April 29, 2011, - 3:30 pm
You may be surprised by the movie I really liked for this weekend, but it’s the perfect antidote for those of us sick and tired of hearing about the Royal Wedding, especially red-blooded American men.
* “Fast Five“: Loved it. It’s definitely the best of the “Fast and Furious” franchise of movies. No, it’s not a masterpiece or deep thinking movie–and yes it has some very cheesy lines and stunts that aren’t believable. But it’s the best of everything you’d expect from a Fast/Furious movie. It delivered and was far better than anything I expected. It’s pure escapism that fully engages you and takes your mind off of real life in a fun way. There are lots of cool luxury sports cars, car chases and races, cool stunts, heart-pumping action, explosions, and almost all of the Fast/Furious originals: Vin Diesel, the very hot Paul Walker, the beautiful Jordana Brewster (though both Walker and Brewster have aged and look noticeably older, they still look very good), and a few new cast members. I could have done without Obama’s fave lewd rap star Ludacris, but his role is minor.
Also in the movie and adding nothing is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who is kind of annoying and silly in his role as a tough U.S. federal agent from the Diplomatic Security Services, who is hunting out the Fast Five. Bill Goldberg called and he wants his look–and act–back. Johnson looks like Goldberg with a tan in this, and he and his crew of federal agents wear these gay-looking lycra t-shirts from Under Armour that look like the kind of shirt you see on bisexual men at a German Disco, circa 1993. Please tell me DSS agents don’t really dress this way.
The movie begins with your usual heart pounding stuff. Dominic Toretto (Diesel) is sent off to federal prison for many years after being convicted in court. But former undercover agent Brian O’Conner (Walker) and Dom’s sister, Mia (Brewster) help his escape in a daring action-packed car scene, filled with crashes and the usual. They escape to South America–to Rio–and seek some car stealing work to get by while they plot their escape to a country without an extradition treaty with the U.S. But, soon, they are wanted by Rio’s brutal drug lord and The Rock’s team of U.S. agents. They decide to do one last job that will make them the cash to live a nice life, and they import some of their best con artist friends from the States to Brazil to pull off the job. But it’s nearly an impossible feat, and they have everyone on their tail.
Like I said, this movie has it all–stunts, action, car chases, suspense, and cool characters filled with bravado. But it’s not for kids, and, in my mind, warrants an “R” rating for its violence, not the PG-13 it got.
Nonetheless, it’s a fun movie. I liked it. Only one thing would make it better: if, for once, they went up against Islamic terrorists, instead of your usual, stereotypical Latino drug kingpins. That gets old.
One thing: make sure you sit through the initial credits at the end of the movie to see the “stinger” scene. Yes, there will be a “Fast Six.”
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Prom“: Nothing against this Disney movie, but it’s not aimed at my demographic or that of most of the readers of this site. It wasn’t for me. It’s for ‘tween kids. And, for them, it’s okay, though I did think one of the girls in it was slightly skanky for a kids’ movie. It’s a vapid, predictable movie, but there’s no sex or violence, just some making out.
The movie focuses on some high school students getting ready for prom. Some of them are seniors preparing for the last big hurrah and life afterward. And some are underclassmen. There is the class President who is miss goody two shoes and feuds with the class loner/tough guy. The class jock who is two-timing his long-time girlfriend with another girl, in a relationship that has some (unmentioned, but obvious) inter-racial overtones. There’s the Asian couple, with the girl fretting telling her boyfriend she isn’t going to Michigan with him, but to fashion design school in New York. And there are two underclass boys on the football team, whose relationship is jeopardized by a girl.
Ho hum, yawn. But like I said, I’m not the target market. It was okay, not my thing and I’m not sure my parents would have let me see this during my ‘tweens. (The misleading movie poster, above, is more like a “Sex and the City” poster than a tweens’ movie poster, but the movie isn’t at all like that.) This is a baby-sitter movie–something parents send their kids to see to have some time to themselves, not a great kids’ movie. Not even close.
ZERO REAGANS OR MARXES – A WASH
Watch the trailer …
* “The Princess of Montpensier [La Princesse de Montpensier]“: This wasn’t a bad period piece, but you’ve seen it before. A beautiful woman of noble stock (Melanie Thierry) is in love with her childhood friend and wants to marry him, but alas, her father marries her off to a prince, for political and economic advantage, and she is now a princess. While her husband is at war, she is taught and trained by his friend, a trusted and older knight, who is not allowed on the battlefield because he quit after murdering a pregnant woman.
Throughout, the princess pines for her childhood love and plots to meet up with and sleep with him. Her husband, the prince, is rightfully jealous and angry. Things don’t work out for her on any fronts, as they never do in these romantic tragedies. Picking the object of lust over the better, loyal man never works out. But the woman isn’t likeable to begin with, so you really don’t care about her, and she basically gets what she deserves after wronging the two likeable characters, the knight and the prince.
The movie is in French, with English subtitles. I understand French, but if you don’t, you must work hard and fast to read the subtitles, which quickly disappear from the screen and are in an often hard-to-read white print.
Could have done without the weird scenes of the Princess’ wedding night, where she’s watched naked by her father, father-in-law, and a bevy of servants, as she goes into bed with the prince and onlookers wait to hear sex noises and bring out bloody sheets to show the new inlaws. But I guess that’s the uncivilized way they did it in those days. Hey, it’s Will & Kate’s royal ancestral cousins. Like the Royal Wedding, this is a chick flick, so guys . . . beware.
ONE HALF REAGAN
Watch the trailer . . .
Tags: Agent Brian O'Conner, Bill Goldberg, Brazil, Brian O'Conner, Diplomatic Security Services, Disney, Dominic Toretto, DSS, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Dwayne Johnson, Fast Five, Jordana Brewster, La Princesse de Montpensier, Ludacris, Melanie Thierry, Mia Toretto, movie, movie review, Movie Reviews, Paul Walker, prom, Rio, The Princess of Montpensier, The Rock, Under Armor, Under Armour, Vin Diesel