Entertainment

24 ‘Fast & Furious Facts’ Fans Might Not Know About

Just think about this: when the first Fast & Furious was released, George W. Bush was into the first year of his presidency, the world had just survived the Y2K scare (when everyone expected computer systems to go loco at the turn of the millennium) and the new post 9-11 world order hadn’t been established. Everyone talks about Marvel and Star Wars, but in fact, the Fast & Furious franchise has been as perdurable and has opened ground in the massive Chinese market, where the films sometimes make more money than in the United States. Who would have said that illegal car racing and espionage would be so profitable?

The franchise propelled Vin Diesel and The Rock into worldwide superstardom and has created legends, such as that of the late and much beloved Paul Walker. The franchise has been a consummate star-maker machine. 

The Fast and the Furious (2001)
A brief recap: Domic Toretto (Vin Diesel) organizes illegal street races and the Los Angeles police think he is behind a series of truck robberies. Cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) goes undercover, joining his carritos de carreras crew!

Here are some facts that every fan of the high octane film series should know about each of the eight (sí, ocho, son un chingo!) feature movies release so far! 

Michelle Rodriguez didn’t have a driver’s license (not even a permit!) before she started shooting!

Credit: The Fast and the Furious / Universal Pictures

But we know she is a total badass, so she, of course, managed to be awesome. 

Talking about our Lady Rodriguez, she was dating Vin Diesel in real life during the shoot (par de guapos)

Credit: The Fast and the Furious / Universal Pictures

The chemistry is evident onscreen, so we can only imagine what went on inside those movie set trailers… 

The plot is VERY similar to the classic Keanu Reeves film Point Break

Credit: Point Break/ Largo Entertainment

The classic Hollywood trope of a cop infiltrating a presumed criminal organization will never die! 

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
A brief recap: Brian O’Conner seeks the help of a childhood friend and now street racer to bust a dangerous kingpin.

The film was directed by John Singleton, the first Black man to be nominated for an Oscar as Best Director.

Credit: 2 Fast 2 Furious / Universal Pictures

A total legend of the silver screen. He was nominated for his classic urban tale Boyz N’ The Hood. He died last month. 

Paul Walker performed a lot of the stunts in the film.

Credit: 2 Fast 2 Furious / Universal Pictures

He is missed, and this kind of dedication is what made him a legend in the history of action cinema. 

Vin Diesel turned down $25 million to appear in this film

Credit: 2 Fast 2 Furious / Universal Pictures

He said that the films were being produced like serialized movies in the 80s, thinking of quantity over quality. He would return, of course! 

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
A brief recap: A slight deviation from the main plot… a teenager called Sean Boswell moves to Tokyo to avoid going to prison in the US… and of course he enters the street racing scene

More than 100 cars were destroyed or damaged to make this movie

Credit: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift/ Universal Pictures

Talk about the excesses of Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking! It is pretty cool, though!

Universal practically begged Vin Diesel to make a cameo

 

Credit: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift/ Universal Pictures

This happened after an early screening of the film did terribly with test audiences. 

The film happens in 2013, which back in 2006 was 7 years into the future!

Credit: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift / Universal Pictures

This is such a vexing script choice… it does look a little futuristic though. We wonder if they even imagined that the franchise would still be going by then. 

Fast & Furious (2009)
A brief recap: The return of Vin Diesel! Brian and Dominic team up to fight a heroin smuggler

Wonder Woman‘s Gal Gadot made her screen debut here!

Credit: Fast & Furious / Universal Pictures

She was as fierce and amazing then as she is now…  a true female symbol! 

Rapidito, a componer!

Credit: Fast & Furious / Universal Pictures

Universal made the sudden decision to release the film in April instead of June, so composer Brian Tyler was only given three days to work on the score. What a genius… the music is upbeat and truly communicates the adrenaline-infused theme. 

Now Brian is no longer blond… OK… 

Credit: Fast & Furious / Universal Pictures

Paul Walker basically OWNED the franchise (not financially, but artistically). His character changed hair color all of a sudden with no explanation. 

Fast Five (2011)
A brief recap: This is the epitome of a heist movie. Dominic Toretto is in the grips of a Brazilian drug lord, so he and his crew need to buy their freedom.

Director Justin Lin sort of hates digital FX, so most of the car stunts are as real as it gets

Credit: Fast Five / Universal Pictures

This is what has made this franchise survive: a true commitment to the craft of traditional filmmaking despite the massive advances that digital technology has made since 2001. 

This was the first movie in the franchise to be shown in IMAX. 

Credit: Fast Five / Universal Pictures

Grandecito se ve más bonito, no doubt about it. 

Joaquim de Almeida (Reyes, the kingpin) is often cast as a big mafia boss

Credit: Fast Five / Universal Pictures

Point in case, is role as Governor Vargas in Queen of the South, the gringo remake of our own La reina del Sur

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
A brief recap: The Rock is here! Dominic and Brian get together again to tackle on a team of mercenaries

Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is teased with Avengers references

Credit: Fast & Furious 6 / Universal Pictures

They call him Captain America, “Samoan Thor” and The Hulk. Well, those are pretty cool comparisons we think. 

Justin Lin es un necio and it paid off! No CGI!

Credit: Fast & Furious 6 / Universal Pictures

The tank scene is so complicated in terms of logistics that the studio insisted on digital imagery. The director refused and we are thankful for that. Look at this behind-the-scenes shot that reveals how complex it all was! 

Paul Walker passed away the year the film was released

Credit: Furious 7 / Universal Pictures
Credit: Fast & Furious 6 / Universal Pictures

He died on November 30, 2013. The studio donated part of the DVD sales to Walker’s foundation Reach Out WorldWide. 

Furious 7 (2015)
A brief recap: Jason Statham is here! Another action movie powerhouse graces the franchise as a man who seeks revenge against Dominic and his muchachos.

This is the last film featuring Paul Walker

Tribune UK

Stunt doubles, body doubles, and CGI was needed to complete Walker’s appearance in the film. Such a sad moment for the franchise, truly bittersweet as a homage to the actor. They also rescued some unused footage from the previous films. 

Paul’s brothers Caleb and Cody helped out

Credit: 878431-paulmain-1430381325. Digital image. Tribune UK

They are two of the doubles, and they also lent their voices for some voice-over dialogue for the character of Brian. 

Denzel Washington turned down a minor role in the film, so the producers had to settle with… 

Credit: Furious 7 / Universal Pictures

Mr Kurt Russell… TBH, we love him in this role as the enigmatic Mr Nobody. 

The Fate of the Furious (2017)
A brief recap: Dom is seduced by a super intelligent and gorgeous woman… with unexpected consequences

The shooting of the film revealed that there is not a lot of love between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson

Credit: The Fate of the Furious / Universal Pictures

Some scenes featuring Johnson were deleted and this seemed to be Vin Diesel’s doing. As always, Johnson was a gentleman, but the rift was evident. 

Iceland passes as Russia

Credit: The Fate of the Furious / Universal Pictures

The plot includes several scenes in Russia, but in fact, they were shot in Iceland. These scenes include the biggest, meanest explosion ever shot in the Nordic country. 

The dance that Hobbs performs with his soccer team is a Haka, a traditional warrior dance from the Pacific Islands

Credit: The Fate of the Furious / Universal Pictures

Dwayne Johnson is a proud, fierce islander!

Jimmy Fallon Apologizes For Wearing Blackface In 2000 ‘SNL’ Sketch

Entertainment

Jimmy Fallon Apologizes For Wearing Blackface In 2000 ‘SNL’ Sketch

jimmyfallon / Instagram

Jimmy Fallon is the latest celebrity to face consequences from blackface clips resurfacing. The talk show host and comedian is facing backlash after a clip of him on “Saturday Night Live” impersonating Chris Rock in blackface resurfaced.

A 20-year-old clip of Jimmy Fallon in blackface on “SNL” impersonating Chris Rock.

The clip is circulating on social media and has sparked a debate over cancel culture and blackface in our society. The comedian is the latest in a line of prominent people that have had to apologize for offensive images of them in blackface resurfacing. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and fellow comedian Sarah Silverman have also apologized publicly for moments of blackface in their past.

Fallon owned up to the incident and tweeted an apology.

People have come to Fallon’s defense since the video has resurfaced. One of those people is Jaime Foxx.

“He was doing an impression of Chris Rock. It wasn’t black face [sic],” Foxx commented on an E! News Instagram post. “We comedians, I know it’s a tough time right now. But this one is a stretch. On a show called ‘In Living Color’ we played every race. Let this one go. We got bigger fish to fry … #changecourse.”

The revelation of Fallon in blackface brought a clip of Jimmy Kimmel in blackface to light.

Fallon fans are calling on social media to give Kimmel a similar treatment because of his own example of blackface for comedic appeal. Kimmel’s blackface incident hasn’t caused as big of a reaction as Fallon’s.

Social media users are in a fierce debate over what Fallon’s fate should be in the time of cancel culture.

Blackface has a long and documented history of oppression in the United States. The practice of blackface dates back to the 1830s in the U.S. and it later caught on in Britain. Blackface was usually used in minstrel shows that would play on stereotypes of Black people and helped in the proliferation of racism and prejudice.

Some people are trying to make whiteface a thing but Twitter users are not having it.

Critics are quick to differentiate blackface from whiteface because of their historical context. While blackface has a direct link to racism, slavery, and Jim Crow, whiteface is different according to critics. Whiteface does not build itself on racism, oppression, and racial segregation.

What do you think about the Jimmy Fallon blackface clip?

READ: Bad Bunny Honored A Murdered Trans Woman During Jimmy Fallon In Simple And Powerful Way

Netflix’s ‘Gentefied’ Renewed For Season 2, Fans Overjoyed

Entertainment

Netflix’s ‘Gentefied’ Renewed For Season 2, Fans Overjoyed

gentefied / Instagram

Any and all news is welcomed right now and Netflix came through this week. “Gentefied” is coming back for a second season and this is absolutely not a drill. Soon we will be back in Boyle Heights with Ana, Chris, Erik, and the rest of the cast we have come to love so much.

Netflix has confirmed “Gentefied” for a second season.

The show is a fan favorite for Netflix with praise and love pouring in for the groundbreaking show. “Gentefied” is set in Boyle Heights and it is all about the fight against gentrification. The show premiered this year to big fanfare and excitement from Latino Netflix users. The show, created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, was picked up for an eight-episode run of the 30-minute show.

The show is one of the most relevant portrayals of the Latino experience in the 21st century.

The show highlights the plight of gentrification on communities across the U.S. Boyle Heights in Los Angeles has been the center of growing tension as the neighborhood slowly gentrifies. Rising rents have forced some residents and businesses to close and leave because of the changing demographic in the neighborhood.

Hearts are full as everyone celebrates the news of a whole new season.

The show originally premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival as a digital series. Lemus and Chávez debuted the show and it was an instant hit with festival-goers. After three years of waiting, the show was released by Netflix and became a national hit. The show has shone a light on the cost of gentrification for more Americans than knew about it before the show aired.

Low key, it has made for perfect binge-watching during this quarantine.

There isn’t a whole lot any of us can do at the moment. Most of us are at home because of self-isolation and social distancing guidelines designed to save lives during the pandemic. Might as well us some of your time to watch and support and very important moment in our community. This kind of representation is something that Latinos have been asking for.

While excited, some fans want more, like a cross-over with Starz’s “Vida.”

Now, just to be clear, we are not concerned with what it takes to make this happen. Netflix and Starz can come up with the actual plan. We are just going to be here waiting to be heard so we can all have the kind of cross-over the world deserves. Just imagine a chance for those two shows to collide in Latino excellence.

Now we wait for an air date.

We are patient. We will be here when you are ready. All you have to do is let us know when to tune in and you know we are coming through.

READ: I Watched ‘Gentefied’ On Netflix And These Are My Brutally Honest Thoughts