Posts tagged: Ludacris

Hard Work Forever Pays

It is no secret – I love cars! (Just look at some of the people I follow over on FlickR!) I have always had a thing for cars! Beautiful, exotic cars with a roar coming from the engine! Therefore you do not need to be a mind reader to deduce I am a big big fan of The Fast & Furious movie franchise. Fourteen years ago I caught the first installment in my first year at university in Leicester. I went to see at the local Odeon around the corner from my Halls of Residence. I enjoyed the movie, but never thought it would be so popular to spawn five plus sequels. In fact, I only saw the second and third movies once I had the box-set for Christmas some five years later.

The fourth movie, the effective “main reboot” for the latest movie line I caught at home while working in Newbury. Again I wasn’t overly impressed but felt it was a movie I should really watch in the cinema to truly appreciate all the set pieces. The makers of the franchise, then made the best decision ever, to parachute in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as US Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs to not only rescue the franchise but catapult it to new heights. All movies from the fifth, I have caught at Reading Vue with my dear friend Pav always 8pm and always the showing in our second home (screen four). (Do not ask me why, it has just worked out that way!).

The films bring out the petrol head in me with the insane set pieces – each movie building on the last. Fast Six perhaps was a clear favourite, being set in London with a crazy English villain Owen Shaw, played perfectly by Luke Evans. There was also the gorgeous Rita Ora kicking off the street race from Somerset House around the West End mid way through the movie. Probably the most dramatic part of these entire race, is the fact that they were filming during the London Olympics and could only get permission to shoot two minutes of footage each hour and became only the third production to be granted permission to shoot at Piccadilly Circus. Now all Londoners know that that particular bottleneck can take over an hour to get through during peak time. Yet in the movie, they were screaming around in their cars without a care in the world. The power of movies!

Rita Ora

Anticipation for this latest film almost came to a sudden stop when I woke up one Sunday morning to be informed by my wife (reading the Daily Mail app in bed) that Paul Walker had died in a car crash. I was devastated. The news was confirmed on his official Twitter feed. (I had only started to follow Paul a few months prior to his passing).

While I had seen Paul’s performances in other movies, such as Timeline, I will forever associate him with the FF franchise and the boy next door element he brought to all those films. Michelle had actually met him with her class during the movie première of Eight Below and noted how down to earth and personable he was. As far departed from the aloof Hollywood mega-star as you can get. Over the course of the weeks after that fateful crash on 30th December, we got to hear stories of Paul’s heartfelt generosity. The future of the film franchise was also in doubt and production was put on hold while the cast and crew were given the time they needed to mourn the loss of their star. It was painful, even as somebody who did not know the man, but having watched so much of him on the big screen you begin to feel a connection. Many people may find a statement such as this fake and insincere, particularly with all the other things going on in the world, why am I focusing on the death of a privileged film star. I am just letting people know I understand fully the often repeated phrase – family.

I have been bugging Pav for weeks to book tickets. The film was released over Easter so I gave extra notice to ensure our cinema date did not clash with family plans. Luckily Saturday evening had a window and we booked tickets for peak time in screen four. We walked in a little late, with the adverts on and found our seats quickly. The trailers came on and then the latest instalment could begin.

On my television I have the music video for See You Again playing in the background, as I write this post and I am overcome by so many feelings. Feelings I thought I had laid to rest many many years ago. The Fast & Furious franchise has been a big part of my life, I recall going to see the first movie like it was yesterday. Life as a student at university in Leicester feels like a lifetime ago even if I only left eleven years ago. I wonder what that young man must think of the person I have become now. Well into my thirties and living perhaps a very different life to the one I had imagined. There is also the fact that I cannot go back to 2001 in the archives, I only started blogging in 2002.

While we wait for a full detailed review from the guys over at The Fast Cast I thought it would be good to give just my thoughts on the movie. In one word – epic – everything that we have known to love from the previous movies notched up several levels. There is also very little drop in pace, we move from one set piece to the next, with only a brief narrative to move the plot along. Roman Pearce provides excellent comic relief, as Luke Hobbs is unfortunately laid up for the majority of the film and has little more than an extended cameo. I had been disciplined to watch only two full trailers and not the most recent extended version which featured the stunts in Abu Dhabi. At the gym, I noticed a shot of Vin Diesel stopping himself being thrown out of the side of a skyscraper and wondered what will happen next. The true build up for me started in early March when I listened to the final “Fast Cast” from those great guys over at the Fast Cast blog.

Now I got back from Reading around midnight and had to find out much more about not just the latest movie but the entire franchise. I went straight to Buzz feed and read multiple articles (at least three maybe four). Which I have listed below. Don’t Have Friends Got Family, Making FF7 without Paul Walker and Furious 7 Ending Paul Walker. Trust me to come home after a two hour plus movie and then spend over an hour reading about every little detail of the film. Suddenly it became very important for me to understand the dilemma of completing a movie with one of your main cast members nolonger with us. The ending was a true tribute to the main man – Brian O’Conner. The movie studio had shown not only him but the audience the utmost respect. Rather than killing him off, he was dutifully retired from duty in a scene which brought a tear to my eye.

I have been listening to See You Again constantly since Sunday. Such a beautifully powerful stirring song, it easily evokes the memories of the past. I feel we all sometimes forget to live in the moment and then as soon as the moment has passed, we instantly begin to reminisce of the time gone by. Almost wanting to capture the magic from before it is lost forever. To then become just a images in your memory banks. Maybe it is the melody played so softly on the piano, maybe it is the high impact of the words, rapped by Wiz. Difficult to explain in words, just sometimes a song comes along to capture the mood in tribute to a movie star gone, but also reflect back on your life and where you are at this exact moment.

Destination London

Some movies you anticipate for over a year, sometimes longer. Triple ‘A’ grade movies, such as The Dark Knight Rises, The Man Of Steel and even the finale to Hangover. However, there are also the second tier of movies, Grade B if you will, which you try and catch at the multiplex but if you do not, you are not that disappointed. It is not the end of the world. You will always catch on blu-ray a few months later or subsequently when they appear on television several years later. The Fast & Furious franchise is one very much close to my heart as a petrol head but I can take it or leave it. This was only the third movie of the now six movie franchise that I had actually watched on the big screen. I recall watching the first movie while at University and being blown away. This was the first time that I could recall Hollywood producing a worthy racing car movie. Japan (in particular) but other nations had a long history of race car movies. Sure it was not perfect by any means but it was a start and I had enjoyed the ride. If you had told me then, that I would have seen sequels five and six at the cinema, over ten years later I would not have believed you!

As agreed after watching the last installment back in April 2011, (we had stayed for the post-credits scene which set up the plot for the sequel) I was going to watch Fast Six and all further sequels with my bestie Pav. I originally had thought he would want to catch the afternoon showing at 2pm but instead he opted (once cleared with Emily) to come along to the 8:30pm showing in our second home (screen four). The auditorium was at 60% capacity when I booked tickets on Sunday evening just before dinner. I was really looking forward to the movie. It has been a while since I visited a cinema at peak time on a weekend, rather than the cheaper saver Tuesday. It was worth paying full price in my opinion for what would be a great action movie. Sometimes, you just want to be entertained and escape away from life’s troubles. You can leave your brain outside and have a few hours to be taken on an epic adventure.

Fast & Furious 6

I happened to watch Kermode on BBC News briefly on Friday evening before I headed to the gym. He reviewed Fast Six, explaining if you had seen the full trailer, you had seen all the best parts from the movie and you could spare yourself the time and money of watching the rest of the movie. I have to disagree with Mark (I usually do). This is an action movie, the set pieces are always completely ridiculous, stretching the believable to the limit and on this occasion most of the action takes place in London. The film delivered pretty much what I expected and maybe a little bit more. The comedy value was turned up a level with even Hobbs having some classic lines. It was great fun and I will catch it again when released on home media. In fact, I really want to watch Fast Five again! Good fun and the great news is that the next movie will be part of a new trilogy – 7-8-9…

Since joining Tumblr, I stumbled across The FastCast blog. Mainly because I entered cars as one of my hobbies and I believed I was linked through by a Tumblr car photography blog. One of the first entries was a podcast, previewing the sixth installment in the franchise. If you are a fan and want a recap before you have seen the movie, I highly recommend you listen to this episode, it is just under an hour and various aspects of the entire franchise are discussed including what to expect in the upcoming movie. I listened to the episode while in the gym the other day and hope to listen to the review episode in the coming week. The movie was released a week later in the States to make the most of a long weekend for Memorial Day. A special dedication therefore to the podcasters themselves, Creighton DeSimone and Chris Ziegler.

Tweet Envy

While I joined the Twitter service early (as an early adopter of most technologies) in 2008, it had only been running for a few short years up to that point, I did not fully engage with the service until perhaps a year to eighteen months later. Now, I cannot be separated from the micro-blogging service. Particularly as it gives me the outlet to blog in substitute to more detailed posts, which of course land on this site.

Let me give three examples of the power of social media in the past month. Following on from my post on Christmas Day. Tom Cruise (well a member of his team), tweeted back the following which made not just my Christmas, but bought the year 2012 to a perfect close!

TC is Jack Reacher

Have you seen Tropic Thunder? If not, it is a movie you need to see to understand the tedious link between Tom Cruise and rapper Ludacris. Perhaps you caught the MTV Movie Awards in 2010. Tom Cruise is infamous movie mogul Les Grossman and he loves to dance to Get Back, even joined on stage by Jennifer Lopez. In any case, I am also a big fan of the rapper and movie star, and he is set to appear for the fifth time in the sixth instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise in May. Now I am using Instagram on my tablet, I am keen to find celebrities I like to follow, so I thought I would just put a tweet out there to find out what Luda’s username was on the photo sharing site. To my disbelief, on the bus home, I put on my tablet and tried to connect to the on-board wireless (resorting to tethering to my HTC Desire in the end) and low and behold, the main man had tweeting me back! It was only around 4:30pm on Thursday but he made my weekend.

Ludacris

After listening to Amnesia practically all week (even during the course of the working day at my desk), I was keen to find out more about the beautiful Canadian singer, Rosette. So sure enough, I found her official site and began to follow her on Twitter. Within minutes of sending her a tweet yesterday evening, she responded with only three words but they meant so much to me. I shall be watching her career very closely this year, right I feel I should go and buy the single from Spinning Records.

Rosette

I Wanna Have A Good Time & Enjoy My Jack…

My sister, Samantha got back from her girlie holiday to Portugal last night and told me about Les Grossman on MTV in a rare live appearance. I did a few searches on the XBox using the fantastic YouTube script! Eventually we found a clip but it was screened backwards (I am unsure of the technical term, is it inverted?). When I realised this was the MTV Movie Awards 2010, I switched off the Xbox. They had been screened earlier on MTV, around lunchtime when I had put on the telly. I was hoping those wonderful people at Sky had put it on AnyTime. They had! Fantastic!

Regular readers of this blog, will know that I am a big Tom Cruise fan, but with Les Grossman, he has outdone himself! I saw the movie Tropic Thunder back in December 2008. I only found out that Tom Cruise was featured a few moments before I watched it. (By my dear friend Bhavna on MSN). Nevertheless it was one of the highlights of an excellent movie that killed me!

Once again his appearance had been kept under wraps. The only promos I had seen had featured Aziz Ansari. But there had been promos featuring Robert Pattison and Taylor Lautner. What can I say? I have watched the credits of Tropic Thunder several times because it is that good! Here, Grossman goes one better by “saving” the MTV Movie Awards with a ground breaking, mouth watering performance, that many A List performers would be hard pushed to replicate. The man can move (for a fat bloke) and loves being the centre of attention, as long as a Diet Coke is close at hand. You can catch several more photos and video footage over on The Daily Mail website!

Les Grossman & Jennifer Lopez

I would be thankful for this cameo appearance alone but the rumours which began way back in February last year when Tom Cruise appeared as the main guest on the opening of the new series of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. I am sure the Hollywood star said something like “Would you go to see a film about Les?”. The rumours were true, or rather have been confirmed. There is a movie in the works and I just cannot wait!

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