This is the sort of DVD set that was made for Blu-ray.
They should've waited to release this movie with the 4th one. Bulky packaging.The Fast and the Furious Trilogy comes to us with the first three films of this venerable and highly bankable franchise. On Blu-ray disc fans of these movies can sit back and revel in all that these films and the extras have to offer. The movies in this collection are:
- The Fast and the Furious
- 2 Fast 2 Furious
- The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
In the case of this franchise, The Fast and the Furious is really the best film in this collection. As is usually the case with movies the sequels just don't have the same magic that the original did. In this version we are introduced to the character's of Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster). This movie sees O'Conner infiltrate Toretto's car crew as an undercover cop. O'Conner soon finds his loyalties questioned when he starts up a relationship with Dominic's sister. Things get more and more complicated with crazy races other aspects of the Los Angeles street culture making their way to the big screen.
2 Fast 2 Furious brings back the O'Conner character with people like Tyrese Gibson and Eva Mendes who are basically taking the place of the characters from the original. This new film finds Brian in Miami where everything is heightened to the point of making these film unbelievable. Lastly, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift has a totally new cast and I have to give Lucas Black credit for carrying the franchise on his shoulders. This new film is set in the world of car drifting with the location being the Tokyo of the title. The story is basically the same as all the others, underground racing mixed with drugs and other nefarious deeds, all set around amazing car chases.
The following reviews are of the Blu-ray exclusives on this disc.
Quarter-Mile At A Time
Of all the featurettes in this three disc set, I have to give this one the highest marks. It looks at the history of underground street racing from the 1920s to the present. We see the how street racing originated and we also get to see how it evolved. While I personally have never really understood the reason why people do it, I can certainly say that I understand what draws people to this "sport." First of all, there are the elements of danger and surprise. One honestly doesn't know what is going to happen. Somebody could potentially die if things aren't done safely. Secondly, as this is illegal there's always a chance that the cops are going to show up. This battle with authority is neverending and as a result it gives participants a built in us vs. them mentality. Lastly, if you have a high performance automobile half the fun seems to be getting in it and driving fast.
Drift: A Sideways Craze
In this featurette viewers follow the lives of three real life drifters! Okay, I will admit that I think drifting looks cool. In slow motion it looks even cooler. That said I think that this is probably one of the lamest featurettes that I have ever seen. While I know that this featurette is meant for the diehard fans of the franchise and fans of car culture, I was really bored when I tried to watch it. I got about 5 minutes in and I realized that I had a lot of other things to do so I quickly abandoned the ship. Sorry... but if you are in the world of car culture you will probably not want to skip this.
This release also comes with BD Live capabilities. This allows users to "mash up" the films with various action scenes from the three movies. You can then share these creations with you friends via your Blu-ray player. Sadly, my Blu-ray system isn't enabled to do this.
Main Features: 1080p - High Definition - Widescreen - 2.35:1. Bonus Features: 1080i/p High Definition and 480i/p Standard Definition. These movies looked awesome on Blu-ray. I wasn't sure how the original movie would look as it was a little older than the other ones in the franchise, but everything looked great across the board. While none of the directors ever seem to be trying to reinvent the wheel with the images, I think that Rob Cohen and Director of Photography Ericson Core (the men behind the first film) had the most vision. Their film wasn't merely spectacle. They went out of their way to take viewers into the world of racing in a way that the other directors have not. Watching the original film I really got a sense of time and place... that movie had its hand on the pulse of the zeitgeist more than the others.
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish and French DTS 5.1. Subtitled in English, Spanish and French. The sound on this movie was also really well put together. I felt like the movie was happening all around me and I don't even employ surround sound on my player. The audio was layered really nicely and, especially during the chase scenes, I got a real sense of the sound work that went into putting everything together. The audio was even rich during the more toned down scenes. Everything felt adequately layered and, surprisingly, I didn't have to alter the audio that much as I viewed these things. Good work, Universal!
The embossed slipcase cover contains a silver tinted shot of two cars racing side by side. The back cover gives users a description of these movies, a large Special features listing (for all the discs), and on the bottom of this cover is a technical specs listing. All the discs are stored in three Blu-ray cases with different artwork that is germane to each film. My only real gripe with this release is that I think Universal could have made things less bulky.
All in all I like The Fast and the Furious I think the stories are pretty much one note, I think that the actors who inhabit these characters elevate them in some way. What I liked the most about the first film was that I felt it captured an aspect of a culture I had never seen on screen before. Growing up in Orange County most of my life I have really seen it change over the years. While I never remember it being the white enclave that people still think it is, I can definitely say that it has gotten a lot more diverse. I really feel that the original film in the franchise tapped into this. It put on the screen the lowered cars, the spoilers and the characters that I have seen in my neighborhood's and schools since I was a little boy. The sequels, not surprisingly, never even came close to touching on this. I guess they can't be faulted, sequels are mainly done to keep the franchise alive and the dollars flowing.
The Fast and the Furious Trilogy plays really well on Blu-ray. Each disc is packed with extras (albeit old extras from previous versions) and the packaging is cool enough to make everything feel really fresh.