Movie Reviews

Fast & Furious 9 (2021)

fast-furious-9-2021-movie-review-posterDirector: Justin Lin

Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime

Runtime: 145 Minutes

Main Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, John Cena, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Charlize Theron, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell

Plot: 9 movies in and Dominic Toretto’s team have only just discovered that Dom has a long lost brother (John Cena), who just to happens to be a deadly assassin and a great driver, with a plan to take over the world. It involves some crazy magnets and a high-tech gadget that wouldn’t look out of place in a Star Wars movie.

My Thoughts: I apologise in advance, I have no right to be reviewing the latest installment in the Fast & Furious saga. I’ve only seen 2 of the other movies (3 if Hobbs & Shaw counts) and as a result I have next to no idea who most of the characters are or what’s happened over the years. However! I had a blast watching this new one and it would feel like an injustice to ignore it, so it’s a bit of a loss/loss situation. I’m marking this whole post as SPOILERS just because I genuinely don’t know what could be a spoiler or what would be common knowledge to a fan. It was so great to be in a busy cinema again, it was the biggest crowd since January 2020.

When it comes to movies like this, I just want some dumb fun, and I got that in spades. F9 doesn’t take itself seriously at all. In fact, it’s quite meta and even pokes fun at the fact that these characters seem to just survive anything. And when it comes to anything, we’re talking about driving cars off cliffs and being caught by planes, having fist fights on top of speeding cars and, well, driving into SPACE. How can they actually top that?!

The acting is questionable at best, but everyone involved looks like they’re having so much fun that it has to be forgiven. I also have to give kudos because I can’t sit through long movies without fidgeting, even ones I love, and I never would have guessed this one was a few minutes short of being 2 and a half hours. That time really flew by. I’m going to have to fill in the gaps at some point because I feel like there’s going to be many more of these movies…

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Best Bit: This should probably be classed as a worst bit but I just love those magnets. They’re the core to some really great fight scenes but I just have to laugh at how they work. Somehow, every time a character turns them on they only seem to attract whatever metal is needed at the time.

Worst Bit: I can forgive so much – I won’t even question rocketing a car into space but my brain can’t fully switch off and I find myself asking questions like, who the hell is looking after that kid?! How does Charlize Theron go to the toilet in that see-through box?

Fun Trivia: Tyrese Gibson announced on November 1, 2017 that he would not be in this movie if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson were in it. The two did not get along and Tyrese refused to work with him (November 2017). When Johnson announced that he would pass on this movie, Gibson’s participation was ensured again.

My Rating: 3 and a half pairs of Crocs that I ordered three weeks ago, damn-it! (That’s a really obscure reference to this movie – I’ve never owned a pair of Crocs, just for the record…)

fast-furious-9-delivery-truck-crocs

Movie Reviews

Blind Spot Series: Saving Private Ryan (1998)

saving-private-ryan-1998-movie-poster-reviewDirector: Steven Spielberg

Genre: Drama, War

Runtime: 169 Minutes

Main Cast: Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg, Vin Diesel, Giovanni Ribisi, Jeremy Davies, Matt Damon, Ted Danson, Paul Giamatti

Plot: Set during World War II,  Captain Miller and his assembled crew are sent to find Private James Ryan and send him home. His 3 brothers have been killed in action and all 3 telegraphs are set to be sent on the same day to his Mother to inform her of the terrible news. To alleviate her grief the Chief of Staff decides that Ryan should be pulled from the war.

My Thoughts: War movies have never interested me, but in my recent quest to watch all Oscar Best Picture nominees when awards season rolls around, I found myself at the cinema to watch Hacksaw Ridge (2016) which exceeded all my expectations. I don’t think anyone can talk about war movies without at least thinking about Saving Private Ryan (1998) so the Blind Spot Series was a great opportunity to watch the classic and expand my horizons a little.

Straight away you’re hit with a wall of emotion. We see a survivor of the war in his old age, although we don’t know who, as he visits the graves of his brothers, and then we’re transported straight into one of the battles. It’s raw, it’s gritty, it’s tense and uncomfortable to watch, and yet I couldn’t tear my eyes away. We’re literally in the thick of it with these soldiers, and we’re in it for the long haul.

At just under 3 hours this is one of the longest movies I’ve watched, and so I made the decision to watch it in two sittings but to be honest, I could have happily watched it in one go, you don’t notice the time at all. There’s always something going on, and even in the quieter moments you know it’s just a build up to the next big thing.

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Best Bit: I’ve always associated Giovanni Ribisi with the TV Show Friends, so much so that I can never remember his actual name, I call him Frank Jr. I know him from small, comedic roles so it was a surprise to see him here. He was AMAZING. The guy has some really incredible talent, and I can’t believe it’s the only serious role I’ve ever seen him in. He deserved award nominations for it, without a doubt.

Worst Bit: There’s no denying that Saving Private Ryan is an incredible movie. I’m not a converted war movie fan, though. Watching this, watching Hacksaw Ridge, watching Dunkirk (2017), they were amazing experiences, but to me, they aren’t ‘enjoyable’ in the same sense as other genres, if that makes any sense?

Fun Trivia: Steven Spielberg cast Matt Damon as Private Ryan because he wanted an unknown actor with an All-American look. He did not know Damon would win an Oscar for Good Will Hunting (1997) and become an overnight star before the film was released.

My Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 pairs of standard-issue socks that you can turn into sticky bombs if needed.

saving-private-ryan-socks-sticky-bombs

blind-spot-series-2019-banner-v2The Blind Spot Series was created a few years ago by Ryan at The Matinee, and is now hosted by Sofia at Returning Videotapes. As part of the Series, bloggers choose 1 movie to watch and review each month that is deemed a ‘classic’ or ‘must-watch’. To see the rest of my picks for the year, check out my announcement post here.