|11.05.06||DVR||This Screening is part of event: DVRfest 2006|
Whew. Long movie. This follows a season of Grand Prix formula one racing with an international cast of people like James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand, Toshiro Mifune, and Antonio Sabata (Sr.).
I first learned about this movie when Ronin came out and Frankenheimer said he learned all the chase photography stuff on Grand Prix. And he had to deal with a freakin super panavision cinerama camera too! So, as expected, there's some really great race photography here. I'm not sure how they get a few of these shots... must be some sort of gyroscope rig or something. Or some remote motor control or something because some shots pan from the oncoming road to the driver. Really cool stuff. There's also lots of use of split screen (credited to Saul Bass), sometimes seeming excessive but others proving pretty effecting (such as showing flashbacks on half the screen while the race is on the other). So, technically... this movie is great.
The story's pretty boring though. One guy gets hurt, blah blah blah, the guy that used to win is now losing, the guy that used to lose is now winning, blah blah blah... with a predictable ending and because this is a three hour movie rather than a two hour movie, there is twice the forced romance with the racers and various women. I kind of liked how there was no clear star here and three or four of the main racers each had their own stories going, but it felt like I'd seen it all before. The biggest surprise I got out of this movie was seeing that the mother from Arrested Development used to be pretty damn hot.
I'm glad I saw this though, because it's hopefully set up the next movie perfectly!