Archives for posts with tag: Michelle Rodriguez

Grade A-

From the “fake” trailer that was in the “Grindhouse” double feature movie, “Machete” is the fully realized version, starring the incomparable Danny Trejo as an ex-Federale who winds up as a day laborer in the U.S.  Picked by a man to assassinate a Donald Trump type politician (played by Robert De Niro), Trejo takes the job and before he can fire a shot, he is double crossed and set up to take the fall for De Niro’s attempted assassination.  Wounded and on the run from the police and De Niro’s henchmen, Trejo is helped by an underground network of Mexican immigrants to get his revenge on those who wronged him.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Machete” is the scene when Trejo goes to the house of De Niro’s main henchman.  Holding garden tools, Trejo tells the bodyguards that he is the new gardener.  The bodyguards let Trejo pass; and one of the bodyguards says something like “You ever notice how we let a Mexican inside our homes just because he’s carrying garden tools?”  It’s the funniest line in the movie.

“Machete” is a hyper-violent, often silly, fast paced, action/comedy that revels in its absurdity and glorifies the 1970s cheesy action/revenge flicks.   Obviously not meant to be taken seriously, this movie is best viewed with friends as you munch on unhealthy snacks and drink unhealthy beverages.  As a bonus to viewers, “Machete” has a surprisingly complicated plot for a movie that focuses on outrageous, bloody violence.

— M

Grade B –

The eighth movie of “The Fast And The Furious” line, “The Fate Of The Furious” is just as outrageous, ridiculous, unbelievable, funny, and entertaining as the preceding seven movies.  Part 8 has Charlize Theron playing the villain.  Her problem?  She wants to have the means to threaten and carry out punishments to various governments when they do…whatever it is they do that upset her — the movie wasn’t really clear on that.  She blackmails Vin Diesel’s character to steal what she needs.  No, she doesn’t need ex-Navy SEALs; she doesn’t need ex-Special Forces; she doesn’t need ex-SAS or even ex-Delta Force soldiers — she needs Vin Diesel!

So what has Theron have on Diesel that makes him turn on his fellow fast and furious crew?  That is a secret I won’t reveal.  But Diesel is now on the most wanted list, and not only is his former crew after him, U.S. secret agents are also coming for him.  In fact, so many people are angry at Diesel turning rogue that his old crew are working with former enemies.  We are treated to ludicrous chase scenes and giant, action set pieces in Cuba, Berlin, NYC, Europe, and the unfriendly skies as Diesel’s motivations and actions unfold.

My most memorable, movie moment is the sequence of the bad guys hacking the computers of dozens of vehicles in NYC and driving them all remotely with a decent amount of precision…all done by one or two people.  Adding to the craziness of this sequence is seeing what is supposedly Manhattan’s streets fairly open to fast moving traffic during the day time.  People familiar with this island are probably laughing after reading that last sentence.

Hey, “The Fast And The Furious” movies will never be Oscar contenders for Best Screenplay, we know this.  These movies are for a specific audience of hundreds of millions of people all over the world — myself included — and they never fail to entertain us.  And so we keep watching them, regardless of how silly things get.  In fact, silly is something we’ve come to expect with the package.

— M

Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and the rest of their Fast and Furious crew are recruited by the Feds to help apprehend another crew of criminals who use fast cars and high-tech gadgets to steal a device that can be used as a weapon to destroy entire countries.

Dwayne Johnson pays a visit to Diesel and tells Diesel that Michelle Rodriguez is still alive.  If Diesel helps Johnson with his problem, then Diesel can get a pardon for all the crimes he committed, plus possibly be reunited with his long, lost love, Rodriguez.   Johnson’s problem is as large as his pecs, so Diesel’s full crew are brought in to help; and they get pardons, too, for their troubles…if they succeed.

“Fast & Furious 6” is as entertaining as the majority of the movies in this series.  Sure, the over the top action sequences are unbelievable; but believability is not the point of this movie.  It’s about making the audience feel as if they’re strapped in these fast cars and doing triple digit speeds while committing or fighting crime.  And it’s not just about fast cars.  “Fast & Furious 6” is also about family and friendship, a theme that’s been embedded in this series since the first movie.  People who tell you that “The Fast and the Furious” movies are nothing but racing and explosions aren’t paying attention.  Underneath the outrageous stunts and pyrotechnics, there’s a large, beating heart.

“Fast & Furious 6” also has the most martial arts fights of the 6 movies, leading me to my most memorable moment of this movie: the scene when Tyrese Gibson and Sung Kang got their asses handed to them by one member of the enemy crew.  The bad guy was so good at fighting, Gibson and Kang were no match for him.  It was like watching 2 five-year-old girls fighting a grown man.

Oh, keep watching the end credits because a bonus scene is shown, which gives rise to the possibility of a 7th movie of this series.  I say “bring it.”  Because I like these movies.

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Two members of my crew: Ed and Joe.



The fifth of the “Fast And The Furious” movies takes us to Brazil where Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster and other franchise alumni are hiding out from the long arm of the U.S. law.  Money is tight, so Diesel’s crew decides to hijack sports cars that have been seized by U.S. Federal agents.  These cars were owned by the most powerful, Brazilian crime lord; and he hires Diesel and his gang to get his cars back, not because the crime lord is a fan of cars, but because one of the vehicles contains important information about his criminal business.   Unfortunately for Diesel and his crew, the crime lord is set to turn on them after the job is done.  Further adding to the misfortune of the fugitives, some of the Feds were killed by the crime lord’s thugs, and Diesel and Walker are blamed for the killings; and a super duper Fed played by The Rock and his crew of compression shirt-wearing agents are sent to bring them down.

One silver lining of the botched hijacking: Diesel has the special car with the important info; and he decides to use that info to rob the crime lord of all his cash.  But Diesel is going to need help with this huge robbery, so he and Walker bring to Brazil a larger crew comprised of major characters from the previous “Fast And The Furious” movies.   There’s Ludacris, whose acting ability is ludicrous; there’s Tyrese Gibson, whose teeth are the whitest in the movie business; (SPOILER ALERT HERE) there’s the Asian dude (Sung Kang) who died in the 3rd movie of the franchise (“The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift”), but is still alive in the 4th and 5th movie.  Huh?  Well, apparently the 5th movie takes place in the past, before movie number 3.  Anyway, I’m glad the Asian dude is around in movies 4 and 5, because he was the coolest character in the 3rd movie.   Plus he’s Asian, and us yellow people need to stick together.

“Fast Five” gives its target audience what it wants: cool, fast cars; illegal night races where women are half-naked and do not look like Rosie O’Donnell; gunfights; fistfights; and cars at WOT (that’s wide open throttle to you non-car folks) doing outrageous stunts.  Fans won’t be disappointed.  And if they are, it’s because certain cars that they wanted to see were not in the movie.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Fast Five” is the scene when Diesel makes a toast as his crew (one of whom is his pregnant sister) surrounds him.  He tells them that money comes and goes, but family is the most important thing.  Diesel isn’t just talking about blood relation, he also means close friends, ones you trust and love and can count on when things are going badly.

Damn right.  In my moments of sorrow, it’s the knowledge that I have relatives and best friends who care for me that gives me the strength to force the darkness out of my heart.


The fifth movie of the “Resident Evil” series, “Resident Evil: Retribution” is what I call a “rice cake” movie.  On the outside, there is volume, but there’s really not much there; there’s some texture, some flavor, but little substance.  Why does Hollywood keep making these movies?  Because dumb asses keep paying to watch them!  Maybe you’re one of them.  I’m not — I saw this movie for free (thanks, library!).

So, here’s the plot: Milla Jovovich wakes up in a huge, underground lab in Europe.  While her friends topside come down to rescue her, Jovovich has to go through several sections of the lab (like levels in a video game) in order to rendezvous with her friends.  Oh, Jovovich has a little girl in tow, played by Aryana Engineer (if I was her I’d find a way to engineer myself into better movies).   Engineer is one of many clones that populate the lab; and her specific clone has been imprinted with memories that she is the daughter of a Jovovich clone.  So, Engineer thinks that the regular Jovovich is her mommy.  Silly, over the top, non-engaging action sequences litter the movie.  And that’s it.  That’s the movie.

Runner up to my most memorable, movie moment is the scene when Jovovich and Engineer see the long lines of clones of themselves and others.  Engineer starts freaking out, and asks Jovovich what the clones are, then asks her if she is her real mommy.  This is memorable because it shows how well Engineer can act; and it shows that this little girl is the best actor in this movie.

My most memorable, movie moment is the last scene.  No, I’m not being a smart ass.  The last scene is purely a scene out of the deepest depths of hell.  Worse than being molested by the TSA.  Worse than being stopped and frisked because your skin color is too dark.  Worse than banks being bailed out by their politician friends using your tax money, and having those same banks come roaring back with increased fines and fees for you and moi.  Worse than the government curtailing your rights supposedly to keep you safe.   And what is this scene?   A very famous building with remnants of the military holding off tens of thousands of monsters.


“The Fast And The Furious” is the 1st of the 5 movie franchise (soon to be a 6 movie franchise); and it has one of the better storylines of the series.  Although it has the least amount of action sequences of the 5 movies, it has the advantage of a simpler, slightly more believable plot.  Paul Walker plays an undercover cop sent to infiltrate a street racing culture that holds clues as to who is robbing tractor trailers with the use of heavily modded Honda Civics.  Vin Diesel plays the street racing hero who may or may not be the ringleader of the robbery crew.

Walker saves Diesel from getting arrested during a night of street racing, and both men quickly develop a friendship that brings Walker deeper into Diesel’s legal and illegal business.   Oh, Walker also falls for Jordana Brewster, who plays Diesel’s sister.  Apparently, Diesel’s business isn’t the only thing Walker gets deep into.  All these entanglements cloud Walker’s mind, making the cops and FBI agents handling the case wonder about Walker’s loyalties.

I’ve seen all 5 of the movies, and this first movie has the simplest car action sequences.  That’s not a knock.  I happen to prefer it, because it’s more realistic.   The next 4 movies have outrageous action sequences that mostly deserve cries of “b.s!”  Yes, they are highly entertaining, but in a cartoonish way.  Whatever your preference, if you like cars, you’ll like these movies.

“The Fast And The Furious” mostly feature small, import cars from Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Mazda.  We’re treated to only two muscle cars: a modded, Dodge Charger and a classic, Chevy Chevelle SS (the latter seen only after the end credits).  So if you like American muscle, this movie may not be for you.  I used to never like “ricers,” but since buying a 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T, I have a slightly better appreciation for them.  Of course, I still hate the ones that have those useless, extra loud exhaust; the non-functional, over sized and retarded rear wings; and shiny stickers advertising the parts that are supposedly in the car (even though it’s not believable the car has them because the rest of the car looks like garbage).  Despite the fact that my heart will always yearn for American muscle cars (classic and modern Camaros, Mustangs, Chargers, Challengers, GTOs, Trans-Ams), a good looking, fast car will always have my attention and love; and “The Fast And The Furious” certainly has many good-looking, fast cars in action.

My most memorable, movie moment of “The Fast And The Furious” is the scene when Diesel tells Walker that Diesel lives his life 1/4 mile at a time.  Nothing else matters.  For those 10 seconds or less — an extremely fast car will do the 1/4 mile in 10 seconds or less — he feels free.  Damn right.

For those who don’t understand a man’s love for his vehicle, let me set you straight: to most men, a car is the embodiment of freedom, power, and beauty.


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Me with my baby (2012 Genesis Coupe 2.0T) on the day I took her home.

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