Fast & Furious 6: Super Summer Blockbuster

May 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Fast & Furious 6: Super Summer Blockbuster | Review 2013

CARS, TRUCKS, TANKS, PLANES, CHASES, FIGHTS, EXPLOSIONS & MORE!

I love action movies. Actually I love movies in every genre… But holy crap do I love action movies! 

Fast Five was an entirely new direction for this explosive franchise but it was Rock solid.  They way this franchise has evolved over 6 films is truly remarkable.  But…  I have to tell you…  If they keep raising the bar like they did with Fast & Furious 6, I don’t know if my brain can handle  Fast & Furious 7,8,9, 10 and beyond!

Much like the series itself, this movie begins with a focus on the importance of family.  Before you know it, you’re right in the middle of a tank battle on the streets of Spain.  The action sequences just kept getting bigger and crazier and the film progressed.  It’s pure fun on the big screen.

Now, I’ve praised the film’s action a lot already but Fast 6 is not without it’s flaws.  This franchise has a reputation for giant plot holes and…  ahem…  convenient character moments.  Not too mention cheesy dialogue and awkward humor.  They are all back in the sixth installment…  But this movie recovers from these moments better than any other film in the franchise.

[Spoiler Alert]

For example, the way they handled Letty was a bit of a let down at first.  Memory loss is an awfully convenient story device to get her back on track.  It’s worth an eye roll or two but the filmmakers don’t let her off the hook so easily.

So many movies feature memory loss and all it takes is a good shot to the head and all is well.  I sat back waiting for Letty to fly out of a car, hit her head and remember everything.  That never happened.

Handling her story this way only strengthened the family theme woven throughout this adrenaline filled tale.  You never turn your back on family.

[End of Spoiler]

Sometimes, it’s okay to switch of and hit the gas!

Luke Evans is my favorite villain of the franchise.  He’s a ruthless and calculating foe who is miles ahead of Dominic and his team at all times.  You can’t raise the bar in terms of action without having a villain worthy of such chaos.  Shaw was everything he needed to be.

The team is all back including The Rock (in his 3rd summer movie of 2013) who is truly a part of this family now.  Dominic, Brian, Roman, Tej and the rest of the gang are all in fine form as well.  But these films are all about fast action and this movie delivers more than you can imagine.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen G.I Joe Retaliation, Oblivion, Pain & Gain, Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness.  Each of these films delivers good action (maybe not G.I Joe) but none of them compare to this if you’re an action junkie.

Fast & Furious 6 is relentless.  The final act is non stop big screen mayhem.  Sometimes, you don’t need a deep story.  Sometimes, it’s okay to switch of and hit the gas!

I’ve always loved BIG action movies.  I’m honestly considering seeing the film second time just to experience that epic final act on the big screen again.  Fast & Furious 6 may not be my favorite film of 2013 thus far but it’s definitely the most fun.  If you love this franchise you don’t need convincing.  If Fast Five didn’t win you back after 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift, I’m willing to bet the sixth installment will.

Fast 6 knows exactly what it should be.  An action movie and it’s a damn good action movie.

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Excited about this summer’s movies?  Check out this preview of 2014’s biggest blockbusters.

PS: The way they set up Fast 7 in the credits literally made a woman in my theater yell: “Holy Sh*t!”  I knew the reveal was coming and I was still surprised.  This franchise is poised to get even bigger!?  Nice!

Pain & Gain: Michael Bay’s Small Movie Surprises

April 30, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Pain & Gain: Michael Bay's Small Movie | Review 2013

PAIN & GAIN COULDN’T POSSIBLY BE A TRUE STORY RIGHT?

That’s a question I asked myself throughout Pain & Gain.  How can a story like this be true?  Then came a moment where Dwayne Johnson’s character stood outside barbequing the fingerprints off human hands.  In that moment, Michael Bay decided to throw a font on the screen:

“This is still a true story.”

From that point on, I truly understood the film for what it was.  Once you understand a movie like Pain & Gain, it becomes easy to sit back and enjoy the mayhem.

I’ve always been a fan of Michael Bay.  I especially enjoyed Bad Boys & Bad Boys 2.  Pain & Gain fits nicely next to those two films.  The movie is a gruesome (yet funny) tale about the dark side of the American Dream.  Mark Walberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie team up to create their own fast track to the good life in ways you won’t believe.  The movie lives and dies on whether or not you like the characters they play.

Honestly, I didn’t fully understand Mark Walberg’s character, Daniel Lugo.  For someone who spends the majority of the movie talking about hard work he is awfully quick to hatch an insane kidnapping plot to get rich quick.  It’s tough to sympathize with a character that hates when criminals get ahead yet chooses a life of crime in order to get ahead.  However, this movie isn’t about believable motivations because these are real people!

I’m officially a fan of Anthony Mackie.  (I’m really looking forward to his portrayal of Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.) His performance as Adrian Doorbal provided some of the film’s biggest laughs.  He is simultaneously the voice of reason and eager schemer.  He would have stole the show if it wasn’t for The Rock.

Dwayne Johnson is THE reason why I enjoyed Pain & Gain.  His character, Paul Doyle, is the most consistent source of laughter and sympathy in the film.  One moment, he’s the head cheerleader on Team Jesus.  The next, he’s robbing bank trucks and feeding his own toe to dogs.  (Did I just type that?)

It still seems odd to laugh at true events too idiotic to believe.  How could they possibly believe they would get away with it?  It’s an interesting choice for Michael Bay to inject comedy into such a violent story but I think it’s the right choice.  These three body builders kidnap, torture, extort and murder people.  You almost feel guilty laughing at them as their schemes go awry.  But that’s the point.

This is a true story after all.  If Pain & Gain were based on original material, I don’t think it would have the same impact.  You can tell Michael Bay had fun stepping away from Autobots to make a smaller movie.  I wish he would have left some of his signature shots behind as well but he can’t seem to resist the ol’ circular tracking shot.

I liked Pain & Gain but not enough to recommend you catch it in theaters.  If you like Bad Boys or movies like Crank, Pain & Gain will definitely entertain you.  Just wait until it pops up on Demand.

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Fast Five Is Rock Solid

April 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Fast Five Is Rock Solid | Fast & Furious 5 Movie Review | Movie Blog

WE’VE COME A LONG WAY FROM THE DAYS OF
TRANSPORTS FULL OF DVD PLAYERS

[UPDATE] The movie made $83,639,000 in it’s opening weekend!  The biggest April opening of all time.

The first Fast & Furious movie came out when I was in high school.  Way back when I knew tons of people who hung out in front of coffee shops with their cars.

I had a 1996 Cavalier…  It was bright red with a sweet spoiler!

Note: This isn’t my exact car but it’s a fair representation of what it looked like.

Fast Five Is Rock Solid | Fast & Furious 5 Movie Review | Movie Blog

Ahem…  I don’t know anything about cars but a few of my friends ‘souped’ up their rides quite nicely.  Needless to say, when I saw The Fast & The Furious, I hitched a ride with them.

Leaving the theater that night was awesome.  All I wanted to do was paint the interior of my car silver and install some custom tail lights.  In the end, all I got was a red shifter knob.  (Is it even called a shifter knob?) I used it to get the most out of the 52 incredible horses that powered my vehicle.

A HIT & MISS FRANCHISE IS REBORN

2 Fast 2 Furious was okay but without Dom and the gang, it was lacking.  I’ve never seen Tokyo Drift out of protest because  I wanted the original team back together.

I got my wish with the entertaining Fast & Furious a few years ago.  It wasn’t amazing but it brought the franchise back to it’s roots and paved the way for a new film that truly made me smile.

FAST FIVE HAS COOL CAR CRASHES!

Fast Five Is Rock Solid | Fast & Furious 5 Movie Review | Movie Blog

If you loved the first film and tolerated the fourth, Fast Five will make you fall in love with the franchise all over again.  From the opening shot, this movie doesn’t pretend to be anything less than an action packed thrill ride.  As far as story goes, it’s your basic ‘we don’t like that guy so let’s steal his money’ scheme.  Mixed with a little ‘holy crap a ruthless FBI agent is after us’ and you’ve got yourself a heist movie!

Joining the team for this entertaining chase through Rio?  Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson!

At first his presence is a little cheesy.  Then I realized the entire franchise has a history of cheese and quite frankly, I’m okay with that.  I didn’t go to the theater to get a deeper glimpse into Brian and Mia’s relationship. I wanted cars.  I wanted fights.  I wanted explosions.  The Rock fit right in.

Fast Five delivers everything and more and even tries valiantly to establish a ‘family first’ theme.  To accomplish this, the film reunites the best characters from the entire series and successfully reboots the franchise as far as I’m concerned.

Something producers confirmed by stating that Furious is destined to be a heist franchise.

I’m okay with that.  If the next installment packs in as many chases and action sequences as Fast Five, fans like me are in for one hell of a show.

Mild Spoiler: Especially if the scene after the credits is any indication.

If people ask me if I would recommend Fast Five I would instantly say yes if they loved the first film.  If anything it’s worth it to see The Rock vs Vin Diesel.  Not to mention the crazy train sequence and the incredibly intense and car crushing finale.

The 2011 summer movie season is officially underway and we are off to a great start.

Only this time, when the movie ended I hopped aboard the subway and walked a couple blocks!  Take that Civics!

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Fast Five Is Rock Solid | Fast & Furious 5 Movie Review | Movie Blog

All Time Best: Unfortunate Movie Death Scene

March 22, 2010 at 10:45 pm

All Time Best Movie Moments

I’m aware this is probably one of the most random topics for an All Time Best post but I really feel bad for poor guy.

The scene is from The Rock and it definitely ranks as one of the most unfortunate death scenes any character has ever suffered.

The Rock Gas Rocket

In case you haven’t guessed by now, the scene in question involves a no name character who unfortunately demonstrates the awful effects of being exposed to VX Poison Gas. Essentially, he’s a part of a team looking to steal 16 rockets to hold San Fransisco hostage so Sean Connery can reverse-escape Alcatraz. (Otherwise known as… The Rock)

During the theft, one of the shiny green balls breaks releasing deadly gas into the room.

The results aren’t pretty. Basically, your skin melts off.

Be warned.  I’ve included the clip so beware of spoilers and/or gross face melting.

You’ll feel bad for him. Who wouldn’t?  I wouldn’t want to be exposed to VX gas.  That’s probably why the movie’s premise worked so well.  No one wants an entire city to suffer what this poor guy does.

If that doesn’t qualify as a high ranking ‘unfortunate’ movie death scene, I don’t know what will.

PS: I have a feeling this post will get a sequel someday soon.  I’ve already thought of more.

Thought of a better one? Be sure to comment.  I’m sure there are millions of examples.