Sunday, June 30, 2013

Some Guy Who Kills People (2011)

maniac




Frank Zito operates a mannequin store by day, moonlighting as a stalking serial killer at night, taking off their scalps, attaching them to mannequins in a room in the back of his residence. He becomes fixated with a photographer who could "be the one"...will she be another scalp in his collection?
*****

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Creepshow (1982)
Oh yes, a face only a daughter could love. A belated Father's Day gift to all my readers. We should all leave our children reduced to madness, tears, rage, and murder like this scowling old geezer.

7 Nights of Darkness


I wrote this review for my imdb account, but thought I'd share it on the blog with accompanying photographs.
 imdb rating was 5/10

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

In Dreams

There are some films that kind of fly under the radar, going unnoticed. Despite the talented cast (Annette Bening, Aiden Quinn, Stephen Rea, Paul Guilfoyle, and Robert Downey, Jr.) and renowned director (Neil Jordan; The Company of Wolves & The Crying Game), In Dreams (1999) didn’t quite make any sort of impact. Compared to its significant budget for such a film as this, In Dreams is clearly a flop. Part of the reason, I guess, is perhaps the material—serial killer (played by Downey, Jr.) of little girls acting out due to a nightmarish upbringing (horrible mother leaving him in a town about to be submerged by water, creating a reservoir) with an artist (Bening) having dreams/visions that experience what he feels and sees—and that the film is more than a little intense (Bening slowly loses her mind because of her dreams; her daughter taken and killed, and her husband surprised and stabbed in the eye at a hotel, by Downey, Jr. doesn’t help her psychological state, either).






To have visions of a psychotic’s handiwork, and to realize he knows you are dreaming his experiences, Bening has a character under quite the tumult. Bening’s descent into psychological/emotional hell thanks to the ever-so-real dreams is especially grueling if you regard her with any sympathy whatsoever. Losing her daughter in such a way, and later becoming so overwhelmed by the dreams that she slits her wrists (not counting, after her daughter’s body was discovered at the reservoir drowned, driving off a bridge, over a cliff, into the water) after trashing her house while under the “spell” of the killer, all that mental duress and torture can be a bit difficult to watch. The premise is certainly unique for a serial killer thriller. This just isn’t an easy film…director Jordan doesn’t pull back the reins and give us much relief, because Bening’s dilemma remains constant throughout the film. Jordan’s style is also in your face—Bening’s horrified face, cries for help and urgent assistance to her husband and disheartening visions that seem to come too late to save children, and those tormented expressions that never let up because the dreams never still are all shot up close and personal. I may be wrong but I think this is the lone movie where Downey, Jr. goes full tilt boogie, always a loon. Aidan Quinn is the husband totally frustrated with his love life when his wife begins to see the visions, soon at a loss as to what he needs to do to rescue her. Rea is the psychiatrist who is on the fence regarding if he does or does not believe Bening’s ravings. Guilfoyle is preparing for CSI: Las Vegas as the cop working the Downey, Jr. child kill cases. But this film is truly focuses on Bening and the horrors she experiences. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to live in this role for Bening; her character is put through the ringer. The town’s “drowning” at the opening of the film was really an incredible visual…if anything, you need to see the film if just for this. Bening’s trying to rescue the newest abducted child (a girl who doesn’t quite understand that Downing, Jr. is a madman, since he’s a bit child-like) from Downey at the end, I thought (if nobody else did) was quite suspenseful. A critical and commercial misfire that I thought deserves a second look, if In Dreams happens to be on, check it out.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Forest [1982]

Deciding to go camping, two young women go ahead of their husbands (also buddies) to a certain wilderness outside San Diego...what the four of them doesn't expect is a psychopath and his ghost children living within the great outdoors!
**

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Halloween: Resurrection




It is a rare term I ever use for a film, Hate. But I, without a shadow of doubt, no question, positively hate Halloween: Resurrection. Something about it (many things actually) just set up in my craw and flat piss me off. I had a bad taste after I left the theater in 2002 (Why did I do it? I kick myself for it anytime this abomination returns to my attention…), and I hadn’t watched it since. It came on The Movie Channel’s Saturday Splatterday, and, for the blog, I decided one last time to punish myself by watching it.

I thought Halloween: H2O, while not a great film, was a nice close to the Michael Myers/Laurie Strode story, even if there were intentional in avoiding any connection to the Jamie Lloyd Halloween sequels. It was nice to allow Laurie Strode to once and for all silence this torment that had often reduced her to alcoholism. With one guillotine chop, Laurie had vanquished her tormenter once and for all. I thought the movie was also thankfully lean but not terribly inventive/imaginative plot-wise. But saying this, Halloween: Resurrection detonated all of this satisfaction with the opening scene; what this movie does to the Laurie Strode character is reprehensible and inexcusable. The fact that Jamie Lee Curtis would even allow this with her involvement had me supremely disappointed in her. I can still remember the repulsion of this opening scene, the way Strode is locked away in the asylum, the ludicrous development regarding how Michael “swapped” outfits with a paramedic (crushing the larynx of the poor guy, dressing him up in Michael’s mask and, as Busta puts it “baggy ass clothes”) causing her to behead a father of three instead of bro, and Michael returning to the mental institution to finish what he attempted to do in H2O. Maybe Curtis just wanted to put this character behind her and what better way than to allow Laurie to be killed off. There’s a scene where Michael just head butts his way through an asylum door that is supposed to be reinforced so that patients can’t get out. Laurie has Michael hanging upside down, is cutting the rope that would send him crashing to the ground, but because she beheaded an innocent feels it is necessary to pull his mask just to make sure. Yep, that was mighty ignorant, but this is important because Laurie needs to die. This is the opening sequence, and the film needs to rid us of a beloved character of the franchise before the real plot kicks in gear.

I never recovered from that scene. A lot of horror fans who aren’t particularly gaga over Carpenter’s Halloween or Laurie might not find this that big of deal. If that is the case, then the opening sequence will not deter from your enjoyment I can’t imagine that much. If you don’t mind Busta Rhymes imitating Bruce Lee, saying “Trick or Treat, Muthafucka”, after kicking Michael Myers through a window, then perhaps this will be right up your alley. If you want lots of first person cam emphasizing blurry imagery, then hop on the Resurrection bandwagon.

Six college kids are chosen to become members of a reality show inside the dilapidated house of Michael Myers on Halloween night. Busta Rhymes and Tara Banks are the behind the scenes producers/sellers of the show, responsible for it being a success. Over the night Michael proceeds to do what he does best, butcher and maim with a knife that is long enough to be classified as a sword. Director Rick Rosenthal employs lots of jump scare sound effects to give you a jolt…these effects are more obnoxious and desperate than successful. The cast includes a young Katee Sackoff (Battlestar Galactica; Longmire), Sean Patrick Harris (Cruel Intentions; Save the Last Dance), and Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie). Nicholas, you’d think, would have a sizable supporting part considering he come from the popular AP films, but he’s dispatched early after annoying Sackoff with his lurid advances that went nowhere. Also participants on the reality show include Luke Kirby, Daisy McCrackin, and, as the final girl, Bianca Kajlich. Ryan Merriman, as a “cyber friend” of Kajlich, has been in his share of horror sequels, including Final Destination 3 & The Ring Two. Merriman is watching the cyber show at a Halloween party, with party-goers soon accumulating in the room to watch along with him. Merriman is the one who warns Kajlich of Michael’s presence.

The reality show was on its way to even greater heights of popularity, but at this time the craze was starting to pick up steam. Halloween: Resurrection satirizes the craze, using boogeyman Myers’ house and past notoriety as the centerpiece for a spook show to entertain the internet masses. This was what the Halloween franchise had been reduced to. You kill off Strode in the opening minutes after placing Curtis shamefully on the poster to exploit her name and bring in an audience, and then use the Myers house and character in a satire of reality television. The icing on the cake is Busta cracking tough urban slang while kicking his ass. There’s even a scene where Busta is disguised as Michael, with the real Myers right behind him; Busta admonishes him for trying to steal his thunder! Rosenthal even pulls from Peeping Tom with the camera prop kill. The prosthetic head of Sackoff bouncing down the stairs was right out of William Castle. The final image before fade to black just reaffirms that nothing can put an end to Michael; even a long-term electrocution couldn’t stop him.

While H2O might have chosen to forget about parts 4-6, I think it is relatively easy to just totally disregard Resurrection just as well. In fact, if every copy of this fucking movie was destroyed it would not bother me.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

When I was a kid in the early 90s, I remember coming home to an excited brother who had rented this movie seen above, based on the box cover seen above. He was heavily anticipating it. Then he watched the movie and let's just say it didn't particularly go well. He was sorely disappointed. Just confirms that cool box art, so manipulatively awesome, was far better than the movie it was advertising. This is a lost art that I lament; sitting through the films was entirely different experience than when the eyes first catch the glimpse of the box art covers. The Forest (1982) is the first of a trio of "backwoods" type slashers to make the Scarecrow Summer Slasher 2013 (along with Don't Go into the Woods Alone & Sleepaway Camp 2), and I recall the most recent time I watched it, Code Red did a bang up job providing the film with some nice special features, an audio commentary and feature about the film's making. This is a low, low budget slasher (as many of them were in the early 80s), but I'm not sure how the film will stand with me on the third time around. We'll see.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Firewalker



Now this was a movie I hadn’t seen in a LONG time. Perhaps I should have let it remain that fond memory from childhood because tonight’s viewing (while a not too unpleasant diversion) didn’t ingratiate Firewalker (1986) into my good graces as an adult. God, did the critics hate this movie when it came out in the late 80s. It was quite a popular video rental. I remember it was of constant viewing at our birthday parties when the adults were a little lax on when to go to bed as long as we didn’t act like total hooligans. Leave it to Golan/Globus to try a buddy comedy meets Indiana Jones featuring “the lighter side of Chuck Norris”. He sits on a bar and watches as his partner, pal, and fellow adventurer, Louis Gossett Jr. (who, I think, is the member of the cast escaping relatively unscathed) continues to feel the pain when engaged in a one-sided pummeling to a local bruiser the size of a California Redwood before intervening on his behalf with a choke hold in less than a few seconds. If every single critic of any sort of renown hates your movie, then I guess the only thing to do is embrace the hate. Recognize that the movie is considered an abomination bereft of any sort of imagination, originality, or ingenuity and is considered the low point of Norris, not the critical darling by any stretch. I guess if your movie has no good reviews, then cheer on its status as an action/comedy turkey.

Sitting through it, I couldn’t really say any aspect besides Gossett Jr. was all that successful. I would be lying if I did. It is a bit easy for me to rah-rah these reviled action movies since I am such a fan of the junk that so populated the video shelves and theaters at the time. Firewalker just wasn’t very good. Norris tries, I will give him that, but the material (and his inexperience with comedy) just isn’t there. He does get Gossett Jr. to hold his gum while he goes out to beat the shit out of a bunch of seriously drunk Mexican bar loungers. At least they could look menacing; these guys look like they have been wasting away in the bar for half the day. Actually the only one who doesn’t get their ass kicked is the mariachi band! I have never seen tables to brittle..they seem to explode before the bar goons even land on them! The windows have very little durability..in fact they seem to shatter as easily as the tables.

Seeing Chuck and Lou dressed as priests (and Anderson as a nun), disguised so they can cross into “the frontier” of San Miguel, looking for the Aztec gold, was quite the sight indeed. But even here, asked to give the last rites to a shot passenger by one of the militant groups in San Miguel, the scene doesn’t quite get the belly laughs it could if the material was just funnier. Seeing Chuck and Louis disguised as priests earns a chuckle or two, but the comic gold that could have been mined from the whole sequence doesn’t quite surface. I almost felt like it was a wasted opportunity.

Saying all of this, I would find myself smiling because Chuck looks so at ease and enjoying the change of pace role, as if slipping on a pair of comfortable slippers after wearing work boots for quite a spell. He also seems very happy to be co-starring with Gossett Jr. who has that radiating smile that always wins me over. I really liked pretty much everything Louis did in the movie. He was able to take the material and make it his own effortlessly while poor Chuck struggled to work his way through the minefield. I think all critics felt it all blew up in his face. In fact, it seems all critics felt it all blew him into itty bitty pieces.

At least Chuck is saved from being stuck in the Sonny Landham role. He’s supposed to be the follower of his ancient ancestors way of life, purposed in himself  to stop the trio (including Melody Anderson, who considers herself destined to find the gold) from taking the gold from the temple housing it in one of the secret, hidden chambers. Melody has a sacred knife he needs to complete a ritual that will provide some sort of special powers. To be quite honest, I found myself really not caring anything about Landham. He is such a non-factor for so long, he almost seems like an unnecessary intruder, although we realize that the point is for him to duke it out with our heroes. He is the barrier that stands in their way to total happiness. Of course the giant oak does seem impervious to a gunshot wound to the chest and a knife plunged in his back (that would easily paralyze mortal humans), continuing to move towards the trio with a determination that appears unstoppable. Don’t you worry, though, because Chuck’s “spinning kick of doom” is deadlier that any gunshot wound to the chest or knife stab to the upper back.





Will Sampson has a supporting part as a bit of spiritual encouragement, with a wink at the viewer that these are a bunch of yo-yos, trying to protect them from Landham’s “bad magic”. I thought he looked mighty sickly and frail…it saddened me. Ian Abercrombie is an Englishman found in the bar where Chuck had wiped out the customers in attendance, offering directions (and a guide) that could lead the trio to the temple of gold they so desire. He looks more than a bit down on his luck, which was the intent. John Rhys-Davies is a hoot as an old pal of Chuck’s from the past, now the leader of a small army, eyeing a kingship. Burly and loud, Rhys-Davies is a mountain of a man with a humor and lust for life that is irresistible.

Melody Anderson is the cute, little woman that works as the adhesive that keeps her boys on the mission, full of the expected spunk and courage that these heroines are known for. And, yes, she has the budding romance with Chuck. No surprise.

The temple couldn’t look more inauthentic. It looks like a cheap set with no atmosphere whatsoever. I have seen amusement parks with better, more realistic art designs for Aztec temples. Trap doors fall yet our heroes never quite remain concealed. Climbing the walls to eventual safety and stopping Landham’s sacrifice of Melody, our heroes “rough the elements” and reap the rewards of their journey and battle with a nemesis (whose laugh could cause an avalanche).

So Firewalker is a rip-off of popular fare at the time of its making. I think anyone can see that if you were alive during this period. I don’t think Cannon Group tried to hide the fact that they were attempting to capitalize on the profitable films in the marketplace. The failure was to add their own spin and provide some of fresh ideas to the popular formulas from the films they copied. This film only gave the critics even more ammunition to direct at Chuck. While the little recurring joke of Chuck’s inability to fire a gun with any accuracy was rather amusing, his film offered plenty of bullseye gunshots aimed straight at it with almost pinpoint efficiency.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Forbidden Door


 Gambir is a sculptor, tortured because of what lies within his specific kind of creations…pregnant women holding the aborted fetuses from his wife, Talyda (Marsha Timothy)! Talyda insists he does this because the sculptures fashioned from his talents seem to go for exorbitant prices, including one show at the end that completely sells every piece at the gallery. His agent insists he continues, knowing of the secret regarding the pregnant sculptures after one he bought broke, using this as leverage. Gambir’s torture doesn’t just reside with the fetus dilemma. He is seeing Indo script asking for his help from a little boy. He soon follows the kid’s bread crumbs to a company that offers rooms to clients with televisions that feature diabolical content not for the morally upright. One of the “shows” (perhaps a riff on reality television and our roles as peeping voyeurs who cannot resist) has a child under constant abuse from his berating mother and silent rage father (with volcanic outbursts that temper only to erupt again when the kid does the smallest things “wrong”). This child is who Gambir sees and receives written pleas for help. Gambir feels it his mission to save the child but learns from a friend, Dandung (Ario Bayu), that the little boy was “accidentally” killed by his mother. Is it a lie to keep Gambir from continuing to pursue the child? Dandung is a frequent visitor to the company that has the content he finds exhilarating. So there are basically three story threads going here, the forbidden door Talyda tells him not to open, the sculptures and aborted fetuses behind their “magic profit”, and the little boy needing help from abuse, along with the revelation that this place where the deviants can satiate their dark appetites has a camera recording the family throughout their mistreatment of their son.

I guess the first questions immediately asked are “What is the forbidden door of the title and what lies behind it? Let’s just say the door is more symbolic than literal, although there’s a door presented to us, discovered by this film’s lead, Gambir (Fachry Albar). The Forbidden Door (2009) is an Indonesian film I learned about on the imdb horror board, recommended by the board’s resident Asian film fanatic. You’ll be surprised how many cool Asian horror movies are on Youtube, this being one of them. It is a little long in the tooth, but that fantastic ending is worth waiting for…it’s a real blood bath. On Christmas night, no less. I will say that the twist involving the door Gambir must not open throws everything you have just watched on its head. It has one of the Wizard of Oz finales where the characters you have been following may not be exactly as they seem, emerging differently, with Gambir having seen them from a different perspective within his delusional mind.







I think what I liked best about The Forbidden Door was how unpredictable it was; I wasn’t quite sure how the loose threads of the film would congregate into the whole of the narrative concerning sculptor Gambir. I felt cast adrift because the film kind of carries you through the subplot with the aborted fetuses then drops us into the next subplot concerning the building (which is like a hotel for those with DeSadian tastes) with the televised parents from hell. Eventually, the threads start to append until the bloody massacre (with gushing throats sliced right at the jugular slowly) at the end allows Gambir to unleash all that pent up misery. Gambir is a sad sack. He’s always sulking, swiping across his hair from the eyes, tucking up his sliding glasses, and sullying around in a pitiable state of anguish. He’s in despair for his inability to say no to the sculptures that leave him in a state of pure self-loathing; he’s a cuckolded, pussy-whipped weakling that has allowed everyone around him to hold dominion over him. This is the Gambir of the film until Christmas, Bloody Christmas. His mother is an overbearing, dominant figure that shares her opinions and expectations of him whether Gambir wants them or not. His friends are always ragging him about how envious they are of his success but more independent and have attainted their individuality. That and Dandung is banging his wife. Yes, there’s that.

There are secrets hidden from Gambir that he miraculously attains from Voyeur Television, like how his mother is encouraging Talyda to screw other guys to get pregnant, the adulteries, and the agent and Talyda’s manipulation of him through a twisted deceit so he could continue to put out those best-selling sculptures. All of them just pop up one after the other; I think this is where you can see that there’s something amiss. It provides incentive behind the bloody supper table scene, the use of poison to numb those who have “wronged him”, while he finally unveils just how each person in his life hurt him. But the forbidden door opened ties the child subplot with everything else in the developing plot. A horrifying double homicide and suicide on screen before Gambir’s eyes might have inspired the bloody massacre, but the open door—that door Talyda warned him not to open—unmasks the truth about Gambir, the  curtains drawn, the revelation about how the family so grueling to him is closer to him that he could have ever realized.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Descendants



Anytime we get the HBO free weekend at my house, I find myself watching The Descendants (2011) again. It’s funny, I realized that I had actually gone to the theater and seen two of Alexander Payne’s films: Sideways & About Schmidt. All three of these films deal with older men contending with emotional crises. I had returned from a nice Father’s Day dinner with my family, and Sideways was on, but I’m not the kind of viewer who really likes to come right into the middle of a film. I don’t like missing the details that might have been important prior to where the movie is currently when I arrive into it. Paul Giamatti is one of those wine connoisseurs at that stage of his life where the absence of love and a career that has stalled (he writes about wine for a living) present emotional agonies that pal Thomas Hayden Church has problems relating to. In About Schmidt, Jack Nicholson has a hard time adjusting to retirement and his daughter’s plans to wed shakes him a bit.

 The Descendants has George Clooney hit by a barrage of events in his life, such as a comatose wife deteriorating in a hospital bed while hooked to a machine (brain injury  from a boating accident), two daughters dealing with emotional issues (Shailene Woodley (mostly seen scantily clad in bikinis and short shorts) as a potty-mouth teenager who has an issue with “drugs and older guys” and Amara Miller (taking “inappropriate” photographs and using weight insults towards a classmate), and learning (from Shailene) that his wife had been having an adulterous affair with a real estate lawyer (and family man). There’s plenty of anger, frustration, and angst, but I think what stands out to me and what has me returning to the film is the authenticity of how Clooney expresses all of the emotional upheaval that comes when a person is confronted with a multitude of problems, all seemingly converging at one time. Clooney has to deal with all of them and can’t run from any of these mounting responsibilities. I think the success of this performance is because Clooney is wholly convincing. I think that reaction to the news of the wife’s adultery from the daughter is the strongest example. It was like you could see the blood drain from his face and this wave of shock come over him. That mix of sudden rage and discomfort (how to address what he just learned, confronting those that might have had a clue, trying to determine how to find and confront his wife’s lover), along with frustrations of not being able to address his feelings with a wife who has no ability to answer (or defend herself), and Clooney is able to convey the range needed for his character. Add the Hawaiian setting to the mix—I liked how the opening narration from Clooney dispels the myth that all is good in Hawaii and that it is the most ideal place to live, that the state isn’t immune from all the problems in America—as an interesting backdrop to the drama, and it isn’t a surprise I return to The Descendants over and over.

Robert Forster as the wife’s father, disgruntled at Clooney and Shailene for their behavior towards his good, moral, fine daughter (he’s just a wee bit delusional), is almost always on edge (as any father would be), fueled with plenty of blame to dish to others. I like this one scene where Shailene takes up for Clooney after Forster scolds him. Clooney appears surprised (again, his reactions are important to how we view the character and his emotional well-being) at his daughter’s coming to his aid. When Clooney does find his wife’s lover (Matthew Lillard, who has this startled look, appropriate considering he just met the husband, and unease when asked about Clooney’s wife), he decides to meet him, harboring questions regarding whether or not he loved her. If anything, Clooney just wants to see him, size him up, and understand what qualities about him were worthy of adultery. The family’s coming to terms with the loss of their mother at the end is grueling (as it should be), especially after the entire film has served as a sort of critique of her life.

I think there are several memorable moments from Clooney, but for me his gut wrenching reaction to the revelation that his wife was going to divorce him (from two family friends who knew about the affair) was the highpoint. This is that pivotal moment that throws his whole world into a tizzy. The property “dispute” is kind of the subplot that pokes its head in every now and then, kind of reminding us that Clooney has another reason to feel anxiety. His family is counting on him to “do the right thing” and sell it to the highest bidder so they can pocket the spoils left by the father who past on the role of Executor of the Will to Clooney. He’s the one burdened to decide whether or not the land can be sold. His decision will have repercussions one way or another. Acceptance, while not easy, is really the only way to heal. I think when the family says goodbye and learns to move on, there’s a little get together at the very end that offers a chance for a father and daughters to bond, have peace, and enjoy ice cream. After all the drama beforehand, they deserve as much.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fast Five



I was kicking myself because I have to say I had a rather rollicking good time with Fast Five. I just could resist the vehicular carnage. The ending where the vault is used as a weapon to decimate buildings and policia cars (among other structures) by Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, culminating on the bridge is off-the-charts insane! I just faced the fact that movies with cars that tear it up, flip repeatedly, and smash into crashing heaps make me their bitch.

The plot is some nonsense about Vin Diesel and Paul Walker “getting the band together” (or just an excuse to collect supporting characters from previous F & F films into an Ocean’s Eleven type group) to go after a drug lord’s millions of dollars, gathered up from various “cash houses” in Rio, transported to a vault in the policia’s own station. Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jordana Brewster, Matt Schulz, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot (smokin’ hot), Tego Calderon, and Don Omar form this superteam that are united in taking every last cent of drug lord Joaquim de Almeida’s money. Getting to it, removing the vault, and escaping with it won’t be an easy task. All of this goes on as The Rock (looking buff and bad ass) and his feds are out to find them for the mistaken murder of DEA agents during the removal of “hot cars” from a train. One of the cars has all the locations of the cash houses for Almeida located on a chip found hidden in a CD player. So our heroes have two events on a collision course with them, with Vin Diesel and The Rock engaged in a fight that results in a lot of broken windows and walls, punches packed with only the kind of velocity Hollywood could provide. You get a nifty foot race/chase with Vin Diesel and Walker hopping across roofs and through alleys (the location of Rio and how these buildings are so bunched together makes the chase even more exciting) trying to avoid Almeida’s gunmen and The Rock with his agents.

Fast Five puts a lot into how the gang orchestrates their heist, with details such as surveillance (the locations of the cash houses and Almeida’s boys/operation), a remote control vehicle with a camera lens (used to survey the vault), Gadot using a pat on the ass by Almeida (to get his hand print to unlock the vault) and the use of their own policia cars identical to Rio’s law enforcement.

There are extra subplots such as Brewster’s pregnancy, questioning of Schulz’ loyalty, The Rock’s dedication to catching Vin Diesel and Walker, and a momentary alliance between The Rock and Vin Diesel after Almeida’s men kill several of his agents. Of course, Almeida lays on the slime as the drug lord who emphasizes how he provides certain “luxuries” to the poor of Rio in order to control them.

Vehicular mayhem, lots of showboating by the stars with their cars, Walker needing to defeat Vin Diesel in a race, and The Rock flexing his muscles and looking all dead serious are included in Fast Five.

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The Boogens - Intro

While I must admit that as a monster movie, The Boogens (1981) doesn’t quite measure up (its monsters aren’t particularly menacing ...