Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Nova Car of the Future|
Actors: Ray Magliozzi, Magliozzi Tom
Director: Joe Seamans
Genres: Special Interests, Documentary
Studio: Wgbh Wholesale Release Date: 04/15/2008 Run time: 54 minutes
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Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 06/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let me mention the worst part of this documentary first: the silliness of brothers Tom and Ray in this program. This program addresses a lot of highly scientific and economic matters that would confuse the average viewer. So they include two DJs on a show called "Car Talk" to lighten the tone. Unfortunately, things are presented as spontaneous which are clearly scripted. Tom and Ray are supposed to be an ideal comic couple like Abbott and Costello or Redman and Method Man, but their presence is just ridiculously extraneous. They present themselves as common men, but they quickly mention that they are MIT alumnae. At one point, one of them has to be bleeped out for cursing. Notice carefully and one of them even makes a fart joke!
Silliness aside, this was a powerful work. We know modern cars are ruining the environment and that petroleum is finite. However, alternatives are often too expensive, dangerous, or unrealistic. They show that Iceland is experimenting with hydrogen-powered transportation, but they have enough energy from geysers to pull that off. Plus, their population is small (and probably not as violent as that of my country, the US). One expert said, "There's not enough land to grow corn and corn is already needed for food." One scientist said, "If we could only produce a living being that works like these two separate microbes do, we'd quicken the process twice." Hello! Horses and eagles are great, but I doubt anyone will make a pegasus to solve our transportation problems!!! Still, I love the way this work gives hope. There are scientists working on solutions. There are consumers willing to pay for pricey cars now which will eventually pay off in the future.
As much as I loved this work, it could have benefited from pointing the blame some. The work does say Americans are driving huge cars, wrongfully, because they make them feel safe. However, the work says nothing on how the steel industry wants car companies to buy their outdated steel, rather than work on developing sleek alternatives. Detroit car companies were told that consumers were sick of inefficient gas guzzlers, but they kept producing the same, old rubbish while Asian companies were addressing consumer concerns. Car companies could legitimately say, "We could change X, but it sure would mean that we'll have to fire thousands of workers." There are villains in this controversy and the documentary says little about them, or oops, maybe us!
John Lithgow narrated this. I love his neighborly, good guy persona. However, I did feel like the main character of "Third Rock from the Sun" was speaking to me. Some like narrators who disappear into the background and that didn't happen here.
I don't know if this work underestimated things or was prescient. It says "We may have competition for gas from China." Well, we DO have that competition. It says, "This problem MAY lead to an economic crisis." Well, we DO have an economic crisis now. The future is today and this documentary seems unaware of it."