All Out War

October 31, 2011

The other day, after we were discussing reviving The Porch, I decided to start by first rereading some of the original posts to look back at what was on our minds and going on in our lives. It was interesting to read back through the time we have known each other—reading through the ideas we’ve shared, the stories we’ve told and the events we’ve experienced together. Remember the one man dance party and how it caused the driver/dancer to abandon, in dance, a moving car full of roommates.

It was also interesting to see how time has developed some of our stories: the post discussing Farve’s first retirement as though it would be his last, the post congratulating Jameson and Blaze’s engagement, and the post anxiously awaiting the Camaro’s arrival.  Also, Hatfield Buick was saved from government take over. Things change, and yet Bob Dylan, now at 70, still shows no signs of slowing.

One revisited post that got me particularly excited was the post which anticipated the coming of a new horsepower war among the American auto makers.  We are now in the heated midst of that once anticipated horsepower war.  The Camaro now roams the streets battling Mustangs on the weekends.

I remember the month the Camaro was arriving at local dealerships.  The front rows of the local Ford dealerships, which have mostly recently been filled with small economy cars and family sedans (gas prices were up), were now packed with mobilizing Mustangs. There was a battle of the V-6s when the Camaro first came out. The Camaro was introduced with a base 304hp V-6 outdoing Ford’s dated 210hp V-6.  Ford designed a completely new and very exciting V-6 for the Mustang getting 305hp.  It was at this time that Chevy revealed that their V-6 really gets 312hp–always did, they just underrated it.

Now, Camaro has remained mostly unchanged since introduction, and Mustang has gained the upper hand in the top performance V-8 battle with the impressive update of the Shelby GT500 and the revival of the aggressively beautiful Boss 302.  The GT500 originally had 540hp but in 2011 Chevy announced the much rumored Z28 would actually be a supercharged ZL1 with an estimated 550hp. So, Shelby bumped output to 550hp. Chevy then announced the ZL1 will be ready early 2012 and it was dyno tested at 580hp; surprise! It appears Chevy will soon gain the upper hand in dramatic fashion. What an exciting time to live in—it’s beginning to rival the horsepower wars of the sixties, as anticipated in the previously mentioned post.

I should also mention the Cadillac V-Series which has been battling overseas villains and is really pushing luxury performance to places few other makers are willing to venture.  Take the CTS-V wagon for example: it’s a supercharged V-8 station wagon with 556hp and a six-speed manual! It’s a station wagon with all the comforts of a Cadillac (you could throw a couple tubas in the back), and it goes 0-60 in 4 seconds! And it looks good doing it. Speaking of drop dead gorgeous, have you seen the CTS-V Coupe? It also gets 556hp, but it does 0-60 in 3.9 seconds.

And the Corvette ZR1 remains king.

Also, when I revisited My Top Black and Whites I made some changes as I have since become a big Lillian Gish fan and a couple of her movies are now favorites of mine.

The Michelin Man knows what's up.

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My top black and whites

March 10, 2009

This post is in response to and in praise of Blaze Danielle’s post at http://blazedanielle.wordpress.com.

Here is my list of favorite black and white movies.  It is also meant to provide great films of introduction for those who don’t watch, are indifferent of, or don’t like black and white movies.  Try a few of these.  If you have seen them please comment; if not, watch them then comment.  The top ten counts down to my favorite.

 

Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

 This is the gangster movie that made James Cagney.  It’s the story of a couple of friends, one grows up to be a priest and the other a gangster.  The ending is intense.

The Wind (1928)

This excellent silent drama proves the silent era was cut short just as it was reaching its pinnacle.  It’s easily one of the best silent films made and a great showcase for Gish’s tremendous talent.  She plays a young woman moving to Dust-Bowl-Depression-era Texas where she is haunted and being driven mad by a freakish sandstorm,  isolation and a stalker.  If you don’t mind spoilers check out these fantastic closing scenes.

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

This fast paced comedy helped define the slapstick genre.  It stars Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant.  The laughs come so fast and constant that during the first view you’ll miss half the jokes from laughing .
All About Eve (1950)

All About Eve (1950)

This is a hilariously witty comedy starring the great Bette Davis. It’s one of Davis’ finest performances, and that’s saying a lot.

Key Largo (1948)

Key Largo (1948)

I love this gangster movie starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren BaCall and Edward G. Robinson (love them all) where a hurricane turns the tables on some gangsters who are holding a Florida hotel hostage.
The Big Sleep (1946)

The Big Sleep (1946)

Another great Bogart and BaCall.  This one is based on a classic Raymond Chandler LA noir novel.  If you haven’t seen a Bogart and BaCall try this one.  I will warn you the plot gets fairly twisted; but a lot of people like that.
The Philadelphia Story (1940)

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

A comedy of manners starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart.   Jimmy Stewart earned his only Oscar with this performance.  That’s enough for me.

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

This is an absolutely gorgeous black and white film which is like watching a child’s nightmare. Robert Mitchum’s a creepy, preacher-clad murderer stalking and hunting two siblings until he meets Lillian Gish’s wonderful character in a false prophet verses true prophet showdown. There are so many beautiful and memorable images in this film which makes excellent use of light and shadow.

Casablanca (1942)

Casablanca (1942)

This is just plain classic.  It’s so well made and acted in every area.  It has a great cast (even the smallest characters) including Peter Lorre, a favorite of mine.  I only wish he had more screen time.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Love it.  It’s Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart!  See it any time of the year.
Charlie Chaplin's City Lights

Charlie Chaplin's City Lights (1931)

This silent is hilarious and touching and spectacularly smooth flowing.  This is not only my favorite black and white movie by my favorite movie of all. Chaplin was the master.  Also, the final scene is easily one of the best scenes ever fillmed.  Again, see my earlier posts (See These Movies, An Eloquent Silence).