Set against the sexy and glamorous golden age of racing, Rush portrays the exhilarating true story of the charismatic Hunt and the methodically brilliant Lauda, two of the greatest rivals the world of sports has ever witnessed. Taking us into their personal lives and clashes on and off the Grand Prix racetrack, Rush follows the two drivers as they push themselves to the breaking point of physical and psychological endurance, where there is no shortcut to victory and no margin for error.
The title of the film also matches the description of watching it. From the opening scenes, Director Ron Howard pushes the pedal to the metal and through some superb direction and editing, keeps you hooked throughout the 122 minute running time and races to the finish line with one of the best films released in 2013. Balancing out the emotional aspects of the story with genuine humour, thrilling races and determination, the story of the true rivalry between James Hunt and niki Lauda is an interesting and thrilling experience. Featuring superb performances from Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl , great direction from Ron Howard and a adrenaline fuelled score by Hans Zimmer, Rush is an absolute joy to watch
Rush arrives on a BD50 disc with an 1080/24p MPEG4-AVC codec that preserves the film’s 2.40:1 theatrical aspect ratio. Apart from some evidence of banding (where light and dark elements on screen don’t blend too well resulting in an uneven cross between the two elements) everything is pretty much spot on for a recent production. Shot digitally, finer detail is razor sharp as expected and colours are bold and vivid throughout. Good examples are the smooth sleek body detail of the race cars that glimmer and shine whenever they are on screen. Scenes set on The racing circuits do display a lot of detail and also have a vintage vibe to it to ensure that the production design matched the era that it’s set in, the Blu-ray transfer successfully supports the film’s stylised look.
Rush races onto Blu-ray with two English audio tracks. DTS-MA 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 stereo. Viewing the film with the original 5.1 mix, Rush is an absolute powerhouse of an audio mix. Giving my home cinema a full workout, the front and rear speakers are used throughout the film with impressive results. When the engines of the racing cars roar to life at the starting line and whilst racing, the full force can be felt with aggressiveness as each speaker is pushed to the limit. LFE is deployed to great effect as well to make the viewer feel the power of these engines on screen. Hans Zimmer’s brilliant score also benefits and makes use of the full soundstage and helps intensifies the action and emotions. It can be a bit over powering during some scenes and will probably have you reaching for the remote just to turn it down a notch. Audio mixes like these would normally get a five star rating but unfortunately I’ve had to knock a star off due to some issues with the dialogue. Whilst it is indeed and demo worthy mix, the amount of adjustments I had to make to my home cinema setup to hear the dialogue was frustrating. The opening narration was barely audible and resulted in stopping and starting the film to get the dialogue to a level which was acceptable. Even during the film I kept finding myself making small adjustments.
Race for the Chequered Flag : The Making of Rush (31:59) – A pretty interesting look at production of Rush. Separated into 6 chapters that can be individually accessed from the menu or playable in one viewing. Presented in 1080/24p with LPCM 2.0 audio
The Real Story of Rush (18:43) – A look at the true life story that inspired the film. Seperated into 3 chapters that can be individually accessed from the menu or playable in one viewing. Presented in 1080/24p with LPCM 2.0 audio
Deleted Scenes (10:56) – 10 deleted scenes that don’t really add much to the story due to their short running time. Presented in 1080/24p with LPCM 2.0 audio
Sainsburys customers might be interested to know that with their release of the film, there is an additional Bonus DVD with exclusive bonus features to supplement the current Blu-ray. This disc was not available to review though
Rush was quite literally a rush. Fast paced, interesting and very entertaining, Ron Howard once again delivers a great motion picture that was certainly one of the highlights of 2013. Studiocanal’s Blu-ray just about reaches the finishing line but just falls short due to some minor issues with the audio and the video that prevents it from being awarded with full marks. That is not saying that it’s a problematic transfer but just needs some fine tuning before watching. Bonus features are interesting to watch but again it’s a bit frustrating to see a bulk of the bonus features given exclusivity to a supermarket. Whilst that won’t be a problem with some movie fans, it’s a practice that I personally don’t agree with
Rush is available in three different editions. The regular release with lenticular slipcase, the Sainsburys release with additional bonus DVD (with lenticular slipcase) and a Limited Edition (now OOP at time of publishing this review) Steelbook