Tag Archives: vin diesel

Spoiler Alert Sunday :: our thoughts on The Fate of the Furious

16 Apr

All y’all know Furious 7 was my first watched of the franchise, and this eighth installment was drift partner’s first. But when we saw a trailer that included Charlize Theron dramatically intoning “There’s thousands of cars in this city and now they’re all mine” we knew we had to go. Opening weekend. To a theater where we could purchase alcohol to consume while we were watching.

And boy howdy, were we not disappointed. This movie, like its predecessor(s?), is incredibly stupid but in the most delicious way. I was trying to give drift partner what little background I could beforehand and the best I could do was a couple of anecdotes and character facts followed by “they’re like the Suicide Squad but of cars.” And, obviously, much better than the actual cinematic Suicide Squad.

I, drift partner, had sort of idly been intending to see these movies based on recommendations from friends, but this trailer dangled the idea of crazy Charlize AND ridiculous car chases in front of me and I am powerless when presented with crazy Charlize. I will watch crazy Charlize Theron do basically anything. I knew I was in for a treat when the first scene of this movie involved Vin Diesel stripping off the doors and trunk of a VW Bug in order to soup up the engine for a race, in such a way that it made it literally LIGHT ON FIRE at one point. I am not a car person, I have no idea what he did, but it was glorious. And then when he won the race, his opponent tried to give Vin Diesel his car, as per their agreement, and said Vin had his respect. Vin Diesel said, “Keep your car. Your respect is good enough for me.” It was so ridiculous and batshit and I loved it. I don’t think I stopped smiling for longer than about two minutes.

Here’s the thing that we’ve come to realize, that has doubtless been realized by many before us. In effect, these movies are the goofy action stupidity with a heart of gold. As they said probably no less than one hundred times, they’re about family. (The trailer alone says this word enough that if you were doing strong enough shots every time they said it – which we intend to do sometime with all of the movies, although with sips rather than shots – you could be blitzed by its conclusion.) It’s this big, ridiculous found family full of characters capable of kicking anyone’s ass any day who all work together out of their continued love for each other. Never mind that most of them have criminal pasts while Hobbs (The Rock) is FBI and Brian (Paul Walker), who obviously isn’t in this film although they didn’t kill him off they just said “we can’t bring Brian into this we promised we wouldn’t” and left it at that, has been an undercover agent as well. Never mind their different backgrounds, or the fact that Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) isn’t even a car person but a hacker, or anything. They’re family. That’s all there is to it.

Naturally this means that the conflict of the film is a question of that. Charlize Theron’s Cipher, a hacker thought to be, even by Ramsey, a conglomerate, blackmails Vin Diesel’s Dom to work for her. Why? Well, this is kind of revealed, sort of, eventually, in a casual recontextualizing of past movie plot points. He upsets his family by doing this, which Hobbs describes very gravely as him having “gone rogue,” and they spend the rest of the movie working against Cipher’s evil plan while also sort of trying to get Dom back to the side of good.

There are a lot of perfectly golden moments in this movie, but some just have to be seen to be believed. Some we feel comfortable alluding to are:

  • Somebody is shielded from an enormous explosion by a protective circle of cars.
  • At one point, a car is drawn and quartered.
  • As if in answer to the cars coming out of the moving airplane in the last film, a car goes into a moving airplane.
  • Helen Mirren is Jason Statham’s mother.
  • Ramsey spends virtually all of her non-hacking/non-plot-forwarding time rolling her eyes at machismo bullshit and/or flirtatious comeons. Also, she wears a vest.
  • Jason Statham plays the Chipmunks Christmas album for a baby to drown out the noise of him fighting bad guys.
  • Hobbs’ daughter’s soccer team, which he coaches, performs the haka before their game.
  • Someone drives a tank. Literally a tank.
  • Someone uses a car door as a shield and a sled, at different points.
  • Someone jumps over a submarine in a car. Yes, a submarine.
  • The Rock weightlifts a concrete bench and uses a concrete wall as a punching bag.
  • Much like he removed a cast on his arm by flexing his muscles in the last movie, he removes handcuffs the same way in this movie.
  • Charlize Theron speaks entirely in cliches, and makes lines that are not naturally menacing sound vaguely menacing.
  • As seen in the trailer, Michelle Rodriguez’ Letty literally shouts at Dom “are you gonna turn your back on family?” and… then he literally turns his back on his family and exits.

Drift partner just classified this franchise as “chaotic good.” Yes, exactly.

–your fangirl heroine.



Spoiler Alert Sunday :: my thoughts on The Last Witch Hunter

15 Nov

In the opening sequence of this movie, a group of pseudomedieval knights and their priest, accompanied by vaguely Viking’d Vin Diesel, invade a bug-infested weirwood tree to kill a decomposed witch queen, who then curses Vin Diesel with immortality before he explodes the tree.  All of this is done with the utmost seriousness.

I think I expected this film to be a little more tongue-in-cheek than it ultimately was (a little more Hansel & Gretel) but it was still a goofy fantasy action movie.  The evil witches were as a general rule fairly gross, and the mythology was more backstory and selective explanation than comprehensive history lesson, but it was a movie about Vin Diesel hunting witches.

Elijah Wood was conniving and sly and a total sycophant.

Michael Caine was… there.

Rose Leslie was the reason I saw this movie, 100%, but she was adorable.  She got to keep her accent, she was a precious little hipster-punk witch bar owner with a cool special gift and a cool knife.  Also she passed the Bechdel test and did not kiss Vin Diesel.  So that’s a thing.

Lotte Verbeek was a good memory-wife.  She’s pretty.

Very acceptable trash.

–your fangirl heroine.

Spoiler Alert Saturday :: my thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy

2 Aug

What a delightful movie!

I mean, I was pretty much expecting to find it delightful because with the exception of Iron Man 2 (and I guess The Incredible Hulk, because I still have not seen all of it) I have not not found one of the Marvel-proper movies delightful, really, but I didn’t know really anything about it save what could be gleaned from the trailers going in so I didn’t know how delightful I would find it.

A positive things list, then:

  • I actually somehow had managed to miss the fact that James Gunn was the director prior to the thing.  Sometimes I enjoy his messed up sense of humor.  This was a bit tamer in terms of messed-up-ness than, say, Slither and Super, but it was still a certain sort of weird comedy.
  • Also I saw a tumblr post saying “why aren’t we talking about the fact that this is the first Marvel movie written by a woman?” so I’d like to at least mention it.  Go, Nicole Perlman.
  • Chris Pratt may be the single most lovable asshole out there.  He’s just a big endearing derpy puppy galumphing around getting into mischief and not quite realizing how silly he is until someone (metaphorically) bats him on the nose or whatever.  Friends of mine were referring to this as “Bert Macklin FBI, the Movie” and allowing for the fact that he was a space criminal and not a rogue FBI agent imagined by a local government employee, totally.  Outlandish situations and outlandish reactions and outlandish facial expressions.
  • Zoe SaldanaGamora.  Oh my goodness.  Yes.  What a wonderful character who I desperately want explored in further cinematic endeavors.  What a wonderful actress I’m so excited she’s finally in a big action movie I actually care about.  Also, Gamora and Nebula’s (Karen Gillan) big intense fight scene.  Nebula in general.  I am so intrigued.
  • So if Hodor was a semi-anthropomorphzed tree, he’d be Groot (Vin Diesel).  The end.
  • I really liked that Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) called Drax (Dave Bautista) out on his manpainy rage and then Drax owned to the fact that it was a cover-up for actual more genuine sadness.  That seemed important.
  • I would also like to point out that at least the political side of Nova very possibly passed the Vampire Authority test.  (I couldn’t get an exact count, but there were a lot more women than I usually reach in similar scenes, not to mention Glenn Close being the head of everything, so.)
  • This movie included multiple jokes about rhetorical function and vocabulary.  I nearly died of joy at the thesaurus conversation.
  • I think it’s fascinating that you can take him to space and make him blue and Michael Rooker will still be playing a backwoods douchebag.
  • And the most important thing here is: friendship.  I was also told to imagine the My Little Pony theme song over the climactic scene, and it’s really just so true.  And so welcome.  That’s one of the nice things about the Marvel universe.  Genuine friendships and teammates and characters supporting each other and helping each other out and doing things that are good because there’s still so much to hope for in the world.  That’s a very important thing.

–your fangirl heroine.


Social Life Sunday :: I profusely apologize for the absurdity and crackiness of this post, majority of the world.

20 Jun

Regardless, I promised some old friends I’d commit their high-concept idea for a film to post, with graphics no less, and I don’t like to go back on my promise.  Let this be a lesson to anyone looking for something to do over dinner: inventing a high-concept, cracked out film, then casting it, can keep you occupied for hours.  Hours.  This is why I classed this post as Social Life Sunday, and not Sundry Sunday.  Because it was spawned from a very sociable evening.

So, here’s The Hangover, Part Sister Wives.  I swear I only recorded this information, very little of it was my own invention, but I am the sucker with a blog and a fondness for documentation, so.  This is a story of eight women, based on my friends whose idea this was and some of their other friends (loosely based) who all marry the same man, then go to Vegas and have torrid affairs.  I have no idea why.  The “why” of this film was never discussed.

Yes.  You are seeing that cast correctly.  That is, clockwise from top left, Lauren Bacall, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Selena Gomez, Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Oprah Winfrey, Emma Watson, and Ginnifer Goodwin.  (At least Ginnifer Goodwin has experience with the whole sister wife thing.)  The girls got to pick which actresses would portray the character (loosely) based on them, and they divvied up their other friends accordingly.  Even as I was going “what.”  Amused what, but also sort of so-horrified-I-can’t-look-away what.  And Vin Diesel is the husband.  Apparently, his character would be a vetereniarian.

The girls also got to pick their own partners to have an affair with.  (It should go without saying that the girl played by Oprah was one of the ones not present, and the choice of Gayle King was strictly a real life in-joke.)  Despite the fact that virtually none of them make much sense, the affair partners are, again clockwise from the top left, James Franco, Patrick Stewart, Jason Segal, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Sudeikis, Gayle King, Ryan Gosling, and John Krasinski.  Apparently, the women were going to collectively divorce Vin Diesel and marry Will Smith at the end, too.

Now here’s where the fun part comes in.  These are the extras.  Neil Patrick Harris was going to play, naturally, the gay best friend.  Christina Hendricks (who, of course, was meant to represent me) would be every single random woman ever, while breaking the fourth wall adamantly; the flight attendant hands someone their drink, then winks at the camera.  Nathan Fillion (representing the hapless guy friend along for the dinner that spawned this) would be the male equivalent of that.  Joseph Gordon Levitt, being desired by all, would be the go-to threesome guy.  Alexander Skarsgard would be the ski instructor.  (I dunno.)  Emily Blunt would somehow be the antagonist of this film.  Kate Hudson would be the attorney.  (Presumably for the divorce[s]?)  Kristen Bell would be the, and I quote, “wedding detective.”  No, I don’t know what that means.  And Andy Samberg would be… something.  They weren’t clear what, they just believed he needed to be there.

Now that I’ve confused you, bewildered you, and jumped the shark very possibly, I will go back to the reason I am actually posting this all.  Friendship.  Sometimes, no matter how old you are and how busy your lives are, it’s nice to sit down with friends and just get ridiculous.  All-out, no holds barred ridiculous.  Ridiculous like you don’t know how you even came up with this stuff.  Ridiculous like you sort of want to apologize to the actors and actresses you cast in this theoretical mess.  Ridiculous like you’re not going to be able to forget it any time soon because it was just that hilarious.

At the end of the day, it’s just the memorable laughing moments that really matter.  And I hope, my friends, that I have helped provide the four of you with more of those.

–your fangirl heroine.