Paul Walker

lucasblack

If we can all agree that “jumping the shark” has undeniably become an actual term that really exists for describing the point where an entertainment property strays too far from its initial concept and loses its relevance, then it seems reasonable we would also have to agree that the Fast & Furious franchise seems to be the one property out there that looks to be completely immune from experiencing the phenomenon, no matter how many giant sharks it jumps its souped-up muscle cars over. Most successful movie franchises can spit out three, maybe four films before they start to feel completely tired, but here we are in the pre-production phase of Fast & Furious 7, and the series seems to still be picking up steam. Already we’ve heard about plans they have for a Fast & Furious 8, after all. If there was any period where it looked like the Fast & Furious franchise was actually going to fly off the rails and lose its profitability, it was with the third film in the series, Tokyo Drift though. That’s the film that failed to sign up franchise stalwarts Vin Diesel and Paul Walker for featured roles, and had to instead rely on telling its story through the eyes of a new protagonist played by Lucas Black. This didn’t work out so well because Black was terrible in the movie, everyone missed Diesel, and Tokyo Drift ended up making less than half of what the next-least profitable film in the series […]

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Pawn Shop Chronicles

The Movie Gods haven’t been gentle to Wayne Kramer the past few years. After his critical darling The Cooler and a recent cult favorite Running Scared, Kramer ran into some trouble. He went through hell trying to keep Crossing Overtogether after Harvey Weinstein stripped it down to the “important” soft picture Kramer didn’t intend to make. More recently Kramer went through a tumultuous development with Bullet to the Head before exiting the project over creative differences. But he’s come back with a movie that is very much in his wheelhouse. Pawn Shop Chronicles is a dirty, highly-stylized crime picture which would play nicely as double-bill with Running Scared. We spoke with Kramer about the film, sex in American cinema and how to get a project greenlit on the spot.

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Pawn Shop Chronicles

Tossed into theaters with little fanfare, Pawn Shop Chronicles was dreamed up as a “hillbilly Pulp Fiction” that saw three stories swing in and out of one pawn shop in rural somewhere-or-other. It’s probably still on a few screens, but it’s also getting a DVD/Blu-ray release on August 27th, and it looks like the kind of thing that might thrive on home video. Fred Durst was set to direct early on, but along the way he left and Wayne Kramer (Running Scared) took over with Paul Walker, Elijah Wood, Vincent D’onofrio, Matt Dillon, Norman Reedus, Thomas Jane, Lukas Haas and Brendan Fraser in an Elvis costume starring. That’s an intense cast (and there may even be women in it, too!). After watching the trailer, it’s hard to tell what the stories are all about beyond a bunch of insanity floating around near drugs and weaponry.

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review vehicle 19

Michael Woods (Paul Walker) has arrived in South Africa with something to prove. He’s just recently been released from prison back in the U.S., and even though it constituted breaking his parole he chose to cross the ocean to try and patch things up with his girlfriend. She works at the embassy in Johannesburg, so after landing at the airport he rents a car only to discover the rental agency has screwed up and given him a minivan instead of the model he requested. Short on time he decides to just roll with it so as not to be late for his mea culpa. Rushing through traffic, sometimes on the wrong side of the road, Woods discovers a few things in the car that just don’t seem right. There’s a cell phone in the glove compartment. There’s a gun beneath the seat. And there’s a woman, bound and gagged in the trunk. Vehicle 19 aims to be a claustrophobic thriller about a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time, but while the pieces are there the film just never comes together in anything resembling an engaging fashion. The easy person to blame is Walker, but while he brings very little to the film the script is just as guilty of a culprit. It’s almost as if Walker was expected to bring all the cache of his Fast & Furious character to the role, but no one stopped to realize that Walker’s charisma has never been that franchise’s selling […]

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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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review furious 6

It seems every summer is ruled by comic book movies these days, and 2013 is set to be no different. Iron Man 3 fired the first shot, and titles like Man of Steel and The Wolverine are waiting in the wings. One big film curiously missing from the conversation though is Furious Six, but just because its characters aren’t splayed across the covers of Marvel or DC comics doesn’t mean they’re not indestructible superheroes here to save the day. O’Connor (Paul Walker) and Dom (Vin Diesel) are living it up in Spain alongside their honeys (Jordana Brewster and Elsa Pataky respectively) thanks to the massive score from their adventure in Rio. Their hulking nemesis Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) appears on their doorstep one morning with a simple deal. If they help him catch a criminal scourge who’s been stealing top secret military hardware and breaking traffic laws then Hobbs will grant them all full pardons back in the USA. The icing on the muscle car-shaped cake is a recent photo he shows them of Dom’s ex, the long thought dead Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), who’s now running with the bad guy. Fans of Fast Five will be thrilled to know that the ridiculously over the top antics here make that film look like a pledge-week episode of NPR’s Car Talk. And yeah, I know that’s a radio show. It’s bigger, dumber and more fun than its predecessor, and it knows exactly what its audience wants. That last bit can’t salvage the film’s […]

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Vehicle 19

Watching the new trailer for Vehicle 19 doesn’t really give you a very clear idea of what the movie is about, but it does make it clear that some high-ranking and dangerous people are very mad about something, and that in order to stay alive in the face of their wrath, Paul Walker is going to have to drive really fast and crash a bunch of cars. For fans of the Fast and Furious franchise, of which there are many, that should be enough, so look for Vehicle 19 to be a big hit. The rest of you are likely going to be harder sells, but does it help at all to hear that in addition to doing a bunch of driving in this movie, Walker also spends a lot of time dramatically yelling? No? Okay, so maybe this isn’t the movie for you, but for the rest of us, fast cars, loud crashes, and pretty explosions are reason enough to tune out the world for a couple of hours and take in an action movie, so Vehicle 19 comes as a welcome distraction. We might have to wait a while to get that distraction though, because the film still doesn’t have a release date beyond “2013.” Just remember: a vague promise of eventual Paul Walker driving action is better than no Paul Walker driving action at all. Until we get more concrete word on when this one is coming out, we’ll all just have to continue wearing out our DVD […]

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review hours

“Based on a true story.” Those five words, or others that convey the same meaning, can have a strange effect on our expectations for a film. Suspension of disbelief isn’t necessary since the story, minus vague parts of it that may been changed for dramatic effect, actually happened. That idea seems to stick in the back of our minds as an audience, informing our constant judgements on the film’s qualities. But what if a film doesn’t start with those oft-maligned words? Well, then that film should have to operate in some realm of believability wherein it establishes rules by which it then plays. Unfortunately, Hours feels like a ‘based on a true story’ film that gets bogged down by reality and Paul Walker‘s acting.

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jennifer-lawrence6

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting column that’s rounding up all the casting news that fell through the cracks. Today we have some doozies, including word that Paul Walker’s remaking a French film. The last time Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and director David O. Russell all worked together, the result was Silver Linings Playbook, a movie that currently has them all nominated for Oscars. Rejoice, then, that Jennifer Lawrence has just been added to Russell’s next project—that movie about the sting operation that took down a bunch of congressmen in the 70s that used to be called American Bullshit. According to Deadline, who broke the news of Lawrence’s involvement, she’ll be joining the film in the role of the Christian Bale character’s wife. Oh yeah, maybe that should have been mentioned. Christian Bale is also in this. As well as Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. Who’s got room on their shelves for more acting Oscars?

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Fast and Furious 6

When the first poster for the upcoming Fast & Furious 6 was released last month, it somehow escaped our notice that said poster, which only featured star Vin Diesel, a sweet ride, and the pitch perfect tagline “all roads lead to this,” may actually be just one in a series of character posters. After all, what did it tell us about Diesel’s Dominic Toretto beyond his love for white tees, bald pates, and ass-kicking rides? Oh. Wait. Well, I guess that does sort of cover it, actually. With the release of a similar poster, featuring Paul Walker, his own sweet ride, same tagline, and some totally hip slacker posture, it’s safe to assume – one’s just a poster, two is a trend, and this is the beginning of a new set of character posters for Fast & Furious 6. Clear your wallspace now (what, you thought we meant computer wallpaper?), ready your best photo paper (is that still a thing?), and hit the jump to check out the Vin Diesel poster, too. Now let’s get to some swift-moving home improvement.

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Paul Walker Hitman

According to Deadline Hollywood, Fox is looking to take another shot at the world of Hitman despite the relative weakness (box office and quality-wise) of the 2007 video game adaptation starring Timothy Olyphant. Since bad ideas hate rolling solo, the studio has decided to hire Paul Walker to shed his hair and star in the project they’re calling Agent 47. Plus, if this didn’t already sound like an ambitious step toward mediocrity, it comes from screenwriters Skip Woods and Michael Finch. Woods’ Good Day to Die Hard isn’t yet available for judgment (it hits next week), but he wrote the earlier Hitman as well as X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The A-Team. Finch’s sole credit is for Predators. The cherry on top of the coffin is that they’ve hired  So there may be some interesting ideas here, but the decision to cast Walker is about as bad as my Photoshop job up there. There’s a version of studio math here that adds up because of the Fast and Furious franchise, but if Fox thinks that audiences come for anything but the fast cars, they’re in for a surprise here. Walker is about as unnatural an actor as they come, and trying to imagine the guy from Meet the Deedles acting hardcore stretches the imagination too far. Hopefully they leak a screen test soon.

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Early work from J.J. Abrams! Paul Walker speaking in a high-pitched lady voice! Jaw-ripping pranks gone wrong! After gaining incredible popularity on YouTube and making one of the best sequences in V/H/S, the gang from Radio Silence goes out on a limb to celebrate the underserved horror classic movie, Joy Ride. Can they convince you to fall in love with it? Download Episode #153

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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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Gina Carano in Haywire

Gina Carano’s claim to fame is that she can stomp people into the ground while, simultaneously, looking fabulous. So far she’s used these seemingly at odds traits to build a promising little career in entertainment, originally by being the first MMA athlete to bring real mainstream attention to the female fight game, and lately by transitioning her physical skills to the acting world. We got our first look at how Carano will fare on the big screen earlier this year in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, where the budding actress proved (in a starring role) not only that she could be just as alluring and magnetic as the biggest actresses working in Hollywood today, but also that there was a certain action magic to be had when your lead actress is able to perform all of her own fight scenes, probably better than any stuntwoman would be able to. Carano’s character in that film was overly stoic, however, and everything she was asked to do there seemed to be crafted to emphasize her natural looks and physical skills, and to de-emphasize any real emoting or serious acting that her inexperience might not yet be able to handle. That approach isn’t going to be able to last forever though, and now that Carano is signing up for a couple new roles, we might start seeing for the first time what she really has to offer as an actress.

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The American remake of District B13 that we’ve all been clamoring for may be one step closer to reality. Per Deadline Jump River, Paul Walker is in talks to join the remake currently titled Brick Mansions. The script, co-written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (Taken), sticks fairly close to the source material with a nuclear device falling into the hands of a notorious gangster/drug dealer in a dangerous part of inner city Chicago. An undercover detective (Walker) teams up with a local (David Belle) to infiltrate the neighborhood and deactivate the bomb. Parkour ensues. We won’t bother listing the varied reasons why this is a bad idea, well, except for one. I’m no Walker hater. The guy is fine for what he is, but one short rooftop chase in Fast Five doesn’t really automatically qualify him for a parkour film. Granted Belle, who co-starred in both of the French District B13 films, will be the one doing the majority of the stunts, but you know they’re going to have Walker join in the fun… which ultimately means stunt doubles and green screen. If the film does well I think I speak for all of us when I say the sequel should head to Chicago’s Cabrini Green where the parkour boys are called in to neutralize Candyman.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up that finds the darndest things. Like Sacha Baron Cohen’s beard, creepy Musketeer posters, Mark Wahlberg, Simon Pegg, Paul Walker and a way to make your tweets into epic cinematic adventures. You need this and you know it. We begin tonight with Sacha Baron Cohen looking crazytown as The Dictator, his latest mockumentary prank film. Only this time, it’s got a more concise narrative. Cohen will play the dual roles of a ruthless dictator who heads to the U.S. for a meeting at the United Nations and finds that his number two has replaced him with an unsuspecting sheepherder lookalike. The big guy has sort of a Cosmo Kramer meets Mr. T vibe going on, with all the frills of the late Saddam Hussein. That feeling deep in your loins is unbridled excitement. That’s a good thing.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets in his car and hits the road with a can of NOS energy drink and his shaved head. Too bad his car is a 2006 Dodge minivan with collapsible seats and a back-seat DVD player for the kids to use. He didn’t stand a chance in the street racing against Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. After recovering from the cold, hard truth that The Rock stole his look for Fast Five, Kevin goes stag to Prom and suffers through the direct-to-DVD theatrical release of Hoodwinked Too!: Hood vs. Evil.

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; we get furious when we don’t get our fast food. Before you could slam on the brakes, you managed to crash head-on into one of the internet’s most obnoxious dividing walls. Every week I put the pedal to the floor, a floor almost entirely obscured by half-eaten Zero bars and discarded McRib wrappers, to bring you the very best in the very worst cinema has to offer. I will drive a truckload of mockery right up the unsuspecting film’s tailpipe before totally switching lanes and filling your eye sockets with premium unleaded love for that very same lemon. Finally, to really drive home this absurd running metaphor, I will supercharge your taste buds by pairing the film with a greasy snack that will leave tread marks on your esophagus all the way down. This week’s treat: The Fast and the Furious

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Let’s cut to the chase here shall we? Fast Five is a stupid, overly long, and poorly written movie with moronic dialogue, plot contrivances big enough to fit both of the bald giants above through, and a complete disregard for right, wrong, and the sanctity of human life. More on all of that in a minute, but the other half of this equation is that it also features some kick-ass, high energy, destructive-as-hell action scenes that rattle the walls of the theater and happily remind you that there are still filmmakers capable of crafting spectacular cinematic mayhem without relying on CGI to do all the heavy lifting. So you can see my dilemma…

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Lets face it, there isn’t going to be anything inventive about the story being told in Universal’s Fast Five. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker are going to band together with some familiar faces — Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson and that one Asian guy — and do some nefarious things at high speeds. There will be a lesson in the end, something about how being bad is sometimes a way to learn how to be good. And that brotherhood is essential to the criminal’s likability. It’s all stuff we’ve seen before. But take note, friends, as this one also includes a decidedly burly, extremely bearded Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. And he’s out to beat some ass.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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