HTF REVIEW: "The Fast and the Furious" (next reference disc) *REPOST*

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    The Fast and The Furious

    Don't feel guilty about loving this movie!
    Too often I pick up a DVD and judge its contents
    by cover alone. When Universal sent me a screener
    of The Fast and the Furious, I was dreading
    the fact that I would have to watch yet another
    mindless movie about car racing.
    Mindless? Yes! But absolutely entertaining!
    The police have a problem. Trucks are being
    hijacked by turbo charged racecar thieves. Thousands
    of dollars in electronic goods are being taken out
    of the hands of truck drivers, and these drivers are
    about to rebel.
    Enter Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), a speed demon
    detective who goes undercover and gets caught up
    in the underground of speed racing. Every night
    streets of Los Angeles turn into drag strips. Ruling
    the road is Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), a cool,
    tough leader of the streets who befriends Brian and
    brings him into a family that may ultimately be
    Though this movie boasts some of the most unbelievable
    car races and stunts ever filmed to date, it is
    actually the performance of Vin Diesel that
    makes this movie worth the watch. He becomes a
    character full of surprises whom it becomes very
    easy to like.
    This DVD is reference quality. Presented in 2.35:1
    anamorphic widescreen, this is certainly the best DVD
    I have seen from Universal in terms of audio and
    visual quality. Picture runs very hot with bold,
    bright colors that leap out at you. Picture is
    consistently crisp and clean. There is absolutely no
    flaw in this transfer.
    If picture quality doesn't make your jaw drop,
    wait till you hear the DTS 5.1 mix. It is the
    absolute best DTS surround I have heard on DVD.
    Throughout the entire film, my audio system was
    hurling sounds across the room. My brain almost
    scrambled as effects whizzed from front to back
    and side to side as the floor pounded from the
    LFE bass response of my SV Subwoofer. In fact, the
    soundtrack becomes such a vital part of this film
    that you actually feel as if you are inside the
    race car, feeling every bump of the ride.
    Along with feature commentary by Director Rob
    Cohen, this disc packs a nice assortment of
    Bonus Material.
    The Making of The Fast and The Furious
    introduces us to the subculture of drag racing.
    It was interesting to find out how these cars
    become the identities of the youths that race them.
    These are youths who congregate in an area, to
    share the love of racing, only to disperse and
    reunite later. The film makes good use of actual
    people off the street whom with their cars, made
    up all the extras in this film. Cohen has gone
    to great lengths to be authentic about the world
    he is creating on screen. The Fast and The
    Furious is an accurate representation of the
    legendary cars of our time.
    Racer X is an article written by Kenneth Li,
    that inspired the making of this film. Using your
    remote, you thumb through the many text pages that
    make up this article. It's an interesting read that
    places you in the midst of a drag race on New York's
    There are no less than eight Deleted Scenes
    that can be played with or without the
    Director's commentary. You'll find yourself watching these
    very short clips twice: first without commentary
    to hear the scene, and then with commentary to find
    out why it was cut. As usual, we find out that it's
    sometimes better to tell a story without going into
    excessive depth. Also, remember the golden rule of
    filmmaking: "don't fall in love with your shots".
    Here is something you will have a lot of fun with.
    The final stunt sequence was shot with 8 cameras
    that Cohen had positioned in different locations.
    Multiple Camera Angle Stunt Sequence allows
    you to use your remote control to view each camera
    angle as it was originally filmed. Watching the
    sequence from the perspective of Camera F
    was the most exciting, as it was the camera mounted
    inside the black car that flips over on its back.
    Movie Magic Interactive Special Effects
    uses multiple shot angles to show us how the
    final race across a dangerous railroad crossing
    was done.
    A Visual Effects Montage shows us clips
    of scenes cut with either the conceptual drawings
    that inspired them, the blue screen effect that was
    used to create it, or the computer imagery used to
    block the sequence.
    Storyboards to final film comparison shows
    us split windows. From the first race to the final
    race, as these sequences are played, a window at the
    top shows the scene as originally blocked out in
    storyboard form. You can opt to have the scene
    played out in storyboard only form, if you prefer.
    Whether this turns out to be your thing or not,
    there are three Music Videos included by RULE,
    CADDILLAC TAH and SALIVA. 2 short promos also
    hype the soundtrack release. Needless to say I
    won't be playing these videos at any upcoming PTA
    Music Highlights lets you immediately access
    a scene in the movie that features a favorite song.
    You know what I found to be the most interesting
    of all the Bonus Features on this DVD? It's
    the moment we go into the editing room in the
    Featurette on editing for the Motion Picture
    Association of America. In order for this film
    to earn a PG-13 rating, the editors were advised to
    tone down a bloody sequence during the final hijack
    sequence. It's interesting to watch these editors
    removing a mere 5 frames from the film in order to
    tone down the intensity of the scene and earn the
    PG-13 rating.
    Final Thoughts
    Once in a while one needs to supplement their
    rigorous viewing habits with absolute mindless
    entertainment. The Fast and The Furious
    not only fits the bill as a film that is enormously
    entertaining from start to finish, but also enables
    you to look under the hood of your Home Theater
    system, tweak it to its capacity, and let it
    rumble as it never has before.
    Release Date: January 2, 2002
  2. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    I apologize for the repost. The original

    thread was accidently deleted this morning

    while I tried to combine it with another thread.
  3. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

    Jul 23, 2001
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    Primarily based upon Ron's review, I picked up this DVD this week. What a cool movie! It had everything a good movie should have - fast cars, lots of action, chicks, wrecks, shootouts...

    ...Seriously, it was a great movie with lots of action and great choreography. The way it was filmed was great - really lets you feel what it must be like to drive that fast on a city street.

    Thanks for the review Ron!
  4. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

    Oct 30, 2000
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    I bought this film/DVD sight unseen and cannot be more pleased. Beautiful transfer, awesome dts sound, loaded.

    And the film itself kick ass!

    A must own DVD!!
  5. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

    Jul 2, 2000
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    Real Name:
    Nick So
    Im pretty easily amused by movies, and I'm a hardware junkie, so good audio tracks and video transfers are most important to me, and the story has to be at least okay.
    For once, i found a movie to be sub-par by my taste. Im a huge car guy, so the racing and the nice cars were fun to watch, but the story was just pretty dissapointing and lotsa plot holes. IMHO Paul Walker can't act however Vin Diesel was very good in it.
    Good film if you just wanna put down your brain and be entertained, just dont concentrate too much on it... [​IMG]
    Nice review ron... [​IMG] Mindless but entertaining, nice way to put it
  6. Gavin_L

    Gavin_L Second Unit

    Aug 24, 2001
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    thanks ron for the review.
    this movie was totally great, loved the plot, was a big fan of point break [​IMG] saw a few similitaries, but anyways just a all round fun movie. i have to say unversial put together a great dvd with tons of great extras, the audio totally kicked butt, hopefully my neighbors didn't call the cops [​IMG] video quality was awesome too.
  7. JohanK

    JohanK Second Unit

    Jan 22, 2000
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    Fun movie, neat cars and some hotties. Must agree that Paul Walker isn't very good in this flick while Vin Diesel has great screen prescence.
  8. Tim_Speicher

    Tim_Speicher Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 11, 2001
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    I was disappointed that I missed it in the theaters, so I knew I had to get it when it came out on DVD. Being a newbie to the whole HT experience, I wasn't really too much into having a great setup. Heck, I've been watching DVD's on a Playstation. Needless to say, this movie image quality and multitude of features has convinced me to get a real stand alone DVD player. I'm not saying that it is the best movie of all time, but I believe the production and quality to be all-around solid!

  9. Jon_B

    Jon_B Screenwriter

    Nov 27, 2000
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    I just watched it today. I went into the movie expecting a lot. ("next reference disc", fast action, blah blah blah") First off the car sounds were realistic, the rumble, the high pitched whine. So were the other sound effects in the movie; guns, trains, etc. Vin Diesel was also good. I guess this movie ended up being one of those "moments" movies for me. Where as there are several moments throughout the movie that are very good, surrounded by a bunch of filler. Overall it's not a bad movie. I just think it had the potential to be so much better.

    Definitely rent it and check it out.

  10. Doug Miller

    Doug Miller Supporting Actor

    Feb 26, 1999
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    Real Name:
    Doug Miller
    Let me start my thoughts by saying: I need a subwoofer. I felt like the mix seemed light without one. Usually my system seems pretty adequate, at times I need to turn the bass back, but this one made the need pretty clear. I'd never seen the LFE display move around so high or violently on the receiver... I really felt like I was missing something. Needless to say I will be buying one next week.

    (Speaking of which, is the 10in KLH at Costco alright? I have Yamaha surrounds now with Sony 845 receiver -- I'm really not looking to spend a mint on a sub)

    Back to the disc. Fun disc that left me wanting MORE. We need an "R" rated cut of this bad-boy. Watching a few scenes where lips said what the guy didn't left me cold. Plus, how can you put a rap video on the extras, but edit it? Why bother? Give us an "R" rated or uncut version, please. I'll buy another.

  11. Joe Tilley

    Joe Tilley Supporting Actor

    Jan 1, 2002
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    I just gotta say Im not mutch for import cars but, this is one bad ass movie.I dident think that I would like this movie at all but damn was I wrong this movie kicks ass, I think there were a few things that were overexaggerated a little but o well there are some really bad ass cars (for imports)and some damn good acton to keep me glued...
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  12. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

    Oct 30, 2000
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    While F&F may not be "mechanically" correct, it was still great fun. I'm not into imports either, but I loved it anyway. When Vin broke out the Hemi Charger I was ecstatic!
  13. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

    Jun 16, 2001
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    I picked this up today and it's official, after just watching this my senses are completely shattered[​IMG] . IMO F&F was an entertaining movie, not the next Crouching Tiger but a fun film to watch for entertainment with lots of great cars and a great sounding soundtrack. The cars flying past me with their squeals and rumbles was great. I also enjoyed the choreagrphy of the car action scenes and got a kick out seeing cars slide under the bottom of a semi truck[​IMG]. The DVD is great, fully loaded with a nice sounding DTS track, you can't ask for more. Definently pick this one up!
  14. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Screenwriter

    Feb 4, 1999
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    Real Name:
    Keith Plucker
    A great DVD of a so-so movie.

    I have to ask, was I the only person watching this and thinking..."Point Break on wheels!"? While the plots were different, the "feel" was indentical. At least for me.


  15. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

    Mar 15, 1999
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    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    John Williamson
    For those that didn't care for this film, or thought it "o.k.", I would like to ask that you give the film another chance, but this time, watch it with the commentary by Director Rob Cohen engaged and you may change your mind.
    I listened to it today, and I was amazed at how little liberties he took, the film is VERY accurate to how that whole illegal street racing sub culture behaves and operates. Hell, even the extras you see in the film are real street racing fans who he put into the scenes, and he even let all the extras drive their real life cars in the film.
    If you listen to the commentary, you might gain a better understanding of the film, and you might see just how good this film really is, and how well crafted it is.
    Gavin, it's funny that you mentioned 'Point Break', because Rob Cohen mentions that film in his commentary. It seems that 'Point Break' and 'Donny Brasco' were the blueprints for this film, and it shows.
  16. Michael Silla

    Michael Silla Second Unit

    Jul 27, 2001
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    Three words:

    Pick it up!

    I have a humble 27 inch Trinitron. I play my DVD's on a PS2 (I am stuck using composite out). I have a modest Kenwood home theatre in a box. Even with these limitations the movie "jumped" off the screen. I have never scene colors so vibrant and I have never had fillings jarred from my molars by bass as unrelenting as this.

    Previous to this film being released I used to show my friends "Gladiator" to display, soncially, what DTS sound was about.....

    No more.

    There is enough surround action and "earth shaking" bass on this disc to satisfy even the most jaded. Yeah, the plot is weak and there are action movies that I enjoy much more. Still, whenever I want to feed myself some eye and ear candy I know which disc I'll be reaching for....

  17. Elliott Willschick

    Elliott Willschick Second Unit

    Dec 1, 1998
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    Did anyone find that they had to turn down the DTS track? I usually listen to DTS tracks at -5 but I had to turn this one down to -10.
  18. Ray Suarez

    Ray Suarez Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 29, 1999
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    Watched this movie last night and I have to agree wholeheartedly that the picture is top notch and the sound is outstanding. The plot...well let me just say that I agree with the first sentence of Ron's Final Thoughts in his review.

    And for those who haven't seen the movie yet:

    The plot line is so similar to "Point Break" (Rob Cohen confirms this in his commentary)that I almost expected Brian's (Paul Walker) last line to be "Vaya con Dios" instead of "I owe you a 10 second car".

  19. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

    Dec 30, 2001
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    Man, now I'm really regretting buying this online instead of just forking out the extra seven bucks at Best Buy. I can't wait to push my cheapo surround sound system to its limits and really tick off my obnoxious neighbors.
  20. dave shreve

    dave shreve Extra

    Dec 13, 2001
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    The story line wasn't bad, but as a former import street racer and now kart racer/autocrosser, I was thoroughly turned off by the technical inaccuracies. Maybe I'm being too picky here, but it would not have taken anything from the movie to be technically correct, and it would have won the movie a few more fans. Oh, and while Vin Diesel played the role well, I just can't buy him as an import guy.


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