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I Feel the Need for Speed

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By Chris Kavan - 09/08/10 at 11:46 AM CT

Nothing makes a man happier then watching a great car chase unfold on the screen. Watching a car - classic, souped up street racer or a cop car - fly through turns, guns optional - it just triggers something in the brain - like chocolate. Yet despite trying ever so hard, only a few manage to make it to the top. You may disagree, but here are my favorite screen chases:

1) Bullitt - Although the story is a bit muddled, there's no confusing the car chase. Steve McQueen in his Ford Mustang and the bad guys in their Dodge Charger through the hills of San Francisco. With speeds in excess of 100 mph, it's one for the ages and my favorite out of the bunch.

2) The French Connection - A lot of people may pick this over Bullitt - and it's a close call, but it'll have to settle for second place in my book. I guess it's not the chase itself, but rather the setting - New York just can't compete with Frisco in my book. But if you want an exciting nail-biter, this is just as good a choice.

3) The Blues Brothers - Any chase which ends up with 300+ totaled cars is a lock. Unrealistic? Yes. But sheer pleasure to watch - even if the car does a back-flip at one point and not one cop manages to be smashed. An absolute joy to watch every time.

4) Vanishing Point - This whole movie is essentially one, long car chase. This is another Dodge - a Challenger this time - which races from Colorado to San Francisco, with a few stops along the way. While not as riveting as a shorter chase might be, it still has a bunch of fine moments, including the abrupt ending.

5) Ronin - Fast cars, narrow streets, lots of wrecks - what's not to like? Plus, you have to admit that even against The French Connection, this might be the best-sounding chase of them all and certainly some nice vehicles (Mercedes, Audi and BMW). And you thought the French were rude before...

Any chases that whet your appetite? Just remember, speeding is only a crime if you get caught.

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