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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - January 2014

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  "Rush" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

movie-january-2014-rush

Synopsis

In the 1960s, Formula One racing was far more dangerous than it is today. Driver deaths are now a rare occurrence and met with shock and dismay. Back then, there was a 10-20% chance that if you started the season, you would not survive to the finish. Set against this backdrop is the rivalry between two drivers: James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

James Hunt is brash, self-centered, only concerned about himself, and a fantastic driver. A playboy who lives the lifestyle of someone that expects to die at any time he races with little concern for his safety or that of others. At the other end of the spectrum is Niki Lauda. Calculated, controlled, and unwilling to take excessive risks, his methodical nature and compete control of the situation allow him to be almost always perfect and make him a World Champion.

From Formula 3 up to Formula 1, the two racers compete against each other, never wanting to let the other one get the best of them. Over the course of the 1976 season they compete back and forth for the lead in the championship standings.

Specifications

  • Universal
  • 2013, Color, Rated R, 2 Hr 3 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Olivia Wilde
  • Directed by: Ron Howard
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Yes, with nudity
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

Neither driver in Rush, Hunt or Lauda, is really someone you want to root for. Both are selfish and think mostly of themselves. James Hunt loves to have fun, party, and enjoy the ladies while only thinking of himself. Niki Lauda is more concerned to keep to himself and is, to most of his other racers, someone they do not want to associate with. While Lauda is well aware of the general dislike other people have of him, Hunt feels that since he’s always trying to have fun he really is a good guy.

They also serve as motivation for each other. Their racing styles are a total contrast with Hunt being very aggressive and loose while Lauda thinks everything through and is precise to a fault. This competition breeds a dislike but also a mutual respect that drives the other one to want to succeed more than they would have on their own.

The race images captured in the film are wonderful. The camerawork can be a bit too fun sometimes and distract slightly. Overall the film is very well done and one I will watch again. I’m not a big fan of Formula One, or typically of Ron Howard, but Rush is a great film even if you aren’t a fan of auto racing.

Technical

The image in Rush is a bit desaturated to provide a look more reminiscent of 1970’s era film stock than of modern digital cameras. There are a couple shots of red racecars that exhibit the slightest bit of banding in the red areas, but overall the image is really good. The sound track is phenomenal from the first scene on. Surrounds are used extensively to bring you inside the car and to capture the atmosphere of the environment. The low end brings out the sound of the engines and the race sequences will be ones I can come back to later for showing off my home theater.

Extras

Featurettes on the making and design of the film, a look at the real James Hunt and Niki Lauda, deleted scenes, DVD and Ultraviolet copies.