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Film Watch - 252. Days of Thunder

Published August 27, 2012

Fast Facts

Title: Days of Thunder Director: Tony Scott Year: 1990 Run time: 1hr 47

Background Info

Mr C and I have watched this together on a previous occasion, but it was so long ago that I didn’t remember very much about it. We set this up as a Sidepodfilmclub, in which we watch with lots of lovely people around the world, all pressing play at the same time and live commenting the film. These are my notes from the process. We chose the film before the sad news about Tony Scott’s death, and it became a tribute to him as well as a regular film club night.

Live Blog

3:00 - Some pretty fantastic 80s musics going on… even if it was released in 1990. 6:00 - It’s quite a speed difference, going from NASCAR to driving tractors. 7:00 - Ahhh, it’s Tom Cruise on a motorbike. Surprise, surprise! 18:00 - I don’t think you make friends and influence people by jumping out the car and beating up your team. 20:00 - He has a mug with his name on. I want a mug with my name on. 22:00 - ”I don’t know much about cars.” 33:00 - Cruise has a bit of a double denim habit in this film. 37:00 - The team have changed colours. Now I’ve lost them. 39:00 - Big crash. How do these drivers go headlong into zero visibility smoke without skipping a beat? 45:00 - Once a racer, always a racer… even in the hospital wheelchairs. 50:00 - She just shut the car door on him. That’s a great hint that the conversation is over! 52:00 - They don’t have much respect for the rented cars. 55:00 - He waited around for her to end her shift, and later sent a jungle to her apartment. Quite scary. 1:03:00 - ”I got you,” she says, moments after letting him fall on the floor. 1:06:00 - Their faces get very dirty despite being behind a windscreen. 1:13:00 - I wonder if he’d be so quick to race anyone and anything if it wasn’t a rental car beneath him. 1:24:00 - ”That’s the loudest talking unconscious man I ever heard in my life.” 1:28:00 - I love that he talks to the car constantly. It’d be fun if the car responded… although that would be a Herbie movie. 1:33:00 - That Mello Yello advertising is not very mellow. 1:38:00 - The “get me out in front of the pace car” thing happened just like that in Cars too. 1:39:00 - Rowdy said he needed them to finish fifth or above, so Cruise doesn’t need to be a hero. Oh… wait… 1:41:00 - Race over, the cars creep back to the pitlane smoking. They all look quite damaged.

Conclusions

There are only two negative points about this film - firstly, it could do with lowering the levels of cheese. Thankfully, it is lovable enough that it doesn’t really matter, but you can easily see the film being written off as a massive cheese-fest. Secondly, it is so much like Top Gun, it actually hurts! The motorbike, the romance, the hero stuff, those comparisons saying it is Top Gun on wheels are annoying, but very true. Nevertheless, despite the eighties music and the cheesy dialogue, it’s brilliant, and great fun to watch as a group.

**Rating: **55

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