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"SHUT UP & WATCH" MOVIE NIGHT WEDNESDAYS :: TOKYO DRIFT & PIZZA

By Todd Knaak

Every Wednesday, Todd, Editorial Assistant and resident film geek at The Hundreds, is going to let us know exactly what to watch and eat for our night in. Yes, we’ve deemed Wednesdays your new movie night, starting on this first hump day of 2015, and the series is called “Shut Up & Watch.” So shut up, because tonight, we’re gonna watch fuckin’ The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.

It’s Wednesday night. You don’t want to brush your teeth, your pants are too cold to put on, you’re feeling particularly bloated, and you already diddled yourself. What do you do? You act like a good American and you pop in a movie and let your skin get stuck to the leather couch you refuse to leave. What movie? You’re in the mood for a brainless movie but you don’t want people to think your taste is that of a white, suburban middle schooler. This is where I come in. We’re going to watch The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and I’m going to walk you through how to justify loving every second of it to any hater who truly believes they’re only allowed to like universally good things. But turning a C movie into an A+ experience isn’t easy – however, after watching one movie a night for the last few years, I can help get you started.

The Movie:
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

The Score:
What it is: 79/100 (C+)
What it really is: 84/100 (B)
What it really, really is: Japanese street racing for an hour and a half/100 (A+++)

The Reason:
Furious 7  is rushing to theaters pretty quick here, and you’re in need of a good, terrible blockbuster franchise. Plus, it’s movie night so you want to sink into your couch, buried in bread crumbs, while watching some screeching metal and rubber fly at your face with only 30 minutes of unimpressive, cliché emotional interactions. Also, Universal Studios is getting ready to open the Fast and Furious ride as part of the tram experience and you need to be prepared. And they just recently released all the movies on Blu-Ray SteelBook because they’re marketing towards collectors (finally). Plus, you’re into Asian women and Japanese techno.

How to Watch:
You can download this movie in these three places:

Google Play
VUDU
Amazon

But you should really own the Blu-Ray SteelBook and have it surrounded by the other five Blu-Ray SteelBooks when you put this on. It’s a goddamn blockbuster and presentation is part of performance. If you do have them, take a moment to admire the color coded series. It’s beautifully designed and just feels right in the hand even though this one is yellow. But first things first, if you haven’t seen the previous two films in the franchise, don’t watch this one. Don’t watch movies out of order – it’s like eating cereal without milk, enjoyable but wildly unnatural. Rude viewership.

Scoot your couch 3 feet closer to the television – this is what my friend and I call IMAX mode, and if any movie gets IMAX mode treatment, it’s Tokyo Drift. Turn the volume up exactly four notches higher than you’re used to – so if you usually do 60, do 64 this time. The reason being that the sound designers spent time they could’ve used to procrastinate their death day to make it so those engines and tires sit in your ear drum and purr you through. So you owe them and you want those pistons to fire into your chest because it ups the movie 2 whole points.

What to Eat:
Normally, eating during a movie is absolutely unacceptable. Two seconds to see where you’re biting and you just missed four gunshots, a death, a sinister look, vague symbolic motifs, side boob, anything that could change how you see the film for a bite of whatever the hell you’re stuffing into your face. But this is Tokyo Drift – you can eat. But only oven-made pizza (excluding DiGiorno because it’s too delicious and therefore distracting). Why? Because it takes about 45 minutes to cook, which’ll set you up nicely to not pay attention to the middle second act drag, which is the movie’s low point. Plus, as much as you’d love to be Vin Diesel, the closest you’ll get to being covered in engine grease is dropping pizza on your lap. But again, I suggest not eating. Indulge your lazy traits. If you smoke, pack yourself a bowl before you start so you can use it after you eat at the tail end of act 2 right before the climax.

What to Pay Attention to:
This movie’s a pile, everyone’s aware of it. You could ruin the movie by constantly reminding yourself how bad it is, or you could turn off your brain and take note of what it does right. Pay attention to the fact that you got practical stunts with cars driving through the streets of Tokyo. There’s a scene where cars literally drift through a crosswalk filled with 100+ people on the sidewalks. That’s for real, no CGI. If you allow it to be, it’s breathtaking. Also notice how the dad totally kicks out a weeping hooker the first time you see him and the film never mentions it again. Asian women. A Vin Diesel cameo. The strangely captivating performance of Han (Sung Kang) – seriously, he’s way too good for this movie, he’s a damn movie star. He’s so good they kill him and then bring him back for three other movies. And take note of the sense of timing when it comes to the edit – they know exactly where to cut, when to speed up cutting, when to tighten it, when to widen it, and what lines/actions to do it on. It’s near perfect. Also, the lead is supposed to be 17, so that’s worth a 45 minutes chuckle if you watch.

Discuss:
The best part about movies are the fact that anyone can like any one of them for any reason. Same with hatred. And that lends itself to conversations. Those conversations are the true beauty of filmmaking. No one’s wrong, no one’s right, it’s just an easy way for a few people to share how their brain interprets information with each other. For whatever reason, every single person has an outspoken opinion on whatever movie they just saw, which is absolutely the most wonderful thing in the world. If you listen carefully, you can get to know exactly who a person is by letting them talk about their favorite movie for a bit.

So please feel free to discuss this or any other movie in the comments below. I’ll probably fight you on it because that’s the only way I can get off anymore.

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