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    Need for Speed Blu-ray Review

    Blu-ray Disney

    Jul 27 2014 01:49 PM | Matt Hough in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
    Great car stunts and high speed street racing with a stunning array of muscle cars and super cars mostly done in real time are the reasons for the existence of Scott Waugh’s Need for Speed. It certainly isn’t the infant pabulum that passes itself off as a narrative through-line which is as insulting and ridiculous as it’s possible to be. Fine actors are treading water in this mindless action fluff, but those stunts are something to see, and the film’s outstanding sound design does make the viewer feel as if he’s right in the midst of one of these racing demon cars.

    Title Info:

    • Studio: Other
    • Distributed By: Disney
    • Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
    • Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD
    • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
    • Rating: PG-13
    • Run Time: 2 Hr. 11 Min.
    • Package Includes: Blu-ray, Digital Copy
    • Case Type: keep case
    • Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
    • Region: ABC
    • Release Date: 08/05/2014
    • MSRP: $36.99

    The Production Rating: 2.5/5

    Car mechanic par excellence Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) not only can supervise the building of monster super cars, he can also race them illegally on the city streets of Mt. Kisco, New York, with the best of them. He and his team earn a cool $500,000 for building a one-of-a-kind Mustang that can top 230 mph, but his deep-seated rivalry with star racer Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper) goads him into betting the bankroll on a street race with Dino and with Tobey’s close friend Pete (Harrison Gilbertson) also participating. While losing the race, Dino deliberately wrecks Pete’s car causing Tobey to pull out of the race to attempt to rescue his friend in a burning vehicle while Dino wins the money and scrams from the scene of the accident sending Tobey to jail for two years for vehicular manslaughter. On his release, Tobey once again gets drawn into the world of illegal street racing, this time a grand champion’s race called the De Leon run by the infamous Monarch (Michael Keaton). But to get to San Francisco, Tobey and his sponsor’s representative Julia (Imogen Poots) must cross the country in two days in order for him to finally square things with his hated enemy.

    The script by George and John Gatins doesn’t expect street race fans (or fans of the Electronic Arts video game on which the film was based) to think too much about where these penniless mechanics get the money to rig out the maintenance truck and airplane surveillance that Tobey needs to make his cross country trip (have any of these guys looked at gas prices lately?) It’s especially insulting to the audience that Tobey’s jive-talking friend Denny (Scott Mescudi) manages to keep his boy on course by jumping from his prop plane to a news helicopter to an army chopper just by talking his way into gaining their access (we never see him do it, of course). Also, the amount of total destruction left in the wake of these high speed races and chases (the one in Detroit destroys many cars, much property, and one must assume a few lives in the ensuing melee) never seems to be a consideration (yet it’s almost comical how shocked everyone is when young Pete dies as if nothing bad could ever happen to any of them in these insane nightly races). The races themselves are exhilaratingly staged and shot, and there’s a realism to the events that lets one know these are real cars going very fast on real roads and not in some green screened CGI warehouse. But the story that surrounds all these impressive stunts is as lame and predictable as can be (naturally the race comes down to the two rivals vying for the win), and the romance that develops between Tobey and Julia isn’t very believable or involving. Frankly, both of them aren’t particularly likable people.

    Aaron Paul is a fine actor (his Emmys for TV’s Breaking Bad have all been well deserved), and he no doubt had a great time playing around with these majestic and awe-inspiring super cars, but neither the script nor the director give him much help in trying to navigate the absurdity of this lame story. His buddies played by Scott Mescudi, Rami Malek, Ramon Rodriguez all have one-dimensional roles which they joke and josh their way through without making much of an impression (though Scott Mescudi does score a few improvisational points for some offhanded quips). The two primary ladies of the film, Imogen Poots as the new love and Dakota Johnson as the old love who had migrated over to rival Dino, are alternately too abrasive and too flaccid (Johnson seems to have graduated from the Kristen Stewart school of non-emoting). Dominic Cooper as the villainous Dino has been decked out with every repellant attitude one could have apart from a mustache he can twirl; he does favor all black garb through the film, and Michael Keaton riffing all on his own as the mysterious Monarch is actively irritating as he ridiculously pontificates over his internet feed covering the race these “deep” psychological insights over events as they transpire.

    Video Rating: 5/5 3D Rating: NA

    The film’s 2.39:1 theatrical aspect ratio is faithfully rendered in this 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. It’s a reference quality transfer with bold, bright and rich color and outstanding sharpness exuding tons of detail. Blacks are deep and shadow detail is excellent, and skin tones are always natural. Contrast has been consistently applied making for a very appealing image. The film has been divided into 21 chapters.

    Incidentally, the film was post converted for 3D showings, but only the 2D disc was sent for review.

    Audio Rating: 5/5

    The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound mix really makes exceptional use of the multichannel soundstage by offering constant pans across and through the sound field during the races and chases and allowing the listener to feel as if he’s actually inside some of these racing machines. Your subwoofer will get a tremendous workout with this mix which also features Nathan Furst’s driving (no pun intended) score and dialogue which is mostly in the center channel but which occasionally makes use of directionalized placements.

    Special Features: 3.5/5

    Audio Commentary: director Scott Waugh and star Aaron Paul have an amiable conversation as the enthusiastic Waugh especially recalls details of the production as the scenes develop.

    Capturing Speed: Making an Authentic Car Movie (9:45, HD): director Scott Waugh, stars Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, producer-writer John Gatins, executive producer Steven Spielberg, cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, and other crew members discuss the construction of the cars for movie work, the training of the two stars for the driving sequences, and the stunt work going on behind-the-scenes.

    Ties That Bind (12:04, HD): director Scott Waugh discusses his closeness and special bond with the Gilbert family who served as the stunt coordinators and some of the drivers on the movie.

    The Circus Is in Town (10:50, HD): director Scott Waugh describes the cross country circus and crew-as-family that it took to get the film made in a number of locations on each coast and in Detroit.

    Monarch and Maverick Outtakes (1:43, HD): a montage of selected improvisations from Michael Keaton and Scott Mescudi in character while the cameras rolled.

    Deleted Scenes (5:09, HD): four deleted scenes with introductions by director Scott Waugh. They may also be watched individually.

    The Sound of Need for Speed (9:25, HD): the film’s composer, sound mixers, and sound editor all discuss how the Foley was captured for the movie and how the sound was especially built for 7.1 sound design and with behind the scenes looks at the score being recorded as well.

    Need for Speed Rivals Trailer (1:25, HD): an ad for the Electronic Arts video game.

    Promo Trailer (HD): Guardians of the Galaxy.

    Digital Copy: code sheet enclosed in the case.

    Overall Rating: 3/5

    Need for Speed may not make much narrative sense, but most people watching this are only interested in fast cars and dangerous stunts, and this movie delivers those in spades. The Blu-ray offers reference quality picture and sound.

    Reviewed by: Matt Hough
    Support HTF when you buy this title:



    14 Comments

    Despite the link, not available domestically from Amazon

    I'm wondering if they just haven't put up their real listing yet. It's very odd that a DreamWorks film being distributed by Touchstone/Disney wouldn't have a legit listing. Are they in some kind of contract dispute with Disney at the moment?

    Photo
    Josh Steinberg
    Jul 27 2014 06:53 PM

    I'm wondering if they just haven't put up their real listing yet. It's very odd that a DreamWorks film being distributed by Touchstone/Disney wouldn't have a legit listing. Are they in some kind of contract dispute with Disney at the moment?

     

    I've been wondering like about that for a little while... the pre-orders for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Agents Of SHIELD: Season One" haven't been posted despite the titles being announced for an early September release.  I think there are a couple other Disney pre-order titles that aren't there either.

    Thing is, they DID have a listing for a while.  Then it vanished.  Some hoped it might be to add a 3D release. But since there still is no listing, we don't know diddly..

    Photo
    Mr.E_UniVerse
    Jul 28 2014 08:12 PM
    Is this out yet? It was supposed to be out July
    Photo
    Joseph Bolus
    Jul 29 2014 02:37 AM
    It will be available on 08/05 at B&M stores like Best Buy -- but apparently only in 2D.

    Hi. There is a 3-D Version in UK as well :)

     

    mix3Ya3EoWOzLc0SjB3y0hA.jpg

    Need For Speed, placed order and will be here tomorrow with my groceries.

     

    Need For Speed, showing here Friday.

    dtsHDMA 7.1 surround expansion JBL 49 speakers / Lucasfilm Ltd THX Sound System.

     

    Wow the car chases look smooth cool with no trailers, only camera mounts so we can see the performers driving.

     

    10355717_10152502953050149_9075095776002

     

    Watched the trailer over 250 times. :P

     

     

    Max Richter - Sarajevo, cool music that works well with the trailer.

     

     

     

    Wow going to sound fun, with Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan,
    7.1 mix.

     

     

    Need for Speed Blu-ray Review

    Great car stunts and high speed street racing with a stunning array of muscle cars and super cars mostly done in real time are the reasons for the existence of Scott Waugh’s Need for Speed. It certainly isn’t the infant pabulum that passes itself off as a narrative through-line which is as insulting and ridiculous as it’s possible to be. Fine actors are treading water in this mindless action fluff, but those stunts are something to see, and the film’s outstanding sound design does make the viewer feel as if he’s right in the midst of one of these racing demon cars.


    b33af009e7f1a7a8e9c09b86274b7751.jpg

    Studio: Other

    Distributed By: Disney

    Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

    Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1

    Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD

    Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

    Rating: PG-13

    Run Time: 2 Hr. 11 Min.

    Package Includes: Blu-ray, Digital Copy

    keep case

    Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

    Region: ABC

    Release Date: 08/05/2014

    MSRP: $36.99

     

     

     

     

    Is this pressing confirmed that it will play as Region B.

    Region B arrived this evening but dtsHDMA 5.1 really. I won't the mix created on the dubbing stage in 7.1. Can you confirm it will play on region B. Cheers.

    No, I can't confirm. I don't have any region free players. But it's a Disney/Touchstone release (of a DreamWorks film), and Disney releases are almost always region free.

    I think I'll play some TOS STAR TREK now its just film with clever stunts and sound mix was can#t compare with STAR TREK II The Wrath Of Khan on laserdisc. I'd sooner watch STAR TREK II again and again, than need for speed. Its an okay film but its not STAR TREK II.

    Just finished now and end credits rolling.

     

    Give it the -2.5 its not STAR WARS '77,

    Not to hijack Matt's review thread, but I wanted to post a little about a Need for Speed event that was held last Thursday evening in Los Angeles.

     

    On behalf of HTF, I was invited to attend a special Q&A and screening of the movie at the Peterson Automotive Museum, right next to a display of the Caroll Shelby Mustang from the film.

     

    We were provided with a generous spread of burgers and dogs from Johnny Rockets and then shown the Capturing Speed featurette from the Blu-ray.   A short Q&A followed, with director Scott Waugh and Lance Gilbert talking about their love for 1970s car chase movies.   One reporter asked which was Waugh's favorite - he declined to say a single movie but mentioned everything from Smokey and the Bandit to The Blues Brothers.   Waugh mentioned that he had planted multiple nods to different 70s car movies in this film - I personally caught at least two obvious nods to Smokey during the screening.   Another reporter asked about the beautiful cars seen in the movie, including the Lamborghini and the trio of Koenigsegg Ageras.   For this, Waugh openly stated that replicas were made for the movie - he regards the supercars as works of art and wouldn't want to wreck one of them to make a movie.   Waugh also noted that he had been given a Gran Torino at the conclusion of filming.

     

    I asked a question regarding the safety of the cast.  The featurette and some of the comments by Waugh and Gilbert could lead one to believe that the filmmakers were encouraging their cast to drive in traffic at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.   Not to stick a pin in anyone's balloon, but this is absolute baloney.    Waugh and Gilbert did assure us that everything seen in the movie was done with safety in mind - Gilbert noted that sequences where the cast were actually driving would have them surrounded by stunt or precision drivers who would pace them - thus keeping their speeds down to a safe level.   Waugh noted that Imogen Poots had never driven a car before her work on this movie, so they had to teach her.  He mentioned that they initially tried to put her in a stick shift vehicle, which didn't work out particularly well.

     

    We then watched a screening of the Blu-ray, projected on a screen in our area of the Museum.   I'm forced to completely agree with Matt's assessment of the movie.  I lost count of the number of times I muttered "What the...?" as this or that bizarre story idea would hit the screen.   At the same time, I do admit to enjoying the sight of some of these beautiful cars.   Of course, I was also terrified about the completely wanton mayhem of these guys driving like this on city streets with civilian drivers.   And I simply couldn't shake the image of Paul Walker every time they would wreck.  

     

    I should note that I did ask the various press reps at the event about the lack of a 3D Blu-ray release in the United States.  Nobody was able to answer my question.  They appeared to be unaware that there were 3D Blus being released of this movie overseas, and had no idea when or if the movie would be available in 3D here in the US.   Based on that, I would not expect to see a domestic 3D Blu-ray for this film.

      • Matt Hough likes this

    Thank you so much, Kevin, for this report.