Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Drive-in Reviews: Fast And Furious & Observe And Report (2009)
This past weekend marked my first trip to the Drive-in this year. This city boy has entered his sophomore year going to one and it's a blast every time.
Going to the drive-in, snacking on whatever you bring (but only if you support these mom & pop drive-ins by buying something at the concession stand-I usually buy beverages there) and just relaxin' with your old lady by your side before the movie shows begin is a thing of beauty. The particular drive-in I go to has a nice country atmosphere about it and it's really nice to be away from the hustle bustle and just chill out... Not to mention the bonus fun of looking up at the stars in my little VW Beetle convertible while watching a trashy movie or two.
Watching trashy movies are essential for drive-ins. Since most new movie shows, whether they are closeted trash or not, aspire to be classy studio films, it's hard to find something actually fun and drive-in appropriate to see. But who am I kidding, i'll see anything to be in this atmosphere.
For the inaugural trip this year we decided on the latest sequel to a fun franchise (though I was no fan of John Singleton's ineptly made 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS) this go round simply titled: FAST & FURIOUS. Who needs THE'S, anyway?
FAST & FURIOUS became a bonafide box office hit this spring and it's exactly the kind of movie you'd want to see if you were into cars and just nonsense plotting and action. Shut your brain off for the next 100 minutes or so and you'll get many the car chases, foot chases, impossible cgi-enhanced stunts and macho posing you'd expect in a movie as such. But wait, you'll also get a fun glimpse into a sub-culture and some Vin Diesel tears! This is a movie so secure with it's macho revving that it found some time to feel the pain and emote.
Director Justin Lin was carried over from the previous FAST picture and he continues to add bits here and there that confound the fact that the people making these films for the most part actually care about the car culture which is of course at the forefront on the film. Forget the bad guy running drugs plot and revenge for a fallen loved one. Just get lost and become a gear head like the rest of these dudes... I'm game for part 5. Maybe with some European flava!
FILM #2 at the double feature really didn't fare as well. Seth Rogen's OBSERVE & REPORT essentially feels like a movie made by 13 year old guys who want to cram in every adolescent delight they can while retaining a dark and so-called uncompromised vision... It's an occasionally funny movie (thanks mostly to Anna Farris) but often feels just brash and rude for no good reason. Maybe a result of it's star feeling he needed to escape the saccharine of other Hollywood projects.
I often found myself looking over at another screen at the drive-in (they have 3 screens) and watching the utter ridiculousness of CRANK 2 (I think at some point that movie literally turns into a video game and a godzilla film!) and wishing it had been part of this double feature. Eventually, I just got pretty tired of OBSERVE and my neck was cramping from looking over at other stuff and we drove away. Thank heavens for Vin Diesel's crank shaft to keep at least half of the double feature movie show the right amount of fun.
Here's to the next trip on the Hudson for another fix of drive-in love.