The Movie: 8/10
I do not care anything about auto racing. Keep this in mind as I review this movie about two drivers on the 70’s Formula 1 circuit. I guess these are not just any two drivers, it’s James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Let me assure you I had no idea who they were, but my husband was very familiar with the whole story. He grew up in England in the 70’s, so it was soaked into his little brain (little because he was a young boy, not little because he has a small brain…seriously, come on). I think it was better than I didn’t know anything about it. A fresh set of eyes and no history with the history meant I had no expectations of what might be true in the “based on a true story” telling of the drama.
The cast is amazing. That’s that. Everyone is compelling and fits right for their parts. Our leading men really bring some powerful moments to their roles and when we are talking about the dude who plays Thor and a dude I didn’t even know existed until last week, it’s quite exciting. The writing makes for some great dialog and the story itself, the characters and their choices, moves along at a pretty good pace. There are a couple of times when we skip ahead a bit more than feels natural for the rest of the movie, but that’s a small nit pick.
The music is excellent and fits just right. I feel like there’s not much to say that can compete with just going to watch the thing yourself. It’s a drama, action filled with some excellent racing sequences, a wonderful examination of the human drive (get it, DRIVE?) to succeed or be productive, or whatever the motivation is to be the best at something we have invented along the way. That’s the thing I took away from it, a new respect for the humans of the world who have that tunnel vision for their talent or skill or goal for being so good at something it almost consumes who they are. I am not that kind of person because its a hell of a lot of devotion and time and energy and abandonment of other things in life-like sitting on the couch watching Star Trek over and over and over while writing movie reviews on a laptop so warm it’s compensating for the cold winter air moving around the house. Focused people don’t get distracted by such things:)
Ron Howard has a certain kind of eye for detail in his movies that balances a slight bit of grit and real life with the romance of the things we do, choices we make, adventures of life. He makes things bigger than they are, while still bringing us up close and personal with the pain and struggles of just being alive in all kinds of situations. He finds our heroes when they are both young, struggling to make something of themselves, then takes us on their journey as rivals. We discover their differences and yet the fact that they are both so obsessed with winning their similarities keep them orbiting each other like two galaxies monumentally moving toward each other with the force of the universe. Or it’s just two ego maniacs who want to be rich and famous and be the best at driving a little flimsy car around in an almost circle a bunch of times with the threat of death looming over them all the time. You be the judge.
Overall I totally recommend Rush. It can be just a fluff racing flick, if that’s what you see in it. It can be a study in human nature, if you are looking for something a bit more in-depth.
- Race For The Checkered Flag: The Making Of Rush – A 32 minute making of that is made out of several shorter featurettes. While a great look at the film it does seem a little lacking with each area of the movie only brushed over. With the absence of a commentary track this could have been a lot better than is and I was left feeling a little disappointed.
- The Real Story Of Rush – 19 minutes of the real men behind the story. Again this is quite good with actual interviews with Niki Lauda. But the stock footage of Hunt is all to brief. It’s more a look at the movie and Ron Howard than it is a look at the real men behind the story.
- Deleted Scenes – Ten deleted scenes that were wisely removed from the movie. If you’re a completionist though they are a fun watch.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
The cover is pretty boring, considering the vibe of the movie, the speed and dynamic stories hiding behind it. The menu is the menu.
Audio & Video: 9/10
Rush speeds its way to the smaller home screen with a brilliantly executed 1080P AVC transfer. Given the 70’s setting of the movie Ron Howard uses muted tones, so expect the screen to be filled with browns and greens. But once the cars take to the track the colors erupt into Ferrari Red and John Player inky blacks. Speaking of the racing sequences, Rush uses a variety of camera techniques and usually this would bring problems to the video. Not here though I saw no instances of macroblocking or aliasing.
Universal’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is very impressive, rich throaty engine sounds envelop the listener making the races way more exciting than they should be. The rear speakers are always alive, in fact if I had to nitpick I would say the surround track is mixed a little to loud and is often in the way of the central dialog. Still Rush makes a great impression. You will believe you are at a Formula 1 race.A word of advice bring your earplugs.
Overall Score 8/10