Plot: What’s it about?
Jim Dunn has a stable and rewarding life, with a family and a steady profession as a firefighter. He seems normal in all respects, much like you’d expect anyone to act, but he has a passion that drives him off the beaten path. He works hard and enjoys his time off, but once summertime rolls around, Jim turns into a different type of person. You see, Dunn loves to work on his funny car and prepare for the summer, because that’s when he leaves his normal life behind and assumes his role as a gifted funny car driver. He races hard and sometimes he wins, but even when he loses he still loves just to get out on the track and give it all he has. The races can be dangerous and at that level of speed, could even turn lethal. But Dunn knows what he is doing and as such, is confident he can keep himself out of harm’s way. Dunn and his family love to tour around the races and have fun, and who better who live out your dreams with?
I had never heard of Funny Car Summer before I sat down to write this review, but I am glad I took the time to check out this lesser known film. I don’t think I am alone in not being familiar with this movie either, as even the Internet Movie Database shows no knowledge of this film even existing. That is a rare happening and as such, I think this review is a must so some folks can learn about Funny Car Summer. I know the subject of funny cars doesn’t have a wide interest level and to be honest, I don’t usually seek out titles on the subject. But this proves to be an interesting piece on the subject, though I don’t think I’ll revisit it much in the end. The main draw of this piece is the documentary angle, so we meet some real racers and learn what drives them to compete in such a high octane profession. The human side of these people is what redeems this movie in the end, even with the poor audio/video that still shines through. If you’re in the mood for a unique documentary, then give Funny Car Summer a rent and decide for yourself after that.
Video: How does it look?
Funny Car Summer is presented in a full frame transfer, which preserves the original aspect ratio. This is a very low budget documentary from the ’70s and pretty much looks like a home movie, which is about what it amounts to. But for such a film, this transfer turns out as well as you could ask for, but that doesn’t mean it is fantastic. The colors look bright, but faded by time and I found some bleeds and smears at times. The contrast is a little muddy, but that’s a flaw with how the film was shot and not this transfer. Yes, this looks much worse than we expect from DVD, but this film just won’t clean up much better than this.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio fares much better and though it is rough, I never had a problem being able to hear it all. Sure the audio can be scratchy at times, but given the source material I am surprised it sounds this decent. The car engines sound a little loud, but the dialogue emerges in clear form. With this type of material you just can’t expect perfection, so I will be easier on this title. The audio won’t be mistaken for a modern mix, but it gets the job done.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc contains no bonus materials.