The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift – Review

You know I figured at the worst some of these movies would be boring. I was wrong.

This movie is bad, really bad. It’s a shame because you’d think the Tokyo setting would make for a fun movie but instead it feels wasted. Even the stunts while cool rely on one gimmick which gets old pretty fast (and the furious).

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But the main problem is the cast. Not that the actors were bad or anything but that the only member of the main cast that is Japanese is the villain (and, of course, he has connections to the yakuza). And even though the other characters clearly speak Japanese there are scenes where the main character isn’t around where everyone is speaking English. Oh and to top it all off the main character isn’t even likable.

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Honestly the only character who is at least slightly interesting is Han. From what I’m aware he’s also the one who will be sticking around for more movies too. It is odd though that the mentor figure in a movie set in Japan is Korean, it’s like the movie went out of its way to make sure none of the protagonists were Japanese.

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I did look up a couple of reviews for this film before writing this and it seems like those that did like it seem to think people don’t like it because it didn’t have Paul Walker and Vin Diesel only has a short cameo at the end. But no, the reason this film is bad is because its lead character is terrible and the Japanese characters are either antagonists or extras. I don’t know what the next film is going to be like, I just know it’s got to be better than this one.

2 Fast 2 Furious – Review

If nothing else this movie does have the best title in the series.

It’s an improvement over the original. Better action scenes, no liar revealed nonsense, better volume control on the soundtrack and better camera work. It’s still only ok but it’s a better ok.

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The majority of the cast are new characters and unfortunately that means the same problem of an under developed supporting cast. Still Paul Walker’s character has more personality this time around and the fact his new co-star is someone who he has history with makes for a better dynamic than the first film.

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Something this film has that the first film was lacking in is a villain. He was pretty boring most of the time until we learn he messes with a poor rat in his torture methods and abuses his girlfriend, then he became irredeemable trash that needed to be stopped.

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I can see what’s dragging these earlier films down, it’s the street racing. From what I’m aware the newer films seem like a super hero spy team which sounds like much more fun than driving forwards and occasionally making a turn. I’m not sure when the formula is going to change but I’m looking forward to it.

The Fast and the Furious – Review

So I realized if I see at least three more new films this month I’ll have seen 20 of this year’s films in the first third of the year and that I could build up to one of said films by having my first movie marathon of the year.

This one was mediocre but fortunately from what I’ve heard it’s the sequels that are the enjoyable part of this series. The soundtrack was very invasive and seemed like they were trying to squeeze every track into the movie and blast it at full volume whenever someone wasn’t talking, even when it really didn’t match the scene.

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The characters are fine but most get barely any attention and the main storyline actually took away from the chance to get to know the characters more, especially with only a small amount of action scenes that were more than driving in a straight line. I can forgive the movie for this though since it’s the first of 8 movies.

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Hopefully it’s only going to get better from here as the titles get sillier and the cast gets bigger. At the very least I’ve got some decent action scenes to look forward to.

Jesus, Bro! – Review

While I don’t follow Channel Awesome as much as I used to there are still a few of its reviewers (including some who have left the site) I still like to watch the videos of. And one of said reviewers is the Cinema Snob himself Brad Jones. Because of that I’ve seen him promote this movie a lot so now that it’s out I decided to check it out.

It’s funny. It’s a parody of those religious movies about why you should follow that religion that only get watched by people who already follow that religion (or internet reviewers). But while it would be easy to just make fun of Christians this film has a good balance, it still has jokes about Christians but they’re mixed in with plenty of jokes about online atheists and their followers.

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This could also be considered part of the internet reviewer shared universe (is it called that? I’m not sure) with Santa Christ and Malcolm Ray’s portrayal of the devil both being characters in the movie. While the events of previous specials and movies don’t really effect the narrative it’s a neat inclusion.

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It’s not going to be for everyone, I’d say if you like the videos of any of the people who are in this movie you’ll probably like this too.

Going In Style – Review

I find it amusing I’ve now seen three heist movies that came out this year. I mostly saw this one because I needed to see three films in the cinema this month (and don’t want one of them to be Boss Baby) and because of the actors in the lead roles.

Without a doubt this is the best of the three. It’s very funny, has a heist that’s entertaining to watch and the characters actually have a personal grudge against the place they’re robbing. The movie is fun from start to finish.

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It should go without saying that this cast is great. A lot of what makes the comedy work is their delivery and chemistry, you really feel like these three have been friends for years. The supporting cast are also very funny with some entertaining performances from Christopher Lloyd and Ann-Margret.

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If it wasn’t for Odeon Limitless I might not have gotten around to seeing this film but I’m glad I did. After being disappointed by Netflix’s heist films it’s nice to see one that’s fun.

Coin Heist – Review

I really hope Netflix are just saving all their best films for later in the year because so far this has not been a good year for them. Even their shows aren’t getting the high praise they tend to get with Iron Fist getting a very mixed response (my opinion falls somewhere in the middle).

But even the weakest of the other Netflix Originals I’ve seen this year was at least alright. This film on the other hand is boring and the weakest film I’ve seen so far. I got tired just watching it and would regularly just pause it to watch later, then watch something else before remembering I really needed to finish this film.

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The characters were not just boring but cliche and even the performances weren’t any good, though I’m not going to blame the actors for that since the script gave them nothing to work with. Worst of all the heist sucked, it feels rushed and two of the characters barely even contribute to it.

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While the other Netflix films are probably fine if, like me, you’re looking for 2017 films to watch so you can see more films than you did last year I’d still suggest skipping this one.

Smurfs: The Lost Village – Review

I didn’t even bother with the live action Smurf movies, I could tell they were just made to appeal to the Alvin and the Chipmunk audience. This film on the other hand seemed more like it was made with a respect for both the source material and its target audience and after hearing a couple of positive reviews I figured I might as well check it out.

Much like Power Rangers I found myself enjoying this more that I expected (in fact it was better than Power Rangers). It’s funny, has great visuals and is overall a decent film. Not on the same level of quality as the animated films that make it to my top 10 lists but still a nice film with its own charm and a huge improvement from those live action films that actually look even worse looking back at the designs in them compared to this film.

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The film is about Smurfette and takes the criticisms of the character concerning her origins and role as the token girl as the setup to tell a story about her wanting to figure out her place in the world. Its the best story to tell for a modern Smurfs movie actually.

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The voice actors are well cast too. While this is an all star cast no one feels like they were cast just because they’re famous but because they’re good at playing that type of character. For example one of the new characters Smurf Blossom is like Pinkie Pie as a Smurf and her voice actress is Ellie Kemper whose experience from playing Kimmy Schmidt made her perfect for the role.

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I’ve seen people compare this film to Dreamworks’ Trolls movie from last year and I do think the two films have a lot of the same charm so if you liked Trolls you should like this too, especially since I think this is the better movie.