This is my first review - and I will do my best to be honest. Because I defend people for a living, I may have been a bit generous in this review (I was tempted to give it a 6, instead of the 7 that I gave it). [color=Red][b] I don't like to bash something that is not worthy of bashing, and in my opinion, this is not a bashable movie. [/b][/color]
Here are the [color=Red]movie's strengths[/color]: The beginning and ending were fairly fun to watch. It was family friendly, for example, there was no profanity, no kids sassing off to their parents in an over the top way, and no violence or sex. Moreover, I loved the concept, and the movie had some cute lead actors with some fun lines. I thought the camera work (cinematography) overall was pretty good. The young kids in the movie performed fairly well. I watched this with my wife and five kids, and it held their interest throughout. [color=Red]We even paused it when somebody had to use the restroom.
Weaknesses[/color]: Had the scenes been shorter, the movie would have been much, much better - the middle of the movie dragged on a bit, but was still watchable (at times my kids got a bit restless). I was a bit disappointed with the acting of the male leads (the movie actually had some good actors!) at times, and the female lead was just flat out [i]terrible[/i] (Lauren Holly). I felt the kids should have played a bigger role. The "bad guy" could have been featured a bit more, too. I did not think the movie was predictable, and the ending surprised (but disappointed) me a bit. Another weakness is written at the end of this posting, but do NOT read it unless you want to ruin the move before you see it.)
Because it is so tough to find good films for families that are not totally sappy, I am not going to beat up on this film. Overall, I liked it, and if your family has seen everything, and is looking for a cute movie, this is a good - but not excellent - one. I have seen some Hollywood flops, and I would NOT put this in that category by any means.[color=DarkGreen][b] It was worth what I paid for the DVD. [/b][/color] The movie will be funnier to those who have actually taken part in the Pinewood Derby, which would be zillions of Mormons, who support the Cub Scouts like Catholics support Notre Dame football. In fact, I think this movie was in essence a movie made for Mormons that was cleverly disguised as a movie for a general audience. Why do I say that? Well, the actors (the dads) all had wives that actually lived with them, were white or Latino, and the "delivery guy" of the Derby "Bibles" has been featured in MANY sappy Mormon films. Of course, non-Mormons would likely not see these nuances, but to a Mormon whose seen many LDS flicks, this film will certainly come across as [i][b]very[/b][/i] Mormon. In fact, I bought it from Seagull Books in Utah, which is a Mormon bookstore.
[color=Red]My alternative ending[/color]: [b][i]I think it would have been better if the winning child's car had actually placed second to that of his own father[/i][/b]. It seemed ludicrous to me that the dad's car would lose a wheel when it was worked on for more than 100 hours. I felt there was just no way a car of that quality would simply fall apart. I don't like it when writers contradict themselves. First the car is the best in the world, then a wheels falls off. Oh yeah, sure, the three men who put it together simply forgot to nail it in properly. Give me a break! Had the father won, he would have felt like mud, and he would have gotten his just desserts. He could have apologized publicly, etc. I thought that allowing his car to just peeter out was a TOTAL cop out.