Two good family flicks, but skip F9

click to enlarge Fast and Furious 9
Fast and Furious 9

Physics, logic both casualties in F9

Look, I know I'm supposed to suspend disbelief when I go to the movies and allow that certain things that might not happen in real life are allowed on the silver screen. It's part of an unwritten contract between the viewer and filmmaker. Breaking this rule more brazenly with each entry, the makers of the Fast and Furious films have seen their willingness to ignore the basic principles of psychics and gravity result in record-setting box office numbers.

However, with F9, Justin Lin and his crew take things to new heights (lows?) with stunts and plot twists that are laughable in the extremes they go to. One of the dumbest movies I've ever seen, this latest excuse to blow things up real good and have Vin Diesel glower throws all logic out the window as it tries to top the franchise's already ridiculous extremes. The threadbare plot – involving the pursuit of a whatsis that can control the entire internet – is the sort of thing a 12-year-old boy would concoct, replete with simplistic dialogue and nonsensical plot twists. Only for the braindead, it will surely make a billion dollars. In theaters.

Sincere Orphans embraces sports films roots

Do we need another fact-based, inspirational sports movie? Maybe not, but 12 Mighty Orphans is done with such sincerity, I didn't mind director Ty Roberts' genre entry. The film focuses on the Mighty Mites, a high school football team from an orphanage in Fort Worth, Texas, who took the state — and eventually the nation — by storm in 1938. Underdogs from day one, the young men who made up the team had to overcome more adversity than anyone should have to bear in order to find a sense of purpose. This is all thanks to their coach Rusty Russell (Luke Wilson), himself an orphan, who's dealing with PTSD due to his experiences in World War 1.

Yes, the film is predictable, yet the veteran cast, which also includes Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall and Treat Williams, finds the proper tone to drive home the movie's rousing message without overselling it. Inspiring but not preachy, Roberts embraces the story's old-fashioned nature and the movie is better for it. A good reason for families to venture back to theaters. In theaters.

Paying close attention to Loki pays off

Marvel Films' latest foray into the world of limited television series, Loki is not one you can watch while scrolling through your Instragram feed. This is a show that requires close attention to follow its intriguing, multi-layered plot involving everyone's favorite God of Mischief (Tom Hiddleston).

Apprehended by the Time Variance Authority for actions that threaten the timeline of the universe, Loki is forced to work with agent Moebius M. Moebius (Owen Wilson). Seems he's after someone who's bouncing from the past into the future and back again, creating all sorts of havoc. M-Cubed seems to think our anti-hero can help him apprehend this time bandit, the reason being one of the many big surprises the first two episodes contain.

The series slides back and forth in time with such abandon, you find yourself constantly surprised where they end up. However, they're never just random visits, as the show is very clever in the way it's weaving these trips into the fabric of the Marvel Universe, while fleshing out more of Loki's previously unknown past. The dynamic between Hiddleston and Wilson is unexpectedly entertaining, while the show itself is so intriguing, I anxiously await each new episode. If you're not watching, it's time to catch up. Streaming on Disney+.

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