Movie Review: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Well this review was a long time coming. If you’ve followed my blog for an extended amount of time, you’re probably aware that I spent a decent chunk of 2015 reviewing every “Fast & Furious” movie leading up to the seventh installment. Then later that year I did that one. So this franchise has become a bit of a staple for this blog. So let’s talk about the eighth installment.

Family… “The Fate of the Furious”.

After our beloved gang pulls another job for the government, their leader Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) betrays them and starts working for a shady hacker/terrorist known as Cipher (Charlize Theron). So we follow the crew as they do everything in their power to stop Cipher and get Dom back. Not gonna lie, I found myself surprisingly engaged by the narrative here. Maybe I’m biased because I’ve grown attached to this world and these characters, but I felt like there was a lot of effort put into making the story here as dramatically engaging as possible without sacrificing the fast and furious thrills of the franchise. This does bring down the pace ever so slightly, but never to the point of ruining the movie. It’s still generally a fast-paced action fest, and I do appreciate some of the slower moments as they add a surprising amount of nuance and genuinely interesting conflict to the story. So yeah, not perfect, but still very good.

The characters in this are just as colorful, charming, and entertaining as ever, but now also have added character conflict due to the aforementioned part of Dom going bad. Speaking of which, let’s start with Dom, once again played by mumblegrumble master Vin Diesel. Dom is usually the same ol’ guy in every movie, so it’s nice to see him get a little extra character development for a change. And I must say, this is the best I’ve seen Diesel in this franchise, the dude shows that he can do more than just his signature mumblegrumble. Charlize Theron as newcomer villain Cipher is really good in that role, playing her with a generally quiet menace right out of a 90s movie (which I love). Next we have Dwayne Johnson and Jason Stathamas Hobbs and Shaw, both returning characters, mortal enemies forced to work together to stop Cipher. Their banter here is amazing, their chemistry is amazing, they are amazing. Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Kurt Russell all return in their roles, and they are all very good in their roles. And in a few other supporting roles we have Scott Eastwood, Patrick St. Esprit, Kristofer Hivju, and Celestino Cornielle. So overall it’s quite a well rounded cast.

The score for the movie was composed by franchise mainstay (bar the sixth one) Brian Tyler. And it’s another good score. Big bold brass and the occasional soft string and piano. It’s not exactly the most original or unpredictable score, but it serves the movie just fine. There’s also a handful of licensed songs used throughout, all hip hop, all fitting really well in their scenes. So yeah, the movie has good music.

“The Fate of the Furious” was directed by F. Gary Gray, and I think he did a good job with that. He shows with his direction that he knows how to make actions feel like they have weight. So when things happen, they feel like they happen and really hurt, even when it’s clearly done mainly in a computer. Which brings us to the action scenes, which are the dumbest, silliest, most insane set pieces this franchise has seen so far… and I love all of them. I love heavy dramas, I love being intellectually challenged… but sometimes I just need something ridiculously stupid to put a big smile on my face. And the action in this movie did just that. The action in this is an absolute blast to watch.

This movie has been decently well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 67% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 56/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6.7/10.

“The Fate of the Furious” is an absolutely bonkers action movie with a lot of heart, and while that might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I absolutely loved it. It has a really good story, really good characters, great performances, good music, and great directing/action. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Fate of the Furious” is a 9,56/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Fate of the Furious” is now completed.

Sometimes you just need something stupid.

Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

10 years. That is how long the Marvel Cinematic Universe has existed. Starting with 2008’s “Iron Man”, it has gone to become one of the biggest franchises in cinema. Say what you want about the movies themselves, but you can’t deny the impact this franchise has had on modern cinema. And now it’s time to talk about it’s latest outing. And it’s a big one.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Avengers: Infinity War”.

A powerful alien named Thanos (Josh Brolin) in on a quest to find all of the infinity stones so he can carry out a devastating plan. So the heroes of the Marvel universe have to team up to try and stop him. And that’s about as in-depth as I will go with the plot details in case anyone reading this hasn’t seen it yet (but want to). But what I can say is that there’s a lot of stuff going on throughout this plot, with several threads in various locations. I don’t envy any filmmaker who has to try and balance this many plot threads. But they really nailed it with this one. It’s a big, epic comic book plot that is surprisingly dark and emotionally charged while still giving us the fun superhero romp that we expect from these Marvel movies. It even made me tear up. Yeah, this is a good plot.

The characters in this are plentiful, and while I would’ve liked a bit more out of some of them, I understand why some were a little more sidelined, especially since the filmmakers had to get so many in there in general. Not gonna go through all that get development, but I will say that they’re handled very well. And those that doesn’t get as much here, they’re still cool and entertaining and well set up through the other movies. But let’s talk about Josh Brolin as Thanos. Holy shit, he is an awesome villain. Not only is he a big and intimidating new foe, but they actually give him layers and make him a compelling antagonist. You understand his motivation, even if you don’t necessarily agree with him. And that’s how some of the best villains work. And Brolin delivers a great performance. Sure, Thanos is a big CGI beast, but Brolin did the motion capture for it, and every little aspect of his performance shines through here. Now to just list a fuckload of actors here because they need to be mentioned, but I can’t go through ’em in detail (too many for that). Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Chris Pratt, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Dave Bautista, Anthony Mackie, Letitia Wright, Tim Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Wong, Danai Gurira, Pom Klementieff, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Gwyneth Paltrow, Peter Dinklage, William Hurt, Terry Notary, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Michael James Shaw, Carrie Coon, Stan Lee, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Kerry Condon, and so many more (some I don’t wanna spoil). Fuck, that’s a lot of actors. All doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Alan Silvestri, and it is stunning. A lot of big brass, some smaller and more emotional string pieces, and a few other things. It’s a score that perfectly complements the movie and fits each scene perfectly. It’s one of those scores that really added to the movie.

This movie was directed by Joe & Anthony Russo. And I have to say, well done, you two. Their directing here is big and sweeping (makes sense for a flick of this size), yet also tight and intimate, bringing good insight into the turmoil of the characters. And compared to the action scenes of their previous MCU outings, there’s not a lot of “Bourne” inspired shaky-cam here. It’s more locked down, giving us a better look at all the crazy shit that’s going on. Yes, there are a few shaky shots, but those make a bit of sense for their respective bits. But the action in general is shot relatively smoothly and it’s all quite badass. Heroes and villains tossing each other around and punching each other and shooting each other, and it’s all so much fun. It’s also surprisingly heavy-hitting, with every attack/hit feeling like there’s a lot of actual impact behind it. And at this point I don’t think I need to talk about the visual effects, they’re pretty much guaranteed to be extraordinary in these movies. And they are so here too. And Trent Opaloch’s cinematography is fantastic too, there are some truly breathtaking shots in this.

This movie just came out, but it has already been really well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,1/10 and is ranked #9 on the “Top 250” list.

“Avengers: Infinity War” is pretty much everything you could want from this type of movie. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and great directing/cinematography/visual effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Avengers: Infinity War” is a 9,73/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My final score for “Avengers: Infinity War” is now completed.

I honestly have no idea where they’ll go from here…

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

*Insert comment about Marvel movies here*. Hmmmm *Insert comment about my love for the first “Guardians” movie here*. Hmmmm. Let’s get into it!

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s… “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”!

Set shortly after the first movie, we find Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel) out on another adventure. During their shenanigans they run into Ego (Kurt Russell), an incredibly powerful man claiming to be Peter’s dad. And now we have our favorite intergalactic a-holes in another fast-paced and entertaining journey. But not only does the plot give us a fun space adventure, but it also gives us a pretty engaging plot filled with some surprising emotion and lots of heart. Ego entering the world not only gives further weight to Star-Lord’s arc, but it also helps expand the Marvel universe quite a bit. So yeah, the plot here is really good.

The characters in this movie are colorful, extremely entertaining, and all get a bit of character development. They all also have amazing chemistry with each other, but that should come as no surprise. Chris Pratt is once again awesome as Peter Quill, but not only is he the charming and funny rogue from the first movie, he also gets some really solid development with Ego entering the picture and giving us a really interesting look into Peter’s origin/heritage. Zoe Saldana is once again really good as Gamora, this tough warrior woman that may or may not have something going on with Peter. Dave Bautista was surprisingly good in the first movie, and he gets even more good stuff to work with here. That’s right, he was great. A tough and hilarious badass that we learn more about in the movie. Bradley Cooper is once again amazing as the voice of Rocket, he works really well as a gun-toting asshole raccoon. Baby Groot, firstly… holy shit, he is fucking adorable! Secondly, he could’ve turned out to be just this cute thing that only took part in silly slapstick, but they actually do some good stuff with him in the movie. Not really gonna comment about Vin Diesel’s performance, because I don’t know what can be said about it. Karen Gillan returns as Gamora’s sister Nebula and the development she gets in the movie is really solid and her performance was really good. They also give more space to Kraglin played by Sean Gunn, and he’s good in the movie. Michael Rooker also returns as blue badass Yondu and yeah, he’s awesome. He also gets some mroe development which makes him an even more interesting character. Now, onto the new guys! Kurt Russell as Ego, what is there to say… He’s Kurt fuckin’ Russell, he’s awesome in the role! He’s old and wise and very Kurt Russell-y. I also really like what they did with him in the movie, they did some stuff with him I didn’t really expect. Pom Klementieff plays Mantis, the gang’s new friend/Ego’s assistant, and she’s really good in the role. We also get Elizabeth Debicki as the high priestess Ayesha who I will not say too much about, but she was good in the role. And finally we briefly get Sylvester Stallone as the leader of the Ravagers. While his appearance was brief, he was really good. The entire cast was really good. Next!

The score for the movie was composed by Tyler Bates and it was fine. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, but it’s not that memorable or great. It’s your typical superhero/action movie score. Now, with this being a “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie, it of course has a soundtrack that we have to talk about. Not only are the songs in the soundtrack good on their own, but they’re used very well in the movie and makes some scenes even better.

Like the first “Guardians”, this was directed by James Gunn. And once again he fucking nailed it. His shots are very well done and his directing has a very energetic and fun feel to it. It really makes both action and talking scenes quite entertaining to watch. Speaking of action, this movie has plenty of it and god damn, all of it is incredibly fun. The visual effects too are great. Sure, there’s a fuckload of CGI in the movie, but I never found it distracting, it all blended with the pratical humans very well. And the comedy in this movie is fucking hilarious, I laughed a lot throughout the movie. There’s also a huge amount of easter eggs and cameos spread throughout the runtime. Some in the main movie, some in the 5 credits scenes. Yes, 5… and they’re all good. Some set stuff up and some are just there for shits and giggles. Have fun finding them all.

This movie very recently came out, so these scores can change quite quickly. But on Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 66/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,2/10.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is a worthy successor the the original surprise hit. I think I still prefer the first movie, but this is till quite great. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, fantastic music, great directing, hilarious humor, and really good visual effects. Time for my final score. *Showtime, a-holes*. My final score for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is a 9,87/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is now completed.

Awesome, more music for my playlists!

“Guardians of the Galaxy 2” trailer!!!

What’s up everyone, I know that I’m spamming stuff on you now, but there’s just so much going on now that I have to write about. Now, with that said… let’s talk about this shit!

So we have gotten a trailer for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”. A few months ago we got a small teaser that was pretty fun. And now we have a full-on trailer that also happens to be fun… even more fun, if I’m gonna be honest. We see the return of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel?). And they are all still a group of misfits doing badass shit… IN SPACE! And the yare part of a bunch of chaos, set to Sweet’s “Fox on the Run”… yeah, this trailer is awesome. The jokes are funny, the action looks cool, and the group looks as fun as ever. Yeah, this is definitely one of my most anticipated movies of next year. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is set to come out late April/early May (Depending on where you live) next year.

So what are your thoughts? Are you looking forward to “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”? And what are your thoughts on the first one? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

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: Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

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At last, my friends… we are here. The last part of my series of “Fast & Furious” reviews. Of course I will review “Furious 7” at some point… but that’s not now. No, now we review the 6th one which seemed like it would be the final one (yeah right). So now it is time to wrap up this series of reviews with…

“FAST AND FURIOUS 6”!

In this movie we have Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) asking the gang to help him take out dangerous mercenary Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). So once again Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker, R.I.P), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), Han (Sung Kang) and Gisele (Gal Gadot) has to team up and cause some major mayhem! But we also get this really odd and almost out of place sidestory how (Spoilers for “Fast & Furious” (2009) if you have not seen it) Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) actually survived that crash, lost her memory and got recruited by Shaw. Again, it felt really out of place and I don’t get why it exists. It just makes the entire plot really convoluted and kind of over it’s own head. This is something that I felt dragged the movie down a bit for me, a convoluted plot. The plot sin’t bad per se, it’s just (like I said) dragged down by those twisty little parts.

The characters are as great as ever. Vin Diesel growls like always. Paul Walker was really good in the movie too. I feel like he finally managed to give a performance that was above “Good” but below “Great”. Tyrese Gibson was funny and not annoying (unlike in “2 Fast 2 Stupid Title”). Sung Kang was great, I really liked him since he showed up in “Tokyo Drift”. Gal Gadot was also really good. Ludacris was pretty entertaining too. Riddle me this one though, boyh in “Fast Five” and this one his character is a bit of a tech wiz… yet that theme never popped up in “2 Fast 2 Stupid Title”. What the hell happened screenwriters? Fuck it! And of course… Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs… fucking awesome! I mean, it’s Dwayne Johnson… nothing more needs to be said. I also did like Luke Evans as Owen Shaw, he was a pretty good villain. I did overall enjoy all characters.

The score was apparently NOT done by Brian Tyler which is weird because he made the music for the previous three movies and apparently he made the score for “Furious 7”, so why wasn’t he involved with this? Apparently it was done by a bunch of different musicians. And yes, it did fit really well. NEXT!

Remember the laws of physics? Yeah well you can say goodbye to them in this movie. They basically nowhere to be found. With that said, the action in this movie is pretty fucking great. The c-q-c (Close quarters combat) was pretty well done. The driving parts were also pretty spectacular. At this point they have nailed everything they need to nail when it comes to being an action movie about Fast cars and Furious Vin Diesel.

This movie, while pretty well-received, was not as well-received as the previous installment “Fast Five”. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 69% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 61/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“Fast & Furious 6” is a fast-paced, badass action movie with a few good performances, some pretty good music and awesome action. However, it is brought down by a convoluted plot with a bunch of out of place twists. Time for my final score. *Window breaks* What the hell, Jeff!? What happened? You flew out of a car? And you’re alright? Well, shit. Envelope? Thank you, now go away! My final score for “Fast & Furious 6” is an 8,40/10. Even though the plot drags it down a bit, it is still worth a rental.
Rent it

“Fast & Furious 6” reviewed.

Plan B? We need a plan C, D, E. We need more alphabet!

Movie Review: Fast Five (2011)

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Jesus tapdancing Christ, we are already at number 5 in the series. So let’s cut the crap and get straight into the review, shall we?

Dudes and chicks… “Fast Five”.

So once again Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker, R.I.P) return to cause more vehicular mayhem. But this time it is to pull the heist of a lifetime so they can buy their freedom. But they can’t do this alone! They hire a team of people who are experts in their respective fields. And this team consists of previous cast members Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson, oh fuck no), Tej (Ludacris), Han (Sung Kang), Gisele (Gal Gadot), Leo (Tego Calderon) and Santos (Don Omar). But at the same time they have to worry about taking down a druglord AND staying clear of federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). Before giving a verdict… how did we go from ripping off “Point Break” to ripping off “Ocean’s Eleven”? Anyway, the plot in this movie while slightly more layered than what is good for the franchise, I love the plot to the movie. While it has a few layers, it is well done and surprisingly simple. Since this movie doesn’t take itself that seriously and instead embracing the ridiculous aspects of the franchise it really helps. It knows it is stupid and it wears it like a badge… kind of like 1996’s “The Rock”.

The characters in this movie are great. They are all fun and get a good amount of space, while not feeling over/underused. Vin Diesel is still really good (if you can call it that) as Dom Toretto. And in this one Paul Walker has not really improved since the last time, but that’s not a bad thing seeing that he was pretty good in “Fast & Furious”. All other characters are great too. AND TYRESE GIBSON WASN’T ANNOYING IN THIS ONE! And of course… Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, he is as awesome as he is in everything. I swear, you could put that guy in a movie where he is in just one room, reading the dictionary and he’d be great. And to be fair, everyone was really good in the movie.

The hip-hop music is back, fitting perfectly in how it is used. They also added a little latino pop, in lack of a better word for it. And for the third (and so far best) time Brian Tyler. And as per usual the score was great. It was intense, it was action-y and it was overall great.

This is Justin Lin’s third time directing an “F&F” movie and it is definitely the most well-directed of the three. It is smooth, it is visually great and HOLY SHIT, THE ACTION IS AWESOME! It is fast, furious, intense and badass as hell! Not just the driving scenes which are by far the best in the franchise so far, but all other action scenes too. The fights, the shootouts, the chases… they are all great. Especially if you are able to suspend your disbelief. Because this movie is so badass that it chooses to ignore the laws of physics. So you science nerds should probably not watch this movie. Thank god then that I love over-the-top stuff like this!

Looking at all major review sites, this is the most well-received of the movies so far. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 78% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 67/100. Roger Ebert liked this one and gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“Fast Five” is big, loud and dumb and it wears it like a badge. With fun characters, a decent story, great music and some awesomely ridiculous action, it is a good movie. Time for my final score. *Vroom vroom* My final score for “Fast Five” is a 9,64/10. It of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Seal of Approval

“Fast Five” is now reviewed.

Kind of sounds like a high-speed handjob…

Movie Review: Fast & Furious (2009)

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My month of “Fast and the Furious” is moving along pretty fast (and furious). So now it is time to review the fourth movie in the series!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Fast & Furious”!

So in this movie we see the return of Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) who has to team up with FBI agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker, R.I.P) to take down a drug importer by infiltrating his organization. If this sounds familiar then you’d be right, this is the same plot as in “2 Fast 2 Stupid Title”. Only difference this time is that Brian works for the FBI and instead of annoying Tyrese Gibson we get Vin Diesel. I also feel like the story was handled slightly better in this movie than in “2 Fast 2 Stupid Title”. The biggest negative though comes from the fact this movie takes itself so seriously at times. The previous movie at least knew that they were stupid as shit and fun. This one tries to be serious while also being a movie featuring Fast cars and Furious Vin Diesel. But like I said, I did enjoy the plot slightly more here than in that other one I mentioned before.

The characters, while taking themselves too seriously sometimes, are good. Vin Diesel is being Vin Diesel in this movie and that is something I enjoy. And Paul Walker got slightly better since last we saw him. His performance has slightly improved and that makes me happy. The other actors in the movie are pretty good too. Everybody are pretty good overall.

The music was once again filled with a lot of hip-hop tracks with a few Limp Bizkit styled songs. And they managed to fit them in perfectly this time. One of the problems I had with the music of the original movie was that it felt like they only threw the music in and gave no thought to when and where to use what tracks. And for every movie they have gotten slightly better at it. And in this one they nailed it. We also get another original score by Brian Tyler! And as per usual it is great. Just as cool and well put together as his score in “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”. Would I say it’s his best score? No, but I think it is really good.

The action in this movie is great! Wnat proof? Watch the first five minutes of this movie and say that the little heist(ish) scene in the beginning isn’t badass and awesome! That scene is exciting and really well filmed. And so are the rest of the action scenes in this movie. Justin Lin really seems to know how to direct good action. Again, the cars are Fast and the Vin Diesel is Furious. And I like that!

So how was this movie received? What did people think? Meh. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 28% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 45/100. Roger Ebert wasn’t overly positive to it and gave it 1,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10 (Sidenote: The same score as the first movie in the series).

“Fast & Furious” is a movie that takes the plot of a previous movie in the franchise but does it slightly better, has enjoyable characters with decent performances, a really good score by Brian Tyler and terrific action. But it is also brought down by it trying to take itself so seriously. Time for my final score. *Deep breath* My final score for “Fast & Furious” is an 8,59/10. I do think it is worth buying.
Worth buying

Review of “Fast & Furious” is done.

I wonder if those cars go on… (Vin) Diesel *Smug Face*

 

Movie Review: The Fast and the Furious (2001)

The Fast and the Furious

With this franchise being as big as it is at the moment I sit down and ask “How in the hell did this franchise get this big?”. I mean for the love of god, there are seven fucking movies in this franchise. So with all of that said, since the seventh one in the franchise was released recently (Sidenote: I had also not seen any of these movies) I decided to try to get through all of the previous movies in the franchise before the end of May.

Guys and chicks… “The Fast and the Furious”.

The story is about Los Angeles police officer Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker, R.I.P) who gets tasked with infiltrating a gang of street racers led by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and try to find out if he is actually the one who has robbed several truck loads of DVD’s and such. Problem for Brian is that his loyalties become less and less clear. And that’s it. The plot is not original or smart, it is actually kind of stupid… which is why I like it. This plot is silly and stupid and that’s what makes it so fun and enjoyable. It is just pure fun to see what the hell they do next with this street racing movie. To be fair, I never expected much from the plot anyways, so I could never be disappointed. But it was at least a fun plot.

The characters in this movie, while not having many layers are like the plot; fun and enjoyable. Also, if you expected anything close to Oscar-worthy performances, you have really low standards. The performances are servicable at best. Vin Diesel is fine as Toretto because he is Vin Freaking Diesel. And Paul Walker (No disrespect intended) is not good… at all. Fine, I have seen much worse performances, but his was still slightly below average. I guess what I liked about the guy is that he is just so charismatic which kind of makes up for the sub-par performance. All other performances were fine, nothing else to say.

The music in the movie, while fitting, is not really that good. Sure, this is where my musical preferences kick in a little bit, but I think a lot of people can agree the music isn’t that fantastic. How do I explain it perfectly? It’s like if you take some generic instrumental tracks from some random movie, take some random hip-hop/rap songs and throw in some Limp Bizkit… that is probably how I would best describe the music in the movie. Instrumental, hip-hop/rap, Limp Bizkit. And like I said, the music fit just fine in the movie, nothing more to say about that.

This movie is directed by Rob Cohen… I am not a fan of Rob Cohen. Sure, I enjoyed “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” to a certain extent, but beyond that I am not a fan (Sidenote: This is the same guy who did “Alex Cross”, a terrible movie). Fortunately for us, this is one of his more well-directed movies. The direction is pretty slick, especially in the car/racing scenes. They all look great and they are fun as hell to watch.

This movie was decntly received by people around the world. On Rotten Tomatoes the movie has a 53% positive rating. On Metacritic the movie has a score of 58/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com the movie has a score of 6,6/10.

Despite being directed by Rob Cohen, I had a good time with this movie. The story was stupid and fun, the characters enjoyable, the music okay, the car scenes fast (and furious) and fun. Time for my final score. *Vroom vroom* My final score for “The Fast and the Furious” is an 8,61/10. I’d say that it’s actually worth buying.
Worth buying

“The Fast and the Furious” is now reviewed.

*Vroom Vroom*

Movie Review: Saving Private Ryan (1998)

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War. Dirty, brutal, terrible… the is nothing good about it. Of course we have the PMC’s (Private Military Corporations) out there that disagree with me on that, but that is only because war is their only income. Okay, weapon manufacturers will make a few bucks from it as well… but that is not the point. My point is that war is not something that should EVER be glorified. With that said, here is evidence of that.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Saving Private Ryan”.

“Saving Private Ryan” is about a squad of soldiers led by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) who after getting through the brutality of Omaha beach get sent further into France to find paratrooper Private James Ryan (Matt Damon). Which sounds weird considering Ryan isn’t even part of their squad, but the order came from higher-ups for propaganda purposes. And while that isn’t overly clear in the movie, it is still there… to raise morale (Greedy fucking American military). But even though the basic plot is simple, it is still a thoughtful, brutal and well-written plot that works in every aspect. It is all portrayed in a way where you believe it and just want to see how it unfolds. In otehr words… it is pretty great.

This movie is just full of acting talent everywhere. You can’t go ten minutes without saying “Hey, it’s *insert actor here*!”. But let’s just go on the most important ones. Tom Hanks (as per usual) is great in this movie. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise considering he is a great dramatic actor (Sidenote: Don’t believe me? Go watch “Philadelphia” and then come back). Next up (and the final one I am going to mention) is the character of Corporal Upham (Jeremy Davies). Now I hear your collective gasps and I will explain. Yes, Private Ryan is in the title, but he doesn’t show up until the third act of the movie. Instead I will focus on another (probably) young character who got a good amount of focus. Basically Upham is this young guy who have never really killed anyone before and Tom Hanks takes him under his wing(ish). Now I already liked Jeremy Davies as an actor after seeing him in shows like “Justified” and “Constantine”, but I didn’t know he was THIS GREAT as an actor. His character is pretty much a coward through the entire movie and he plays it fantastically. Hell, he plays the character well at all times. And I can mention that all actors in the movie were great. All of them.

The score was done by none other than John Williams. And as you probably know, he is one of the best composers of all time. He has made iconic scores, he has made emotional scores, he is just amazing. And he shows it here as well. Having emotional music when there needs to be emotional music and really intense battle music when there needs to be intense battle music. In other words… hell yeah, John Williams!

It is interesting how this movie was shot. I am not saying it does something incredibly unique like “Birdman”, but it is still a curious case. Spielberg is a director who is known for having very steady direction and camera work in his movies (Sidenote: Don’t believe me? Go watch “Jurassic Park” and “E.T.” and then come back). But in this movie he went for a more handheld style. No, it’s not the same as shaky-cam. I am not explaining the differences here, that is for another time. Anyhow, like I said, “Saving Private Ryan” is a rare example of Steven Spielberg going for a more handheld style. And I like it. It gives the movie a more gritty and realistic style, you feel like a fly on an exploding wall. And to add to that we have some of, if not the most brutal and shocking action scenes of all time. Limbs flying off, heads exploding… this isn’t traditional Spielberg. And while the brutality will be too much for some people to stomach, I feel like it just added to the movie and is part of why it is so great.

This movie is one of the most critically well-received movies ever(ish). On Rotten Tomatoes the movie has a 93% positive rating and is certified “Fresh”. On Metacritic it has the incredible score of 90/100. Roger Ebert also loved it, giving it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,6/10 and is ranked #33 on the “Top 250” list. The movie also won 5 Oscars in the categories of Best Director, Best cinematography, Best sound, Best sound effects editing and Best Film editing. It was also nominated for an additional 6 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor (Hanks), Best Original Screenplay, Best set decoration, Best makeup and Best original dramatic score. 

“Saving Private Ryan” is a brutal, gritty, thoughtful, dark movie filled with terrific performances, a terrific score, great direction/camera work, excellent action scenes and a beautiful ending. Time for my final score. God damn it, Jeff. Where is that son of a bitch? There you are, what took you so l- what the fuck happened to your leg? Nazis shot it off? Well do you have the envelope? Thank you! My final score for “Saving Private Ryan” is a 9,88/10. It does of course get the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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“Saving Private Ryan” is now reviewed.

So much trouble for one guy? Damn…