Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 27th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Canada, 1979
Director: David Cronenberg
Writers: David Cronenberg, Phil Savath, Courtney Smith, Alan Treen
Cast: William Smith, Claudia Jennings, John Saxon, Nicholas Campbell, Don Francks, Cedric Smith, Judy Foster, Robert Haley, George Buza, David Graham, David Petersen
BluRay released: May 19th, 2009
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 English, DTS HD 7.1 English, DD-EX 5.1 English
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0
Retail Price: $34.95
Synopsis: An ageing race car driver, clashes with his corporate sponsor who is more interested in selling product than winning races.
At first glance Fast Company appears to a departure from the type of film that one has come to expect from David Cronenberg. Fast Company features many of themes that are prominent in his others films, especially in the way in which the main character Lonnie ‘Lucky Man’ Johnson evolves as the story progresses until he has completely transformed into someone exactly opposite to the person he was at the beginning of the story. Plot wise the reason why Fast Company work’s as well as it does is because of the way its director David Cronenberg approached the material at hand. In lesser hands this film would have been a forgettable film that would have faded into obscurity long ago.
Of course the main attraction in this film is the cars and the racing scenes are masterfully laid out for maximum effect. The film’s also features a rock themed soundtrack and the main theme sounds like a poor man’s Bruce Springsteen. Performance wise all of the case are very good in their respective roles with the most entertaining performance coming from John Saxon who plays a slimy sales rep for the Fast Co company that Lonnie ‘Lucky Man’ Johnson races for. One of this film’s strongest assets is that it’s durability of the plot and its character’s. Ultimately Fast Company is one hell of a ride that quickly draws you into its world of cars, girls and corporate greed.
Fast Company comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Blue Underground had previous released Fast Company on DVD and the transfer for this BluRay release is a vast improvement when compared to the transfer for their 2004 DVD. Colors and the amount of detail in every frame are two areas in which this transfer for this BluRay stands out the most.
This release like previous Blue Underground BluRay’s comes with two new audio mixes a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 English and a DTS HD 7.1 English, The only track carried over from the previous DVD release is a DD-EX 5.1 English audio track. There really are no significant differences between the three audio mixes as dialog is easy to follow and the soundtrack and racing scenes pack a lot of punch. Removable English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles have been included.
The bulk of the extras included on Blue Underground’s 2004 DVD release have been carried over, with only bios for David Cronenberg & Claudia Jennings and a poster & stills gallery being left off this BluRay release. Extras for this BluRay release include a theatrical trailer for the film and two interviews / featurette’s titled “Inside the Character Actors Studio” includes comments from actors William Smith & John Saxon (who let loose as they discuss Fast Company, David Cronenberg and working as a character actor) and “Shooting Cronenberg” is a interview with cinematographer Mark Irwin who discusses the film’s that he collaborated with David Cronenberg. The main extra related to Fast Company is a feature length audio commentary with David Cronenberg. The audio commentary is a lively and insightful track that gives a thorough overview about the making of this film and its subject drag strip racing. Rounding out the extras for this release are two other films also directed by David Cronenberg, Stereo (Anamorphic Widescreen – 65 minutes) and Crimes of the Future (Anamorphic Widescreen – 70 minutes). Overall this is another exceptional BluRay release from Blue Underground.