A Faster Horse (2015) (NTSC)

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Released 18-May-2016

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Theatrical Trailer
Deleted Scenes
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 84:34
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By David Gelb
Studio
Distributor
Gryphon Entertainment Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Danny Bensi
Saunder Jurriaans


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     The Ford Mustang is one of the most iconic and recognisable brands in the world of motor cars. First released in 1964, in 50 years the car has only been redesigned 6 times. In 2009, during the GFC, Ford committed to a redesign of the car for a 2015 release. For A Faster Horse director David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)) received almost unprecedented access from Ford to their facilities as well as to individuals such as Chief Program Engineer Dave Pericak to chronicle the designing, development, testing and manufacture of the 2015 Mustang.

     There has been criticism of Gelb and A Faster Horse that the documentary is an extended promotion for the 2015 Mustang, and there is certainly some of that especially towards the end of the film. But on the whole I thought A Faster Horse was a reasonably even handed and fascinating look at what it takes to design a car, starting from drawings, to full size clay models, development, testing and putting the car into production. It was not all plain sailing and A Faster Horse does show the faults and failures of the 2015 Mustang team as well as the successes. In addition, by including interviews with people who were involved with earlier Mustangs, such as Gale Halderman, who designed the original Mustang, Hal Sperlich (Team Mustang 1965), Jack Telnack (Team Mustang 1979) or Hau Thai-Tang (Team Mustang 2005), A Faster Horse illustrates the development of the Mustang brand and how the 2015 team were keen to remain true to the models that had gone before.

     While Mustang enthusiasts should lap this up, A Faster Horse caters for others for the documentary also looks at the development of the Mustang in the context of the wider American motor industry as well as delving into the fascinating history of the Ford Motor Company itself after WW2 when Henry Ford II, the grandson of the company’s founder, became CEO. For example, A Faster Horse discusses the Edsel debacle of 1957, following which Lee Iacocca and others kept the development of another new model, the car which became the Mustang, from Henry Ford knowing that he would not give approval for another gamble.

     A Faster Horse includes stock footage, vintage ads, interviews, footage from the designing, development and testing facilities and the factory floor as well as scenes from films such as Bullitt (1968) in its look at this iconic brand. While Mustang enthusiasts should love it, but the documentary will have an appeal for anyone interested in the process by which a new car is designed, developed, tested and built.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     A Faster Horse is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, which I suspect is the original broadcast ratio; it is NTSC, Region free and 16x9 enhanced.

     The video is fine, but variable because of the archive footage. The recent footage and interviews are sharp and detailed while the archive footage unsurprisingly shows varied levels of softness, muted colours, scratches and artefacts.

     English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio choices are English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo at 192 Kbps.

     The 5.1 is not particularly enveloping but this is a documentary, not an action film, and what we have is perfectly adequate. The interviews and comments are easy to hear and understand while the rears do provide some engine noise and music. The sub-woofer added some bass to engines.

     The score by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans was suitable for the film and some diverse additional music, including by Wilson Pickett and Ennio Morricone, added to the fun.

     Lip synchronisation was fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailer (2:14)

Deleted Scenes

     Six deleted / extended scenes; they are worth watching especially the one with Gale Weiss, the woman who as a young girl purchased the first Mustang (which she still has), and the last, which shows various and conflicting views about how the car came to be named the Mustang. The scenes are:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     I cannot find any reviews of the Region 1 US release but as our version is NTSC Region free, I expect there is no difference.

Summary

     I have never owned or coveted a Mustang nor am I a motoring enthusiast but I found A Faster Horse a fascinating documentary, especially the sections dealing with the history of the Ford Motor Company and the first Mustang. Mustang enthusiasts or anyone interested in the automobile industry in general should enjoy A Faster Horse.

     The video and audio are fine. The extras are minimal but interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, July 07, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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