Ford v Ferrari

American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles must battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford and challenge Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.

This film could have easily ended up being a disposable, formulaic biopic if it weren’t for the directing talents of James Mangold and the incredible pairing of Matt Damon and Christian Bale, two of the most multi-talented performers around. Their talent shines with every moment they’re on the screen, and it’s hard to imagine the film without them. Bale, especially, brings so much energy to his cocky, rebellious persona, which is converted into life breathed onto the screen and joy watching him perform. Although it may be underwhelming for those who still have his transformation in Vice fresh in their minds, it’s hard to criticize the show-stealing skills he brings to every role, including this one. The racing scenes are loud and exciting, pulling you to Le Mans ’66 with top-notch production design, costumes, cinematography, and sound design. The dialogue is witty and engaging, with great tastes of humor throughout but also moments of drive, passion, and endurance to the finish line, both mentally and literally. There’s also a good amount of grounded material for Bale’s role, and a little less for Damon’s though he does get his moments to shine, especially in the opening and final scenes. The movie’s 152 minutes but you don’t feel the length at all — however, I would’ve omitted maybe 5 or 10 minutes as one plot point basically repeated itself at one point in the film. The one more thing I wish we got is a little more stakes — if Ford doesn’t win this race, what do the characters lose? Does Ferrari have anything to lose either? We don’t see much of this perspective, which could’ve added a bit more tension to the race against time to build and race the greatest car in the world. It overall does follow the basic racing/biopic/sports film formula, yet its the performers and behind-the-screen craftsman that make the film stand out over similar films such as Ron Howard’s Rush, another great racing film from the decade. There’s also plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, like I said, as well as a few somber moments, all of which hit home and blend together strongly.

Usually sports biopics like these focus on nothing other than to pull in lots of audiences with mainstream tropes, but in the case of Ford v Ferrari, “crowd-pleaser” is actually a term I’d use to compliment it — it caters to the wide audiences with excitement and humor, yet never sacrifices intellect or humanity for the loudness and prestige. Sure, it’s familiar at times, but the two names on the poster should be enough to get you excited — and if that’s not enough to convince you, it’s got adrenaline, spirit, and soul — This is the kind of film that was made to bring people together.

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Need for Speed

My rating: ratings4

Former race car driver turned car mechanic Tobey Marshall (Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul) sets out to avenge a friend’s death, which resulted in Marshall unjustly spending 2 years in prison. Marshall travels to California to face off against his rival racer Dino Brewster (Dominic Brewster), who was also responsible for Marshall’s friend’s death. On their car-explosive-packed trip to California, they battle against Brewster’s henchmen, and some cops as well.

To be honest, this movie isn’t a movie I was really excited for. It wasn’t one of those movies that I would just watch the trailer over and over again to just witness how cool it looks. I just decided to watch it because it looked pretty cool. Now, I have to admit, I really underestimated this movie. Filled with non-stop car crashes and races, what could go better in a car-racing/criminals-who-use-cars-to-pull-off-schemes-themed movie?

Aaron Paul and his insanely awesome crew make a great cast. I have never watched a single episode of Breaking Bad, but after watching this movie, I am now a huge fan of Aaron Paul! Some people might consider this movie a Fast and Furious spin-off, or just a movie based on the video game of the same name, but I like to look at it as Grand Theft Auto: The Movie. With many vehicles getting destroyed, many twists and lots of trying to avoid cops, how could it be too different from GTA? In conclusion, Need for Speed is one hell of a movie.

P.S: Please do not consider taking young kids to this movie. I think it would be suitable for kids 12-13 and up. Otherwise, too many car crashes and explosions!

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