Recent Viewing: Fast and Furious 6

I was never really a fan of the Fast and Furious franchise until my job in college was working on cars. One of my friends was excited for the Tokyo Drift movie and I decided I’d check it out too. It was a solid film that kept me entertained, so I checked out the rest in the franchise and kept loose tabs on the other films as they were released. I watched Fast Five for the first time a few months ago, and it raised the bar of the films (in my opinion). So I decided I had to check out Fast and Furious 6 in theaters.


Synopsis- The film starts with a great opening credit montage of the previous 5 films, acting as a refresher or prologue to people that my not have seen the other films. Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is tracking down a well known criminal Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and gang who have made off with some military equipment. In order to help catch Shaw, Hobbs finds Torreto (Diesel) and tries to convince him to help find Shaw. As added motivation, Hobbs shows Torreto a picture of his girlfriend who was thought to be killed in a blown undercover assignment.

Torreto is on board, and he gathers the rest of the crew for the job. They have a location on Shaw and the first conflict between Shaw’s crew and Torreto and O’Connor’s (Paul Walker) crew. The drivers tear through the streets of London, with some in Shaw’s crew driving cars that look like armored Formula 1 cars. Shaw’s crew gets away, but the chase provides valuable insight to the kinds of technology and cars that Shaw’s group has access to. They gain access to the person that designed the cars, but more people from Shaw’s group turn up, including Letty (Rodriguez), Torreto’s girlfriend. A gun fight ensues between the two factions. Who comes out alive and will Torreto be able to get back to Letty? Will Torreto and crew be able to bring down Shaw’s crew?

Review- Fast and Furious 6 picks up where Fast 5 leaves off. All the characters reprise their roles and the movie feels more like an extension of the previous film. I had questioned how this film could have been better than Fast 5, but it delivered. Another question I had going into the film was how were they going to spin Letty still being alive, when she was supposedly killed in the fourth film. The revival of her character seemed a little forced and misleading, but somewhat believable.

The action sequences were on par with Fast 5, with only one sequence that was pretty unrealistic. It was so over the top that it literally took me out of the movie, but doesn’t ruin the film, just a little bump. Comedic timing in the franchise is starting to become magic, the reaction between characters and the jokes they make at other characters expense are well timed and are just like jokes that people crack at each other that are that tight-knit.

I was curious how they were going to close out the franchise and how the Tokyo Drift film was going to fit in. The end of the movie did a good job of sewing up the 6 films and had a nice ending that winks at the first film.

As a motion graphics artist I always look forward to the credit design of the films and also the potential to a lead in to a potential 7th film. I won’t spoil anything, but don’t leave the theater right away.

Music- The soundtrack to this franchise is easily one of my favorites. The mix of music that they get for these films is always something I look forward to.

Recent Viewing: Jeff Who Lives at Home

I have a fascination with that whole fate/destiny thing, and it will always fascinate me. It has made it’s way into a few of my previous projects and it will no doubt show up in Cosmic Rage as well, but that’s a story for another day. So with my fascination with this fate/destiny element I tend to watch movies that tackle the subject and see how they perceive it. I recall looking at trailers on my trailers app on my phone and running across the trailer for Jeff Who Lives at Home. I’m a fan of both Jason Segal and Ed Helms, so I put the film on my watch list since it didn’t make it to many theaters.


Synopsis- Jeff (Segal) lives in his mothers basement, is unemployed and smokes weed. He also believes in the rationale of everything happens for a reason. The film starts with Jeff receiving a phone call asking for Kevin, no one lives there with that name so its a wrong number. But not to Jeff. Jeff goes to a hardware store for some glue to fix one of his mom’s shudders after a stressful phone call between them.

On the way to the store, Jeff sees a man with the name Kevin on the back of his basketball jersey. Believing in things happening for a reason, Jeff follows Kevin instead of going to the hardware store. This triggers a dayful of events that are strung together by chance or fate (depending on your view).

Along his day, Jeff runs into his brother Pat (Helms) and again, through chance or fate, they discover that Pat’s wife may be having an affair. Is this all that Jeff’s life was for, helping discover an affair?

Review- As much as I am interested in the fate/destiny element, there are very few films that I believe show that element in a new light or don’t have a cliche ending. Jeff Who Lives at Home, does not fall into that category. The film has a nice blend of comedy and the fate/destiny doesn’t come off as over the top or too far fetched.

Through the characters journeys they all evolve and we can see the depth of the family including Jeff and Pat’s mom and Pat’s wife and the evolution of the characters occurs in a short (about 85 minutes) length film, which is well paced. One area the film could have expanded on was a little more of the history of the family or the mom character, but it’s not necessary. I think leaving some of the family history out actually makes the ending more satisfying, but it depends on how much explanation you like in your films on matters like that.

The comedy in the film is well timed and the interactions between Jeff and Pat come off as typical sibling rivalry, which helps with the films almost voyeur aspects at times, coupled with the cinematography. There are several moments in the film that feel very real life, from the above mentioned sibling rivalry to the cube job of the mother.

Production Quality- The cinematography of the film was great, even if i felt the sudden push ins were a little overused in an 85 minute film. Otherise there wasn’t any special effects, animation and such in this film. Several great shots from unique perspectives, usch as the sprinkler scene in the cubicles. The handheld camera added to dramatic scenes in the film as well, that you will have to watch to find out what I mean.

Extras- None, I watched it on netflix