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Discuss this week's Joe Loves Crappy Movies here!

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Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.

Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.

With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.

Fast and Furious

Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, John Ortiz, Laz Alonso

Directed by: Justin Lin

Universal Pictures

The Official Site of Fast and Furious

Discuss Fast and Furious on the boards!

Come on… you’re a little glad that The Fast and the Furious is back. Even without the “the”s it’s exciting to see the original cast reunite to try and redeem the franchise from its ill-fated diversions drifting in Tokyo and being 2fast, 2stupid. Both sequels have their merits but neither comes close to the high adrenalin magic that the first film was able to capture with its underground racing meets undercover cop storyline, stunning stunt work and too cool for school cast. Brining those elements back together promises a certain level of quality that perhaps the movie wasn’t ready to deliver.

Five years have gone by and we find the cop (Paul Walker returning for a third round as Brian O’Conner) and the criminal (Vin Diesel stealing every scene again Dom Toretto) in somewhat predictable places. A tragedy back home in Los Angeles brings them both out of hiding to confront each other and the worlds they left behind.

This is Diesel’s best role. Probably not his most challenging but people want this from him. They want him to be the smart, capable protector with an edge that can win a crossed arms pose-off and knock a guy out with the backend of a fishtailing car. (Possibly at the same time…!) And he’s good at it. Dom seems effortless for him and just makes me wistful for the kind of star and action hero Diesel really could be.

The producers of the film must feel the same way because part 4 is really all about him. Rodriguez and Brewster are there but largely wasted and Paul Walker is definitely running around trying to push his story of an FBI agent that’s not quite sure which side of the law he belongs on, but in the end, all roads lead to Diesel. Not that his story about revenge and coming home is any more compelling than the loosely connected plot points in the rest of the film, it just has a more interesting star. (Sorry Paul.)

It was really a shame to see the girls take a back seat this time out. This franchise about muscle guys and their muscle cars has definitely paraded across screen the shortest skirts and longest legs of the car racing community (I like to call them Race Skanks) to give the cars and the film a little more curb appeal, but it’s also always promoted strong females. Brewster (as Mia, Brian’s love interest and Dom’s sister who tries to keep him on the straight and narrow) and Rodriguez (as Letty, Dom’s true love) were so much more than eye candy in the original film and it’s difficult to see them reduced to something less. They are barely supporting characters here, given no growth of their own, in turn stunting the growth of the men they’re supposedly supporting.

Superficially, they’re both still stunning. Rodriguez is a stone cold fox when she’s in full on action mode, giving adrenaline geeks across the world all kinds of thrills as she leaps between cars and still manages to show a little cleavage. Brewster is given even less to jump through but manages to show just as much cleavage. Good for her!

None of the characters or storylines are fleshed out enough to be truly compelling so we’re forced to focus on the action. Not such a bad thing for a Fast and Furious movie. Not so bad if it were actually in focus that is.

Fast and Furious suffers from shakey cam and night time action, two tricks to make you feel like your part of the action to the point where you can’t always tell what’s going on. Don’t get me wrong – there are some brilliant tricks and crashes to be found in the corners of even the hardest to follow clouds of smoke and twisting metal but we deserve more. In comparison with the rest of the franchise it doesn’t hold up. Part 2 did everything in the hot Miami sun or the bright lights of a street racing cars undercarriage and the practical effects were incredible. Tokyo Drift used the neon glow of its city to light the stage lending both style and clarity to its big rubber-pealing, sideways car showdowns. And none of these hold up against the first film that used real people, real stunts and smart, economical and effective direction to tell comprehensive and exciting action sequences.

Part 4 relies too much on the CGI. It does some pretty cool stuff with it but I can’t help but think car junkies are going to be a little depressed when their babies are replaced with cartoons. Pretty good-looking cartoons that are narrowly escaping destruction or performing the impossible… but you know what I’m saying.

In all fairness, Fast and Furious is bookeneded by two daytime action scenes that represent pretty well. The finale is good enough in fact to rebound any bad blood earned during the rocky hour in between. It’s the ending that this film deserves. I just hope it isn’t the last we’ve heard from the franchise. I believe they’ve got a better movie in them and I believe that it can be more than roaring engines surrounded by race skanks and a variety of ethnicities standing around with their arms crossed. It can be that too but it can definitely be more. Fast and Furious was good enough where I’d like to see them keep trying.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10 - Director Justin Lin, who also helmed Tokyo Drift, has a lot of strengths but I’d like to someone else take over the reigns of the franchise. If the movies are going to progress the action needs to progress with it and I don’t think Lin was able to up the level in a comprehensive way. Just shell out the money and get Bay on part 5. That would be a true way to close out the franchise.

Fast and Furious is the kind of movie that will gain ground on DVD. Without the distraction of looking for a better plot, the action, the one-liners and the babes will all amplify. (Couldn’t tell you exactly how a “babe” amplifies but I’m going to assume is has something to do with breast size.)

You know… I didn’t really care so much for this joke when I wrote it, I only decided to proceed after not being able to come up with anything better, but I’m kind of glad it worked out that way. Half way through lettering it I became really happy with the way it was turning out. It’s a simple joke but I think it reads very comfortably in its simplicity. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me.

I’d written the joke before seeing the movie, which may have been a mistake, but I actually came up with a couple of other ideas for comics while watching the film. One of which involves shark attacks. If Fast and Furious does well maybe I’ll have a chance to bring those to life.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a critic’s screening on behalf of Moviemake-out.com for a movie called Sugar. From directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck who it a home run with 2006’s Half Nelson comes this story about Baseball and the American dream as told by a young man from the Dominican republic. The film opens today in limited release and, while buried in a few sports clichés and some big shoes to fill in being the follow-up to Half Nelson, has a very impressive finale and message. Worth seeking out.

I’ll have a comic up for it later in the weekend, but head on over to moviemake-out and check out my detailed review.

Thanks so much for reading, guys! More coming soon!

Joe Dunn's Facebook profile

Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - The Introduction

Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.

First Appearance - Fever Pitch

Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.

First Appearance - V for Vendetta

Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison

Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.

First Appearance - 300

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe

Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.

First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet

Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.

First Appearance - Four Brothers

Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.

First Appearance - Ultraviolet

Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.

First Appearance - The Producers

Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!

Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?

First Appearance - Saw IV

Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V

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