“1” The Movie (Blu-ray Review)

1 The Movie - www.whysoblu.com1 is an action documentary showcasing the glamour, speed, danger and excitement of Formula One Grand Prix racing. Narrated by Michael Fassbender, the film tells the story of the golden age of Formula 1®, when the sport became terrifyingly dangerous. In the late 1960s, Formula 1® cars doubled their engine size and sprouted wings, making them incredibly quick, but even more hazardous. With money pouring in from sponsorship and a new worldwide television audience, superstar drivers were born, thrown like gladiators into the ring. The drivers were legendary with charisma and raw talent, but many of them paid the ultimate price. 1 follows the story of the drivers who raced on the edge and those who stood up to change the sport forever. It is about the greatest show on earth Formula 1®.  


1 - www.whysoblu.com


It seems that 2013-2014 have been the years that Formula One racing really came to the forefront in some time. Granted, I didn’t always pay attention to the sport and would anger some of my friends who did by implying that Formula One was close to NASCAR. Wow, never mind, and perish that thought! We had Ron Howard’s latest film that chronicled the racing feud between Niki Lauda and James Hunt to the brand new documentary entitled 1. This review is for the latter.

starts us off with a very mellow narration by actor Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, Prometheus) as we trace the humble beginnings of the sport. There are quite a number of interviews and commentaries featuring some of the greatest Formula One drivers ever. Niki Lauda, James Hunt, Mario Andretti, Michael Schumacher, Jackie Stewart, Sebastian Vettel, and Jacky Ickx among others. Obviously some of the drivers that are no longer with us are also included in the documentary via archive interviews and stock footage.

is a relatively brisk documentary (it runs 111 minutes) that essentially wraps up the beginnings of the sport and the movers and shakers of each decade thereafter. I believe the sport was incorporated in the 50’s. It was really neat to see how far and advanced the sport became in a relatively short time. You may have had drivers out on the field racing but you also had geniuses working behind the scenes to try and create the next racing automobile. One of the hardest parts to watch in is how slow the safety standards were to keep up with innovation. There were many vehicles that were invented throughout those years and virtually no added safety rules for drivers. It’s as if the most basic of things (driver’s safety) could not catch up to the next speed machine. also illustrates what a political powerhouse the organization is.

The film was never dull and the fact that it was mixed so well in terms of sound quality really kept my attention, because going into the film I figured it would be somewhat of a dry experience. It was quite the opposite. Michael Fassbender should do more narrations for Formula One programming, because he did a great job on 1 – he was anything but dull. It was also refreshing to see some of the still living legends recount their most famous victories while also being grounded in the sad fact of fellow drivers and friends dying in the name of the sport. It’s rather humbling. After watching and Rush I have become a fan of Formula One and look forward to catching a race at some point in my life. For now, the Blu-rays will do just fine.


1 - www.whysoblu.com


is presented in 1080p, 1.78:1 widescreen. has gathered up a large amount of archival footage and you’d have a hard time finding out which was old and which one was new. Most of the interviews were conducted more recently and most look above average with only a few hints of softness. The rest of the archival footage from the dawn of the sport until now looks really considering the age of some of it. Grain is present through most of the archival footage but it’s obviously inherent to the source as is the occasional sharpness fluctuation. Color separation starts out a bit on the drab side until we get to the swingin’ 60’s and the flashier 70’s. For being a documentary that relies on 98% archival material really looks good on Blu-ray.


1 - www.whysoblu.com


is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless surround sound. Here’s a soundtrack that will put you in the driver’s seat of a speeding missile. Watch out for those tight corner turns, because they will take your head clean off. The directional surround effects are extremely aggressive, which is great, because the surround channels aren’t necessarily used for ambience. You’re in it to win it. On the other side of the spectrum the dialogue is handled really well by the center channel, as is Michael Fassbender’s narration. I was really surprised at how great the lossless track was on this Blu-ray release, because it’s definitely not a “boring” sounding documentary.


1 - www.whysoblu.com


I was really surprised that had no extras to speak. Included on the Blu-ray we get trailers for other Millennium releases. I think this is the first goose egg that I’ve given out in 2014.

1 - www.whysoblu.com


 1 The Movie is a very exhilarating documentary on the action packed and dangerous world of Formula One racing. The Blu-ray has above average video, incredible sound, but drops the ball in the extras department. Don’t let the final score fool you since it’s just an averaged out tally of the entire Blu-ray. If you have a friend or family member that loves Formula One then 1 The Movie is a great film to add to their Blu-ray collection. It’s a very exciting and entertaining documentary and is recommended.



Order 1: The Movie on Blu-ray!

1 The Movie - www.whysoblu.com


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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