Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Relationships > Coming Of Age > Biking > Class Division > Car Racing > Motorcycle Racin > Breaking Away (1979/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/F1 Official Review Of The 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship + MotoGP 2014 World Championship Official Review (MVD/Duke Blu-rays)

Breaking Away (1979/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/F1 Official Review Of The 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship + MotoGP 2014 World Championship Official Review (MVD/Duke Blu-rays)

Picture: B/B-/B- Sound: B-/B-/C+ Extras: B/B-/C Main Programs: B-/B+/B

PLEASE NOTE: The Breaking Away Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, is limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last from the link below.

Being a part of international racing is a great thing, so much so that it is a dream for most and an achievement for a lucky few. What follows is at least a minor classic about that dream (though much more to its fans) and (35 years later and counting) how that market has only grown...

Peter Yates' Breaking Away (1979) is one of the original feel good comedies of its time before bad 1980s cinema ruined such things, but it is also a sports film and most importantly, one of the more successful films in an underrated, under-recognized coming of age cycle that included Little Darlings, My Bodyguard and peaked with Real Genius. Dennis Christopher is Dave, son of a former stone cutter (Paul Dooley) who now sells used cars that are a bit too used, going to school and dreaming of being in a high endurance bike race in Italy. He even tries talking with an Italian accent and obsesses about it.

His longtime buddies (Dennis Quaid, Jackie Earle Haley, Daniel Stern) may not totally get it all, but they are his friends and support him having grown up with him. They are part of a middle class (or poorer) who have wiseguy rich guys to deal with and outside of that distraction, what they will do with their lives as they will not necessarily be together forever. Well written and acted, this is pretty good and well-rounded throughout, though I was never a fan of the overuse of classical music and thought it missed some opportunities, though it never backs off of any comments about class division.

Barbara Barrie (Barney Miller) is Dave's mother, the moral center of keeping their family together and gentleman director Yates (Bullitt, Suspect, The Hot Rock, Friends Of Eddie Coyle (soon on Criterion Blu-ray), The Deep) handles it al with great warmth, humanity and enough realism while still slyly allowing the humor to thrive throughout. The film was never the big hit fans had hoped for (I believe Siskel and Ebert said at the time that they would refund anyone who saw it and did not like it) and it was not the next Rocky box office wise, yet it is as good a film.

Fox has decided to allow this key catalog title to be a Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray, which is good since that always means top-rate treatment, so if you are a fan, you;ll want to get this one while supplies last.

Extras include yet another fun, film scholar level illustrated booklet on the film including informative text and an essay by Julie Kirgo that we see in all Twilight Time releases, while the Blu-ray adds a new feature length audio commentary track by Kirgo, film scholar Nick Redmond & actor Dennis Christopher that is terrific, an audio clip of Christopher talking about how he landed up working with Fellini, an Original Theatrical Trailer, Road To Adulthood featurette and Isolated Music Score track.

At the time of the film, 10-speed bikes were the rage, but bikes have since exploded into a widely diverse market (along with higher prices) and that also extends to cars and motorcycles. That also translates into professional racing and its expansion, so now, well look at two great special interest racing releases you should know about. We have the F1 Official Review Of The 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship Blu-ray set and MotoGP 2014 World Championship Official Review Blu-ray. The former shows how far and advanced formula one racing has come (even a bit more since the great IMAX Super Speedway film, reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) and we get five hours of truly exciting travel and racing worldwide in what is a very underrated set of events. Why is this not more popular? It cannot be merely a money thing. This is among the best car titles (outside of the obvious Top Gear UK releases) since the Faszination series (all reviewed elsewhere on this site).

MotoGP is the first such title we have ever covered on motorcycles (the Tron films don't count, though are part of the same field of interest and love of bikes) showing how much fun this part of the professional racing business is and though this release is not as rich as the F1 set, I still enjoyed seeing it and in both cases, seeing all the action on Blu-ray makes it far more involving than if you watch it on HD cable/satellite TV or your PC (not having to deal with commercials is a victory in itself) and in such intense racing sports, the intensity is not interrupted or chopped up, so both releases (from the same company, Duke) are more than worth your time if you are interested. F1 exceeds its subject matter and is a model for how to do racing on Blu-ray.

Extras on F1 Include an entire bonus Blu-ray with an interviews section and raw on board camera footage, while MotoGP adds three featurettes on Marc Marquez (the winner), End Of Season highlights and a celebration of the event piece.

Because it is the only release here shot on 35mm film and is a drama, you'd expect the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Away to be the best transfer here, but it was always a good-looking film to begin with, one some would say looks great often. I could agree with that to a great extent, especially with some shots looking better here than expected and above my rating for the transfer. Director of Photography Matthew F. Leonetti, (Jagged Edge, Star Trek: First Contact, Camelot, 2 Fast 2 Furious) does some of the best work of his long career here.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on the F1 and MotoGP discs have some rough footage that cannot be avoided since we are talking cameras on board high speed vehicles that are trying to capture moments and not fidelity, but both have great location shots throughout, though F1 really has some stunning HD footage from around the world that is so good the discs exceed being just sports and special interest presentations.

As for sound, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 1.0 Mono lossless mix on Away is surprisingly arm and full throughout just making it the best presentation here, showing someone at Fox really did what they had to do to take care of the film. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on F1, sadly credited generically on the case as just '5.1' does its best to capture and present the location audio throughout its long main program, but the MotoGP disc settles for lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (generically listed as 'stereo') and just manages to match it more often than not. I think F1 is only marginally better than MotoGP and F1 is only marginally better than Away.

To order the Breaking Away limited edition Blu-ray, buy it and many other great exclusives while supplies last at this link:


- Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com