My Fave Five Feel Good Films (Featuring Life of this City Girl)

Drew invited me for a Guest Post to discuss our favourite feel good movies… Thanks Drew!!

Drew's Movie Reviews

Everybody likes to feel happy. There is nothing better than feeling good about yourself and the things around you.  We can all find happiness in the things around us, it truly is the little things in life.  That is the idea behind the 100 Happy Days challenge, to find something each and everyday to be appreciative for and that makes you happy.  Recently, Natasha, the lady behind Life of this City Girl, completed the challenge herself.  Her success and the success of many other made me think about things that made me happy.  One of those things for me, obviously, are movies.  In particular, there are those movie that can’t help but make you feel good after you are done. Whether that is because the hero saved the day, or the main character got the boy/girl they had a crush on, or one of the million other reasons…

View original post 1,259 more words

Advertisements

You’ve been Tinderised

Tinder-logo

For as long as the earth has been revolving on its’ axis, human beings have been concerned with the survival of their species. Make fire, hunt for food, breathe in oxygen, and find someone to reproduce offspring with. As centuries have gone by we have refined how we do it, but we are still trying to achieve the same goals as our cave dwelling ancestors were. It might have become a bit classier (OR HAS IT?) but at the end of the day the hunt remains the same.

Men have thankfully changed their tactic from dragging females, or whichever gender they prefer, by the hair to the caves to sending text messages. I’m not sure but I think it might be an improvement. I honestly sometimes wonder if men were as crude in handwritten letters as they are in text messages?(Guys, don’t comment at the end of this with the usual “that is an unfair generalization” in the tone of a two year old – just replace “man” with “woman” whenever you want to).

The dating scene has changed radically. The way we approach each other is so different. It is sad, because old school courting has a certain level of appeal than meeting up in a club simply does not possess. Sure, females are more enlightened (YES and IMPORTANT) but it really feels like the men have just given up – and yes, I can predict the amount of flak I’m going to get for some of the things I’m bitching about in here.

To make things easier, modern humans are able to do online dating. The stigma that has always been associated with it is gone, people freely share their stories and are only too happy to tell you if they’ve met their partner through a dating site, clearly implying that you might also be just as lucky to meet someone.

Here is what they don’t tell you. They tell you that it is completely okay to be on a dating website, and it is, but they omit how incredibly awkward things can get. It is a weird business, this online dating.

I’ve been on Tinder for a couple of months now and I’m still a bit freaked by it all. Tinder is a pretty decent site from what I’ve been told of other sites. Let’s just say that makes me worry about the other sites.

The Tinder rules are easy – aswipe to the left is a no and a swipe to the right is yes. Very simple. But not so simple. Are you being too picky? Are you being not picky enough? What’s the benchmark? I usually swipe right if I know I’ll check you out in real life too. Because call me superficial, but physical attraction is a real thing and it needs to be factored in.

The categories of the Tinder men:

  • The pervert. Yes. Let’s start with you. You first start your messages with “Hey Sexy”. I bet it took you fifty years to think of that one. You then proceed to be overly sexual and disgusting. Is a bit of decency too much to ask? Where is your mother? Does she know what you say to women? You usually then proceed to go all John Wayne Gacey and I’m convinced you are standing outside my window, happily stroking… your moustache. I swear if I hear the question “What do you wear under a lab coat?” one more time, I might get an aneurysm. What do you think? That I’m nude? Bitch, I’m layering as much as clothes possible between me and resistant bacterial strains. And Mr. Sandton, thank you for texting me “DTF?, I’m at the Hilton”, because I Googled that shit and I now even know what DTF means.
  • Mr. Aggressive. Clearly someone kept all the wrong things from the Neanderthal because you still think that women like being “threatened”. If you say “you will listen to me”; “you MUST talk to me” and “so you think you can ignore me” before we’ve even met, brother, you done.
  • I’m so damaged: Oh this one has either been hurt by a girl, his family or his coworkers, but the need for a mother figure is very strong in his life.
  • The “I’m actually really really cool” guy with sunglasses in most of his pictures. If you so cool, why are you still single?
  • Mr. Desperado We are all looking for someone here, but don’t do WHAT DO YOU WANT IN A MAN or WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM TINDER in .45 seconds from our first contact. Also, don’t even try “I love you” when we haven’t even met. What is WRONG with you?
  • The one with the cheesy status:Literally saw this one: “I was watching an ad the other day of a couple and realized that is what I want for me” WTFFFFF
  • THE ONE WHO IS IN A RELATIONSHIP What the ever loving fuck is wrong with you?!?!?!!?

So, is it even worth it?

I really think it is. Despite the 50 totally useless scumbags, there are a few guys that appear relatively decent. Some of the guys I’ve been speaking to for a while has impressed me because I really thought that some of them were duds and they proved me wrong. Not everyone you are sure you will like will be likeable but not everyone that you thought would suck will turn out sucky. The point is, you have to try. If you are like me and not a social butterfly in large crowds, you need an avenue where you can let people see who you are without having to actual talking. It takes some courage and a lot of sense, but you can do it.

What Tinder has taught me:

It is okay to have rules and boundaries. Why are women conditioned in society to automatically doubt their sixth sense about creeps? I’ve realized that if he sounds creepy, walk away, because he probably really is creepy.

You can say no. Repeat after me: “NO”. There we go!

It can be soothing on a really superficial level. SIXTY men liked my profile in the last hour? GO ME, GO ME, GO ME.

I can stand up for myself. This surprised me. I will share the full story at a later stage, but this one incident of declaring that no-one treats me in a certain way was one of the best moments in my entire life.

Some rules:

If you like the person, move them over to Whatsapp. It is much easier to talk to people there.

Trust your intuition. Believe me, it’s rarely wrong. If the guy seems off, he usually is.

However, don’t be overly paranoid. Tinder is based on Facebook profiles and while I don’t claim that Facebook only has respectable users, it does add a bit of authenticity. But like I said, use that very powerful gut feeling on when to walk away and when to stay and take a chance.

There will be a lot of failed conversations, ignored messages, inappropriate content. Just remember your barriers and keep your chin up. Believe me, there will always be some other guy.

Eventually you must meet in person. Because virtual relationships aren’t real, so go out, meet the guy, be awkward and learn how to go on dates. That is the whole point of things, isn’t it?

Some tips:

Be yourself. No use pretending, ensnaring the man with your imaginary wiles and then you aren’t the cool chick you pretended to be.

Make conversation, not polite howdy do’s. Be your fun loving self and be honest. Volunteer information and keep the conversation ongoing. Check for mutual likes or dislikes and figure out what you have in common. Lately I don’t even enter the “Hey, WUD” stuff, because 1) if you can’t type out What Are You Doing you obviously don’t have the time to talk to me and 2) I’d much rather prefer to talk to someone that makes me laugh with an obviously designed pickup line. Duh.

So give me some feedback here below! I would love to hear if you’ve been on Tinder and what your opinion is on it.

Movie Review: Finding Dory (2016) – it’s A-DORY-ble!

Finding Dory

Plot: The friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunites with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way

Rating: 7.5/10

FD2

What I liked:

  • The short film: You have to have had a cold hard for a very long time if you did not enjoy that little bird. I died a little inside of the cuteness. The terror was real, the happiness and discovery and adventure was real, and the insane happiness at the end made me so damn pleased.

Baby-Dory-in-Finding-Dory

  • Baby Dory. GAASSSHH. The big eyes. The baby voice. The remembery loss. Everything.
  • The happy family unit that Dory had and how her parents accepted her disability.
  • Marlin, the clownfish with wrinkles. He’s so worrisome, and just wants to protect his son. Albert Brooks did fantastic work with his voice work here.
  • Hank (Ed O’Neill) – I liked the character but gosh I find octopuses and their tentacles really disgusting.
  • Dory – Ellen DeGeneres is amazing with returning as the ever forgetful fish. I think all grownups would acknowledge that a Dory would be really annoying in your personal life but still is really cute on screen.

FD Nemo

  • Nemo – not really the character, he was never the main focus, but that small little fin is so frigging cute.
  • The CUTENESS – obviously I found everything in here really damn cute. However, it isn’t so cute that I wanted to retch.
  • I really love this animation. I don’t always love movies with animated pictures, but there are a few that I watched as a child and preteen that I will love until the end of time. Finding Nemo is one of those films, and I am glad that Pixar made a second film.
  • The end: I was like AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH when Dory finds her parents. They loved her so much.
  • And lastly: near sighted whales and Beluga wales with connectivity issues? HILAR
  • Pixar and Disney is on top form with this film. The graphics are beautiful.

What I didn’t like:

  • About the only thing I didn’t enjoy was how preposterous the last few scenes became and that the film became drawn out in its’ conclusion. I mean how many obstacles can one fish really take?
  • Finding Dory made me think really hard about aqariums. They have some strong social commentary in there that only adults will pick up on, but really, life of fish in closed tanks look awful.
FD1
Literally, a school of fish

That’s about it. I was really excited to watch this film because I just love the original. I wasn’t disappointed in the least, and it is worth venturing out for.

 

Movie Review: The Fast and the Furious (2009)

Fast 2009 poster

Plot: Brian O’Conner, now working for the FBI in LA, teams up with Dominic Toretto to bring down a heroin importer by infiltrating his operation.

Rating: 7/10

Dominic Toretto in the Dominican Republic? Yes, he has his own republic (that was a JOKE)Man, I love Vin Diesel, and this franchise is his legacy. He gets to be a motor-head without being disgusting as most of them are. I am astounded everytime he puts on a shirt that covers his guns, because 1) who would cover them and 2) where does he find shirts big enough to fit over it? I take exception to those awful yellow shoes – YUCK. They were probably in fashion way back and is probably still in fashion in honky-donk places, but sweet holy cow, they are UGLY. Back to his character – it is quite funny that we are rooting for the criminals and not the cops in this franchise (though kudos to the cops always being depicted as good and not corrupt), and how everyone wants Dom to be as free as a bird when he highjacks trucks for a living.

fast 2009 3

The moment between Dom and Lettie is so sweet and hot stuff, but he leaves, and isn’t that typical of a man to believe that only he knows what is good for a woman?Lettie’s death was really sad, but you have to wonder how she got back there and got herself killed. It is discussed a while later, but not in great detail. I really do like Michelle Rodriguez as Lettie Ortiz. She was a bit of a joke in the first movie but finally in the fourth one it is clear why everyone loves her when they are fans of the movies. I’ve never loved her in anything except this franchise, but she rocks so much as Lettie.

Also so much pain seeing Han. I love that guy way too much. He has the calmest eyes. It also helps to understand why Dominic would want to avenge his death later on, because that barely made sense at the end of Tokyo Drift.

fast 2009 4

Brian O’Connor is back to being a cop. We will ignore how they allowed him back in as he dropped out and lost a criminal everyone is looking for, because we don’t want to spoil the happiness of seeing him in a suit and being all serious. Part of his FBI team is Tring, played by Liza Lapira, one of my favorite bit part actresses. She was awesome in Stupid Crazy Love and she has that same vibe in here that tells me we will get on so well – her facial expressions is pure sarcasm and disbelief. Brian has also stopped saying “BRO” after everything, and that is the best thing that has ever happened, ever. He probably said “bro” six hundred and eighty five times in 2Fast 2Furious. Brian has lost his need to wear board shorts and loose T-shirts – probably to fit in with his “incredibly offensive racial-profiling” black friends in 2 fast 2 furious.

Jordana Brewster is the most wooden actress. In theory I enjoy her presence in the movies – as Dom’s sister and Brian’s love interest she’s yet another thing that binds these men together, but her acting is absolutely awful.

The introduction of Gal Gadot is successfully done, and I really enjoyed her. She has this calm way about her that obviously means you should just never mess with her. I think her accent is gorgeous and so is she, and like I said, I really like her and her work in this franchise.

Fast and the Furious is the first true sequel to the first movie. It is actually far better than the first movie, which was full of racial stereotyping, awful dialogue and even worse acting. This fourth movie returns all of our favorite characters, includes some heartbreak and cause and makes much more sense than those before it. It is certainly better than 2 FAST 2 Furious, the WORST in this franchise – a movie didn’t even suit the theme of the franchise, and Tokyo Drift, a movie that I enjoyed more than the second but was introduced way too early.

FAst 2009 2

Fast and Furious, as mentioned, made the correct decision of bringing back the old cast. It kept the good things – the cast and the strong male bonding theme, and introduced better graphics, better storylines, much better acting and stronger females (who for once didn’t need saving!). I really loved this movie, but it might be because number two and three is of questionable value.

Fast 2009 1

See you back for review of Fast Five, a movie with the most memorable scene in all the Fast movies!

Movie Review: Laggies (2014)

Laggies poster

Plot: In the throes of a quarter-life crisis, Megan panics when her boyfriend proposes, then, taking an opportunity to escape for a week, hides out in the home of her new friend, 16-year-old Annika, who lives with her world-weary single dad.

Rating: 5.5/10

Somewhere in Hollywood a producer thought people would genuinely want to see a movie about a woman who has everything in life – caring parents, a good education and a man desperate to marry her, decide she wants to live like a teenager for a week, allow said character to move in with a teenager, teenager’s father be okay with it, and in the end this woman would end up happy.

Laggies2
Who had the most personality?

Obviously, I didn’t really get the point of this whole film. There are a minuscule amount of roles that I truly enjoy Keira Knightley, but this was not one of them. Her character was awful. Sure, her friends are atrocious and I’d likely stab them in the neck if I ever met them. The fact that she was friends with such awful people probably just proved the point that she’s awful – like seeking like and all that.

I thought that Mark Webber was quite sweet as the fiancé. I wouldn’t make it with such a sweet man, but he obviously loved Megan and was quite desperate that his life should go exactly as he planned it. Awful Megan really had no thought when she of her fiancé when she banged Craig, and I think at that point I just ended up completely hating her – it was a steady loathing before.

Laggies

What else? Chloë Moretz is appearing in so many thing lately, because she’s finally at an age where she can be cast as a teenager and actually look it. I’ve completely loved her since Kick-Ass, (I mean who hasn’t), and although she was just the generic teenager in this she did a decent job as become her norm.

Laggies_027

Then there is the amazing Sam Rockwell, who manages to stay insanely cool despite having the emptiest role in here. Craig is always working, in sharp contrast with Megan refusing to adult, and except having a few expected lines being angry at being dumped, he was a pretty empty character.

I honestly wish I enjoyed this more. The story was just too annoying to be any worth to me – sure, we all refuse to adult from time to time but that does not mean we get to squat in Sam Rockwell’s kitchen, now does it?

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Movie Review: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

TD POSTER

Plot: A teenager becomes a major competitor in the world of drift racing after moving in with his father in Tokyo to avoid a jail sentence in America.

Rating: 6/10

Well, we’re back. 2 Fast 2 Furious was a 9 on the Richter scale of cinematic disasters, and I had plenty of concerns about watching the third one, ominously titled Tokyo Drift. I persevered, remembering that (at the very least) the last three films in the franchise have been excellent entertainment. I sneakily contemplated just skipping this and coming back at the end to watch it, but I know myself and would have ended up not watching this at all. I also really wanted to see this in the setup of the franchise and how it fits in.

Tokyo Drift is firstly much better than the load of crap that is in the second movie. The acting is surprisingly better. There is still Asians everywhere, one of the franchise most favorite groups. There are still scantily clad girls starting the races, there are still fights that can miraculously be solved with car races. It was really amusing, as it is every single time it happens, that movie makers create storylines to make teenagers think they actually have a real say in the world. They don’t, but it is sweet that people are humoring them. Anyway.

TD2

Sean Boswell certainly doesn’t inspire the loyalty that Dominic Toretto inspires. I enjoyed him however, and as the film continues he grew on me. He certainly was a little punk kid without a real cause, and that was annoying. I had the most sympathy with his dad – imagine with being tasked to take care of that rugrat.

TD3

Neela, however. If you grew up as a child in Tokyo without your mother, HOW on this earth do you still have an Australian accent? It frustrated me so much. Her character, as has become typical in the franchise at this point, could not save herself and was content to run between men for safekeeping.

TDHAN

Han, played by Sung Kan, has always been a favorite of mine. He has such calm eyes and SPOILER: I can’t believe he is dead. I really loved how he took Sean in (a bit bemused by how trusting film characters are, but anyhoo), and how he taught him to drift after that hilarious first loss against D.K.

DK

Oh, D.K. You really were the most tepid of all the villains. Didn’t really hate him, he was just amusing and not really scary. I do however think his uncle should have been in a bit more, as he had a slightly more menacing presence.

Tokyo Drift should have been between six and seven, true, but the film simply isn’t good enough to fit into the powerhouse drama that the franchise has become so I guess it is a good thing that it was released third. Nothing really bad to it, but I am supportive of a world where Dominic Toretto rules with his truck highjacking, vault pulling, band of misfits. I don’t want a FF film where there are other stories going on I’m sad to say – the franchise has a particular recipe that must be followed.

To finish off, I was cheering like a mad woman when Dom’s face appeared in the last scene!

TD VIN

#IFoundDominicToretto

Movie Review: Fast Fridays: 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

2Fast poster

Plot:Former cop Brian O’Conner is called upon to bust a dangerous criminal and he recruits the help of a former childhood friend and street racer who has a chance to redeem himself.

Rating: 4/10

Okay, wow. 2 Fast 2 Furious is bad. Like, Shitfest bad, Pappy. Of the original cast, only Paul Walker returns for this one, and it was probably the biggest mistake the franchise ever made – not that including Walker was a terrible idea, it was a good one, but completely removing the other cast members? Disastrous.

MCDFAAN EC019

It took me three tries to sit through this movie. It seemed like the biggest waste of time the second I got to unconvincing facial expressions and a story that doesn’t fit in with the entire damn franchise. To be honest, neither the cars nor the racing impressed me much in here. The tile offends my grammar, the outfits offends my sense of aesthetics, the plot line does not appeal to my good sense and bloody hell, can someone not have given a few acting lessons?

However, I forced myself to just get it done because I really want to watch everything in the franchise. It didn’t improve in my estimation throughout though. It is as bad in the end as it is in the beginning.

2fast

The acting is painful to watch. Walker is at his worst, Tyrese Gibson is about as convincing as a satsuma pretending to be a carrot – terrible comparison, I know! Devon Aoki as Suki has one important role and that is to be the stupid, prototype Asian girlfriend (and how obsessed is this franchise with Asians?!). Mark Boone Jnr, most notably the scary Bobby in Sons of Anarchy, has a teensy role where he appears wimpy and contributes nothing to the story.

eva-mendes-2-fast-2-furious-02-1500x844

The best part of this is Eva Mendes. She’s the only one vaguely capable of saying her lines without looking really stupid about it. However, she’s an FBI agent who waits on an ex-cop to save her ass, and that was really hard to get over.

2-fast-2-furious

So much lameness and cheese ensues. I honestly don’t know what these guys were doing. It was ridiculous. I was not really sure most of the time what was happening, who were the villains, why on earth the story was in the franchise and what the hell Paul Walker was wearing? I’ll call them acceleration scenes for a lack of a better name, but they looked so improbable and fake. And seriously, showing the speedometer clocking 100km/hour? THAT’S NOT EVEN SPEEDING.

I hope the remaining two before I hit the films I know are good is better – this is horrible, and I think we all deserve better in life.

PS: I thought I would have an aneurism the six hundred and eighty eight time Brian O’Connor said “bro” and tried to walk like a gangster.

#whereIsDominicToretto

Book Review: Skin Deep (Nora Roberts)

SkinDeep_cover_thumb

O’Hurleys #3

Plot:

Regrets. Even movie stars have them. Chantel O’Hurley’s family was far away, her mansion was empty, and when she was threatened, there was no one to turn to. There was certainly no comfort in Quinn Doran. He looked like he’d been carved out of stone and he was just as intractable. But in that hardness was a promise: “I will keep you safe. I will bring you home.” But could she get him to stay?

Rating: 6/10

Usually the book with the extremely beautiful woman in irritates me the most in the Nora quartet/trilogies, but I enjoyed this one. I think Chantel O’Hurley was decently written and NR took such lengths to make her more than a pretty face. I thoroughly enjoyed Quinn’s extremely abrasive attitude and thought it well suited to his role in the book. The stalker Chantel had was creepy but I thought that didn’t end too well – I hate the whole he’s-ill-lets-forgive-him routine. Such silliness. If someone stalked me, I would NOT be that nice. The book was enjoyable and a lot more probable than its predecessor. Good times!

Movie Review: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)

SOTP1

Plot: Four best girlfriends hatch a plan to stay connected with one another as their lives start off in different directions: they pass around a pair of secondhand jeans that fits each of their bodies perfectly.

Rating: 7/10

YAY for another chick flick from my memories as a 15 year old who thought that grown-up life would be easy. Hey, kid! For as long as possible, stay in school. Really.Growing up sucks.

I had the best time watching this movie again. This is girl power before feminism took all the rage. It is more about friendship than boys, and has a feel good vibe.  I think there are a lot of people who will disagree with giving this movie a 7/10 but it is for the nostalgic factor and, well, I really do like this film.

SOTP2

The most annoying character was Carmen – she had that typical Please feel sorry for me no one constantly loves me and I’m mad that I’m not the centre of the universevibe to her that I really didn’t want to deal with her shit at all. Blake Lively as Bridgit was also rather annoying but at least the character had a valid reason with her mother committing suicide. Her hook-up with Eric (Mike Vogel) was exasperating but understandable and very expected – and the guy was hotcakes and she was willing to do anything to keep up her bad girl reputation. Then there is Tibby – Amber Tamblyn plays the rebel that knows who she is and doesn’t care if anyone doesn’t like that. Her friendship with Bailey (Jenna Boyd) was the most original and unexpected plot line and really sad at the end. To finish up the quartet of friends is the shy Lena who is uncomfortable accepting her beauty. Things change when she meets the handsome Greek god Kostas Dounas (Michael Rady), a free spirit that challenges her to be more herself. That is also not without problem, as an old rift between their families pushes them into the Greek version of Romeo and Juliet.

SOTP4
00

The whole pants story is a bit silly – there is no way that those pants would fit all those girls. But, if you can look past that business the movie is sweet and fun and full of hilarious teenage angst. The movie is shot quite well and in some extraordinary beautiful places – Mexico for Bridgit and Greece for Lena (Greece – sort out your money problems so I can vacay there please!)

SOTP3

I loved this movie, and while it is certainly not a guy movie, I think a lot of girls would have a lovely time with this!

Movie Review: The Fast and the Furious (2001)

The-Fast-and-the-Furious-2001-POSTER-1560x690_c1

Plot: Los Angeles police officer Brian O’Connor must decide where his loyalties really lie when he becomes enamored with the street racing world he has been sent undercover to destroy.

Rating: 6/10

Mini blog run alert! I will be reviewing the entire Fast and the Furious franchise each Friday for the next seven weeks, starting today. It is one of the most longstanding franchises and one of the most successful ones. It is also the largest case of audiences repeatedly flipping the bird at critics, because the first couple of films have terrible ratings online and yet the films just kept on rolling till everybody couldn’t help but to love and accept them. Today I am reviewing the film that starting everything, the 2001 installment titled The Fast and the Furious.

 Lettie

  • Before we start anything, can we just discuss Lettie’s clothes (especially the shoes?) Life. Changed. Her attitude is also so bad. She doesn’t care what anybody think! I’ve never been a huge fan of Michelle Rodriguez, but she is tailor made for this role – that bad attitude transcends screen and into real life.

Paul

  • Oh gosh, Paul Walker, so young and sweet and fresh. His acting is still a bit flaky in this film, but I enjoyed his undercover cop story and falling in love not only with Mia but the whole underground car scene and the strong family ties Dom so obviously believes in.

“I’m in charge” move

  • Dom is so sexy. And feisty and family orientated and badass. That scene where he is introduced he is so impressive looking.
  • I can’t reconcile Dom and Mia (Jordana Brewster) being related. They look nothing alike.
  • I enjoyed Mia’s pretty and clean look in this movie, but not the acting of Jordana Brewster.
  • They try so hard to be ghetto. It is the best. The racial stereotyping is pretty bad in the first few films and I know for sure it would have gotten a lot of flak in today’s hyper sensitive everyone-needs-to-feel-included climate.
  • The cars are ridiculous. I thoroughly laugh and enjoy that you can solve everything in this franchise with a car race!

 Fast-Furious-2001

I’m beginning to realize that I’ve probably only seen four movies at most in this franchise. This certainly felt like the first time I saw this particular movie, but I’m sure I must have seen it as a teenager. The Fast and the Furious is without a doubt really corny, very predictable and sometimes ridiculous, but the franchise has managed to become one of my favorite because it spans so many years and has managed to improve with time

The first installment to this franchise is ridiculously bad. I enjoyed it because I am so fond of Dominic Toretto and his band of misfits, but it is no secret that the series only got much better later on. This movie is still clearly low budget and was probably constructed as a once off event, but it clawed into our hearts and remained there forever.