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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2014

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"Need For Speed" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movies-Aug2014-NeedSpeed

Synopsis

This story chronicles a near-impossible cross-country race against time-one that begins as a mission for revenge, but proves to be one of redemption. In a last attempt to save his struggling garage, blue-collar mechanic Tobey Marshall (Paul)-who with his team skillfully builds and races muscle cars on the side-reluctantly partners with wealthy, arrogant ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster (Cooper). Just as a major sale to car broker (Poots) looks like it will save the business, a disastrous, unsanctioned race results in Dino framing Tobey for manslaughter.

Specifications

  • Dream Works Studios
  • 2014, Rated: PG-13, 2 hours 10 min.
  • 1080p, DTS-MA 7.1, 2.39:1 aspect ratio
  • Starring: Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots,Dominic Cooper and Michael Keaton
  • Directed by: Scott Waugh
  • Rating
    • Entertainment:
    • Video:
    • Audio:
    • Extras:
    • Violence: Yes
    • Sex: No
    • Language: Mild

Commentary

Somewhat of a cross between Fast & Furious vs. Smokey & the Bandit, this racing drama uses some very expensive and exotic race cars. The hero has to drive from NYC to San Francisco in less than 48 hours to compete in an illicit car race. The thing that sets this film apart from all of the others is the use of authentic, non CGI automobiles. I suspect none of them were actually harmed in the making of this movie. The driving sequences are pretty exciting, too. Yes, there is the prerequisite car jumping scene, ala Dukes of Hazard, and an impossible copter ride, but for the most part, the story follows the laws of physics. The Shelby is gorgeous...and loud and mean. A fun rental, but don’t even think about watching it after the family goes to bed.

Technical

Picture quality is very good with great contrasts, detail and eye-popping colors. These cars look like space craft or futuristic fighter jets. I turned the movie volume down from my reference setting of 70 to 60, and still my wife heard it on the other side of the house. This was easily the most dynamic movie soundtrack of the year for me. I discovered a buzz in the room and found it to be a plastic bag I had set next my subwoofer. During the racing, the bag was literally flapping in the breeze. Needless to say...a FIVE for sound!

Extras

Includes: Capturing Speed, Ties That Bind, Circus in Town, commentaries, trailers and deleted scenes.