Tag: car chases

By on April 2, 2020

A man was arrested Sunday after leading Washington State law enforcement on a high-speed pursuit. Reports allege he struck two cars during what looked to be an extreme case of joyriding, but the plot thickened as the situation morphed into a police chase along Interstate 5. As they caught up, Washington State Patrol said they noticed there was a dog behind the wheel.

At the time, the vehicle was travelling in excess of 100 mph.

Police used spike strips to finally bring the vehicle to a halt, with trooper Heather Axtman noting that one of her coworkers realized the pit bull was actually sitting in the lap of a man who was helping it steer while also controlling the pedals. Once stopped, he told authorities he was attempting to teach the dog to drive.  (Read More…)

By on March 27, 2020

1977 Chrysler New Yorker in Denver junkyard, grille - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

I don’t profess to be a filmmaker, but were I to one day find myself behind the camera, I’m pretty confident I’d come up with something better than 75 percent of the mediocrity I see on Netflix. And you can bet there’d be a car component. No fast cutting during the action sequences, either.

As I sit here watching the detective in The Valhalla Murders pilot her grey Tiguan across the bleak and snowy Icelandic landscape, I think about the on- and off-road duels that haven’t yet made it to the big screen… and wonder which matchup I’d prefer to see first. (Read More…)

By on November 30, 2017

police chase

Have you ever watched those police chase compilation videos and noticed that the crème de la crème always seem to take place within the United States? That’s not a coincidence. American roadways are custom built for high-speed shenanigans and culture has fetishized the concept of “the getaway.” Toss in local law enforcement agencies with vehicles fast and bulky enough to mix it up with speeding perps and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a old fashioned police chase.

That isn’t to say other countries don’t have pursuits, because they do. However, the volume isn’t always turned up to eleven and, more importantly, they typically aren’t televised. The opposite is true in the U.S. — especially in America’s car chase capital of Los Angeles, where crews are always at the ready to set out in the news chopper to get coverage.

It may be an unhealthy obsession. After all, we know the odds of the criminal getting away are infinitesimally small and are well aware of the incredible danger the public is placed in anytime a new chase kicks off. It’s one of the primary reasons we watch them: satisfying and legitimate drama is a guarantee.  (Read More…)

By on August 25, 2017

Ronin BMW, Image: IMCDB

In the comments for yesterday’s review of Baby Driver, a few people took umbrage with the excessively stylized nature of the car chases. Although the director took specific pains to avoid the kind of CGI cheese that keeps marring, say, the Fast and Furious franchise, there’s still an obvious and deliberate departure from reality in pretty much all of the film’s action shots.

Reading that comment made me think of another TTAC comment posted recently in which somebody expressed disappointment in Ronin, claiming that the car chases were both too long and too boring. This surprised me because Ronin, to my mind, is the absolute gold standard in automotive action filmmaking. It’s the only movie of that type I’ve ever watched where I agreed with the plotline, the physics of the various vehicular interactions, and the way the cars behaved. My only complaint was that the Citroen XM driven by the fellows with the suitcase seemed to have a whole lot of motor in it.

That’s my feeling, anyway. What’s yours?

(Read More…)

By on September 9, 2016

blazing magnums

Very few people enjoy Canadian films, and there’s damn good reason for it. Public funding is heavily bureaucratized, giving birth to movies essentially “filmed by committee.” Artsy, yes. Depressing? Very often so. But Scandinavia already has that covered!

This wasn’t the case in the glorious, sleazy 1970s. For a brief era, Canada was a free-wheeling, balls-out orgy of low-grade filmmaking, all thanks to insane tax write-offs. Slasher flicks and soft-core porn, lewd sex comedies and gritty crime dramas, this era had it all — and most of it was awful.

One film crew, who probably saw Bullitt way too many times, knew what audiences — American audiences especially — wanted to see, and set about filming one of the most un-Canadian films ever shot north of the border.

They also produced one of the greatest and least-known car chases ever filmed.

(Read More…)

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