From Mav: I’m a guy who loves movies. I really love going to the movies… A LOT! Not being able to go out to the movies was actually one of the things I missed most during the last year and a half of lockdown. I remember a time early on when Chris Nolan decided that he was going to save the cinematic box office. Chris Nolan loves movies even more than I do. And he knew… from the bottom of his very heart… that the true cinephiles would not let the cinematic experience die; he knew that given the chance, movie lovers around the world would line up, risking illness and possible death, to see TENET on the big screen. He dealt with delays, he fought the studios. He fought the theaters. He pushed and pushed until TENET was released for the people to delight to. He was wrong… oh so very wrong. No one wanted to die for his weird backwards movie. But it didn’t matter. Chris Nolan believed. And he needs to be commended for that. But the problem is he didn’t believe enough. See, Nolan wanted to save cinema. He wanted to save cinemas before they went away. He didn’t want to wait. You know who believes in his movies more than Chris Nolan? Vin Fucking Diesel!
Vin Diesel believes in Fast & Furious like a child believes in Santa at Christmas. Vin Diesel believes in Fast & Furious like the Pope believes in God. Vin Diesel believes in Fast & Furious like R. Kelly and Michael Jordan believed they could fly. Where Nolan was impatient and tried to force the pandemic to end on his schedule, Diesel simply knew that one day, we would reach the other side and when we got there the world was going to need… family… and Corona. And when we got there, F9 was going to be there for us. As I write this, F9: The Fast Saga is not only the biggest movie currently in theaters, it is the most successful American film since the pandemic started. By a lot!!! I got a chance to see it in IMAX this weekend… the way Vin Diesel intended it. And I must say, it was worth every second. It is without a doubt, the best movie I have seen in theaters so far this year! Nay! It is the best movie I have seen in theaters in damn near two years!
I’ve actually been looking forward to F9 for a while. Part of the reason is our box office game; this movie has suddenly made me competitive for the year, and honestly I was totally counting on that. But also, I legitimately adore these movies. I really really do. And that’s maybe a bit weird. Typically I complain about blockbusters that insult my intelligence. For instance, I don’t like Zach Snyder’s DC films and I don’t care for Michael Bay’s Transformers movies. But I truly do love the F&F franchise… completely unironically. I know they’re ridiculous… and not ridiculous in the way Riverdale is. F9, like every other film in the F&F franchise is … well… BAD. It really is. But, that’s what makes it excellent to me. I’ve seen a lot of reviews about it just being dumb fun. And I’ve seen a lot of reviews bashing it for being overly serious anytime Vin Diesel is on screen, despite the fact that the world is ridiculous and nonsensical beyond that. A lot of people keep saying it needs to choose a lane. I disagree. What I love about F9 is the utter surrealness of all of this going on at once. It is a perfect disaster. And say what you will, it is at the top of the box office. There’s something here!
And I want to talk about it! I want to know what you think of F9 and the Fast & Furious saga in general. Do you love it? Do you hate it? Do you love it even though you think you shouldn’t? Is this just crazy? I’m going to make a pitch here on several levels…. obviously there’s the absurdity of it, but I also think there’s a very definite statement to be made for the multiracial and multicultural diversity of it. Seriously, these may be the most ethnically diverse films being produced today! And I also think there’s a lot to be said about a total commitment to continuity and world building that rivals anything comic book universes like Marvel and DC have ever done. Seriously, Nolan and Snyder only wish they had the command of intricate lore that Diesel has. And there’s an epic hero’s journey that is used to examine the intense psyche of a lonely hero while the found family around him explores the nature of non traditional masculinity and femininity and the need to serve the public good while also dedicating oneself to the domestic sphere in the name of family. Also…. you know, ‘splosions and stuff! But that’s just me! There’s sooooooo much to talk about here. What makes these films work or not work? Let us know in the comments and join us for a show that should be full of fun and surprises…. It’s about family, you know.