Movie Review: “Rush”

Starring
Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexanda Maria Lara
Director
Ron Howard

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Ron Howard and Peter Morgan love history. One look at their collective filmographies reveals several projects based on true stories and real-life figures. The latter, in particular, is responsible for writing some of the best historical dramas of the past decade, but sadly, “Rush” is not one of them. Though there’s a lot to like about Howard and Morgan’s latest movie – particularly the chemistry and performances of its two leading men – it’s not nearly as thrilling or fascinating as their last collaboration (“Frost/Nixon”). “Rush” teeters on the edge of being a really good film, but despite some fantastic source material, it never fully seizes the opportunity.

Based on the true story of the 1976 Formula One season and the heated rivalry between British playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and reigning World Champion Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl), the film begins many years earlier, when the two first meet during a Formula Three race. At the time, both Hunt and Lauda were up-and-coming drivers looking to seize their chance in the big leagues. When Lauda takes out a loan and buys his way onto a team, eventually joining Ferrari after showcasing his talent behind the wheel and in the garage, Hunt is desperate to follow suit. But despite the backing of a wealthy benefactor, Hunt’s F1 car simply doesn’t compare to Lauda’s first-rate Ferrari, and the cold and calculated Austrian ends up winning the ’75 championship. One year later, Hunt is offered the chance to drive for McLaren, and with the odds now evened, the two men pick up where they left off on the race track, resulting in one of the most unforgettable seasons in F1 racing history.

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Dark Side of the Rainbow – What Is the Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz Connection?

It’s a popular pastime that takes place in basements and dorm rooms every day: an attempt to prove the claim that Pink Floyd’s iconic album “Dark Side of the Moon” syncs up perfectly with the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz.” While some claim to have done it successfully, others (with disappointment) dismiss the claim as an urban myth.

But no matter how many people try and fail, the mystery still persists. It’s time to get to the bottom of it.

Just Press Play

First, let’s go over how this works. The most important thing to remember is that for this supposed synchronicity to work, you have to start playing the album at the right time. Various theories abound about when the perfect moment to hit play appears, but the vast majority of theorists believe that you need to start the music as soon as the MGM lion emits his third roar before the beginning of the opening credits. You’ll know that you have done it right if the name “Mervyn Leroy” appears on the screen when the music on the album transitions. Once you get the timing right, turn off the sound on the television, turn up the music and watch to see what happens.

A Happy Coincidence?

While no one seems to know who was the first to try playing “Dark Side of the Moon” while watching “The Wizard of Oz,” those who have done it since point out that there are a number of incredible coincidences. During the scene in which Dorothy walks along the edge of the fence surrounding the pigpen, you can hear the line “balanced on the biggest wave,” for example, and “Great Gig in the Sky” plays while the tornado carries Dorothy and Toto away to the Land of Oz. Perhaps the most mind-blowing moment for many viewers comes when Dorothy first steps out of her house in Munchkinland, and “Money” begins to play as the film switches from black and white to color. Later on, we meet the Scarecrow while the song “Brain Damage” plays.

For all of the coincidences, the awe is short lived. “Dark Side of the Moon” runs a mere 43 minutes, while the film runs 101 minutes. That means that more than half of the film does not have any correlation; in fact the music stops just after Dorothy meets the Tin Man.

Much Ado About Nothing

For all of the attention that the Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz connection gets, the actual creators of the album vehemently deny any connection. Alan Parsons, the sound engineer on the album, pointed out that when it was produced in 1972, there was no easy way to screen the film in the studio to match it up. Free movie websites, VCRs and DVD players were not yet commonplace, and correlating music to film was an arduous process. Parsons also pointed out that variations between the sound recording and video could vary up to 20 seconds, making it virtually impossible to perfectly sync separate recordings.

Still, while Pink Floyd thinks that the connection is a pile of hogwash, they have a sense of humor about it. Drummer Nick Mason once remarked that the album had nothing to do with “The Wizard of Oz” — it was based on “The Sound of Music.”

Oz: The Great and Powerful?

When the “prequel” to “The Wizard of Oz,” “Oz: The Great and Powerful” was released in 2013, a few curious souls wondered if the modern filmmakers would continue the tradition and match up the new film with “Dark Side of the Moon.” Slate magazine’s John Swansburg attended a screening of the film with the album loaded on his mobile device. Alas, there weren’t many significant synchronicities.

That being said, other Pink Floyd albums have been paired with classic films; “The Wall,” for example, has shown some synchronicity with Disney’s “Wall-E” and “Alice in Wonderland.” The track “Echoes” from the earlier album, “Meddle,” has also been paired with the fourth and final act of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Similar coincidences have been found, although none have reached the level of notoriety that “The Wizard of Oz” connection has.

Regardless of whether the matching of “Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wizard of Oz” is intentional or not, the idea that they might has become entrenched in pop culture and will probably still be a popular activity for bored college students for years to come.

About the Author: Although she is a huge fan of both Pink Floyd and “The Wizard of Oz,” Kayleen Griffin has never tried syncing the two. She blogs about pop culture for several sites when she’s not watching classic movies.

  

Picture of the Day: Milena’s long curly hair

If you like long, curly hair, check out Milena’s photo shoot.

Milena long curly hair

  

Picture of the Day: Aubrey flashes her pretty smile

Check out sexy blonde Aubrey as she flashes her pretty smile in some sexy lingerie.

Aubrey flashes her pretty smile

  

The Light from the TV Shows: Saying Goodbye to the Best ‘Bad’ Ever

I don’t know if you know this about me, but…I kinda like “Breaking Bad.” I realize this is probably the first you’re hearing of it, because I’m usually pretty closed-mouthed about it, rarely hyping the series to anyone and almost never mentioning that I watch it, but, yeah, I guess it’s a pretty all-right show, y’know?

breaking bad

All right, enough pretending: obviously, I think “Breaking Bad” is basically the best show in the history of television, which is what I tell anyone who asks me what I think of it. You may disagree with my position, and that would be your right, but no series has ever captured my attention and proven so fascinating to me in quite the same fashion as this one, and when it ends its run on Sunday evening, I’ll be glad that it went out on the terms established by its creator, Vince Gilligan, but it’s going to leave a hole in my TV viewing habits that I’m going to have a very hard time filling.

With the show wrapping up, I decided it’d be fun to offer up a retrospective of all of the folks affiliated with “Breaking Bad” that I’ve talked to over the course of its run. If you’ve followed my coverage of the series over the years, you probably won’t be surprised to see just how many conversations I’ve had since Bullz-Eye first started spotlighting the show in 2009, but they’ve been a uniformly wonderful bunch, all of whom regularly made a point of expressing their gratitude for the coverage and praise that we gave the show. In turn, I’ve always tried to thank them for the gift they’ve given us.

BreakingBadCompleteSeries

Goodbye, “Breaking Bad.” Thanks for the meth, but most of all, thanks for the memories. You’ve given me plenty of great ones over the course of these five seasons, and they won’t soon be forgotten…especially not now that I’ve got all of ‘em in one place! Mind you, when I say that, I’m actually speaking of these interviews, but it could also be said of the upcoming complete-series set – seen above – which, in addition to all of the episodes, includes a ridiculous amount of bonus stuff, both on the discs (most notably “No Half Measures,” a two-hour documentary about the making of the final eight episodes) and off (a Los Pollos Hermanos apron!), that no self-respecting fan should be expected to live without.

But enough of my yakkin’. On with the interviews!

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