Author Topic: Car Movie Marathon  (Read 15268 times)

Offline Achim

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Re: Car Movie Marathon
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2008, 06:17:47 AM »
The Criterion DVD is superb. If you enjoy the film (big "if" possibly!) the interviews and features expand on it brilliantly. Nice feature about tracking down and restoring the Chevy too. Comes with a "book". Wasn't sure what to do with that; certainly wouldn't fit in the DVD player... :P
After your general description I was "worried" your verdict would be bad. I have this currently on the mail finding its way to Taiwan...

Najemikon

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Re: Car Movie Marathon
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2008, 09:56:27 PM »
The Criterion DVD is superb. If you enjoy the film (big "if" possibly!) the interviews and features expand on it brilliantly. Nice feature about tracking down and restoring the Chevy too. Comes with a "book". Wasn't sure what to do with that; certainly wouldn't fit in the DVD player... :P
After your general description I was "worried" your verdict would be bad. I have this currently on the mail finding its way to Taiwan...

I have a feeling you'll enjoy it. I don't know why! Makes you think, I suppose, and there are several inspired moments.

Najemikon

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Re: Car Movie Marathon
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2008, 09:59:01 PM »
Only the french members can understand this joke but the french version could be titled "La mort d'un commis voyageur" ;)

I don't get it. :bag:

Actually, I don't even bloody understand it! :hysterical:

Touti

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Re: Car Movie Marathon
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2008, 01:26:30 AM »
"La mort d'un commis voyageur" (Death of a salesman) was a play that is very well know in Quebec because it was played in the 70's by one of our greatest actor (Jean Duceppe).

I don't know much about it since I was born in 64 but I was searching internet to give you info on it and just found out it's a Arthur Miller play that he wrote in 1949.  You can find it on Wikipedia.

Now that I know it wasn't a french canadian play my joke isn't funny anymore :weep:

Najemikon

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Re: Car Movie Marathon
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2008, 01:39:14 AM »
"La mort d'un commis voyageur" (Death of a salesman) was a play that is very well know in Quebec because it was played in the 70's by one of our greatest actor (Jean Duceppe).

I don't know much about it since I was born in 64 but I was searching internet to give you info on it and just found out it's a Arthur Miller play that he wrote in 1949.  You can find it on Wikipedia.

Now that I know it wasn't a french canadian play my joke isn't funny anymore :weep:

Oh, I know what you mean now! The literal translation really didn't help... ??? :laugh:

Najemikon

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Re: Car Movie Marathon
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2008, 01:39:22 AM »
VANISHING POINT (1971)
5 out of 5




Kowalski is only delivering a car, driving it from Denver to California. But he's going to do it loaded on speed in less than 15 hours!

This could be it. The best car movie ever made. First it was released in 1971, already responsible for Duel and Two-Lane Blacktop, so obviously this type of movie was in vogue. It has the best car of this marathon in the white Dodge Challenger, also used in Death Proof as a direct homage to Vanishing Point. But most of all the screenplay is superb, able to touch on the nostalgic freedom of Easy Rider and Two-Lane, but still set the standard for car chase action.

The driver is Kowalski, and he is determined to deliver the car to California in less than 15 hours, driving straight through, fuelled on speed. This quickly comes to the attention of several police forces who chase him across states. Along the way he is aided by blind DJ Super Soul, who promotes him as the last great American hero. Though he never has any idea of his celebrity, Kowalski meets several colourful characters along the way.

Played by Barry Newman, Kowalski may sound reckless, but through various tussles with police and fellow speed freaks, we see he is honourable and considerate. How many drivers in these sort of films do you see stopping to check someone they just ran off the road is ok? Or refusing to take the offered benefits of a naked girl on a motorbike, who is almost like a siren. Yes, I did say Naked Girl on motorbike!  :drooling:

So why the hell is he doing this? He must realise he is doomed. Therein lies the interpretation for the viewer, while attracted to the freedom of the open road. Long car chases always have lulls, but this cleverly folds in concise flashbacks to bridge the stunts, where we learn of Kowalski's past and as we piece it together, his current self-destruction becomes more clear.

The film effortlessly moves from set-piece to comedy and even to a bit of social commentary. In one hilarious scene, two gay robbers are dealt with, while in another, we see brutal racism as the police deal with Super Soul and stop his rallying support temporarily. There's also room for an existential pit-stop in the desert. In between, the scale of the car chase set-pieces are astonishing and superbly choreographed. Despite all these changes in tone, the pace of the film never lets up or feels forced, right up to it's incredible ending. The supporting characters are never forgotten and are all great fun. Super Soul makes for a great running commentary aiding the mood.

The influence this film has had can be felt ever since. Smokey and the Bandit for one is almost a full-on comedy remake (a time-limited smuggling run attracts dozens of pursuing police while the driver becomes a folk hero) while the car scenes have been rarely matched considering they are the film, rather than just part of it.

Strangely, the film was cut in the States, but uncut in the UK. However, the UK Region 2 DVD is the cut version, while the Region 1 has both. Go figure. Go get the region 1... ???

The Car's the star: Dodge Challenger


Trailer
« Last Edit: January 23, 2010, 05:53:41 PM by Jon »

Offline Achim

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Re: Car Movie Marathon
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2008, 06:32:11 AM »
I enjoyed Vanishing Point too, when I saw it a few months back (originally purchased it thanks to Quentin's recommendation...). The cut scenes of Charlotte Rampling(!) but IIRC they didn't really include big revelations needed for this film.

I remembered seeing this film many, many, many, hmmm, many years ago and the one thing I actually had imprinted in my mind was that one iconic scene at the end.
(click to show/hide)

Najemikon

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Re: Car Movie Marathon
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2008, 09:47:55 AM »
I enjoyed Vanishing Point too, when I saw it a few months back (originally purchased it thanks to Quentin's recommendation...). The cut scenes of Charlotte Rampling(!) but IIRC they didn't really include big revelations needed for this film.

I remembered seeing this film many, many, many, hmmm, many years ago and the one thing I actually had imprinted in my mind was that one iconic scene at the end.
(click to show/hide)

Perfect!
(click to show/hide)


I know what you mean about Charlotte Rampling. Not entirely necessary, but I did like her bizarre scene which continued the mood from the desert.

Najemikon

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Re: Car Movie Marathon
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2008, 01:34:03 AM »
THE DRIVER (1971)
3 out of 5




Ryan O'Neal is a getaway driver for hire. Bruce Dern is the cop willing to bend the rules to catch this "cowboy" red-handed.

No existential soul-searching here, just bruising action served ice-cool. O'Neal's driver (no names again) is the best money can buy and he covers his tracks very carefully. But Dern's detective is hot on his tail and even sets up a job for the driver to take. There are several car chases, usually featuring several police cars. They're good fun and plenty of vehicles are involved. Walter Hill's set-ups are solid no nonsense action, which he is known for. One fantastic scene features him driving a Merc around a garage, smashing the bodywork to pieces to prove a point to the criminals who dared question whether he was good enough. He refused the job after leaving them with no doors. 8)

The story is straightforward too. Bruce Dern is great fun as the cop working both sides to his own end. It has something of a western feel with the outlaw driver (Dern calls him "cowboy" a couple of times) and perhaps continues the genres idea of the last free hero, or last frontier. It's only let down by being a bit too cool and a bit too laidback in the lead couple of O'Neal and Isabelle Adjani. O'Neal is trying to channel Steve McQueen but often has an expression like he's just farted and hopes no-one noticed! I'm being a bit unfair; it's more a case he didn't do anything wrong and the script gave him nothing to say. It's just actors like McQueen sets the rules with Bullitt amongst others for this kind of thing, while Ryan was in Love Story. It just proves there is more to acting the cool anti-hero than standing still and not saying anything.

I thoroughly recommend the film overall. The inspiration for the classic game of the same title, it's an old fashioned noir played out in fast cars. I read in another review that people have drawn comparisons with Le Samourai and although it's hero shares the empty room and he seems only to exist when working, I wouldn't push it any further.

The Car's not really the star...
There are various cars; he starts in a Cadillac, then moves to a Ford, wrecks the before mentioned Merc and finishes the movie in a pick-up. Really, this isn't a film about the cars, just The Driver. The idea being, put him in a Flintstones car he'll still pull off the job. This goes someway to demonstrating Hill's direction as he doesn't waste time on too many bodywork angles, just the stunts.

Can't find a decent trailer, so here is the "Job Interview"... :D
Trailer
« Last Edit: January 23, 2010, 05:54:05 PM by Jon »

Najemikon

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Re: Car Movie Marathon
« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2008, 10:36:04 AM »
 :-[ Oops! Forgot to finish this one off... :bag:

Najemikon

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Re: Car Movie Marathon
« Reply #25 on: October 01, 2008, 11:10:39 AM »
DIRTY MARY CRAZY LARRY (1974)
2 out of 5




Larry and an accomplice -also his mechanic- flee a robbery with Mary in tow. They are chased across country by the police, while dreaming of breaking into the racing life.

This title stuck in my head after Death Proof and I when I saw that it was quite a popular cult movie, I was really looking forward to it. Therefore, it is without question the biggest disappointment in this marathon. It's simply put, crap. A rip-off of several elements from earlier classics, held together by a bloody awful cast, lazy direction and a poor script.

The basic story is Vanishing Point: small time robbery escalates into huge chase
(click to show/hide)

The basic characters are from Two-Lane Blacktop: gifted driver and his mechanic, with a female hitchhiker.

The dialogue is Easy Rider hip. Except Peter Fonda obviously forgot how to write such stuff. He definitely forgot how to act! Much as I don't really like Easy Rider, it demands respect and I don't know what went wrong here.

Susan George is a revelation. Was she trying to be this shit on purpose? I like her usually, but this was an embarrassment. Only Adam Roarke as the mechanic character was any good, and probably only because he plays it very laid back. He's undermined by a stupid shoe-horned in recovering alcholic "twist". Vic Morrow was the only genuinely good character AND actor. He pushes the rating up a full star all by himself as the sheriff.

Usually a film this bad can be redeemed by it's car chases, but they all seemed half-arsed. They are good, but there just needed to be more of them for longer. For instance, hot-shot driver cop is listening to the chase on the radio and wants the glory. He's the best driver with the best car and catches up with Fonda... and gets spun off at the first corner. Maybe it was supposed to be ironic, like The Sugarland Express, but Spielberg's film had other tricks and this needed all the help it could get.

Another example is the sheriff chasing them down in a helicopter. Great scene! They're getting closer and closer! It's so exciting... wait... he's flying away. What happened? Ran out of fuel apparently. That passes for plot development. A film like this, the 'copter should be bouncing off the roof of the car not running out of bloody fuel! Who wrote this thing?

To be fair, the half-arsed-ness of the action would be less noticeable if they didn't keep stopping. Obviously trying to catch the Two-Lane/Easy Rider vibe of little off-shoots for character building, they keep pulling off the road for repairs, a heart-to-heart, a game of pool... a game of f***ing pool!!??!! They're being chased by, erm, everyone, but they find time to deal with the mechanics alcoholism while shooting a couple of frames. Bollocks. Utter bollocks.

The Car's the star: Dodge Charger


Trailer
« Last Edit: January 23, 2010, 05:54:26 PM by Jon »

Najemikon

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Re: Car Movie Marathon
« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2008, 11:14:52 AM »
A poor end, but a fantastic run of movies anyway. The one entry post 1970s was the rather rubbish Initial D, meaning Tarantino's Death Proof is truly one of the best car based films of recent years.

Who am I kidding? It is the best. It's the only one! It would hold up very well amongst these anyway and I hope a few more appear. Obviously petrolhead porn is a dying art.

By the way, I got a lot of the pictures from a great site, Internet Movie Cars Database

Offline Antares

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Re: Car Movie Marathon
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2010, 05:15:36 PM »
By the way, I got a lot of the pictures from a great site, Internet Movie Cars Database

I know I'm digging up another old thread, blame the RRG.

What a great website Jon!

Najemikon

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Re: Car Movie Marathon
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2010, 05:55:32 PM »
By the way, I got a lot of the pictures from a great site, Internet Movie Cars Database

I know I'm digging up another old thread, blame the RRG.

What a great website Jon!

I'm glad you dug up this one. I hadn't noticed all my links were broken since I got rid of one of my domain names. I'd "lost" all the car pictures and the motorbike girl! :slaphead: I haven't looked at that website in a while, but it is a good one to dip into occasionally...  ;D

Najemikon

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Drive *****
« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2012, 09:34:16 PM »
Drive *****

Year: 2011
Director:Nicolas Winding Refn

Do you ever get that feeling, while you’re watching a film for the first time, that you’re so in tune with it that it just might turn out to be a real favourite? I felt that while watching L.A. Confidential and now once more withDrive. Within a few minutes it was already very different to what I had expected and it just caught my imagination. I saw it several months ago and now the DVD is due for release, I felt it needed bringing to your attention, because it’s something quite special. It is easily my top film of 2011.

It’s all about the mood. This is no fast paced petrol-head porn movie. In fact, there is very little in the way of traditional car chases, so little that a woman in the States even tried to sue the distributors for a misleading trailer! Its theme is derived from the central character, whose very existence is defined by driving, by being on the edge and just in control, even when he isn’t in a car. He works legally in the day as a movie stunt driver and part-time mechanic, illegally by night as a getaway driver (if you hire him, he’s yours for 5 minutes, then you’re on your own). In between, he merely exists. When he meets lonely single mother Carey Mulligan, the façade cracks, his own strict rules are broken and the mistakes creep in. Her husband is in jail and when released immediately gets into trouble and way out of his depth. Gosling helps him, through some misplaced sense of honour and a reluctant, sub-conscious desire to stay close to Mulligan. On paper, I could be describing Jason Statham in a Transporter film! I’m not. I’m really, really not. I like those silly films, but Drive is in a different class.

I always thought Carey Mulligan was a marvellous actress, but I would never have thought of her for this. She always has such a controlled, confident delivery and diction, that to see her handle an American accent along with such an open and brittle performance was a pleasant surprise. Unlike her previous roles, such as in An Education, there is hardly any dialogue for her to get stuck into, but if anything she is better for it. More obvious characters are the villains played by Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks. Brooks is incredible, considering this is a very different role to what you might usually see him in. The film belongs to Ryan Gosling though and he continues to defy expectations this year with Drive being one of several superb performances. This is on another level entirely though; he not only leads the film, he is the film.

Gosling’s character is not an original one. He is the classical Clint Eastwood hero Man With No Name, modelled on the silent hitman of Le Samourai and more specifically, virtually lifted from Ryan O’Neal’s very similar role in The Driver. There are more similarities with Walter Hill’s thriller and when you consider that the story is rather simple and, for fans of Film Noir in particular, even predictable, you’d be forgiven for wondering how it could possibly be considered with such high regard. I would go so far as to consider it a masterpiece.

Nicolas Winding Refn has crafted a film with a considerable commitment to a sense of time and place, where the character dictates the pace and the pacing dictates the action, not the other way around. It is a narrative film that ebbs and flows with a consistency you rarely see; a consistency that is impossible to grasp normally in the thriller genre. The story could so easily have been made by Quentin Tarantino or Michael Mann or any number of others and it would have gone off in a variety of probably brilliant directions, but there would have been the usual sense of trepidation and inevitability. Instead, Refn’s singular vision creates a melancholy nostalgia that is nothing short of addictive. It might be derivative, but it feels so fresh and I’m desperate to see it again.

I loved the look of the film. The environment is simple, filmed with a warm, flattened photography. The splashes of stronger colour, not least Gosling’s awesome jacket, bring it to life. And the titles are so garish! From the trailer and the plot I’d assumed the film was living in the 70s, but as soon as the neon pink script “Drive” appears on screen you know we’re in the 80s. Probably the biggest hook of all, essential to giving the film its heartbeat, is the soundtrack. It is fantastic, striking a perfect tone and I can’t stop listening to it!

Refn may have been heavily inspired by previous films, but if Driveowes a lot to them, it pays off by being a keystone of the genre. Gosling so embodies the spirit of this kind of character, that it not only requires a place in this spectrum of movie, it defines the very reason they exist at all. It perfectly encapsulates the very American and hard to define road movie, that unique existential thriller first seen in the 60s and arguably defined in the 70s. I associate the best of these films so much with that decade, it seems wrong to find one set ten years too late! Yet that simple decision has unlocked an entirely new angle, depending on how deep you want to dig. If you don’t want to dig at all, it’s just a cool movie with a good story, great characters and sudden, shocking violence.

You’re probably aware from my past reviews that as a film fan, my heart is in the 70s. Refn has just dragged me up a decade!

« Last Edit: January 01, 2012, 09:39:06 PM by Jon »