Friday, 27 September 2013 14:00

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Universal Pictures, Cross Creek Pictures, Exclusive Media Group, Imagine Entertainment, Working Title and Revolution Films present an R rated, 123 minute, action, drama, biography, directed by Ron Howard and written by Peter Morgan with a theater release date of September 27, 2013.

This rivalry story between James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) ends pretty much where it begins as the writer flashbacks six years to 1970 in London at the Crystal Palace Race Track.  Men love women but not more than they love cars and James Hunt the ultimate play boy definitely proves that statement as truth.  As for Niki he is a bit more driven and out for nothing more than the chance to win.  His father wanted Niki to follow the family lineage and live a life in politics or economics but for Niki even if he had to go it alone away from the famous family name he wanted racing and had a point to prove to dad.
He was able to find the money he needed, grab a sponsor, design the ultimate car, gain a team mate well known in racing, Clay Regazzoni (Pierfrancesco Favino) and overall in the end buy his way into the industry.  Once in he was able to propel his name as fast as the 170 miles on the race track as a Formula 1 driver.  Hunt was struggling, he tried to settle down and prove that he could be responsible by marrying model Suzy Miller (Olivia Wilde) but like all good things they come to an end especially when Richard Burton gets involved, well that and the lack of maturity by Hunt. 
Years later in 1976, Hunt and Lauda continue to compete against each other in races in Brazil, South Africa, Spain, Morocco and Belgium with wins and losses divided amongst the two competitive racers but it was when Hunt was disqualified for the size of his car that things really took an ugly turn.  When Hunt’s wife left him he somehow found a spark inside himself that brought his speed to the pavement proving that he was once again back in the race.  Lauda who happened to meet Marlene (Alexandra Maria Lara) decided to settle down but feared that happiness would be his enemy and cause him to become weak with doubt in his races. 
It was not until an eight hundred degree fireball accident during a race he tried to get canceled for bad weather conditions did he realize what was really important to him and after 28 days in the hospital Niki found himself back on the race track at the Italian Gran Prix to defend his points in the racing world and his chance to become world champion at the Japanese Gran Prix, the final race of 1976.  After 74 laps for the World Championship one man claims victory for the race but for the other he claims what was truly the most important aspect in his life.  For some in life fun is winning for others its devotion to their skill, either way in life and competition there is always envy that could help you win or lose but as long as there is respect for one another there will always be honor.
Howard once again does a phenomenal directing job with this story.  There is some brilliant attention to detail along with some great photography during the races.  I’m sure the women in the audience won’t be disappointed by Hemsworth’s bare bottom as well.  The writing by Morgan was well done maybe not up to par with the direction but definitely appropriate to this story based on truth.  Of course there was some great music in the 70’s and we get the opportunity to enjoy some of it during this look into the playboy life of drugs, sex and alcohol in the racing world of James Hunt.  I found it a bit difficult to understand Bruhl’s character at time and found myself missing some lines because of his accent.  The product placement in this film is off the wall, Texaco, Shell, Coca Cola, Marlboro and Dunlop just to name a few.  Albeit in the end this story targeted at the racing world and sure to appeal to the male demographic is very well made and will definitely attract the world of racing fans.
Hemsworth takes a leap away from his super-hero genre by stepping into the world of race cars proving that he really can act although at times I found him to be a bit over the top in some scenes.  In the end though Hemsworth really does a fine job in the acting department, let alone it did not hurt that he really looked the part as well.  Bruhl at times seemed a bit one direction but overall does a nice job as well but if there is one complaint I’d have to say that sometimes it was tough to understand his dialogue due to his accent.  Wilde looked good as always and although she doesn’t have a huge role as with Maria Lara they both added great support to their leading men.  Even though there are several other characters in the story I did not think I became as invested in their stories however so short since the major focus is the rivalry and the racing between Hemsworth and Bruhl’s characters.  Overall a great story that for the non-racing fans may become a bit boring but if you’re into the whole racing world this film will truly stand out as a champion.  Written and overall enjoyed for the story and photography with two and half paws out of four.

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Jon Patch

Graduated from Penn State University in 1983 and landed my first broadcasting job at the flagship station to SUN Radio Network in St. Petersburg, FL as a producer of talk radio. In 3 months advanced to a network producer, then on air as a national eventually local weather reporter for the Tampa Bay area. Held a position in management as a trainer to new hosts and producers and later Affiliate Relations Manager, eventually in 1990 started hosting, Talkin' Pets. Left SUN radio several years later and worked with USA Radio Networks for 1 year. I worked with Business TalkRadio & Lifestyle TalkRadio Networks for19 years under the title of V.P. Affiliate Relations and Programming, later worked with Genesis Communications until starting a new network ATRN.  Currently working with GAB Radio Network and with Josh Leng at Talk Media Network.  I am still hosting the largest and longest running pet radio and internet show in the country, Talkin' Pets, for the past 29 years... My one true passion in life is to help to educate the world through interviews with celebrities like Betty White, Tippi Hedren, Bob Barker, Linda Blair and others, authors, foundations and organizations like the ASPCA, LCA, HSUS, AHA, WSPA on the ways to make this world a better place for all animals and mankind whom all share this very fragile and mysterious planet called earth. This is the only home we have so we all need to learn how to share and maintain it so that life for us all continues and evolves forever... | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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