Month: November 2012

Our Idiot Brother (2011)

Note: It’s impossible to discuss some of the problems with Our Idiot Brother without dipping into spoiler territory, so here’s your spoiler warning. If you don’t want to get the basic gist of how the film will end, don’t read this review until after you’ve seen the movie. Our Idiot Brother is searching for something. Maybe it’s meaning, maybe it’s a plot, but there’s something missing that it’s leading up to but never quite reaches. Much of the film deals with the ways in which a carefree soul impacts the rest of his family, but when it comes time for the negatives to flip around, they do so in basically an instant, rendering any lesson or point without meaning or weight. It leaves the whole production almost meaningless. Paul Rudd takes the lead as Ned Rochlin, the aforementioned carefree soul. In the film’s first scene, he sells weed to an officer of the law, who was in uniform at the time. He explains that he likes to treat people as if their intentions are genuine, as it’ll make each person live up to them. It doesn’t always work out. It becomes clear as we progress that he’s not exactly the brightest bulb in the batch, frequently not understanding even the most basic of situations. It doesn’t matter, as that’s where most of the humor is supposed to come from....

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Fast Five (2011)

If a movie begins like a heist movie and feels like a heist movie in the middle, you’re probably going to expect it to continue that trend all the way to its end credits. Fast Five has the first two parts, but forgets that it’s a heist movie at the end. It throws its hands up in the air, audibly screams “Screw this!” and decides that all the planning that took up so much time in its middle portion was pointless, as stealth and intelligence is too much for its tiny brain to handle. The beginning few scenes show us how capable these characters are at pulling off a major heist. We see our group of main characters, Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul walker), Mia (Jordana Brewster) and Vince (Matt Schulze) pull off a job involving the theft of cars … except not quite. They’re betrayed, some federal officers are gunned down, and now they’re wanted everywhere around the world — not just in America. An agent from a special division (Dwayne Johnson) is brought in to hunt them down and bring them in, since killing Federal Agents is a serious crime. The next part of the film involves Dom and Brian getting together his friends from the last four movies in order to come up with a plan to steal all the money that the drug lord of...

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Fast & Furious (2009)

Fast & Furious, apart from having a stupid title, messes with the chronology of the Fast and the Furious movies. Perhaps that’s why they didn’t name it “Fast and the Furious 4,” as that would be too misleading. You’ll notice in this film’s opening scene, in which a group of people you might recognize from the first film in the franchise attempt to rob a truck with four loads of oil, that Han (Sung Kang) is alive and kicking. Those of you who saw Tokyo Drift know that this can’t be possible, and here’s where the messiness comes in. As we eventually learn, Fast & Furious actually takes place before Tokyo Drift. Han has yet to go to Tokyo, and therefore can’t be killed. I’m guessing that any future films will also take place before Tokyo Drift, although there are some interesting implications that come from that. For instance, one of our main characters simply cannot die, which might take away some of the thrill for audience members who notice this. However, considering the type of intelligence that these movies aim for, it might not be exactly fair to be thinking about their continuity with this much brain power. So, the basic plot that’s being ripped off from another movie this time around involves a man looking for revenge. Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) has been killed, and Dom (Vin Diesel),...

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The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

It should be noted that most of the characters in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift are all supposed to be of high school age. That means that all of them, somehow or another, have acquired a fantastic amount of wealth, allowing them to purchase the super-cool cars that will draw fans to see this movie. The sad thing is that this is the part I have trouble believing. Given how ridiculous and preposterous the first two Fast and the Furious films have been so far, something must be wrong with me if this is the first thing I’m having difficulty with. Okay, so we have these high school kids who have fancy cars and can spend all night racing them. Accept that, and you might be able to enjoy Tokyo Drift. Perhaps not, as it’s silly and lacks a real plot — what else is new considering the series’ track record? — but maybe you will. It’s said that these people go to school, and occasionally we do see them in the classroom, but that’s forgotten about at the midway point. For all intents and purposes, these characters are grownups. What is the point of making them underage? My guess is that the filmmakers wanted to make everything they do feel riskier. You know, if a kid does it, it’ll feel more dangerous and therefore the audience...

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2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

You recognize that 2 Fast 2 Furious is a sequel to The Fast and the Furious because of all of the twos in the title. If you don’t know going in, you’d be surprised to learn that Vin Diesel, the star of the first film and the one who really carried it, has not returned this time around. We’re left with Paul Walker, reprising his role as former LAPD Officer Brian O’Conner. That’s a shame, in large part because Walker’s character was one of the least interesting things about the first Fast and the Furious, and also because Paul Walker just isn’t very good. At least he’s given a fun sidekick in the name of Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson). Roman, currently on house arrest — although what does that mean when your house is a trailer? — is told that his record will be wiped clean if he helps Brian to bring down our villain, Carter (Cole Hauser), a drug lord who cannot be brought down by the local cops because … who cares? Along with Evan Mendes, who is working undercover and has been for almost a year, the pair has to gain his trust and then make a delivery for him which will allow the cops to place him and illegally obtained money together. Does that sound too complicated? How about when that delivery involves a fifteen...

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