Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)

After the okay “Wreck it Ralph,” the follow up to the highly promoted video game version of “Toy Story” delivers a follow up that is—just as fine, I guess. “Wreck it Ralph” still hasn’t quite built up an interesting universe or interesting protagonists, even if they manage a better job satirizing video game icons. Truth be told I’d rather have a spin off movie about the video game verse and how it operates. Instead we’re given Vanellope von Schweetz and Wreck-It Ralph in a pair of awkward central plots that drive a movie that’s running on fumes from the starting gate.

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“Twisted Metal” is a Wild Ride, Flaws and All

There was just something so appealing about playing “Twisted Metal” as a kid. I fondly remember when it first came out on Playstation in 1995 and was hooked. When we got our first Playstation we played “Twisted Metal” for hours, finding new ways to eviscerate our opponents and win the battles. For those that have never had the pleasure, “Twisted Metal” is a based on an all out free for all battle video game where you man one of multiple armed vehicles in an attempt to come out the victor. The big bad of the game you’d have to ultimately face off against was the armed Ice Cream car with the clown on top called “Sweet Tooth.” There was always room for “Twisted Metal” to become something of a live action property, but now that video game movies are on the verge of become hotter than ever, it seemed like the right time for an adaptation.

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You Have to See This! The Wraith (1986)

Streaming On: Pluto TV, Tubi, Roku Channel, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Movies & TV, Apple TV, YouTube TV

“A wraith, man! A ghost! A evil spirit – and it ain’t cool!”

The Wraith” is one of those B movies from the eighties that is so inexplicable and so bizarre, but so damn satisfying. When I was a kid I spent a lot of my time watching antenna TV (Grade A TV Junkie right here!) and whatever movie was on that peaked my interest, even a little, I would be there front and center. “The Wraith” is one of the movies that caught my attention right away (showing prominently on WPIX Channel 11). It wasn’t only for the revenge tale involving an undead anti-hero, but also for the titular Wraith, who just looks so bad ass

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F9 (2021)

The only thing worse than a bad action movie is a boring one; even with the “Fast and the Furious” series now reaching that point where it’s becoming self-aware and self-satirical, Justin Lin’s penultimate entry in to the long running movie series is terrible. I rarely see action movies with so much noise and activity that put me to sleep, but lo and behold, “F9” pulls it off. This is a movie that throws everything but the kitchen sink at audiences, bringing in the cast from “Tokyo Drift,” Helen Mirren and Kurt Russell for brief walk on roles, and jumping through hoops to explain away the big plot holes with something vaguely resembling logic.

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Overdrive (2017) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

A duo of car thief brothers runs into trouble after making a deal with a local crime boss in the South of France.

Written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas and directed by Antonio Negret, Overdrive is a fun car heist film with exhilarating chases, twists, turns, and beautiful vintage cars.  It takes a few cues from The Fast and the Furious, Gone in 60 Seconds, the Transporter series, etc and makes them all its own.  The use of the car is definitely a plot device, but it works quite well here.  The characters are not particularly deep, but as the film is mostly action car porn, it doesn’t really matter in the end.  What matters is that they are believable enough to take the viewer through the story and its twists and turns while being entertaining and fun to watch.  This film is one of those that is made for the fun of it and not to pass on some kind of grand message, something that is perfectly fine and well done here.

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The Fate of the Furious (2017) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

With the death of Paul Walker and the unstoppable ego of Vin Diesel, “The Fate of the Furious” signals a rock bottom point in the movie series that we haven’t seen since “Fast and Furious.” As the series runs on fumes, the writers and producers are working over time to introduce us to dynamic new anti-heroes, all of whom can’t make “Fate of the Furious” worth watching. Unless you’re a completionist, or a hardcore Kurt Russell fanatic, “Fate of the Furious” is a convoluted and painfully long follow up that tries very hard to fill the void Paul Walker left when he died.

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The Fate of the Furious (2017)

At this point you know what you’re getting with the “Fast and the Furious” movie series, but they also seem to be thinking of new ways to get ridiculous. While you can’t really expect realism with these movies (seriously, gravity does not exist in this world), “Fate of the Furious” reaches new heights of absurdity that it becomes comical; and not the good kind of comical, either. Where James Bond had “Die Another Day” where he surfed a tsunami on a plane door and parachute, “The Fate of the Furious” has its own “jump the shark” moment. But this one involves a missile chasing a car, and Dwayne Johnson merely leaning out of a high speed car and pushing the missile away with his hand, allowing it to divert in to the car of a bad guy. It’s that point where I realized that it’s about time for the series to come to an end.

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