dim_zax

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Reviews

Crash and Burn
(2016)

Talent only gets you that far
A documentary that balances between life choices and life prerogatives. Tommy Byrne had all the talent in the world but no money to go with it, in a world such as motorsports where they really open up doors. On the other hand you can say that he did get enough chances to succeed but never dropped his bad habits or softened up his attitude.

What is sad is that as the film goes by, it tries to get across the message that Tommy has left in the past any feelings of resentment and bitterness. But in reality that doesn't seem to be the case. And to be totally frank, i might had the same feelings as him, knowing that a talent as big as his (maybe the biggest in the world at the time) didn't get enough slack in an uptight corporate world that he resented as a way of life.

Ford v Ferrari
(2019)

Solid, enjoyable film
Let's get the negatives quickly out of the way. There are a lot of historical inaccuracies in this one and some play major parts in the story. But it is quite impossible to cram 5 or more years of reality, into 150 minutes of film. So, it is a pass for me.

What i really didn't like though, was the racing/action scenes. There wasn't any sense of speed in them. Instead there was a lot of camera trembling, sped-up shots and cgi. That was a real let down in a film that has a car as one of the main protagonists.

On the other hand the actors were all brilliant. From the main man (Damon), to the bad guy (Lucas), to the daredevil (Bale) everyone added significant parts to plot and character development.

The plot was going to be good because the real story had all the ingredients for a Hollywood movie. Danger, emotion and underdog status, along with the sad story of a man capable of greatness, but always on the out of the corporate new world.

And last but not least, the cars were simply fantastic. The Cobras, Mustangs and GT40s from Ford, alongside the main opposition in the Ferrari 330 P3. Majestic! Even if you know the story or don't, petrolhead or not, it is a very well made film that you have to see.

Le Mans 1955
(2018)

Trying hard to manipulate emotions
This short tries very hard to appeal to your emotions. So hard, that it changes key points of the main event, which is the tragedy that took place at the race at Le Mans in 1955. By moving the time set of the crash at night, just to suit the atmosphere the director wanted to achieve, felt like cheating. And i really wanted to like the film, but what stayed with me after watching it was a strong sense of manipulation, instead of emotions or details of the story.

Let's not forget that in 1955 the world was a different place than the one we live today and for sure that reflected on motorsport as well. And people around motorsport had been hardened enough to get through fatalities because, sadly, it was part of their everyday life.

The director really tries to mix in one these two different views of 1955 motorsport and the 2018 motorsport. He presents his characters like they're living in today's world and witnessing that horrific accident, which provides a false sense of justification. Especially the line close to the end: "We are racing drivers.. but we're not monsters." is way over the top for a community of people that knew very well the risks involved, accepted them going forward, and some of them even raced for the excitement that the risk provided. To even suggest they were monsters is a great impropriety.

Just a reminder for those with knowledge around the sport, although Jean Behra did not start the race, he took part in all other sessions. And Behra did drive for the danger and the excitement of it.

The animation was very good though and that is enough for an average rating of 5/10.

Formula 1: Drive to Survive
(2019)

Sadly, it doesn't accomplish the targets it was set for
The production value of this mini-series is rather good, as you would expect from a company with huge resources. The drama is ever present, as it is supposed to be in a high-octane sport like F1. But everything good with this series stops pretty much here.

Given that the main goal of Liberty Media (owners of F1) is to make an opening to new and younger audiences with this series, the progress of the episode is rather slow and, mainly, it only touches the surface of the areas it wants to present.

The resources in hand where huge and all the marketing that went into this series built up hype. But the end product is simply way below average. Personally, as a long time F1 fan, it left me wondering why would young people give this sport a chance and devote to it precious time and money. Plus, it left me with more questions about it, than answers.

All in all, i was rather dissapointed by it.

The Green Hell
(2016)

Good, but not a great documentary
This documentary, although only 93 minutes long (regarding real running time), seemed longer and dragged a lot at times.

The first part is suffering from the same sickness these newer documentaries suffer, by trying to pass new footage as old. Dressed with different frames and colours, these parts seem out of place in a high end product. Also, there was a rather disturbing part that, pretty much, was a Mercedes advertisement and didn't add anything to the story.

Then, there was the music. It was too loud most of the time and at parts it covered the commentary.

The sim racing part also added little to the film. I think they tried to make a reach for newer audiences, but the part seemed off of the rest of the film. Instead the more recent history of the track could be mentioned, with certain clips from fantastic wet races, in the dark, from a couple of years before.

On a more personal note, i didn't like the homage runs, because i find it sad that these cars are run at half their speed in order to honor the drivers that took them to their limits. More of the older footage from the actual events, would be appreciated, as the lovely tunes of Murray Walker's voice were.

Overall: 6/10

Ferrari: Race to Immortality
(2017)

Mike Hawthorn - Peter Collins: The Ferrari years
In a documentary about Ferrari, it is very disappointing on how little effort there was from the director on portraying Enzo himself or the team. Apart from one interview and some "il Commendatore" quotes, the film solely focuses on the drivers and mainly Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins. In fact, Mr Goodrich chooses to completely overlook José Froilán González (the driver who gave Scuderia Ferrari their first Formula 1 victory), Alberto Ascari (the first Ferrari F1 champion) and casualy mention Juan Manuel Fangio (arguably the best driver of that era).

And although Hawthorn's and Collins' story is compelling indeed, it is not what you come to expect from a documentary called "Ferrari: Race to Immortality". In this point, i have to note that we first see a picture of Enzo beyond the 18th minute and actual footage of the man himself beyond the 22nd minute.

On the other hand, this film has its moments and it does really well in presenting the 50s F1 era, along with the emotions, the danger and the camaraderie of the drivers and their loved ones. It has Phil Hill (former Ferrari champion) who is the only one of those who speak in the film, trying to delve deeper in Enzo's feelings and character and give us some real insight. It also shows rare clips of the races and private lives of drivers, all beautifully presented. But i didn't like the mix of old footage with newer ones, which didn't knit together nicely. Thankfully these parts were sparse.

In conclusion, for a Ferrari documentary this is an average try. From a british drivers view, on the 50s era and the Ferrari team, it would be OK. Being very lenient indeed, i give it a 6 out of 10 and i highly recommend that you check out instead the Williams (2017) one.

Creed
(2015)

"Rocky: The final chapter", filled with emotions and memories...
Try seeing this film as the last chapter of a biography. The last and biggest "fight" of Rocky, whose companion is a young man, a young boxer for all of us, but an old friend for him. An old friend (Apollo) to whom he still owes and has to perform a final good deed in order to get even.

To some, this film might seem predictable. And at times it might be, but it keeps doing well what it should do, by constantly stirring up emotions and building characters.

Especially for the Rocky franchise fans, this film is the kind of a farewell that you would expect from the "Italian Stallion". A tough and fighting goodbye, ending on a high note through all the hard times, the same way as all of the films prior to this did.

Williams
(2017)

A great, to the point, documentary
Frank Williams' life will probably be made into a movie someday. The struggles, the drama, the love of racing and the sheer drive for success, do make great ingredients for a movie. But this one is a -straight to the point- documentary. And a great one in my opinion.

Most people don't have the time, or simply don't care, for anything else than the image and the results. The statistics, the pure numbers and the balance. This film delves deep into Williams Racing, which frankly is the same as the Williams family and the few close friends of theirs.

It is clear that the documentary is not intended for the uninitiated in the racing culture and especially Formula 1. You will have to known faces and situations to get the full from the information and images you are seeing. And that may make it difficult for some to follow the swing from present to past to present again. But in return you get to see the people like they are, without evasions, and feel the story unfold before your eyes, like it is being written now.

In conclusion i think this film is less biased than the Senna documentary, better structured than the McLaren one, which seemed a little bit shallow in places, and would definitely recommend it to petrol-heads and F1 enthusiasts.

Rush
(2013)

One of the best racing movies out there.
Let me start by saying that this is an excellent movie, based on a true story. So, all the F1 fanatics out there, including me, should forgive various improprieties. Yes, there are a few of those, but the film as a whole, portrays in a vivid manner all that made F1 racing so great in the '70s.

Some of the unrealistic facts that caught my eye: - Hesketh, as a Team, did not pull out from F1 at the end of 1975. James Hunt simply left them for a better team. - The driver that was killed during Watkins Glen GP 1975, is Francois Cevert and was not decapitated. - Nurburgring 1976. Lauda did not lose his helmet and no driver was hurt in the qualifying session, before the race. There are a few more, but Ron Howard managed to knit those events so nicely in the story, that you could pretty much believe that things happened that way!

Another area that really impressed me, was the resemblance of the actors to the real people and the amount of work that went into Daniel Brühl's make up, in order to make his scars look the same like Lauda's did, after the accident. It is really amazing!

In conclusion, everyone can enjoy this film, no matter how much into F1 he/she is. But you have to remember one thing, this is not a documentary, it is a movie.

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