Thursday, April 29, 2021

FAST FIVE (2011)


Awww yeah, boi!  Everybody's favorite gang, excuse me, "family" of anarchist, sociopath thieves is back and willing to kill and maim as many people as it takes to not get a day job.

This time around the gang is in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  They pull off a car theft job, but things don't go as planned and before you can say "The laws of physics can suck my gear shift!" our heroes have both the American DEA and a local Brazilian drug lord (who owns the police) hot on their chiseled butt cheeks. It's all very silly, 1,000% unbelievable and...entertaining as fuck!!!  I don't even know how many times I've seen this goofy motherfucker.  A lot.  It's so goddamn crazy.  It seems the filmmakers decided to (wisely) transition the franchise away from the street racing aspect and into the more cartoonish heist caper story.  And it works.  Another wise decision was the addition of Dwayne Johnson as the main DEA agent tracking down the Toretto crime family.  His character is sooo over the top, it's hilarious.  This is the manliest motherfucker on the planet.  Even in scenes where nobody else is sweating, he's literally dripping sweat from just being so badass all the time.

Insanely quick pace that makes the 131-minute runtime fly by, overacting perfection, actors who are different heights looking eye to eye, Rio made to look like it's mainly made of up criminals, extremely impressive stunt work (FF is worth watching just for the stunts alone), lots of shooting and explosions, music, a lot of serious gear shifting with a purpose, beautiful locations and scenery...and some random warehouse locations, the world's strongest metal cable, funny / cheesy dialogue about honor and prayer while planning a robbery, exploding toilets, at least a hundred car wrecks.

Overall, FAST FIVE is fun as fook.  Total junk food Cinema and awesome. I've thought about double-featuring FAST FIVE with DHOOM 2, but was afraid the Universe might implode in on it's own unmanly butthole.

Part 1 - The Fast and the Furious (2001)
Part 2 - 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
Part 3 - The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Part 4 - Fast & Furious (2009)
Part 6 - Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
Part 7 - Furious 7 (2015)
Part 8 - The Fate of the Furious (2017)
Spin-off 1 - Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)
Part 9 - F9 (2021)
Part 10 - Fast X (2023)

Tuesday, April 27, 2021


THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAFFIC JAM (or TGATJ as it’s called in the ‘hood) is a great title for a movie. It conjures up all kinds of awesome images of thousands of cars wrecking and people dying. Freezing or burning to death in their whips. Donk rims dripping with blood and intestines. Human drama all over the place! Unfortunately, the reality of THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAFFIC JAM is more like watching an orange 1986 Ford Escort sliding, at 2 mph on an ice covered road, into a tree and then the passenger door falling off.

Originally broadcast on October 2, 1980 (according to IMDb), TGATJ tells the stories of various people in Los Angeles whose lives are affected by a gigantic traffic jam. There are two main stories that everything else kinda revolves around.  One is about a guy (Desi Arnaz Jr.) who needs to get to his pregnant wife.  The other is about a separated guy (John Beck) who is trying to get back in good with his family, but his job as a highway traffic controller takes up all his time. There’s a bunch of other characters (Charles Napier as a truck driver, Ed McMahon and Rue McClanahan as a bickering married couple, Paul Wilson as a biker, etc.), but they're all just tossed together like in an episode of The Love Boat, which was popular at the time.

As entertainment, THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAFFIC JAM is pretty weak, but the curiosity factor for the whole thing (at least for movie nerds) is there because I couldn’t help but be amused at how the cast could have so many recognizable faces, but still be made up completely of C-List (or lower) celebrities. There isn’t any big names at all. Ed McMahon and Noah Beery Jr. would probably(?) be the two biggest names here, but I can’t imagine them drawing a big audience on their own. So, I guess, the selling point to the film was supposed to be the traffic jam itself or the wrecks that caused it. If so, audiences were probably disappointed as fuck, because the wrecks sucked and the traffic jam itself sucked. And the humor was completely dead on arrival.  Unless, of course, shit like people selling traffic jam t-shirts or seeing Al from Happy Days at a drive thru ordering "6,000" hamburgers cracks you up.  And I'm sure that Butterfly McQueen reference had home audiences dying with laughter.

It sucks that there's so little information about this film online, because I would like to know more about it.  But at the time of this writing (04/27/2021), I can't really find fuck about it. I did enjoy seeing Paul from Cheers riding on a motorcycle with Ed McMahon. That's something you don't see everyday.