Days Of Thunder  [DVD]
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A hotshot stock car racer finds more than fame in the south - love for a neurosurgeon who has a marked disdain for racing.
This loud and fast 1988 effort by director Tony Scott (Beverly Hills Cop 2, Top Gun) has much more style than substance but it does effectively depict the edgy and dangerous world of stock car racing. Tom Cruise plays yet another cocky loner trying to find success and happiness, this time as stock car racer Cole Trickle, a driver with raw talent but no discipline who is desperate for guidance and sponsorship. They both materialise in the visage of world-weary Robert Duvall, who despite his better instincts sees a second chance at victory in the young driver. Featuring supporting roles by Nicole Kidman, as Cruise's physician and love interest, and Randy Quaid, as a bombastic sponsor, and with a screenplay by Robert Towne (Chinatown), Days of Thunder is a slickly packaged entertainment best suited for die-hard Tom Cruise fans and those who want an intense visual experience. --Robert Lane
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Top Customer Reviews
The DVD says Widescreen 2.35:1, so I just assumed that meant anamorphic transfer for unsquishing onto a widescreeen TV...
...not so. It's 2.35:1 letterbox inside 4:3. So if you want to fill the screen on a 16:9 TV, you have to Zoom in - which inevitably lowers the picture resolution.
Great film, great soundtrack, but Paramount DVD or whoever manufactured it need to get their act in gear about the picture transfer.
This is the first of three films to star both Cruise and Kidman (the other two being Far and Away and Eyes Wide Shut).
Seriously though, Days of Thunder is not that bad a film if you're after a few thrilling action sequences, a throwaway storyline and lots of shots of the gorgeous face of Tom Cruise. If you're after anything more then you might just go away slightly disappointed.
As I say the plot doesn't really merit a mention. Rookie Cruise arrives on the scene with lots of talent but no control. Paired up with fatherly Robert Duvall as the car team's chief they argue and fight and eventually come to love and respect each other. Cruise suffers a bad crash and is tended by Nicole Kidman, cue gratuitous love scenes. Cruise recovers to win the final race of the season seeing off his most hated rival and claiming victory. Finish your pop corn and go home.
There are some redeeming features to the film though. Even the most ardent hater of motor sports will find the race scenes somewhat thrilling and very well filmed. Robert Duvall is always good value for money and he makes another well rounded appearance here, and well, you just can't keep Tom Cruise down. The smile, the teeth, the hair, you just gotta like this guy!
Worth buying simply for the sound of that V8 echoing around the race track in the opening sequence at the test session.
Days of Thunder is pretty indicative of the films being made by this lot around this time. Sure there's a honest intention somewhere within to build potent character dynamics, to raise moral awareness and etc, but they always came down to relying on speedy thrills, simmering sexual tensions and a punch the air finale. These latter things are evident in Days of Thunder, making it very much enjoyable if judging on those terms.
The actual dynamic of the stock car racing set-up as portrayed here is a bit suspect, but the thrills come in leaps and bounds as the cars career around the tracks and slam into each other while the respective drivers' egos explode in a flaming ball of testosterone. There's Cruise with his arrogant grin, there's Michael Rooker scowling and there's Carey Elwes doing his worst Val Kilmer Iceman impression. While out in the pits Robert Duvall adds the bit of class by juggling a dual role of surrogate father and expert stock-car manager, and Kidman as ace doctor Claire Lewicki shuffles around wondering just what is the point of all this emotionally damaged machismo.
The makers don't cut any corners in their willingness to raise your pulse, and they succeed in that comfort food sort of way. But that's if you are so inclined of course? 6.5/10
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Low quality video transfer this blu Ray is not high definition I have dvd's better image quality than this. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Andrew b