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2 Fast 2 Furious / John Singleton

 
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 06.26.2003 7:48 pm    Post subject: 2 Fast 2 Furious / John Singleton Reply with quote

I fell asleep. But the seventh-graders in the audience seemed to enjoy themselves.

There have been few developments in recent American cinema more depressing than John Singleton's willful morph into a non-entity. There was much to admire in BABY BOY, but there is nothing in either FURIOUS nor his SHAFT remake to suggest he is still interested in ideas.

Eric
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Michael Scrutchin
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 06.26.2003 8:03 pm    Post subject: Re: 2 Fast 2 Furious / John Singleton Reply with quote

I never saw Baby Boy (I'll have to add it to my Netflix queue), but I do think his first film, Boyz N the Hood, is a great and powerful film. Although I can't say I blame Singleton for doing gigs like 2 Fast 2 Furious -- the paychecks are probably pretty nice. Maybe he'll eventually get back to making movies that matter.
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PostPosted: 06.26.2003 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pretty much hated the first movie but was, much to my surprise, pretty entertained by the sequel.
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Mark Dujsik
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 06.26.2003 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
I pretty much hated the first movie but was, much to my surprise, pretty entertained by the sequel.


That's me, by the way. Thought I was signed in after registering.
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beltmann
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 06.26.2003 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't blame him, either. Yet I still mourn the loss of his once-promising, original voice. (His promise has eroded so far that David Thomson didn't even deem him worthy of inclusion in the latest edition of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, and I can't quibble with that decision.) I especially lament how Singleton's new status as Hollywood hack reflects the sad state of commercial cinema and reveals what our system truly values--the size of his paycheck blooms as his artistic contribution plummets.

Of course, this evolution is not unusual. Even Orson Welles spent a long career appearing in mediocre films, simply to keep funding his personal projects. Unlike Welles, though, Singleton seems perfectly happy in his current position--there's little evidence to suggest that he has any artistic ambitions still lurking about. Even in the worst movies, Welles often found a way to make his contribution memorable, but Singleton's stamp is nowhere on Shaft or Furious, two completely impersonal works. The best thing about either is the performance in Shaft by Jeffrey Wright--a wonderful artist who also has been courting the mainstream recently, but always leaves his artistic mark.

Eric
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 06.26.2003 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark Dujsik wrote:
That's me, by the way. Thought I was signed in after registering.


Let me know if you have any trouble staying signed in from now on. I might have to adjust the cookie settings on the forum, but things seem to be okay now.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 06.26.2003 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed 2 Fast 2 Furious because it was so stupid. It's funny to think that teens actually buy into the stuff. I laughed at a couple of scenes and a few of them looked back at there chairs like I was the strangest person in the world. I crack up at both of the Fast and the Furious movies; they're a pretty good time after all.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 06.26.2003 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark,

I had the exact opposite response to the two films. Since I have zero interest in cars, chrome, or engines, I was shocked to find myself reasonably entertained by the first Furious, a piece of male-loyalty hokum that attempted to re-establish the "hot rod" genre of the '50s by infusing the usual genre tropes (right down to the tribal feuding) with a genuine respect for speed. The fast-forward racing scenes, in a theater equipped with a good sound system, were legitimate fun. Plus, as much as I hate to admit it, Vin Diesel--a strange, sinewy creature with doe eyes--contributed a riveting presence that is sorely lacking in the new picture. The sequel seemed to me a blatant remake of the first, with only grease and machinery on its mind--which might explain why I fell asleep.

(Still, despite my guilty-pleasure enjoyment of the first, I can fully understand why so many people loathed it.)

Eric
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 06.26.2003 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I equally enjoyed both the films, and both for different reasons. The first was more of a serious guilty-pleasure, and I often even admired it for some of its cheesy features. My liking for the second is basically a comic enjoyment of such a shamelessly embarrassing picture; it's still fun, though. Laughing
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 06.28.2003 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it's quite possible to enjoy poor films from a position of ironic detachment. We all have our favorite cheeseballs (mine might include THE GOONIES, UHF, and ONE CRAZY SUMMER) that we love to poke fun at. (We laugh at them rather than with them.)

Still, I've grown tired of making excuses for poor filmmaking on the soulless grounds that "at least I had fun laughing at the crap." For me, ironically "enjoying" MTV, cheesy movies, and game shows (to list just a few) grew tiresome years ago, which might betray my age. These days I much prefer the real thing, or actual sincerity, which is not to be confused with sentimentality or schmaltz. Besides, it's much tougher to win me over with the "real thing" than with "trash art."

I eagerly anticipate the death of the Age of Irony, which has given us the notion that shallow mockery is a reasonable way--perhaps even the preferred way--to confront our culture. Yet ironic detachment is not a worldview, it's a way to rationalize not having a worldview.

Eric
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