The Fate of the Furious (2017)

I quite like alliteration. The relentless pattern-sthe_fate_of_the_furious_theatrical_postereeking device that is the human brain happily ascribes some sort of significance to any deliberate repetition it happens to spot; mine usually ascribes playful whimsy. I like alliteration so much that I’m generally happy to ignore blatant use of it to try and hide clunky writing.

And I was fairly pleased when the fourth film in the The Fast and the Furious franchise forwent the definite articles, becoming simply Fast & Furious. This is because when all the nominalised adjectives[1] in a series are prefaced with ‘the’, it implies distinct, non-overlapping categories. The Long and the Short and the Tall refers to three different groups of people, not one group of people to whom all three descriptors apply. The same goes for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.[2]

Compare this to [Lifestyles of] the Rich and Famous,[3] or even The Royal and Ancient [Golf Club of St Andrews]. In each example, both adjectives describe the same noun.[4] Which brings us to The Fast and the Furious, the original film, where both nominalised adjectives[5] were proudly prefaced with definite articles. Which therefore implied that ‘the fast’ and ‘the furious’ were distinct groups. They might as well have called it The Fast vs the Furious. But of course they didn’t, because in the film, all parties to the conflict could be said to possess both fastness speed and fury.

Which is why I was satisfied when what could’ve been titled The Fast and the Furious Four[6] was instead named Fast and Furious. No implied juxtaposition of disparate groups, just two adjectives. Clean and succinct, but no less descriptive.

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Review: Hail, Caesar! (2016)

Hail, Caesar! Teaser poster - Wikipedia

Dir: Joel and Ethan Coen

This review opens with a confession: I haven’t seen Barton Fink, the Coen brothers’ tale of the inherent seediness of 1940s Hollywood. This confession, however, is almost entirely unrelated to the rest of this review of Hail, Caesar!, the Coens’ latest look into of Tinseltown, this time set in the early 1950s.

Josh Brolin is Eddie Mannix, Head of Physical Production at Capitol Pictures, and the man who makes the studio’s problems go away. The film follows the many problems, in the form of other human beings, that tug on planet Eddie like a series of satellites. They mess with his tides, but none of them seriously threaten his orbit. Eddie Mannix is steadfastly effective. Read More