‘Ford v Ferrari’: High-Octane Awesome!

 

Go see it! You won’t be disappointed. Just watch your speed departing the theater parking lot.

My only complaint: while at a Thanksgiving get-together, I mentioned that I loved this movie, some car snob, know-it-all kept talking about how it wasn’t the “real” story. Then we all had to hear the real story. Jerk.

But the movie is awesome. Normally I’m not a fan of Matt Damon because of his liberal politics but for this movie, I overlooked it and, boy, I was not disappointed. Christian Bale is damn good and really steals the show. And, overall, there wasn’t a weak performance to be found.

Matt Damon plays Carol Shelby, black hat and all. He’s always driving a Cobra — Red-Blooded American males take note — and has his foot in it all time. Bale plays a driver, the driver, Ken Miles, who knows his car: wrenches on it and drives like Hell. Funny too!

They take shots at Ford Motor Company, the suits, the bureaucracy, but finally bend Ford enough to race in and win at Le Mans.

The plot offers no real surprises — and shouldn’t! This is a classic story of the underdog overcoming and beating the top dog, Ferrari. What could be more American!? The race scenes had me sitting on the edge of my seat even though its one of those fancy new theater La-Z-Boy recliners. Throttle — brake — throttle!

It’s got some funny parts in all the right places and the dialog is a dream. Note to Hollywood: make more movies like this!

Oops. Sorry, was I yelling out loud? Good.

The cars are great: Cobras, GT-40s, Ferraris and Mustangs. The setting and scenes are terrific.

Haven’t you bought your ticket yet!?

There are 24 comments.

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  1. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chris Cam… Coolidge
    MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chris Cam…
    @ChrisCampion

    Catch the recent documentary on this, too – the 24 Hour War.  Well worth the time, even if you have zero interest in cars and racing.

     

    https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_24_hour_war/

    • #1
  2. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Note to Hollywood — MAKE MORE MOVIES LIKE THIS!

    Absolutely!

    After watching it, I did a lot of reading up on these guys and they were just as portrayed. Shelby died in 2012 at 89; he had 7 wives. Miles was part of a British tank unit at the Normandy invasion. Some of the details in the movie were stretched, as they say, for dramatic license, but that’s moviemaking for you.

    • #2
  3. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    MACHO GRANDE' (aka – Chri… (View Comment):

    Catch the recent documentary on this, too – the 24 Hour War. Well worth the time, even if you have zero interest in cars and racing.

     

    https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_24_hour_war/

    Cool. Thanks.  I’ll watch it. 

    • #3
  4. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…
    @GumbyMark

    Very enjoyable movie.  You know exactly where it is headed and it delivers.  Damon and Bale are terrific.  The cars are even better.

    • #4
  5. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Very enjoyable movie. You know exactly where it is headed and it delivers. Damon and Bale are terrific. The cars are even better.

    I heard the soft focus scenes where they are in the garage stripped down to almost nothing were tastefully done. 

    • #5
  6. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    JimGoneWild: Then we all had to hear the real story. Jerk.

    I would definitely be that jerk.  I’m sorry.  

    • #6
  7. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    “…it always rains at Le Mans…”

    • #7
  8. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    TBA (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Very enjoyable movie. You know exactly where it is headed and it delivers. Damon and Bale are terrific. The cars are even better.

    I heard the soft focus scenes where they are in the garage stripped down to almost nothing were tastefully done.

    *** insert headlights joke here ***

    • #8
  9. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    I came out of there thinking that this was the best movie I’ve seen in 50 years.  I still think that.  

    Unlike the movie of Neil Armstrong, the hero’s wife isn’t a complete feminist emasculating bitch.  Miles’ wife is very nice, very human, and loves and supports her husband.  His son adores him and he treats him well.  No one has some freudian “issue” because of their mommy or daddy or repressed sexuality or anything stupid like that.  They are real people, they are heroic, and gosh darn, they are likable.

    And it’s a great story, too.

    • #9
  10. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    This film opened the same weekend as Charles Angels. This film did much better at the Box Office though it isn’t nearly as woke. Baffling. (I really enjoyed F v. F. But I wish I hadn’t seen the trailer so many times, which spoiled some laugh lines.)

    • #10
  11. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    Skyler (View Comment):

    I came out of there thinking that this was the best movie I’ve seen in 50 years. I still think that.

    Unlike the movie of Neil Armstrong, the hero’s wife isn’t a complete feminist emasculating bitch. Miles’ wife is very nice, very human, and loves and supports her husband. His son adores him and he treats him well. No one has some freudian “issue” because of their mommy or daddy or repressed sexuality or anything stupid like that. They are real people, they are heroic, and gosh darn, they are likable.

    And it’s a great story, too.

    Gosh darn, you’re right. 

    • #11
  12. John Stanley Coolidge
    John Stanley
    @JohnStanley

    The book “Go like Hell“, is a very good history of the behind the scenes work of Ford and the race teams.  And it is a pretty good gift for Christmas.

    https://www.amazon.com/Go-Like-Hell-Ferrari-Battle/dp/0547336055/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=go+like+hell&qid=1575227439&sr=8-1

     

     

     

     

    • #12
  13. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    You guys have talked me into it.  I’ll go see it. 

    JimGoneWild: They take shots at Ford Motor Company, the suits, the bureaucracy, but finally bend Ford enough to race in and win at Le Mans.

    This is Hollywood, after all.  When making a movie based on real life, one must always make the heroes look more heroic by depicting just about everyone else as imbecilic or immoral. 

    • #13
  14. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    I caught Ford v Ferrari within a day or two of it coming out — probably the third movie I’ve seen in a theater in the past twenty years. I went because I heard there were no women with speaking parts. Surprisingly, the fact that there actually were a couple didn’t detract from the movie experience for me: I thought it was terrific.

    The movie has had me thinking about the appeal of what I think of as creation stories, accounts of highly motivated people achieving remarkable things under enormous pressure. Tracy Kidder’s classic The Soul of a New Machine, about Data General’s Eagle project, was such a story. Swaine and Freiberger’s Fire in the Valley is another. Richard Rhodes’ eponymous account of the Manhattan Project is a third. But there must be a thousand stories that would be gripping and accessible, in the automotive, aeronautic, medical, energy, military, space, etc., fields.

    • #14
  15. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    I went because I heard there were no women with speaking parts.

    Interesting.  I didn’t think we were allowed to say that out loud!  

     

    • #15
  16. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge
    JuliaBlaschke
    @JuliaBlaschke

    A great story, beautifully told. Great acting, great recreation of the 60s. I don’t like car racing or Matt Damon, but loved the movie. I wish there were more movies like this and far, far less, “made for China” nonsense.

    • #16
  17. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    Henry Racette

    .. there must be a thousand stories that would be gripping and accessible, in the automotive, aeronautic, medical, energy, military, space, etc., fields.

    Yes, I have thought this for years, but Hollywood is so busy doing remakes and prequels,  they can’t see it.

    • #17
  18. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    JimGoneWild (View Comment):

    Henry Racette

    .. there must be a thousand stories that would be gripping and accessible, in the automotive, aeronautic, medical, energy, military, space, etc., fields.

    Yes, I have thought this for years, but Hollywood is so busy doing remakes and prequels, they can’t see it.

    It would make a better book, I think.

     

    • #18
  19. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I caught Ford v Ferrari within a day or two of it coming out — probably the third movie I’ve seen in a theater in the past twenty years. I went because I heard there were no women with speaking parts. Surprisingly, the fact that there actually were a couple didn’t detract from the movie experience for me: I thought it was terrific.

    The movie has had me thinking about the appeal of what I think of as creation stories, accounts of highly motivated people achieving remarkable things under enormous pressure. Tracy Kidder’s classic The Soul of a New Machine, about Data General’s Eagle project, was such a story. Swaine and Freiberger’s Fire in the Valley is another. Richard Rhodes’ eponymous account of the Manhattan Project is a third. But there must be a thousand stories that would be gripping and accessible, in the automotive, aeronautic, medical, energy, military, space, etc., fields.

    What we need is more movies about community organizers helping people come together to be angry about a single issue. 

    • #19
  20. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    TBA (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I caught Ford v Ferrari within a day or two of it coming out — probably the third movie I’ve seen in a theater in the past twenty years. I went because I heard there were no women with speaking parts. Surprisingly, the fact that there actually were a couple didn’t detract from the movie experience for me: I thought it was terrific.

    The movie has had me thinking about the appeal of what I think of as creation stories, accounts of highly motivated people achieving remarkable things under enormous pressure. Tracy Kidder’s classic The Soul of a New Machine, about Data General’s Eagle project, was such a story. Swaine and Freiberger’s Fire in the Valley is another. Richard Rhodes’ eponymous account of the Manhattan Project is a third. But there must be a thousand stories that would be gripping and accessible, in the automotive, aeronautic, medical, energy, military, space, etc., fields.

    What we need is more movies about community organizers helping people come together to be angry about a single issue.

    Preferably an issue they don’t even understand.

    • #20
  21. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    It’s past my bedtime but I just got home from the theater and wanted to file my report.  Yeah, it’s a great movie.  And it makes me wish they would show the James Garner movie “Grand Prix” in theaters.

    • #21
  22. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    I suspect this is just a movie cliche, but maybe some of you have actually raced and can answer this.  Do racing drivers really exchange meaningful glances every time a pass is executed?  I would assume they would be keeping their eyes on the road, on other cars, and watching for flags, not really making eye contact with the drivers they are passing or being passed by.

    • #22
  23. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    I suspect this is just a movie cliche, but maybe some of you have actually raced and can answer this. Do racing drivers really exchange meaningful glances every time a pass is executed? I would assume they would be keeping their eyes on the road, on other cars, and watching for flags, not really making eye contact with the drivers they are passing or being passed by.

    Great question. I never raced but did timed laps in Porsche club events. I never got really good enough to “look” at another driver in the eye. I’ve read that the old school NASCAR drivers would talk to each other. Ken Miles was supposedly quite a character I gather so it seems possible with someone like him.

    Anyone?

    • #23
  24. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    JimGoneWild (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    I suspect this is just a movie cliche, but maybe some of you have actually raced and can answer this. Do racing drivers really exchange meaningful glances every time a pass is executed? I would assume they would be keeping their eyes on the road, on other cars, and watching for flags, not really making eye contact with the drivers they are passing or being passed by.

    Great question. I never raced but did timed laps in Porsche club events. I never got really good enough to “look” at another driver in the eye. I’ve read that the old school NASCAR drivers would talk to each other. Ken Miles was supposedly quite a character I gather so it seems possible with someone like him.

    Anyone?

    Driving down a straight is pretty easy, you’re just opening up the throttle and going as fast as the car will go.  The key is to enter the straight with as much speed as possible, and then to prepare to exit the straight.  In the straight itself is relatively low tasking for the driver, so I’m sure they have time to eyeball each other if they are side by side.  I’ve no doubt that they do.

    • #24

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