For the Love of Cars
For the Love of Cars
| 26 April 2014 (USA)

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  • Reviews

    Very interesting film. Was caught on the premise when seeing the trailer but unsure as to what the outcome would be for the showing. As it turns out, it was a very good film.

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    I cannot think of one single thing that I would change about this film. The acting is incomparable, the directing deft, and the writing poignantly brilliant.

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    The film makes a home in your brain and the only cure is to see it again.

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    Tells a fascinating and unsettling true story, and does so well, without pretending to have all the answers.

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    This affectionate tribute to some cars that range from the much loved to the frequently derided (yes Triumph Stag, we're looking at you), is hosted by actor Phil Glenister and straight man/car restoration guru Ant Anstead.In the first episode, featuring the Ford Escort Mexico, Glenister seems over the top, but he settles down in subsequent episodes. The format of the series in the first season makes the restoration of the car the backbone of each episode, punctuated by Glenister and Anstead's antics with vehicle owners and experts, plus some historical footage for nostalgic colour and background. It's a great mix that keeps the viewer tuned in.Sometimes the anecdotes and the dialogue with owners can be amusing, at other times they will bring a tear to your eye - as was the case of the man who owned an ex-Police Rover SD1. He had planned to restore the car with help from his sons, but health problems (a heart attack, among them) had held him back and his sons had grown up and moved away. The Rover - a unique car with a manual transmission - remained forlornly parked under a tarpaulin in the driveway for 11 years before Glenister and Anstead happened along.Glenister plays the clown to Anstead's straight man, but he also brings a strange ingenuousness to his 'role'. He obviously likes cars, but he's no expert or champion driver. That element of his presentation adds to his schtick, since he's the everyman car nut we all are.For the two episodes of the second season I've watched, the format has changed markedly, with the actual restoration of each vehicle secondary to the history and the two hosts' carry-on. Anstead loosens up a bit in the second season too and plays more of an equal partner to Glenister.Both seasons are terrific to watch, although some elements of the whole premise leave me wondering. If you restore an Aston Martin DBS to Vantage spec and swap the original automatic transmission for a manual, the car's no longer original, is it? Still, they seem to know what they're doing, they're having a great time and so will the viewer.And do watch out for Glenister's rendition of Sir Roger Moore playing Darth Vader; it's the funniest thing you'll see on TV in a month of Sundays.

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