Saturday, August 17, 2013

boobs, butts, vroom, and boom

Had an awesome time this past Thursday night...Will and I headed down to Monterey for a sneak preview of Ron Howard's "Rush", courtesy of McLaren Automotive. If you aren't familiar with the movie, it's the story of the epic F1 rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt, and the events leading up to and following Lauda's disastrous crash at the Nürburgring in 1976 [Lauda drove for McLaren for a while during his career and they provided quite a bit of access to their history and archives for the film, which is why we got treated to the special preview a month before the movie is to be released].

Monterey Car Week is going on, making it a very appropriate time and place for the screening. It was a good crowd of about 180 or so people, including fellow 12C owners and dealers from around the country as well as folks from the home office; it was good to see Marcus [Manager of McLaren Special Operations, an awesome and very genuinely cool guy] and Frank Stephenson [designer of many cars, including the new Mini and the McLaren 12C, and a true force of nature] again, and we always enjoy hanging out with the guys from the SF dealership. There was a line of 12Cs parked in front of the theatre; Will's car is still rocking the official McLaren camouflage wrap he put on for a rally last month, so it stood out a bit amongst the others...though all eyes were on the new Pagana Huayra that parked across the street for a bit, gorgeously over-the-top with its all black carbon fibre body and "look at me" lines. Car Week is awesome that way... <grin>

The movie itself was really quite good. You don't need to be a Formula 1 fan to enjoy's a classic tale about drive, determination, assholery, competition, sex, champions, underdogs, overcoming challenges, love, conflict, all the good stuff. It was done well; the pacing was good, the characters were surprisingly relatable, and even though I knew the story and knew how it would go, I still found myself tensing up during the last 20-30 minutes of action. There were some awesome cinematic touches: shots from inside the car that made you wonder how they did it, the voice-overs that caught you up and gave you an idea of the personality of the character without being too cheesy, and the use of photos of the actual drivers during the end of the movie [it made you realize what a great job Ron Howard did of capturing the look of the drivers and the era]. The effects were incredibly well done, and the crash was painfully realistic [more than one person wondered if they had used actual footage of the 1976 crash]. The actors were quite good...I went in with doubts about Chris Hemsworth, but he played Hunt rather well. The same with Olivia Wilde as his wife...much like Hemsworth, I tend to only see "them" and not the character they are playing, but she rocked this one. Alexandra Maria Lara played the wife of Lauda with understated grace, showing the conflict between supporting her husband's passion and knowing what it could mean to him and to their life together. Daniel Brühl as Lauda was the best...he embodied the stoic and calculating Lauda brilliantly, playing the driven asshole well without going too far. It all came together into a very entertaining package, and I left very impressed. I highly recommend it.

So big thanks to McLaren Automotive and to Alessandro at McLaren SF for the invite and the awesome time. Good movie, good company, cool cars...not a bad way to spend an evening.

No comments: