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Snapshot Review: ‘The Fate of the Furious’

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS 

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Photo courtesy of EPK.TV

Critical Rating: 2 stars (out of four)

Rated: PG-13 for prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content and language

Directed by: F. Gary Gray (“Straight Outta Compton,” “The Italian Job”)

Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Charlize Theron, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kurt Russel, Luke Evans

Story snapshot: Dominic “Dom” Torretto (Vin Diesel) finds himself working against his own team. Because Dom is such a fearsome opponent, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Tej (Tyrese Gibson) and the rest of the crew take on an unlikely partner, their one-time enemy Deckard (Jason Statham).

The scoop: Like all the “Fast & Furious” films, “Fate of the Furious” is big, dumb fun. Plot holes? Yeah, it’s got ’em. Great acting? Not so much. Of course, fans of this franchise don’t queue up for witty dialogue and philosophical ideas. Mostly, they want to see fast cars do impossible things. And … there’s plenty of that. Since it’s in the trailer, it’s no spoiler to note that one sequence features a tank, a nuclear submarine and a Lamborghini. “Fate of the Furious” is not a good movie, but it moves like lightning, and it’s hard not to smile at the goofiness. In other words, see it if you liked the first seven pictures. Avoid it at all costs if you didn’t.

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‘Spy’ snapshot review

Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) and her fellow CIA operative Rick Ford (Jason Statham) pose as a “happy” couple as they go deep undercover to stop an arms dealer.

Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) and her fellow CIA operative Rick Ford (Jason Statham) pose as a “happy” couple as they go deep undercover to stop an arms dealer.
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

SPY

Critical rating: 3 stars out of four

Directed by: Paul Feig (“The Heat,” “Bridesmaids”)

Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Jude Law and Rose Byrne

Rated: R for language throughout, violence, and some sexual content including brief graphic nudity

The story: “Spy” is centered on a CIA analyst (Melissa McCarthy) who is promoted from her long-time desk job to an undercover assignment where she must try to stop a nuclear weapon from falling into the wrong hands.

The scoop: Writer-director Paul Feig becomes one of the industry’s most reliable comedy directors with a film that’s set to become a mainstream hit. “Spy” isn’t the most original picture to hit theaters in 2015, but it is a consistently funny Hollywood concoction that entertains while poking good-natured fun at the espionage genre. Melissa McCarthy does most of the heavy lifting, but the excellent supporting cast – particularly Jason Statham in a rare comedic role – is likable as well.

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Video Verdict: ‘Inside Llewyn Davis,’ ‘The Book Thief,’ ‘Out of the Furnace,’ ‘Homefront’

Christian Bale takes the law into his own hands in “Out of the Furnace.”

Christian Bale takes the law into his own hands in “Out of the Furnace.”

It’s another excellent week for home video with two Oscar nominees making their way to the small screen.

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Video Verdict: ‘The Expendables 2’

From left to right, Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Terry Crews star in “The Expendables 2.”

The only major theatrical release moving to video this week is the second installment of “The Expendables” action franchise.

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Video Verdict: ‘Safe,’ ‘The Five-Year Engagement’

Emily Blunt, left, and Jason Segel star in the romantic comedy “The Five-Year Engagement.”

This week’s home video releases feature a Jason Statham thriller and a romantic comedy from the writing-directing team behind “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”

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Video Verdict: ‘Moneyball,’ ‘Killer Elite,’ ‘What’s Your Number?’

Brad Pitt, left, and Jonah Hill star in the sports drama “Moneyball.”

This week’s major home video releases include an all-out action film, a by-the-book romantic comedy and an excellent sports drama.

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Video Verdict: ‘The Mechanic,’ ‘The Rite’

Anthony Hopkins stars as Father Lucas in the supernatural thriller “The Rite.”

A horror film starring Anthony Hopkins and an action flick featuring Jason Statham and Ben Foster anchor this week’s home video releases.

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