Downhill and all the images you see in this review are owned by Searchlight Pictures
Directed by Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Let’s see… I don’t remember seeing any trailers for this, I didn’t know it was coming out until the day before I saw it, and I haven’t even seen Veep yet. Yeah, not sure what to say about this one going into it, especially since Sonic The Hedgehog took up all my attention last weekend. But hey, I’m sure SOMEONE out there is excited for this film, right? It made it to Sundance! Did SONIC make it to Sundance? I think NOT! Yeah okay, it’s got a good cast but Will Ferrell hasn’t been on the best of streaks lately so I’m giving this about a fifty-fifty shot at being any good. Does it manage to beat the odds and be the surprise hit of the weekend, or will the only thing people remember about this is that it’s the film that tried to take on the Blue Furball on his opening weekend? Let’s find out!!
Pete and Billie Staunton (Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus) have taken their sons Finn and Emerson (Julian Grey and Ammon Jacob Ford) to the Alps for a family vacation which frankly Pete really needed as his father died a mere eight months ago and he’s been shaken up about it ever since. You know how these things go however; the kids would rather just be on their screens all day, the busy schedule means everyone is tired, and all this extra effort and tension is bubbling up repressed negativity in unexpected ways. Perhaps the MOST unexpected way though is what Pete ends up doing that puts a huge damper on things for the rest of the trip! At one point the family is enjoying their lunch on the patio when an avalanche starts to approach, and like what any of us would do (what, you WOULDN’T do this?) Pete grabs his phone and skedaddles while Billie clings to the kids and hopes that they don’t all die in the snowfall. They don’t of course, but darn it if Pete running away didn’t become the biggest buzzkill of this entire trip, and it calls into question quite a lot about their lives, their relationships, and where this family is headed. Will Billie and Pete find a way to come back together after this bizarre event has torn them apart? Will their kids be able to cope with the fact that their dad left them for dead and is barely even acknowledging this fact? Seriously, what kind of excuse could Pete POSSIBLY come up with to explain that? At that point you might as well just drop a smoke bomb and disappear for the rest of your life.
Fate of the Furious and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures
Directed by F Gary Gray
I hope all of you out there appreciate what I do for you! A week ago, I had never even SEEN a Fast and the Furious movie, and yet I managed to binge watch ALL SEVEN OF THEM so that I can properly review this new one as the series now has a continuity more dense than the freaking Terminator, and that’s SUPPOSED to be convoluted! I HAD TO WATCH TOKYO DRIFT FOR YOU PEOPLE!! Sigh… alright, well it’s not like I even HATED any of the movies (other than Tokyo Drift) as most of them are at least DECENT if not all that engaging. For me though, they didn’t pick up until part six when the BUDGET finally started to match the VISION that was always there, because let’s face it; Fast and the Furious was NEVER a serious series. It was ALWAYS balls to the wall insanity, just at different degrees depending on what they could afford (except for Tokyo Drift which was just garbage). So with the last two films finally managing to reach the potential this series was always capable of, does that trend continue with this film? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins in Cuba where Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) have settled down since the last movie where their house got blown up, and they’re doing their typical first act shtick of racing cars, talking about family, and forging new friendships! That is until a super hacker hilariously named CIPHER (Charlize Theron) corners Dom at one point and shows him something that will CHANGE EVERYTHING FOREVER!! Cut to a few days later where good ol’ Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) calls him and the rest of the crew up (Tyrese Gibson, Chirs Bridges, and Nathalie Emmanuel) to do another mission. Everything goes according to plan except… DOM BETRAYS THEM!! Their mission was to take an EMP from someplace in German (for reasons that I’m sure make sense) but he crashes Hobbs’s car right at the end and takes it for himself; leaving Hobbs to get thrown in jail back in America which JUST SO HAPPENS to be the same jail that Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is locked in as well… and they get cells right across from each other because reasons. So now it’s up to our favorite crew of street racers along with Frank Petty (Kurt Russel) from the last movie who’s the leader of some sort of spy organization as well as his new protégé of sorts Eric Reisner (Scott Eastwood) to find out what Dom is doing, what CIPHER wants from him, and hopefully how to solve all this without taking him out as well. Just what is the reason that Dom betrayed the one thing he cares about more than anything which is FAMILY? Just what is CIPHER planning, and is it bad enough that the crew may have no other choice than to take Dom out? Will Vin Diesel FINALLY give that Oscar performance he’s been hoping for!?