Release Date: Available on Blu-Ray & DVD August 5th
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10 Disc Rating: 10/10
Fresh from prison, a street racer who was framed by a wealthy business associate joins a cross country race with revenge in mind. His ex-partner, learning of the plan, places a massive bounty on his head as the race begins.
‘Need For Speed’ tells the story of a young street racer named Tobey Marshall, having fun, surviving and paying the bills for his business (and love) by scraping by each month, earning money from mechanic work or illegal street races. When he accepts a challenge for a race that could fix all of his financial troubles, things go wrong and his friend is killed, with Tobey subsequently framed for the murder by the connected and wealthy other party involved, and the one truly responsible for the death. Sometime later Tobey is released on parole and goes on a quest to get vengeance in the form of taking the man who framed him and killed his friend down in the biggest underground street race around, but before he can possibly stand a chance of winning the race he will need help, connections and will also need to speed his way across the country with a limited window of time to merely stand a chance of entry.
While ‘Need For Speed’ may not be a film for the much younger children, for those with slightly older kids (or after the younger ones go to bed) this would very likely be a winning selection for a family movie night. While the level of violence and adult content/language is in many ways more minimal than a large portion of what is out there in this rating range, the PG-13 rating certainly is justified and there are some moments involving some car accidents and even death that could be a bit disturbing to the younger viewers. Teenagers and adults alike should really enjoy this one though, the kids loving the speed and action oriented races, with the adults likely to really appreciate the route taken in making the film, keeping true to the grittier authentic car movies they might already know and love, as well as the impressive racing action too of course.
Overall, I would definitely recommend checking out ‘Need For Speed’ as it’s an incredibly fun time from start to end, delivering plenty of hard-hitting racing action and mouthwatering cars to keep the gear heads intrigued. There is also more than enough action, excitement, along with a lot of laughs and some real heart to keep everyone else entertained as well. The video and audio presentation on the Blu-Ray is exceptional and there is also a pretty hefty quantity of informative and fun bonus content included too (detailed specifics on all of this can be found immediately below in the technical specification coverage section of the review) making it a Blu-Ray definitely worth picking up for those who would likely enjoy repeat viewings of this one over time, such as I know will certainly be the case for myself.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Need For Speed’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks absolutely magnificent on this one. Every aspect of the picture, from the colors, detail and landscapes looks spot on and the numerous fast moving action and racing sequences look impressive in just how clear and smooth they look. This is a very impressive high definition video presentation that should leave everyone extremely satisfied.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack which sounds amazing. The amount of activity and intense moments in the movie really give this lossless soundtrack a chance to show off its stuff and it does so without holding any punches. All seven channels are frequently taken advantage of, from engine noise, music, cars passing, along with a number of other ample opportunities to really utilize the surround track and it holds up impressively at every turn, taking advantage of them all to the fullest and without ever causing the dialogue or quieter elements to become inaudible in any way. The fellow audiophiles out there (along with everyone else) should definitely have a lot of fun with this 7.1 DTS-HD MA track.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Need For Speed’ also includes a very nice collection of bonus content that takes you even deeper into the film and its production. Included on the release is ‘Capturing Speed: Making an Authentic Car Movie’ which is a featurette that looks at the steps in which the filmmakers took in order to keep the true gritty nature of a car movie; ‘Ties That Bind’ which is a featurette featuring interviews with the family stunt team involved in the movie; ‘The Circus Is in Town’ is another featurette, this time providing an inside look into the traveling road show (so to speak) that was the movie as they traveled from location to location filming; as well as one other featurette titled ‘The Sound of Need For Speed’ which takes a look at what went into making the sound of the film really represent the feel of the moment for the viewer. Also included is an Audio Commentary with Director Scott Waugh and Actor Aaron Paul, approximately five minutes of deleted scenes (some of which are actually pretty interesting and others a lot of fun), and ‘Monarch & Maverick Outtakes’ which are some fun outtakes with Michael Keaton and Scott Mescudi. As you can clearly see there is quite an impressive collection of bonus content here to keep the fans busy for quite some time following their viewing of the film itself.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 10/10
‘Need For Speed’ will be available to own on Blu-Ray & DVD on August 5th from Walt Disney Home Entertainment & Dreamworks.