Review: Need for Speed

NeedforSpeed The title of this film couldn’t be more accurate. Need for Speed is a movie loosely based on the popular arcade style racing video game series of the same name. There’s very little plot in those games so they had a lot of freedom when it came to making a movie with a plot revolving around fast cars. Of course they had to avoid being a Fast and Furious knock off despite being a movie trying to cash in on the popularity of Fast and Furious. It does that just fine… it takes it’s time doing that in the slowest fast car movie you’ll ever see. This movie serves as a vehicle (hur hur) for Aaron Paul, best known as Jessie from Breaking Bad. He plays the protagonist Tobey Marshall and sadly he never says the word “bitch”. Along for the ride, quite literally, is Imogen Poots as Julia. A role in which she wears the worst wig since Storm in the first X-men movie. If that’s not a wig then her stylist clearly hates her guts. Aaron Paul is a fine actor but he really didn’t put any effort into this movie. Poots clearly was trying to show her acting chops by expressing the only real emotion outside of hate and/or stupidity seen in the film.

So what is this movie about? Well Mr. Marshall runs an auto repair shop and they are apparently the best there ever was. This is odd as we only ever see them kinda working on a car during their introduction. Despite having these support guys we never actually see them repair or build a thing. I should of course mention the opening scene where they are in a street race which clearly endangers everyone on the road despite having a guy in a prop plane spotting from the sky. Yeah, I found that weird as well. No idea how he got a license to just fly above the city at will…

Well rich asshole Dino Brewster, played by Dominic Cooper, wants these guys to help rebuild this legendary Mustang that was half made by some famous mechanic. But oh no, he’s also a known dickhead and is dating Tobey’s ex/Tobey’s pit buddy’s brother Little Pete. But the shop will go under if they don’t take the job so they decide to fix the car. This is accomplished off screen. Because why have an interesting montage when you can continue to pad the scenes between races with drawn out plot?

From here Tobey meets Julia (Poots) as she is sent by her boss to purchase this new car. Tobey proves it can go as fast as he says in the process pissing off Dino because he has a fragile ego. Dino challenges Tobey in a race. If Dino wins he doesn’t pay Tobey. If Tobey wins he gets all of the money from the car sale. Little Pete gets involved because he’s dumb and the three ace in some super rare import cars that are illegal to own in the states. Now we FINALLY get another race scene! It’s awesome and cool and oh crap, Dino causes Pete to crash and runs off leaving Tobey behind and he gets arrested and locked up for two years. Meanwhile he can’t prove Dino was there because the cars aren’t even supposed to be there.

End act 1.

Seriously. Something that should have been the first 15 minutes of the movie was the ENTIRE first act. The second act is Tobey getting out after 2 years in jail and racing across the US in the Mustang with Julia to find this legendary race so he can use it to prove Dino lied (somehow). There’s SO much padding in this act. There’s a scene where one of the crew quits his job in the most strange and drawn out fashion possible. It’s a very long scene and we see far too much skinny man ass to distract us from the fact that there are no cars or races happening. This is followed by a ridiculous car chase, which is welcome, but his buddy is now spotting it in a helicopter, which is stupid. Next more padding with an on the road refueling scene which had the most bizarrely dramatic music and, again, went on for far too long. The padding really gets annoying fairly quickly. It’s very obvious what they are doing and it’s not welcome. Give us fast cars.

Well they do. We get a few scenes of cars and racing and mostly wild public endangerment. I’m not usually one to care about this but when we are supposed to be rooting for these guys and we see civilians and cops constantly in obviously fatal car crashes it gets to be a bit much. These assholes killed a LOT of people. And they never, ever cared.

The third act half boring drama and half super long race scene. YAY race scene! Too bad the premise is absurd as this super secret race that is funded by this super secret billionaire, played by Michael Keaton, was poorly planned. You see when you win you get the loser’s cars. However the cops intervene near the beginning because the planning was shitty. What we get are losers being arrested or FUCKING KILLED IN THEIR WRECKED CARS. This feels very dumb along the whole ride. It’s a great scene to watch but it makes no damn sense what so ever.

When I left the theater I had a much higher score to give as I was kinda happy with the racing scenes as they were very action packed and a joy to watch! Well the first one was hard to follow but after that they looked great. However all the padding in between was not ok. They could cut 40 minutes out of this movie and we’d be fine. This isn’t 12 years A Slave, I don’t need long still shots of Aaron Paul staring at his girl. That is simply boring. The best thing I can say about this movie is that this exact plot would make a GREAT video game and I hope it happens. I’d play it in a heartbeat! But you won’t catch me watching this movie again. I value my time more than that.

[easyreview title= "Review of Need for Speed" cat1title="Rob's Rating" cat1detail="Overall Review" cat1rating="1.5" overall= false]

Review: That Awkward Moment

That Awkward Moment

That Awkward Moment is a male driven romantic comedy with a bit of coming-of-age thrown in for good measure. Focusing on three friends as they embark on growing up and the ever changing relationship dynamics that comes with mid to late twenties somethings. When a major bump in the road happens to one of the friends the others vow to stay single along with him in solidarity. Things, of course, go awry faster than they could have possibly imagined.

The group is lead by the ladies man, Jason (Zac Efron) while Daniel (Miles Teller) and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) round out the rest of the trio. Early on, Mikey discovers that his wife is cheating on him with her lawyer. Upon hearing that their best friend is having to deal with this, Jason and Daniel vow to take him out to meet women to have lots of casual sex with as soon as possible. Here, I felt that the writer had never had a friend before. The normal human reaction is compassion...and then drink and ladies. However, Jason and Daniel were like sex crazed robots who only saw this as an opportunity for an odd gathering of asshole behavior. There are some pretty hilarious moments as Mikey works his way back into the single life alongside his buddies. Meanwhile Daniel is falling for his female friend, Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis), but of course the trio’s agreement is that no one gets into a relationship. Daniel and Chelsea continue to carry on a casual relationship that quickly blossoms into something more substantial.

Jason, while continuing his quest to have sex with every woman within earshot he meets Ellie (Imogen Poots), a woman with an awkward personality that clicks immediately with his. They sleep together almost instantaneously. Jason makes a rather bold and frankly stupid assumption about Ellie which causes the classic rom com early story rift. He works his way back in and the two are dating but not dating. The entire premise is that you don’t want the situation to get to “that awkward moment.” This moment in question is the “...so, where is this going?” moment. Jason works overtime to avoid these type of moments but with Ellie he just can't. Obviously, he is quite smitten with her and this poses a problem. Jason doesn’t want to upset the other guys and welch on the agreement. However, Daniel and even Mikey are breaking their promises as well.

At the end of the day, the movie is a pretty by the numbers romance comedy. Miles Teller has by far the best lines and is legitimately quite funny. Michael B. Jordan plays a pretty flatly written character, but takes nothing away from the movie. Imogen Poots gives a serviceable performance. She has definitely done better work, see A Late Quartet, but not much for her to chew on here. Zac Efron, who is to shoulder this movie, was not so good. His performance was stilted and wooden in parts, and yet fluid in others. Its was the only unbalanced performance of the group. Due to his position in the movie his weakness is shown a lot more than if he were a supporting actor. That Awkward Moment should appeal to the late twenty somethings that you know and make the older folks you know cringe at the thought that we actually did some of this stuff. Not a bad Friday date choice.

[easyreview title= "Review of That Awkward Moment" cat1title="Jay's Rating" cat1detail="Overall Review" cat1rating="3.0" overall= false]