Those of you who have not experienced the deep deep deep south like I have (I grew up in Alabama) may not get this movie. Many of the jokes require that you know the culture of NASCAR. Why is Sasha Cohen's character a gay Frenchman? Pretty simple, really. This here's America! ;) There was some major broo-ha-ha about Jeff Gordon possibly being gay a few years back, and when the most recent Iraq war started, much of the deep south hated the French for not going along with things. The baby Jesus scene that is oft-maligned here was so funny I almost cried, because I know that guy! I know 10 of that guy! I used to work for that guy at a bank, for cryin' out loud. This is a hilarious, grand satire of the deep south and the culture of NASCAR. I loved it.
I live in the South, specifically in Alabama, and the main character captured the essence of the true southern gentleman better than anyone I've ever seen. It reminded me so much of so many fine, upstanding southern gentlemen I've met in my day (like my father), that the movie had me in tears by the end. If you really sit and ponder on the main message of the movie (A fish only grows as big as the pond he builds for himself), it can really change your life. Another strong theme through the movie is that you never know when the crazy stories about the good old days that your elders tell you are true. Sometimes the people you know are greater men than you realize, greater men than you think can really exist in the world. Then one day you look around at your life and you see what they really did, what they really sacrificed and you realize that the greatest among us are those who are there for our friends and family all the time, no matter what the cost, no matter what the mission.
Absolute 10 out of 10, a must-see for anyone who wants to know anything about great movies or great men.
Maybe I missed something, but this was one of the 20 worst movies I've ever seen. Every time you get attached to a character in the least, this random band of 5 murderers comes along and kills them. Why didn't somebody just shoot those Home Guard fellas if everybody knew they were just coming around to kill you and rape your family? There was not a single redeeming quality about the plot of this movie. It started out depressing, got more depressing, looked up for 1 day in movie time, then it got REALLY depressing. Living in the South, I've heard stories all my life about how terrible things were back then, about how there was no real government for a long time there, and there were constant murders and lynchings surrounding the war. But this really took that theme to an unbelievable and ridiculous extreme. Don't waste your time, you'll just wind up feeling like all the life got sucked out of you.
The story was slow and rambling for the first 8 hours, then it made a complete turn and wound up in hell. I don't really see how the first 8 hours was really necessary. It could have been condensed into 10 minutes or so, then show the last 2 hours in another 20 minutes, and I wouldn't have had to waste 10 hours on this.
On the upside, most of the animation was flawless and beautiful, especially in the last two hours. The music was pretty good. It's just the plot that totally ruined the other elements. Why would Griffin sacrifice his entire crew? Why would the author choose to kill off all the main characters in a pointless battle? All I can imagine is he wanted to make the viewer feel like they just wasted a large chunk of their life.
Animation: 9.9 out of 10 Music: 7.5 out of 10 Plot: -1000 out of 10 Overall: 1 out of 10