Fast Five

fast and furious yacht jump

It’s hard to believe that a little Paul Walker vehicle (pun so fully intended) from a over a decade ago has turned into one of the box office’s most beloved franchises, spawning no less than five sequels, all while seamlessly shifting genres, earning new fans at every turn, and keeping The Rock‘s baby oil handler very much in the money. The Fast and Furious franchise is a surprise hit all around, and with the release of the series’ unbelievable sixth entry zooming into a theater near you this weekend, fans everywhere will soon be debating the best exploits of Brian, Dom, and the rest of the family, and things are no different here at Reject HQ. What’s the best act of vehicular mayhem in the franchise? The sickest stunt? The most oily Rock appearance? We don’t know, but we sure know what we like best from the series that just won’t pull over. Strap in, buckle up, start your engines, and drive off into the sunset with five of our favorite scenes from the Fast and Furious franchise.

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Ever since Chris Tucker uttered the phrase, “Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?” in the trailers for the original Rush Hour, that pairing of him and martial arts legend Jackie Chan has become, for better or worse, an enduring part of our pop culture lexicon. Despite the initial joy everyone experienced by watching a loud black guy and a bumbling Asian guy teaming up and becoming friends, however, by the time the third film had come and gone, it started to feel like the Rush Hour formula was getting pretty tired, and should probably be put to bed. At least, it felt that way to audiences. To people who make lots of money producing a franchise, things tend to look a whole lot different. That’s why, when Crave Online asked Rush Hour producer Arthur Sarkissian if he has any new projects on the horizon, it comes as no surprise that he responded, “I am working on Rush Hour 4 right now with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan.” He went on to explain his statement by saying, “I’m trying to do it closer to how I did Rush Hour 1, more down to earth, more gritty, introduce two new characters and make it real the way the first one was. I personally was not happy with the third one. I thought 1 and 2 were very good. I think 3 got out of hand a little bit. It’s not a matter of just bringing them […]

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It should be news to no one that a sixth film in the Fast & the Furious franchise is heading into production. The last film, Fast Five, is the highest grossing installment in the series, and regardless of the film’s quality that’s one hell of a feat. Happily, under the guiding hand of director Justin Lin, Fast Five actually managed to be a damn entertaining movie. (Stupid, but entertaining.) Lin is returning to helm the sixth film, and many of the usual suspects are along for the ride including Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Fast Five‘s MVP Dwayne Johnson. Previously announced newcomers include the charisma-free Luke Evans (Death Race 2) and Haywire‘s kick-ass leading lady Gina Carano. It’s assumed that both will be playing for the bad guys. If that assumption is correct, they’ve just found themselves a third team member.

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Reel Sex

People were up in arms Tuesday after the announcement of nominees for the 84th Annual Academy Awards. So many seem to forget that every year they are disappointed with the nominees and every year there is some film or performer who was left off or included on the prestigious list. I may have spent the final weeks of 2011 lamenting my utter ennui with last year’s films, but I never in a million years expected some of the Oscar outcomes. No Supporting Actor nomination for Albert Brooks, whose performance in Drive unnerved audiences to the core? Or the blatant disregard for solid documentary filmmaking in The Interrupters, Buck, or Project Nim, three entries into filmmaking that will forever impact the way we view the world around us? No, the Academy seemed to forget the impressive and daring offerings in favor of an adorable dog in a silent film. What is this, 1920? Last I checked The Jazz Singer pushed us into the land of the talkies. I could spend all day gnawing my tongue over which films shouldn’t have been included in this year’s awards recognition, but just like arguing the virtues and evils of the MPAA, our time is better used talking about some of the sexy pieces of work that the Academy felt were too provocative to include (for reasons I have completely made up in my mind. Hey, they have their prerogative, I have mine.). Going along with the Academy’s new voodoo math rules of deciding the […]

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Year in Review: The Best Scores and Soundtracks of 2011

It has been quite the year in film, but even more so when it came to the music in those films. We got scores that pushed the envelope, soundtracks that were full of nostalgia and orchestration that could easily fit in to the 1930s. It was an eclectic year that introduced us to new talent while also reestablishing the music from existing ones. Normally when the year comes to close, I look back on the various soundtracks and scores from the films that came out and I can easily hone in on a handful that most stood out to me. 2011 was not that kind of year. With even more artists becoming composers (The Chemical Brothers and Basement Jaxx), impressive composers coming to the forefront (Cliff Martinez with his scores for The Lincoln Lawyer, Contagion and Drive, two of which made this list) and childhood favorites back on the big screen (The Muppets and Winnie the Pooh), there was a huge pool of talent and good music to choose from. And although it makes my task of rounding up the top picks more difficult, it also means films are getting filled with more and more good music – a trend I hope (and expect) will continue in 2012. But on to this year’s picks!

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The 10 Best Action Films of 2011

Some other sites or site runners may look down on lists, but those people are what are known as no-fun douche bags, because really, lists are awesome. They are short, easy to digest little morsels that you can wash down with a carbonated beverage, argue about, and take recommendations from. If you don’t like lists, you are worse than Hitler. You know what’s better than Hitler? Lots of stuff, like peanut butter cookies with little peanut butter cups pressed into them. That, and also these ten action movies, which are my favorite for the year. Yeah, you’ll probably disagree, so comment below or get your own damn website.

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While writing F6st and the Furious, director Justin Lin, screenwriter Chris Morgan and star/producer Vin Diesel just couldn’t jam in all the story and character development they needed. Nay, that the story itself demanded. According to Diesel (via THR), they’ve decided to add a seventh movie into the franchise. “We have to pay off this story, we have to service all of these character relationships, and when we started mapping all that out it just went beyond 110 pages,” said Diesel. “The studio said, ‘You can’t fit all that story in one damn movie!’” Well, what were they expecting? The movies in this franchise have always been primarily about character arcs, emotional evolution, and providing audiences with a keyhole look into the soul of humanity. Plus, it’s helpful that Fast Five has made $626m worldwide so far. It seems crazy, but it’s wonderful to see such a dialogue-based, mature story being such a smash blockbuster commercially. Let’s all raise a glass to the intellectually nuanced F7st 7nd F7r777s! That is, if you can hear yourself thinking over the crunching of popcorn and revving engines.

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The Holiday Gift Guide: DVD and Blu-ray

Merry Christmas movie/TV/goat-cheese lovers! As part of our week-long gift guide extravaganza thingamajig we’ve put together a list of Blu-rays, DVD and a few other ideas for you to use when shopping for others or for putting on your own Christmas list. Or both. Some of the films below are from years past, but they all hit Blu-ray and/or DVD this year so they totally count for this gift guide. Click on the links to be magically transported to Amazon, AmazonUK and other places where lovely things can be found.

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We don’t often report on casting rumors so far in advance of production, but seeing as the very fun Fast Five hit DVD and Blu-ray today it seem fitting that we pass along this item about its inevitable follow-up. Well, two items actually. According to the fine folks at Twitch, Universal is hoping to move forward next year on filming two back-to-back installments of the Fast & Furious series to take place throughout Europe. It only makes sense as Fast Five was both the highest grossing and most entertaining of the bunch. The plan is for Justin Lin to return for part six and for Peter Jackson to take over directing duties on part seven. That’s not strictly true, but Jackson seems pretty comfortable being attached to one half of simultaneously filmed epics so I figured I’d suggest it now. It won’t happen, but how curious are you now to see a Jackson directed muscle car movie? The second piece of info uncovered by Twitch is that the franchise producers are hoping to lure Jason Statham into their fold for one or both of the films. Adding him to the mix seems like a no-brainer especially as the series heads to Europe. Statham is British after all, but more relevant to the matter at hand is his status as a follicle-challenged ass kicker who knows his way around a car. Can you even imagine the sweat and testosterone overload sure to occur when Statham, Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson go […]

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This Week in DVD

Welcome to FSR’s first DVD column for October 2011! There are lots of interesting titles hitting shelves today including two third or fourth generation sequels that surprise by being far more entertaining than anyone expected them to be. In addition to Scream 4 and Fast Five several smaller films are coming out too including the giallo-inspired art film Amer, Zach Braff’s indie drama The High Cost of Living, the sweetly comic UK coming of age film Submarine, and more. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Buck Buck Brannaman has a special appreciation for the equine species that helps him understand and communicate with horses and their owners. He’s been labeled a real life “horse whisperer” and even assisted Robert Redford on his film of the same name, but his life wasn’t always a success story. This documentary takes a man and a subject so purely American and finds real heart, pain, and inspiration in the tale. All of it is engaging, but the bit towards the end about a damaged and violent colt is suspenseful and heartbreaking.

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The Reject Report

Oh, yeah. It’s a verb now. It’s not easy for anyone to open a period piece with no A-list names and the only brand loyalty coming in the form of its director and producer. It’s even difficult for J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg, which would indicate why Super 8 underperformed in its opening weekend. Don’t get me wrong. $37m is a great opening. When you consider the sci-fi/family drama/coming of age story reportedly cost $50m, that $37m seems even more impressive. Analysts, myself included, were estimating in the $45-55m range, and much of that stemmed from Spielberg and Abrams, who is directing his first film that isn’t part of a large franchise with this one. We obviously overshot the estimate, but maybe some of us just wanted the film to perform better.

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The Reject Report

Imagine Brad Pitt standing on a desolate road holding a gun on director J.J. Abrams. Sitting in front of Abrams is the mystery box, that figurative enclosure in which Abrams stores the secrets of his latest project. Brad Pitt screams a phrase we haven’t heard him scream since 1995, and as Abrams reaches into the box to reveal what’s inside (hint: it’s not Gwyneth Paltrow’s head), a shot rings out. Abrams drops dead, but it isn’t Pitt’s gun that fired. It’s Judy Moody who is standing behind Pitt and who, as of now, is NOT having a bummer summer. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s a lame story with a stupid ending. You try writing these intros out every week. Let’s get to the number, okay?

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The Reject Report

Could have been a B-. Maybe even a C+. The point being X-Men: First Class rose to a somewhat acceptable occasion, about what was expected. Especially by analysts who realized the film wasn’t being backed by Hugh Jackman, the first time in the franchise, and was comprised of an entirely new cast. Add into that mix the idea that X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine were both such colossal disappointments, and it seems X-Men: First Class did rather well despite all it has going against it. It still opened larger than 2000’s original X-Men, but the film still came in fourth among the franchise’s debuts.

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The Reject Report

And I hope they’re teaching math. But this class is probably more about learning skills like flinging energy beams from your eyes or learning how to hone you telekinetic abilities. I kind of wish I had some of those right now. That way I’d know exactly how many audience members will be attending X-Men: First Class this weekend, and my numbers will be a bit more accurate than they were this time last week. Thanks a lot, Kung Fu Panda 2. Regardless, it seems pretty evident First Class will come in #1 this weekend, as it opens unopposed. That is, if you consider the gargantuan second weekend Hangover Part II is likely to have. Still, I’m sticking with my guns. First Class all the way, but its debut might not be as astonishing as some would hope. Let’s look into that more right now.

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Boiling Point

Pointing out the flaws in Hollywood is easy – there are hundreds of them. Unfortunately for the entertainment system, I’m a fan of taking the low road and always pointing those flaws out. After all, it’s not easy to be mad every week without taking a few cheap shots. A child of the 80s, I’m a big fan of action. Guns, knives, swords, bullets, punches, jump kicks, Van Damme, you name it, I dig it. Hell, I’ll watch the shitty UFC/WWE vehicle movies that go straight to DVD just to see somewhere get punched in the eye socket. You’d think action movies would be easy to make and send to theaters. Toss in some fireballs, some blood, some roundhouse kicks – easy, right? Apparently not. I mean, sure, we get good action films every now and then, maybe even once a month – but how many more just fall flat? What’s wrong with Hollywood and action movies when one of the best, if not the best, action movies so far is the animated Kung Fu Panda 2?

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The Reject Report

They set sail. They walked the plank. They scuttled some…things you might scuttle. And in the end, whether it lived up to expectations of analysts or the openings for the previous two films, Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger Tides ripped into theaters with an impressive debut. Unlike Dead Man’s Chest or At World’s End, this fourth entry in the Disney franchise didn’t smash any records, but it ranked fairly well on charts such as biggest May opening and biggest opening day gross. Where On Stranger Tides goes from here is curious. The film ended up costing a reported $250 million despite Disney’s claims they were “cutting back” on the visual grandeur and overall budget. Regardless, the film has already punched out $346.4 million in worldwide ticket sales, so the future seems to be in order for Captain Jack Sparrow to return for Pirates 5.

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The Reject Report

What the hell does that even mean? Of course, you’ll have plenty of time to contemplate that phrase for all it’s worth, as the Reject Report this week is going to be a little lean this week. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides hits theaters far and wide, and that’s it, folks. No one dared step up to the May 20th date for counter-programming, because, really, how do you counter-program Johnny Depp? You don’t. That’s how. Even the limited releases this week don’t have anything noteworthy to brush upon. So shiver those timbers, and when you find out what that means, let me know.

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The Reject Report

Sure, Thor came in at the #1 spot for the second weekend in a row. Sure, the big debut of the weekend, Bridesmaids, had to settle for the #2 spot with a little over $10 million less than the summer blockbuster. Sure, the rankings are out there, but it’s hard to deny Bridesmaids the big winner spot of the weekend. For one, the R-rated comedy had a lot more to overcome in terms of mass appeal than Thor. The Marvel fandom is pretty widespread, and a number of comic book fanatics who are frothing at the mouth for The Avengers were certain to head back in and see Thor a second time around. Also, a number of tickets sold for Thor cost more than those sold for Bridesmaids between the price swell for 3D tickets and IMAX. An evening ticket to an IMAX screening of Thor could cost $5-10 more than an evening ticket to Bridesmaids. It’s a factor that is always in effect when a movie is playing in IMAX theaters, but it’s not one that gets considered too often.

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The Reject Report

Hello, May weddings. Hello, May wedding movies. Those maids of the bride sure are going to rake in a boat load of cash this weekend, but a certain God of thunder might have a thing or two to say about them taking his throne. There’s also a 3-D movie coming out from the guy who directed Legion. You remember that movie, right? The worst of 2010 until Jonah Hex came out. Sorry, Jonah. We won’t be invoking your name for too much longer. It’s all part of the Reject Report this week. Now where’s that bag of rice?

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Boiling Point

I, like many people, went out to see Fast Five and be dazzled by its complex plot and characterizations. Just kidding, I went to see shit get blown up, crashed, smashed, and shot. I was pretty excited to see two separated-at-birth meatheads, Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, smash sweaty brows into each other. While the racing is always cool, I think this is the installment where the physical action really shines through. The gun fights and the fist fights were both more exciting than any of the driving. And while enjoying The Rock and Vin Diesel try to lay the smack down on each other, I got to thinking: why isn’t The Rock a bigger star? I mean, who cares about Vin Diesel? Just kidding. Vin Diesel is fine too. But really I was thinking about Dwayne Johnson. Do you smell what he’s cooking? I don’t think so, because he hasn’t been in nearly enough films. Right?

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published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C
published: 11.18.2014
B+
published: 11.14.2014
B+


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