Staying in, wrapping up in a blanket, lighting a candle, and watching a movie makes for a perfect weekend evening in our house. Due to the recent closures of most Blockbuster and Hollywood Video Stores, we slide our credit card into the vending machines dubbed Redbox and rent the new releases for $1 per night.
That’s right – $1 per night; that’s cheaper than racing to the theater for a hot new release or renting a movie via OnDemand.
So, what have we watched lately? Two fabOoolous action-packed movies: X-Men First Class and Fast Five.
X-Men: First Class
The fourth movie in the franchise, X-men: First Class takes us back in time; this prequel shares the story of how Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) becomes Professor X and how Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) becomes Magneto.
For those unfamiliar with the comics, the explanation of Charles and Erik’s friendship in First Class helps explain the first movies of the X-Men franchise. Each and every one of the films is very enjoyable, but First Class really pulled us in.
In addition to us learning about Professor X and Magneto’s early years, we meet the young and beautiful Raven, better known as Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence). The movie also introduces a few of the younger mutants from the comic books and the first three films: Beast (Nicholas Hoult), a mutant ashamed of his abnormally large feet who takes a self-made potion that transforms him into a gigantic blue beast; Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), a mutant with the ability to emit powerful supersonic sound waves; Darwin (Edi Gathegi), a mutant who transforms into any being to protect himself; and Havoc (Lucas Till), a mutant who absorbs energy and unleashes it in fire blasts to defend his friends.
We also meet the evil Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) and his Hellfire Club members (aka the bad guys): Emma Frost (January Jones), a telepath who also has the ability to mutate into diamond form making it impossible to physically torture her; Azazel (Jason Flemyng), a mutant who resembles the devil and can teleport back and forth surprising his victims; Riptide (Alex Gonzalez), a mutant with the ability to transform into a powerful whirlwind of dust like a tornado, or water like a cyclone; and Angel (Zoe Kravitz), a mutant who possesses the ability to fly and spit an acid-like substance.
Of course, there are a few humans in the movie like CIA agent Moira MacTaggert, played by Rose Byrne. She is the one responsible for bringing Xavier’s team of mutants together. She is also the one who opens the door to the mutant world with the US government.
Additionally, we see a few other familiar faces playing human roles including the fabOoolous Ray Wise, James Remar, and Michael Ironside.
A nice and appreciated addition to the movie was the cameo appearances by Rebecca Romjin (the adult Mystique) and Hugh Jackman. We can’t have an X-Men movie without Wolverine, can we?
We love high-speed racing and action in this house. The Fast and The Furious starring Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner, the undercover police officer sent in to gather evidence to arrest the illegal street racing ring leader, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), gave us just that and absolutely rocked.
Despite the lack of Diesel in 2 Fast 2 Furious, we maintained interest as Brian works undercover again, only this time with the FBI to take down a drug lord (Cole Hauser) in an effort to redeem himself after falling in with Dom’s crowd.
However, after The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift in 2006, we almost wrote off the franchise. Why have a Fast and Furious movie without Walker and Diesel?
Luckily in 2009, the series redeemed itself with Fast & Furious and brought back the franchise’s hotties, as well as other favorites including Leti Ortiz (Michelle Rodriquez) and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster).
Add Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as federal agent Luke Hobbs, and Fast Five officially has the best eye-candy of the entire series.
Oh, and action…just not enough racing. The scenes in which Dom and Brian acquire the necessary cars to take down the evil Brazilian crime lord Reyes were omitted; instead of showing us how they earn the pink slips to these vehicles, we just see the two return to their hideout with the cars. Maybe these scenes were scrapped on the cutting room floor?
But what did we really, really enjoy about Fast Five? Not only did we see the return of all the original surviving characters (no spoilers), but a few of our favorites from the past also join forces to help Dom and Brian, including: Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce (from 2); Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as Tej Parker (also from 2); Matt Schulze as Vince (from 1); Sung Kang as Han Seoul-Oh (from 4); and for the men, Gal Gadot as Gisele Yashar (also from 4).
Making up for the lost pink-slip racing mentioned before, the heists at the beginning and at the end are action packed and fabOoolous. Viewers watch Brian, Dom, and Mia steal cars from a moving train, and later witness Dom and Brian’s synchronized driving sequence, which is unlike any other.
Oh, and don’t turn off the video before the end of the credits….just sayin’. Something is in the works.
Overall, X-Men: First Class and Fast Five are both definitely worth a watch; definitely worth spending a $1 at Redbox. The action, special effects, relationships, backstory (in First Class) and continuing story (from Fast Five) are even worthy of the more expensive video rental via OnDemand .
What do you think – have you watched X-Men: First Class or Fast Five? Which of the X-Men characters is your favorite and why? What about the Fast and the Furious men (or women, let’s be fair)?
Have you checked out Redbox yet? Any other new releases we should rent? I’d love to hear from you.
14 Replies to “Friday FabOoolousness – Action Packed Movie Madness”
Loved X-Men First Class. I haven’t seen Fast Five yet, though I liked Fast & Furious, so maybe I will rent it. Actually, I’ll have three weeks off between semesters, I should rent some movies!
We rent from Redbox all the time. We still have one Blockbuster left, but why pay that much?
I loved X-Men First Class, but I haven’t seen Fast Five yet. I stopped watching after Vin Diesel wasn’t on there anymore. I may give this one a watch.
Btw, did you see Point Break? If so, did you ever think about how Fast and Furious had the same story line, but in different situations? The first time I saw F & F, I thought “This is like Point Break, only with cars instead of surfboards”.
I’ve seen both and loved both, for action movies, which I do enjoy! I thought they were both well done!! We have no RedBox here yet so we still wonder down to Jumbo Video to rent…lol…
Great reviews, Tiffany. I’ve seen all of the X-Men films. Wolverine is my favorite, but Rogue comes in a close second. I thought the January Jones character was really interesting in First Class.
I haven’t seen Fast Five yet, or any of the others, but now I want to. Thanks for letting me know these aren’t just fodder for my 15-yr-old son.
I still haven’t seen Xmen. Need to watch that this weekend!!
We haven’t watched Fast Five. We watched the preview on iTunes, and my husband wanted to watch Bad Teacher instead. I had honestly forgotten about it until you mentioned it just now. That said, I’d really like to see it. I’ve seen the 1st and 4th of the franchise and enjoyed them both. There’s something endearing about Paul Walker. I really enjoyed him in Joy Ride (a horror movie).
We don’t rent Red Box. Generally, if we’re going to rent, we do iTunes because we don’t have to take anything back where it came from. We also have Dish Network on Demand, but they changed the DVR requirements where it won’t let us record what we rented and watch it any time. So we haven’t used that for a while. We also watch a lot of movies on Netflix Streaming.
New releases. As you can see, I don’t keep up with them too well. If we were going to rent one, I’d push for seven days in Utopia because we have actually visited Utopia, Texas in our travels. We love it out that way.
Fun post. 😀
I absolutely loved X-Men First Class. I cried at bit at the end. Not going to lie. Even though I know they go separate paths, it was still incredibly heartbreaking.
I’ve not seen either one of these! Man, I gotta lay off the Dr. Phil and broaden my horizons. Great post! 😉
I have seen all of the other X-Men movies except this one. Guess I know what to rent next! I wondered how the film would be without the actors I’d grown to love in the first films. However, it would be nice to see these characters at an earlier stage in their stories.
We haven’t seen anything new recently since we’ve been watching through old shows, BBC Sherlock, and James Bond flicks with our sons. We sometimes do Redbox, but our go-to source is Netflix Streaming. Thanks for the reviews, Tiffany!
Oooh, I haven’t seen Fast Five. Looks like one I’ll love!
Wolverine’s cameo in X Men was hilarious. Gawd, but I love me some Hugh Jackman.
I thought McAvoy was awesome in X-Men, as was Fassbender. They put a lot of soul into the characters.
One of my favorite parts of the X-Men movies is the student aspect, that it’s a school with kids that are training to control their powers. I was SO disappointed with that aspect in this movie. Quite laughable. The pixie stripper girl–no way! I can’t believe they added her character.
But it WAS a fun action movie to watch. There were scenes of greatness in it, it’s a good movie!