@nascarcasm: The best racing movies to watch
By @nascarcasm | Tuesday, March 24, 2020
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Here are 10 RACING films that you can watch right now!
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I’m gonna be perfectly honest -- I have not seen this film. Why did I include it in this gallery? Because when I mentioned that I had never seen it, my wife screamed “OH MY GAWD HOW HAVE YOU NEVER SEEN 'CANNONBALL RUN'?!" and immediately rented it on iTunes, so clearly it’s of some quality. Based on her scathing admonishment alone, I highly recommend this film.
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Pixar did an amazing thing – they somehow grew the genre known as “children’s movies” into a new genre called “children’s movies that adults are glad their kids chose to watch.” You can admit it, it’s cool. Kids will laugh when Tow-mater opens his mouth and grown-ass adults will tear up when they hear Paul Newman’s unmistakable voice. It’s why we know Richard Petty as “The King” and kids know Richard Petty as “Mr. The King.”
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Days Of Thunder
Look, to be perfectly honest, we’re putting this in the gallery only because if we hadn’t, someone would probably be all “WHY ISN’T ‘DAYS OF THUNDER’ IN THIS GALLERY?” It’s not that good, OK? Sure, it’s got star power, a wheelchair race through a hospital and the first use of the phrase “Monkey f---ing a football” before Kurt Busch made it cool. But being a race-car driver and watching this movie has to be like asking a seismologist to watch “San Andreas.” So much wrong. “I’M DROPPING THE HAMMER, HARRY!” "OH REALLY, SO YOU SPENT THE FIRST 150 LAPS IN THIRD GEAR? AWESOME” And I don’t know why teams spend millions on wind-tunnel testing when they can just use sugar packets to demonstrate the finer points of aerodynamics.
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Ford Vs. Ferrari
While the film is based on the battle between the two automakers for dominance at Le Mans in 1966, there are a few NASCAR references sprinkled into this excellent sports action-drama. Probably the most glaring are the scenes that are supposed to be taking place at Daytona that are OMG SO VERY OBVIOUSLY FILMED AT Auto Club Speedway. But just suspend disbelief and enjoy.
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Herbie: Fully Loaded
THIS IS ONLY ON THE LIST because of brief cameos by Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, which the Academy glaringly overlooked in the 2005 Oscar nominations. They are absolutely spellbinding in their roles of “Guy Who Says ‘The Car Winked At Me!’” and “Guy Who Says ‘The Car Winked At You?’”
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The Last American Hero
I can sell you this one in a single sentence: “Based on the life and career of Junior Johnson.” But if for some reason you need more convincing, Jeff Bridges plays the main character – LEBOWSKI, HIMSELF. Bridges shines even in movies based around sports that aren’t bowling.
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If you’re looking for something with a suave, “Ocean’s Eleven” vibe, pick this one. The film revolves around a daring albeit absent-minded plot to rob Charlotte Motor Speedway and stars one of the biggest heartthrobs in the world. But enough about Ryan Blaney’s cameo. Channing Tatum is in it too.
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Sure, we could have included “Viva Las Vegas” which does include a mild element of racing and is significantly better both from an enjoyment standpoint and music standpoint … BUT WHAT’S THE FUN IN THAT when there’s a much more sub-par Elvis Presley film that has a heavy element of racing? Coincidentally, it features a guest appearance by Richard Petty. Imagine that introduction. “King? King. King? King.”
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So I looked up the critical reception of this film at the time it was released, and it went over like wearing a No. 22 shirt to Kyle Busch’s house for dinner. Maybe it did hurt Burt Reynolds’ film career. Maybe he does wear a chicken suit. But whatever. Corny films that know they’re corny can be fun. Plus a who’s-who of NASCAR cameos help – Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Harry Gant, Tim Richmond, just to name a few. Give this one a shot, you won’t regret it. Actually you might. But whatever.
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You’ve probably already seen it, but it’s worth watching again. If you like your Will Ferrell to be running at about 200-percent Will-Ferrell-ness, this is the film for you. It’s inspired everything from a Kurt Busch paint scheme to a memorable jog across the start/finish line by Carl Edwards. It features cameos by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jamie McMurray (Dale’s is way better). And based on his in-car audio, it’s the only movie that Jimmie Johnson has ever seen.