F9 (2021)

F9
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Daniel Casey, Justin Lin
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious2 Fast 2 FuriousThe Fast and the Furious: Tokyo DriftFast & FuriousFast FiveFast & Furious 6, Furious 7, The Fate of the Furious
Cast: Vin DieselMichelle Rodriguez, Jordana BrewsterTyrese GibsonLudacrisCharlize TheronNathalie Emmanuel, John Cena, Finn Cole, Vinnie Bennett, Sung Kang, Anna Sawai, Lucas Black, Shad Moss, Thue Ersted Rasmussen, Don Omar, Shea Whigham, JD Pardo, Michael Rooker, Jim ParrackKurt Russell, Jason Statham, Helen Mirren
Seen on: 19.7.2021

Plot:
Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) have chosen a remote life of retirement. But when Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) drop by to tell them about a distress call from Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell), Letty is itching to go. Dom is reluctant – until he realizes that somehow his estranged brother Jacob (John Cena) is involved. And he still has some open business with Jacob that he can’t just let go.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I love the Fast and Furious movies, with all of their problems. And I found F9 absolutely satisfying to watch once more. This series just works beautifully.

The film poster showing the main characters in various sizes and poses in front of colorful smoke and above cars, tanks, drones and helicopters.
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The Iron Giant (1999)

The Iron Giant
Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Tim McCanlies, Brad Bird, Brent Forrester
Based on: Ted Hughes‘ novel The Iron Man
Cast: Eli Marienthal, Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr., Vin Diesel, James Gammon, Cloris Leachman, Christopher McDonald, John Mahoney, M. Emmet Walsh
Seen on: 27.1.2021

Plot:
Hogarth (Eli Marienthal) is a bright, curious child, prone to adopting critters and with a love of everything SciFi. His single mother Annie (Jennifer Aniston) has her hands full with him and with work. One night, Hogarth sees something weird in the forest next to his house and goes to investigate. What he finds is a giant metal robot from outer space in some distress, and Hogarth can’t just walk away – he helps. But a robot of its size is bound to draw attention – and not every attention is good.

I missed The Iron Giant when it came out and it had been on my watchlist ever since (that hasn’t kept me from using the ever useful “ART” gif). I finally made it, and I’m glad I did. It’s a really sweet, fun film with very nice animation.

The film poster showing the Iron Giant, a huge robot, standing in a forest, cradling Hogarth in his hands.
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Bloodshot (2020)

Bloodshot
Director: Dave Wilson
Writer: Jeff Wadlow, Eric Heisserer
Based on: Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin and Bob Layton‘s comic
Cast: Vin Diesel, Eiza González, Lamorne Morris, Sam Heughan, Talulah Riley, Toby Kebbell, Guy Pearce, Siddharth Dhananjay, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Alex Hernandez
Seen on: 10.3.2020

Plot:
Ray (Vin Diesel) is a soldier. Returning home from yet another dangerous mission, he is happy to relax with his wife Gina (Talulah Riley). Until they are both kidnapped by Axe (Toby Kebbell) – and killed. But Ray rises from the dead with the help of Dr. Harting (Guy Pearce) and his nanotechnology that gives him superhuman powers. Ray uses those powers to hunt down Axe and avenge his wife’s death. But he soon discovers that things aren’t quite as they seem.

Bloodshot is not a great film, but it is entertaining and could have been actually pretty good if it hadn’t been abandoned entirely by its own soundtrack.

The film poster showing Ray/Bloodshot (Vin Diesel) walking towards the camera, a smoking gun in each hand, his chest glowing and pierced by bullet holes.
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Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Avengers: Endgame
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on: the comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Sequel to: The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Brie Larson, Tom Holland, Karen Gillan, Zoe Saldana, Evangeline Lilly, Tessa Thompson, Rene Russo, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian StanTom Hiddleston, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Letitia Wright, John Slattery, Tilda Swinton, Vin Diesel, Jon Favreau, Hayley Atwell, Natalie Portman, Marisa Tomei, Taika Waititi, Angela Bassett, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, William Hurt, Cobie Smulders, Sean Gunn, Winston Duke, Linda Cardellini, Frank Grillo, Hiroyuki Sanada, James D’Arcy, Jacob Batalon, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Redford, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Samuel L. Jackson, Yvette Nicole Brown, Ken Jeong, Ty Simpkins, Stan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 1.5.2019
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Content Note: fat hate

Plot:
It’s been a while since Thanos (Josh Brolin) changed the entire universe. People are coping, but how well varies from person to person. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), for one, didn’t realize at all what was happening, having spent years trapped in the quantum realm. But now he has finally been able to return to find the world very much changed. He seeks out the remaining Avengers, believing that the quantum realm may just be the very thing to help them undo what Thanos caused.

Avengers: Endgame basically had no choice but be epic (the sheer number of people and characters alone!) and it certainly delivered that. It does feel like a worthy end to the series, even if not everything about it works or is as good as it should be.

The film poster showing the main characters in a montage.
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Multi-Facial (1995)

Multi-Facial
Director: Vin Diesel
Writer: Vin Diesel
Cast: Vin Diesel, Lewis Steidl, Cara Gaffen, Phillip Jones, Ivan Jordain, F. Valentino Morales
Seen on: 2.2.2019
[You can watch it here.]

Plot:
Mike (Vin Diesel) tries to make it as an actor, but he struggles. Not just because it is hard making at as an actor in general, but also because he looks like he belongs to several racial categories – or none at all in particular.

Multi-Facial is not only an astutely observed short film about the difficulties of navigating racial issues and identity as an actor (and outside of acting as well), but also proves how talented Vin Diesel is, both as an actor and as a filmmaker (something that gets easily overlooked with the kind of roles he gets nowadays). I was very impressed by the film.

The film poster showing Mike (Vin Diesel) with writing across his face. You can see the words "variety" and "diversity",

Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)

Ralph Breaks the Internet
Director: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore
Writer: Phil Johnston, Pamela Ribon
Sequel to: Wreck-It Ralph
Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Alfred Molina, Ed O’Neill, Sean Giambrone, Flula Borg, Timothy Simons, li Wong, June Squibb, Dianna Agron, Jason Mantzoukas, Vin Diesel, Nicole Scherzinger, Irene Bedard, Kristen Bell, Jodi Benson, Auli’i Cravalho, Jennifer Hale, Kate Higgins, Linda Larkin, Kelly Macdonald, Idina Menzel, Mandy Moore, Paige O’Hara, Pamela Ribon, Anika Noni Rose, Ming-Na Wen
Seen on: 30.1.2019
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Plot:
The arcade is going rather well and Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) enjoy being best friends. But Vanellope is starting to get increasingly bored with the limitations of her game. When Ralph tries to help, things don’t go as he planned and Vanellope finds herself with a broken game. In an attempt to find the necessary replacement, Ralph and Vanellope go into the internet – which opens a whole new world for them. But one that isn’t without its pitfalls, either.

Wreck-It Ralph was already a whole lot of fun, and Ralph Breaks the Internet did take things up a notch for me – simply because the internet is much more my area of “expertise” than computer games. I really, really enjoyed it.

The film poster showing Ralph standing on a wife sign that floats through a city filled with social media icons. Vanellope is standing on his shoulder.
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Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Avengers: Infinity War
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on: the comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Sequel to: The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth OlsenPaul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Peter Dinklage, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Sean Gunn, William Hurt, Letitia Wright, Carrie Coon, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Anthony Mackie, Idris Elba, Samuel L. Jackson, Stan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 2.5.2018

Plot:
Thanos (Josh Brolin) has reached the final stages of his plan: he will collect all of the Infinity Stones and with their power reshape the universe after his own ideas. The hunt for the stones makes him cross paths with the Avengers on Earth, as well as the Guardians and the Asgardian refugees in space, leading to them coming together in a desperate effort to stop him and his plans.

Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of more than a decade of films. That alone makes it a momentous, if not to say monumental film. And it’s not bad per se, but it does feel like a step down from the recent absolute highlights that were Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Based on: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning‘s comic
Sequel to: Guardians of the Galaxy
Cast: Chris PrattZoe SaldanaDave BautistaVin DieselBradley CooperMichael RookerKaren GillanPom KlementieffSylvester StalloneKurt RussellElizabeth DebickiChris SullivanSean Gunn, Seth Green, Michael Rosenbaum, David HasselhoffVing RhamesMichelle Yeoh, Jeff GoldblumStan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 3.5.2017

Plot:
Peter (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) have made quite a reputation for themselves. People have even started to ask them for help. But it’s not easy to leave your old habits behind and when Rocket not only helps but also steals, one thing leads to another and the group find themselves crashing on a planet where they meet Ego (Kurt Russell) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). This is not a coincidence: Ego tells Peter that he is his father, throwing him for quite a loop. But trouble has only just begun.

I was not a fan of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie to begin with, and I thought that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was even weaker. At least Baby Groot was cute.

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The Fate of the Furious (2017)

The Fate of the Furious
Director: F. Gary Gray
Writer: Gary Scott ThompsonChris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious2 Fast 2 FuriousThe Fast and the Furious: Tokyo DriftFast & FuriousFast FiveFast & Furious 6, Furious 7
Cast: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason StathamMichelle RodriguezTyrese GibsonLudacrisCharlize TheronLuke Evans, Nathalie EmmanuelElsa PatakyKurt RussellKristofer HivjuScott Eastwood
Seen on: 19.4.2017

Plot:
Things should be calm around the Family. Dom (Vin Diesel) and Lettie (Michelle Rodriguez) are on their honeymoon, everybody else has been cleared of all criminal charges and normality is just around the corner. That’s when Dom is contacted by Cipher (Charlize Theron). And she knows everything about him and his past and she’s not afraid to use it to force Dom back into a life of crime. The rest of the Family can’t understand is betrayal and the rift that runs through the group forces them to forge new and unexpected alliances.

The Fate of the Furious is not the strongest film of the series, but it’s by far not the weakest. I had fun watching it, despite a couple of lengths that managed to steal into the film here and there.

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xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017)

xXx: Return of Xander Cage
Director: D.J. Caruso
Writer: F. Scott Frazier
Sequel to: xXx, xXx: State of the Union
Cast: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa, Nina Dobrev, Rory McCann, Toni Collette, Samuel L. Jackson, Ice Cube
Seen on: 24.1.2017

Plot:
When a new weapon called Pandora’s Box is used to crash a satellite with enough precision to kill Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) and stolen from CIA headquarters by Xiang (Donnie Yen) and his people, high-ranking CIA operative Jane Marke (Toni Collette) knows she needs extra help. She finds Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) who has been living a quiet life of retirement. After hearing about Gibbons, Cage aggrees to track down Xiang and Pandora’s Box.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage absolutely delivers what it promises: it’s one of the most satisfying, fun action movies in a very long time.

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