Ramon Rodriguez

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Need for Speed Review


Grim

It's difficult to understand how a movie about fast cars, tough guys and feisty women could be so little fun to watch. But the filmmakers, working from a popular videogame, have managed to make something only a gaming nerd could love. It's strikingly well shot, with a likeable cast and an eye-catching use of real stuntwork, but the limp script leaves it utterly joyless. Just a tiny hint of self-awareness goes a long way in these kinds of movies.

Our hero is Toby (Paul), a super-talented driver and mechanic stuck in small-town New York while his high school rival Dino (Cooper) makes millions on the racing circuit. Dino has also stolen Toby's ex-girlfriend (Johnson), and rubs salt in the wound by asking Toby to fix up a wildly valuable Mustang for him. Toby needs the cash to save his garage, so takes on the job with his pals (Cudi, Malek and Rodriguez). But things take a dark turn when Dino leaves Toby to take the fall for manslaughter. And when he gets out of prison two years later, Toby vows to get revenge, working with hellcat racing chick Julia (Poots) to enter the underground winner-take-all race organised by a radio deejay (Keaton).

Despite trying to fool us with various plot twists, the film's script is so by-the-books that we can predict everything that will happen next. So as it heads to its jaw-droppingly implausible finale, there isn't a single moment that surprises us. All we can do is try to engage with the characters, but they take themselves so seriously that this isn't easy. Clearly, director Waugh is much more interested in the cars than the people. So at least the driving scenes are visceral and sometimes thrilling in that choreographed stunt-driver sort of way. And they're notable because there isn't a digital effect in sight.

Continue reading: Need for Speed Review

Not Another Car Film: How Aaron Paul Was Won Over By "Need For Speed"


Aaron Paul Ramon Rodriguez

On first glance, Dreamworks’ upcoming big-screen adaptation of the Need for Speed video game seems like quite a big leap of faith. Movies, based on video games have tended to be hit-and-miss in the past, with the “miss category” boasting far more entries and Need for Speed in particular doesn’t have the kind of story that would typically pull the film out of the pit of mediocrity. The best thing that Need for Speed has going for it, is its cast. At the beginning, even that was uncertain, with Aaron Paul and Ramon Rodriguez hesitant to take on the project at all.

Aaron Paul, Need For Speed Premiere
Aaron Paul was initially reluctant to take on the project at all.

"I didn't even want to read the script," Paul told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of Tuesday night's Cinema Society-hosted screening of the film. "I saw the script and I was like, 'Oh, no, another video-game movie'…So, it took everything in me to turn the first page. And once I turned the first page, I kept turning. I was so surprised that it had a great human story behind it and great characters that I found myself instantly invested in."

Continue reading: Not Another Car Film: How Aaron Paul Was Won Over By "Need For Speed"

'Need for Speed' Los Angeles premiere

Ramon Rodriguez - 'Need for Speed' Los Angeles premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre - Outside Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 6th March 2014

FOX TCA Winter 2014 Party

Ramon Rodriguez - FOX Television Critics Association Winter 2014 Party - Pasadena, California, United States - Tuesday 14th January 2014

Ramon Rodriguez
Ramon Rodriguez
Ramon Rodriguez
Ramon Rodriguez
Ramon Rodriguez

Picture - Brooklyn Decker, Gillian Jacobs, Ashley... , Saturday 16th June 2012

Brooklyn Decker, Ashley Greene, Constance Zimmer, Diane Neal, Fink, Gillian Jacobs, Jason Biggs, Jessica Szohr, Ramon Rodriguez, Rosie Perez, Tracie Thoms and Wilmer Valderrama - Brooklyn Decker, Gillian Jacobs, Ashley Greene, Ramon Rodriguez, Constance Zimmer, Rosie Perez, Jessica Szohr, Tracie Thoms, Ashley Fink, Diane Neal, Jason Biggs, Wilmer Valderrama Saturday 16th June 2012 Montblanc presents 'The 24 Hour Plays: Los Angeles', a benefit for Urban Arts Partnership after party at The Shore Hotel

Picture - Ramon Rodriguez, Jason Biggs, Simon... , Saturday 16th June 2012

Ramon Rodriguez, Jason Biggs, Joshua Jackson, Simon Helberg and Wilmer Valderrama - Ramon Rodriguez, Jason Biggs, Simon Helberg, Wilmer Valderrama, Joshua Jackson Saturday 16th June 2012 Montblanc presents 'The 24 Hour Plays: Los Angeles', a benefit for Urban Arts Partnership after party at The Shore Hotel

Battle Los Angeles Review


OK
So po-faced that it almost feels like a spoof, this energetic action epic is watchable due to its solid cast and visceral tone. And the story and characters are so thin that you almost admire the filmmakers' nerve.

Staff-Sergeant Nantz (Eckhart) is retiring from the Marines on the day of an alien attack on 12 major cities. A shady past means his new troops don't trust him, including the expectant father (Ramon Rodriguez), the shell-shocked guy (Parrack), the buddies (Pesi and Ne-Yo), the bitter one (Hardrict), the bright young thing (Rothhaar), the virgin (Fisher) and the foreigner (M'Cormack). As the assault hits Santa Monica, they're sent to rescue trapped civilians (including Pena and Moynahan). They also team up with an Air Force officer (Michelle Rodriguez) to find a weakness in the alien defence.

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Tranformers: Revenge of The Fallen Review


Grim
Michael Bay makes his loudest, most bombastic movie yet (which is saying a lot) with a bloated action sequel so packed with special effects that it's virtually a cartoon. The humans barely register on screen, but it does look pretty cool.

Two years after teenaged Sam (LaBeouf) helped the alien Autobots fight off the evil Decepticons, he's ready to leave for university and start a long-distance relationship with his hot girlfriend Mikaela (Fox). But the Fallen, the deposed Decepticon leader, has other plans. And since Sam is the key to reviving their destructive plan, he's sucked back into the chaos along with Mikaela, his parents (Dunn and White), his new roommate (Rodriguez) and ex-agent Simmons (Turturro). They suddenly find themselves in Egypt, where a massive battle's about to begin.

Continue reading: Tranformers: Revenge of The Fallen Review

Picture - Ramon Rodriguez Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Monday 15th June 2009

Ramon Rodriguez Monday 15th June 2009 'Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen' photocall at the Amstel Hotel Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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