Left Coast By Design

Tag: movie

I Watched This: Furious 7

Maybe it was fitting that I saw Furious 7 last weekend with family. Because that’s what this one is all about.

Let’s be clear.

I’m a fan of the Fast & Furious franchise. Sure 2 Fast 2 Furious was a little different and Tokyo Drift didn’t make as much sense until the end of Fast 6, but there’s something inherently enjoyable about these simple movies that reinforce the simple message that family is important. So take what I say next with some understanding.

Furious 7 was outstanding!

Cast of Furious 7

Courtesy of Universal Pictures.


As mentioned above, the ending of Fast 6 introduces Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw who is out to avenge the severe “longest runway in the world” beat down of his brother by the Fast & Furious crew. Add in a little Mr. Nobody (know in the real world as Kurt Russell) and a mythical device called the God’s Eye and we have a couple of story lines to follow.

Enough story to make the movie outstanding? No. But none of us were there for that as it was.

Furious 7 - Vin Diesel

Courtesy of Universal Pictures.


We were there to watch the high-speed chases. The serious stunts and effects. Maybe even a Rock Bottom. But there was also a little tug at the heart-strings on the side. And I think that’s what got to me.

With the sudden passing of Paul Walker in 2013, while the movie was still in production, it’s obvious director James Wan had to smooth down a few rough edges to make the movie work. But that didn’t matter much to me either.

Again, it was the tug at the heart-strings.

Without spoiling much, I can tell you that he did right by Paul Walker. Instead of sending his character Brian O’Connor back to the garage, Wan kept Walker tightly woven through most of the film. And if I wasn’t trying to pay as close attention throughout the entire movie, I probably wouldn’t have known that something was up.

But that wasn’t all.

There was the ending. The tying together of loose strings. The last ride. In fact, if any one of you could point out a better send off, I’d be surprised.

So if you haven’t seen Furious 7, go see it. And for those of you who have, what did you think? Does this take top spot in the list of franchise editions or is it a solid second. Can’t be any lower than that, can it?

No way.

I Saw This – Guardians of the Galaxy

With the wife and I looking to catch a movie this weekend, I had to really play the “you love me” card to get her to agree to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. She’s never been into the superhero genre of film, let alone any of the previous Marvel titles, so short of me going on my own it was my only play.

If only I knew that she would fall hard for a talking tree.


While I wouldn’t say I’m anywhere near an expert of the Marvel universe, Guardians wasn’t even on my radar before I saw the teaser trailer and I wasn’t immediately sold on the concept. Seriously, who could ever take a bounty-hunting raccoon seriously? Yet it was from Marvel and I’ve been a fan of the interrelated world of the Avengers, so it did seem likely I’d enjoy the movie if I gave it a chance.

And I loved it. Truly did. Even my wife did. I’m sure we’ll even see the sequel together, so long as Groot gets a few lines.

Using the same formula we’ve seen in Iron Man or Thor or Avengers, the movie is a good mix of action with a solid story-line, comedic relief and personable yet slightly flawed characters. And for someone like my wife or me, Guardians gives us just enough back story to get us into the plot soon enough (without spoiling too much, prepare to tear up a touch in the early going).

What I found really helped the movie along is that it never took itself too serious. Yes it had the whole “save the universe” theme and yes, the premise of a really bad guy getting taken out by the underdog good guy is a well-worn piece. But it worked. It worked very well. I was never too bored, got a few laughs in (including a few from the wife), and find myself awaiting a sequel. Or tie-in with the next Avengers. And that’s what it’s somewhat about, no?

As to the product on the screen, I’m also happy we chose to spend the extra coin to watch it in IMAX 3D. Sci-fi and CGI really do give 3D some serious justice and any special effects that get my wife jumping in her chair are obviously good ones in my books.

But what say you? Have you seen it? What did you think? Or if you haven’t, why not?

Hooped up on Harry

If I thought I could handle the late night, the immense lack of sleep, the likely ridicule from my peers, and the probable long lineup outside the theatre, I’d probably be like others and look to take in the midnight opening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince tomorrow. But unfortunately at age 31, I don’t think my body could handle the stress and have opted to wait it out a bit. Like maybe 12 hours or something like that.

harrypotter

Harry Potter – courtesy of Mugglehub.com

Even though I’ve never read the books (and neither have Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, nor Alan Rickman for what it’s worth), I still find myself enthralled with the series. As each movie is released, I get excited. I change my ringtone, get caught whistling the title tune in the elevator at work, and begin to write about it here at LCBD. So it’s safe to say that I’m pretty psyched.
But more importantly, are you hooped up on Harry?

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