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1970 Porsche 911: Understanding the Love Affair

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I didn’t completely understand the unadulterated love plied upon the Porsche 911. I know that it’s a supposed to be a pure driving machine. I know that it’s a precise instrument for a skilled enthusiast. I know that I still didn’t fully “get it”.

Now it’s time for me to understand, and I’m not getting my Porsche 911 education by way of the latest and greatest that Stuttgart has to offer. Instead, we’re taking the harder route with a 1970 Porsche 911.

This harder route takes us to the always wonderful Angeles Crest Highway, and to a place where Porsche discovery can happen.

It turns out the harder route is actually the quickest way to make me understand why everyone loves the Porsche 911.

[Many thanks to John the owner for supplying us with the car, and also for snagging the oh-so-sweet drone shots.]

Driver on Driver: Episode 1 – Chris Forsberg

Presenting the first episode of Driver on Driver.

Hosted by our friend Sam Nalven (aka Drift Idiot). Sam will interview different drivers each week as the 2015 Formula Drift Season rolls along.

Up first? Machete owner and 2014 FD Champion Chris Forsberg

Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

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Today’s movie trailer is not a car movie, nor for that matter a movie in which cars feature at all, other than some cool Jeeps and sedans decked out in military garb. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch it, however. Twelve O’Clock High is one of best movies about the effects of war – both physical and emotional – and the toll they take on those asked to fight in them. It’s remarkable that such a raw and unflinching view could have come out of Hollywood in 1949, just four years after WWII ended.

The film is about an American air squadron stationed in Great Britain at the start of the war, and undertaking dangerous daylight bombing runs deep over enemy territory. Gregory Peck – who would later go on to play Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird – is a no-nonsense General brought in to lead the squadron after its former leader cracked up. He gives the airmen a speech in which he tells them to stop grousing and to consider themselves already dead. It’s a chilling moment.

You can’t lead men without gaining their respect, and in return respecting them, and Peck’s General Savage undergoes a transformation that’s both a testament to the actor’s talent and a bitter reminder of the costs of war. Twelve O’Clock High is spot on in just about every way, and strives for authenticity by using actual film from the war for some of the aerial fighting scenes. It’s one of my favorite films of all time, and an excellent way to spend part of your Memorial Day. Check out the trailer to see why, right after the jump. … Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

Blood Car

Do you like campy horror*slash*comedies? Do you like low budgets, stilted acting, and ridiculous premises? If all of those things spin your tach then you will most likely find 2007’s Blood Car to still be one weird-ass movie.

Set in the near future when gasoline is over thirty dollars a gallon and everyone seems to be eating lead paint, the focus of the movie is Archie Andrews, a pacifist vegan kindergarten teacher who’s seeking a natural replacement for petroleum to power cars. The movie’s title pretty much gives away what the secret ingredient is in his eventual successful concoction, and most of the plot involves his getting enough of it to drive his girlfriend around, while keeping the source concealed from her. While you are watching all this go down, the question most likely lingering at the front of your mind is what is Anna Chlumsky doing in this?

I’ve seen this movie in its entirety and I can tell you it’s just as whacked as films like Liquid Sky and the original Little Shop of Horrors, from which it cribs a lot of its plot. Still, it is – and I’m stealing this quote – “frequently funny.” The trailer is after the jump, but be forewarned it is NSFW owing to one bad word on-screen. Still, you can watch it when you get home. Bring the kids too, they’ll love it! … Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

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The tagline for the 2004 thriller Highwaymen is When Murder is no Accident, Revenge is no Crime. Yes, that’s pretty stupid, but the movie isn’t. Jim Caviezel plays Rennie Crey, who spends his time behind the wheel of a sweet ’68 Barracuda searching for the crazed – and wheelchair-bound – serial killer who took the life of his wife. That serial killer prefers a ’72 Cadillac Eldorado to an accessible van, but then, he is a homicidal maniac so he’s probably not making the best choices.

Highwaymen also stars Rhona Mitra as the wacko’s next target, and whom Crey has to protect lest she become yet another road-related fatality. The cat and mouse plot is sprinkled with excellent car chases and some inventive auto-related carnage. You a taste of that in the trailer, which thankfully doesn’t give away the entire plot. It’s a goofy movie played straight, and if you like night driving, you’ll be right at home. Check it out right after the jump. … Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

Winning

Some people can do one thing really, really well, while generally most people are able to do a few things, you know, just all right. Then there’s that rare individual who seems able to be successful in every endeavor they attempt. Paul Newman was one of those rare individuals. Newman’s primary advocation was that of actor, and that career garnered an Academy Award, two Golden Globes, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He had two other passions; his philanthropic interests, and racing, which is the subject of a new documentary by Adam Carolla, Winning, The Racing Life of Paul Newman.

Paul Newman called racing “the first thing that I ever found I had any grace in” and was introduced to the sport while training for the 1969 film Winning. Carolla’s documentary features interviews with Robert Redford, Newman’s Winning co-star Robert Wagner, Jay Leno, fellow actor/driver Patrick Dempsey, and real racers Mario Andretti and Sam Posey, among others. It follows Newman’s racing career from not very good to respected competitor and later team owner. Carolla is not known for his behind the camera work, but he does share a passion for automobiles with Newman, and he shares directorial duties with film maker Nate Adams, who has produced a lot of Discovery Channel shows.

Check out the trailer after the jump. Winning, The Racing Life of Paul Newman opens May 22nd. … Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

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Over the course of his career Blake Edwards became known for two things; being married to Julie Andrews, and directing a string of comedic films that were destined to become classics. You might not know it but Edwards was responsible for movies as diverse as they were great, from Breakfast at Tiffanys, to the Bo Derek star-making 10.  In 1965 he turned his attention to an ensemble comedy about an unflappable hero, a mustache-twirling evil villain, a beautiful suffragette, and an around the world race.

The Great Race holds up today for its slapstick comedy. That pie scene? Those are real pies. Jack Lemon takes on multiple roles, and it’s his Professor Fate that steals the show. Tony Curtis, playing the Great Leslie, and serving as Fate’s arch and unrequited nemesis, has the somewhat thankless role of having to do nothing more than be handsome and perfect. Nonetheless he pulls it off. Natalie Wood’s character is a woman attempting to overcome the gender bias of the time – the film is loosely based on an actual 1908 New York to Paris race – but the film makers still manage to get her in nothing more than her undergarments as often as possible.

The cars are the stars too in The Great Race. Both Professor Fate’s Hannibal Eight and the Leslie Special are presently displayed at the Peterson. The 6-wheel Hannibal Eight  was powered by a Corvair engine and there were actually six of them built for the film to allow for a number of destructive stunts. The Leslie Special was built from the parts bin, but it was an authentic and quite handsome car. If you’ve never seen The Great Race then check out the trailer after the jump and see what you’ve been missing.  … Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

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In the 1978 action triller The Driver, a laconic and mysterious man offers his services to criminals as a getaway driver. He also tries to woo a sultry lady and keep both the cops and the crooks off his back. Wait a minute, that’s the 2011 film Drive. Actually it’s both. If you’ve seen Drive then you might want to also check out the Walter Hill-directed The Driver as not only are they similarly plotted, but they’re both pretty enjoyable films.

The Driver actually has more – you know – driving in it, including an audition for a caper that turns into a parking garage demolition derby. The only down side is that the title character is played by Ryan O’Neal and he’s, well, Ryan O’Neal. It also has Bruce Dern playing the cop that’s trying to nail O’Neal for his criminal activity, and Isabella Adjani as the woman they’re both trying to nail.

Hill knows action, and you’ve probably seen his better-known movies like 48 Hrs, The Warriors, and Red Heat. He also produced Alien so he’s got that going for him. One thing about car movies of the ’70s is that cars back then – especially American iron as used in this flick – tended to handle so poorly that even slow chases became edge of your seat affairs because you never knew if the car would just crash on its own. Check out the noir and the cars right after the jump. … Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

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The Last American Hero is not a TV show about a nebbish school teacher being given superpowers by aliens, that would be The Greatest American Hero. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can discuss just what The Last American Hero is. The 1973 movie is based on a story published in The New Yorker by writer Tom Wolf, and chronicles the life of NASCAR legend Junior Johnson. There, that was easy.

In the film, the character’s name is changed to Jackson and he’s portrayed by Jeff Bridges who at the time was just coming into his own as an actor. Costarring as Jackson’s love interest is Valerie Perrine, who had just come off of one of my all-time favorite films, Slaughterhouse Five. You’ll also recognize in the trailer a handful of solid character actors in supporting roles, including Ned Beatty and a pre-whacked-out Gary Busey. The theme song “I’ve Got A Name” became a huge hit for singer Jim Croce, although sadly he would die in an auto accident a Beechcraft crash that very same year.

The film has a lot of fender-banging going on, and as it is a movie about racing, it didn’t do so well at the box office, bringing a little over half its production budget despite generally favorable reviews. See for yourself right after the jump.  … Continue Reading

I saw Furious 7 last night…
and you should go see it too

furious 7Last night I trekked up to the garage space of Hot Rod to take a look at some cars. No, it wasn’t a peek at some of the oh-so-wonderful Roadkill projects, but rather a chance to eyeball three of the cars used in the latest installment of the Fast and Furious franchise; Furious 7. After a bit of food and car eyeballing, it was a short walk to a nearby theater to take in a slightly advanced screening of the film, which opens today.

If you’re a fan of ridiculous over-the-top (like… way over) action movies and all-things automotive (you’re here, right?), then you need to go see this movie.

If you think you’re better than this movie, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.

… Continue Reading

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