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Fast And Furious 8-Movie Collection Blu-ray Review

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Fast And Furious 8-Movie Collection is chock full of entertainment.

With the release of the spin-off “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw” a mere few weeks away, it seems like the perfect time to review the Blu-ray edition of the Fast and Furious 8-Movie Collection.

The Furious franchise is without question one of the most intriguing in cinema history. After the first 3 installments, the franchise seemed all but dead but it somehow managed to morph into an action packed and diverse family soap opera series that became a global box office juggernaut. In order to give the series its due, I will be diving into each film individually.

It’s strange that the first installment (2001’s “The Fast and the Furious”) has kind of been forgotten over the years as the franchise has evolved for the better. However, it’s still a quality action movie in its own right. The story introduces us to undercover LAPD officer (Brian) and street racer/thief (Dom) and explores their dynamic (which we know evolves over time). The film plays more like a “Point Break” esque character centric crime, heist, and cop story and, at the time of its release, it felt generic. Looking back on it now having seen every sequel, there’s something quaint about the first film that started it all. It deserves credit for world building, character building, and the practical effects.

“2 Fast 2 Furious” is undoubtedly the low point in the saga. Paul Walker is back as Brian, but Vin Diesel’s Dom sits this one out. Instead we see Brian being paired with the most obnoxious character in the series Roman (played by Tyrese Gibson). Together Brian, the ex-con Roman and a customs agent Monica (Eva Mendes) try to bust a drug lord named Carter. Despite some nifty car stunts and the skilled direction of the late great John Singleton, the movie suffers from insufferable dialogue and humor. It’s amazing this didn’t sink the franchise.

“The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift” is the most divisive of the series. To some it’s a weak outlier that doesn’t have any of the main characters from the first films starring in it. To others it’s a refreshing change of pace and one of the best in the series (if not the best). For me, I definitely fall in the latter category. The plot concerns an illegal street race loving teen (Sean) who is sent to Tokyo to live with his father to avoid jail time. While there he, you guessed it, becomes involved with the local illegal street racers/drifters. Granted, Lucas Black as Sean isn’t the most riveting of main characters, but the almost poetic and stunning drift races, the end credit scene, and the introduction of fan favorite character Han (Sung Kang) make this one a winner. Note: Chronologically, this movie takes place after “Fast and Furious 6.”

“Fast and Furious” saw the return of Paul Walker’s Brian, Vin Diesel’s Dom and Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty, but this entry is too self-serious. It tries to go back to the basics of the first installment, but the characters act out of character, the tone feels off, and the plot is a mess. Speaking of the plot, it concerns the alleged murder of a certain character, a drug lord, and Dom and Brian teaming up. That’s really all you need to know.

“Fast Five” is often regarded as the crown jewel of the franchise and it’s hard to argue with that. This entry was the turning point of the series. This is when the series figured itself out, embraced the over-the-top action and focused on the large ensemble cast of characters. All you really need to know about the story is that Dom and Brian are on the run from the law (Agent Hobbs to be exact) and that they are looking to pull off a big heist in Brazil. There’s simply so much to enjoy here. The intro of Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs character, the chemistry between Han and Gisele (Gal Gadot), the crazy vault on a chain sequence (easily one of the best action sequences in the past 20 years), the big cast reunion, the list goes on.

The drama packed plot of “Fast and Furious 6” involves an amnesiac Letty, the villainous Shaw (Luke Evans), and Hobbs teaming up with Dom, Brian, and company. Highlights include the crazy tank on the freeway sequence and the heartbreaking death of beloved characters (no spoilers here). A worthy sequel through and through.

Given the fact that Paul Walker tragically passed during the production of “Furious 7,” it’s quite an amazing feat that director James Wan managed to create such an emotional thrill ride (and one of the best films in the series to boot). This one is basically a straight up revenge tale with Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) seeking revenge for his comatose Shaw brother (Luke Evans) although there is a plot involving a mercenary (Jakande) and the God’s Eye computer program. The amount of action in this one is almost overwhelming. Parachuting cars, cars jumping through and into towering skyscrapers, Hobbs busting out of a cast and unleashing hell, Brian vs. Tony Jaa’s Kiet etc. And there’s Kurt Russell as an added bonus! The film closes out with the deeply touching departure of Paul Walker’s Brian character.

The absence of characters like Brian, Han and Gisele is certainly felt on “The Fate Of The Furious” which marks the eighth film in the franchise. Sure, the movie boasts big action (namely the ice centric pieces) and has Charlize Theron as the villainous Cipher that manipulates Dom and causes havoc for Letty and company, but there’s questionable character actions, a strangely slow pace, and far too much Roman here. A disappointing sequel after the highs of 5, 6 and 7.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p (for 1, 2 3, 5 and 6) and 2.40:1 1080 (for 4, 7 and 8). How do they look? All the films look fantastic here with the latter entries looking better naturally.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA (for the first 6), 7.1 DTS-HD MA (for “Furious 7”), and DTS: X (for “The Fate of the Furious”). How do they sound? Again, the latter entries sound better a sthey have higher quality audio tracks, but all the tracks are tremendous. The cars sound as if they are right there in your living room (or wherever you watch films).

Extras:
* “The Fast and the Furious”- 8 deleted/extended scenes with optional commentary by Rob Cohen, additional scenes and an alternate ending, Paul Walker PSA, multi camera angle for a stunt sequence, visual effects montage, featurettes on editing, the charger car, street racing, and the film’s end sequence, “2 Fast 2 Furious” sneak peek, “The Fast and the Furious” trailer, soundtrack trailer, music videos for songs by Ja Rule, Saliva and Caddillac Tah, commentary by Rob Cohen, storyboard to film comparison, a short prelude to “2 Fast 2 Furious,” a behind-the-scenes featurette titled “The Fast and Furious Video Mash-Up,” a making of featurette, D-Box, U-Control and BD-Live capabilities, and an extra titled “Tricking Out An Import Car.”
* 2 Fast 2 Furious- Outtakes, U-Control, BD-Live and D-Box capabilities, the prelude to “2 Fast 2 Furious,” 6 minutes of deleted scenes, 2 additional scenes, commentary by John Singleton, featurettes on the female characters of the first 2 films, cars in films, “2 Fast 2 Furious” itself, the actors in driving school, the stunt sequences, the music of Ludacris, actor and car spotlights and “Tricking Out A Hot Import” (again).
* The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift- 11 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Justin Lin, a soundtrack ad, music videos for tunes by Don Omar and Far* East Movement, featurettes on drifting, drifting school for the cast, the chase sequence with Han’s character, tricked out cars featured in the film, the sport of drifting, the drift king Keiichi Tsuchiya, and Tokyo location shooting, a making of featurette, an interactive build your own drifter car, behind-the-scenes footage with “Cast Cam,” D-Box, U-Control and BD-Live capabilities.
* Fast and Furious- Pitbull/Pharell music video, gag reel, Justin Lin commentary, D-Box and U-Control capabilities, featurettes on Vin Diesel’s driving school, stunts, Mexico location shooting, muscle cars and import cars, the cast’s reunion, the big heist sequence, on races and chases, Fast and Furious franchise trailers, a virtual car garage feature, “Fast and Furious Video-Mash Up” which allows viewers to make a mix of scenes, and a short film in this Furious universe titled “Los Banderos”
* Fast Five- Theatrical and extended versions of the film, BD-Live and D-Box capabilities, gag reel, 2 deleted scenes, Justin Lin commentary, interactive second screen abilities, U-Control picture-in-picture commentary, Tyrese and Justin Lin video diaries (of sorts), featurettes on the vault chase, Agent Hobbs, Brian’s character arc, Dom’s character arc, the Dom vs. Hobbs fight, the train heist, the team’s reunion, the cars of the film, and Universal trailers.
* Fast and Furious 6- “Furious 7” first look, Justin Lin commentary, theatrical and extended cuts of the film, 3 deleted scenes, interviews with cast and crew in “Take Control,” a 4 part making of featurette, a 4 part extra on vehicular action sequences, a 3 part extra on the cars, and a featurette on the hand to hand combat.
* Furious 7- Universal trailers, theatrical and extended versions of the movie, 4 deleted scenes, a 4 part extra on hand to hand combat in “Inside The Fight,” featurettes on the tower jump scenes, the cars and the parachuting cars scene, a making of on the sequence that follows the parachuting cars, a half-hour extra featuring behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with James Wan and the cast in “Talking Fast,” a music video by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, a featurette on the Universal Studios ride and the Race Wars event, and a 12 minute piece on the cast, franchise, new characters, and Paul Walker’s tragic death called “Back To The Starting Line.”
* The Fate of the Furious- Commentary by F. Gary Gray, Universal trailers, extended prison and plane fight scenes, a 3 part extra on the stunts, a 3 part extra on the various cars, a 4 part extra on the Government characters, Shaw, family, and Cipher and Dom, and a featurette on location shooting in Cuba.
* Bonus Disc (DVD only)- 2 scenes and a trailer for “Furious 7,” a collection of scenes from the franchise in “Retrospective,” select cast members pick their favorite moments in “Cast Favorites,” an extra about pre-viz in “Mapping Fast and Furious,” a 21 minute behind-the-scenes “International TV Special,” Justin Lin talks about scenes from “Fast and Furious 6” in “Justin Lin-Director’s Vault,” a featurette on “Fast and Furious 6” cars in “Fast Cars!,” and finally there’s “Back Under The Hood” which has the cast members talking about their personal cars as well as cars that appear in the movie.
* Digital copies for all 8 films

July 19, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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