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Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

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Imagine if you took a four-time Best Actor Oscar nominee, an Oscar nominated director, and a writer who would later go on to win two Oscars, and give them a story about an acerbic but conflicted Formula One driver based on a novel by the writer of All Quiet on the Western Front; you’d have a winner, right? Well, no, you’d have 1977’s Bobby Deerfield.

The film is based on the novel Heaven Has No Favorites by the German writer Erich Maria Remarque and is about a winning-obsessed race driver who has a change of heart after visiting a recuperating teammate in the hospital following a crash. There he falls for a woman who is involved with her own race against time – she is suffering from leukemia.

The thing was, while the central character – played by Al Pacino – was established as an F1 driver, there’s very little racing in the movie. It’s more of a hankie-soddening melodrama about living life to its fullest and not letting others tie you down. That’s handled with uncharacteristically leaden direction from the usually crackerjack Sydney Pollack. The racing that is in the film is pretty raw and authentic as the film makers were given free rein by the Brabham team and other drivers – Niki Lauda, James Hunt, Mario Andretti. Jochen Mass and others – are all featured background players. There’s also a cool scene on a winding mountain road in an Alfetta GT that’s worth a look.

The rest of the film is less worthwhile, and is claimed to have damaged the careers of all involved for a while after its release and supposedly to have turned Hollywood off racing movies for years. Wow, such power in one little film. Check it out, right after the jump. … Continue Reading

Rally Ride-Along: Mark Higgins takes on Druidale
and we hang on for the ride

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The Druidale Rally unfolds over a handful of stages on the Isle of Man. It’s the TT that gets (and rightfully deserves) all of the attention, but there IS a route that four-wheel enthusiasts can take. It’s demanding, tight, twisting, beautiful, and in the middle of nowhere… on an island in the middle of the Irish Sea.

This is where we’ve been given the chance to ride shotgun in a full-on brand-new Subaru rally car. The man behind the wheel is Mark Higgins. The fatter man in the shotgun seat is… me. Thankfully I don’t have to give any directions.

Higgins has it all under control…

Driver on Driver: Episode 3 – Pat Goodin

Host Sam Nalven sits down with driver Pat Goodin. He learns about Rumspringa, Doin’ it for Dale, and how many “sodas” you can have during an interview.

If you missed it, here’s Episode 1 with guest Chris Forsberg. and Episode 2 with Fredric Aasbø.

Hoonivercinema: What it’s like to participate in a Targa Trophy Rally in a Audi R8

You’ve got your mid-level supercar, you want to feel the camaraderie of traveling with others on the open road. You’ve imagined doing road rallies because of all the cool and crazy things you have heard and want to feel like Burt Reynolds in The Cannonball Run. Reality sometimes sets in you just can’t afford to do the major cross country rallies and the inevitable outcome that follows with many legal issues and ticket problems. When my friend Chad approached me to participate in the Targa Trophy LA to Vegas Sports Car Festival in his 2008 Audi R8 4.2 6-Speed manual, I drew deeply on the goodness of my heart and agreed to aid in such an arduous undertaking. Joking aside, blasting through the desert in a mid-engined German missile was a blast, but in the end is it all fun and games?

… Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema: Rolling Coal in a Benz…The Opposite of a Sleeper

You have an old Mercedes Diesel and it’s perilously slow. Ask Jeff, he yanked his five-cylinder diesel out of the Wombat. Still, there is something enjoyable about working with what you have. Rather than stick a V8 in there make do with what the torquey little beast can put down and have a hell of a good time.

The crew over at 1320Video caught this 1984 Mercedes 300D at the Street Car Takeover in Orlando covered in Rhino Liner and spewing coal on its way to a fairly miserable 1/4 mile time. It’s not always about having the fastest car, but as the old adage says “having character can go a long way.”

… Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

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The Avant Garde movement in French Cinema during the ’50s and ’60s sought to elevate film making to the same high level of artistic endeavor as painting or the novel. Auteurs such as Truffaut, Rohmer, and Godard all worked within this concept where the director is the ‘author’ of the piece and imbues the work with their own specific imprint. That stylistic concept, as well as an ambition for naturalism in look and narrative, set the foundation for what would become the golden age of the director in Hollywood filmmaking during the late ’60s and early ’70s.

Godard’s Week End is a perfect example of what was once derisively described as France’s New Wave cinema. The film concerns a bourgeois couple driving to the country to tie up the woman’s inheritance. It’s not the arrival that’s the story, nor the fact that both she and her husband plot to have the other killed so they can be with their own paramour on the side. The real story is the increasingly bizarre and violent trip they take, peppered as it is with car crashes and dead bodies.

For us, it’s also about the cars, and there are few films that offer an opportunity to ogle so many French (and other) cars of the era. The main protagonists start out their trip in an awesome Facillia, although that sadly doesn’t make it to the third act. There’s also a ton of just fabulous stuff on display, including a Matra M530, Honda S800!, and even a ’65 Plymouth Barracuda. You can catch a smidgeon of those in the trailer after the jump, and you’ll be able to pay close attention to them too, not distracted by dialog, as the trailer is in French. … Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

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Imagine if you were to take The Road Warrior, transfer it to the U.S., crank up the spandex and bromance to eleven, and then add about gajillion more explosions. What you’d most likely come up with is something like 1982’s Megaforce. No, that’s not in fact an imaginary vengeance plan of Peter Griffin’s daughter, but instead a sci-fi movie set in the 1980’s idea of the future and directed by Hal Needham.

You’ll most likely more remember some of Needham’s earlier directorial work, including Smokey and the Bandit and Cannonball Run. A former stunt artist, Needham was cranking out a couple of films each year by the late ’70s and early ’80s. Of course, when your goal is quantity over quality some turkeys are bound to get through. Megaforce is pretty much one of those turkeys. It’s also very campy, more so than much of Needham’s previous work, and it’s also his first foray into science fiction.

That sci-fi involves a future where an elite fighting force defends the oppressed from their oppressors using high-tech weaponry and fabulous hair styles. The titular Megaforce rides Megafighter motorcycles and drives dune buggies equipped with frickin’ lasers. The bad guys counter with tanks, guns and less fabulous hair. Barry Bostwick – Rocky Horror’s original Brad – leads the good guys while Henry Silva is an evildoer.

The plot? Who cares? It’s the explosions, Tron-like smoke trailing motorcycles, and the cool rides that matter, all of which were designed for the film to be functional. That cost the production a cool million. The movie bombed at the box office, and engendered unfortunate comparisons to the Mad Max sequel that debuted just a year prior. It’s still worth checking out if you dig ’80s kitsch, or were thinking about how to fight a ground war in the desert. Check out the action-packed trailer right after the jump. … Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

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Last week I noted that Herbie the Love Bug – star of the Love Bug movies was in fact like a G-rated version of Stephen King’s car-from-hell classic, Christine. It seemed natural then to follow up this week with the film adaptation of King’s 1983 novel, the John Carpenter-directed Christine which was released the very same year. Carpenter of course is the master of demonic characters having previously helmed Halloween, The Fog, and The Thing among others. Interestingly, both of the film’s top stars – John Stockwell and Keith Gordon – would later go on to have semi-notable directorial careers too.

Before that however, they, and Alexandra Paul, would meet a 1958 Plymouth Fury born in Detroit, but fathered… in HELL! In the film Gordon plays a high school nebbish who remarkably is best friends with Stockwell’s football hero BMOC. A chance run in puts Gordon behind the wheel of Christine, the beat-to-hell Fury, and both car and owner begin a remarkable and alarming transformation. The rest of the story is a complex mix of revenge, jealousy and how far friendship can go, all driven by a possessed and possessive car.

The trailer after the jump is fan-created but it’s better than the original teaser, which I’ve also linked there. Check them out… if you dare. … Continue Reading

Wagon Wednesday: BMW E30 325i Touring on video

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I’m sure you read the recent reader submissions depicting a Slovenian BMW E30 touring on twisty Balkan coastal roads. Now, you can see and hear the white wagon in action, with FinalGear’s video crew having created two short films about that particular, recently restored car.

The straight six sounds particularly good under a dedicated owner‘s care.

… Continue Reading

Driving the Aston Martin English Rose
A trek to Germany for insight into the automaker’s motorsports history

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In 2006, Aston Martin decided it was time to take on the Nürburgring. This meant tackling the 24 Hour Endurance race, and the goal was to do it in a car that was very nearly one of its road-going street cars.

Rose was born from this idea.

That’s her name, and she’s a V8 Vantage that started life as a development vehicle. This meant many hours and miles logged indoors on rolling roads.

She was reborn, however, as a real race car and she was heading to one of the most demanding circuits on the planet. After the clock turned over for all of its 24 hours, Rose was still alive and kicking. The Aston Martin team managed to go from an idea to a 4th place in-class finish in just 6 months.

…and now nine years later, I find myself on B-roads next to the same track upon which she battled. In reality, she’s much less a lady and much more an ass-kicker of a Vantage.

 

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