Fate of the Furious

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(Material Contains Spoilers!!)

The 8th installment to the Fast & Furious universe. The story resumes with Dom and Letty celebrating a steamy honeymoon in Havana Cuba. Which let’s be honest — was a great choice on the part of the production’s location department. I’m sure the studios will be flocking to those open borders for dozens of projects in the near future.

Back to the story — Dom’s cousin, Fernando, gets himself into serious deep shit with a local bully, Raldo, who threatens to tow his piece of shit car. Let’s be honest. It’s a dump. Dom does what he does best and bets Raldo that he can spank him in any ride, giving him that “It’s not in the car, but in the heart and quality of the man” speech. Sure thing bud.

Dom strips Fernando’s car down to the frame and engine, then adds his famous NOx. Gosh how many checks do you think Nitrous Oxide (Nox) distributors are cashing from Universal Studios? The race scene commences with Dom and Raldo. Dom’s piece-of-shit engine catches fire and starts to burn out of control. So what does he decide to do? He puts the thing in reverse and drives it backwards down the finish line, beating Raldo’s car by a mere inch. A little far fetched for my liking. I’m far too analytical to believe he could drive a lit matchstick into the harbor, and still manage to stop, tuck, and roll out of  the car virtually unscathed. I’m no expert — but realistically he should look like a burnt, fried piece of Freddy Krueger. Extra crispy please. matrix-reloaded-twins-solo-movie-poster-TR2752

Raldo is amazed and offers his car keys along with his respect to Dom. After all he won his car fair and square. What a nice loan shark…Dom tells Raldo to keep it, and throws his cousin the keys to his Impala instead.

Dom meets Cipher, A blonde white woman with dreadlocks who eerily resembles one of those freaky ghost twins from the movie, Matrix Reloaded. Ultimately she threatens Dom to join her with something the audience doesn’t see but we can imply that it’s pretty juicy.

Meanwhile in Hobb’s universe, he cheers his kid on at her soccer game –The epitome of a single, stay-at-home-dad. I just love it when you see those big, intimidating, buff guys like the Rock take on more placated roles such as The Toothfairy or Vin Diesel in The Pacifier. Only real men wear tootoos afterall. Tooth-Fairy_1024Anyhow Hobbs leads his daughter’s team in some crazy, funky-chicken, Haka dance, which was strangely reminiscent of Moana — In any given moment, I thought he’d burst out in a rhyming couplet with a matching tap dance number. What else can I say, besides “You’re welcome!”

(I’m sorry for all you sad individuals who didn’t get that reference.You really should still go out to see Moana. It was actually quite majestic.)

disney-moana-mauiMoving on — An Agent approaches Hobbs about a potentially dangerous high-class EMP which could be highly dangerous in the hands of criminals. Why do people keep making these things for more criminals to steal?! Sigh. Fist to face — Ultimately Hobbs calls Dom to assemble the team.

Fast forward. Hobbs and the Fast Team have already stolen the device, which is “safely” secured in Dom’s Charger. Now the trailer truly ruined the suspense (in my opinion) so I was completely able to anticipate how their lives were about to unravel in the subsequent scene. As suspected, Dom wrecks Hobb’s car, steals the EMP, and betrays everyone he knows. To heighten the mood, Hobbs informs the team in a dramatic batman voice “Dom’s gone rogue.”

Hobbs gets a class-A ticket to the pen. But before seeing the inside of the penitentiary and eating ramen noodle sandwiches, Hobbs meets Mr. Nobody and Little Nobody whom offers him a job and a clean record. Hobbs refuses, suspecting he can’t trust them. Fair enough — Hobbs is thrown into a cell across from Deckard Shaw. Convenient. But the two spew a ton of G.I.Joe, sailor, buff guy shit talk. It’s pretty great.

Suddenly the systems go down, Hobb’s cell opens, the guards try to seize him, and Shaw manages to escape. Hobbs, the good samaritan, follows in pursuit after him. Again one of my favorite scenes in the movie. Its like any classical, movie prison riot you’ve ever seen but everything’s better with Jason Statham. Honestly. Everything…(Except 007. He’s still not cool enough to play 007. And honestly neither was Daniel Craig — Sue me). 6feff83c18843f976c25e29be496c6a3aca0c8d873f4f0542d9d51f209e12b9a

Shaw and Hobbs make it outside the pen and they realize the system shut-down was a ploy of Mr. Nobody, who used the glitch primarily as an opportunity to employ them both.

Hop to the good stuff — The Nobodies gather the The crew, Hobbs, and Shaw to brief them on Cipher (whom they understand at this point is using Dom just as she used Shaw’s brother, Luke). The Crew decide to locate Dom’s position using God’s Eye. However, they find out he’s in the building. All that government money and no decent security system? michellefast.pngIn that same moment, Cipher and Dom bust through the doors, incapacitate everyone, steal God’s eye, swap spit in front of Letty, and leave. Letty must be losing her touch. In the first film, no broad would have been able to pull that off, and still use her lips to blow soup, let alone her man.

Back on the plane, we see why Dom’s betrayed everyone he loves and cares for. Cipher holds Elena, his ex-lover, hostage with his secret, never-before-mentioned lovechild. Eye roll. This is when Hollywood starts to become a tad too Jerry Springer for my liking. Can we at least see a DNA test to prove the child is in fact the fruit of his loins? C’mon…

Shaw and Hobbs get chummy. They find out they have more in common than they might think. Still arrogant assholes though.

Dom does the ol’ switch-a-roo and makes a secret rendezvous with Magdalene Shaw, (Helen Mirren). AKA, badass Victoria from RED.

The crew chases after Dom, he steals the briefcase with missile launch codes in a texas-chainsaw-like-fashion, and the crew hooks his famous Dodge Charger (but apparently even four cars can’t stop what’s under his modded-out hood). d9a06efe832ef2500f9b5a517aa6979cI have no clue why this scene was slightly reminiscent of Underworld 2 when the Death Dealers attempt to chain the lycan beast, William Corvinus. In this case, I’m not sure which beast is the greater monstrosity.

Anyhoo back to plot — Cipher hacks into every car in the city, Dom shoots Deckard Shaw dead, but then hesitates to shoot Letty.

Cipher is peeved because of Dom’s inability to choose sides. She shoots Dom’s baby mamma, ultimately saving Letty the man-stealing, child-support, baby mama drama later. Oh Hollywood, you. I see what you did there.

There’s this cool 007 ice fortress, mission scene. Though I must admit, I’ve never been a fan of ice. Not even in The Empire Strikes Back. Sorry to all you Star Wars “Episode 5 is the best movie in the whole franchise” fans. The best part of that film was seeing Luke’s arm get chopped off. Let’s be real.

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Back to story. Ultimately we find out that Dom’s necklace on the plane was a homing beacon, Dom didn’t kill Deckard Shaw but orchestrated his death so that him and his brother Luke could sneak onto the plane and steal back his bastard child. Which, quite frankly is a pretty awesome adorable scene with the little tyke. Whoever said frivolous murder, blood, and children don’t mix clearly have yet to see this film.

Some funky explosion happens from a torpedo Cipher launches, Dom uses his car to trap the missile, the crew shields Dom (thereby symbolically reuniting as a family), and Deckard comes close to killing Cipher but (as expected) she escapes. Say hello to another ongoing sequel. Sigh.

The crew barbecue on the rooftop as usual, and Deckard hands Dom his prize possession baby. I swear that kid better be the most obedient, loving, well behaved brat the world’s ever seen after all the shit his dad had to deal with —

Of course the movie ends with family and laughter. And finally Dom introduces his loved ones to his child, whom finally adorns the name: Brian. Touching. Not going to lie — The characters just don’t explain why Brian and Dom’s sister Mia, would be missing from this close, intimate family gathering. Hate to sound so analytical. In real life we understand and know what took place — On second thought, I’ll just give that one a pass.

All in all, despite the classic Hollywood non-stop, soap opera-like story telling, and the eerily similar aesthetic to Vin Diesel’s earlier blockbuster film, XXX — timthumbThe film was redeemable for it’s action-packed quality, stellar punch lines, all-star cast, and the occasional side-splitters.

Overall I’d give this movie a rating of: fingerlicking good.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

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(Warning this article contains heavy Spoilers)

That’s right! You saw it coming. How could we not? This beautiful, sci-fi, action comedy has everything you could want. From witty punch lines, galactic battles, that adorably-awesome twig Baby Groot, a decent story line, a kick-ass 80’s playlist, consistent characters, and the occasional tear-jerkers. I just hate it when they peel onions in the movie theatre.

I really enjoyed this movie from start to finish. Beginning with the opening credits as Baby Groot jams to a classic 80’s favorite as he obliviously dances his way out of the line of fire. Honestly, what’s not to love about those big bulging baby twig eyes? I would love him, and squeeze him, and call him George. Moving on.

The Guardians proceed to an epic kingdom of maxresdefault (1).jpgRoyal Golden A-holes. Did anyone else get the sudden urge to watch 007’s Goldfinger? The crew steals an explosive battery from the Queen and from here on-out they are pursued by her entire galactic force throughout the galaxy.

Next we get a close up of our favorite character Yondu, played by actor Michael Rooker. You gotta love that funny, southern, (although secretly heart-warming) hillbilly. He’s like Bobby from Supernatural meets Obi Wan Kenobi (the original Alec Guiness folks). ObiWanHS-SWEHere, his troops are spurred on an expedition to capture the Guardians by the Queen Bitch herself.

The Guardians meet Ego, Quill’s dad who comes hailing from the sky like a god in an egg-shaped chariot.

Ego explains his creation, as a Celestial god-like being he thought himself into existence and became a brain whom after millions of trillions of years learned to alter his mass and manipulate his molecules into a massive, earth-shaped planet. This was mind-numbingly cool in a metaphysical “I think therefore I am” sort of way. Not to mention that the planet looks like a neat hybrid of Rivendell, Pandora, and Asgard. Yes, a slight deviation from the original comic books but I prefer this over the massive purple floating head that eerily resembles Frylock from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. IMG_8466And don’t worry the film totally explains how Ego knocked up Quill’s human mother. He took the form of a male humanoid from earth. That’s right. Ego has a penis.

But wait. Haven’t we heard this story before…? Oh, I’ve got it! Ego is Zeus and Quill is the half-breed Demigod, Hercules. I swear these gods can never keep it in the pants. Quill inherits his father’s abilities, but the one drawback is that his powers are limited to his father’s unique bio-planet. Sucks he doesn’t have any other remarkable powers outside of his sarcastic humor. Which let’s face it, its a gift all on it’s own.

Meanwhile, Rockett and Groot are captured by the Ravager’s, Nebula shoots Yondu in his robotic shark fin, and the good guys are all taken hostage. Pirate assholes throw beer on Baby Groot, who in turn helps Rockett and Yondu escape after various comical attempts to find his missing fin.

Mantis, an empath-bug-alien-thing tries to warn Drax that Quill’s father is a super douche.

Meanwhile the good guys sack the Ravager ship and steal a spacecraft to rescue the heroe’s on Ego’s planet.

Gamora becomes suspicious of Quill’s deadbeat dad. And her deranged, jealous sister Nebula attempts to murder her from out of literally no where. Did I miss how Nebula somehow escaped almost-certain death from the explosion on the Ravager’s ship? Maybe I was too awed by Baby Groot kicking serious space pirate ass…

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 TeaserJames Gunn (screen grab) CR: Marvel

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Teaser James Gunn (screen grab) CR: Marvel

The Guardians discover that Ego’s been secretly impregnating various lifeforms and sacrificing his offspring so he can gather control of the universe…I knew he was a douche.

There’s an epic battle between the good guys and Goldfinger as her entire fleet of royal flunkies arrive on Ego’s planet. Why won’t this lady just give up already? Ego and Quill fight to the death. Quill morphs into a giant Pac-Man for you 80s nerds. And finally with the help of Baby Groot, they detonate Ego, causing him to explode from the inside of his massive core balls…Okay I purposely made that sound provocative, but it’s still pretty dirty when you think about it.

Yondu saves the day and rescues Quill as his father’s planet deteriorates. In a heart-felt moment, Yondu tells Quill that Ego may have been his father but he was never his daddy.Yondu_Poster.png Here comes the tears. Then Yondu proceeds to ride out in a blaze of glory after sacrificing himself in outer space so his “son” Quill might survive. Another tear jerker. Damn who keeps chopping those onions?

The story concludes with a memorial service for Yondu and the universe is rightfully restored. The end credits roll. There’s a few awesome scenes in the credits worth mentioning such as Groot, now a sass-mouthing teenager infuriating Quill in that special way that only a teenager could.

Overall I loved the action, the characters, the dialogue, and the symbolism to family and fatherhood.

All around I’d rate this film: Awesomely-Orgasmic.

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