced, and for us, the doggos & the rest of the animal gang to come in and give “life” a second chance. Sooner or later though, the Almighty will find out that we tampered with our privilege again by “recoding” and “reprinting” Jurassic Park essentially five (and soon to be six) more times, and will probably punish us for that crap too — IRONY.

It’s nice seeing independent personalities pop within these dinosaurs creatures unlike those abhorrently s****y reboot sequels which just keep upsizing the look of the species rather than the instinctive personas of them — again, catering to the public’s obsession for themselves, with ignorance for other species; if I remember correctly, Blue is essentially just a dog-like pet in the fourth movie despite being a Velociraptor. It seems bitterly contradicting too in a franchise that’s supposed to scare you with the thought of superior, prehistoric animals dominating in a world of humans who inspired them back. Anyways, what a feet the set designs and special effects of Jurassic Park still hold to be; it’s been said like a gajillion times already but we are slowly approaching this movie’s thirty year anniversary and the dinosaurs here still feel so real — this is why you place them primarily in a dark setting, people; it really does hide the flaws! The theme park feels so corporate legit too; it looks like a damn photocopy to me of Wild Animal Park or the San Diego Zoo with its tacky jungle backdrops and merchandising; I really hope the god-awful security stuff isn’t the same as in those zoos, however — a big yikes to that! Spielberg’s iconic film also truly thrives given how dilated its characters are, which helps with Jurassic Park’s secondary exploration: watching a timid husband warm up to parenthood is something quite cute that has this film at an advantage for me, advancing the idea of the “females” (the dinosaur ones, as well) helping men align to the right course of destiny for natural selection — “life, uh, finds a way”. It’s also there to be the example of nature flourishing, as opposed to the artificial park and the human world contradicting one another. 

Look, I still love this movie, but there’s one particular thing that Spielberg does with it that I personally find ineffective, and that has to do with how openly contrived the movie can feel in its thrills. I’ve heard people complain about the kid’s decision specifically, but their stupidity to me makes perfect sense, well, because they are *ahem* kids. I’m rather less convinced by HOW characters survive or try to survive in this movie so that Spielberg can abusively wring out every last string of intensity available that you genuinely don’t need to impress; it’s distracting if anything. There are plenty of examples I could bore you readers to death with, but I think one good case of this is the scene where Alan has to get Tim out of the hanging car, and then out of the tree, and he accidentally pushes the steering wheel to rest his arm which causes the car’s front wheels to point downward; you could easily write this off as something a dumb person would do, but at the same time, in a tense and distracting situation like that where you’re focusing on the boy’s well-being, I could see myself forgetting such a thing when I wasn’t attentive of the car’s wheel placement in the first place. However, what comes after it is when they decide to climb straight down the tree super quickly because the car begins moving down, and the kid is too afraid to climb down, yet they decide not to just move swiftly to the side before it falls or at least move down diagonally; I mean, we understand how a tree works right, and Alan’s mistake by turning the wheels should’ve indicated to him that they should move away from the car, right, cause they may have messed with its positioning? They were also initially placed on the side of the car once they both got out of it and before the car started falling, so why would they also go back under the car to start climbing down the tree especially knowing Tim’s issue with climbing might take awhile and cause a f*****g car could possibly smash you? 

Furthermore, you know for a fact the reason they do this is so that Spielberg could present not only a manipulatively intense moment where they force themselves to climb down before being smashed, but also so the car could coincidentally tumble over and land on them safely as a comedic moment. It’s kind of charming, but also very obnoxious in how blatantly contrived the entire thing feels. That to me is the difference between a dumb decision that seems reasonable and a dumb decision that just doesn’t make a whole lotta sense and is clearly there to give us an on-edge moment that then looses its edge because of that. Then again, I guess you could also argue the steering wheel incident is also there for the car to fall, but the vividly-a-mistake action itself is believable so I don’t mind it. Case in point, the WHOLE entire movie is full of this habit of writing where everything has to be boiled down to a last second sort of level of suspense or near death no matter how much it doesn’t make sense, so if that sort of thing especially pisses you off, you’re probably not going to fall head over heels for Jurassic Park. Anyways, bare with me on my last nitpick: the continuity here is actually pretty abhorrent sometimes too which adds, again, to the believability of the world I’m supposed to be immersed in; WRITERS what were you thinking? Okay, I’m done. Those are the only things that I don’t like about Jurassic Park. Everything else to me is pretty much untouchable though.

Howbeit, I think that I’m beginning to almost dislike revisiting movies I used to love as a child, because when seeing them through new, grown, adult lenses, I’m basically deflating the mindless yet blissful “awe” I had for them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still in “awe” of this movie and I definitely have a better grasp on its themes now — it holds up pretty darn well just in general too — but maybe I should start preserving my innocence a bit longer before slightly damaging it with my “matured” asshat analyzing. There are plenty of films I haven’t seen before that I could be watching, instead of wasting those opportunities by snobbing at the things that got me into cinema in the first place. 

At least I can better understand the innuendos this time around, lol. 

Verdict: B+

Steven Spielberg Ranked 

“Jurassic Park” is now playing in select Cinépolis locations.

Quick-Thoughts: Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s World on a Wire (1973)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder Marathon Part II of X

Yeah, not surprised Rian Johnson has a feature on the supplements for the Criterion release of this; I didn’t expect the cinematic origin to The Matrix, Minority Report, Inception, and White Christmas/San Junipero to be a cute little “who-dun-it” if you look past all its terrifying, psychedelic scares of human-computer malfunction/deletion and the overbearing reality crisis of our own skeptical universe. Dang.

For a nearly four-hour mini series that almost feels entirely expositional but more so in a pseudo-psychological way where you’re not sure whether or not what you’re listening to should actually be taken into consideration as it could be just false precepts to help put you directly into the ever-warping mind of our disturbed main protagonist, World on a Wire is a masterful adaption of the classical philosophical argument that’s brought up in the 1964 novel Simulacron-3 regarding realities controlled by other realities… and maybe controlled by even more realities, and so on so forth. Opposed to The Matrix though which takes place in a post-apocalyptic landscape of a ruling alien race dominating humans through a virtual reality, World on a Wire seems more concerned with the technology’s place when present in modern society. 

A cybernetics corporation is in search for testing societal theories through an almost predeterminable methodology: a computerized reality that either absorbs the success of an idea firsthand or bites the bullet of it entirely to therefore benefit the “real” world as it applies its observations to avoid or recreate such experiments for themselves. The mini-series seems to suggest that if there is a God looking over us, there may be another God looking over him, and by “God” I mean a plethora of them, all representing different personalities and ambitions, good or bad, just like, well, people; wouldn’t any artificial world-building suggest such a motley of creators? 

This may not necessarily be Fassbinder’s best work in terms of acting directions (I won’t deny that I laughed a few times at some dramatic reactions/revelations) but it’s not that shocking to behold when you realize how out of bounds this kind of story seems so far in this director’s filmography, opposed to his previous projects where he tended to be vastly more concentrated on the characters rather than the plot. However, visually, this is on par with his previous year’s work, holding no punches to make every shot seem compositionally rich with its expressionistic camera movements or blocking fractures, the colorfully concentrated lighting, and the futuristic variant of luxurious, dream-like set pieces to accompany it all. The buzzy score is fittingly unpleasant, as well. 

My proudest take away though that I got from this was watching people (even the fancy, professionally suited businessmen) who have spinning chairs at their office desks ACTUALLY spin in their chairs. It’s nice to see a filmmaker that finally gets it: no sane person wouldn’t do that s**t 24/7 if they’re blessed enough to have one.

Verdict: A-

Rainer Werner Fassbinder Ranked

“World on a Wire” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

Quick-Thoughts: Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day (1972)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder Marathon Part I of X

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a director use zooms this tellingly and consistently before; for those who say they’re a jarring technique in film that should be secluded more, think again!

Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day is about the most charming, inviting, warm and cozy mini-series I’ve ever had the pleasure of consuming. Like, HOT-DAMN, this is just so utterly wholesome and crowd-pleasing that it kind of has me baffled why it seems to be a bit obscured from Fassbinder’s central filmography. It probably has to do with its political origins, being such a liberal-geared show broadcasted during a right-winged obsessed Germany, it would make sense this got shelved for so long before just now being restored for the public to bathe in all eight hours of its empathetic glory. 

This 1972 television program is one galored with power dynamics, including but not limited to a grandma in control of a new lover and a man in control of a best friend. But, probably the most telling connective piece of tissue to the story’s parallel to social work would be the fathers of the story who are often in control of their family; Fassbinder exposes the humiliating authority complexes that come with it and how when taken away shows true vulnerability and desperation — it reminds me a smidge of what PTA’s The Master attempted to convey about leaders, but made with a less glamorous approach and for good reason. Fassbinder sees hostility as a harm of judgement and proper action, but then again it can also come forth as a fruitful method to right the wrongs of lower/middle-class disadvantages, hindered by the higher-class decision swindlers; same goes for the ideology of silence: it’s a shield against trouble yet it is one rarely effective in resolving social frustrations, even in the casualist of affairs. A time period unprotected to capitalism and embracive of governmental exclusiveness sort of requires one to expect and hope for a counteraction of citizens to take measures into their own hands; it’s sort of sorrowful realizing that this is a reality that’ll likely never end for any country even today, as self-interest seems to be an impenetrable attribute no matter who you are, but its inspiration of good-minded uprising is very much a human motivation and ambition worth living for; it gives us a purpose if anything, as oppression and corruption calls for that within its victims — a bittersweet outlook! 

It’s honestly surprising how much I loved this too, because it is very much a piece of archetypal melodrama catered to an identical formula for every episode with its “in order to improve society we must work together to accomplish it” resolutions, and I will admit that that’s what’s holding me back ever so slightly from giving it a perfect score as it got slightly repetitive by the end and I desired a little more adversity in those regards like we get in episodes 3 & 5. But, in all fairness, Fassbinder’s execution here is so absolutely dialogue-detailed and candid with new wisdom to discuss in every single scene about human nature, perfectly acted and holy engaging in its characterizations, and consistently optimistic yet rightfully challenging to truly earn those moments that it actually warranted the numbing simplicities of the narrative’s familiar and convenient structuring. 

I’m very much for how supernatural the score can get in this mini-series too; it reminds me of Punch-Drunk Love a bit: replicating emotions in ways that feel unworldly, exaggerated, and surreal. 

Verdict: A

Rainer Werner Fassbinder Ranked

“Eights Hours Don’t Make a Day” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

Quick-Thoughts: Federico Fellini’s Amarcord (1973)

Federico Fellini Marathon Part VI of VI

No horny police allowed in my Fascist Italy! Umm… Foreshadowing? 

You know, I don’t mind a little nostalgia porn from time to time myself. The humanity of Amarcord is quite peachy, deriving straight from the manipulated memories of Federico Fellini himself. It’s no shock that recollection in childhood is usually glorified positively, and Fellini makes efforts for that to appear very much the case in this likable breeze of a mental wash, especially when put against some of his astir previous endeavors. It’s not NEARLY my favorite Fellini, but it’s inclusively charming and successful in what it sets out to exhibit.

Peacocks are very nostalgic to me though, so when that one appeared during the film, the coincidence had me flabbergasted; I grew up in an area full of them so it’s hard not to.

Verdict: B

Federico Fellini Ranked

“Amarcord” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel and HBO Max.