Hobbit Unexpected Journey Bilbo

For illegal downloaders, the biggest film of 2013 wasn’t a 2013 film at all, but a big-budget fantasy epic from late 2012. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey topped the list of the most pirated movies of the past twelve months, beating out the likes of Django Unchained, Fast & Furious 6, and Iron Man 3.

The massively budgeted, insanely popular Hobbit is a far less surprising “winner” than last year’s champion, the found-footage party comedy Project X. However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t a few unusual results among the top 10 — like Gangster Squad, the little-seen, little-talked-about crime drama from January. Hit the jump to check out the list.

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The Top 5 Action Scenes of 2013

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All things considered, 2013 was a pretty great year for cinema. But it was a particularly good year for action film fans. With a few exceptions, most action that I saw in movies was pretty competently shot and edited. I was dazzled by the martial arts of Man of Tai Chi, gripped by the boat raiding of Captain Phillips, and temporarily entertained by the barrel-riding of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. But even beyond those moments, there were a few action scenes that really stuck out to me. I think of them as the scenes that gave me a “holy shit!” moment, prompting me to exclaim (internally or verbally) disbelief at what I’d just witnessed.

After the jump, you’ll find my personal top 5 Action Scenes of 2013. You will disagree with them! I know the other guys at /Film already have. Thus, I heartily encourage you to share your own choices in the comments, and celebrate the year of action films with me.

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Fast and Furious 7 funeral

It’s no spoiler to say the end of 2013′s Fast and Furious 6 sets up 2014′s Fast and Furious 7 in a major way. The end credits tag introduces a brand new villain and ties the franchise back into its awesome black sheep entry, The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift. We won’t see exactly how this new villain and setting plays out until director James Wan releases the sequel on July 11, but the soon-to-be-released Blu-ray for the sixth film does feature a full scene from the seventh. Read about it below, but beware of major spoilers for the previous films. Read More »

Fast and Furious 6 - Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster

After only a few weeks of release, Justin Lin‘s latest Fast and Furious film, Fast and Furious 6, is well on its way to being the franchise’s highest grossing entry. Pretty impressive for the sixth film in a series that started as a small, family-centric action film filled with green and orange cars. The latest film ups the ante with action and effects that push the bounds of our imaginations and believability. Things get so crazy this time around you have to check any expectation of reality at the door.

Part of the reason the Fast and Furious franchise has thrived under Justin Lin is that the director prides himself on practical action. When you see a tank crushing cars, they actually had a tank crushing cars on set. But in Fast and Furious 6‘s massive finale, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson and the crew didn’t really bring down a huge aircraft…did they? Check out a brand new video detailing the scene’s effects below. Read More »

furious6

Dave, Devindra, and Jen from Deadline discuss some bold new horror anthologies, reflect on how Arrested Development has changed in its fourth season, and praise the brilliantly constructed Stories We Tell. Be sure to check out Matt Singer’s thoughts on why this series is so complex, Wesley Morris’s explanation on why this is a post-racial film, and also see Jen Yamato’s previous Fast and Furious reviews.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993.
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Fast and Furious 6 poster header

“All roads lead to this.” That’s the tagline for Fast and Furious 6 and it’s appropriate on several different levels. The film is the final series entry from director Justin Lin, who picked up a fledgling franchise and carried it into the blockbuster realm. It also marks the culmination of a story that began at the end of Tokyo Drift, when a cameo from Vin Diesel signaled the shift from a set of loosely connected films to a tightly intertwined set of stories and characters.

Finally, Fast and Furious 6 marks the total obliteration of any semblance of reality or logic in the franchise.

Speeding through a city with a huge safe in tow seemed crazy in Fast Five. In Fast and Furious 6 Lin expands the action to absurd proportions, creating set pieces and action beats that defy physics and coherence. Yet it all works to purring perfection. After five movies, all roads indeed lead to this madness. Read More »

STID Carol / FF6 Letty

It’s more or less impossible to reboot a massively popular franchise for the big screen without drawing the ire of a few fans, but one major criticsm plaguing Star Trek Into Darkness in recent days has nothing to do with J.J. Abrams‘ Klingon redesign or use of parallel timelines. Midway through the film, there’s a brief scene in which the character Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) strips down to her underwear for no apparent reason. Some fans called filmmakers out for being sexist, and so far writer Damon Lindelof has stepped up to offer his apologies.

The minor controversy was fresh in my mind when I went to go see Fast & Furious 6, which, as you’d expect, outdoes Star Trek Into Darkness‘ tiny sliver of cheesecake on every level. All of the female stars of Fast & Furious 6 are conventionally attractive to begin with, and none shy away from wearing form-fitting outfits or showing off a bit of cleavage. Additionally, scantily clad female extras are used in several sequences as little more than set decoration. And yet I walked away from Fast & Furious 6 thinking that director Justin Lin and his crew could teach the Star Trek team a thing or two about portraying female characters on screen.

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Justin Lin Fast Furious 6

Though the second Fast and Furious movie was a hit, it left fans with a bad taste in their mouths. Star Vin Diesel didn’t return, the chemistry was slightly off and the action didn’t live up to the first film. Enter Justin Lin. With the third film, he didn’t exactly win (most) fans back, but he brought Diesel back and began a mythological arc that culminates this weekend in Fast and Furious 6. Over the course of four films, Lin has turned the franchise into a legitimate, studio saving blockbuster while simultaneously elevating the spectacle to totally different levels.

With Fast and Furious 6, Lin does that again but now he’s leaving the franchise behind him. However he leaves behind a newly rejuvenated fan base, a laundry list of beloved characters and a complete story with room to expand.

We spoke to Lin on the eve of Fast and Furious 6 and discussed those things as well as the wacky timeline, building a mythology, filming the street race scenes, trailers spoiling the action, shooting 6 and 7 back to back and and the all-important Corona budget. Read More »

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