Staff Picks: Best Car Movies
Bethany Lewis: Since I chose Crash for last week’s picks, I’m going to choose the other Crash this week. Not only is David Cronenberg’s Crash (1996) one of my favorite car movies, it is one of my favorite movies in general. It’s such a sparse production that you almost feel it’s taking place in a dystopian future of some kind, but the action itself is so immediate that it feels completely in the present too. It’s happening now, but what they’re doing is the future of car culture – a twisted, sexual fusion of man and machine. And while everything about it is terribly visceral, there’s a strange disconnectedness between the characters and the sex acts in which they’re taking part that both compels and discomforts the viewer. It is one of the most unique, timely, and twisted movies I have ever seen, and I love everything about it.
Tony Beaulieu: My pick is “Drive.”
Caliber Winfield: Unlike Drive, this film had a very cool beginning and then kept up with the goodness. This may not have been Jason’s first role, but it was his break out. Starring in action master Luc Besson’s fantastic Transporter franchise, Jason Statham plays Frank, a man with a business that’s as in question as his past. With one of the most inventive & entertaining beginnings, Transporter just keeps on giving with fantastic action built out of incredible fight choreography, car chases, shoot outs & explosions, all lead by the man who will carry the action genre well into the 21 first century.
Gumball Rally (1976)
James Cochrane: Gumball Rally came out five years before Cannonball Run, but 5 years after what would be my ultimate car pic, Vanishing Point, but for entertainment Gumball Rally is just more of a crowd pleaser. Never taking itself serious the film is about a unconnected group of car race enthusiasts who, once a year at a randomly chosen time, race from New York to Los Angeles. When the phone call comes only the single word “Gumball” is spoken and the challengers drop whatever they are doing, grab a car, and the very next day… Race. The car chases are fun, the stunts are interesting, the comedy is dated, but with a young Raul Julia laying on the smooth, and Gary Busey, well- just being himself – you have an hour and 40 minutes well spent.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Eric Norcross: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) – love that car. Always wanted one. I’m caught between that and Back to the Future.
Derek Johns: I’m not going to lie, I’ve never really been into car racing. I can never watch more than five minutes of a NASCAR race without feeling an immediate urge ti change the channel. Despite all of this, I couldn’t help but be fascinated with the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Rush shows a very interesting relationship between two intense rivals and that while rivalries can certainly bring out the worst in people it can also quite surprisingly bring out the best.
Back to the Future
Ruby Le Rouge: I’m, the wrong girl to ask about this my dream car is a volvo or something else considered reliable. Does Blues Brothers count? It does have an awesome car chase scene, and takes place primarily in a car. Back to the Future – Its surpassed the rank of just a movie and has joined those of cult status, like Indiana Jones.
Tamica Phipps: Back to the Future was a great movie with Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox. Who wouldn’t want a car that could travel in time and can fly?
Black Moon Rising
Rick Tym: I’ll go off the beaten path for this one — even though I love the Fast and Furious series for all their heart and silliness — and pick a flick penned by a personal icon, John Carpenter. Directed by Harley Cokeliss, Black Moon Rising starred one Tommy Lee Jones along with Linda Hamilton, Robert Vaughn and, in his final role, renowned character actor Keenan Wynn. Black Moon Rising tells the tale of government officials, hitmen, a secretive cassette tape (you know, a classic Carpenter trope) and a prototype sports car that could hit 300 MPH. Is is cheesy? Yeah. Does it hold up? Absolutely. At least, I think it does…I’m about to go rewatch it now. But my fond memories mandated a mention of this actioneer…because I’ll never forget how much seeing a car hop from one skyscraper to another (successfully, more or less, it must be said) made my adolescent jaw drop.
Shawn S. Lealos: I might as well be the only person to bring in the Fast & Furious franchise. I loved the first movie and was indifferent about the next three. However, Fast Five won my back over in spades. I think what did it was a mixture of The Rock joining the cast as a government cop chasing the boys, but more than that it was bringing back almost everyone from all the movies and putting them together in a heist movie. The chemistry between the cast members was perfect and the car stunts were crazy, especially when considering it wasn’t just about street racing anymore. I loved this movie.