Fast & Furious 6

AGAIN with the layering of the previous film’s ending and the current one’s beginning! IT’S BABY TIME!  “Our old life is done.” My butt. Not if the producers have anything to say about it.

The. Recap. Sequence. Is. Everything. The. Song. Is. Perfection. They do a good job of setting this next job up, scenes and dialogue reminiscent of Fast Five. And when Hobbs goes to Dom for help… Well it really goes to show that you can do anything you want in the movie industry. Even bringing people back from the dead #LettyLives.

6.4

My favorite scene in this installment happens very early on. The second Dom reaches out for help, the team – I’m sorry, the family, drops whatever they’re doing. No questions asked. Shoot, Roman turns a private jet filled with women around. That’s true loyalty.

6.5

The first time we meet Owen Shaw, we get a taste of just how brilliant and precise he is. Brian wasn’t kidding when he said the team is up against something they haven’t faced before. I mean, they’re bringing in some high tech go karts. Or dragsters. Whatever. AND THOSE CHIPS. What is this? The year 2340?  Oh, and if these movies had Friends episode titles, this one would be The One Where Letty Shoots Dom. Or The One Where Tej is the King of Sass.

6.8

They really brought it for this one. The fight scene between Letty and army chick, as well as Han & Roman versus the ninja guy – very well done. But I must say, the clear winner is Letty when she uses the handcuffs to her advantage.

6.7

Then Brian starts to bring up the tears when he is willing to sacrifice his freedom to go see what, wait for it, BRAGA, knows about Letty and Shaw. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? BRAGA IS BACK. Shit just got real. Oh, and Stasiak is still a douche. But at least know he’s a helpful douche. Brian’s still got it.

6.9

Oh hey, now we’re back to basics. This time, with a quick cameo from Rita Ora. “RIDE OR DIE, REMEMBER?” I also love how the Europeans say “Ready, steady, go”, it does seem to make more sense in my opinion. Also, is it me, or do Letty and Dom drift in their race? THAT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE A THING YET. It’s the same way with the Harry Potter movies and spell introductions. The best part, though, is how you can see Letty fall in love with Dom again, solely because of the way he drives.

6.3

SIDENOTE: Vin Diesel gives me hope, because though he’s in serious shape, he still has a double chin.

Finally, Brian returns safely from America and its time to actually go up against Shaw full force. But…. He has a tank. Han saves Gisele’s life, AGAIN. And some seriously impossible stunts occur. I mean, legitimately dramatized. “WE NEED MORE ALPHABETS.” If that’s not enough…

6.1

… PLOT TWIST #SaveMia. Then we have two of the saddest moments in this franchise to date. “Tokyo it is.”
I hope you all are handling the emotions better than I do.  Now we must wait until April 3rd.  Vaya con dios.

~Tales

 

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Fast Five

Arguably my favorite of the franchise, it is time we delve into Fast Five.  ARE YOU AS EXCITED AS I AM?  If you can’t even appreciate how they layered the end of the fourth movie in the opening scene of the fifth movie, then please, show yourself the exit button.  This is the first of the franchise where it really feels like a sequel.  Yes, the first three were a part of the franchise, but the fourth and fifth have that continuity that I am talking about.

5.4

RIOOOOOOOO de Janeiro.  Thanks to this movie, the city tit onto my travel list.  They even brought back Vince!!!  Admittedly, not my favorite character, but at least he lost the chain mail tank.  And found his own woman so he could leave Brian’s alone.  Sorry, that was very anti-feminist of me – women are NOT property, but hey, I’m fangirling here.  And my fangirling reaches new heights when I discover that BRIAN AND MIA ARE PASSING THEIR GORGEOUS GENETICS ON TO THE NEXT GENERATION.  Blessed.  The scene of them on the train sitting = relationship goals.  At least, MY relationship goals.  Why?  Am I alone in this?

5.2

It only makes sense in this franchise that the first “job” they attempt goes horribly south.  Otherwise they’d have no problems evading American law enforcement, including new franchise addition Dwayne Johnson, aka Hobbs.  Then this Portugese dude had to go and say something that seems SUPER sketchy and raise a red flag with Dom.  Which causes Brian to risk his life, again, and jump onto another moving vehicle.  But he’s doing it for Mia *sheds lone tear*.  Two DEA agents get killed, Dom and Brian get blamed, and the Feds are on the warpath.  NOT TO MENTION, that the Rio drug cartel is also looking for the dynamic trio.   Yay for conflict!

5.8

First, Vince just has to bring up Letty?  Low. Blow.  Then Thor’s “motivated” wife is introduced into the franchise.  Bad news bears for our favorite team.  Literally, it’s because of her that Hobbs and co. even find Dom, Brian and Mia.  But they’re not the only ones hot on the trail – it’s like a love triangle, but for crime.  Behind the scenes-wise, I’m convinced that when filming this chase scene they could only shoot less than a minute at a time.  Those alleys are quite narrow and limiting.

The next scene further solidifies my theory that Mia is the lynch-pin, because her pregnancy and stubbornness about staying together is the reason that brings some old friends back into the mix.  “One last job” must be the mantra that keeps the franchise going.  As well as “We’re gonna need a team”, aka Han, Roman, Tej, Gisele, Leo & Santos.  And I must say, they come up with a brilliant plan for this “last job”, too bad those pesky Feds are bound to muck it up.

5.7

The next few scenes consist of laying the groundwork for said job, but they are mostly to develop or accentuate the relationships between the team.  I will say, that for being my favorite film in the franchise, it probably has the least amount of actual driving/racing.  They even set up a primo race scenario while “practicing” for the jobs and THEY SKIP OVER IT.  Rude.  Clearly I am here more for the story-lines and characters.  ESPECIALLY a new blooming romance, aka Han and Gisele.  They are utterly perfect for each other, and then Gisele has to go and hit Han with the “Don’t send a man to do a woman’s job” line.  At least she knows what she’s doing.

5.1

Even though they didn’t put as many racing sequences in this one, they did put them in at the right moments.  I am, of course, referring to the million dollar quarter mile.  Perfect moment to keep the tone of the film from getting too serious and showing that they are truly becoming a family, not just criminals working together for money.  Even though they are that too.  The witty banter and one-liners of this scene are probably why it’s in my top five for this particular movie, for example: “Oh, imma get this money. I’m HOOONGRY”.  Oh Roman…

5.3

Time for “one last job”, and did I, or did I not call it?  The Feds muck it up.  Then the cartel mucks it up.  Everything gets seriously mucked up.  For what they lack in racing scenes, they make up for in combat sequences.  Obviously a fight between Hobbs and Dom is what the audience wants to see, but there is literally no reason given for said fight.  Other than a battle of testosterone.  But because everything gets mucked up, it gives Hobbs and the team common ground and a reason to work together.  Clearly meant to set up the next film installment, but I digress.

There really is no question that Fast Five is my favorite of the franchise (so far).  It is the first one where the Fast Family is really explored and prominent.  It is also the first plot where they have something to fight to protect.  And really, who doesn’t love a movie of protection?  Taken anyone?  Only one more Fast movie to review before the new one is released.

5.5

~Tales

 

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Fast & Furious

Now things are REALLY starting to get good.  Why, you ask?  A. Paul Walker is in primo babe form.  B. Pitubll dominates the soundtrack.  C.  It’s the first installment where the team is actually fighting for something.  The franchise returns to LA, so let the games begin.

4.6

It was a nice touch to have the opening sequence reminiscent of the first film.  Especially as the franchise is bringing back the original cast, plus a few others along for the ride.  HAN LIVES.  Or have we gone back in time?  It might be a movie… Or two before we find the truth.  Thankfully Letty has left her impossibly 2001 wardrobe behind.  We also have Don Omar and Tego Calderon, and I’m pretty sure they’re the Spanish versions of the two old Muppet guys.  Once again, Dom’s driving skills are basically heaven sent.

4.1

“I hear Rio is nice this time of year…. Ride or die, remember?” – THE ULTIMATE IN FORESHADOWING.  Letty is the face of the Ride or Die mentality.

I do wish they had given us some explanation as to how Brian O’Conner went from stealing evidence to becoming a federal agent “five years later”.  I can’t complain too much, because Paul Walker really know how to work that suit.  Literally though, the first 10 minutes of this movie is information overload.  WHY IS LETTY GONE?  HOW DARE SOMEONE MURDER HER!  Clearly said person does not know what kind of war they started.  That’s like taking Liam Neeson’s daughter.  Another question though, who in their right mind would let Brian O’Conner have ANYTHING to do with capturing Dominic Toretto?  Are they insane?

4.4

Interesting how Dom and Brian just “happen” to cross paths while looking for the same guy…  Or fate, whatever.  So at this point, they’re either going to kill each other or let bygones be bygones.  But that fourth guy in the race who asks, “Who’s closing these streets?”  Seriously?  Someone’s a little naive.  And why must Brian always point out that “he almost had Dom” or that Dom “cheated”?  Let’s take some responsibility, O’Conner.

4.3

LOVE the conversation with Dom, Brian, and Campos, “He used to date my sister”.  Understatement of the century.  And then basically nothing happens until we all take a ride down to Mexico.  You know, they never actually address Gisele by name.  Again, maybe it will take a movie or two to actually hear her name.  After watching this franchise many, many times, you really begin to notice the tiniest details.

Sidenote: Stasiak is a douche.

Now it’s time for an installment of Sophie’s Choice.  Brian must choose between his job and his own moral compass.  Will he help Dom again OR will he decide to actually obey the law for once?  STAY TUNED KIDS.  Oh wait, Dom is bleeding and Brian’s White Knight complex appears to save us all!  But can I be candid?  Clearly the best scenes are when Brian, Mia, and Dom are all together.  Duh, family FO’ LIFE.  Also, Brian and Mia are the perfect couple.  SPOILER ALERT: Their children will win the genetic lottery.

4.5

“Nothing really matters unless you have a code.” – LOVE AND FAMILY, WHY DO YOU EVEN HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT?  That’s literally the basis of this entire frachise.  PLOT TWIST: “When were you gonna tell me you were running Letty?!”  Seriously, though, from this point on the plot twists just keep on coming.  But the important thing is that true love conquers all, right?

4.2

Overall, one of my preferred Fast and Furious movies.  Not the best, but a VAST improvement from the third one.

~Tales

 

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The Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drift

Let me preface this by saying there is an 83% chance that this review transforms into a rant.  Does anyone actually like The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift?  No?  So we’re on the same page, then.  I must say, it is extremely different rewatching this installment of the franchise when you are completely up-to-date.

F&F 3.1

FIRST OF ALL, the most boring opening sequence to a movie.  HOW ON EARTH IS THIS SUPPOSED TO INTRIGUE US FOR THE REST OF THE FILM?  I do appreciate the song choice, though (Six Days by DJ Shadow).  I do understand the point of the opening sequence, it’s supposed to show a cliche and monotonous high school existence.  All the better to show the drastic differences in Tokyo later.  Literally the worst part of this movie happens in the first two minutes: A KID IS GETTING BULLIED BY OTHER STUDENTS AND SEAN DOES NOTHING TO HELP HIM.  WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, SEAN?  Then the first race is in the “Shangri-La Estates”.  Who do they think they’re fooling?  Is that supposed to be some form of foreshadowing?  There was no punch to that first race.  It didn’t have even 1/5 of the intensity that the first two Fast and Furious movies had.  Maybe because we go into it knowing that they are stupid teenagers, but I digress.

His relationship with his father is EXTREMELY uncomfortable to watch.  There is no connection/bond there.  Also, what a horrible thing for his father to just let him sink or swim in getting to his high school on his first day by himself.  Rude.  And the shoe thing is definitely something that would’ve happened to me too, but I would’ve turned beet red and possibly cried.  I AM AN EMOTIONAL PERSON, OKAY?

And now, for one of the two bright spots in this entire film: TWINKIE AKA BOW WOW.  That car, though.  I’m never fully sure how to process the sight of it.  I do love my Marvel characters, but that is a bit much.  Again though, I appreciate this music choice (My Life Be Like by Grits).  My real question is, how did Twinkie get introduced to the race scene in Tokyo?  What was his connection?  And how does he get his hands on all of that merchandise he’s pushing?

F&F 3.5

Hello to the other semi-important characters, including “the Justin Timberlake of Japan”.  BUT PRAISE THE LORD FOR HAN, THOUGH.  LITERALLY THE BEST CHARACTER IN THIS MOVIE AND THE ONLY THING THAT SAVES IT.  Even the drifting isn’t impressive enough to redeem this story.  It’s literally Han.  His chill personality and blase`attitude are the best.  The only one with enough patience to try and make Sean a real driver.  I am genuinely embarrassed for Sean in his first Tokyo race.  Did he really have to let his pride and hot-head get him into trouble on his FIRST DAY in a new country?  Like, you have NO clue about the lifestyle and culture of this country, so lay low for a bit.  It’s really common sense.  But I love how Han gives Sean no choice but to follow his command and learn from him.  What does he see in Sean?  For those of you who have seen the entire franchise already, then you know the answer to this question.  As do I.  I also know the answer to how Han can afford all of his toys.  THE REST OF YOU NEED TO GET ON MY LEVEL.

F&F 3.2

Twinkie’s breakdown of the social/model scene in Tokyo is hilarious.  And honestly, probably true.  If I were a gorgeous model with guys either always trying to impress me or too scared to talk to me, I would totally go for the funny guy.

“Who you choose to be around you let’s you know who you are.” – THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT QUOTE OF THE ENTIRE MOVIE AND OF COURSE IT IS SAID BY HAN.  “Life is simple: you make choices and you don’t look back.”  Part of me wishes that we got to see Sean’s drift training in real time because I am very curious just how long it takes someone to learn it.

F&F 3.4

The rest of this movie though, at least until the VERY end, I cannot really handle.  HOW DARE THEY? HOW. DARE. THEY.  You know what I’m talking about.  But the ending is perfect.

F&F 3.3

~Tales

 

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2 Fast 2 Furious

Here it is folks, the next installment of my Fast and Furious series!  I can almost feel the excitement as you read this.  This is definitely not the best one in the franchise, but I love some aspects of it.  One very important one being that it introduces Ludacris and Tyrese into the franchise.  Their one-liners and dynamic are the best.

F&F 2.4

Kudos to the director for having Tej (aka Ludacris) be the first character that the audience sees in the film, especially with his huge afro.  THEN to find out that he and Brian O’Connor (aka love of my life Paul Walker – RIP) already have a mutually respectful relationship?  Perfection.  For real though, it really helps set up the plot of the film.  Plus Suki is just a badass.  Then Eva Mendes just appears and what happens?  BRIAN GETS CAUGHT.  Then blackmailed into helping the feds.  Thankfully, Brian has the sense to demand a decent partner, which brings in Roman.  And this series would be nowhere without Roman and his bald head.

F&F 2.6

F&F 2.5

Their mission?  Help the feds bring down a drug trafficker and money launderer.  Will they succeed?  Depends on Roman keeping his cool and Brian staying focused.  Switching coasts really helps the audience get into the mindset that the second installment has a completely different plot than the first.  That way, they know they can expect some amazing driving sequences, but different character development and relationships.  Plus the scenery is way more gorgeous that LA.

THIS FEDERAL AGENT, THOUGH.  HE IS LITERALLY A DOUCHE-BAG THAT IS TRYING TO GET THE GUYS KILLED.  Seriously, Agent Markham, get your ego in check and lose the assumptions.  Just because Brian and Roman made some questionable life choices doesn’t make them inherently bad people.  If you can’t tell, this guy is my least favorite character.  Which is saying something because Carter Verone is a real piece of work.

Also, where can I sign up for the Brian O’Connor School of Driving?  I would have no problem being teacher’s pet in that class.  I’m also 99% sure that Roman loves to take off his shirt, or at least expose his abs, every chance he gets.  But I can really relate to him on a spiritual level, because he’s always hungry.

F&F 2.1

F&F 2.2

I think my favorite part to this movie is that it focuses on Brian regaining Roman’s trust.  He earned and broke the trust of the Torretto family in the first movie, so then to do a complete 180 degrees and have to earn someone’s trust back is a good progression.  It’s also the movie where Brian finally realizes that he needs to look out for himself and always have a backup plan.

OH GOD ANTHER TORTURE SCENE.  I can’t handle these.  ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, SOMEONE STOP THIS.  Especially when it is a disgusting rat.  Yuck.  I feel you, Eva Mendes – I would have the same horrified look on my face if I was in your position.  Honestly, this is the scene where Brian and Roman need to run for the hills.  Luckily for the audience they’re more daring and willing to risk more.

And then all hell breaks loose.  I still wonder just how hard it was to accomplish that car scramble.  Did it take a lot of takes or did everyone know exactly where they needed to go?  How much of it was computer generated?  These are the questions that won’t keep me up at night, but I still need the answers to.  Alas, I may never find out.

F&F 2.8

PLOT TWIST.  Verone was testing Eva Mendes.  FYI I never bother to learn her character’s name.  I’m pretty sure they only say it out loud once.  No point.  To me, she’s just kind of there as eye candy.  But then Brian has to play the hero and save a damsel in distress.  NO. YOU BELONG WITH MIA.  OR ME.  Anyway…

F&F 2.7

What a fun ride we just took together.  Keep your eyes peeled for my take on the third film- The Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drift. aka the one that will hopefully make sense when the 7th film comes out.

~Tales

 

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The Fast and the Furious

While watching The Fast and the Furious and drinking tea together may sound a little odd, it is actually a pretty decent combination.  Obviously this movie really calls for pizza and beer, but it’s been a long week and I need tea and Brian O’Connor to soothe my soul.  Let me preface by saying this franchise is my second favorite movie franchise in the entire history of film.  I will space out the reviews (so not consistently for the next six weeks), it would be too simple to do them back to back to back.

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First of all, HOW DANGEROUS IS IT TO ATTACK A SEMI-TRUCK ON THE HIGHWAY?  Is that very real risk to your lives worth the money you get for the cargo???  Way to start the movie off with a bang.  There is no mistaking that this movie is centered around cars.  Enter Brian Spilner (aka Brian O’Connor).  HELLO GORGEOUS.  But you really need to handle that vehicle a little better.  Keep practicing, baby.  CONFLICT.  Mia Toretto.  Vince.  Brian.  Drama.  First of all, Vince, Mia is not your property so get that through your thick skull.  But their fight gives us the first glimpse into what Dominic Toretto is prepared to do for his family.  Good thing he can be calmed down easily, because otherwise this movie would not have gone any further.

F&F 1.2

POP THE HOOD.  The first race.  I’m really feeling Brian’s car and every time I see Ja Rule’s character I can’t help but laugh.  I’m pretty sure the purpose of this scene is to show how Dom owns street racing and how Letty owns Dom.  A little advice for Brian, don’t ask for respect.  Demand it, prove it.  And then don’t get cocky about “almost” winning.  Just don’t.  The look on his face after he realizes he lost says “Dammit, did I just screw everything up?”.  But he saves it all by rescuing Dom from the cops.

F&F 1.5

“Two years in Lompoc, I’ll die before I go back.”  MAJOR FORESHADOWING.  Then when Dom brings Brian back to his house for a beer, we are all Mia – scrambling to get ready because a beautiful guy is about to walk into your home.  At least, I would.  Then she breaks up a potential tiff between Brian and Vince.  WAY TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE SITUATION.  She really knows how to handle a man.

PLOT TWIST.  Undercover.  Also, iced cappuccinos?  Especially in those glass mugs?  Could you be any more pretentious?

So they have three family businesses?  The sandwich place, racing, AND a garage?  I absolutely LOVE the character of Jesse.  A genius with ADHD makes for good drama.  Then we can see something that really ages this movie – FLOPPY DISKS.  Who here remembers those?  Love it.  Then Vince has to ruin my nostalgia moment by being a little bitch about Brian eating family dinner with them.  No sweat off Dom’s back though, he knows Vince will be back.  Besides, he’s too busy watching out for who needs to say grace.  Priorities.  Also, Jesse’s prayer is perfect.  Way to come back and pretend you still have your dignity, Vince.

I’m pretty sure Mia is the lynchpin of this franchise.  Yes, Dom and Brian have the most dynamic relationship, but Mia is the glue and the one person all of the main characters would go to the ends of the earth for.  How would they say no to her?  Her and Letty are all about female empowerment.  They should really be characters that get more attention, if only for the younger generation of girls.  I’m not saying they’re perfect, but they don’t ever play the victim – they take control and don’t let stereotypes bring them down.

F&F 1.1 F&F 1.4

How cliche is it to have a bar called El Gato Negro in this movie?  Also, BRIAN’S COVER IS ALMOST BLOWN.  Thanks a lot, Vince.  I blame pretty much everything on Vince, because he is one giant baby.  Despite him being a perceptive baby.  My least favorite scene directly follows, the one where Johnny Tran and his posse torture that guy.  Even after watching this movie countless times, I still have to look away.

Then we have some character development and relationship building – yada yada yada.  Just kidding.  I love these parts of the movies.  THAT CAR DOM BUILT WITH HIS FATHER.  So much symbolism, I can barely process it.  The car that never dies, it’s basically Kenny from South Park.  Also, HOW DARE THE COPS THINK DOM IS AN OUT OF CONTROL CRIMINAL.  He obviously shows remorse, and Brian’s not wrong when he says that Dom is controlled.  Losing a father would be enough to cause anyone to lose control once.

RACE WARS.  Time for shit to hit the fan.  Now we see that Brian really cares about everyone, trying to talk sense into Jesse before he bets his pink slip.  DON’T DO IT JESSE.  Nuts.  Also, don’t ever call Dom a narc.  Not safe for your health.  Neither is walking up to Letty all intimidating – girl will knock you out.  Then we have the cliche “I was undercover, but my feelings were real”.  That brings Paul Walker’s count of movie with that component to two.  Speaking of, maybe I’ll review She’s All That soon.

SURPRISE, there are four family businesses.  Bad things are about to happen.  Oh, and they are just outside Coachella?  Why do I not see any girls with high-waisted shorts and flower crowns?  A bit early for that, I suppose.  Well, I may not be Vince’s number one fan, but it pains me to see him in danger like this.  Okay, maybe Jesse was the lynchpin of this particular movie in the franchise, because without him, everyone seems to be screwed.  I mean, Leon just disappears never to be mentioned again.  Whoops, spoiler alert.  But not really because his character is pretty inconsequential.  Oh my gosh, THERE IS SUCH FORESHADOWING WHEN LETTY CRASHES AND CRAWLS OUT OF HER CAR.  I will say no more about that, though.  For now.

F&F 1

Dun-dun-dun.  Dom finds out that Brian is actually Brian O’Connor.  He just saved Vince’s life, but at a price of the rest of Dom’s family.  THEN BRIAN DECIDES TO GO NATIVE AND STEP TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LAW.  What a depressing way to end a film, but a great way to set up a sequel.  Man I love this franchise.  Don’t worry, I will continue with all of the others that have been released so far, but you might have to *pause for dramatic affect* wait.

 

~Tales

 

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