Oscar History

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Review:The Lion King

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Entries in Paul Walker (5)

Apr 13 2017

The Fast and I'm Furious: Ranking every film in the franchise

by Spencer Coile

Dating back to 2001 with the premiere ofThe Fast and the Furious,the Furious franchise has become something of a centerpiece of the action genre.Watching the shenanigans of Paul Walker,Vin Diesel,and company across the span of seven films in sixteen years is quite the rollercoaster ride of quality.Ranging from the good,the bad,and the ugly,it is especially interesting to note the progression of the film series;they initially started as mindless entertainement to...well,even more mindless entertainment,but with some awe-inspiring action sequences with a blatant theme of family and togetherness.Even after the death of Paul Walker,the franchise continues.

In preparation for the latest foray into the canon,the eigth film (they aren't all numbered)The Fate of the Furious,I decided to sit down with each of the seven preceding movies and evaluate each on their own merits,but also how they function in the series as a whole.I'd seen a whopping zero of them before this marathon!How many have you seen?

Ranking theFast and the FuriousFranchise...

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Apr 05 2015

Review: Furious 7

Michael admitting upfront that I was wary about the prospect of reviewing an entry in theFast/Furiousfranchise.The risk is that a movie like this turns one into a caricature of a film critic,a Frasier Crane type watching the movie through a pair of opera glasses,scoffing and harrumphing at the schlock on the screen.The kind of killjoy who cranks out the cane-shaking screed about how'in MY DAY car movie had GRAVITAS,not the weightless,video game CRAP that these damn KIDS shell out for!Something,something,Steve McQueen.'

So I am relieved that seventh entry in the franchise did not force me into that unappealing position.Unlike the recentKingsman,which spoiled the fun of its goofy action with a rancid attitude,I can endorseFurious 7if only for the tone of goofy positivity maintained by director James Wan.These films are,as they never tire of repeating,all about family.Family and loyalty and introducing every third scene with a shot of a babe's bikini-clad ass.Getting worked up over the lack of realism on display is like chastising a toddler smashing his Tonka trucks together because,actually,that's not how to use a cement mixer properly.


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Apr 03 2015

Posterized: Fast & Furious

Furious 7went from 0 to 4004 (theaters) today and is certain to collect huge box office bounty this weekend.The other films have been hits and then there's the morbid curiousity factor of saying goodbye to Paul Walker which may lure back moviegoers who haven't really been paying attention.That would include me.I only realized today,looking over this list,that the first film is the only one I've seen in theaters...though it seems like I've seen them all (is it cable showings,or their interchangeability as suggested by their very similar posters,minor variations in titles,and cast lists?)

Cast List by numbers: Vin Diesel & Paul Walker (6 films);Jordana Brewster & Sung Kang (5 films);Michelle Rodriguez,Tyrese Gibson,Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges & Gal Gadot (4 films);Dwayne Johnson & Elsa Pataky (3 films);Lucas Black,Luke Evans,Eva Mendes,Laz Alonso,Don Omar,John Ortiz,Matt Schulze,Shea Wigham (2 films)

The Fast and The Furious(2001,Rob Cohen)
2 Fast 2 Furious(2003,John Singleton) - akathe only one without Vin Diesel.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift(2006,Justin Lin) - akathe only one without Paul Walker...but its the biggest detour as the cast list is mostly different.Only Vin Diesel shows up of the originals and one the fourth film hits,everyone seems to be back for good.
Fast & Furious(2009,Justin Lin) - the principle cast all returns
Fast Five(2011,Justin Lin) - akathe one where The Rock joins
Fast & Furious 6(2013,Justin Lin)
Furious 7(2015,James Wan) akaPaul Walker's swansong

So how many haveyouseen?And are you hitting the seventh entry this weekend?

Dec 01 2013


Television BlendBaz Luhrmann may directNapoleonas a miniseries for television
House Next Dooron the Oscar prospects ofAugust: Osage County.Yet another critic who thinks Julia is the MVP.I'm mystified but congrats,Julia!
In Contentionwonders ifThe Wolf of Wall Streetis just what Oscar season ordered?We know that the SAG screening went sensationally well in Los Angeles.Our friend Paul,who we justfeatured in Reader Spotlight,thinks Leonardo DiCaprio is now the Best Actor frontrunner and tweeted this photo from the festivities:

Cinema BlendJurassic Worldnot a reboot (thank god) but a sequel set 22 years in future.Chris Pratt,suddenly in demand sinceslimming down and bulking upforZDT,rumored for lead.
VarietyFernando Eimbcke'sClub Sandwichwins the Turin Fest.We interviewed its actressicymi.

RIP Paul Walker (1973-2013)
And finally,as you've undoubtedly heard by now,Paul Walkerdied yesterday in a car accident in California en route to or from a charity event of all things.Terrible.He was 40 years old.The actor starred in all but one of the six episodes of the big screen seriesThe Fast and Furious.It's worth noting thatThe Fast and the Furious 7is currently filming.There's no word yet on exactly how and what they'll do to finish it without him but the movie will undoubtedly move forward.

The originalF&Ffranchise director Rob Cohentold Variety:

His American beauty,his athleticism,the directness of his approach to the character,his effusive,down-to-earth personality brought joy to me and everyone around him."

Aside from theF&Ffranchise we'll remember him most for that All American b&w jock beauty inPleasantville(1998) and one of the best B movies of the early AughtsJoy Ride(2001).

May 02 2011

Box Office: Faster and Furiouser

TheFast & Furiousfranchise turned the box office into a regular demolition derby destroying its competition with over 60% of the top ten dollars.It seems absurd to make the comparison but maybe it's a Bondian franchise,the kind that only grows with time?Tokyo Drift,the only entry without Paul Walker or Vin Diesel in the driver's seat was its only underperformer.Okay so maybe the Bond comparison is a bad one since that series has easily survived cast changes.(Not thatFast Fivedidn't benefit from the addition of The Rock.

ForFast & Furious: Sixth GearI think they should race famous vintage movie cars: The Batmobile,Thelma & Louise's Thunderbird convertiable,Bonnie & Clyde's Death Car.  And while we're on the Ian Fleming franchise subject,maybe throw in a musical dream segment starringChitty Chitty Bang Bang;lead feet with twinkle toes!

The Box Office (Actuals)

01 FAST FIVEnew$86.1
02 RIO$14.7(cumulative $104)
03 MADEA'S BIG HAPPY FAMILY$9.8(cumulative $40.8)
04 WATER FOR ELEPHANTS$9.3(cumulative $32.4)
05 PROMnew$4.7
07 SOUL SURFER$3.3(cumulative $33.8)
08 INSIDIOUS$2.6(cumulative $48.3)
09 HOP$2.6(cumulative $105.4)
10 SOURCE CODE$2.5(cumulative $48.8)

Points of Interest:

Brandon Routh is "Dylan Dog"

  • HOP proves that when you're holiday-themed,it's really wise to open well before the holiday.(I've never understood this with horror movies that choose to openonHalloween weekend.)Hopdid huge box office right up until Easter.Afterwards?A huge 80% drop in attendance despite only losing 10% of its screens.Kill the wabbit kill the wabbit♪ ♫
  • Dylan Dog: Dead of Nightopened wide but still coudn't crack the top ten.Ouch.
  • Best Per Screen Average: Werner Herzog'sCave of Forgotten Dreams.In 3-D!
  • Not every toon opens huge (Hoodwinked!) though it seems the norm (Rio,Rango,etc...)

What did you see this weekend?How many of the Fast & Furious films have you seen?