Paul Walker, best known for his role in the Fast and Furious franchise, tragically died Saturday afternoon in a car accident in California. At the age of 40, he was taken far too soon. But in those mere 40 years, he was able to leave behind a legacy of that of someone twice his age. From Pleasantville to Flags of Our Fathers to The Lazarus Project, Walker showed off his acting chops in a variety of genres. However, his most iconic role in the world of film came from the Fast and Furious films.
Starting in 2001, Walker began his journey in the world of street racing, and over a decade later, he is still one of the starring faces of the franchise. While Walker’s unexpected death came right before he was due back in Atlanta to resume shooting Fast & Furious 7, Universal has decided will resume production on a delayed schedule, according The Hollywood Reporter. But whether Walker will still appear in the next film or not, for us, he will always be fondly remembered as Brian O'Conner. Here our a few of our favorite of Walker's scenes from the Fast series:
The Fast and the FuriousThere's a scene in the first The Fast and the Furious film where Paul Walker's character, Brian O'Conner, reveals to Dom that he's an undercover cop — this has always been one of my favorite moments in the series for two reasons. The first is that it comes right after Brian rescues Vince from being tied to the side of a truck, and then narrowly escapes getting shot by jumping back into his convertible, all during a high speed chase. The second is because Walker's performance during that scene is incredible — far better than anything you'd expect from a Fast and Furious film, and so quiet and simple that even I often forget how good it is. Walker is having two conversations during this scene: one on the phone, where he's calling an ambulance to save Vince, and one, silently, with Dom, where he's apologizing for deceiving him, asking for forgiveness, and trying to get him to focus on keeping Vince alive, using only his face. Walker and Vin Diesel have an entire argument in that moment, expressing all of the anger, hurt, and fear the characters are feeling without actually articulating it. It's a tricky feat to convey all of that without words, but Walker nails it perfectly, and his performance deserves just as much recognition as the car chases and explosions that the franchise has become famous for. - Julia Emmanuele
2 Fast 2 Furious2 Fast 2 Furious, John Singleton's sole stab at the franchise, is widely considered the weakest of the Fast and Furious movies. But even with its mediocre script and less than stellar visuals, we see charm in Paul Walker. His back and forth with the walking machismo that is Tyrese Gibson showcased hints of the goofy, straight-laced charm we'd see come out with a vengeance in the later pictures… but the badass side of gawky Brian O'Conner was clear as day in the film’s climactic scene. Long before Taken opted for the very same ending, 2 Fast 2 Furious handed Walker the chance to fly — in a speedy vehicle — over the water and onto the boat of a fleeing criminal.
We have to give a few points to Walker for handling the adrenaline here with some dignity. He winces, bellows, and shrieks… but all with the kind of cool humanity that balances him as a relatable character and an action hero. No, 2 Fast is not at all a terrific showcase of Walker’s aptitude as an actor, but it is one of the chapters in the series he is best known and most celebrated for. And there are more than a few notes therein of his penchant for making the camera happy.- Michael Arbeiter
Fast & FuriousMany of Walker's most exciting scenes in the Fast and Furious series took place off the streets entirely; for instance, his ad hoc interruption of Vin Diesel’s torture of a small-time criminal, rescue of the man from his fall to certain death, and subsequent grappling with a rival officer over the mess at hand. In a movie series filled with men twice his size, Paul Walker was still able to emanate some of the highest levels of intensity and intimidation. There’s no amount of muscles that can beat the smolder out of that chiseled glare of his.- Michael Arbeiter
Fast FiveThe Fast and Furious series is essentially a superhero franchise where the heroes are criminals and they hop into armored cars instead of pulling on capes and tights. And to Vin Diesel's broody, Batman-like Dom, Walker was tasked with playing the far less edgy former fed O'Conner. And while the franchise worked best when largely a two-hander between those characters, the best character moment in Fast Five was actually the "Million Dollar Race" between the whole "crew," exemplifying how great direction and chemistry between actors managed to carry over even though each was locked alone in a car.
And that ended up being the key to Walker's character in this series. He's not cool. He's actually pretty goofy and more than a little corny. But therein lies his awkward charm. He looked like a leading man, and held up that mantle efficiently when he was asked to, but his best work was when his enthusiasm was palpable — when he was enjoying the chance to have superpowers and gleefully rib the actors you could believe were his friends.- Kayla Hawkins
Fast & Furious 6While Paul Walker's character displayed most of his talents behind the wheel, he still knew his way around a fight. In a move reminiscent of the show Prison Break, Brian O'Conner purposely threw himself in jail to pay a visit to Arturo Braga, the villain from the first Fast and Furious movie, to learn more about Letty Ortiz's (Michelle Rodriguez) mysterious reappearance. Backed in the corner, and at the mercy of three goons and their prison shivs, Brian dispatches his attackers in one of the film's most brutal and underappreciated fight scenes.- Jordan Smith
Several of this year’s potential Oscar nominees contain material that may be too extreme for some Academy members; while some films have arguably lost out on nominations due to their extreme nature—Blue Velvet, Jeremy Irons’ demented gynecologist in Dead Ringers, or Michael Fassbender’s sex addict in Shame—the Academy has been honoring films with explicit content since the 1960s. To see which films pushed the envelope, read the full story at Studio System News.
As a slate of TV spinoffs simmer in the works, we look at spinoffs from the past – the best and the worst – and 12 spinoffs worth considering for the future. To read which series made our wish list, check out the full story at Studio System News!
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In honor of Jim Henson’s birthday – he was born on this day in 1936 - here are ten of our favorite quotes from the man and beloved visionary himself. To read more, check out the story at Studio System News!
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Frasier has entered the building. Kelsey Grammer is joining the cast of The Expendables 3 to play the role of Bonaparte, an ex-mercenary who helps the Expendables on their quest against villain Mel Gibson. Originally, Bonaparte was to be played by Nicolas Cage, who dropped out. Grammer and Cage don't seem particularly interchangeable, but the former has become known lately as a Hollywood tough guy due to his role as a merciless Chicago mayor on Starz’ Boss… and an even tougher guy as Camille’s husband on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Michael Bay was such a fan of Boss that he also cast Grammer as the villain in the upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction.
But as far as we're concerned, Grammer will always be erudite fussbudget Dr. Frasier Crane. In fact we're still so invested in Frasier's witty aesthetic, we can't help but imagine that The Expendables 3 will follow suit for the actor's scenes...
FADE IN:A well-appointed tent in the Burmese jungle that features a lovingly curated collection of African masks, abstract objet d'art, and a suede sofa, upon which rests an antique fountain pen once used by Noël Coward. A musclebound man wearing an immaculately tailored Italian suit slashes his way through the jungle foliage, reaches the tent and greets another man also wearing an immaculately tailored Italian suit.
BARNEY ROSS (SYLVESTER STALLONE): Bonaparte, cancel our junta! Our Burmese rebel allies have abandoned us faster than blue bloods fleeing revolutionary France!
BONAPARTE (GRAMMER): They've abandoned us just as we approached our hour of triumph? It's worthy of O. Henry.
BARNEY ROSS: To dull your pain, like an Indian to your pilgrim's table, I bring you this bottle of Armagnac.
BONAPARTE: Well, that’s why you’re the squad leader. Shall we compose a list of possible replacement mercenaries to join our team?
BARNEY ROSS: We shall, but, first, do you know how to get sap out of silk? My tailor will never forgive me for slashing my way through this jungle flora.
BONAPARTE: Just don't rest your jacket on my sofa. It's suede! Speaking of which, how do you like my open-air bachelor pad? I had it designed for the latest meeting of my Safari Club. We adjourned to Burma after a stay in Nepal where we ascended Mt. Everest. Or rather our servants climbed it while we held a wine tasting at base camp.
BARNEY ROSS: It's superb. Now for who we should recruit. Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a mysterious one, but I can tell from the way he occludes his dipthongs that he's Austrian.
BONAPARTE: Therefore he’s a must. I think we should also reserve the power to blackball at least one contender either one of us suggests.
BARNEY ROSS: Agreed. Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) worked as a tailor at Savile Row before running guns in the Congo, which could come in handy.
BONAPARTE: He's as effective at stopping genocide as he is at using peroxide. A must. I'd also suggest our burly Nordic friend Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren).
BARNEY ROSS: He has the grace of a lepidoptera but stings like a hymenoptera. What about Max Drummer (Harrison Ford)?
BONAPARTE: Blackball! He opposed my bid to be corkmaster of the wine club. And the lobster he served at his soiree last autumn wasn't even 124 degrees Fahrenheit.
BARNEY ROSS: Pish tosh, Bonaparte. I won't give in to your shell-fish demands. Surely you'd find Yin Yang (Jet Li) a suitable member of the team.
BONAPARTE: Yes, though only because he won't be unsettled by your tendency to change into a Chinese dressing gown after dinner. I'd also suggest Hale Caesar (Terry Crews).
BARNEY ROSS: Really? Caesar? Of the Newport Caesars? Blackball!
BONAPARTE: What? Why isn't Hale Caesar an ideal candidate for our squad?
BARNEY ROSS: You do not question the blackball, you just bow to its will.
BONAPARTE: Fine, then I blackball myself because I won’t have any part in a team without Hale Caesar.
BARNEY ROSS: You cannot self-blackball!
(Enter David Hyde Pierce)
NILES: Will you two pipe down? Maris just got back from an elective cheekbone-raising and needs her rest!
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The final episode of the popular USA series Burn Notice airs tonight, a show whose onscreen leads often use common objects to get the espionage job done. In honor of their run, we count down our top five favorite spy tactics as utilized by the explosive team! For more on the story and what salted magazine fighting sticks really are, check it out at Studio System News.
Apparently the movie version of The Fall Guy, Lee Majors' post-Six-Million-Dollar Man TV show, has been greenlit to begin and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is stepping in as the lead role. While I do like Johnson and he has, in effect, done a lot of stunt work wrestling in the WWE, I think he's just a bit too exotic for the role - too brash, too loud. Here's five actors that could have taken the role instead.
1. Bruce Willis
Willis always teeters on that line that borders cocky and annoying as all get out. He'd be perfect as a cool, smirking stuntman. Willis can do action, we all know that, what with all those Die Hard movies and two Expendables.
2. Benicio Del Toro
Del Toro has that world-weary look that Majors was able to carry off on the TV, like "I've been through a lot. So don't make me mad and punch you." He's also an imposing man at 6'1" who looks like he would be able to do his own stunts.
3. Mel Gibson
Yeah, Gibson's a loon. We all know that. But that would work to the movie's advantage, because, deep down, stunt people have be plumb nuts to do some of the stuff that they do. It'd be a great in-joke.
4. Will Smith
Yeah. Yeah. He's a black guy and Majors was white on the TV show. Plenty of roles get re-cast. Look at Heimdall in the Thor movies: he was white in the comics. Smith can carry the vibe well - watch him in Hancock. Stuntmen have to believe they are superheroes, after all...
5. Jackie Chan
Chan did all his own stunts for his movies, and often paid the price with multiple broken bones. Using Chan would be an awesome fourth-wall breaker, having him look at the camera before a fight in the movie, as if to say, "Can you believe I'm doing all my own stunts, AGAIN? In a movie about a stuntman?"
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Oscar-nominated producer Michael De Luca is set to be honoured with the Hollywood Producer Award at the 17th annual Hollywood Film Awards in October (13). The award is presented annually "to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the entertainment industry."
De Luca has produced several Hollywood blockbusters, including The Social Network and Moneyball, for which he earned his Oscar nominations, as well as The Mask, Boogie Nights, American History X, Blow and I Am Sam.
Past honourees have included Mel Gibson and Danny Boyle.
For concert films of the past 25 years, Michael Jackson’s This is It is tops with $261M in global box office. One Direction’s This Is Us will stand out for the group’s popularity- and its director, Morgan Spurlock - while it looks to beat Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never concert doc, in second place with $99M globally. Check out more on the story, One Direction's sales numbers, and the top grossing concert films at Studio System News.
The prestige and buzz-factor for today's top TV movies and miniseries are in full force as event programming like Behind The Candelabra, Phil Spector, and American Horror Story: Asylum helped revive the genre, all while becoming Emmy contenders in the process. Check out the full story at Studio System News.