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Ford v Ferrari Blu-ray Review – Fast and Personal

Blu-ray extras focus on the character relationships.

Reviewed by on Feb 11, 2020
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews the Blu-ray for Ford v Ferrari. It looks and sounds amazing. Extras are informative and fun, concentrating on characters and actors as well as cars and race action.

Miles takes his son on a rideMiles takes his son on a rideCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

In the true story Ford v Ferrari, it is the 1960’s and European race cars always win the big races. American former racer and car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and fearless, opinionated British driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), unlikely friends, team up to design, build and race an American car that can beat Ferrari on the track at the big 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. In 1966, they have to go up against Ford Motor Company control and interference, doubters and their own personal demons to win.

Ford v Ferrari Trailer

 

 

Ford v Ferrari

In 1963, Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) wants badly to beat Enzo Ferrari (Remo Girone) on European race tracks so he assigns his executives Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) and Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas) to get a car designed and built that can do this. They hire former Le Mans race winner Carroll Shelby to do this.

Henry Ford II hires Shelby to create a race carHenry Ford II hires Shelby to create a race carCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

He is given a blank check and agrees. He works with his team that includes “difficult”, hot-tempered British driver Ken Miles who doesn’t like to play with a controlling “team”. Miles has been working as a mechanic to support his wife Mollie (“Outlander’s” Caitriona Balfe) and much loved son Peter (Noah Jupe) so needs the job.

Mollie and Ken Miles have a great relationshipMollie and Ken Miles have a great relationshipCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Car and Driver Troubles

Shelby and Miles build and test the Ford GT40 prototype at Los Angeles International Airport, working out all of its design flaws until it is race ready.

Shelby tells Miles he's going to build a car to beat FerrariShelby tells Miles he's going to build a car to beat FerrariCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

This causes arguments between the two men and problems in Miles’ family. Ford decides that Miles isn’t the best driver for them and sends two other drivers to the 1964 Le Mans instead but none of the Fords finish the race. Shelby convinces Ford that his prototype car frightened Enzo Ferrari because it is just so fast. Miles is almost killed when the car’s brakes keep failing during tests.

Shelby and Miles aren't pleased that Ford Co. doesn't want Miles to driveShelby and Miles aren't pleased that Ford Co. doesn't want Miles to driveCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

On to Daytona

It’s 1966 and a new Ford V.P. is in charge of the racing division. He’s determined to leave Miles out of the mix but Shelby bets with Ford his personal company and Ford agrees that if Miles wins the race in Daytona, Florida, he will be allowed to drive the Ford GT at Le Mans in France. The Ford executive puts his own men into the Daytona race but Miles pushes his Shelby car to its limit and wins the race.

Miles wins at DaytonaMiles wins at DaytonaCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Le Mans

At the Le Mans 24 hour race Miles sets lap records and races Ferrari driver Lorenzo Bandini who is driving a new Ferrari prototype car. Miles has more brake failure and has to have the system replaced in a pit stop. Unusual but Shelby convinces race officials that it is legal.

Ford executives think Miles is a troublemakerFord executives think Miles is a troublemakerCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Miles is far in the lead but the Ford exec Beebe tells Shelby to make Miles slow down so the other two Fords in the face can drive together over the finish line in a three car photo finish for publicity. Miles says no but decides to cooperate on his final lap. Sadly, on a technicality another driver wins but Miles still knows he and his car were best in race.

Miles has doubts about the new car's brakesMiles has doubts about the new car's brakesCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

After Le Mans

Two months later Miles is testing the new prototype at Riverside International Raceway in California and has a horrible crash. Will Miles survive? Will Ford and Shelby’s team go on to win Le Mans in future? Do Miles and Shelby stay friends?

Shelby has a different personality than MilesShelby has a different personality than MilesCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Special Extra Features

This film is really about the characters as much as the race scenes and the many extras are mostly devoted to this. Love it!

  • Bringing the Rivalry to Life is a seven-part featurette presenting the The Perfect Lap, in which director/producer James Mangold and the film’s actors analyze the scene in which Miles tells his son all about his racing process to achieve the perfect racing lap and the character’s obsession with perfection in order to win. Directing the Rivalry examines the whole idea that an American-made car could beat the elegant European Ferrari racer. Director James Mangold talks about his approach and the actors and other filmmakers talk about working with him.   Some on set action. Nice emphasis on the characters.

Damon and Bale talk with director Mangold on setDamon and Bale talk with director Mangold on setCourtesy of 20th Century Fox
  • The Real Ken Miles focuses on the British driver played by Christian Bale. It’s a cool, in depth examination of the stubborn, complicated guy with comments by Miles’ real son. It is also about Bale playing the character. Really Interesting. Same with The Real Carroll Shelby about the real man and the way Matt Damon plays him. Everyone got to meet Shelby. Love this character and actor stuff. The Real Ford GT40 talks about the actual car Shelby and his team built to beat the Ferrari racers. Weakness was the brakes!  Cool for car buffs or anybody really.

Director James Mangold with Matt and ChristianDirector James Mangold with Matt and ChristianCourtesy of 20th Century Fox
  • Continuing with the making of extra Bringing the Rivalry to LifeWhat Makes a Good Movie Car shows us all about the many sleek real race cars used in the film. We see the real cars as characters and how they were filmed. Neat!  Creating An Era shows us how the filmmakers recreated the 1960’s time period of the film in production design, sets, props, signs, clothes, sound, pre-visualization of race scenes, etc.  Interesting!
  • Epilogue: Brotherhood is a nice tribute to the friendships and bonding of actors, filmmakers and characters on the movie.

Shelby and Miles work to get the new car readyShelby and Miles work to get the new car readyCourtesy of 20th Century Fox
  • The 24 Hour Le Mans: Recreating the Course shows us just how hard this race on actual streets really is. How the guys recreated the actual course is covered. A lot of the movie was shot in Georgia subbing for France.
  • Pre Viz shows us the computer planning for key scenes.

Wrapping Up

Extras on this Blu-ray set are all informative, fun and very character and story oriented. All of the actors comment on their characters and roles and we see how the race action was creatively shot.  Nice.

Ken Miles' son Peter is his biggest fanKen Miles' son Peter is his biggest fanCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Ford v Ferrari is a great triumph of the underdog story. The film offers lots of slick auto race action and looks at many hot cars but it’s really an involving human drama. Matt Damon and Christian Bale are wonderful as two guys with a common goal but different ideas of how to achieve it. It’s about American creativity, energy and determination.

The film is also about Miles as a family man and loving dad whose son has to understand that his father is in a very dangerous profession and could die any minute in a crash. Scenes between them are very well played by Bale and young Noah Jupe. Also cool is Miles sexy, playful and loving relationship with wife Mollie played wonderfully by “Outlander’s” Caitriona Balfe.

Caitriona Balfe is great as MollieCaitriona Balfe is great as MollieCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

There is a bit of humor added to make the relationships “real”.

Miles and his son Peter talk racingMiles and his son Peter talk racingCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

The ultra-fast racecar action is entertaining as well although the movie runs a little long and could have used more editing of all the “build the car and fix the car” sequences. All-in-all Ford v Ferrari is entertaining, exciting and a nice tale of friendship, obsession and the winning spirit. We award four stars.

Ford v Ferrari Blu-ray Rating: 4

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Buy Ford v Ferrari on Blu-ray & DVD now!

What is Your Take?

Are you into fast race cars or just as much into the drivers and their relationships? Do you like movies starring Matt Damon or Christian Bale? What car do you want to drive when you are old enough? Talk it up!

 

By: Lynn Barker