Racing themed round-up from Ellon Cinema Day at Victoria Hall

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Ellon’s Victoria Hall offered a theme of racing for at its latest Cinema Day, which attracted good audience numbers attending the films once again.

Children could speed along to the afternoon performance of Turbo, while the evening showing of Rush offered something for Formula One fans.

The hall screened an extra showing of the children’s matinee in response to the sell-out they had for Planes last month, and both performances were well attended.

Vicki Morgan reviews the films.

TURBO

Dreamworks’ tale of a very fast snail was a hit with my husband and I who enjoyed it as much as our five-year-old daughter, although our one-year-old slept through it all but he had had a busy morning playing with blocks, so he can be excused.

Theo the garden snail has dreams of being a super fast racer and competing in races with his all time racing hero Guy Gagne. After a freak incident with a dragster in which he finds his body pumped through with nitrous oxide, the little mollusc discovers he has developed superfast powers and can now overtake anyone and anything. The story picks up pace and we see him “discovered” by a Mexican food stall owner who races snails in his spare time.

After raising enough cash, Theo, now known as “Turbo”, and his new friends head to the Indy 500 race and attempts to beat Gagne.

What follows is a fast-paced, on-the-edge-of-your-seat race with an inevitable but equally brilliant ending. There are plenty of silly gags to have young and old chuckling and Dreamworks manage to get the audience to love something as slimy as a snail, which is no mean feat.

The message of the film is simple, although super powers can help a great deal, to obtain your dreams all you really need is to believe in yourself.

A good film to watch on a rainy day – 7/10

RUSH

Rush tells the real story of 1970s Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda and I can only describe it as superb.

The lives of the two racers on and off track are documented and highlight the chalk and cheese lifestyles the two men had, in their attitudes to love, life and how to win a race. British Hunt is portrayed as a hot-head, loving the good things in life from his women, fast cars, booze and devil may care attitude, whereas Austrian Lauda is more reserved, more considerate to detail in all areas of life as well as the build of his F1 cars and, after his near-death crash in the 1976 German Grand Prix, more cautious in his driving.

There were lots of original footage of the real men and their races of ‘76, which blended seamlessly with the film itself, and commentary by someone taking on Murray Walker to a tee added to the authenticity of the film. Obviously with the film being set in the 70s there were some cracking hair-does and outfits, which brought back some very early memories too!

In one of the final scenes we see the pair competing in the final Grand Prix in Japan in treacherous weather conditions, not dissimilar to that of the day of Lauda’s crash. Both have an equal chance of winning the Championship and tension is high, with a feeling in the audience that something bad is going to happen once more. I won’t spoil the ending but just to say that what matters most to each driver comes to the fore, although I’m still wondering if the best man won.

This film is undoubtedly for petrol heads and the end race could possibly bore those with a complete lack of passion for racing, however, I think you would have to have had your eyes shut to be removed from the excitement and tension of the end race, I found it just spectacular.

The end of the film briefly tells the remaining life stories of the two racers, again with original footage, which allowed the audience to see just how well cast the two actors were for the roles. There were no real surprises as to how their lives panned out, certainly James Hunt got his “rush” from the track in 1976 and from drugs and alcohol ever after. Petrol head or not, I would recommend everyone go see this film.

Best film I’ve seen this year! 9/10

Next month will see not one, but two Cinema Days at the Victoria Hall.

On Sunday, December 1 the hall will be screening Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in the afternoon and in the evening, Sunshine on Leith.

On Saturday, December 28 Disney’s Frozen will be shown in the afternoon, while the evening film will be Saving Mr Banks.

Tickets will be available for purchase at The Chocolate Bar, J&K Shoes and at the Victoria Hall on Fridays from 12 noon to 1.30pm.

They can also be bought at the door on the day.

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