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5th Annual VaRaces Awards

Every year VaRaces salutes the top achievements in car chases. Last year the People Chase Award was introduced to give the people a voice in the awards. This year that notion is taken even further with Virtual Guest Presenters. Some of the comments for the winning movies were taken directly from the VaRaces Forums. And for the first time, selected movies also include links to youtube so you can see the chase for yourself. Before we get started, I want to give the credit for this year's awards to Tico Romao. They may not have happened if it wasnt for him pushing for them.

The Peoples Chase Award
This is the one category that is soley based on what the people want. It's voted on by the visitors of VaRaces.com, which are easily the most knowledgeable and fanatical car chase enthusiasts around.
Here are the Nominees:

Cars
This animated blockbuster was long awaited by just about everyone with even a passing interest in automobiles. The crew at Pixar did a great job in bringing to life some classic models and archetypes. And they didn't stop there, Cars featured some flatout thrilling race scenes that rival anything 'real life' movies could muster.

 

Crank
When the main character of the film has to keep his heart rate elevated just too stay alive, you can be sure that a chase scene isn't going to be long in coming.

 

Deja Vu
When is a chase not a chase, but still a chase? The mind bending chase sequence where the hero attempts to follow a car in the past while dealing with traffic in the present was a favorite of many chase fans.

Fast and The Furious:Tokyo Drift
The 3rd entry into the Fast and the Furious series was named Tokyo drift for a reason. Some of the best drifters in the world were on set to put the cars to the test.

Final Contract: Death on Delivery
The Mercedes A Class isnt the type of car you think of when you picture a great chase Scene. Final Contract changed all that with a seqence that encompassed the street, rooftops and everything in between.

Waist Deep
It was a surprise when a car chase turned up at the end of this urban thriller. It was an even bigger surprise when the chase turned out to be one of the best of the year.

Winner: Deja Vu
The people have spoken. Its not often where something as simple as a car chase becomes almost impossible to explain to someone who hasnt seen it. Deja Vu took what could've been a simple by the books chase and transformed it into a sequence that got everyone talking.

Most Inventive Chase

This award goes to the film that added the most new ideas to the car chase sequence. These nominees did more than show two cars following each other above the speed limit.

 

The Nominees are:

Deja Vu
Inventive may not accurately describe this chase. Mindbending is a better adjective for it.

Final Contract
A Mercedes wouldn't be surprising to see in many chases. But when the Merc in question is the dimunitive A-Class, suddenly things get different. Final Contract went all out in showcasing the years most unlikey chase vehicle.

Winner: Deja Vu
Special Guest Presenter: AndreTeh
What can I say? Probably the most mind-screwing, pulse-racing, camera-frenetic, crazy-sh*t chase ever captured on film. It's tough enough doing two things at once, now try pursuing a suspect in the past who doesn't face the same traffic conditions as you while dodging flying cars and jacknifing semis in the present. Whoever came up with this premise is a genius. According to IGN, the film capture itself is also innovative, with an SUV-cum-camera rig that revolutionizes car chase shooting.


Most Destructive Chase
A movie isn't a movie until something blows up. This award goes to the chase scene that caused the most amount of damage in the name of entertainment.

The Nominees Are:

Talledega Nights
When a crash scene is so long, it has it's own commercial break, then you know it's something special.

Final Contract: Death on Delivery
Yet another Nomination for Final Contract shows that if you plow a seemingly indestructable Mercedes A-Class through a building, people will take notice.

Winner: Talledega Nights
Could any other movie really have won this award? The crash had it's own sponsorship!

Best Racing Scene
Cars

Forget that its basically a high tech cartoon. The sense of speed and the detail of the race scenes in Cars wasnt matched by anything else on the big screen this year.

 

Talledega Nights
Its difficult to capture an exciting race on screen. Its also difficult to create a comedy so funny you you miss half the jokes because you were laughing so hard. Its even harder to do both. Talledega Nights did.

Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift
Tokyo Drift starts and ends with spectacular race sequences. Its almost as if the director made the movie just to make it into the VaRaces awards. Congratulations, it worked.

Winner: Cars
Cars had the one thing thats been missing from racing scenes in the past few years, it gets a genuine emotional response from anyone who sees it. Thats quite an accomplishment for a movie that many may write off as a 'kid flick'


Best Driving
Behind every good chase scene is a great driver. This award celebrates some of the best behind the wheel skills seen on screen.

The Nominees are:

Final Contract: Death on Delivery

Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Winner:Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift

Drifting is fun. Drifting looks cool. But drifting aint easy. Tokyo Drift gathered some of the best drifted in the world and let them show off their skills.

Best DVD Release

The Nominees are:

The Seven Ups
After years and years of waiting, the loose sequel to the French Connection got a DVD release that have chase fans everywhere running to the stores.

Grand Prix(HD-DVD)
This disc is the definition of 'packed'. Not only is the video quality virtually flawless, but you can watch the extras for hours before even beginning to watch the movie itself.

Winner: The Seven Ups
The Seven Ups could be called the forgotten chase classic. But true chase enthusiasts place it right along side Bullitt and The Frence Connection as an influential point in film chases. And finally, it got a worthy DVD release. With great video quality and an behind the scenes featurette, its a must own film for everyone.


Best Game
With games getting better and better at portraying speed, realism and excitement, it's no wonder that some of the best chases on screen this year were being controlled by the game players.
The Nominees Are:
Test Drive Unlimited
While some games give you a dozen or so tracks to drive on, Test Drive Unlimited gives you an entire island to play with. Every street and roadway of Oahu is included along with a menagerie of classic and exotic cars. Add to that the ability to go online and share the road with hundreds of other racers and you have a game that will keep you busy for a very long time.

Flatout 2
The sequel to the off road destruction game Flatout improved upon the original, with the inclusion of more substantial and deformable tracks and ever more glorious crashes.

Need For Speed Carbon
The latest in the Need For Speed franchise concentrated on night time canyon racing, which made for a refreshing change after the previous Underground titles.

Winner: Test Drive Unlimited
Guest Virtual Presenter: Star Wars Fanatic
Few would argue that Test Drive Unlimited was not 2006's standout driving game. This ambitious Hawaii set racer featured over 100 exotic cars, all of which feature by far the most accurate and intricately detailed car interiors - you could even wind down the windows manually. Add to this the fact that it boasts a refreshingly diverse online mode meant that Test Drive Unlimited was on the road to success for Xbox 360 owners.

Chase of the Year
This is the big one, the one chase that outshone all the others.
Nominees Are:
Deja Vu


Final Contract


Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift


Winner: Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift

The makers of Tokyo Drift must have had a checklist of what chase enthusiasts want in a movie when they shot the film. Modified Imports? Check. Detriot Muscle? Check. Insane Drift scenes? Double Check. Huge Wrecks? Check. VaRaces Chase of the Year Award? Huge Check.

 

 

 

Lifetime Acheivement Award: Remy Julienne

The name Remy Julienne immediately makes you think of action. He's the legendary stunt coordinator behind the most memorable chase scenes of all time. He's put his mark on over 100 films since 1967 and he continues up until today. Six different James Bond films benifitted from his expertise, including the Paris chase from A View to a Kill, and the ice bound Aston Martin from The Living Daylight. He masterminded to classic sequence from 1969's Italian Job.

I could list dozens of films and each one would illicit a memory of an unbelievable car stunt that was created by Remy Julienne. Goldeneye, Taxi, Maximum Risk, Love and Bullets, it goes on and on. And so does he. And thats why VaRaces is honoring the great Remy Julienne with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

Lifetime Acheivement Award: Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang is the definition of an icon. There are few cars that you can say the world would be different if they had never existed. The Mustang is such a car. Bulitt was the first time many people stood up and took notice of the pony car. Its starring role a Eleanor in Gone in 60 Seconds alone would have cemented it place in chase history. But the story doesnt stop there. Cannonball took the stallion on a cross country race. 2Fast 2Furious crushed one under the wheels of an 18 wheeler. The 2000 remake of Gone in Sixty Seconds showcased a Shelby that people are still fantasizing about. 2006's Chase of the Year, Tokyo Drift featured a Mustang with the heart of an import.

Simply put, the Ford Mustang helped mold the movie car chase and continues to this day. Whether its a classic Shelby or a late model 5.0, the original Ponycar more than deserves it's spot as the owner of the VaRaces Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

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