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21 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Excellent, not quite perfect documentary

Author: jjcseattle
21 October 2013

This was an excellent documentary. I have recommended it to people with the advice, "you know a documentary is good if you will find it interesting even if you aren't interested in the subject matter". I think almost anyone would find this documentary very interesting.

I was a child of the 70s and remember seeing F1 races on TV, and remember the big names of the era from my childhood watching. This brought all of that back and filled in a lot of the details about the decades from 1970-2000 that I have learned as an adult.

The timing of the film was very well executed, not spending too long in any period but also including important events.

The voice-over was well-paced and measured, and had just the right intonation to induce suspense at the right times.

The effects in the soundtrack captured racing mechanics at its best. The music soundtrack captured the progression of time well.

My only criticism (and why I give it 8 and not 9 or 10 stars) is that they put just a bit too much focus on the safety of the sport... at times it feels like it is a documentary about racing car safety and not ... racing. Still, it doesn't err too far in this direction, so I still feel it is worthy of an 8 for any racing fan.

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18 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

1 car, 1 life. F1 safety evolution.

Author: Gareth Heycock from Gloucester
26 October 2013

Just to clarify that I would have rated this excellent documentary at 8.0 but marked up to 10. 1 out of 10? Really? As an avid fan of f1 during the golden area I found this an epic watch. Brundles amazing escape in the Jordan at the start had nothing to do with fortune and everything to do with the evolution of the sport over many years. Rewind to the birth and beginning of F1 and get ready to be shocked, awed and inspired as we progress through generations gone by. Reliving the harrowing moments where legends are lost sends shivers down your spine and makes you appreciate the levels of in car safety reached in the modern era. If, like me, you dig the engineering as well as the racing you will enjoy this doc.

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18 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

An absolute gem for all petrolheads

Author: pbogdanovic from Serbia and Montenegro
13 October 2013

This is the first time I write a review for any movie, showing how much I did appreciate this documentary. It is excellent in portraying the era of Formula 1 in the 60s, 70s and early 80s, not from a technical, but rather from a human perspective.

It gives great insight into lives of former champions, some dead, some still alive, while at the same time narrating advances in both thinking and technology which enabled Formula 1 to become much safer nowadays.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the original footage, as well as the excellent soundtrack and editing which boost the atmosphere of the whole movie. Excellent job and a must see for any Formula 1 fan.

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19 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Excellent perspective on those who are no longer among the living

Author: SquirrelCutter from United States
22 November 2013

Some nitwit previously called this unwatchable. What a maroon. I thought it was very well done, better than "The Killer Years" and just about right up there with "Senna." I guess you have to be a fan and have the balls to man up and shed a tear or two for your heroes in the sport.

Nicely put together, very pertinent interviews with the players, and it even almost made me not want to poop on Ecclestone the way I normally want to.

Some footage I've never seen, a bunch of talk I never heard before from various stars and important folks in F1, and just plain a worthy use of leisure time.

Two racing fuel stained thumbs up, fo sho.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Pulsating look into events which shaped modern day Formula 1

Author: skalwani from United States
2 March 2014

Often many an unenlightened fan dismisses the notion of a documentary as being boring, especially one to do with racing. "Au contra-ire" my skeptical friend, I heartily recommend this to you, for it has all the ingredients of a regular movie - excitement, passion, true events, story of individuals willing to go past the edge, push the envelope and draw us into their piercing journey. One gets to learn about many of the sports legends, their views and how major events have shaped it. We get brief lessons into the history of F1 and for any fan - as well as newbie to the sport - this is mandatory knowledge and helps us appreciate to a high degree the ultimate of man & machine together and what they face.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Inspirational, politically clever with outstanding archival footage.

Author: stanwilksmovies from England
21 March 2014

1: Life on the Limit is brilliantly narrated by Michael Fassbender, who is able to keep hold of a compelling story.

The archive footage is outstanding, the political upbringing of the sport's safety, to the dangerous cars and tracks and the legends who changed the game is brilliant!

People who are unfamiliar with Formula 1 will still be able to find enjoyment, and possibly inspiration from the film. Without a doubt, the most interesting parts are the safety and the relationship between James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

It is familiar in places, due to strong performances - the film indulges you into the world of Formula 1 racing and it's deadly legacy.

The film's moral question still holds to this date. 'Would you take the safest car, or the car that is dangerous but drives the fastest?'.

1: Life on the Limit is well directed, brilliantly narrated with a certain charisma that is truly outstanding. The archival footage is breathtaking, and the interviews of legendary racers are inspirational.

It follows in the lines of Rush' and Senna' which are both exuberant films. 1: Life on the Limit has a definite place in Formula 1 entertainment.

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Interesting but unfocused documentary

Author: Scaramanga from United Kingdom
9 July 2014

Coming in the wake of Senna and Rush, F1 has been spoiled in recent years. Despite production starting before either of the former films, 1: Life on the Limit is the last to be released, and suffers a little because of it.

I had the privilege of seeing this film screened at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix weekend, and what an arena to see it in, surrounded by Formula One Fans of all ages!

The film tells the history of Formula One, from its beginnings right up to the 2012 season, (Sebastian Vettel is credited as "3 time world champion"). Bookended by Martin Brundle's horror crash at the Australian Grand Prix in 1996 where he ran back to the pits and simply got in the spare car to take the restart, the documentary struggles to find the story it is trying to tell. Is it the evolution of safety, or a straight documentary about the history of Formula One?

As a story about the strides made in safety, the story seems to finish with Brundle's crash highlighting that it was just 2 years after the death of Ayrton Senna, but then goes on for a while after that, leading more towards it being aimed as a story about the history of F1.

As a history of F1, it doesn't offer much more than a long-time follower of F1 wouldn't know, but does offer little morsels that may be unfamiliar to some people, such as how Bernie Ecclestone became one of the most influential people in world sports, or Jacky Ickx, the driver who rebelled against the drivers union when they attempted to strike over safety concerns.

But with 64 years of history to cover, the documentary does not really have the time to go into much depth over the stories and personalities involved, and comes across as a little shallow as a result.

Having said that, I would recommend this film to anyone with a passing interest in F1 as a springboard to other stories within F1 and adding context to the names of legends that are still revered by F1 drivers and fans alike, especially after seeing Rush, but possibly before seeing Senna as the Senna section of this film does leave you feeling a little short-changed.

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