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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

Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

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Despite the best efforts form the likes of Quentin Tarantino and his ilk, the genre of sixties sexploitation films has never seen  a popular resurgence. Maybe that’s because modern film makers can’t hold a candle to the original master of boobs and brawling, Russ Meyer. Meyer’s destiny was set in motion at the age of fourteen when his mother pawned her wedding ring in order to buy him an 8-mm camera. Little did she know that selfless act would eventually lead to her son being crowned ‘the King of the Nudies.”

Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! is probably Meyer’s best-known work, and for us it’s his most notable effort because of the cool cars driven by the buxom protagonists, and on occasion also used by them as killing machines. The plot involves a trio of Go-Go dancers who, bored with their manic gyrations in the strip club not involving the maiming or death of others, break out and head for the desert. There they kill a dude, kidnap the dead dude’s girlfriend, and attempt to scam a cripple and his developmentally stunted but hunky son out of their secret stash of cash. All the while they kick up dust and mayhem in a quartet of sports cars- ’59 MGA, ’63 MBG, a ’65 Porsche 356 C and a ’58 TR3A.

Check out the cool cars,and well, other stuff (don’t worry, it’s pretty safe for work), in the trailer after the jump. … Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

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Stanley Kramer’s 1963 comedy epic It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is not only perhaps the greatest assemblage of comedic talent on screen, it’s also one of the best car chase movies ever made. The movie features comedy legends Sid Ceasar, Milton Berle, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, and Jonathan Winters, along with a spate of comedic co-stars like an acerbic Ethel Merman, Phil Silvers, Terry Thomas, Spencer Tracy, Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson, William Demarest, Peter Falk, Dick Shwan, and (Growwll) Edie Adams. In fact, the cameos I’m leaving out of that list (spot Jerry Lewis in the film) could all have been above the title leads.

But it’s not just the comedians that make this film great. If you love late fifties/early sixties cars, then this movie is an orgy of autos. Chrysler is best represented, with a ’62 Imperial, Dart 440 and Plymouth Belvedere wagon featuring prominently. For the import crowd, there’s Rooney and Hackett’s Type 1 convertible which they abandon at one point for a twin-engine aircraft. Terry Thomas’ character is a cactus collector and as such drives a cool Arizona June Bug Green Jeep Station Wagon. Just like the actors, there are even more cool cars that make smaller appearances in the movie.

… Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema: FY Racing does Sno*Drift

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Rallying in America is not dead yet and you should allow FY Racing to prove it. The Rally America season is in full swing and one of the first and most spectacular events on the calendar is Sno*Drift in north Michigan. A few dozen rally cars go dashing through the snow in some back-country roads while spectators find a nice, safe-ish spot along the routes to build bonfires and get drunk to soak it all in.

Sounds like a place that has Hooniverse written all over it. Sno*Drift is one of the more popular events on the Rally America calendar, and if you take some time out of your day to watch this YouTube summary from FY Racing, it just might be enough to convince you to make plans for next year.

FY Racing themselves are just one of many teams taking part in Rally America, but what sets them apart from everyone else – and even most racing teams in general – is the quality of their YouTube channel.

For every event they run, they have an extremely talented and dedicated camera guy/crew following the action. The shots of course show the gritty behind-the-scenes footage from the FY Racing garage, who field two Subarus, but it also shows just how much fun rallying can be as both a spectator and a driver. But you also never forget how much of a challenge it can be.

If you enjoy their presentation of Sno*Drift, be sure to check out everything else they’ve got on their YouTube channel. They are, in my totally unbiased opinion, one of the best motorsport channels on YouTube.

[Source: FY Racing, YouTube]

Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

Hot Rod Girls Save The World (2009 Movie Trailer)

Do you like Hot Rods? How about Girls who save the World? If so, then you’ll likely enjoy the low-budget 2009 flick Hot Rod Girls Save the World. From what exactly do the Hot Rod Girls save the World? Well flesh-eating zombies created by a zombie ray from the planet Moosha of course.

The plot – and I use that term loosely – revolves around a reporter sent to a town in Washington for a story on a pair of Hot Rod Girls who build and race street rods like the boys, but get no respect because they’re Hot Rod Girls instead of Hot Rod Boys. She just so happens to arrive just as the baddie from the Planet Moosha turns his zombie ray on the small town, which apparently is interfering with his TV reception.

Murders, wrongful accusations of said murders, and a whole lot of rockabilly ensue. Is it a good movie? Well, that depends on your interpretation of good. It is a fun movie, harkening back to the Hot Rod/Monster/Teens gone wrong flicks of the ’50s. Check out the trailer and see for yourself right after the jump. … Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

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Like Bullitt, the French Connection is not specifically a car movie, but one in which an iconic car chase takes place, elevating it to the pantheon of great movies for car nuts. Directed with razor-edged tension by the masterful William Friedkin – who won a Best Director Oscar for his work – the film is centered on a New York Cop played by an intense Gene Hackman who is trying to take down an international drug syndicate.

The movie also stars Roy Scheider who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role. He didn’t win, but the film garnered 5 additional Oscars, including Best Picture. It was the first R-rated film ever to do so. The film is truly of the era, its gritty Cinéma vérité style becoming the favored look for crime dramas in the early ’70s, and Hackman’s caustic cop – like Eastwood’s Dirty Harry – becoming an archetype.

The car chase that identifies the movie today is actually a car-train chase as Hackman’s Popeye Doyle attempts in a commandeered Pontiac Le Mans to keep up with an elevated train containing his suspect. This scene alone is evidence in favor of the film’s Best Editing Oscar win. Check a bit of that out, as well as Gene Hackman being a badass, after the jump. … Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema: Best Motoring Super Battle

I’m a huge Best Motoring fan and I was deeply saddened when they closed their doors in 2011. The variation that the Best Motoring International series offered, from the Track and Touge Battles to Gymkhana runs, was a more enthusiast-minded environment than the comparable fact driven Motorweek.

Of all the battles, the Super Battle from 2006 reigns king. It’s an automotive David vs Goliath with a NSX-R and Murcielago trading places, which is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

… Continue Reading

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