DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main
UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Justin Lin
Cast:
Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez
Writing Credits:
Chris Morgan

Synopsis:
Back working for the FBI in Los Angeles, Brian O'Conner teams up with Dominic Toretto to bring down a heroin importer by infiltrating his operation.

Box Office:
Budget
$85 million.
Opening Weekend
$70,950,500 for 3461 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$155,064,265.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Spanish DTS 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish

Runtime: 107 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 7/28/2009

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Justin Lin
• “U-Control” Interactive Feature
• Gag Reel
• “Los Bandoleros” Featurette
• “Under the Hood” Featurettes
• “Getting the Gang Back Together” Featurettte
• “Driving School” Featurette
• “Shooting the Bid Rig Heist” Featurette
• “Races and Chases” Featurette
• “High Octane Action” Featurette
• “South of the Border” Featurette
• Video Mashup
• Music Video
• Trailers


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


Fast and Furious [Blu-Ray] (2009)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 15, 2017)

After 2006’s Tokyo Drift sputtered at the box office, it looked like the Fast and the Furious franchise might find itself kaput. 2003’s 2 Fast 2 Furious already marked a decline from the successful 2001 original film so it appeared that Drift would kill off the series.

However, those involved gave it another go, and this paid off well, as 2009’s Fast and Furious relaunched the films in a big way. With $155 million at the US box office, it surpassed the first movie’s take, and its $363 million worldwide gross meant it turned a tidy little profit.

Since the last two Fast flicks earned more than $1 billion worldwide, Fast and Furious doesn’t look like a smash anymore, but hey – baby steps! Fast and Furious righted the ship and set it up for its subsequent monetary fortunes.

Fast and Furious includes the original film’s main cast for the first time since 2001. In that one, FBI Agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) went undercover to infiltrate a street racing crew led by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) that dallied in criminal activities.

Brian went all Stockholm Syndrome and became an outlaw, but after his redemption in 2 Fast, Fast and Furious finds Brian back in the law enforcement fold. He pursues Arturo Braga, a drug lord who also caused the death of Dom’s girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriquez). Her untimely demise leads Dom to go after him and prompts a partnership with Brian.

As the Fast franchise progressed, it got more and more outlandish, and if you want to know where the insanity began, look toward Fast and Furious. No, the film doesn’t embrace the crazy “spy squad” stories of the efforts that follow, but its opening scene tells us that we’ll get a much bigger, more outrageous experience this time.

Actually, in terms of story, Fast and Furious feels relatively “earth-bound”, as its basic “catch the drug lord” plot stretches no boundaries. The stunts go bigger than in the past, though, and the heist we get at the start establishes this from the get-go.

Like its siblings, Fast and Furious fares best when it focuses on those over the top stunts. The movie boasts some excellent driving sequences, and these come across well. Director Justin Lin still edits them with more rapid-cutting than I’d like, but the action flows better than it did in Drift, so these sequences pack a good punch.

Also like its siblings, Fast and Furious sputters somewhat when it concentrates on plot and characters. Given the success of the franchise, obviously a lot of people love the film’s participants, but I admit I never bought into Dom, Brian and the rest. They feel like one-dimensional puppets who exist solely to motivate the stunts.

The same goes for the story itself. As I mentioned, Fast and Furious opts for a fairly basic narrative about the apprehension of a standard movie bad guy, and even with Dom’s revenge on board, the tale never becomes anything more substantial than that. It’s a serviceable framework around which to build action scenes and not much more.

I do like the fact that Fast and Furious at least mildly nods toward the existence of Tokyo Drift. Outside of a quick cameo at the end, that movie shares none of the first two movies’ characters, so it would’ve been easy for the filmmakers to ignore.

While Fast and Furious doesn’t connect strongly to Drift, it does bring one of that flick’s characters along for a brief period, so it acknowledges the universe/events of Drift. This isn’t a big deal, but it makes me happy the filmmakers didn’t just pretend the semi-flop movie doesn’t exist.

As for the actors, they seem perfectly competent. Diesel musters his usual collection of growls and menacing looks to provide what would become his typical one-dimensional take on Dom.

To my surprise, though, Walker proves a bit more expansive as Brian. In the first two films, he showed limited range, but he adds more spark and personality in his third shot at the part, so he gives us a little more charm than usual.

Fast and Furious itself does little to separate itself from its siblings, though. The movie goes a bit “bigger” and provides some good stunts/action, but it stays pretty close to the established formula.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio A-/ Bonus B

Fast and Furious appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. No substantial problems emerged in this solid transfer.

Sharpness remained positive. At all times, the flick came across as concise and well-defined. I witnessed no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement seemed to be absent. Source flaws also failed to materialize, as the film always seemed clean.

Like many modern action films, Fast opted for a heavy orange and teal orientation – so heavy, in fact, that skin tones often veered toward Oompa-Loompa territory. That overemphasis aside, the disc replicated the colors as intended.

Blacks also seemed more than acceptable, and low-light shots showed generally nice definition, though a few nighttime shots looked a bit thick. Nonetheless, this was usually a very good transfer.

Similar thoughts greeted the strong DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Fast and Furious, as the soundfield took advantage of its opportunities to shine. The action sequences especially opened up the mix to a broad and satisfying degree, so racing elements used the surrounds well and formed a fine sense of activity. Quieter sequences created a nice feeling of ambience, and music offered positive stereo imaging.

Audio quality was solid. Speech always sounded natural and concise, and I noticed no signs of edginess or other problems.

Music was bright and dynamic, and effects worked well. Those elements seemed clean and accurate, and they presented very nice bass response. This was a strong track that merited an “A-“.

Fast and Furious comes with an array of extras that open with an audio commentary from director Justin Lin. He offers a running, screen-specific discussion of story/characters, cars, action and stunts, effects, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, and connected domains.

Although Lin’s commentary for Tokyo Drift seemed mediocre, his discussion of this film proves much more satisfying. The director touches on all the necessary topics and does so in a lively, involving manner. Heck, he even calls out a stuntman who lied to get the job! This becomes a very good chat.

A Universal staple, U-Control breaks into two areas. “Virtual Car Garage and Tech Specs” pops up 10 times during the film and provides info about various cars we see. It gives us vital stats and also lets us check out CG representations of the vehicles in the “Garage”. It’s a mostly forgettable addition to the disc. (Note the “Garage” can also be accessed on its own from the “Extras” menu.)

More useful, “Take Control” offers an unusual form of commentary. Ala the “Maximum Movie Mode” found on WB discs like Terminator Salvation, this one allows both Lin and actor Paul Walker to occasionally come onscreen and chat about the film.

This allows them to reverse/pause the movie at times and accentuate different elements. In addition, “Take Control” includes previs footage and behind the scenes shots.

I like this kind of feature, and “Take Control” works pretty well. Lin and Walker interact with the movie well and give us a reasonably nice collection of insights, so “Take Control” deserves a look.

A Gag Reel goes for five minutes. It gives us a pretty standard collection of goofs and giggles, so don’t expect much from it.

A prologue of sorts, Los Bandoleros runs 20 minutes, 23 seconds. It acts as an intro for some of the characters we meet in the movie’s opening sequence and helps set up those events. It’s a fun little bonus film.

Within Under the Hood, we get two segments: “Muscle Cars” (6:55) and “Imports” (4:59). Across these, we hear from Lin, Walker, picture car coordinator Dennis McCarthy, producer Neal H. Moritz, and actors Vin Diesel, Laz Alonso and Michelle Rodriguez.

The “Hood” clips look at the various cars seen in the movie. A few facts emerge but the featurettes mainly feel fluffy.

Next comes Getting the Gang Back Together, a nine-minute, 50-second reel with Diesel, Lin, Walker, Moritz, Rodriguez, Alonso, screenwriter Chris Morgan, producer Michael Fottrell, and actors Jordana Brewster, John Ortiz, and Gal Gadot. “Gang” looks at the reunion of the original movie’s cast as well as Lin’s impact on the shoot and general notes. This becomes another mediocre piece without much substance.

During the three-minute, 50-second Driving School, we hear from Diesel and driving instructor Rick Seaman. The show follows Diesel’s exploits under Seaman’s tutelage and becomes a decent glimpse of the actor’s training.

Shooting the Bid Rig Heist goes for nine minutes, 47 seconds and offers details from Lin, Moritz, Morgan, Diesel, Rodriguez, McCarthy, stunt coordinator Mike Gunther, set foreman Bill Schermer, 2nd unit DP Paul Hughen, special effects supervisor Matt Sweeney, 2nd unit director Terry Leonard, and actors Don Omar, Tego Calderon and Sung Kang. As expected, we get the details related to the movie’s opening action scene. Though it comes with some good footage from the set, the comments tend toward the puffy side of the street.

After this we get Races and Chases, an 11-minute, one-second program with Lin, Moritz, Morgan, Fottrell, Walker, McCarthy, Diesel, stuntman Oakley Lehman, 2nd unit 1st AD Albert Cho, and VFX supervisor Thaddeus Beier. This one looks at stunts and action and does so in a competent manner, even if it leans toward hype a lot of the time.

With the 11-minute, 22-second High Octane Action, we locate notes from Lin, Moritz, Gunther, Leonard, Alonso, Walker, Sweeney, Schermer, stunt coordinator Freddie Hice, and stuntman Bill Lucas. Again, we learn about action and stunts. Again, we get some nice shots of the production mixed with praise to create a decent but less than substantial piece.

Finally, South of the Border lasts two minutes, 55 seconds and provides comments from Fottrell, Ortiz, Lin, and Diesel. We get a few notes about shooting in Mexico along with happy talk in this largely forgettable piece.

A Video Mashup lets you create your own music video – I guess. A clunky feature, it didn’t work well on my setup so I bailed out of frustration.

Next we discover a music video for “Blanco” by Pitbull featuring Pharrell. It mixes movie clips, lip-synching and shots of hot women. Other than the ladies, it’s a waste of time – Pitbull must be one of the 10 most annoying people on the planet.

The set ends with four trailers. We find promos for each of the first four Fast and the Furious flicks.

Commercially, Fast and Furious reinvigorated a declining franchise. Creatively, it provides a collection of good driving scenes in search of a compelling story. The Blu-ray provides strong picture and audio as well as a nice collection of supplements. Fast and Furious becomes a watchable but unexceptional action experience.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.4 Stars Number of Votes: 5
15:
24:
0 3:
22:
01:
View Averages for all rated titles.

.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main