Friday, May 6, 2011


Brief Movie Review and Pics from the Movie Production Set

[Home Sweet Home...]

This movie was excellently done.
In this fifth installment of the dynamic franchise, Vin Diesel reprises his role as Dom Toretto, the cool villain. And the team of thieves gather in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in order to execute one last heist. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson also joins the ensemble cast as a no-nonsense DSS operative, serving as the fist of justice. Along with a few other special operatives, The Rock attempts to grab Dom and his ex-FBI buddy, Brian O'Conner [played by Paul Walker], and the rest of the car-jacking bad guys who are attempting to hit the biggest payday of their lives by robbing a villainous kingpin who runs a covert criminal empire in Brazil.


[Above: the Rock and Vin Diesel, aka Dom, from the Fast and Furious movie]

Tyrese [who reprised his role from Fast 2 as Roman] does an excellent job in this movie and he has some hilarious lines, like the joke he makes about pulling out, when he hears that Mia Toretto [Paul Walker's girlfriend, played by Jordana Brewster] is pregnant. And the salutation he gives while driving in a police car and ramming into other police cars was hilarious, per the way he said it:
"Good day officer! License and registration please!"

Another cool line came from Dom in a night scene, when he said to the Rock, "This is Rio!"
- Click click clack clack click - everyone in the damn crowd that is standing beneath the bridge within the starting zone of the street race pulls out a gun, and points it at the five armed foreign operatives, who were attempting to arrest Dom, Brian and the others. Thus the Rock followed the advise of his lieutenant and backed down, while vowing to return to capture Dom another day.

Ludacris [who planted a GPS-tracker beneath The Rock's car as he left the racing zone] was cool as well, although I heard he had a brief one-sided fight against The Rock in a deleted scene, and he lost the battle [it will probably be in the Blueray disc/DVD version].

One of the insidious heroes actually dies before the end of the movie. And at the end, Dom keeps his word to a dying friend, by providing for the widow and her son.

There was a strong family vibe in this movie. At first, Mia was reluctant to tell Brian that she was pregnant, fearing that he would react adversely. But eventually she did. And to her surprise, he was actually willing to be a father. Could have sworn that Dom was going to knock out his new brother-in-law when Mia "dropped the baby bomb", but I was wrong. The announcement came after The Rock and his crew had chased the car thieves through a host of adjoined small shacks and houses with corrugated roofs, which were established on a slopping hill.

And at one point before the final chase scene, Vin Diesel said, "Money comes and goes, but this is forever. A toast to la familia."

Back in the beginning, Tyrese almost walks away from the whole gig, until he hears that the amount that they plan to steal is 100 million dollars from the corrupt Brazilian businessman, Hernan Reyes [played by Joaquim de Almeida]. And the Puerto Rican bros, Tego and Don, were like yin and yang. One was always looking on the bright side, while the other always constantly saw the problems with the scenarios.

The pic above is from the beach scene with Gisele and Han. Its one of the most memorable parts of the movie per a joke that Ludacris made from the peculiar recon event: "So did he grab that ass, or did he slap it?"

In one scene, Hernan [The main vile businessman] talks about how the Portuguese explorers actually subjugated the ancient people of Brazil, and I found the explanations quite interesting. By providing commodities that the people needed to live well, the Portuguese were able to gain their trust, dependency and loyalty. Thus the sly Portuguese sailors gave one thing, and got another thing in return.

Although I suspect that slavery also ensued from those unchecked interactions with the foreign traders, many of whom were greedy men seeking nothing else but their own personal profits in South America, a few centuries ago.

The action scenes in Fast Five are intense. I heard that the set production designers actually built the bank that the police cars rammed through at the end. And the battle in the warehouse between Vin and The Rock was epic.... Should have been more blood though... and a few lost teeth and broken bones would have been justified, since the Great One almost laid a legendary smackdown on Vin's ass.

Eventually the antiheroes steal a freakin' giant steel vault, pulling it out from a police station - with the initial help of The Rock and his armored Hummer-like supertank pimp mobile [I still don't know the exact make/model of that damn thing, which was also bulletproof].

At the end, following a bridge death-race scene [which surpassed the epic high-speed chase with a Ferrari on a bridge in Bad Boys 2], the thieves are given a chance to flee for their lives, with a 24-hour head start before The Rock starts to hunt them down again. And eventually, we find that the conniving crooks actually win towards the end of the movie.

Vin Diesel definitely excels as an antihero. Those familiar with his Riddick character will attest to this fact.

The Fast Five movie ends with a small post-credit cut-scene, after the 3D car chase that acted as the backdrop for the movie credits. And in this extra scene, The Rock is approached by actress Eva Mendes [playing the role of Monica, a US Customs agent from Miami]. She was also in Fast & Furious 2. And she shows him a pic of Letty, who has been highlighted as a car thief in Berlin. Letty [played by Michelle Rodriguez], who was supposedly killed in Fast & Furious 4, is now the center of an investigation tied to the hijacking of a military convoy in the German city - and that's the city where Han and Gisele were zooming off to, towards the end of the movie.

Now we have to sit back and wait for the next episode in this franchise, to see what happens. Yeah, there will be a Fast & Furious 6, since this movie broke records in the box office, earning approximately 170 million dollars worldwide before 7 days. Currently they've made over 200-mil, and I have a feeling they'll probably make 500-mil before their movie slides over into the archives.

Salute to Vin Diesel, the rest of the cast, and the production team for a job well done.

One for all, and all for one...

BTW, while I was in the movie theater last week, I also got to see the preview clip of the new Three Musketeers 3D Movie, slated for release later this year. Don't know exactly what category to tag this movie per some of the technology they showcased, which almost look like Steampunk works or exaggerations of creative works by inventors like Leonardo Da Vinci who lived between the 1400s - 1500s. Steampunk is a topic that I talk about quite a bit in this sci fi blog. But that sort of technology is tied to the 1800s.
Here's the trailer from the upcoming movie:

There have been several interpretations of The Three Musketeers story, which was initially a book written by the french author Alexandre Dumas in the 1800s. And honestly, despite the abundant sword-play that the classic story dictates, the term "Musketeers" is actually tied to the "musket weapon", an old single-fire shot-gun / long-gun that the ancient infantry soldiers of France utilized.

Those weapons were extremely lethal and shockingly unreliable, in terms of their accuracy. And they often needed Y-shaped metal stands so that the soldier could place the gun in the middle of the topmost fork of the support - in order to overcome the turbulent recoil effect and get a steady straight shot. They are the ancient predecessors of the automatic rifle, which has now become a core weapon in most military units around the world. The pic above is from a classic war reenactment by French soldiers.

Some believe that musket guns & early explosive firearms originated in Europe in the middle of the 14th century. But archaeological findings have revealed that they were used back in the 13th century [the 1200s] within battles fought amongst Chinese warlords in the middle of Asia - the same country that brought us "fireworks".

The very first Three Musketeers movie dates back to 1903, and it wasn't in English - it was fully produced by the French, and there aren't any lasting viewable records of it.

Perhaps the most popular version of this story in the Western World is the movie tilted The Man in the Iron Mask. It stared Leonardo DiCaprio and was produced back in 1998. In that movie, the 3 heroes were actually retired, but they came back into the militant service to help right a wrong that had corrupted the monarchy of France.

My reason for mentioning Steampunk is because there appears to be some sort of gunship / cruiser that shows up in the movie preview trailer above. Check out these wallpapers that showcase Steampunk designs for cruise ships / boats: 

The Three Musketeers 3D Movie is scheduled to hit theaters in the USA on October 14, 2011.

EDIT: An updated article on the The Three Musketeers 3D Movie was posted HERE

Previous Blog Article on Sci Fi and Steampunk:

Blog article on the Alpha Senturi: