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The Fast and the Furious (2001)
I Wasn't Supposed To Like This,But I Did!
Anyone who sits down to watch this movie should be looking for 2 hours of pure,forget your problems,entertainment. Shakespeare it ain't! However, it is a loud,action-packed diversion and it is lots of fun. And I,being long out of my teens and a Detroit muscle car enthusiast to boot,wasn't supposed to like it!
The plot is a bit on the thin side,but it is basically just an excuse to bombard the viewer with a cool,thumping soundtrack and lots of shiny,fast,little cars. I found myself liking these characters,particularly the girls. Both Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriquez did a fine job as very strong young women,each in her own way. Vin Diesel was likeable as a character that was reminiscent of a Hollywood version of Jesse James or Robin Hood. Paul Walker did well in his portrayal of the young undercover cop,who is torn between love and duty. I also found Chad Lindberg's portrayal of Jesse,the young genius whose potential is never fully realized,to be touching. Certainly,having the talented Ted Levine aboard,as the voice of reason,lent an air of credibility to the whole proceedings. This man always shines,even in the smallest roles.
Some of the plot was disturbing,such as the treatment of truck drivers,but it was apparent that the world of modern day street racing was well researched,by writers and actors alike. The terminology was up to the minute and if all else fails,just holler,"NOS!" There were definitely times that one had to suspend disbelief,but all in all,I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes cars,a flashy soundtrack and a fast-paced movie! Pure fun,all the way.
For many reasons,this is one of my favorite flicks.
This movie is a lot like one of those page-turner novels that you can't put down. It has genuinely likeable characters and plenty of plot twists and turns along the way to keep you hooked. Add gorgeous cinematography and a vintage El Dorado and what more could you ask for?
Danny Glover is excellent as the charming drifter who is everybody's pal,or is he? Jared Leto gives a fine performance as the disillusioned young doctor,who is hitch-hiking his way across the west and ties in with Glover's character. R.Lee Ermey pretty much steals the show as Sheriff Buck Olmstead,the wise and kind lawman who is locked in a heated battle to hold onto his office against a slick young opponent. Now he has several brutal murders on his hands,and the only man who seems to have any knowledge that could help him is a renegade FBI agent,played by a haunted-looking Dennis Quaid.
The entire supporting cast is particularly good in this movie. Ted Levine, again demonstrating his exceptional versatility,does a very fine job as Olmstead's loyal deputy.
The ending is tense and ultimately,satisfying. Settle back with a bag of popcorn and slip this one in the DVD player or VCR. You won't be disappointed.
Joy Ride (2001)
Fasten your seatbelts! This is one scary ride!
***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** After seeing the trailers for this one,I had high hopes it would be a good,old-fashioned thriller,and I was not disappointed. I was on the edge of my seat most of the time and so was my friend. The tension is palpable!
The fact that this is a highly plausible scenario and not some far fetched sci-fi gross-fest only adds to the tension. Paul Walker and Steve Zahn are excellent as two brothers who could be the guys next door. Everybody knows people like this. They aren't trying to be mean,just being pranksters who forget that even psycho truckers have feelings. You can bet they won't make that mistake again! Leelee Sobieski,looking and sounding like a young Helen Hunt, is also effective as their friend,who they are driving to pick-up at college. She'll wish she had taken a bus!
A bit of a spoiler here-if you wish Rusty to remain anonymous, read no further. As far as I am concerned,the incredibly talented Ted Levine steals the show as the sinister yet sensual voice on the CB. This man is so good,you don't even have to see his face for him to have a profound effect. He scares the daylights out of you just by saying, "Candy Cane"!
The big rig is used to good effect too,especially at night. The scene in the cornfield and the scene on the dirt road are especially harrowing. If you enjoy suspense without much graphic violence and you like to be kept guessing,this one is for you. Enjoy. And you will be looking in your rearview mirror at that Peterbilt or Mack behind you!
Moby Dick (1998)
Beautiful Rendition of a Classic
When I sat down to watch a new version of an old classic, I was not quite certain what to expect,particularly from a TV movie. Having seen some of the names listed in the cast, I was hopeful. Happily, I was not disappointed. Not only was the acting superb, but the cinematography was beautiful and the soundtrack stirring.
Patrick Stewart was quite compelling as Ahab and his rendering of a man possessed by his inner demons was excellent. However, it was Ted Levine's Starbuck who truly stole the show. He said more with just a glance than most actors can with an entire dialogue. One truly felt his emotional and spiritual turmoil. Hopefully this very fine actor will have more roles of this caliber in the future that are worthy of his talent.
The rest of the cast was excellent as well. All in all, a very enjoyable viewing experience and a movie I will return to again and again.