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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Racing > Sports Cars > Competition > Corporatism > Ford Vs. Ferrari 4K (2019/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

Ford Vs. Ferrari 4K (2019/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B Sound: A-/B Extras: C+ Film: B

Easily one of 2019's best films, Ford Vs. Ferrari 4K (2019) takes us back to the early 1980s when small Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari was in its early glory, selling some of the most sought after cars around, having an exclusive reputation and also winning all kinds of professional car races. That included the 24-hour LeMans race, but despite these successes and the leadership of founder Enzo Ferrari, the company was in financial trouble.

One company interested in winning some races to sell some cars and modernizing their reputation, as well as their buyers, was U.S. auto giant Ford, who used to be the number one until events like making the Edsel put them behind General Motors, hear of Ferrari's position and propose a merger with him. All looks good until they offend Enzo Ferrari (who would also be in a feud with newly found Lamborghini around this time) who sends a message back to Ford and owner Henry Ford II and a new fight begins. Fiat lands up buying Ferrari (they still own them as of this posting) and Henry Ford II is furious about the rejection.

With a young Lee Iacocca on hand, the company tries to build the perfect racer to beat Ferrari and land up turning to Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) who used to be one of the great race car drivers until a health issue got in the way, so Shelby is looking to get into the production business as Ford is about to launch a new car called The Mustang and take on Ferrari at LeMans. At the same time, Shelby is also involved professional racing and has a great driver (Christian Bale) on hand, but he can be a real mess to deal with, short on temper and always looking for a fight. However, when Ford needs to win, Shelby knows who the best driver is, no matter the problems and has to not only get him, but support him against Ford executives who do not know what they are doing or talking about.

Director James Mangold (Walk The Line, Logan, 3:10 To Yuma remake) delivers his best film yet, a race car drama up there with Frankenheimer's Grand Prix and somewhat underrated LeMans starring Steve McQueen, both issued in the period this film takes place. Sadly as we were reminded during its Oscar win, this is the last film that will ever be produced and released by the original 20th Century Fox, now bought by Disney for its film and TV library. It reminds us of the kind of ambitious film the studio was always capable of making since the early days 20th Century Pictures merged with Fox Films. Damon and Bale carry the film well and though a few facts were changed around (for better or worse), the story flows well and this looks good down to the car races, which are actually exciting instead of just a bunch of noise and bad edits.

It is also a story of money, power, manipulations and is a little more realistic in these respects than I was expecting, which is a very good thing. Imagine, an intelligent film with smart, mature adults in mind, though anyone can enjoy it. This one is worth going out of your way for.

Now for how it looks and sounds. Though the film was shown in some of its best screenings in the Dolby Vision format, this 2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.35 X 1, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image version still looks good and better than the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image under the regular Blu-ray in color range, detail, a richer look and a more solid appearance of the cars themselves. They look more like cars, but some have noted it looks like some noise, faux grain was added to the HD-shot production. I thought it worked just fine and th0ough the Blu-ray is passable, the 4K disc is the way to see the film.

That also applies to the sound, only on the 4K disc in lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) in one of the best sound mixes of the year, rightly an Academy Award winner, it impresses in all kinds of ways and though the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix on regular Blu-ray is good, you can hear in comparison just how much detail is being lost in the mixdown. The Atmos really delivers.

Extras include Digital Copy, while you can access the following digitally as well including The 24 Hour Le Mans: Recreating the Course featurette - Discover how the climactic race of the film was achieved, from recreating the track to capturing and editing all the action, Pre-Vis: Daytona & Le Mans Races - These animated pre-visualization sequences worked as a roadmap for filmmakers throughout production, Matt and Christian: The Conversation (iTunes Extras exclusive) - Sit down with Christian Bale and Matt Damon for an intimate reflection on the making of the film and (also on disc), Bringing The Rivalry to Life - Go behind the scenes of the film with this 8-part, 60-minute documentary.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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