Race to First: Ranking the Fast and the Furious Franchise

Ask any racer. Any real racer. It don’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning’s winning.” – Dominic Toretto, The Fast and The Furious, 2001.

From street racing and stolen trucks to taking on international drug lords and terrorists, The Fast and The Furious is one of the most successful and versatile film franchises ever. With a combined gross of $5 billion, the success is hard to argue against. In honor of the first Fast and Furious spin-off, Hobbs and Shaw, I thought it was time to take a look in the rear view mirror and rank the Fast franchise.

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Heartwarming and funny, ‘Toy Story 4’ is a satisfying animated ending

In 1995, Toy Story changed the animation game as we embarked on the adventures of Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and Andy’s toys as he worried that his owner was leaving the cowboy behind. This dark premonition came to pass in 2010’s Toy Story 3. Andy, now an adult, hands his childhood pals to a preschooler named Bonnie. While the ending is bittersweet, it is happy enough to bring tears to moviegoers.

While Toy Story 4 is rediscovering lost friends, one’s purpose, and listening to your inner voice, is it really necessary?

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A twist on the original formula makes ‘Happy Death Day 2 U’ an enjoyable follow-up.

When Blumhouse’s Happy Death Day hit theaters two weeks before Halloween in 2017, I didn’t know what to expect from it. I saw it as a slasher version of Bill Murray’s 1993 comedy classic Groundhog Day – minus Bill Murray, of course. What it did have though was a new actress, Jessica Rothe, who put in a starmaking performance. So what could they do for a follow-up with their spin on horror-film final girl trope?

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‘Mission: Impossible: Fallout’ continues to reach for the impossible with success in franchise’s sixth entry

When a franchise reaches a sixth film, a property usually finds itself at a crossroads: adapt or continue to rely on faithful tactics with the possibility of waning box office numbers. Franchises such as The Fast and the Furious learned to adapt by adding elements while keeping the core of what made it great. For Mission: Impossible – Fallout, its success lies in doubling down on the status quo of the series: Action and stunts. Lots of stunts by Tom Cruise, the man that Father Time hasn’t caught up to yet. Read More »

‘The Equalizer 2’ delivers nothing new and that’s okay.

No one knew what to expect from 2014’s The Equalizer, banking on Denzel Washington’s charisma and rejoining director Antoine Fuqua. The film was a quiet hit, earning $200 million for Sony. So it was surprising to hear the studio green light a sequel, planning its release during the prime time of summer blockbuster season. What’s also surprising is Washington signing on for his first official sequel of his career.

But I guess when you have Denzel Washington by your side along with the same director, anything can be done. Even if the environment around him has issues, you can always depend on Washington to still carry a movie to “watchable” status.

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Light ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ a welcome breather as the MCU’s 20th film.

Everyone remember Avengers: Infinity War? The culmination of the first 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that was paced with amazing action sets, high stakes, and ripped out the hearts of fans all over the world by the time the end credits rolled. But we missed out on one of the more entertaining Avengers.Where was Ant-Man? The twentieth entry in the MCU franchise, Ant-Man and The Wasp, answers that very question.Read More »

Everything is Awesome again with ‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’

Everyone remembers The Lego Movie, right? The 2014 smash-hit was a landmark in visual style and creativity in animation. Along with great humor, voice cast and heartwarming message, The Lego Movie started a major franchise for the Lego brand, including the successful Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie.

Five years later, it’s time to return to the characters who started it all.
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