Browse Month: October 2017

RECAP: The Fate of the Furious

The Fate of the Furious (2017): F. Gary Gray

After directing the smash success N.W.A. origin story Straight Outta Compton, F. Gary Gray earned the helm of the biggest franchise of the 21st century: a story about people who drive quickly.

The Fast franchise has always been about family. And cars. But mostly family. Dominic Toretto, hero of the street-class,  turns bad guy in this eighth installment, an inspired choice that gave the series an edge it needed.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Dominic Toretto’s crew faces its toughest enemy yet–Dominic Toretto. Continue Reading

RECAP: Sudden Death

Sudden Death (1995): Peter Hyams

Perhaps no movie better represents the “Die Hard in a ___” premise better than Sudden Death. The second collaboration between Hyams and Jean-Claude Van Damme, the hockey movie puts Van Damme in one of his least combative roles.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: At Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, a terrorist holds the Vice President hostage, and the only man who can stop them is…the fire marshal.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Fast Five

Fast Five (2011): Justin Lin

Bringing a new edge to the Fast franchise, Dwayne Johnson joins Vin Diesel and his family to steal some cars and avoid the law in Rio de Janeiro.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Fast cars and bad men, Dominic Toretto ducks the police in Rio while planning to steal $100 million of a crime lord’s funds.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean (2003): Gore Verbinski

Yo ho yo ho a pirate’s life for me.

So begins the out-of-nowhere leviathan that became the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. From its start as a fun, water-based ride in Disney’s Magic Kingdom, this movie, the original, spawned four sequels (and counting?), grossed more than $4.5 billion worldwide, and remade Johnny Depp into a Keith Richards clone. Quite the success.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A loopy pirate recruits a reluctant blacksmith and a governor’s daughter to help him capture a cursed pirate ship roaming the British-era Caribbean.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Miami Vice

Miami Vice (2006): Michael Mann

Crockett and Tubbs, Tubbs and Crockett. Try finding a cooler, more decade-defining duo than those two Miami Vice detectives in the 1980s. They made Miami cool (cooler), pastels cool, and they made it possible to wear t-shirts with sport jackets.

What better way to adapt this hyper-cool TV series than a gritty filmmaker like Michael Mann? OK, a lot better. Mann makes a different movie, a Mann movie, but a good one. And yes, this Crockett and Tubbs are cooler.

Don’t shoot me!

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: When a federal drug sting goes awry, the FBI calls Miami’s top undercover detectives to bust a worldwide cartel operating in Miami.  Continue Reading