Just in time for Pride Week, Houston is once again hosting the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix. That was a joke. What is no joke is the amount of dust these cars will be eating at this year's, now annual, event. Since last year's inaugural race was such a success, the Grand Prix will be again taking over Reliant Center this weekend.
Like last year, the event will be a double-header with two IndyCar races during the weekend's lineup. The winners of the 2013 race, in addition to trophies and presumably cash, went home with a pair of customized cowboy boots because why the hell not? It's Texas! Let's hope this prize also sees a repeat performance.
I've never been to an IndyCar race and believe it or not, I would love to go. It's one of those bizarre anomalous things to me; it's a sport where people drive cars and they have to be skilled at it, another concept I don't understand. (Driving well? What?)
But since I won't be able to make it to this year's Grand Prix, I am resigned to get excited about car racing through movies. There are some fantastic flicks about the need for speed, and here are ten.
10. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Will Ferrel and team put the funny ha-ha on the car racing genre, which is actually a genre by the way. Of all the Ferrel movies, this one didn't make as big a splash as the norm, but don't let that stop you from loving it. It's hilarious, and the racing is pretty sweet too.
9. Death Race 2000Death Race 2000
is about a dystopian America, where the two political parties have collapsed and turned into one super-party run by a dictator; so, basically how most people see the country right now. I kid! To appease people there is annual death race where drivers speed around the country killing people on the way. I could see this being a very popular reality show soon.
This story continues on the next page. 8. Le Mans
Two words: Steve and McQueen. Nothing else really matters in this racing film based on the 24 Heures du Mans, the oldest sports car race in the world. Especially the fact that there is barely any acting or plot. That doesn't matter at all.
In this action flick Elvis is a singing, hip-shaking race car driver and Nancy Sinatra is his gal. Say no more.
6. Cannonball Run
You can't really mess with the cast of this 1981 comedy, which stars the likes of Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Jackie Chan (yep), Farrah Fawcett and Roger Moore. It's totally silly, sort of absurd and somehow was popular enough to have both a sequel and a third movie with basically the same plot.
This story continues on the next page. 5. Cars
OK so maybeCars
, the Pixar animated movie isn't going to make you want to burn rubber, it's still fantastic movie, even for us grown-ups, that has racing going on.
4. Days of Thunder
I highly dislike Tom Cruise on the whole, but it's hard not to get revved up by this film, and it makes you want to chug Mello Yello as well.
3. Grand Prix
Allegedly, Steve McQueen was offered the role of Pete Aron, the Formula One driver with a reputation to uphold on the course, but turned it down. I imagine that James Garner thanked his lucky stars for that on a daily basis, as the movie was a tremendous hit in 1966 when it was first released.
This story continues on the next page. 2. To Please a Lady
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I know. Abby, you pretentious film nerd! Why would you put this old black and white car racing movie at the top of this list of should-be actiony type films? Well for two reasons: 1. Clark Gable. 2. Barbara Stanwyck
1. All Fast and Furious Movies
Admittedly, some of the Fast/Furious movies are better than others, but as a series they are incredibly fun, albeit mindless, movies that get your butt in gear. Gear. Get it?