If you saw Fast & Furious 6 this weekend, you're probably still laughing at the film's craziest set piece, which could be released as a standalone short titled Car vs Plane: The Movie. Flagged up by the trailer right from the off, it's the movie's signature action sequence - and it's completely bonkers. Not because a team of cars chase an about-to-take-off Russian cargo plane down a runway at absurd speeds - but because they continue to do so for 15 flipping minutes.
Which begs the question: how long IS the runway in Fast & Furious 6? After working out the killcount in The Raid last year, we did some movie maths to find the answer, starting with the take-off speed of the Antonov AN-225...
28.75 miles. That's not just the world's longest runway. Unless they were at an airport on another planet - or they kept driving around in a circle - that runway doesn't exist. And, of course, there's always the chance that my timing of 15 minutes is off. They could've been taxiing down that strip for even longer.
28.75 miles. Let's put that into context. Mount Everest is 5.498 miles high. Most airplanes fly at an altitude of 6.82 miles. Felix Baumgartner broke records last year by free-falling to Earth from 24 miles high, right on the "edge of space".
If the runway from Fast & Furious 6 stretched upwards from the planet's surface, it would tower above all of them. And you thought Vin Diesel's flying headbutt was ridiculous.
Needless to say, this is precisely why I love the Fast & Furious movies.
It's hard to have a favourite thing about Fast & Furious. Is it the dreadful dialogue? The sweaty hairless bromance between The Rock and Vin Diesel that sees them whaling on each other like two psychotic baked potatoes? The fact that you could rename the movies "Car vs Boat"? "Car vs Train"? "Car vs Tank"? "Car vs Plane"? The climax of Car vs Plane, which takes place on the world's first never-ending runway?
Nope, my new favourite thing about this truly dreadful franchise - and let's be clear about this: it is dreadful - is the fact that its quality is summed up beautifully by its titles.
I don't mean 2 Fast 2 Furious (the worst title of a sequel ever, rivaled only by Speed 2: Cruise Control), I mean what it's called in Japan, where, for some reason, the names on the poster oddly reflect the level of badness within.
What do they call Fast & Furious 6? Fast Six? Furious Six? No, in Japan they call it Wild Speed: Euro Mission.
Say something enough times and it begins to lose all meaning. The Great Gatsby, adapted from the classic American novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is essentially two and a half hours of people saying the word “Gatsby” over and over again. By the end, it’s a hollow experience.
Director: Justin Lin Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Luke Evans Certificate: 15 Trailer
If you had to bet on one film from 2001 being turned into a franchise, The Fast and the Furious was never going to be top of the list. But here we are 12 years later and Fast & Furious 6 is pumping its engine full of codswallop and showing no signs of stopping. This is a series where characters say things like “You’ve got serious balls” / “I’ve been told” with a straight face. Where they live by a code that gives them two options in life: ride or die. Not eat. Not sleep. Not wash their hands. Ride - or die. So to call Fast & Furious 6 a bad movie almost seems irrelevant. Bad doesn’t even come into it. It’s ride or die. That’s it.
Flowchart: Am I watching a good Matthew McConaughey film?
Written by Ivan Radford
Monday, 13 May 2013 08:22
The warning signs are all there. The blonde hair. The topless torso. The charming smile grinning at you from every poster on the London Underground. Yes, a new Matthew McConaughey film is out in UK cinemas: Mud, directed by Jeff Nichols, the guy who made the superb Take Shelter.
Ever since the McConnaissance began a couple of years ago, the world has been introduced to something both wonderfully exciting and utterly baffling: the existence of good Matthew McConaughey films. Those impressed by the excellent actor's recent turns in Killer Joe or Magic Mike may well be tempted to catch up on his substantial career history. But as anyone who's seen How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days knows, it's a minefield out there - there are tons of bad McConaughey flicks and only a handful of great ones.
So, to help you in your dilemma of whether on not to see Mud (or any of his other films), we present you with our flowchart to answer that all-important question: am I watching a good Matthew McConaughey film?
Print this chart off for future use - then go and see Mud right away.
Still not convinced? Read our Mud review from the Sundance London Film Festival.
7 possible reasons why Alice Eve takes her clothes off in Star Trek Into Darkness
Written by Ivan Radford
Thursday, 09 May 2013 09:08
Star Trek Into Darkness is out in UK cinemas today and the Internet is already full of reviews desperate to avoid spoilers, lest they reveal a big plot hole or spoil one of the film's many references to older entries in the series. Likewise, there are no doubt countless sites where these same things are being debated and rationalised.
But one major plot point that hasn't been explained is Alice Eve's Dr. Carol, who in one scene strips down to her underwear. It's a moment that stuck out like a sore thumb in the trailer, which the marketing company tried to turn around by making it a source of a viral campaign. Now that's no longer the case, let's play a quick game of spot the unnecessary shot:
Why does this trained scientist suddenly have the urge to divest herself of all vestments? Here are seven possible reasons for Alice Eve taking her clothes off in Star Trek Into Darkness:
“Hey, do you want to watch a hijacking?” isn’t a phrase people tend to say when they’re looking for a fun evening’s entertainment. It’s quite understandable. Because that’s exactly what Tobias Lindholm’s film feels like: watching a hijacking. It’s gripping, horrible, shocking, sad. It’s great. You know, if you like watching hijackings.
The World's End. This Is The End. 2013 is officially the year of the Apubcalypse. Stonernihilation. Slackertastrophe. Or, even more serious, Lagergeddon. And now we have our first glimpse of what Lagergeddon will look like thanks to the trailer for The World's End. The answer? It looks very funny.
What's that? Simon Pegg and NIck Frost in a video? Directed by Edgar Wright? With a really strong premise and some amusing gags? Shocking, I know.
More shocking, perhaps, is that Mark Heap is finally in their ensemble cast. The Spaced star missed both Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. His presence here only promises to make it even more, erm, promising.
So there you have it: Britain's Lagergeddon is now looking way more enjoyable than America's Lagergeddon. So if the earth starts quaking and supervolcanoes start erupting this summer, do the smart thing: stay in the UK and head to your nearest cinema for some Cornetto-flavoured end of days.
Here's The World's End trailer. It's out on Friday 19th July.
5 astonishing facts about the Village at the End of the World
Written by Ivan Radford
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 22:25
Have you ever heard of Niaqornat? It's a tiny remote settlement at the very edge of Greenland. It's bleak. It's beautiful. You could almost say it's a village at the end of the world.
By an amazing coincidence, the village is the subject of Sarah Gavron's new documentary, The Village at the End of the World, which is out in cinemas this Friday. But that's not the most impressive thing about Niaqornat. To whit, here are five astonishing facts about the Village at the End of the World.
1. There are more dogs than people
Yep, that's right. There are only 54 people living in the village - fewer than the number of dogs in the area. With a human-to-animal ratio like that, Niaqornat is almost the canine equivalent of Jurassic Park. In fact, if the population falls below 50, the government will automatically step in and relocate them. Probably for their own safety.
The people, that is. Not the dogs.
2. There are only 15 houses
There are only 15 houses in the whole village. Manchester United have won more Premier League titles in their whole career than that.
3. The sewage system has a name
Ilannguaq. That's what the villagers call their sewage system. Because that's what their sewage system is: a guy who goes around with a bucket and collects all their shit and dumps it in the water. He's real popular with the ladies - but, statistically, he's even more popular with the dogs.
4. Average temperatures drop down to -20
You think you've had it bad this winter? Average temperatures in the village drop down to -20. Fahrenheit or Celcius? First one. Then t'other. It's so cold and dark they don't even have normal words like "winter" and "autumn". Their seasons are called Peuqqortinnerani, “the time of frost in the air”, and Kaperlak, “the time of darkness”.
5. It's 37km to the nearest airport
37km to the nearest airport in the town of Qaarsut? That's not so bad, you say. Try travelling 37km without a train network surrounded by dogs with a bucket of poo when it's -20 outside in THE TIME OF DARKNESS.
But the most astonishing fact of all about Niaqornat? All the people there are really happy. Optimistic, positive, proper smiley happy people. And that's what makes Sarah Gavron's documentary such a fascinating - and heartwarming - watch. I highly recommend it when it comes out on Friday.
Listen: Man of Steel soundtrack - Trailer music ("An Ideal Hope")
Written by Ivan Radford
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 06:41
A few weeks back, I got rather excited by the Man of Steel trailer music, which gave us a glimpse of the Hans Zimmer soundtrack for the first time. Now, that backing score has been officially released on Soundcloud by Watertower Records. It's called An Ideal Hope and isn't listed on the album tracklist - a trailer-only composition? - but it's a better version than the one that was recently leaked on YouTube.
Starting off with that quiet piano that got me all in a fluster, it's a glorious wee number, full of rising perfect fifths rather than Zimmer's trademark minor third; a John Williams nod that pays tribute to the original Superman theme without ever using it. If the Man of Steel soundtrack turns out like this, my ears will be rather happy.
Have a listen:
Cheers to Den of Geek for the spot. Head over there to hear more of my regular soundtrack musings.