Note: I’m writing this immediately after seeing the just-released fifth Scream film. I make passing mention of it, but I do take care to not discuss crucial plot points. There are no spoilers for the new one here. I promise.
Fans of the 90s horror franchise Scream are taking a stroll down memory lane this week with the release of… Scream. It’s the fifth one, but they’ve done away with the conventional numbering of sequels which may or may not have a meta in-film explanation, no spoiler (it does, kinda). I’ll refer to it as Scream 5 throughout this post, because I’m talking about the franchise, so it’ll get confusing to talk about the individual films without distinguishing between them.
This year saw two artists abandon their more downtrodden sounds and embrace a happier tone. Lorde had a more straightforward pop album in “Solar Power,” meanwhile the Michelle Zauner led Japanese Breakfast explored the facets of joy and happiness for one of her most personal and experiential records to date. It’s an album you can sit and envelope yourself in, or just have on in the background of a nice dinner, but it’s never disposable noise. It was certainly one of the top albums I had on repeat this year.
I’ll make no apologies for my love of the big action epics that are the Fast & Furious films. It’s such a solid, workhorse of a franchise that always delivers exactly the movie you expect it to. Great stunts, big action, solid crime-turned-espionage narratives with warm & fuzzy family messaging thrown in for good measure. I dig it.
The 9th entry in the franchise dropped in theatres this past week to the biggest opening weekend box office since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. After a year long wait, and just a few days beyond the 20th anniversary of the first one, we finally got to see the next chapter in the franchise. If you’re wanting to binge the franchise before you trek to the theatres, you’ll have to bounce around streaming platforms, even spend a few bucks to rent them. I will put it out there, they’re all available to rent or buy digitally on the usual platforms, Amazon, Apple, GooglePlay/YouTube, whatever that’s looking like now. About $2-4 each to rent, so if you’re gonna binge them all, it’ll cost you, but about as much for one date night to see one film. But if you have multiple streamers, including the big ones, you’re set to stream most of them.
The Fast & The Furious/2 Fast, 2 Furious
HBOMax has the streaming rights on the first two entries. That’s where you’ll start your binging journey. You’ll get introduced to Brian, Dom, Mia, Letty, the mainstays of the franchise. Tej and Roman enter the franchise in 2 Fast, 2 Furious.
The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift
This one is one of the hardest to find, as it’s only streaming on FuboTV, which I don’t know anyone who has it. Beyond that, you’re definitely renting on Amazon or AppleTV.
Fast & Furious
The fourth film in the franchise, which marked the gear shift from street racing and general crime to international espionage and car stunts, is slightly easier to track down, if you have AMC+. I happen to, because I love AMC’s programming, plus you get Shudder and IFC with it, so I can stream the movie. Otherwise, you’re looking at FuboTV for streaming, and everywhere else for digital rentals
Fast Five/Fast & Furious 6
If you’re one of the many who picked up Peacock now that it’s the exclusive home of The Office (I got it for Psych and Saved by the Bell), you’re in luck, because these two are on their home platform. Fast & Furious is a Universal Studios franchise, which is the same corporate entity as NBC, so Peacock is Universal. I’d imagine they had longterm streaming contracts for the various films, and that’s preventing the entire franchise from being under the Peacock umbrella right now, but as those contracts expire, all the films will eventually find their way home.
Furious 7/The Fate of the Furious/Fast & Furious Present: Hobbs & Shaw
The most recent three (except F9: The Fast Saga) are all on rentals. You get lucky if you have Hulu live, you can stream Furious 7 there by way of FXNow, but otherwise, you’re gonna drop some coin on those.
Better Luck Tomorrow
This is a Fast & Furious adjacent film. It’s Justin Lin’s directorial debut, starring Sung Kang. Justin Lin started directing the Fast & Furious films with Tokyo Drift, through Fast & Furious 6, and just returned for F9. Those are also the films starring Sung Kang, as Han… who he also played in Better Luck Tomorrow. Both Lin and Kang have confirmed it’s the same character, making it an origin story for the Han character, and a canon yet unofficial Fast & Furious film. It’s streaming on both Amazon Prime and Paramount+.
May. The official unofficial start of summer and the summer movie season. We’re inching back toward theatrical normalcy and with some big movies hitting theatres this month, we’ll hit there soon enough. Let’s see what we’ve got this week.
It’s two months after the normal time of year where everybody who writes about movies locks in their predictions for the upcoming awards ceremony. I won’t break down all of them, you don’t really need me pontificating on Best Costume Design (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom). But I’ll hit the big ones, and really break down why Mank needs to be shut the fuck out.
It’s Oscar weekend, and I’ll probably spend some time catching up on a few films I still need to watch before the ceremony on Sunday, there are a few releases out this weekend worth checking out, including what would otherwise be a solid springtime blockbuster for Warner Brothers. Let’s take a look.
We lost one of the all-time great songwriters this week in Jim Steinman. Perhaps best known for his partnership with Meat Loaf on the power vocalist’s best work, Steinman had this grand, epic scale to his songwriting that felt like a weird fusion between stage musicals and rock and roll. I know rock operas are a thing and this was a concept that had been toyed with long before Steinman, but there was just something wholly operatic about his songs. Here are my favourites.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings marks the first solo debut of a new hero in a post-Endgame Marvel Cinematic Universe, and if the first trailer is any indication, they’re hitting the ground running with the new era. Take a look below:
I know exactly what you’re thinking. “Why do you want to make the Oscars longer by adding categories? And also the Oscars are pointless and award shows are bullshit.” I mean… yes, you’re not wrong on the second thought, but more importantly, on the first point, because I want to recognize the great work that goes into filmmaking. And even though awards are outdated, they still serve a purpose. Also everyone likes to be recognized for a job well done. And shut up.
I mean, sure you could watch The Last Temptation of Christ, Risen, The Passion of the Christ, The Son of God, The Greatest Story Ever Told, or any number of biblically based films. But why do that when you could watch these instead? All great films, all Easter adjacent, all just as inspirational… for some.