The Fast and the Furious

One and Done: 10 Directors Who Exited Movie Franchises After the First Film

The rumors were swirling for a while, but now she’s made it official: Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson won’t be back for the remaining two (or, if they’re following the unfortunate current trend, three) film adaptations of E.L. James’ bestsellers. “While I will not be returning to direct the sequels,” she told Deadline, “I wish nothing but success to whosoever takes on the exciting challenges of films two and three.” This “one and done” pattern is surprisingly prevalent among big movie franchises. While many series keep the same director for multiple entries (Spider-Man, X-Men, Pirates of the Caribbean), if not all the way through (Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, Transformers, The Dark Knight), some filmmakers go through the work of creating a world, making crucial casting decisions, and starting a franchise, only to decide — or have someone decide for them — that they’re not going to go through it all again. Here are a few other filmmakers that were in for a penny instead of a pound. … Read More

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Despite the Hype, the ‘Fast/Furious’ Franchise Is Still Terrible

The original The Fast and the Furious, back in 2001, was a monumentally stupid summer throwaway in which handsome young Paul Walker and tough guy Vin Diesel did a lot of glaring and a lot of driving and a lot of growling. The plot was a warmed over Point Break retreat that existed solely as a clothesline upon which to hang the film’s many street racing scenes, where any displays of skill or suspense were undercut entirely by the laughable computer-assisted effects. The first sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious, found Walker going solo (Diesel and director Rob Cohen had gone off to make the equally dense xXx) under the direction of once-promising hack John Singleton, and the film supplemented the dopiness of the original by amping up the misogyny. After that film, this viewer checked out; these movies were clearly not for me, and they could continue making them for the vroom-obsessed demo without my participation. … Read More

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Open Thread: Are Movie Trailers Too Dishonest?

Over the past couple of months, your Flavorwire (and many, many, many other publications and websites) has been singing the praises of Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn’s brutal, brilliant, ‘80s-tinged existential action movie. But over the weekend, The Hollywood Reporter broke the story of an audience member who was litigiously less impressed. Michigan moviegoer Sarah Deming is suing Drive’s distributor, FilmDistrict, because they… hold on, you’re gonna love this… “promoted the film Drive as very similar to the Fast and Furious, or similar, series of movies.”

That’s right, folks: Ms. Deming is taking FilmDistrict to court because Drive couldn’t fulfill its promise to reach the artistic heights of the Fast and Furious pictures. … Read More

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The Morning's Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Fast Five, the fifth film in the Fast and the Furious franchise, earned $83.6 million in its debut weekend, setting a box office record for Universal in the process. The takeaway: Expect that six film to hit theaters any day now… [via Vulture]

2. “It’s exhausting. It takes a lot more energy… Read More

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