Franchise Weekend – The Fast of the Furious (2001)

Director: Rob Cohen

Writer: Gary Scott Thompson, Erik Bergquist, David Ayer (Screenplay) Gary Scott Thompson (Story)

Starring: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Rick Yune, Chad Lindberg, Johnny Strong, Matt Schulze, Ted Levine

 

Plot: Los Angeles police officer Brian O’Connor must decide where his loyalty really lies when he becomes enamored with the street racing world he has been sent undercover to destroy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Begins

 

Story: The Fast and the Furious starts as we meet Brian (Walker) a want to be street racer trying to find his way into the good books of street racing icon Dominic Toretto (Diesel). Earning the respect of Dom after saving him from the police, Brian finds himself welcomed into the world.

This opens the door for us to meet Dom’s enemy on the street, Johnny Tran (Yune) before we learn the truth about Brian’s involvement as an undercover police officer trying to uncover who is behind the crime spree behind the street racing thieves.

The deeper Brian gets into the family the greater the respect both sides have towards each but with his superiors running out of patience Brian must learn what is really going on before Dom’s crew get hurt.

 

Thoughts on The Fast and the Furious

 

Characters/PerformanceThe characters we have all come to love start here with Brian the undercover police officers trying to up his ranking in the police force while growing the respect of the underground street racers. Brian fits this world as the outsider as the way in for us the audience too. Dom is the alpha male of the group that everyone respects and once you earn his you become untouchable. He is the best racer, the loyalist friend and brother. Johnny Tran makes for a good starter villain who is just a racing rival to Dom. Letty is the girlfriend of Dom that does have control over him but we don’t see too much from, Mia is Dom’s brother that becomes a love interest for Brian. The rest of the characters are all small parts to the big world Dom controls.

Performance wise, you can see the draw of Paul Walker to this role where you can argue his is the bigger name for the time and he is great, in this film you can see how early into his career Vin Diesel was and he just doesn’t have the screen presence we know from him now. The rest of the cast all do well playing the parts how you would expect them to be.

StoryThe story side of this movie is easy to follow, uncover cop gets drawn to the world he is investigating because of the excitement it gives him. We have the checklist for story here offer us just flashy races to make this different than for example Point Break.

Action/Crime/ThrillerThe races are all good to watch, as well are the heists being pulled off which show us both the crime sides of the story because of the illegal racing and they keeps us all on edge for the thrilling side of the story.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in LA which makes for the style the film has because it is away from the glitz and glamor of the world we know.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all here for the races and showing how certain elements of the engine work to increase speed.

Final ThoughtsThis franchise is the go to for nonsense action, but it didn’t start that way and this film shows us the street racing, beginning of a friendship and just how far these guys would go.

 

Overall: The true fans will always love this one over any sequel because of the importance this film gives us to the future franchise.

Rating

 

 

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Rise Of The Zombies (2012)

logoDirector: Nick Lyon

Writer: Keith Allan, Delondra Williams (Screenplay)

Starring: Ethan Suplee, Mariel Hemingway, LeVar Burton, Danny Trejo, Heather Hemmens, French Stewart, Chad Lindberg

 

Plot: When a zombie apocalypse has devastated American, a small group of survivors have taken up home in Alcatraz prison. After the prison becomes over run with zombies the ones who survive head back to land to find a new safe location. One group Marshall (Suplee), Lynn (Hemingway) Ashley (Hemmens) aim to locate Doctor Arnold (Stewart) who believes he has a cure. While Captain Caspian (Trejo), Kyle (Lindberg) and others look for basic supplies. Leaving Doctor Halpern (Burton) behind on the prison to try and learn the origin of the disease.

 

The group who make it off Alcatraz

The group who make it off Alcatraz

Verdict: Zombies in San Francisco

Story: Knowing this is made by the Asylum I have to automatically know the story is not going to be truly original or believable. It follows the basic zombie stereotypes and puts together an over qualified group of survivors. A strong point for this film is knowing that any of the characters could get killed off at any stage because there is no big name in this. In conclusion this is a run of the mill zombie story offering nothing new but enough of the basic for a zombie film fan. (6/10)

 

Actor Review: Ethan Suplee – Former military man who becomes the muscle of the group but also has to go through the new age zombie trend. Good to see Ethan doing a non-comedy role but unfortunately he doesn’t become the overall powerhouse role that is required. (6/10)

 suplee

Actor Review: Mariel Hemingway – The lead scientist who wants to find a cure for the disease and will risk everything to get it. Tries to lead the group well and shows glimpses of quality but too often seems to look lost in lead role. (5/10)

hmingway

Actor Review: LeVar Burton – Scientist who stays to try and find a cure for his daughter who has been bitten. Good in patches but doesn’t have enough time to show the full distance he will go for answers. (6/10)

 lavar

Actor Review: Danny Trejo – Tough guy who just wants to survive at any means. Biggest name in the film and surprisingly doesn’t have much time in it. Disappointing with what he has been doing recently but enough to show typical Trejo performance. (6/10)

 trejo

Director Review: Nick Lyon – Has a string of straight to DVD or TV films to his name and this shows why he can tell the basic story but never challengers to the next level. (6/10)

Action: Some typical zombie chasing action scenes. (6/10)

Horror: Not the best zombie world creation but still enough to add the scarier scenario. (6/10)

Special Effects: Simple special effects but nothing stand out like the new zombie films like to offer. (6/10)

Believability: Only in some zombie outbreak scenario. (1/10)

Chances of Tears: None (0/10)

Settings: Starts with good setting in the prison but soon becomes all whole city of San Francisco. Almost the opposite of most zombie films where they start wide open and finish stuck in small location. (6/10)
Oscar Chances
: No

Chances of Sequel: It is left open for a sequel

Suggestion: Zombie film fans will be watching this it is still a good enough film to show how people react in zombie infected world. But if you want something original you will need to look elsewhere. (Try It)

 

Similar Too: Most Zombie films

 

Overall: Cheaply made zombie film

 

Rating 57