REVIEW: F9: The Fast Saga [2021]

Things change. One familiar name reenters the franchise as another leaves (or, more accurately, shifts laterally) with director Justin Lin returning to helm the first Fast and Furious film not written by Chris Morgan since before the two took control of the franchise in 2006. A welcome is therefore in order for Kin scribe Daniel Casey as he stewards the saga towards an endgame star/producer Vin Diesel stated has been in the works for some time now. Whether he’ll continue to steer the ship forward remains to be seen, though,…

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REVIEW: Wrath of Man [2021]

We’re all over-qualified for this game. And we all have a history. Fans of Guy Ritchie that wore out Lock Stock and Snatch during the early Aughts will find themselves hard-pressed to take the opening act of Wrath of Man seriously. It’s as though he and co-writers Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies are trying to re-capture the quick-paced slang that made the dialogue in those films so uniquely fun and of the moment despite being two decades removed in age and culture. Because while talking the talk as a thirty-year…

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REVIEW: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw [2019]

How long have you worked here? After eight movies and an increasing cast of characters latching on without letting go, the Fast & Furious franchise found itself overcrowded. While not a problem on a supporting level, an ego trip logjam at the top almost always gets broken up. Luckily for Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, Universal understands they can’t just boot one in favor of the other. Whether or not the pair’s rumored feud was a publicity stunt or legitimate clash of personalities, they had already become too important to…

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REVIEW: The Meg [2018]

Discover and then destroy. An adaptation of Steve Alten‘s Navy deep-sea diver/paleobiologist Jonas Taylor-led series of novels has been in the works pretty much since the first installment was published back in 1997. There have been six literary sequels written since then as the property changed hands from Disney to Warner Bros. and directors from Jan de Bont to Eli Roth to Jon Turteltaub. That second name is interesting because Alten’s book is described as a science-fiction horror. So to read that Roth left over “creative differences” can’t help but…

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REVIEW: The Fate of the Furious [2017]

“That’s a lot of ice cream and Tay Tay concerts” A new era in The Fast and the Furious lore has begun almost four years after original co-star Paul Walker passed away doing exactly what his character Brian O’Conner did in the films: drive fast. With his role shelved by retirement rather than death, the goodness Brian provided Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his band of miscreants remains in the background as an unseen sense of morality and justice. It lingers to bolster the group’s sense of “family” and togetherness…

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REVIEW: Spy [2015]

“I’ve swallowed enough microchips and shit them back out again to make a computer” The Paul Feig/Melissa McCarthy train continues forward with James Bond spoof Spy after the box office successes of Bridesmaids and The Heat (with Ghostbusters still forthcoming). This installment sees McCarthy as the bona fide star, onscreen for practically the entire duration as CIA analyst turned field agent Susan Cooper. She’s been in the earpiece of top operative Bradley Fine (Jude Law) for so long that she’s probably saved his life more times than he’s killed people,…

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REVIEW: Furious 7 [2015]

“You never could take a punch” There’s something about this series that’s transcended any intellectual discussion about cinema. How else does a lamely derivative version of Point Break substituting waves with cars spawn six sequels in fifteen years? Think about that. 2 Fast 2 Furious was so bad that star Vin Diesel turned down a twenty-five million dollar payday to be in it. Then the third entry threw everything out the window but horsepower and took things international across the Pacific. This is where the taste of its potential began,…

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Posterized Propaganda February 2014: ‘RoboCop’, ‘The LEGO Movie’, ‘Non-Stop’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. February is here, January dump month is over, and 2014 is officially ready to take control with only a few more festival holdovers from last Fall. A couple summer-caliber flicks…

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REVIEW: Snatch [2000]

“What do I know about diamonds?” Hot on the heels of his debut Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Guy Ritchie‘s sophomore effort Snatch proved to be the one to cement his name into American audiences’ consciousness. A second collaboration with soon-to-be action superstar Jason Statham, the heist flick is a hilarious romp of brutally violent men propelling itself forward through quick cuts and narrative coincidence/overlapping as illegal boxing matches meet faux Jewish jewelers on the hunt for a giant diamond of which everyone wants a piece. Yes, Statham’s fight…

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REVIEW: The Expendables 2 [2012]

“Can’t beat a classic” And here I thought the buzz was about how much The Expendables 2 made good on the promise set forth and not quite attained by The Expendables. It was going to be chock-full of humorous banter, over-the-top antics, bloody pulpy carnage, and as much fun as one berserker action flick can contain. There would be story, a worthy villain, and a reason for guys like Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jean-Claude Van Damme to come back from the shadows of obscurity. It wasn’t like these guys…

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Posterized Propaganda September 2011: Misfires countered by fearlessness

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact that impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. September is the start of the film festival season. Unsurprisingly, while Toronto, Venice, and New York debut the flicks we’ve been waiting all year to see, the box office…

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