Reviews

New ‘The Suicide Squad’ Trailer Drops

Bring on the misfits for James Gunn’s new Suicide Squad trailer. Everyone is having a ball and it looks like we have a real winner on our hands!

The Suicide Squad: Official Plot for James Gunn's DC Movie Is Here

Don’t mess with Bloodshot because he’s putting Superman in the ICU apparently. It would have been cool to see happen on screen, but nonetheless, stakes are extremely high for the squad this time around, as they will be battling the intergalactic Starro!

The trailer is more of the same, but we really get a sense of why Bloodshot will be joining the ranks of Amanda Waller’s team and that like most men, he wants to protect his family at all costs. I love the addition of Idris Elba to the squad, but obviously, Will Smith and his Deadshot will be missed dearly, but if you’re going to replace him, you can’t do much better than Mr. Elba himself.

This looks action-packed, with a ton of jokes to be had, which won’t be for everyone, but if the jokes work and they don’t seem out of place, they will just add to the experience of the movie. Look at the cast of characters we have going for us, it’s clear that jokes will be made and it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

No one seems safe, but it appears that a few new standouts will make it to the end of the film, Polkadotman, Ratcatcher, and Peacemaker are the clear favorites if we are talking human characters. Give us 3 solo movies of King Shark please, he’s adorable and I won’t be shocked if he ends up stealing the entire movie.

Can’t be a Suicide Squad without a little Harley Quinn and once again, Margot Robbie was actually made for this role and it’s just fantastic that we are seeing her in action again. Her character really works so well with others and especially other misfits such as herself. Love her dynamic with everyone else on the team and the trailer does such a great job at teasing all of the epicness that will come with the real movie.

The Suicide Squad looks to be like a major hit. Drops August 6th!

Reviews

Looking Back At The ‘Fast & Furious’ Franchise

With F9 soon approaching, I’ve decided to do the only logical thing. Going through life a quarter-mile at a time and watching the entire series from start to finish, something I haven’t done in a long time. Sit back, grab a Corona and enjoy the show.

All 9 'Fast and Furious' Movies, Ranked

The Fast & The Furious. Release Date. June 22nd, 2001. Director. Rob Cohen. Box-Office. 207.3 Million. Rotten Tomatoes. 56%

The Fast And The Furious Timeline Explained

Los Angeles police officer Brian O’Conner must decide where his loyalty really lies when he becomes enamored with the street racing world he has been sent undercover to destroy.

Simpler times, remember when this was just a semi rip-off of Point Break. Corona beers, an undercover cop, and a badass yet likable villain. Honestly, I can’t even say Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) is a villain, he’s just misunderstood? Brian (Paul Walker) even falling for Mia (Jordana Brewster) is classic Point Break material. Going back and watching this, it’s like looking at a basic Pokemon. It hasn’t evolved yet into something so grand and epic in scale. Remember this movie revolves around street racing and stolen DVD players. Reading and writing that sentence sounds preposterous when you think about it. One DVD player (LOL) and I truly believe the whole street racing angle of this franchise was the lamest thing about it. This screams the early 2000’s, the soundtrack, the fashion, the technology (I’m not joking, there’s a floppy disc at one point), the god-awful-looking cars, and the fact that Brian and Dom actually ride in a taxi.

The cast is so young and good-looking, something that is still a reoccurring theme of these movies. Leti (Michelle Rodriguez) has come a long way from her being kind of a throwaway character. They even have a hilarious Ja Rule cameo and I could be wrong but he might have the only F-Bomb of the entire franchise (I’ll report back on this later) I’m back and Brian actually drops an F-Bomb in Fast 4!. He’s probably so pissed off that he didn’t become a larger part of this universe with the success of both Tyrese and Ludacris in future movies.

The building blocks of this whole franchise are right here in the first one. It’s remarkable, that 20 years and 8 films later those themes are still present. I’m talking about BBQs and the concept of nothing is bigger than family. Slinging back Corona’s and enjoying the little things in life, are concepts that are deep-rooted in this franchise. Even Dom sounds like normal in this. For some reason as these movies have gone on, his voice becomes more horse and unrecognizable to a certain degree.

Some things work so well from the very get-go. The perfect casing of Walker and Diesel. The immaculate chemistry between Walker and Brewster is something that is a real driving force in the movie. It hits hard when it wants to, it becomes emotional in key moments, it’s just not a movie at this point but a movement The thrilling highway sequence that is actually pulled off really well, is child’s play compared to the future, but nonetheless, the over-the-top dynamics are a part of this franchise from day one.

A tiny seed was planted in 2001 and has grown into a beanstalk. A beanstalk that is going to the moon. I can’t believe what this franchise has turned into.

Rest easy to Jesse, the first heartbreaking death of the franchise.

Final thought. Did Fast & Furious create the post-credit stinger?

75/100

2 Fast 2 Furious. Release Date. June 6th, 2003. Director. John Singleton. Box-Office. 236.3 Million. Rotten Tomatoes. 36%

2 Fast 2 Furious isn't what I expected. | by Ant | Every Day Is Movies | Medium

Former cop Brian O’Conner is called upon to bust a dangerous criminal and he recruits the help of a former childhood friend and street racer who has a chance to redeem himself.

First things first. Amazing title. Like as sequels go, it’s one of the best ever. As for the movie? Perhaps the worst of the bunch. The only movie in the entire franchise that does not involve Vin Diesel and is iconic Dominic Toretto and that is felt without a doubt on this rewatch. This whole franchise is built upon the shoulders of Diesel and when you think back on it, maybe it was the best thing for the franchise that he stepped away for a movie. After the success of the first, Diesel felt that it was a “classic” he didn’t want to ruin the legacy of that movie and what he felt he stood for by what he called “sequelizing” the entire thing. So he decided to part ways and it wasn’t until his cameo at the end of Toyko Drift and becoming a producer on the 4th film did this franchise really understand how important he was.

Now, as for this movie, well, you take out the heart of something, it will usually die. John Singleton steps into the director’s chair and he put his little spin on the franchise, but ultimately the movie is doing doughnuts. Tej (Ludacris) and Roman (Tyrese) join the party, who become part of the fast team and really the comedic duo of the franchise going forward. But with this installment, they kind of feel like replacements. With Vin Diesel sitting this one out, this movie almost felt like a soft reboot, a spin-off almost. New city, this taking place in Miami instead of LA, and these guys felt like the new crew. Obviously, at this time they didn’t know what the Fast franchise was going to be, so it’s not their fault, but when you go back and rewatch it, that’s exactly how it appears.

It’s great seeing the team being built from the early days. Very Oceans 11 inspired, each one bringing their own skills and flair to the team. Friends become enemies and enemies become friends. Not only do our characters and their skills evolve but the movies they’re in. Dom and Brian only work with the very best. James Remar even shows up and does his best asshole cop routine.

One thing that this movie does nail in my mind is the villain. One thing you can always count on with these movies – a great bad guy. They rarely miss when it comes to the people wanting to kill our friends and Cole Hauser is no exception. He brings the necessary cheese, but also the badassness. Without Mia, Brian needs someone to latch onto, he’s a pretty boy after all. So in comes Eva Mendes as another undercover cop Monica, and let’s be real, she could never replace Mia Toretto.

This just feels so disconnected from where the franchise went afterward and you can’t help but think this is the weakest of the Fast franchise.

58/100

The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift. Release Date. June 16th, 2006. Director. Justin Lin. Box-Office. 159 Million. Rotten Tomatoes. 37%

It's Not the Ride, It's the Rider: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) — Talk Film Society

A teenager becomes a major competitor in the world of drift racing after moving in with his father in Tokyo to avoid a jail sentence in America.
The official start of the Fast Universe? Looking back it sure seems like it. Also when you look back you realize that this might have been the 3rd movie released but when you line all the movies up this takes place after the events of Fast 4, 5, and 6. Crazy right? Maybe a little loophole to bring our dear friend Han back from the dead, but also a way to make this movie, that felt like potentially the end of the franchise way more relevant. That being said, Han had already been through so much, I can’t believe we are to believe that he would give a rats ass about this high school drama. When you think about it, it’s a great idea but in the end, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.
This movie is probably the most immature of the bunch, seeing how this is about a bunch of high school kids, then you realize, why is Han hanging out with a bunch of high school kids? Brad Taylor from Home Improvement shows up at the beginning and he’s pushing 30 in this movie and it shows. Our new guy Sean (Lucas Black) is again a worthy addition to the crew, as we know he will pop up in later installments. He’s got heart, he can drive and he really doesn’t back down from anyone. He’s kind of like the white trash version of Brian. We even get Bow Wow in this thing, and I’m not going to lie, he does a pretty good job here. It appears that Twinkie is actually making a comeback in F9 which should please everyone.
The movie is fine, the premise is wild, but again we are talking about the Fast & Furious here. Drifting became a part of driving lingo forever and considering the first three movies are about street racing, this has by far the coolest driving sequences. They feel way less cartoonish than in the first two and it was refreshing to see. Justin Lin steps in as director and you can thank him for that.
Tokyo Drift actually holds up after all this time and again we have a worthy villain in DK (Brian Tee). We get the most forced love story in any movie between Sean and Neela (Nathalie Kelley) and again it’s just not needed in these movies.
Can’t wait for the return on Han.
66/100
Fast & Furious. Release Date. April 3rd, 2009. Director. Justin Lin. Box-Office. 363.2 Million. Rotten Tomatoes. 28%
Fast & Furious': A remake of 'The Fast and the Furious' – The Mercury News
Brian O’Conner, back working for the FBI in Los Angeles, teams up with Dominic Toretto to bring down a heroin importer by infiltrating his operation.
You know what this movie feels like? Like the boys finally graduated high school and left the house for college. The very opening scene of this movie lets you know that things are about to be different. This ain’t about stealing DVD Players no more. The whole mood is different, and things have matured. This is without a doubt at this point the best-looking movie of the franchise. It’s well made and the cinematography is terrific. I wasn’t a big fan of this franchise before Fast Five, I can honestly say I hadn’t really seen any of these movies except for Tokyo Drift. But this certainly feels like the start of the new era of Fast movies. I was kind of in disbelief during the opening sequence.
Just remember, it’s ride or die!
Fans must have been so confused seeing Han pop up. But it’s quickly revealed this is taking place before the events in Hong Kong. They don’t wait long to drop an atomic bomb on you. Letty is murdered. That’s right, Dom’s woman is killed, and he ain’t too happy about it. You get the sense that after almost a two-movie hiatus, Vin Diesel is back and these movies are going to be about him. He became a producer and things revolving around the movies are very Dom centric going forward. We all know that in this universe, no one is really dead…….
On the other side of this bromance, we get our first look at Brian who is now an FBI Agent (said in a Johnny Utah accent). He’s working Shea Whigham! That’s all I will say, come on now, he’s so underused here it’s infuriating. The bromance hasn’t truly bloomed yet between Dom and Brian, in fact, it’s still Brian vs Dom. They haven’t become brothers just yet, it takes this movie and them finally putting aside their differences to come together.
They can’t do it alone, so with Dom, we get the return of Mia. Low key the most underrated character in this universe. She and Brian just work so well, and it’s great to see the band coming back together. Enter Gisele. Played by the incredible Gal Gadot. My god, what a different time this was. Gal Gadot before she became a titan. This is her coming-out party for the world and it’s crazy to think how big of a star she has become. They need to bring her back because again, no one ever really dies and makes her the villain for F10. It would be absolutely bonkers. As for this movie, she’s actually pretty great. She’s a worthy addition to the family and she adds that strong female presence this franchise needs. My guess is they brought her in to replace Letty, but Michelle Rodriguez wanted back in, so the more the merrier. Even Leo (Tego Calderon) and Santos (Don Omar) make their first appearance in the franchise, a brief introduction in the beginning, but they are part of the Fast family for life.
We get John Ortiz and Laz Alonzo as our villains and again, not too shabby. Especially Laz Alonzo has the man responsible for the man who “kills” Letty. He also has the best death scene so far in the franchise, with Dom crushing his lower half with a car, immediately followed by Dom calling him a pussy.
Without a doubt the best so far, and you can even tell by the box-office numbers. Things were on the up and up, and then they decided, let’s go all-in and bring in the Mother Fucking Rock.
79/100
Fast Five. Release Date. April 29th, 2011. Director. Justin Lin. Box-Office. 626.1 Million. Rotten Tomatoes. 77%
Fast Five Movie Stills - Movie Fanatic
Dominic Toretto and his crew of street racers plan a massive heist to buy their freedom while in the sights of a powerful Brazilian drug lord and a dangerous federal agent.
They brought in the big dog for this one. In the immortal words of Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys, “Shit just got real.” Brian has decided its brotherhood over the badge. He’s no longer a cop and is on the run just like Dom and Mia. I would say they finally put their big boy pants on for this one and Fast Five really solidified this franchise into the zeitgeist for the rest of humanity. This movie knocks you on your ass on several occasions and was the real turning point for the franchise.
There’s only one person that can bring these two men to justice, and that man is Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). Like this man needs an introduction. Hired to bring Brian and Toretto in, he’s oiled up and ready to kick some ass. It’s no coincidence that this is the most violent movie so far. Hobbs is snapping necks and cashing checks. A very high body count and people are just getting mowed down. The first staredown between Dom and Hobbs is glorious, it’s building to the inevitable, the ultimate throw-down. All good things come to those who wait. And wait we shall. He also drops the 3rd F-bomb of the series! Seriously though, adding Dwayne Johnson to this franchise is probably the best casting and addition to an already standing franchise I can ever remember.
Vince! Our boy Vince returns and you know that time is just a flat circle. With Vince we get the just incredible car jacking train sequence, that really let us know, these people are now full-blown superheroes. Again, this is the movie where the TEAM is finally built. Their own Oceans 11 impression and everything just falls into place so perfectly. We get the Chameleon (Han), the fast talker (Roman), the person good with circuits (Tej), the guys who will punch through the walls (Leo & Santos), and the utilities and weapons specialist (Gisele). We have our team, obviously, Mia, Dom, and Brian round it out. This is where this franchise really starts to break out and grow and truly shine. This cast and these people are having so much fun and it shows on screen. It’s terrific chemistry between everyone and tossing Dwayne in the mix makes it a tasty recipe. I’ll just say this about the team, Han and Gisele forever! We need them back together, again we need Gal Gadot back, make it happen.
Tensions build, Dom becomes involved with another lady, Elena (Elsa Pataky) and all roads lead to the ultimate showdown. Now, we all knew that this fight between Vin Diesel and Dwanye Johnson was going to go down. We also all knew that neither man likes to lose. In fact, they even have crazy things in their contracts for such movies about getting hit a certain amount of times and all that nonsense. The fight hits hard and it’s entertaining as hell. I think in the end, it goes to Dom, which makes sense, these are his movies.
We all know what happens next. A little friendship starts to blossom between Hobbs and the gang, we sadly lose Vince. Rest easy big fella and the great 3rd act that involves them driving a god damn safe through the streets of Rio. I still can’t believe how well this holds up after all this time. I think this set piece is the crowning jewel of the franchise and you know they had to take a page out of the Oceans 11 playbook with the old – fake safe trick.
Dom’s Dad LOVED BBQs just as much as anyone. We have that man to thank for all the family scenes and where Dom gets his foundational love for all things family and BBQ. Thank you, Mr. Toretto.
What a movie!
96/100
Fast & Furious 6. Release Date. May 24th, 2013. Director. Justin Lin. Box-Office. 788.8 Million. Rotten Tomatoes. 70%

A few words about Fast & Furious 6's post-credits sequence | Den of Geek

Hobbs has Dominic and Brian reassemble their crew to take down a team of mercenaries: Dominic unexpectedly gets sidetracked with facing his presumed deceased girlfriend, Letty.
We get the first Fast baby! Little baby Jack enters our lives and our friends are growing up right before our eyes. He isn’t the only person coming into our lives. Dom, fresh off his retirement, is happy with Elenna living their best life when Hobbs shows up to drop a NUKE on him…..
That’s right, Letty is alive and well, and she’s running with a new crew. The hunt for Letty is on and the ultimate tag-team of Brian and Dom is once again back in action. This time the shoe is on the other foot and it’s Hobbs who needs help. He wants Dom to resemble his team and bring down Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). One of the best parts of this movie is Shaw and his team, like Roman points out, they are almost the evil doppelgangers of our heroes. Roman also drops the 4th F-Bomb of the franchise! They go all out for the villains in this, I love the mirror images of Shaw’s team, especially the brick shit-house Firuz (Thure Lindhardt). He actually manages to do something spectacular, which makes Dwanye Jonhson look small.
This is the movie that you really felt other actors truly wanted to be a part of it. We get new and old faces back in the mix, for me, most notably, Gina Carano (Riley Hicks). She plays Hobb’s sidekick, until a great heel turn in the final act which I didn’t see coming at all the first time I watched. I mention her, because sorry Fenix, she takes the crown for the most epic death yet in the series. Getting shot with a  harpoon gun all while being tossed from a moving plane (Wrong team bitch). Owen Shaw can roster his own amazing team and his introduction, driving a Formula 1 car through the streets of London is as badass as it gets. He’s a formidable foe for our team and the best villain yet. He doesn’t mess around and doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty himself.
One thing this movie did a great job with, the fights. They up the ante with really great hand-to-hand combat. Something severely lacking in the franchise prior to this movie. Everyone is throwing it down at some point, and it just works so well. For me, the middle of this movie is just a ton of fluff, but it all leads to a pretty remarkable last hour. It starts with the tank highway chase scene, which sets up one of the most amazing moments in the series history. Dom flying through the air and catching Letty before landing himself on the windshield of a car. That’s right, there’s a goddamn tank in this movie.
I love that no matter how big or how small your role is in one of these movies it matters. You’re a piece of a puzzle and you need all pieces to complete it. Callbacks to previous movies are always a theme in the Fast franchise and that’s what makes it so special. It means they care.
All roads in this movie lead to the never-ending airstrip sequence. But we don’t care about things like that when it comes to these movies. Everyone is doing their part and everyone is throwing down. Dom’s the fucking Terminator in this scene, from his epic headbutt to him walking away from his horrific car wreck, Dom truly is a superhero here. We also have to say goodbye to Gisele, with her tragic passing, as she sacrifices herself to save Han. Again, we do not see her or her body, and no one is truly dead, we have to bring her back. It’s by far the most emotional death of the team so far and it sucks they decided to kill her off.
Can’t have a Fast movie without a street race and a good old fashion family BBQ. Family, BBQ’s and ride or die, are the staples of this.
Setting up the ultimate stinger, where we finally see the other side of Han’s death and none of than Jason Statham walks out of the car, setting up F7……..and we all know what happens next.
83/100
Furious 7. Release Date. April 3rd, 2015. Director. James Wan. Box-Office. 1.516 Billion. Rotten Tomatoes. 82%
Scene Stealers: Jason Statham in Fast & Furious 7 - One Room With A View
Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for his comatose brother.
Good guy or bad guy, never mess with another man’s family. The movie opens up with our new beloved brothers, Owen, and Deckard Shaw. Owen is somehow alive and well, after his tumble out of an airplane and big brother is by his side declaring war on whoever did this. The biggest foe our team has ever faced, Jason Statham enters the chat and my god is he unbelievable in this! He gets just a rip-roaring introduction, after an onslaught in a hospital.
This movie comes with a very heavy heart, Paul’s farewell. It was emotional at the time and still is on a rewatch. He has a lot to do in this movie, showcasing all of his skills and this movie just feels like the perfect sendoff. From kicking Tony Jaa’s ass to his crowning moment in the series, his amazing, slow-motion run up the bus while it’s falling down the cliff. The team is doing well, but Letty needs some time to herself to find herself, leaving Dom heartbroken, and without any women in his life.
The movie doesn’t take long for us to realize the stakes are at an all-time high. Deckard goes to get the information he needs and comes face-to-face with Hobbs. Now when Dwayne has a busy schedule it’s obvious because he kind of takes a major back seat in this one. But nonetheless, it didn’t take long at all, well, one scene really, for fans to witness the amazing chemistry between Johnson and Statham. They have a kick-ass fight scene, where we see Round 1 go to Shaw (He fights dirty). Shaw gets what he needs and it leads him to Tokyo, and we all know how that ends……….
Shaw “kills” Han and almost blows up the entire Toretto family and now Dom means serious business. The Shaw brothers do not mess around, and when Dom and Deckard finally meet, Deckard lets Dom know that he isn’t playing any games here. Again, Dom has gone from DVD stealer to now need the government’s help. Kurt Russell ladies and gentleman, that’s right, this legend is in a Fast movie. Wild times. Acting as Mr. Nobody, he needs the help of Dom and his team to acquire something known as “God’s Eye.”
He brings the team together once again, and it’s obvious that they are a little short-handed, so Roman is trying his best to carry the load of comedic genius and plan maker. I think this is Tyrese’s best performance out of any of the films, he’s almost the best part of the entire movie. He decides that falling out of a fucking airplane in a car, strapped with a parachute is a good idea. This leads us into our flying parachute mountain car sequence, and that is a mouthful to say. We see the team recuse Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), and she instantly feels like part of the family.
When you watch these movies you almost feel like you’re on vacation. Great cars, beautiful women, amazing music, and exotic locations around the globe. We head to Dubai where our team needs to recover the God’s Eye and we get the bat shit crazy skyscraper scene. It’s moments like these, why I love this franchise so much. It’s always something new and fresh and just when you think they have gone off the deep end, you end up watching Dom and Brian drive a car through three different skyscrapers and things just don’t make sense anymore. They legit fly and somehow manage to not kill anyone and not kill themselves and it’s without question one of the most iconic most in the entire franchise. Meanwhile, Letty is throwing down with Ronda Rousey and she may be a terrible actor, but this fight goes hard!
Dom and Deckard play a few games of cat and mouse, we see Kurt Russell being an absolute badass. We finally head back to the streets of LA. Where chaos ensues, we get Hobbs FLEXING his way out of an arm cast and carry a mini-gun through the streets. Dom literally shows us once again that he is a Terminator when he Hulk smashes the pavement with his foot causing it to break and we watch as Deckard falls to his untimely capture.
James Wan really brings it with this one and it’s no wonder why it made 1.5 BILLION fucking dollars. This movie goes so hard and it’s just so much fun. It even leaves you at the end wiping away those tears. We watched Paul Walker literally grow up before our eyes with these movies and they do a beautiful job honoring him at the end.
84/100
The Fate of The Furious. Release Date. April 14th, 2017. Director. F. Gary. Gray. Box-Office. 1.236 Billion.
The Fate of the Furious Is So Stupid, Our Critic Can't Even | Film | St. Louis | St. Louis News and Events | Riverfront Times
When a mysterious woman seduces Dominic Toretto into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.
Don’t mess with a man on his Honeymoon. Dom and Letty are trying to peacefully enjoy their time alone, Dom is even street racing. In a sequence that involves him driving a flaming car, that’s right, Dom has once again upped his game and is driving a car that is literally engulfed in flames. Happiness doesn’t last forever has Dom soon realizes that the world that he once knew is about to be shattered and changed forever when Cipher (Charlize Theron) enters the chat.
Again, the Fast franchise is like, you thought Deckard Shaw was a great villain, well, get a load of Cipher. Charlize won an Oscar, but she doesn’t care, she’s having so much fun here and she’s quite terrific. She does the one thing the world isn’t ready for, turn Dominic Toretto rogue. Dom vs. The Team, something I didn’t think I wanted, but something we desperately needed.
Hobbs is back! This time we get more of his Dad side as he is the ultimate Soccer coach, it’s great having him full-time unlike the last movie. This is where we all realized he and Shaw needed their own spin-off. From the amazing prison fight scene, to their terrific chemistry, every time they are together on screen. These two just elevate the franchise so much and Deckard becoming a good guy is such a great move for the franchise. His mom even gets involved and it’s the LEGEND Helen Mirren. I love it, everyone loves it, Helen herself loves being present. She even drops an F-Bomb and the term “Devil’s Butthole.”
Dom turns his back on one family to save another. Dom is a Dad! Elena has his kid, but Cipher has them both. We get the soul-sucking Elena’s death which is going to haunt Dom forever, but we get his son Brian and that is something. The airplane sequence that involves the Shaw brothers rescuing the baby is one of the most fun scenes in the entire franchise.
The New York chase scene is one of the most insane things I’ve ever seen. Dom somehow getting away when the rest of the team shoots harpoons into his car is to this day perhaps the craziest thing I’ve seen in any of these movies. It’s short-lived when the team forms a car circle around Dom at the end of the movie to protect him from a giant explosion. But, it’s these kinds of things that keep our fans coming back. We get cars driving on ice our running an iceberg, with Hobbs stopping a torpedo with his arms and passing it along the ice like a goddamn hockey puck. These are things we need in our lives and this franchise is the only one willing to give it to us.
It should be illegal to end a Fast movie without a family BBQ. In fact, all movies should end this way, it just feels so right.
80/100
The latest entry was epic and I can’t wait for F9. I’m not doing Hobbs and Shaw because it just doesn’t fit the mold and isn’t fair to the rest of the family. In no time we will all be gathering around like family and watching F9 and it will probably be the highlight of the summer.
Remember. Nothing comes between family, ride or die, and always live your life a quarter-mile at a time.
Reviews

‘Cruella’ Review

Everyone’s favorite dog-knapper gets an inventive and fresh makeover. In order to become Cruella, first you got to get a little cruel.

Disney's 'Cruella' gave its puppy-killing villain a catty history in the fashion biz and made it work

A live-action prequel feature film following a young Cruella de Vil.
What causes someone to loath Dalmations so much? Well, watch the first ten minutes of Disney’s new live-action Cruella and you’ll totally understand. Emma Stone stars in the tale of the up-and-coming fashion designer/ master thief who is pseudo out for revenge all while trying to make it in the world.
A young Estella (Cruella) is different, she doesn’t belong in her school, she does things her own way and wants to become a successful fashion designer. When she’s introduced to a world she never knew possible, she sets her expectations on her life just a little bit higher. After a freak accident, she is left alone and makes her way to London where she meets up with Jasper (John Fry) and Horace (Paul Walter Hauser). Together they form a thieving empire, where they let their dogs (Wink and Buddy) do all the heavy lifting. As much as she enjoys the stealing, that’s more for her pals Jasper and Horace.
Even bad people have enemies and Cruella doesn’t know it quite yet, but The Baroness (Emma Thompson) is that person. She’s the most powerful person in London, and Estella’s creative side has caught her eye. This is where the movie gives off a little Devil Wears Prada vibe. From there two worlds will be colliding for what was an entertaining and unexpected fun movie. Disney has been turning out live-action adaptations for almost a decade now, each unique in their own way, but none of which have really blown audiences away. Besides The Jungle Book, I haven’t really been that impressed by any of the live-action films. Maybe it’s just Emma Stone elevating the material at play here, but Cruella just felt and looked different.
We all came for the main event, which is Emma Stone. She’s doing the Lord’s work here, even giving us a homage to Heath Ledger and his unforgettable dinner party scene. This is just a fabulous sequence, followed by a big reveal that officially turns Estella into Curella. This is her origin story, tip-toeing between the lines of good and evil. You can tell she’s having a ton of fun, and I don’t want to say she was born for this role, but it’s hard to imagine someone else playing a young Cruella so well.
Forming unlikely alliances with Artie, an owner of a vintage fashion store (John McCrea), and Anita, a gossip columnist (Kirby Howell-Baptiste). Together they all form Cruella’s entourage and they all have one goal, taking down The Baroness. Cruella and The Baroness have some Zoolander-like runway showdowns. With Cruella always gaining the upper hand, the chemistry and dynamic between Stone and Thompson were terrific. You can see all the inspiration at play throughout the movie, and I think that’s what makes this thing so enjoyable.
Mix in a terrific soundtrack, that really boosts certain scenes. The music is a character of its own. Cruella has both style and substance and it’s clearly what separates it from past live-action adaptations. The movie looks beautiful, with some stunning costumes and set pieces, the movie just looks beautiful.
Overall, it’s a win for Cruella. Perhaps a little long in the tooth, but I have no real complaints about the thing. Disney gets a solid win for this and I wonder if we will see more Emma as Cruella in the future. I mean they set up the next thing at the end, you know with those two famous dogs, Pongo Perdita.
Cruella = 77/100
Reviews

‘Mortal Kombat’ Review

The definition of a mixed bag. Mortal Kombat doesn’t come without its flaws, but overall a solid foundation for what’s to possibly come.

MMA fighter Cole Young seeks out Earth’s greatest champions in order to stand against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe.

Everyone remembers their first fatality. It was almost a right of passage for any young gamer. Mortal Kombat has been part of our lives for a long long time and people have been clamoring for a suitable live-action adaption of this beloved franchise. Fans waited almost 25 years since the colossal disaster that was Mortal Kombat: Annihilation for another shot at immortality and to be crowned the winner of the ultimate tournament. When the first trailer dropped, jaws hit the floor because this promised to be bloody and brutal and after seeing the film, some of those promises were kept, but we got a small taste of what could be a very fun new franchise.

Fans are divided, some are happy with the finished product and others wanted more. The characters we all love are present and some stick out more than others and we get that solid R rating that showcased some awesome gore and unforgettable fatalities. I just felt that what we got was satisfying but in the smallest possible way. Seeing all the characters look amazing, most notably Kabal (Daniel Nelson) Jax (Mehcad Brooks), and the cousins Liu Kang (Ludi Lin) and Kung Lao (Max Huang). The show stealing Kano (Josh Lawson) who legit steals almost every scene he is in. Points in my books for all of his popular culture references and his dirty Aussie mouth. That’s a guy I would hang out with. His comedy was something that everyone is talking about and something that almost carries the film when it felt a little slow. His BFF Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee) is a worthy advisory for Kano and they worked really well together. Even the new addition of Cole Young (Lewis Tan) works. Being a new character in the lore of MK I would have liked a little more backstory and character development for him, but hopefully, we get that in the future.

The two superstars of the franchise; Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada) and Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim) really kick off the movie with a pretty terrific first ten minutes. We came for a few showdowns between the two and we get exactly that. They look amazing and really got the sense they enjoyed playing these characters. Sub-Zero is probably the coolest character in the movie because I felt like his powers were on display the most and HELLO – he freezes and breaks Jax’s arms off like a pair of toothpicks. Looking forward to seeing these two fight in the near future.

Now, on to the things that just didn’t work for me. In a movie called Mortal Kombat we want brutal fights. Yes, we get some gruesome fatalities but the fights themselves seemed rushed and not impactful enough, we wanted to see some brutality to these things and that just wasn’t the case. Feeling the weight of punches and these characters feeling a little more human and less superhuman. Also, I’ve never been a fan of quick cut editing and that’s all that’s happening during these fights. Let’s get some long drawn-out edits for our fights for the sequel, something that feels more a fight and less than a montage. Another letdown was the leaders of Outworld and Earth Realm. Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) and Shang Tsung (Chin Han) were weak. Barley having anything to do and we didn’t even get to see them throw down. Sure, we get the classic soul-suck from Shang Tsung but at the end of the day, these are two massively important characters that felt so bland. King Goro himself, who was a massive upgrade from ‘95, was WASHED! He didn’t even have a speaking part or a scene to explain who the heck he was for people who don’t know the character. Sure, he was amazing to look at, but he’s King Goro, put some respect on his name. Now, he will be back for the sequel, or at least I think he will be.

Overall, I think Mortal Kombat was solid enough to warrant a sequel. Things need to change, maybe find a new director and better writers. Simon McQuiod might have bit off a little more than he can chew. Being his first major studio movie, it felt that way with some of the decisions being made. Look, we had to wait over two decades for a new movie, this isn’t a hot commodity and I do think there were more positives than negatives, but the negatives perhaps outweigh those positives.

I’m excited for what this franchise could be. With the right direction behind it, fixing the mistakes and listening to the criticisms from fans. There’s a bunch of good ingredients here, they just need to find the right recipe. We should know pretty quickly if we will be getting a sequel within the next few years. Hope we do.

I’ll leave it on this. When a man uses a hat as a buzzsaw to cut someone in half, obviously I’m going to enjoy that movie.

Mortal Kombat = 71/100

 

 

Reviews

Looking Back At ‘Mortal Kombat’

We are a week out from Mortal Kombat coming back into our lives. So I decided to review the 1995 movie and see if it lives up to the nostalgia hype.

15 Things I Just Learned About the 1995 Mortal Kombat Movie – We Minored in Film

Three unknowing martial artists are summoned to a mysterious island to compete in a tournament whose outcome will decide the fate of the world.
Release Date. August 18th, 1995. Director. Paul W.S Anderson. Box-Office. 122.2 Million
This movie kind of gets you amped up and ready to go from the very get-go. The epic and I mean epic opening intro, you know – MORTAL KOMBAT! At the time movies that had been based on video games didn’t have the best track record, hell they still don’t. Even 26 years later, this is still regarded as one of the best video game movie adaptations of all time. I’m not sure if that’s saying a lot or saying very little.
I’ll say this, the movie is fun. It’s 26 years old, clearly, the movie will feel very ’90s, and since then the lore and mythology and love for all things MK has only grown. We were dealing with an IP that was still kind of a baby. That being said, in everything we get, I do feel like there was a real heart behind this project. Just at this time, studios didn’t want to pour a ton of movies into a video game movie film.
Personally, the casting is almost flawless. Liu Kang (Robin Shou), Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras), Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby), Raiden (Christopher Lambert), and Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) couldn’t be more perfect in their respected roles. I think that’s what really drives this movie forward because without proper casting we all know what happens – I’m looking at you MK Annihilation (which I won’t be reviewing). The only characters that needed to be properly cast and flushed out were Scorpion and Sub-Zero. At the time, they looked cool but they are almost meant to be low-level side characters and they are anything but that. The new movie looks to revolve around them and their history, so we will have come a long way from them being very disposable.
The fights feel like 1995 fight scenes, nothing special but some very memorable moments. Most notably Johnny Cage versus both Scorpion and Goro. Probably the highlight of the film, great one-liners and at the time Goro was King Shit. That will be one of the bummers from the new movie the absences of Johnny Cage and it will be interesting to see if maybe he shows up during a post-credit stinger.
We can’t really talk about this without blessing Robin Shou because he is the embodiment of Liu Kang. His incredible flow, his awesome moves, and the fact he was the only big three cast member to come back. It would be great if some of these OG cast members popped up in the new MK, I guess we will know soon enough.
The film works, it’s got some great set pieces, a fun cast, and some enjoyable fight sequences. It’s aged pretty well and as far as video game movies go, it’s near the top of the list. It set the bar pretty high in the ’90s.
Memorable and hasn’t been forgotten. Mortal Kombat showed fans what could be done with video game properties and we have waited well over two decades for the next chance to see these beloved characters in action. I can’t wait for the new movie to drop, GET OVER HERE!
Mortal Kombat = 68/100
Reviews

New ‘F9’ Trailer is Wild!

Strap in folks, the fast team is heading to space

Fast and Furious 9': Official Title and First Trailer - Variety

One of the most remarkable achievements in cinema is the Fast & The Furious franchise. It started as a semi ripoff of Point Break, only to evolve and become one of the biggest and most successful movie franchises we have ever seen. This is installment nine people, and it looks like there’s really no slowing down for Dom and his family.

Speaking of Dom, he is a full-on superhero now. No one and I mean no one would be shocked if he shot laser beams out of his eyes at some point. That’s what makes these movies so unique and so much fun. Remove your brain from your skull before you walk into the theatre because there’s no critical thinking here, it’s all about fun. These are blockbusters, and they are here to stay.

One thing this franchise knows how to do is reinvent itself. They added Dwayne Johnson when the franchise felt stale and he injected his charisma and charm and turned this whole thing around. Now they are adding another wrestler turned actor with John Cena. He looks like trouble and doesn’t seem to have a hard time buying into the Fast cheese.

The trailer is straight-up insane, with so many crazy things going on, it’s hard to pinpoint just one. But fans have always teased that the team would go to space, and the last 15 seconds of this trailer certainly teases that premise. What’s not to love, everyone involved is having so much fun, there’s no reason we all shouldn’t do the same. The assembled cast is one of the best in movies right now, and what this franchise promises are twists and no one is ever truly dead.

They would be fools not to bring back Gal Gadot at this point.

Reviews

New ‘Black Widow’ Trailer

We journey through Black Widows past, present, and future in the newest trailer.

Marvel's Black Widow movie postponed due to coronavirus - CNET

The world has been chomping at the bit for the next MCU movie. It’s been almost 2 years since Spider-Man Far From Home released and everyone wants some Black Widow action. The latest MCU shows have been filling the void for the most part but everyone wants just a little bit more. Enter the Black Widow. We all know how this all plays out, but filling in some gaps of her story is something fans have wanted for almost a decade. We might finally find out exactly what happened in Budapest!

Learning more about Romanoff’s life and most importantly her family will be the backbone of this story. Does her little sister played by Florence Pugh take up the mantle in present-day at the end of this? Only time will tell. The trailer is more of the same, great looks at everyone involved, especially Task-Master the film’s villain. The Jack of all trades apparently, displaying skills from a ton of Natasha’s teammates. He’s unique and could be a worthy foe for the Romanoff family.

It’s been pushed back and delayed more than we can count but it finally looks like Black Widow is locked into place and we will all be enjoying it soon enough!

Movies are back!

Reviews

‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Review

The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world. The King of the jungle vs the Ruler of the seas. Fight night. Let me tell you, it lived up to the hype. Godzilla vs Kong is good old fashion fun.

Godzilla vs Kong Box Office Opening Day Breaks Pandemic Records – /Film The epic next chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse pits two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another – the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong – with humanity caught in the balance.

When people ask me why I love going to the movies so much, it for movies like Godzilla vs Kong, it’s why we go to the movies. Movies like this should be experienced on the biggest screen possible, with the volume so high it almost hurts your ears. I’m so happy I got to watch this in IMAX, the first movie I have been able to watch in a theatre since July and only the second movie I have seen since the pandemic began. I was like a kid on Christmas watching two of the meanest and biggest monsters this world has to offer throw down.

We revisit the Monster-Verse that start all the way back in 2014 when the first Godzilla came out and things have grown immensely since. Here we are almost a decade later and the fate of the world is being decided by the biggest showdown we have ever seen. Two titans and rightful rulers in their own minds. Have decided it’s time to settle this debate of who is the alpha dog once and for all. When you walk into a movie that is titled Godzilla vs Kong, well, you want it to live up to its name and the movie does just that. The movie wants you no matter the age to feel like a kid again, we all did it, smash our action figures together, pretending it was the biggest battle of all time. Now we are seeing it play out in real-time. Because when the action hits, it’s just simply breathtaking. I can’t stress enough how gorgeous the fight sequences were. The use of color, the surrounding landscape, the fight choreography which was the biggest boost from previous movies, makes it all so enjoyable. We are talking about a massive jump in quality between the fights in King of The Monsters and this, it was blowing my mind. Director Adam Wingard knows what we want to see. The fights are clean and crisp, you can tell exactly what is going on and the use of POV shots and the immense power during some sequences is the best of that stature since Pacific Rim. The last 20 mins are some of the best-looking movie footage I have ever seen on the big screen and I can’t even imagine what movies are going to look like in 10 years.

Like always, the biggest flaws of these movies are the none essential human characters. These movies always have them and it’s what grinds the fans gears the most. It’s difficult at least right now to have a movie of this size and proportion without the help of some human interactions and plot. I think they are okay and don’t weigh the movie down too much, but again, the problem isn’t the human characters, is just there are always 3 or 4 too many of them. Kyle Chandler and Millie Bobby Brown return as the heads of Team Godzilla, while they had Bryan Tyree Henry and Julian Dennison to their roster. I’ll focus on their team because right away, I love Kyle Chandler but he’s so underused to the point he didn’t need to be in the movie. He adds nothing and it’s just a prime example of screen time wasted on one human character where we want more Kong or Godzilla. Now for Team Kong, we get an all-new team of Alexander Skarsgard, Rebecca Hall, and the stand-out of the human side of things Kaylee Hottle. She plays Jia a deaf survivor of the Skull Island tribe who is Kong’s friend and communicator. I didn’t even mention any of the evil humans that round out the cast, Eiza Gonzalez, Shun Oguri, and Demain Bichir who all felt a little too cartoonish. Eiza Gonzalez who I love is another character we could have done without. Is the plot a tad silly? Of course it is, but it’s a movie about a giant monkey and a giant lizard kicking the living shit out of each other, what do you expect?

When you have a movie with a versus in the title that usually means one shall reign supreme. Would I say there is a winner here? Yes. But I would also say that gets tossed out the window about 5 mins later. Remember there is another monster lurking in the shadows awaiting both of our titans. Where the Monster-Verse goes from here remains unclear, but I think this was a jolt of lightning the franchise needed because this thing even with the pandemic going on is going to be a success.

Overall, Godzilla vs Kong is all the hoopla you would want from such a movie. It’s big, it’s loud, it’s fun and most of all it looks beautiful. Clearly, some changes might have been made after King of The Monsters, but Adam Wingard really encompassed what makes both of these characters special. Pays respect to the past while embracing the future.

Just remember Kong bows to no one.

Godzilla vs Kong = 87/100

Reviews

Looking Back At ‘Godzilla’

With Godzilla vs. Kong releasing, let’s travel back to the movie that kicked off this Monster-Verse, with the almighty Godzilla.

The world is beset by the appearance of monstrous creatures, but one of them may be the only one who can save humanity.

Remember a time when Godzilla just wasn’t part of our lives? At least not here in North America, going 16 years without a major Godzilla movie to hit theatres. Times had changed. This wasn’t the 90’s and the last time this iconic monster was on screen, let’s just say, it was quite forgettable. In fact, the Roland Emmerich take on Godzilla was flat-out embarrassing. The world needed a new and fresh take that felt a little more this century.

In comes Gareth Edwards who knew a thing or two about making a monster movie. Not only was he bringing in one of the biggest monsters this world has ever seen but coming along for the ride was at that time, the biggest thing on TV – Bryan Cranston. I remember it like it was yesterday, Bryan Cranston screaming “it’s going to bring us back to the Stone Age!” During the first teaser trailer for the film. The marketing was off to a flying start because we thought it was going to be Walter White vs. Godzilla. We all know that’s not what we ended up getting but none the less seeing Cranston in this movie was incredible to see, just wish he would have become a major player in this Monster-Verse.

Instead, we got the Maximoff twins. Aaron Tyler-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen headlined this movie and for me, they have been some of the best human characters this universe has had to offer. Johnson’s stoic performance where he was a soldier who happened to be a jack of all trades – is another character you wish you saw again. Taking part in the “halo jump” sequence which is to this day arguably the best scene this franchise has to offer.

Gareth Edwards takes a play out of Steven Spielberg’s playbook by teasing us for the majority of the film with the creatures. Much like Jaws, it isn’t until the end where we finally get to see Godzilla in all of his glory and the suspense and build-up works so well in Edwards’s favor. He is a sight to behold and it wouldn’t be right to introduce us to him so early in the film. Because once the film gets going and especially in the third act, when the violence starts – it hits hard. I’ll never forget that noise, you know, the sound of Godzilla building up is legendary Atomic Breath. Watching him shoot that into the MUTO’s mouth is something every movie fan will never forget, what a moment!

Unlike the next installment, this doesn’t feel so bogged down by the character development because it felt so needed. Like I mentioned it takes a while for us to even see Godzilla, this isn’t the sequel where that mystique and suspense is still lingering. They seem essential to the plot and at this time they are unsure if Godzilla is friend or foe. I really liked Tyler-Johnson and Olsen in their roles, I know some people will disagree but they just felt so grounded, with King of The Monsters everyone felt like a comic-book character. Speaking in one-liners and just being either disposable or filling their cliche role.

Overall, I think Godzilla reminded us what we can have with these types of movies and where the genre was going. Pacific Rim, Kong: Skull Island and King of The Monsters really show just how great these movies can look. It’s difficult to put it all together. The special effects are something to behold and I’m excited to see how Godzilla vs Kong expands this universe and how Adam Wingard will bring his own sense of style to this franchise. Godzilla remains a great larger-than-life monster movie filled with good performances and some unforgettable movie-going moments.

Godzilla = 84/100

Reviews

New ‘Spiral’ Trailer

The next installment of the Saw universe appears to breathe new into this long and forgotten franchise.

Spiral Tempts Chris Rock in New Image from Saw Sequel

Spiral, a movie that perhaps was lost among the pandemic, now has everyone’s attention with the newest trailer. For a franchise that became more of a parody on itself, I think it’s time we take this movie seriously.

Just by watching this trailer, you can clearly tell this has perhaps the best cinematography in the entire franchise. It looks beautiful and we have some real actors having actual performances, something the last few Saw movies were definitely lacking.

(Barrett) Chris Rock and (Marcus) Samuel L Jackson are a father-son duo with a complicated history. The driving force of the movie, Rock is giving his best performance in a long time. The thing about this new trailer is that it keeps you guessing. Barrett can’t trust anyone and neither would you with everything that’s going on. We are in the world of Jigsaw so expect the unexpected, one great thing about his trailer that will ultimately lead into the movie, it keeps you guessing and on your toes.

Saw fans will rejoice that we are getting a new and what looks like an improved look at the franchise. Bring on the games.