The Program | Cycling made interesting

The Program is an Odyssey of Lance Armstrong’s career, from his very first Tour de France to his downfall. The story follows an Irish sport journalist, David Walsh, that becomes convinced that Armstrong’s performances are fueled by banned substances. Walsh then starts hunting for evidence that will expose Armstrong.

Stephen Frears’ film made cycling exciting, the sport was interesting all the way through. I grew up hearing about the Tour de France but I never got into it. The movie showed me a competitive aspect of it, I knew was there but never really understood. It’s in Armstrong’s resolve to do anything to win in the first act of the film that I saw Cycling as I see Rugby or Volley-Ball – I know, -_- I have weird tastes in sports.

The blend of archive footage and storytelling was seamless, sometimes ironic but seamless. Frears took a point of view, mainly David Walsh’s, and stuck with it. Which is why at times the movie feels very factual and documentary-like – makes sense Walsh is a Journalist. I like or don’t mind the fact that they didn’t stray too far from the sport. There’s little mentions of his family life, or life outside of the sport, and the movie doesn’t go in depth into Armstrong’s foundation Livestrong. Although these things are in the film, they serve as contextual elements in the man’s career. 

If you’ve followed the Lance Armstrong’s story I doubt that you’ll learned much with the program but I’m sure that you’ll be blown away by Ben Foster’s performance. Foster melted into the role, he portrayed Armstrong through the years brilliantly. In seconds you no longer see him, only Armstrong. I didn’t recognize Guillaume Canet, which is good, but god his accent was awful and a bit distracting. 

The program introduced of the facets of the man, the racer, the charitable man, and the cheat that Lance Armstrong is. The film looks like a well-rounded, accurate portrayal of a man with his qualities and his flaws. 

What’s your take on it?

Rating: 6 out of 10.

The Program | Poster Analysis

I like when a poster tells a story and this one is one if the brilliant ones. From top to bottom it tells a story, besides the name of the people who worked on this film, which depending on your tastes, it will give you faith in this movie or not. The story really starts with the title The Program. Lance Armstrong’s rise to prominence and downfall was a highly publicized, this title immediately puts you in the right frame of mind. Winning seven consecutive Tour de France while using Performance enhancing drugs must have been difficult, and achieving such a feet was quite an ordeal, a whole Program.

The tag line “Winning was in his blood” is a such a genius double entendra that it makes me smile. “It’s in your blood, you can do this” is such a popular phrase, a mantra when it comes to winning, overcoming hardship or some great task. It is meant to empower, help push through limits, give a boost of energy and hope….just like performance enhancing drugs. The tag line both illustrates the a winner’s mantra and a cheater’s confidence in his drugs.

The cyclist with both his arms raised to the sky is often The Pose you’ll see when cyclists are crossing the finish line. He’s in the center of the poster, like he would be in the middle of the road, so the eyes are drawn to him despite all the yellow around him. Yellow, in the Tour de France, is the color of the jersey the leader of the general classification wears. So the fact the poster and the cyclist on it wears that color makes sense, after all yellow reminds us of gold, winners are given gold medals, and Armstrong won a lot of them at the time.

The fact that the cyclist on the poster, supposedly Lance Armstrong, is making the “Ok” sign with his left hand is so smart. It could be easily dismissed but means so much, like “we’re ok, we did.” “got away with it again.” It’s the kind of small details that many, who got the general idea of the poster and this the film, might miss.

The needle of what appears to be a syringe give the impression of a trajectory, the middle line of a road, and a nice metaphor of that syringe pushing him through the finish line, to the win, calling back to the tag line “Winning was in his blood.”

It might have been great if the syringe was made to look like one of those caravans that often follow cyclists along, it would have reinforced the idea that it was “a team effort” that Armstrong didn’t do this by himself. But then maybe it would have been harder to see the syringe.

If there’s anything I missed don’t hesitate to share it with me and what’s your take on this Poster ?

The Finest Hours | Trailers

Review: I saw this trailer at the movies in front of Ant-Man, and I have to say it looks epic. The trailer sucked me in within seconds, the action does not looked too CGI-ish, and it showed enough about the story and the characters to peak my interest. The Finest Hours looks like a good dramatic thriller with award worthy performances. 

I like the cast, the time period, the accents, and the action but what about you guys what did you think of trailer?