Archive for Popcorn

Born To Race 2011

Born To Race 2011 directed by Alex Ranarivelo

The title is exciting and always awesome even though it’s a bit of cliche when you look at the write up of the movie

Trailer

Born To Race Trailor

Little dramatic but that builds the energy and that’s pretty cool. Sadly the movie does not follow the same fast paced structure and because of that (and the awesome sauce known as The Fast & The Furious that every street racing movie will be compared to for the next 40years) the movie is a tad disappointing. The energy and the racing within the movie is a lot less exciting than the trailer so I feel like watching the trailer to get all amped up and then putting in my TF&TF DVD instead…

Write Up

“A rebellious young street racer on a collision course with trouble is sent to a small town to live with his estranged father, a former NASCAR driver”

Gives away a bit more than I would have liked as the storyline doesn’t develop that much after this knowledge… It also lacks the set up for the emotions that develop as the viewer is already there when the movie starts it nullifies the opening and pretty much just leaves you feeling like half of the movie is trying to catch up to the trailer.

Opening

It’s ok. Not brilliant and not bad just ok. Ok and predictable – even when you haven’t seen the trailer, so if you have, then it pretty much sucks except for that 30seconds of great speed.

Cast

Lots of unknows in this movie, which is great. Sadly the story line and character development (or rather lack of character development) didn’t really allow for a true exploration of their talents or range at all. I don’t think a bunch of big names would have been able to make the movie any better though…

Storyline

It’s just one of those scripts that start off with a good idea but then the writer gets too excited and loses his vision and inspiration. It’s like a mixture of a bunch of ok racing movies but without any of the real stand out awesome moments that is required in this genre.

Special affects

Racing movies require, no, rather demand a spectacular crash and awesome high-speed chases. This one just lacks the magnitude of a truly great film.

Editing & Angles

OK, this is one of my big hitters. Editing is where a movie is saved or written off. Even some of the worst movies I have ever seen have been redeemed by the long hours of the editor and producers in a cutting room. This movie is not one of those. There were really not enough cuts to build the energy that this action genre deserves. The viewer is left feeling rather impatient as their energy levels seem higher than the adrenaline of the storyline. Granted, the editor does not seem to have had a lot of angles or high-speed shots with amazing colour but there is always a way around it. As long as you have 2 angles to cut between, anything is possible. The sound of an engine revving to just give the movie a kick-start was also lacking. Gear shifts and break screeches are what excites all racing enthusiasts… there were more of these in the trailer than in the actual movie – it actually feels like they left out some of the gear shifts in the movie because they are so few and far apart.

Score

A little monotone and actually slightly distracting the way it is used in conjunction with the script. Has very much the feel of chariots of fire but without the powerful finale. For a movie in this era it is rather disappointing when you consider technology and our fast paced lifestyles. In other aspects this movie has done well to be generic and relevant so for the music to be outdated is a bit counterproductive.

Cool lines

“Puck – a midsummer night’s dream, the mischief maker”

“Oooh, someone Goggled Shakespeare after class”

A little out of context here but the acting around it was ok and enough to prevent me from turning off the movie – yes, I actually had the remote in hand and my finger on the ‘stop’ button. And I’m a sucker for dropping phrases like Google into every day conversation without that dating the movie

“Oh he’s a dead man” after almost dying themselves… A brief but funny line in this rather uneventful movie. Irony is always a plus in my book

Cool scenes

Diner Chase – His dad is sitting at the diner talking about his ‘new’ responsibility as a father “I just hope I can keep him out of trouble” as Jay (him) drives by the window chasing the antagonist. This was a pretty good shot. Nice setting and good placement, so have to give props to the DoP for this one

Driving his emotions – Cutting to all of the things that are frustrating him while he picks up speed. Score was a little off and didn’t have enough drive plus a few more cuts and gear shifts would have made the pay off a lot better but the concept is solid

Flaws

Well, I think I mentioned the biggest flaw – a few times – and that would be the pace that is lacking due to the editing and maybe a lack of direction as far as the camera angles and close ups are concerned. There is also this expectation as a motor-enthusiast that I will at least see some awesome cars or wheels or parts or skid marks or something! This was just completely left out.

The acting was ok – not all actors are able to make every moment an Oscar moment and with a thin storyline like this one, you can’t really blame them if they lost interest halfway through shooting.

Music did not pack enough of a punch and the movie may even have been better without any of the score as at times it was rather contradictory to the emotional build up that was needed for the scene to work.

Set was ok but there was not enough coverage of the set and scenes so it felt more like a rushed low budget production.

Besides these basic issues that were clearly the reason this movie never made it far, for me the biggest defect of this movie was one of the final scenes, the slow motion crash scene aftermath. Lasts way too long but a good idea to tie everything up in a nice little bundle, too bad everything else was wrong with it. So much info without any words… excellent concept screwed up by the basics of cinematography. Don’t want to give anything else away in case you feel like watching the movie – even after my rather discouraging review.

I’m a little disappointed in the transition after that, needed to have more oomph…. pretty much like the rest of the movie. I think I should probably stop here before I get overly excited about a movie that could not excite me at all…