Racing at the Movies

Fans of action films love chase scenes, because they generally pack a ton of adrenaline and help make a movie more tense and exciting. Cars have also been used extensively in films as a status symbol. Other films show car racing instead of chases, with several having a plot that is centered on racing and nothing else.

The top-grossing film where racing is a central theme is “Cars,” which would spawn the sequel “Cars 2” because of its great success. The film stars the voices of Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy as Lightning McQueen and Mater, who suffer several setbacks on the way to California. They need to get to Los Angeles in order to race in the finals to win the coveted Piston Cup, but must escape the town of Radiator Springs, where they are stuck. The film also stars the voice of Paul Newman, in one of his final screen roles before his death.

In the non-animated category, “Days of Thunder” is arguably one of the most popular racing films. It was released in 1990 and starred Tom Cruise, who met his future wife Nicole Kidman on the film. The film was an emotional drama made at the height of Cruise’s popularity, so it was naturally a hit at the box office. Though there was talk of a sequel, Cruise’s busy schedule and impending wedding to Kidman made a second film impossible, since executives did not want to recast Cruise’s role.

In 2001, a small film called “The Fast and the Furious” was released without a ton of fanfare. It starred then-unknowns like Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and Michelle Rodriguez in a story about a group of street racers who have a system for hijacking tractor trailers for money. They sell the goods for cash, which allows them to continue modifying their cars with expensive parts for racing. Walker plays an undercover cop who tries to infiltrate the ring and finds himself begrudgingly respecting the leader of the group and falling in love with his sister. It spawned the sequels “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” and “Fast and Furious.” All of these films rank in the top eleven all-time top-grossing films about racing.

When MTV started airing episodes of the cult Japanese anime hit “Speed Racer,” it introduced the series to a whole new audience. Those new fans demanded merchandise and were elated when the Wachowski brothers, the duo behind “The Matrix” trilogy, announced plans to make a live-action version of the series. Released in 2008, the film boasted an all-star cast that included Emile Hirsch, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, and Matthew Fox, who had just become famous due to the success of “Lost.”

The top racing films of all time are mostly dramatic, though a few, like “Cars,” are comedies as well. Few of the entries are outright comedies like “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.” Starring Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby and comedy veteran John C. Reilly, it would become a box office smash hit that continued Ferrell’s reign as the king of movie comedies. The film is a send up of NASCAR and racing culture that is full of sight gags and physical comedy, which are both areas where Ferrell excels.

Another unabashed comedy is “The Cannonball Run,” which is the oldest of the top-grossing racing films, having been released in 1981. It starred Burt Reynolds, Sammy Davis, Jr., Farrah Fawcett, and Jackie Chan in one of his earliest and smallest roles. The story is about an illegal car race that sends several groups of car drivers across the country in a bid to win. Along the way, the racers will go out of their way to sabotage their fellow competitors in order to gain an edge on the pack. It is irreverent fun that would launch “Cannonball Run II” three years later.

Occasionally, a racing film has no script because it is a documentary that focuses on real-life drivers and racers rather than fictional ones. Such is the case with “NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience,” which used the huge screens in IMAX theaters in order to really capture the pulse-pounding action on a real race track. The 3D technology only enhances the action, which could very well make this the most daring and thrilling of all the top racing films. It may not have a love story or a plot, but it is just as entertaining as any of the other top racing films of all time.

My Favorite Top 10 Movie Comedy Scenes

Now this is definitely a tough one. I really don’t even know why I am attempting this at all but I think it needs to be done. There have been so many amazingly, funny scenes and I think I would be remiss if I at least didn’t try to mention the ones that made me laugh the hardest during my lifetime. I would also like to add that just because I may love a scene in a movie, doesn’t preclude that I would put the movie itself in my Top 10 list of all time. So, I will just mention some of the many scenes that I have loved and then try to put them in my order of preference. Wish me luck!!

The Marx Brothers have had so many scenes that have cracked me up over the years and still do till this day. The famous stateroom scene from Monkey Business which took place on a ship was a visual delight. They were stowaways on the ship so they couldn’t let the people in charge know they were there. They had repairmen, maids, food service and everyone else you could think of in the room at the same time. By the end of the scene there had to be at least 20 or more people all squeezed into that tiny room and it was one of the classic scenes in any comedy movie. Then you had the contract scene in A Night At The Opera that was brilliantly written and delivered by Groucho and Chico. “You can’t fool me, there ain’t no sanity clause”. A Day At The Races had a few of my favorite Marx Brothers scenes in it. The race itself at the end, the examination of Margaret Dumont’s character by Doctor Hackenbush and the boys and the phone scene with Groucho driving Mr. Whitmore crazy by using misdirection.

In the movie Bruce Almighty there is a scene in which Jim Carrey is making Steve Carell, who got the job as anchorman that he wanted, screw up during the news. He uses his new found powers to make him babble for what seemed about 5 minutes. When I saw that scene in the movies I laughed so hard that I literally fell out of my seat. I was dying.

In the movie It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World there were an endless amount of terrific scenes but the one that killed me the most was the scene in which Jonathan Winters destroys the gas station. The reason being, the two attendants had tied him up with duct tape because Phil Silvers had convinced them that he was crazy and it would be for their own protection. The truth was he wanted Winter’s character out of the way while he went for the money that everyone was searching for in the movie. One of the best comedies of all time. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and buy it or rent it and then watch it. You will laugh your fool head off. I know that I did and still do every time I see it. Plus the cast of comedy stars in the movie were a list of who’s who in the comedy business. If you weren’t in the movie back then, then you weren’t considered relevant in the comedy world.

 

My favorite scene in the movie There’s Something About Mary was the scene with the dog and Matt Dillon. He accidentally killed the dog and tries to bring him back to life by using the lamp electric chord and jump starting him. That was hysterical and I laughed until I hurt at that one. The movie was very funny and had many, many funny scenes. I still cringe every time I watch the scene where Ben gets his genitalia stuck in his zipper…OUCH!! A great Ben Stiller vehicle that I thought was also unique.

The dinner scene in the remake of The Nutty Professor with Eddie Murphy was sidesplitting. He played 4 different characters in that scene and the result was superb. A truly great acting feat and fantastic makeup for the characters. If you didn’t know in advance that they were all Eddie, you never would have suspected it. “Hercules, Hercules, Hercules!”

In Monty Python’s, The Holy Grail, the sword fight scene with the Black Knight and Sir Arthur at the bridge (None Shall Pass) was definitely funny. He slowly cuts off the limbs one by one of the Black Knight but it doesn’t seem to faze him at all. Instead he challenges him even more and keeps egging Sir Arthur on. “It’s just a flesh wound. Come back here and I’ll bite your kneecap off”.

The country club party scene in Caddyshack was funny, especially if you were a Rodney Dangerfield fan. He had so many funny one liners and wouldn’t stop taunting Ted Knight’s character. That movie gave Rodney a whole second career and a new generation of fans. “Hey, who stepped on a duck?”

In Jerry Lewis’s movie The Big Mouth, there is a scene in which Charlie Callas is in a phone booth talking with his boss and he sees Jerry Lewis’ character, whom he though he killed, run by him and he snaps during the call. His facial expressions were so rubbery and the sounds effects that came out of his mouth were so uniquely funny. No one else would ever be able to do that with such ease.

 

Peter Sellers was a brilliant comedic actor and I simply loved his Inspector Clouseau character as the bumbling detective that always seemed to land on his feet and solve the case. The scene in Return Of the Pink Panther where he disguises himself as a dentist so that he can spy on Inspector Dreyfus at the castle is hysterical. He administers laughing gas to Herbert Lom’s character and they both get into a laughing fit as Clouseau tries to pull his bad tooth. As a viewer, it is really contagious to watch without laughing out loud yourself. Plus his disguise is melting during the scene. Funny, funny, funny.

My favorite comedy movie of all time was Mel Brook’s The Producers and the scene I loved the most in it was during the Broadway play of ‘Springtime for Hitler’. Kenneth Mars’ character of the playwright German soldier, Franz, gets really upset that everyone is laughing at a play he wrote as a tribute for Hitler. He goes up on stage and starts to tell everyone to stop laughing. As he starts you hear someone clunk him on the head from behind the curtain and you hear a loud clang because he was still wearing his helmet. That doesn’t stop him. He carries on with his proclamation. “What is this baby. The Fuhrer never said baby. The Fuhrer was kind. The Fuhrer was nice and gentle. Many times the Fuhrer would say to me, Franz…OW!” he collapses and they drag him away from under the curtain. The delayed reaction of being hit on the head and him saying Ow is funny as hell. I love that movie so much and Mr. Brooks won an Oscar for Best Screenplay for that one.

Woody Allen has had so many masterpiece comedies during his illustrious career but one of my favorite scenes was in one of his earliest endeavors, Sleeper. His character had been frozen cryogenically for many years and is thawed out sometime in the future but he is still not acclimated to the new environment yet and is still kind of out of it, so to speak. He is in a wheelchair and is rolling around the lab with a funny face on that is priceless to watch and rolling over people’s feet and banging into things. Also the scene in the same movie where he disguises himself as a robot and at a party the people are feeling this orb, which gets you high, and he is handing it around for them and getting high himself. That is terrific.

A somewhat recent movie, Borat, had a scene that I laughed at very hard when I saw it. The scene when he is fighting and wrestling, while naked, with this man, and they end up in the conference center of the hotel where a convention is being held. Oh my God, that was so hysterical to see. Watching the people at the convention’s faces as the fight ensued was so great. Very funny movie and very different than any other comedy before it. Another unique comedy movie.

Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor were so great together and had great chemistry. In the movie Stir Crazy, all the scenes in the prison were very funny. The warden is trying to break them and puts them in awful situations to try and persuade Wilder to ride for him at the rodeo competition between his prison and his friend’s prison. When he puts them in a tiny cell with a giant mass murderer, I laughed until I cried watching their reaction to their predicament.

In Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, the scene in the castle where Dracula, Frankenstein and The Wolfman are all chasing them from room to room was one of my favorite funny scenes when I was a kid. To watch the monsters that used to scare us all as kids, act in a comedy with the funny comedy team, was so great and thrilling at the same time. I could only imagine the blast they must have had making that movie.

I can’t really write all of my honorable mentions here because it would be too hard without going into detail on each one so I will just give you my Top list the best I can and you can think about yours.

So, after much deliberation here is the best I could do:

My Favorite Top 10 Comedy Movie Scenes

1. The gas station scene from It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

2. The dog reviving scene from There’s Something About Mary

3. The babbling broadcast scene from Bruce Almighty

4. The phone booth scene from The Big Mouth

5. The laughing gas scene from Return Of The Pink Panther

6. The wrestling scene from Borat

7. The examination scene from A Day At The Races

8. The play scene from The Producers

9. The black knight scene from The Holy Grail

10. The dinner scene from The Nutty Professor

I hope one of your favorites was on my list. Believe me, that was really hard to do because there have been so many funny scenes and I am sure that I am forgetting a lot of them but I tried to put the ones up that made me laugh the hardest over the years. Good luck trying to narrow your favorites down to a Top 10 and as always, thanks for reading from, THE COMEDY TORNADO!!

Good Comedy Movies

One of the best ways to unwind and revitalize is to watch good comedy movies. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a bad day or a good one. Comedy movies always help you take the stress off. But – wait! Are all comedy movies as good as they are marketed by the media? Obviously no, as some of them are a big waste of money and you quit watching them after some time. However, good movies will turn your boring day into a hoot. Here’s a list of some great movies that you can sit back and enjoy with your family and kids. Some of them require parental guidance.

  1. Elf
  2. Shrek
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean
  4. Hancock
  5. The Mask
  6. Toy Story
  7. Ice Age
  8. Megamind
  9. Kung Fu Panda
  10. Monster vs Aliens
  11. The Incredibles
  12. The Pink Panther
  13. Austin Powers
  14. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
  15. The Green Hornet

These are some of the most fantastic comedy movies you can ever watch.

Movies are not only a source of entertainment, but they are also a source of education. All movies have a theme around which the story is woven. Apart from that “laughter is the best medicine”.

Parents generally feel that by watching movies, the kids waste time and don’t concentrate on their studies. While this may be true is extreme cases, whereby children are watching movies for over 3 hours a day, it will not hurt if you watch one small one-hour movie during weekends. Everyone wants to relax and have fun – even kids. So, why not be a part of their fun? You don’t know what great, innocent remarks kids make when they watch a movie. Some of them have even dedicated a Facebook page for movies like Twilight (which most of the kids haven’t liked).

You should remember that as a caregiver, it is important that you monitor your children and make sure that they watch comedy movies, which are appropriate for their ages, and so that they remain out of trouble. Also, they would not enjoy a movie, which they cannot understand.

One of the best places to access such movies is Internet. There are many websites, which have relevant information, and as you conduct your search you will find several websites that offer genuine reviews. You can ask your family and friends for referrals on the best comedy movies.

It is OK to go to a theater, but there is nothing like enjoying a good comedy movie in the comforts of your home.