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post #1 of 93 Old 07-27-2014, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Need for Speed (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



Check out our review of this high octane thriller that features superlative audio/video quality that will blow your doors off on Blu-ray!


The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

100



Details:

Studio and Year: DreamWorks - 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 131 minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Ramon Rodriguez, Michael Keaton
Directed by: Scott Waugh
Music by: Nathan Furst
Written by: George Gatins
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 5, 2014


"I am feeling the need…"


My Take:

The story chronicles a near-impossible cross-country race against time — one that begins as a mission for revenge, but proves to be one of redemption. In a last attempt to save his struggling garage, blue-collar mechanic Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) — who with his team skillfully builds and races muscle cars on the side — reluctantly partners with wealthy, arrogant ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). Just as a major sale to a car broker Julia Bonet (Imogen Poot) looks like it will save the business, a disastrous, unsanctioned race results in Dino framing Tobey for manslaughter.

Two years later and fresh out of prison, Tobey is set on revenge with plans to take down Dino in the high-stakes De Leon race — the Super Bowl of underground racing. To get there in time, Tobey must run a high-octane, action-packed gauntlet, dodging cops coast-to-coast and dealing with fallout from a dangerous bounty Dino put on his car. With his loyal crew and the surprisingly resourceful Julia as allies, Tobey defies odds at every turn and proves that even in the flashy world of exotic supercars, the underdog can still finish first.

Based on the most successful racing video game franchise ever with over 140 million copies sold, Need for Speed aims to captures the thrills of the game in a real-world setting. Films based on video games have been a mixed bag with some becoming popular cinematic franchises while others fail to make the grade. I honestly see no need to dissect the plot, as reading the synopsis tells you all that you to know to figure out how things turn out. What we get here is a poorly crafted script that eschews a meaningful story, well derived characters and an original thematic tone, in other words, nothing we haven’t seen before. What we DO get is a fair amount of adrenaline fueled by ample amounts of car chase muscle and some of the most excited stunt work I have seen. No CGI here folks, just good ole fast cars, great driving and cinematography that places you up close and sometimes on the edge of your seat.

I like Aaron Paul and had no problem with him in this role although I am not sure that he is the romantic lead type. The supporting players in Dominic West and Imogen Poots were fine given what they had to work with in the paint by the numbers screenplay. The production elements are terrific as director Scott (“Act of valor”) Wauch and his team aptly conveys their passion and his vision for the subject matter. As I sat down to write this review I found myself in a bit of a quandary. While I didn’t find the film to be all that good I couldn’t help but feel that despite its problems I found it entertaining nonetheless. To describe Need for speed as mindless entertainment would be an understatement. I have never played the video game so I can’t speak for how close it comes to offering a feel for its essence. As someone that enjoys popcorn flicks, even those that push the envelope, I think that there is something to be said for the entertainment value found in the work that went into this film. While I can’t rate it high as a film I certainly have to give it props for being fun to watch.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for sequences of reckless street racing, disturbing crash scenes, nudity and crude language.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):


Video: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:


Need for speed comes to Blu-ray Disc from DreamWorks/Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 5 Mbps.

Shot digitally this film looks superb on Blu-ray Disc and features glossy high definition video quality that exhibits high level detail, razor sharpness and exquisite definition that brings out lifelike textures captured by the camera’s lens. Dimensional perspective has a near infinite appeal that can be visually stimulating. Close ups are noticeably refined and revealing of the subtlest details within facial features and objects within the frame. Mid-level camera pans are equally enriching and offer excellent depth and dimension. Colors are appreciably delineated with natural rendering and punchy primaries that stand out among the remaining spectrum of secondary hues. Fleshtones are rendered with vivid tonality and discerning complexional depiction. Contrast is boldly applied without overstatement as it enlivens colors and drives brightly lit scenes without whitewashing detail. Blacks are gradational and deep which emboldens sequences containing a mix of light and dark elements. Detail in uneven light and darkened environments reveal visible shapes and structure that enhances depth perception. This is a pristine and reference quality presentation that looks terrific on my big screen.

I had high hopes for its soundtrack in the home environment and I wasn’t disappointed. This 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is demonstration quality and in a word sounds awesome. This recording has wide dynamic range and boasts superlative clarity and high level detail that is truly impressive. Dialogue is definitive and appreciably lucid through the center channel as it reaches far into the room. It’s located just slightly in front of the left/right speakers within the acoustic space it occupies within the soundstage. Front channel separation and imaging is excellent. This draws out both large and small sound elements and allows their directional correlation based upon the onscreen events to be readily definable. Right from the race sequence which opens in chapter 3 I knew this was going to memorable presentation.

The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is excellent. The atmospheric sounds associated with myriad of chase/race sequences sound engagingly real. Low frequency effects are applied authoritatively and underscore the bombastic and aggressive aspects of the presentation with aplomb. Its palpable presence is never in question as it fills the room with refined bass quality that is appreciably superior. The final encounter at the De Leon is an end to end onslaught that makes for perfect demonstration material. Need for speed may not be a memorable movie however there is no question that its presentation on Blu-ray will ensure its shelf life in the collections of enthusiasts that appreciate top notch high definition audio/video.


Bonus Features:
  • (HD) Capturing speed: Making an authentic an movie – 9 minute featurette
  • (HD) Ties that bind – 12 minute featurette on the Gilbert (Stunt men) Family
  • (HD) The circus is in town – 10 minute featurette
  • Audio commentary
  • (HD) Monarch & Maverick outtakes – 2 minutes
  • (HD) 4 deleted scenes
  • (HD) The sound of Need for speed – 9 minute featurette
  • (HD) “Need for speed Rivals” trailer
  • Digital HD Copy





Final Thoughts:

Based on the most successful racing video game franchise ever with over 140 million copies sold, Need for Speed aims to captures the thrills of the game in a real-world setting. Unfortunately a poorly crafted script relegates it to the annals of another video game based film that’s a swing and a miss. However if you have a higher threshold for lackluster writing when its coupled along with high octane action/thrills then you might just find something of value in the film’s excellent production work, I know that I did. Need for speed comes to Blu-ray from DreamWorks/Disney featuring superlative high definition picture and sound quality mated with an average supplemental package that offers insights from the filmmakers and members of the cast. I can’t promise you’ll love it as a film but I guarantee that you’ll get a thrill out of its presentation Blu-ray. In that regard I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend that you check it out.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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post #2 of 93 Old 07-27-2014, 11:52 AM
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If I may summarize, a movie that lacks good scripting, acting, and plot, but is reference material in regards to sight and sound, yes?
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post #3 of 93 Old 07-27-2014, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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If I may summarize, a movie that lacks good scripting, acting, and plot, but is reference material in regards to sight and sound, yes?
Greetings,

YES..


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post #4 of 93 Old 07-27-2014, 12:23 PM
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Received my imported 3d copy a few days ago. Looking forward to cracking it open. The 3d is supposed to be deep on this one
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post #5 of 93 Old 07-27-2014, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Received my imported 3d copy a few days ago. Looking forward to cracking it open. The 3d is supposed to be deep on this one
Greetings,

Nice! Post back after you've seen it. I'd love to hear what you think..


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post #6 of 93 Old 07-27-2014, 12:42 PM
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Hi Ralph,

I always enjoy your reviews. When someone builds a HT system that rivals the experience of an actual theater one looks at movies a bit differently.

Of course we want all the things we traditionally look for in movies, like realistic dialogue, well written scripts and original stories, but how a movie looks and sound rivals these other qualities. Look at a movie like Man of Steel.

Rottentomatoes had it at an aggregate of 56%. But the visuals and effects were spectacular. I watched them over and over again.

You are the only critic I know of who gives us this sort of information.

Please keep up the good work!
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post #7 of 93 Old 07-27-2014, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_jitsu View Post
Hi Ralph,

I always enjoy your reviews. When someone builds a HT system that rivals the experience of an actual theater one looks at movies a bit differently.

Of course we want all the things we traditionally look for in movies, like realistic dialogue, well written scripts and original stories, but how a movie looks and sound rivals these other qualities. Look at a movie like Man of Steel.

Rottentomatoes had it at an aggregate of 56%. But the visuals and effects were spectacular. I watched them over and over again.

You are the only critic I know of who gives us this sort of information.

Please keep up the good work!
Greetings,

Thank you so much for the kind words and appreciation Dr_jitsu. I am happy to know that members such as yourself can see things from the same perspective...


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post #8 of 93 Old 07-27-2014, 02:10 PM
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Even if the plot, acting and scripting is sub-par, I'm a car and home theater nut so I'm very much looking forward to this release!

My latest in-CAR-nation…
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post #9 of 93 Old 07-27-2014, 02:48 PM
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Received my imported 3d copy a few days ago. Looking forward to cracking it open. The 3d is supposed to be deep on this one
I heard this as well and I wonder why the studios are holding back on this, kinda like Frozen. I also noticed Amazon doesn't have this BD listed for pre-order but they have it listed for digital download.


But, after this review (how can I say no to a 100/100 score!) I think I will probably venture to Target to grab this movie as I am a car guy as well!
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post #10 of 93 Old 07-27-2014, 04:07 PM
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3D for me as well. ...Back to the fast and furious, in slow motion action...
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post #11 of 93 Old 07-27-2014, 10:14 PM
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The plot was definitely dumb but I watched it for the cars and racing and that aspect of the movie was decent. The environmental visuals of the last race (which is the best one, wish it was a tad longer though) was dang near straight out of NFS Hot Pursuit 2 on PS2. That race felt a lot like the classic Need For Speed games the ones with the high end American and European exotic cars.

skip to 2min mark:

That movie had me wanting to find my old force feedback steering wheel for my PC and reinstall the 2010 NFS Hot Pursuit...

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post #12 of 93 Old 07-27-2014, 11:43 PM
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I will give this a rent see how it's like.
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post #13 of 93 Old 07-28-2014, 04:28 AM
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Hi

I picked this up last Monday as I live in the UK

Agreed that the PQ and AQ is superb!

However we got shafted with a 5.1 audio mix whereas the US release has 7.1.

Why do that?!
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post #14 of 93 Old 07-28-2014, 07:04 AM
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Preordered the 3d uk version of this last month, (only two pounds over the 2d only version)

And from what you say here it's precisely what I hoped and more :-D

I would say these reviews you do are greatly appreciated Ralph, in a world where most reviewers are despondent wannabe directors or screenwriters (at least they seem to be I'm Norway)

So thanks again for taking your time to write them and please do keep them coming, in fact I give your reviews more weight than any others :-D
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post #15 of 93 Old 07-28-2014, 09:26 AM
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When I was a kid my buddies at my summer job (worked nights) used to race the muscle cars shown in Need for Speed at lunch break at 2:00 a.m. At the time (1969) these were the hot cars and they were only a year or two old. This movie brought back some fond memories.

Your review is right on the money Ralph but I'd have to add that the cars are reference quality as well as the video and audio. This movie is worth a look if just to gawk at the cars.
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post #16 of 93 Old 07-28-2014, 02:02 PM
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Had no desire to watch this one but I'm not surprised that it looks and sounds great.

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post #17 of 93 Old 07-28-2014, 04:38 PM
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Very detailed review Ralph! Great job. I can't wait to experience this movie in my theater! I'm a huge fan of old car chase movies like Vanishing Point and Bullet and I had heard the directors paid homage to that era and style of movies when making this. Hopefully the dialouge isnt a total cheese fest. Also I love that there's no CGI as I've been getting upset with the laziness of Hollywood these days over using it. Can't wait to rent this!
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post #18 of 93 Old 07-28-2014, 05:05 PM
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I thought this movie was such a turd. Whoever edited this movie probably needs to find a new job. The movie runs over 2 hours but it feels like 4, it just moves so painfully slow. The attempts at comedy in this movie are so cringe inducing that it makes a Michael Bay movie look like comedic genius in comparison.

I could go on and on but it's just not worth it. This movie SUCKED.

The only saving grace is a blu ray release so you guys can skip to loud car engines vrooming in your home theater, without having to endure the ridiculous plot and terrible performances.
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post #19 of 93 Old 07-28-2014, 05:24 PM
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100 for audio and video, nice! Looking forward to taking this for a spin in the HT!
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post #20 of 93 Old 07-28-2014, 07:55 PM
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100 for audio and video, nice! Looking forward to taking this for a spin in the HT!
I need to refill my candy jar perhaps I may just blind buy it
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post #21 of 93 Old 07-28-2014, 08:40 PM
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I need to refill my candy jar perhaps I may just blind buy it
I hear ya! Should be a fun fall with all the summer movies hitting blu. We had a blast with the new 300 the other night.......just a total audio assault!
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post #22 of 93 Old 07-28-2014, 11:19 PM
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I hear ya! Should be a fun fall with all the summer movies hitting blu. We had a blast with the new 300 the other night.......just a total audio assault!
Yeah the 300 hit hard from the get go! and was fun watch for sure. I'm looking forward to fall as well, as I didn't do my annual pilgrimage out to my local cinemaplex which sometimes is money well saved .
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post #23 of 93 Old 07-29-2014, 10:21 AM
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Another 'why buy this instead of renting it, watching it, and returning it' movie.
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post #24 of 93 Old 07-29-2014, 01:16 PM
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Put it this way......this movie is as awful as, "Sweet home Alabama."......yeah, think about that.
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post #25 of 93 Old 07-30-2014, 07:38 AM
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I love fast cars, so I'm gonna take this for a spin when it comes out on Blu.
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post #26 of 93 Old 07-30-2014, 10:30 AM
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Put it this way......this movie is as awful as, "Sweet home Alabama."......yeah, think about that.
Lol! That film was funny back then.
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post #27 of 93 Old 07-30-2014, 04:22 PM
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Saw this in 2d today, and its a definite cheese fest.

I got the feeling most of the actors where trying really hard to make do with a well below par script, and it seems to be written by someone who think cars are cool but don't really have a clue about the mechanics or a grasp on physics in general.

Seriously they are just going to drive the car like maniacs for 50 hours and still expect it to be able to outperform a pack of supercars when they get there...

Honestly this script was written by a twelve year old.

But the driving scenes is where the dollars are and there are about as much of these as there where songs in frozen, and they really work (apart from a few glaring physics problems, but not as bad as fast and furious).

The sound is very potent, I could literally feel gearshifts and 'thunks' from pot holes and whatnot :-D
The engine sounds though aren't quite right, they are much 'throatier' than most a Bugatti or koenigsegg doesn't sound like a 3 ton chevy but this is often what people expect from engines such is these, is it correct ? Hell no, but who cares?
Its a movie based on a racing video game that never had any plot or characters to speak of AT ALL.

You don't watch this looking for Oscar material, you want to have a beer, turn your brain off and piss the neighbours off cause you are about to enjoy two hours of subwoofer massage treatment.

Sure the non driving scenes are hammy, but not much more than the transformers movies or pacific rim.
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post #28 of 93 Old 07-30-2014, 08:00 PM
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Yeah of course it's cheese fest, who would expect anything else based on a video game? The people who made this are well aware of this as well, since it isn't try to be something it's not and film never takes itself too seriously. Naturally the audience should do the same. Totally agree with the audio rating here. It's been a while that had this much fun with my HT because a truly great soundtrack. They are far too few these days.
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post #29 of 93 Old 07-31-2014, 12:19 PM
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I miss the days of Hollywood and lots of car chasing films.
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post #30 of 93 Old 08-01-2014, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_jitsu View Post
Hi Ralph,

I always enjoy your reviews. When someone builds a HT system that rivals the experience of an actual theater one looks at movies a bit differently.

Of course we want all the things we traditionally look for in movies, like realistic dialogue, well written scripts and original stories, but how a movie looks and sound rivals these other qualities. Look at a movie like Man of Steel.

Rottentomatoes had it at an aggregate of 56%. But the visuals and effects were spectacular. I watched them over and over again.

You are the only critic I know of who gives us this sort of information.

Please keep up the good work!
very well said...and on top of that, you can always rely on Ralph's reviews being free of any agendas or the sort of biases you often see from other reviewers. For example, it seems to me that some critics will purposely offer an opinion that departs from the mainstream simply to stand out and garner attention. I have no patience for that sort of nonsense, and if I catch someone doing that it sours me on them permanently. I don't have to worry about that with Ralph - and I think Lee is the same way - and that's why I keep coming back here year after year even though I don't really take part in much else here at AVS anymore.

Long live the KING!!
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