I’ve been slacking, but did manage to see 3 movies in the theatre this week. First off, Slava & I finally saw THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS. I heart these movies; it’s the only franchise I can get excited about (although not the only franchise I follow). I’ve seen them all in the theatre except TOKYO DRIFT, which I hear is the best (I still haven’t seen it!). We had to see it at the Fenway, in one of those barcalounger theatres I hate, but we had good seats and it was actually not bad, despite the guy next to me I had to take to task for using his phone (he stopped).
The action opens in…Havana! FATE OF THE FURIOUS was the first big film to be shot in Cuba since the embargo was lifted, which makes sense since it’s all about cars & who doesn’t think about Cuba when they think about cool cars? There is, natch, a great street race to start things off. My fave car in the movie, a 60s Impala, is in this scene, but only briefly. The cars in this episode are actually not that great. After we see one of these movies, I always ask Slava which his fave car was, and this time he didn’t have one! Bad sign.
So, our only complaint….not enough about cars! Too much action movie stuff, plot, guns, and fighting, not enough street racing. I think I had this complaint about #7 as well – they are moving into boring territory. But still, I enjoyed it. The appeal of these movies to me is, natch, the cars and the racing and the goofy characters. I love Michelle Rodriguez, who doesn’t get enough lines or screentime, but she does get to kick ass and drive fast cars. It would be a better series if she were the sidekick instead of The Rock (THE ROCK FOR PRESIDENT!).
So yes, these movies are about cars, but they are also, as Vin Diesel reminds us again and again, about Family. They are also very Catholic. These two themes are not particularly interesting to me, but I do find them amusing. Each film ends with an en plein air family dinner during which Vin reminds us how important family is, even if family is the people you choose, not the people who share your bloodline. I support this – the FF family is made up of car thieves and their gang, although some of them get married and stuff. While my blood family are important, I do find my chosen family of friends and husband just as, if not more important. I think this is a common feeling for outcasts, be they criminals or just weirdos.
Speaking of family, the next film was THE LOVERS, which I saw with a friends who is feeling a little emotionally delicate. I’ll pretty much watch anything produced or distributed by A24, and the trailer was amusing, and it was directed by the adorable son of arty filmmaker Ken Jacobs. Plus, we didn’t pay.
I found Tracy Letts pretty amusing, but was not impressed with frowny-faced Deborah Winger. Aidan Gillen will always be the annoying Mayoral candidate on The Wire to me, so that was hard to shake. This is one of those movies where I kind of hate all the characters, but stick with it anyway because I have nothing better to do. When the teenage son turned up to have a metldown, I just cackled. The point of the story seems to be that having an affair can make you even more hot for your mate. Hmmm.
Finally, I went with friends, who may as well be family, to see the new King Arthur movie at one of my fave local venues, the Somerville Theatre. I went there a number of times as a teenager to see such films as DIVA, BODY HEAT, and….something else I’m not recalling. I wish I had gone to their ROCKY & BULLWINKLE festivals, but alas I did not (note to self, plan a Rocky & Bullwinkle marathon with Slava AKA Boris Badenov).
I hear Guy Ritchie’s latest is a bomb, but we fully enjoyed it! Word is, Warner Bros wanted it to be the first of a franchise, but it’s just a little too much all the way around, and if the first one isn’t a hit, you probably won’t make 8 of them. A little too much CGI for my taste, but Jude Law was his usual charming Dorian Gray ageless self, Aidan Gillen turned up (see above), which was fun, and the Mage was good. They put some black guys in the gang, including Djimon Hounsou, who was in FURIOUS 7 (RIP Paul Walker), so that was cool. I thought Charlie Hunnam was absurd as Arthur, but what can you do?