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“Fast Five”
a review by Darby O’Gill

It’s hard to imagine that there have already been five Fast & Furious movies, but even more amazing than that is the fact that they’ve also seemed to be only getting better as they go! What started as a blatant rip-off of Point Break has somehow turned into a truly refreshing movie franchise. I know! I’m just as surprised as you are! The last installment was great, and this one’s even better! I wouldn’t have called myself a fan of the first three movies. The Fast and the Furious wasn’t terribly original, but it was entertaining just the same. And to be honest, I hadn’t even seen the other two until just before the release of the fourth film. 2 Fast 2 Furious seemed like a bad joke, but it wasn’t that bad. I was really surprised to find it fairly enjoyable. Tokyo Drift on the other hand was clearly a desperate attempt to sell more movie tickets by slapping the Fast and the Furious nametag on to it, although it clearly paved the way for the franchise’s revival. When director Justin Lin added the small cameo of Dom, played by Vin Diesel, at the end of Tokyo Drift, I think that in that moment he managed to open the true potential of this series. By realizing the characters themselves is what makes these movies great, and not necessarily the cars and street racing, Lin managed to persuade the principle characters of the original cast to return for the franchise’s fourth installment. Oddly tiled Fast & Furious, I’m not really sure how removing “The” from the original title makes it a new title and not just confusing, but that’s not really important. What is important is that the fourth movie was not only as good as the original, but it might even be better due to the fact that it was way more original than the original. Still with me?

In the fifth installment, Fast Five, Brian O’Conner played by Paul Walker, and Dom, find themselves on the run from the law once again, and hiding out in Rio de Janeiro. But, when an easy money job goes bad, it’s not just the law that’s after them this time, but one of Brazil’s most corrupt and powerful businessmen. But when the opportunity arises to pull one last job for an insane amount of money that will almost definitely ensure them a life of no more running, the choice is clear. Dom and Brian have to pull off the impossible, and to do so they’ll need the help of some old friends. Calling back not only the original cast, but cast members from all the previous installments, Fast Five is clearly the most character driven films of the franchise, which is what I think makes it the best of the series so far. The addition of federal agent Luke Hobbs, played by Dwayne Johnson, not only adds to the ever growing list of characters, but also gives us one hell of a fist fight! I’m not kidding. This is one for the books… Um, pictures?! You know what I mean! This showdown totally kicks ass! And, yes… I do realize that I’m talking about a Fast & Furious movie here. Look, this is a summer movie at its best, and yes you have to suspend your disbelief at times, but I for one am looking forward to Furious Six in the near future!

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“You Again”
a review by Darby O’Gill

I know, it’s not the type of movie you would expect to find getting a good review at the Stash, but stranger things have happened. I also realize that You Again has been getting mostly horrendous reviews from all the other critics, but for some reason I don’t find myself completely agreeing with them. I’ve seen it twice, and have found it to be enjoyable each time. It might just be that I was in the right frame of mind when I went to see the movie, or maybe I just wasn’t expecting too much from it. The first time I went to see it, I went in thinking this is just going to be another Disney family-friendly movie that will most likely suck. But, when it was all said and done, I found myself thinking that it was more like that of the Disney movies I grew-up watching; and it was really nice to see a movie like that again. I grew-up watching all those great Wonderful World of Disney movies, like The Parent Trap, The Love Bug, The North Avenue Irregulars, Candleshoe, The Cat from Outer Space, and Freaky Friday. All of those movies are classics in their own right, but if you compared them to The Godfather or Citizen Kane, of course they would seem stupid and predicable. I feel like that’s what most critics are doing with You Again. I, on the other hand, want to see Disney make more movies like this. Enough with the High School Musicals and the Miley Hanna Cyrus Montana Denver omelet movies; let’s bring back the “Wonderful” to Disney movies.

Sure the storyline to You Again is sophomoric and highly predictable, but if you manage to check your uptight prude attitude at the door, it can also be kind of fun. The story centers around Marni (Kristen Bell), who was tortured all throughout high school by Joanna (Odette Yustman), and has grown-up, despite the torture, to be a successful P.R. agent. It’s not until Marni returns home for her older brother’s wedding, that she discovers the bride to be is none other than her old rival Joanna. This theme repeats itself throughout the film, over and over again, but that’s the whole point. Marni’s Mom, played by Jamie Lee Curtis… Yes, she took some time off from regulating her digestive system to make a movie. Don’t worry; I’m sure she’ll be back to her poop-yogurt in no time. Where was I? Oh, yeah! Marni’s Mom (Curtis) has her own high school rival to deal with when Sigourney Weaver shows up as Joanna’s wildly successful Aunt Ramona. This isn’t Schindler’s List people! I’m really finding it surprising that most critics are giving this movie such a hard time. It’s not one of my favorite movies of the year, but it’s also not Jonah Hex. Now that, was an abomination. You Again is just a nice little family movie, that kids can enjoy, and can remind adults of Disney’s golden years.

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