Thoughts While Watching 2001’s The Fast And The Furious

For reasons unknown, Husband got it into his head that we, as a couple, need to subject ourselves to the entirety of the Fast and Furious movie franchise. Because I love him, I have agreed to devote 15 hours and 57 minutes of my life watching ethnically ambiguous men beat one another up furiously between races where they make their cars go, what I can only assume from the titles, is very, very fast.

We began with the first of what is currently only eight films: The Fast and the Furious. A la my She’s All That post, the following are my thoughts while watching, jotted down in real time in a notepad application on my phone. I have no screen shots, but I am sure, Dear Reader, that you remember this movie masterpiece frame by frame.

We’re 3 seconds in, and I can already tell this is not a movie that was made for my 31 year old lady demographic.

Are they gonna kill this truck driver? What the heck, I do NOT remember this at all!

Wouldn’t you stop if people were attacking your semi? How are you this good of a semi driver? Is this movie actually about semi drivers?

Jesus, this movie just feels like 2001.

PAUL WALKER!!! (My mom loved him.)

Is Paul Walker really going to have this girl cut the crusts off his sandwich? What a man baby.

This girl working at the diner (Jordana Brewster) is 2001 hot. She has no lips and a straight figure. 2001 was a simpler time.

Okay, Michelle Rodriguez just showed up and I am here for her.

“Sandwich crazy” needs to be entered into the DSM.

Who is this beardy fuck? Vince? Fuck off.

I’m feeling ultra gross how a tuna sandwich is being equated with Mia (Jordana Brewster) right now.

DON’T YOU EMBARRASS VIN DIESEL!

The movie is a commercial for NOS. I don’t know if that’s a brand, but I bet it is (and I refuse to look it up).

For a few seconds you see all these diverse people at the “car club” and you think this is nice, everyone getting together, but then they play music specifically from a person’s background and show how separate they actually are and–is that Ja Rule????

P Dubz’s car has blue lines under the hood so it is the coolest car there.

No hot lady with a flag signaling the drivers to go? What kinda bullshit car racing movie is this?

No one going 200mph would stop that easily.

The real miracle of this film is that, in the scene where they scatter from the police, no one hits anyone else.

I feel like I don’t even need to say this, but I’m gonna: All of these lines are terrible, and they even terriblier delivered. I had to make up a new word to express how terrible this dialogue is.

Now there’s a motorcycle gang! And they’re Asian! But they weren’t invited to the car club! But they race too! They have a turf war! What the hell?!

Dem cheek bones doe, dem tight pants doe! Johnny Tran needs his own movie.

AAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhahahahahahahaha the car BLEW UP.

All these lit candles at this drunk-person party–this house is going up in flames like that car.

Waaaaaay back in 2001 there were NO WOMEN on the police force.

Do you think anybody thought twice about calling this yearly dessert meetup “Race Wars?” Like do you think the writers, producers, or directors considered different names? Or do you think there’s a complicated, in-universe reason for the name?

FLOPPY DISKS.

This drop out with ADD should be the main character.

Vince fucking sucks.

Either I am thinking way too hard about this, or the director really wanted to give this backyard bbq a last supper vibe, and Vince is Judas. Or maybe it’s Paul Walker. Or maybe I’m thinking too hard about it.

I don’t think there are this many parking spaces readily available in LA.

P Dubz is a bad liar.

Okay, so Vince still fucking sucks, but he isn’t wrong about P Dubz being a cop. Man this is rough.

I just stopped paying attention for the last like 20 minutes and when I looked back up Vin Diesel was grabbing Michelle Rodriguez’s ass in such an awkward way that it looked like he was going to tear her in half buttcheeks first.

Okay, this movie is just Grease without the music. OMG what I would give to see Fast and Furious and Fabulous.

OMG SPOILER ALERT: Vin Diesel was the bad guy all along, I cannot fucking believe this!

Well it looks like, in a completely uncharacteristic turn of events, Michelle Rodriguez decided to wear her seatbelt and that happened to be the one time a car rolled over. Thank you for making a good choice and being a role model for all the kids who will see this movie.

The reveal that P Dubz is a cop to Vin Diesel was actually pretty great. This is easily the best scene in this film acting-wise, writing-wise, even how its shot.

Also giving the truck driver a shot gun was a good choice. You don’t see a lot of shot guns in movies anymore. Or at least I don’t. Maybe I’m watching the wrong kinda movies.

Is this thing ever going to end? There is so much yelling, and bullets, and revving engines.

Guess Johnny Tran isn’t getting his own movie.

Ooo, Vinny D and P Duz gonna talk the only way the know how: by racing!

The greatest love story of this film is the one between Paul Walker and Vin Diesel.

Choo choo, mother fucker!

Are we really doin this, bro? Yep!

Like Vin, I did NOT see that semi coming. (Hey there, Ashley from way after watching the movie here: Vin Diesel headed up a ring of robbers who heisted semi truck goods. Then Vin Diesel gets hit by/runs into a semi truck. I did not get this connection when I watched it, but now…are the writers of this franchise actually geniuses???)

KISS KISS KISS!!!!

Spoiler Alert: Paul Walker and Vin Diesel did NOT kiss. Guess they’re saving that for the second movie.

Thoughts While Watching 1999’s “She’s All That” For The First Time In Probably 10+ Years

(Note, I only started taking screenshots at the very end. Sorry.)

No one looks like that in high school. Not in the 90s anyway.

Matthew goddamned Lillard.

Did Usher actually attend this school as a student? Or was he just the school’s hired DJ? Why does a school need a DJ, hired or otherwise?

The things the edgy girls say to Laney in art class are SO FUCKING MEAN that I almost did a spit take. That shit is HARSH and a million times worse than anything Taylor does.

If I wasn’t attracted to women before Mac, I sure as fuck was after.

“Supersize my balls.”

I can’t tell if it’s a wig or not, but Laney’s long hair is weird. It is a wig, isn’t it?

Simon and I know exactly same amount about alcohol.

“What is Shampoo?”

Rachel Leigh Cook coming down the stairs to “Kiss Me” is i-con-ic.

“GIVE IT TO ME BABY!”

Petition to bring back the man-titties-out soccer shirts!

Zack’s blonde friend really takes a turn in the second act. Hey, that’s Paul Walker! Aw, takes a turn…oh no, I made myself sad.

Was Usher actually ever on set with any of the principle cast?

LANEY USES POOL PARTS IN HER PAINTINGS OMG WHAT A SMART FUCKING CHOICE FOR THE PROP DEPARTMENT. ALSO HOW IS THAT NOT A PIECE OF HER IN HER ARTWORK, MS. ART TEACHER?

Zack’s internal struggle is beautiful.

Was this movie sponsored by The Real World?

DO YOU GUYS REMEMBER THE REAL WORLD?

Did anyone go to a school where people freestyled at all let alone about who was going to be prom queen? Do you think they wrote those freestyles and then titled the movie or decided on the title and then wrote it into the rap?

The pube pizza scene was something I had blocked out of my memory 19 years ago, and I am pissed off I’ve been subjected to it once again.

Their one use of “fuck” is spot on.

I really appreciate how they portrayed both Zack and Laney’s dads.

The prom photographer is all of us.

Why is Lil’ Kim in this movie if she doesn’t have any lines??

This guy’s hair:

hair
Inspiration: Pineapple

Taylor is wearing butterfly clips, face glitter, and gold lipstick to prom. Goddess.

taylor
Get on my level, Zack!

Usher implies he taught the students the choreography that the “dance team” performs during prom which suggests he may also be the dance instructor at the school? This weirdly makes sense to me, but I’m pissed off we never got a spin off called They’re All That And A Bag of Potato Chips staring Usher, Lil’ Kim, and Gabrielle Union going to and winning state.

Basically, the concept of the Usher DJ is a really novel idea, and I love it.

usher
WHY WOULD I EVER WANT TO ESCAPE THIS, COMPUTER, WHYYYYYYY???

This guy’s hair again:

this guy
I’m sorry, dancer, you didn’t deserve this.

She’s All That is basically Grease at this point, and I am here for it.

The dancers are wearing dance shoes. No matter what kind of dress they have on, they’ve all got Broadwayesque boxy heels on. I’m also here for that.

They should have made a live action Captain Planet with these guys as Earth and Fire:

cp
RIP Mr. Walker

Unpopular Opinion: Taylor deserved to be prom queen. She’s clearly going to peak in high school, she needed it more.

The race for Laney’s virginity admittedly makes me uncomfortable, but I’m unsure how this could have been written better. At least it works out well with Laney defending her own honor.

Usher is literally credited as “Campus DJ.” This doesn’t answer any of my questions.

Final Thought: This is an A+, high quality, 100% amazing FILM, and I recommend it to all of you right this very instant.

Good Media

I like to let my brain melt after work, and I’ll watch a lot of YouTube, or I’ll play a TV show I’ve seen a hundred times already in the background as I do some other task like dye my hair, but neither of these things are particularly stimulating. If I’m paying enough attention then yes, The Office can still provide an entertaining and thoughtful 22 minutes, but I watch those shows passively now, and most often the videos I watch on YouTube don’t make me think very much, if at all.

And while that’s perfectly fine, I used to watch television–good television–religiously. I still believe that TV has the best story-telling potential, but my favorite shows came to their necessary conclusions or jumped the shark, and I never picked up anything new. Like what happens to most of us with the music we listened to in our late teens, I got stuck in my own golden era of media and just kind of stalled out.

I don’t think I spend less time consuming now, I just don’t consume much of value, and that’s sad, so I’m resolving to seek out good media as part of my bid to become more creative in 2018. There have been many times when I’ve seen a preview or read a review and thought, “Yes, that’s what I’ll watch/read next!” and then don’t follow through, but the other night I saw a preview for I, Tonya, a Tonya Harding (sort of) mockumentary and decided then and there I had to see it.

I, Tonya was easily one of the best films I’ve ever seen. Maybe part of my love for it is having been starved of new and exciting movies recently, but I doubt that is the sole factor (especially since I just saw The Last Jedi and fell head over heels for that).

Stories that make you rethink what a villain is, like Wicked or even the new Star Wars trilogy, have a special place in my heart. I, Tonya is one of these stories, and it’s beautifully complex. The real villains in I, Tonya are her mother, her ex-husband, and, unexpectedly, but refreshingly, you, the viewer. Highly recommend. A quick warning, though: if you are at all triggered by domestic abuse, you may want to steer clear.

I read a negative review of this movie because I like when other people are wrong, apparently, and the critic said that, “ultimately what gets lost is empathy for whom it matters most: Harding.” If you come out of watching this film without feeling total empathy for Harding, You. Are. Not. Human. Or you don’t know how to critically analyze something, which is rough for a professional analyst.

I’m trying to focus this resolution on all media, not just movies, so I did some digging in modern music as well, and I stumbled on both Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus.

Hear me the fuck out, okay?

I grew up in the age of the CD. An artist released a track on the radio and within a month their album, no, their compact disc came out. The CD was a story, regardless of if that was intended to be, and usually had some kind of overarching voice to it. In the age of the digital album, however, things are a-changin.

And that’s fine, but it’s also frustrating. I fell hardcore in love with Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar” and “Wolves” is also pretty good, but as far as I can tell these songs aren’t attached to an album! If you like a song, there is a pretty good chance that the album the song came from will be a hit with you, but here I am with a couple measly singles and a desire to place them into a larger story that doesn’t seem to exist.

Then I found what is basically the exact opposite in Miley Cyrus. So, she had a rough patch, admittedly, but her newest album, Younger Now, and its title track especially are not just divergent of what she was doing, but it’s all stand-out, good pop music. Apparently between the, well, let’s say the “mistake” that was Bangerz and her newest, she released what’s essentially a mixtape, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz. It’s touted as psychedelic pop and sprinkled with these really lovely songs that make you feel like you’re floating in space. I guess that’s exactly what psychedelic pop would be, hu? “Karen Don’t Be Sad” is my favorite so far, but I’ve not listened to all of it.

It’s essentially a foil to what Gomez has done in that she released a 23 track concept album for free on the internet. I don’t begrudge Gomez in any way for selling her music, they should all do what they want with their intellectual content, it’s just interesting the different directions each has gone.

This post is probably long enough, but I should also mention I’m reading Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer. I know I need to read more in general, and this was a good place to start. The book is short and reads very quickly. I’m really enjoying it so far and it’s very dissimilar to what I would normally read, but I’m going to save a more formal review for when I finish the whole trilogy. A film is being made for release this year, but the trailer feels much different than the book so far. An older me would be like “that sucks!” but a new me is looking at it like “this is great, two pieces of media for one!”

It’s funny I started out talking about TV, and then told you, Dear Reader, about all these non-TV things, but that’s the just the thing: I’m looking for something new and exciting, and movies and music can be consumed and moved on from while TV kind of sucks you into a commitment I might not be ready for again. Too soon, TV, too soon!

2018, the year of good media. I hope.