Posts Tagged ‘car chases’
Monday, November 14th, 2022
LOST BULLET 2 is, yes, the sequel to LOST BULLET (Balle Perdue), the excellent 2020 French action film which, if you haven’t seen it, is your current mission. It’s on Netflix, you’ll probly like it, go watch it. Then I think you’ll want to watch part 2 and then come back and read this.
Writer/director Guillaume Pierret returns and continues immediately from part 1, in which mechanic Lino (Alban Lenoir, BIG BUG) went to prison for crashing a car through a building in a robbery to get his brother out of debt, then was recruited to build souped-up cars for an elite police unit, but was framed by a corrupt cop and had to escape and take part in a high speed chase driving a car containing the ballistic evidence of his innocence. A couple minutes in I actually realized I had to pause and re-read my review to remember who the characters were and what had happened. It’s more complicated than I remembered.
Okay, so Areski (Nicolas Duvauchelle, TROUBLE EVERY DAY) was the one who set Lino up. Marco (Sebastien Lalanne, THE SQUAD) is a co-conspirator who killed his brother. Julia (Stefi Celma, also from THE SQUAD, as is most of this cast, actually) is his badass colleague on the go-fast team and girlfriend. Moss (Pascale Arbillot, MY DOG STUPID) is the other cop who figured out he was innocent. And Charas is not in this one because he died, but he’s Lino’s mentor who is constantly discussed. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Alban Lenoir, Anne Serra, car chases, David Julienne, Diego Martin, French action, Guillaume Pierret, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Pascale Arbillot, Quentin D'Hainaut, Sebastien Lalanne, Stefi Celma
Posted in Action, Reviews | 6 Comments »
Tuesday, March 29th, 2022
When I realized the upcoming Michael Bay joint AMBULANCE was a remake of a 2005 Danish movie, I figured that meant it was probly a pretty good high concept film. The last time Jake Gyllenhaal starred in a remake of a limited location foreign language film it was THE GUILTY, which I had really enjoyed. So I rented an import DVD of AMBULANCE (Ambulancen), and it fulfilled my hopes.
I actually think the Bay movie looks potentially good, and it’s obviously gonna be very different – way bigger, way more expensive, way more pretty, way more complicated, way more blowing hot air about our great military heroes and what not. Seeing the elegant economy of this one actual makes the remake trailer seem more laughable… of fucking course they saw this and said “How can we get the War on Terror in here?” (If not “How do we get them out of this ambulance?”)
But that’s fine. However that one turns out, I’m glad it led to me to this really solid movie that uses simplicity to its great advantage. It doesn’t have to be epic to be a total rush. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: bank robbery, car chases, Danish, Helle Fagralid, Laurits Munch-Petersen, Paw Henriksen, Tomas Bo Larsen, Torbjorn Hummel
Posted in Crime, Reviews, Thriller | 10 Comments »
Monday, August 19th, 2019
Cheang Pou-soi has been directing movies since 1999, but I never knew about him until 2015 when I was blown away by KILL ZONE 2 (SPL II). MOTORWAY is from 2012, and it’s a much simpler film – shorter, less complicated, less thematically heavy, and it works really well that way. Maybe some of this simplicity comes out of the type of action. Martial arts scenes like KILL ZONE 2’s require increasing complexity – for example the knockout prison riot scene – but this is a car chase movie. At its heart it’s about two drivers. One guy in a car driving very fast after another guy in a car. Literally straight forward.
It’s a serious movie, but it’s got a nice tinge of absurdity to it. Its law enforcement protagonists are not cool homicide detectives or badass SWAT dudes, they’re part of an elite squad of, uh, traffic cops. I guess they’re there for their high level driving skills, but their regular job is camping out with the speed gun, pulling people over, wearing dorky windbreakers and reflective vests, the kind of thing most action movie cops only have to do in a funny montage after they get in trouble. Cheung (Shawn Yue, LEGEND OF THE FIST, THE GUILLOTINES) takes the job seriously and is annoyed that his older partner Lo (Anthony Wong, HARD BOILED, GEN-X COPS 2, EXILED, THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR, IP MAN: FINAL FIGHT) seems to not give a fuck. (Having him browse literature about an upcoming retirement seminar is a good spin on the ol’ two-weeks-from-retirement cliche). (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Anthony Wong, automotive magical realism, Barbie Shu, car chases, Cheang Pou-soi, Guo Xiodong, Hong Kong action, Hong Kong Film Awards, Johnnie To, Li Haitao, Michelle Ye, Shawn Yue
Posted in Action, Reviews | 5 Comments »
Monday, July 3rd, 2017
There’s this baby-faced young man who in fact goes by the handle of Baby (Ansel Elgort, who impressed me as Tommy Ross in the CARRIE remake) and he’s a whiz kid of a getaway driver for armed robberies. He loves listening to music, and uses his favorite songs to inspire and time his driving, which is spectacular. He can maneuver and slide and spin and he is living proof that not everybody followed the disclaimer at the end of TOKYO DRIFT.
(He would’ve been about twelve when it came out, and surely influenced by it during his driver’s exam.)
Some have described this is a musical, which makes some sense. At times it feels like a movie based on the current trailer fad of editing gunshots and other sound effects as percussion playing along with the music.
After they get away, when the gang meets up to split the money, they make Baby go buy the coffee. Here’s one thing they carefully edited out of the trailers: he’s a total dork. In the car, but also at home, or walking in public, he listens to his earbuds and sings along and does little dance moves and shit. The whole walk to and from the coffee shop he seems like he’s on the verge of busting into a full on SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN number. I wonder if they considered casting Moose from the STEP UP sequels in this. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Ansel Elgort, car chases, Edgar Wright, Flea, getaway driver, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, Lily James
Posted in Action, Crime, Reviews | 42 Comments »
Thursday, May 14th, 2015
Note: Like most people of the planet Earth, I re-watched the whole MAD MAX trilogy during this last week of a decade of waiting for FURY ROAD. And I knew I’d never done a write-up of MAD MAX before, so I did one. I followed that up by writing about ROAD WARRIOR. And then I realized that I already wrote a review of it 8 years ago. And sometimes that’s fine because I think my old review is sucky and I can do better now, but actually I kinda like that review, I made some good points, and I called Wez’s bitch his “desert life partner,” which was pretty good.
But let’s be honest, we’re not gonna think about a god damn thing besides Mad Max between now and 7 pm tonight and whenever we see the new one, so what the hell. Here is my alternate dimension review of THE ROAD WARRIOR where I still love it in the same way but say it in different words.
* * *
Yeah, I always liked MAD MAX, but THE ROAD WARRIOR (or MAD MAX 2 as most of the world calls it) is more my speed. Get it? Speed. ‘Cause that’s one of the things George Miller knows how to capture on screen. Even the mythically narrated opening montage establishing Max (née Rockatansky) as a legendary hero seems to be moving fast, then the screen opens up wide, we pull out of the blower on Max’s car and the movie just launches us down the highway. The insane car stunts of the first one are multiplied, now we have even more cars flyiing through the air, rolling, flipping, smashing through each other, dragging broken pieces (or people) behind them, scraping across the pavement, spraying sparks, shooting pieces of rusty debris in all directions.
Wherever Max was before, where there were bars and homes and children and stuff, he ditched that fuckin place and now he scours “the wasteland” with all the other thirsty leather-clad psychos. And I kinda doubt the Halls of Justice are still standing anyway, it seems like shit has gotten worse in general, and we know from the montage that some forgotten factions of humans went to war and dropped the bomb on each other (in old black and white stock footage). Whatever the current socio-political situation is, we know that guys like Max travel the desert roads looking for crashed cars, or causing crashed cars, and trying to steal any leaking or unused gas, or “juice.” It’s a snake eating its tail, really. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Bruce Spence, car chases, George Miller, Mel Gibson, mohawks, post-apocalypse, Vernon Wells
Posted in Action, Reviews | 39 Comments »
Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
MAD MAX is a unique specimen even compared to the other MAD MAX movies. Every time I revisit it if it’s been several years I think Oh yeah, I forgot it was like this. Max Rockatansky – who has a last name, you notice – is not a nameless drifter or a mythical hero yet, he’s maybe a supercop at best. At worst he’s just a dude. He can laugh and go on picnics and has a wife and kid. He does wear a cool leather jacket and sunglasses, but this seems to be the police uniform in this near future. The other patrolmen wear it too, they just don’t look as good in it.
It is not post-apocalyptic (or post-poxy-clipsic?). I guess we could say it’s antebellum. The sign is crooked at the Halls of Justice and the highways are dominated by giggling, sweaty, gibberish-ranting lunatics like The Nightrider (Vince Gil, the Australian actor, not the American country singer) and The Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne, also in FURY ROAD). They’re like DEATH WISH creeps on wheels, hateful, punkish bullies who live to scare and violate random innocents on or along the roads.
The other police can’t keep up with the cop-killing Nightrider. It’s Max, sitting patiently on the side of the road ahead, who comes in for the close. Since the Rider and his girlfriend end up in a fatal, explosive crash, the Toecutter blames Max and comes after him for revenge. So, if you thought Nightrider was a real charmer and wondered who else he was close with, Toecutter is the answer. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Australian cinema, Brian May, car chases, George Miller, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Mel Gibson, Steve Bisley
Posted in Action, Reviews | 55 Comments »
Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
NEED FOR SPEED is based on a video game I guess, but it seems like a THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS sequel from an alternate timeline where TOKYO DRIFT never happened, or a weird idea for a gritty reboot of the SPEED RACER licensed trademark franchise property.
It’s another story that takes place among characters who think of nothing but car racing. There are signs of relationships in their pasts and futures, but women seem to be only a side interest for both the hero and the villain. The hero barely hides his sadness that his ex-girlfriend is with the villain now, yet we barely see her with her new man, she shows no sign of affection toward him and it’s unclear, to me at least, whether her diamond ring means they’re married or engaged. And it doesn’t seem like it really matters anyway because… cars. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Aaron Paul, car chases, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Kid Cudi, Rami Malek, Scott Waugh, street racing, video games
Posted in Action, Reviews | 31 Comments »
Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Ethan Hawke started out as a promising child star, kinda like River Phoenix, who he co-starred with in EXPLORERS. He was a pretty big deal in DEAD POETS SOCIETY, right? Then he became Hollywood’s Gen-X guy in REALITY BITES and he’s from Austin so he hooked up with Richard Linklater and he starred in GATTACA and he did the Alfonso Cuaron version of GREAT EXPECTATIONS and later he actually got nominated for best supporting actor for TRAINING DAY (even though honestly he was the lead). So he had a good run as a pretty respectable actor.
Then at some point he said “Fuck it” and decided he was gonna do a bunch of genre movies, mostly ones with ridiculous premises. I think DAYBREAKERS is a real under-the-radar gem all around, regardless of Hawke’s participation, but SINISTER and THE PURGE are corny movies elevated by his commitment to the roles. I think he’s got a little Kevin Bacon in him. If he signs onto a movie about a dumb looking demon who haunts super-8 home movies and children’s drawings or whatever he’s gonna give it equal or greater effort than what he did in SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS. I respect that. I like him. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: car chases, Courtney Solomon, Ethan Hawke, John Voight, Selena Gomez
Posted in Action, Reviews | 33 Comments »
Thursday, July 18th, 2013
Here’s how I know marketing failed HIT & RUN: I was one of its test subjects. Some time last year I was at the multiplex picking up tickets for later in the day. In the lobby sometimes they have these survey people showing trailers on little monitors and asking focus group type questions. I always wondered what that was about, and I had some time to kill, so when they asked me to do it I said yes.
I saw other people being tested on THE EXPENDABLES 2, which at the time seemed exciting. But too my disappointment the survey focused on HIT & RUN, which I learned was a comedy starring Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Tom Arnold and Bradley Cooper as the bad guy. They showed me variations of different commercials, mainly consisting of Arnold yelling, Shepard getting hit in the face with a golf club, a car going off a jump, and the various actors in cars looking scared like they’re gonna crash. Some had a heavy emphasis on a scene where squeaky-voiced Kristen Chenoweth talks about taking Xanex. I struggled to answer questions like “What do you think the movie is about?” and “What is your favorite part?” (Answers: 1. “Well, they said he was a bank robber, so they’re after him? I don’t know.” 2. “I guess Bradley Cooper in dreadlocks looks funny.”) In the end I had to answer that no, I did not think there was any chance that I would see this movie, because it doesn’t look funny at all.
(read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Beau Bridges, Bradley Cooper, car chases, Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Kristen Chenoweth, Tom Arnold
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Crime, Reviews | 14 Comments »
Saturday, May 16th, 2009
THE GLADIATOR is another movie I found on VHS by accident while browsing the video store. It’s a car vigilante TV movie, so I was surprised to find it with the Abel Ferrara movies. Yes, the director of KING OF NEW YORK and BAD LIEUTENANT also did a TV movie starring Ken Wahl and guest starring cheeseball ’80s top 40 DJ Rick Dees as his obnoxious boss. From about ’85 until ’88 Ferrara mostly worked in TV, doing some episodes of MIAMI VICE and CRIME STORY, plus this one in ’86. Seemed like something I should investigate.
Wahl plays Rick Benton, a stoic car mechanic working for Dees’s specialty car business. The only people in his life are his kid brother who he raised (Brian Robbins, director of NORBIT), his Vietnam buddy who works at the junkyard, and a customer he’s starting to date, talk radio host Nancy Allen. He works for rich people but chugs along in the kind of lower middle class existence not usually depicted casually in a TV movie. A couple nice touches I noticed: they eat on paper plates, and they wrap gifts with the Sunday funnies. You ever notice how presents on TV and movies are usually perfectly wrapped with shiny bows and sometimes even lids that just lift off? I could never pull that off. The Sunday funnies is more relatable. Good one Ferrara. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Abel Ferrara, car chases, TV movies, vigilantes
Posted in Action, Drama, Reviews, Thriller | 24 Comments »