MMT Quick Review: THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS by contributor Darryl King

I don’t know how they do it but the Fast & the Furious franchise has done it again! Just when you thought it was safe and that this franchise was running out of gas… the movies that cry out about family… continues at record speed.

“The Fate of the Furious” is an explosive movie filled with the usual large action set pieces, corny one liners, fight scenes that capture your imagination and at its core, a heartfelt storyline of family.

This time the family must face its biggest challenge to date… Dominic Loretto (Vin Diesel). For some reason, revealed within the movie, Dominic must turn his back on the one thing to him that matters most… family. “Fast 8” then goes upon a journey to find out why he betrays his friends and how they must deal with him, while saving the world. His turn is a common subplot within the action genre yet this provides an interesting twist upon this series, opening the door for some new characters to be introduced to help balance the scales.

What the Fast & Furious series has always done very well has been the introduction of new characters into the mythos, villains and heroes, who are germane to the storyline without severely diminishing screen time for others. All your favorites from the franchise return, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Tej (Ludacris), and Roman (Tyrese) along with a few forgotten characters which help soothe the void of the loss of Paul Walker (O’Conner).

The villain from the last movie, Ian Shaw (Jason Statham) similarly turns sides like Dominic and joins our “Fast” team. His inclusion on the team creates an intriguing dynamic and a wonderful chemistry between Statham and the Rock. The energy between them is special and adds a much-needed spice for this movie.

But Charlize Theron as the evil technological spy known as “Cipher” grounds this film with a dark reality which we haven’t witnessed within this franchise. She is calculated and cruel with a purpose that serves the story.

Helen Mirren also fits so well in this “Fast” world, especially for those who loved her role in the movie “Red.” The only addition that doesn’t work is Scott Eastwood who plays an agent under Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell). It is obvious that they planted his character as a potential replacement for Paul Walker, but he becomes annoying while ciphering screen time from Russell.

Perhaps what makes us love Fast & Furious series, the characters, their stories, and the unbelievable, over the top action is that ever since Fast & Furious 4, this franchise has done a wonderful job at concealing a storyline/twist that changes the outcome of the movie. To that end, this alliteration doesn’t disappoint by tying in the plots from the other movies in this franchise.

Mainly this ploy has been to show that Dominic is much smarter that we realize, so that he is more than a racer/mechanic/leader of the pack of car racers, but this other view always shows our heroes always had another plan. This discovery by us the viewers attempts to make the unbelievable… believable but what it does is it manufactures an even more ridiculous story but ironically allows the film to feel more real.

So, in the end, the movie asks the rhetorical question… what is the Fate of the Furious? The fate is that we will get at least another 2 more movies in this franchise, with millions of enduring fans who can suspend disbelief, buy a big bucket of popcorn and put our faith again… in family.

Darryl King is a video director, film writer and avid Marvel/DC comic book/movie lover. Check out his reviews of Logan, John Wick: Chapter 2 and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story right here on MMT.

GIVEAWAY: advanced screening for THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS Tuesday, April 11 (Philly, Pa area)

Happy Sunday MMT Fam! I know many of you have been waiting for this one and are ready to enter, so let’s get to it! We’re giving away 25 pairs of advanced screening passes to THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS, screening April 11 in King of Prussia.

The film is the eight installment in the wildly popular Fast and the Furious franchise, and finds lead character Dom (Vin Diesel) being seduced by a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) and betraying those closest to him.

This a subscribers-only contest, but if you’re reading this and haven’t done so already what are you waiting for? To enter, send an email to contests@musicmoviesthoughts.com with the subject line “Fate” and your full name in the body. Winners will be selected at random and notified on Sunday, April 9. And remember: those who follow MMT on Facebook, in addition to the website, always increase their chances of winning!

You can watch the trailer below and get additional info at the official website here. THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS opens in theaters nationwide on April 14.

Good luck!

 

GIVEAWAY: advance screening of ‘Furious 7’ Wednesday, April 1 (Philly, PA)

Furious 7 (photo: Universal Studios)

Happy Friday Night MMT Philly Fam!  Remember last November when MMT gave that quick look at Furious 7? Well, we’ve partnered with Allied-THA for a special advance screening of the film next Wednesday night, April 1. I know all the Furious fans have been waiting for this one, especially since it’s the final franchise appearance of the late Paul Walker.

The first 15 MMT website followers to send an email to thinkmusicmovies@gmail.com, with the subject line “Furious” and their full name in the body, will receive an admit-two pass for the screening. Winners will be notified by Monday, March 30.

You can check out the official trailer for Furious 7 below and get additional information at the website here.

Good luck family!  Until next thought, Thomasena

A Quick Review of Black Nativity

Black Nativity (courtesy of Fox Searchlight)

Happy Thanksgiving MMT Family!  Also wishing a happy holiday to those celebrating Hanukkah!  I am very thankful always for family, friends and faith, and for the exciting interviews and movie screenings I’ve been able to experience this past year.  I was able to screen the holiday film Black Nativity last week, and although it was a bit clichéd I did enjoy the movie.

The Kasi Lemmon’s directed/written (screenplay) Black Nativity is a contemporary adaptation of an original play written by the great poet/writer/activist Langston Hughes. The story follows Langston (Jacob Latimore), a stubborn teen from Baltimore who has been raised by a single mother (Jennifer Hudson), as he travels to New York City and spends Christmas with his estranged grandparents (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett).  Themes of revelation, healing and forgiveness abound, and although several moments are predictable, these themes keep the audience invested through the ending.

With both Whitaker and Bassett on board, you know the film has some performance power; although I must tell you this film was in one of my faves, Jennifer Hudson’s, lane.  She stole the show with her musical numbers.  And there were some great moments with actor/singer Tyrese Gibson, singer Luke James, rapper Nasir Jones (NAS) and the “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” herself Mary J. Blige.

With a PG rating and 93 minute running time, Black Nativity is a great pick for the family Thanksgiving outing.  You can get more info about the film and get ticket/showtime info here.

Alright family, I know this was a super short one but I gotta go check on my macaroni and cheese! 🙂

Until next thought, Thomasena

GIVEAWAY: win passes to screen ‘Black Nativity’ (Philly, PA)

Black Nativity (courtesy of Fox Searchlight)

MMT Family, do I have another giveaway for you!  We’ve partnered with Allied-THA for your chance to screen Fox Searchlight’s Black Nativity , which has an all-star cast including Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Tyrese Gibson, Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Hudson. The movie opens Thanksgiving Day nationwide, and I haven’t seen yet but am hearing it is a great one for family viewing.

The screening will take place next Wednesday, November 20 in Philadelphia.  To put your name in the hat to screen “Black Nativity” you should:

  1. make sure you’ve signed up/subscribed to follow this site or the sister Facebook page.  If you’re a new subscriber to this site, make sure you check for the confirmation email and click the link inside to verify (this is our way to ensure you’re not a robot/spammer) AND
  2. send an email with the subject line “Black Nativity” to thinkmusicmovies@aol.com and your full name in the body.                    

Winners will be notified by Monday, November 18.  You can read a synopsis of Black Nativity below and check out the trailer at the official website here.

Alright family, good luck!  Until next thought, Thomasena

Black Nativity synopsis

In a contemporary adaptation of Langston Hughes’ celebrated play, the holiday musical drama BLACK NATIVITY follows Langston (Jacob Latimore), a street-wise teen from Baltimore raised by a single mother, as he journeys to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives Reverend Cornell and Aretha Cobbs (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett). Unwilling to live by the imposing Reverend Cobbs’ rules, a frustrated Langston is determined to return home to his mother, Naima (Jennifer Hudson). Langston embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey and along with new friends, and a little divine intervention, he discovers the true meaning of faith, healing, and family.