Video of the Day


Alex Carnevale

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen

Reviews Editor
Ethan Peterson

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

Live and Active Affiliates
This area does not yet contain any content.

« In Which We Make A Better Special Agent Than You Ever Did »

Dome Versus Dome


Fast Five
dir. Justin Lin
130 minutes

Fast and the Furious movies are like animal videos on the Internet, and not only because Paul Walker's face looks like an LOLcat. A few years ago a clip of a single puppy licking its paws was enough to trigger a dopamine rush, but after 100 million hours of sweet-faced animals on YouTube the brain requires more stimulation to incite the same kick.

Now it takes something more ambitious, some novel clafoutis of cute, like a Golden Retriever puppy spooning a handicapped cheetah at a kindergarten choir concert to suffice.

"don't use bing!"It's the same logic behind what dudes who never get laid call the "strange pussy theory," as well as the growing spectacle of the Fast and the Furious franchise. Whereas a couple drag races did the trick in the first installment, Fast Five opens with cars soaring off a moving train, a bunch of roid-raging beefcakes in fisticuffs, a gas tank explosion, and Paul Walker and Vin Diesel doing Olympic 10 dives off a bridge. This is all within the first 15 minutes.

The original cast escapes to Rio de Janeiro for this one, where the plan is to lay low for awhile. But that’s not much of a movie so Vin says, "One more job, and then we're done forever" which is as believable as when I say "One more cookie, and then I'm putting them away for the night." The hit is on Reyes, a corrupt business man who controls the favelas and forces his lady workers to wear bikinis all day while they bind his money, unlike Vin Diesel’s lady workers who just wear bikinis all day of their own volition.

First the fast, furious crew invades one of Reyes' warehouses and burns the money to show their mission is not just about bank, there's some larger, albeit vague moral battle they're waging, despite the fact they cause countless Rio cops to drive into walls and stuff. Then they go after the money. Unfortunately the movie went for a PG-13 rating so there is no real sex to behold, but there is a wrestling match between Vin and The Rock so intimate it is impossible to discern where one bald dome ends and the other begins.

There are some cars in this movie. They don't morph into Autobots, but they do everything else and eye blow you in the process, enough to make you question your donation to Coalition for Alternative Transportation. Director Justin Lin smartly plays Vin Diesel's acting inability for laughs rather than accolades. And there are a few choice slow-mo moments - one where beads of sweat soar from Vin Diesel's cheek as it accepts a punch, the other when The Rock’s inhumanely massive face menaces some wee bad guys with a constipated glare - that are basically just animated gifs made before the Internet could do it.

Combine that with a script in which 90 percent of the lines uttered could be movie poster taglines, along with non-stop metal acrobatics, explosions, and gun play. There's not much to take away from the experience. But there’s nothing to dislike about it either.

Lauren Bans is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Brooklyn. You can find an archive of her work on This Recording here. You can find her website here, and she twitters here. She last wrote in these pages about waxing.

"This Charming Man (Smiths cover)" - Death Cab for Cutie (mp3)

"Love Song (Cure cover)" - Death Cab for Cutie (mp3)

"I Wanna Be Adored (Stone Roses cover)" - Death Cab for Cutie (mp3)

Reader Comments (2)

Great review, made me laugh. Probably better than the movie itself.

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

So many LOLs. You are the master.

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterValencia

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.