Movie Review: Furious 7 (2015)

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As some of you might remember, I reviewed every single “Fast & Furious” movie back in May of this year because of the at that point recent release of this damn movie. And from that it’s taken me more than 6 months to get around to it. But at long last, we are here. So let’s stop with this shit and get with it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Furious 7”.

Ready for some more stupidity? *Smack* Ouch, okay I’ll do it right! The story of this movie is that Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the brother of the the last movie’s villain, is coming after the gang to get revenge for his brother. So it’s up to Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker, R.I.P) and all the other guys we know and love to try and stop him. Now that is the main plot we are supposed to care about, but at the same time we get a secondary plot of the gang helping a governmental orgainzation led by Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) with finding a device that could locate any person on planet earth. And it is all very convoluted and guys, this is what the problem was with “Fast & Furious 6”. Don’t get me wrong, I think the plot of this movie is more well handled than in the last movie, but it’s still a bit convoluted and that takes away a bit from the enjoyment of the movie. I mean, it’s fine I guess.

The characters are just as enjoyable as last time and their performances have neither imporved nor gotten worse. So let’s discuss some of the newer ones… like Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw. I would say that putting Jason Statham as the main villain of your movie is a damn good idea, it is one I highly approve of. And while Statham’s performance was really good and menacing, I still felt like the character was underutilized and that he was only there to mess things up a little for our heroes. Then we have Kurt Russell as the mysterious Mr. Nobody and he was awesome. Come on, it’s Kurt fuckin’ Russell! Sure, he wasn’t in teh movie too much, but he was still great… He’s Kurt Russell! One thing I feel kind of split about is the character of Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). Don’t get me wrong, I think he might be the best thing that ever happened to this franchise, but he is used so little in this movie that it’s a bit disappointing. Sure, whenever he is on screen we get some of the best parts of the movie, but they are so few and far between that I almost feel betrayed.

The score for “Furious 7” was composed by Brian Tyler and as you may know, I’m a big fan of that guy. And as per usual, he delivered a great original score for the movie. It is big, bombastic, tense and surprisingly emotional. I would really dare say that this is one of the best scores I have ever heard from Tyler. With that said, does the rest of the soundtrack work for the movie? Yes… yes it does. They managed to fit songs perfectly into the scenes they were used in. And with that said, I feel like i should maybe touch on the song “See you Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth. The song was created as a tribute to the late Paul Walker and his character Brian who would most likely get retired after this movie. And I have to say that the song worked, it is a fitting send-off for Walker and his character. I can also say that I think it is a good song, maybe even worthy of an Oscar nomination…

This is the first “F&F” movie since “Tokyo Drift” that have had a new director take over. So now instead of Justin Lin directing it, we have James Wan who is more known for horror movies than for action. But I have to say that I think he did a good job directing this movie. Sure, the hand-to-hand combat sequences were not that great because of a higher framerate and for a little bit of shaky-cam in them, so they are not impressive at all. However, when there is over-the-top vehicular mayhem in the movie, Wan really did a fantastic job! It’s silly, stupid, ridiculous, absolutely bonkers and pretty fucking fun. Really, instead of Vengeance Hits Home, the tagline for the movie should’ve been Physics Be Damned. 

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 67/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

While bogged down a bit by a convoluted plot and underutilization of certain characters, “Furious 7” is still one of the best entries in the franchise. With fun characters, a really great soundtrack, really good directing and a fitting send-off for Paul Walker, it’s definitely still a fun movie. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Furious 7” is an 8,95/10. It’s definitely worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Furious 7” is finally completed.

*Looks out window*. Is that Jeff parachuting a car?

Movie Review: Locke (2014)

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Sometimes you need something quiet and subtle to help balance out all the explosions in your movie watching. Now don’t get me wrong, I like silly and fun action movies as much as the next guy, but I like a quiet drama every now and then as well. Hell, one of my favorite movies of all time, “Drive”, is for the most part a slow and methodical drama and not an action fest like most people expected. But enough of that, today we are taking a look at a slow moving drama that is set in just one location.

Sirs and madames… “Locke”.

Like I said, this movie is set in just one place, a car to be exact. And in this car we have hard-working family man Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy). Now he is driving somewhere to take care of a problem while a lot of other things come down on him at the same time. I will not spoil what his problem is as I found it more interesting finding out what it was by watching. I also loved seeing this movie unfold and just see how this man tried to handle everything around him despite the fact that it was tearing at him. The plot was really well done and definitely a breath of fresh air.

Despite the fact that the only visible character in the movie was the one of Ivan Locke, I still loved all of the characters in the movie. What I forgot to mention in the plot segment was that constantly throughout the movie he has phone conversations with a bunch of different people. And even though you could never see these people I really thought they were great characters who could be real people thanks to the superb writing and great (vocal) performances by the actors. And Tom Hardy in this movie was fantastic as usual, giving a subtle yet explosive performance. And what I mean by that is that his character was very quiet, but he had a lot on his mind which you could notice through Hardy’s facial expressions and his maneurysms, especially at times that he got big news that would change everything at times. I know my words don’t make any fucking sense, but trust me, I know what I am talking about. What I can clearly say at least is that the acting and characters are superb.

The score by Dickon Hinchliffe (Out of the Furnace) was pretty fucking great. There were a lot of ambient sounds throughout the songs that really helped highten the sense of loneliness and desperation that the movie wanted to convey. And of course there was excellent use of the guitar in the songs. To be honest, with all the guitar in the soundtrack I almost thought this score was done by Gustavo Santaolalla. But now that I know that Dickon Hinchliffe did the score the guitar still makes a lot of sense. And I fucking love it!

This movie looks fantastic, Steven Knight really shows that he is a force to be reckoned with as a director. There are a lot of beautiful shots both outside the car and inside of it. I also heard something about this movie being shot in sequence several times over and then took the different parts of each shoot and splice them together into one movie. Now if that is true or not, I am not sure, someone please tell me if it’s true or not.

This movie has been generally well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it stands strong with a 91% positive rating and it is certified “Fresh”. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it stands on a 7,1/10.

“Locke” is a riveting, interesting and different movie with a terrific performance from Tom Hardy, a terrific score by Dickon Hinchliffe and some great direction/camera work. Time for my final score. Where the hell is he with that envelope? *Dials phone* Jeff, where are you? In the car? Well why aren’t you here with that god damn envelope? What? You left it here earlier? Yeah? Well, fuck you too. Sorry about that. My final score for “Locke” is a 9,76/10 and then of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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“Locke” is now reviewed.

Did anyone seriously before this movie believe a movie about Tom Hardy driving a car for 90 minutes would be interesting? Because I didn’t.

Movie Review: Smokey and The Bandit (1977)

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Old school movies, what is there to say about them? They can be fantastic, like “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” or they can be shit like “Jaws 2, 3 and 4”. Then we have those with mixed opinion like “Blues Brothers” and “Star Wars”. Speaking of “Blues Brothers”…I love that movie. So what happens when you take a movie with a somewhat similar style but you change out Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi for some other people…and then go back in time three years…then we get the movie of this review.

People…”Smokey and The Bandit”.

The Bandit (Burt Reynolds) is one hell of a driver. That is why he gets sent on a mission by Big Enos (Pat McCormick) and his son Little Enos (Paul Williams) to deliver a lot of boxes of beer to a different state for them. He accepts after getting a fistful of dollars (Haha). But how is he…a guy in a Trans-Am supposed to deliver a shit-ton of beer cross several states? Well he gets help from his truck driving friend Cledus (Jerry Reed), Cledus’ dog Fred and a woman named Carrie (Sally Field) who ran away from her wedding. And that wedding was with a guy called Junior (Mike Henry)…problem is Junior is the son of Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason). And soon after, Sheriff Justice is on the hunt after Bandit and his friends over all these states…so delivering beer (which in this case counts as bootlegging) is easier said than done. And that is about it. The main plot is not more advanced than that. It plays out like a kind of comedic road movie. With tons of slapstick containing Bandit avoiding cops and making them look like idiots. There are also a few plot points that you can figure out before the second half of the movie even starts. But I honestly don’t mind since this movie is so damn entertaining. I had a lot of fun with the simplistic, yet charming plot.

The characters are amusing. There is not too much to say on that. Sheriff Justice is your typical highly devoted cop who just does his job but got a kind of short temper. His son is not too bright…that’s all I’m saying. Cledus is one of those typical movie truck drivers who is both serious in his job, can joke about different things, but still got his heart in the right place. Carrie is a fun woman…that is all…seriously, she is too entertaining to watch to tell anything about. And finally we have Burt Reynolds as…Burt Reynolds. I have no better words for it.

The music is your typical country-styled road movie music…in other words good. Fun thing is they are both composed and performed by Jerry Reed who plays Cledus (MAYBE because he actually is a country singer). No more comments.

The chases in this movie are entertaining. Think “Blues Brothers” but a little older, not in a city and possibly on a slightly smaller budget. Another reason they are so entertaining is because of the chemistry between Burt Reynolds and Sally Field…it is perfect! They work so well together and have some fun conversations in the car. Yeah. Oh…almost forgot, this movie got Oscar nominated for Best editing.

Reception was good, it was a smash hit when it came out. Rotten Tomatoes has an 81% positive rating for it. Strangely enough, Metacritic has no review or score for this movie…at all. Roger Ebert has no review for this.
imdb.com has a score of 6,8/10 on “Smokey and The Bandit”.

As you may have noticed based on the different parts of the review, I like this movie. I think it is incredibly entertaining and definitely worth a watch. The score for “Smokey and the Bandit” is a 9,12/10. I think you should buy it. It is an entertaining movie that is perfect when there is nothing on TV.

Review of “Smokey and The Bandit” is completed.

By the way, the sequel was fun…but unnecessary…so you only have to watch this.