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...one of my favorite books finally made it to the big screen. All I can say is... WOW!

Very well done. It was the emotional roller coaster I expected it to be, but well told and well filmed. Even my non-racer wife “got it” with the pull of the perfect line, the focus, and everything else that makes track time so addictive. Hell, I even liked Kevin Costner as the voice of Enzo the dog...I’d pretty much come to the conclusion that he’s a high functioning idiot-savant after movies like Dances with Wolves and The Postman, but man...well done sir.

And kudos to Dr McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) who bought the rights to the make the book into a movie many years ago to make sure it was done right. You can feel the passion for the sport throughout the movie, and his experience on track makes all the difference.

I don’t care that Rotten Tomatoes gave it a crappy score, I truly think it’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen; certainly the best “auto racing” based drama I’ve ever seen. Well done...

What say you all?
 

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Haven't seen the movie yet, but loved the book, read it twice! Loved the first person descriptions he gave of driving the cars on track, its what track days are all about. Glad to hear the movie is great as well, I will see it soon.

Tim
 

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I don’t care that Rotten Tomatoes gave it a crappy score, I truly think it’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen; certainly the best “auto racing” based drama I’ve ever seen. Well done...

What say you all?
I have to shamefully admit that I didn't read the book. Yet.

What you just posted is reinforcing my opinion of Rotten Tomatoes debacle. I heard it multiple times, about driving passion. It goes like this "Those on the outside cannot understand, those in the car cannot explain." And if you are not in the inner circle, it flies above your head higher than Simpsons cartoon over 5-year-old child's.

Same thing happened to "Le Mans" with a whole lot more stellar fire power, it even happened to some measure to "Rush". I don't know how "Grand Prix" fared, I was only 2 at the time and skipped school to go racing when they were teaching it. ;)
 

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I read the book about 7-8 years ago. A few months after finishing the book, one of my dogs passed away. I love the book...it has two of my favorite things: dogs and racing. You bet I plan to see the movie.
 

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My wife got the audio book for us to listen to on one of our trips years ago. Long after that journey I would sometimes re-listen to it on my commute to work and often just the end...not because of the sadness but for the story of how our best friends give unconditional love even when they have left us.

We lost our good boy in April, a horrible day and pains me still. I haven't decided to see the movie in the theater, not sure I could take it so may wait until I can watch it at home.
 

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Our (Yosemite) Region did a "Movie Night"... with a bunch of us getting together for Burgers&Beer, then the movie..
One of the wives commented after the movie, " Don, you didn't tell me it was a 'sad' movie". A slightly different region event.. but all loved it!
 

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Went to see it this evening. It was (as mentioned above) well-acted, well-filmed, and did justice to the sport, and to our relationship with dogs. I liked the ties between racing strategy and life strategy. My main advice is not to go with your significant other if you're trying to maintain a cold, macho image...
 

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Loved the book when I read it years ago and the movie was well done even though it missed important details in the book as I recall.
 

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I’m glad you guys liked the movie, but unfortunately I did not. The book was one of my all time favorites, and I couldn’t wait to see the movie. In all honesty, I hated the movie. My wife too loved the book, but was very disappointed by the movie. Every change (book to movie) ruined it. The faked assault in the movie was an annoying change and didn’t work. In the book, the grand parents were complete A-holes, but at least fought for what they thought was right for the kid (as mis-guided as that was). By faking assault, they became evil, criminal, A-holes. That didn’t work for me. And Denny forgiving them was absurd. On top of that, with the criminal charges in the book, Denny had much more on the line, thus his “ultimate race in the rain” was much more of a do-or-die, yet he was determined to fight to the end. In the book he never agreed to give up custody. Enzo didn’t save the day by eating the papers. The Denny in the book would never have thought of giving up the fight like the one in the movie did. In the book, Enzo didn’t get hit by a car. There was no point of that, old dogs don’t live forever, why not just let him die of old age like in the book? At the end, the reincarnated Enzo in the book said, “the car follows the eyes” which told you that he was the reincarnated Enzo. How could they have left that out? There was too much “love story” in the movie for me too. The acting was as fake as it gets. Nothing rang true for me. Not one actor seemed real. It was like watching amateurs in a HS play. I think it was completely miscast. What a disappointment! They took a truly great book and made it into a boring, poorly acted movie. They removed all the guts of the book.
 

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Glad you enjoyed it, tell us what you really think. LOL


I’m glad you guys liked the movie, but unfortunately I did not. The book was one of my all time favorites, and I couldn’t wait to see the movie. In all honesty, I hated the movie. My wife too loved the book, but was very disappointed by the movie. Every change (book to movie) ruined it. The faked assault in the movie was an annoying change and didn’t work. In the book, the grand parents were complete A-holes, but at least fought for what they thought was right for the kid (as mis-guided as that was). By faking assault, they became evil, criminal, A-holes. That didn’t work for me. And Denny forgiving them was absurd. On top of that, with the criminal charges in the book, Denny had much more on the line, thus his “ultimate race in the rain” was much more of a do-or-die, yet he was determined to fight to the end. In the book he never agreed to give up custody. Enzo didn’t save the day by eating the papers. The Denny in the book would never have thought of giving up the fight like the one in the movie did. In the book, Enzo didn’t get hit by a car. There was no point of that, old dogs don’t live forever, why not just let him die of old age like in the book? At the end, the reincarnated Enzo in the book said, “the car follows the eyes” which told you that he was the reincarnated Enzo. How could they have left that out? There was too much “love story” in the movie for me too. The acting was as fake as it gets. Nothing rang true for me. Not one actor seemed real. It was like watching amateurs in a HS play. I think it was completely miscast. What a disappointment! They took a truly great book and made it into a boring, poorly acted movie. They removed all the guts of the book.
 

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I’m glad you guys liked the movie, but unfortunately I did not. The book was one of my all time favorites, and I couldn’t wait to see the movie. In all honesty, I hated the movie. My wife too loved the book, but was very disappointed by the movie. Every change (book to movie) ruined it. The faked assault in the movie was an annoying change and didn’t work. In the book, the grand parents were complete A-holes, but at least fought for what they thought was right for the kid (as mis-guided as that was). By faking assault, they became evil, criminal, A-holes. That didn’t work for me. And Denny forgiving them was absurd. On top of that, with the criminal charges in the book, Denny had much more on the line, thus his “ultimate race in the rain” was much more of a do-or-die, yet he was determined to fight to the end. In the book he never agreed to give up custody. Enzo didn’t save the day by eating the papers. The Denny in the book would never have thought of giving up the fight like the one in the movie did. In the book, Enzo didn’t get hit by a car. There was no point of that, old dogs don’t live forever, why not just let him die of old age like in the book? At the end, the reincarnated Enzo in the book said, “the car follows the eyes” which told you that he was the reincarnated Enzo. How could they have left that out? There was too much “love story” in the movie for me too. The acting was as fake as it gets. Nothing rang true for me. Not one actor seemed real. It was like watching amateurs in a HS play. I think it was completely miscast. What a disappointment! They took a truly great book and made it into a boring, poorly acted movie. They removed all the guts of the book.
I understand what you're saying. After I saw the movie for Slaughterhouse Five, I decided I wouldn't see movies based on books I've read (not sure anyone could have pulled that one off, though). For me, all the Harry Potter movies were just fine - same for the Lord of the Rings series. Not as much for people I knew who read the books.

For this movie, I agree with everything you said about what didn't work. The grandfather came off as a caricature of a villain that wasn't believable. As was Enzo eating the papers. Or when his wife and daughter left for her parents, forgot to take Enzo, and for two days didn't even realize it. No dog owner would do that!

I thought the good outweighed the bad, though. Sometimes ignorance is bliss!
 

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Oh my, I hate when movies are changed fundamentally from the books they were based on. I can think of only one that didn't make me hate it, that was The Natural. I was not disappointed in the The Field of Dreams adaptation, sad for The Prince of Tides and not happy with The Life of Pi - all the good quotes were left out.

That said, I really am sad to read your review knowing now they ****ed up this movie. I will likely watch it when it makes it to Netflix or something similar to see the racing scenes, but am prepared to be hugely disappointed. Thanks messenger, consider yourself shot. :) Actually whoever made the ending change can go directly to **** with no passing go. Dempsey should have been Denny.
 

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I understand what you're saying. After I saw the movie for Slaughterhouse Five, I decided I wouldn't see movies based on books I've read (not sure anyone could have pulled that one off, though). For me, all the Harry Potter movies were just fine - same for the Lord of the Rings series. Not as much for people I knew who read the books.

For this movie, I agree with everything you said about what didn't work. The grandfather came off as a caricature of a villain that wasn't believable. As was Enzo eating the papers. Or when his wife and daughter left for her parents, forgot to take Enzo, and for two days didn't even realize it. No dog owner would do that!

I thought the good outweighed the bad, though. Sometimes ignorance is bliss!
Good points, But, I’ve read literally every Vonnegut book and he stated in one of his autobiographical books, that he thought that Slaughterhouse 5 was a great movie because the movie was the vision he had in his head when he wrote it. I confess that I never read the LOTR books but have seen the moves about 6 times and just love them. About once a year, we watch all three on three consecutive nights. 😊

Not a Potter fan... I thought Life of Pi was a great movie of a great book so sometimes it works. Same with Contact. I actually liked the move Contact better than the book, but that’s probably because Sagan did the screenplay after writing the book.

Ignorance is indeed bliss on most things! (Especially in the Matrix).
 

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I just don't know how Life of Pi could possibly leave out these passages from the book. Yes, it had its moments but it could have been so much more.


"Now I will turn the miracle into routine. The amazing will be seen every day."


"My face is set to a grim and determined expression. I speak in all modesty as I say this, but I discovered at that moment that I have a fierce will to live. It's not something evident, in my experience. Some of us give up on life with only a resigned sigh. Others fight a little, then lose hope. Still others - and I am one of those - never give up. We fight and we fight and we fight. We fight no matter what the cost of battle, the losses we take, the improbability of success. We fight until the very end. It's not a question of courage. It's something constitutional, an inability to let go."


"At moments of wonder, it is easy to avoid small thinking, to entertain thoughts that span the universe, that capture both thunder and tinkle, thick and thin, the near and the far."
 

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If you're watching this movie for the racing scenes you will be seriously disappointed.

Oh my, I hate when movies are changed fundamentally from the books they were based on. I can think of only one that didn't make me hate it, that was The Natural. I was not disappointed in the The Field of Dreams adaptation, sad for The Prince of Tides and not happy with The Life of Pi - all the good quotes were left out.

That said, I really am sad to read your review knowing now they ****ed up this movie. I will likely watch it when it makes it to Netflix or something similar to see the racing scenes, but am prepared to be hugely disappointed. Thanks messenger, consider yourself shot. :) Actually whoever made the ending change can go directly to **** with no passing go. Dempsey should have been Denny.
 

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If you're watching this movie for the racing scenes you will be seriously disappointed.
Well I guess I have nothing to live for now. Oh wait...college football is around the corner....
 

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It had been so long since I read the book, I realize now I had forgotten a lot. I think I was paying more attention to scenes that reminded me of what I had read in the book. I did notice how the movie really glossed over/toned down Denny’s bottoming out. To me, that was the most disappointing part. Still, I enjoyed the movie, the cars and the cinematography. I also went in thinking I wouldn’t like Kevin Costner as the voice of Enzo, but thought he was fine after all.
 
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