FAST AND FURIOUS 8 CONFIRMED!!!

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Vin Diesel and Universal Studios have put all rumors and speculation to rest as to whether the Fast Franchise would continue past the current installment.  The answer is not only a resounding YES they’ve also set a release date.  Mark your calendars Fast Followers, April 14th 2017 will see the next Fast movie roar into theaters.  Set to take place somewhere  in New York, the only for sure returning star is Diesel but I feel most of “Dom’s crew” will return for another ride.  Vin made the announcement at CinemaCon on April 23rd and followed up with an even bolder statement, “We’re gonna make the best movie you’ve ever seen.”  Big words from a big man.  Here’s hoping that when April 14th 2017 rolls around it blows us out of our seats.

YOU WANT TO GET OUT OF HERE? YOU TALK TO ME…

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In anticipation of Mad Max: Fury Road hitting theaters soon I figured I would review the movie that made me a fan of the world created in the original and polished to perfection in the second. Of course I’m talking about Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior or just The Road Warrior as it’s known here in the states. I remember my first viewing of this movie was as a youth late one Saturday night while watching TNT’s MonsterVision with Joe Bob Briggs (which was awesome by the way). With drive in totals such as these:
Sixty dead bodies.
Exploding cities.
Six motor vehicle chases, with fourteen crash-and-burns.
Dart to the bicep.
Dog-food eating.
Dart to the chest.
Crossbow execution.
Finger-hacking.
Multiple fireballs. Flaming extras.
Skinhead crushed under a tractor trailer.
Giant fork in the back.
One helicopter crash.
Flamethrower Fu.
Boomerang Fu.
Molotov cocktail Fu.

Four stars. Greatest movie ever made in Australia.
HOW COULD I NOT STICK AROUND AND WATCH? Now the censored TNT version that I saw that night wasn’t as good as the full uncut, uncensored version I saw years later but the chase scenes, the action, the story telling was all there and I was hooked by the first commercial break. Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with the plot it goes as follows:
Set in a post apocalyptic world where law and order is no more and fuel is as precious as gold, a loner known as Max (Mel Gibson) travels the roads of the wasteland. Following the death of his family in the previous film Max is an empty shell of a man searching for a purpose. He happens upon a compound that is under attack from a gang of marauders that want their fuel reserves. The Road Warrior to me is a western at heart, with Max serving as the lone gun slinger that strolls into town to save the townsfolk from the local gang of bandidos. Only the horses and stagecoach are replaced with V8’s and a tanker truck. But does that make this a car movie?

HELL YES IT DOES!!! The car chase scenes are exciting, suspenseful, and chock full of action. Not to mention that the entire third act is one long chase scene with Max piloting a semi tanker full of gas out of the wastelands with all the baddies in tow. The movie still holds up well even 30+ years later. fans of action will love it and car guys will have plenty to look at with all post apocalyptic vehicles that are pieced together and souped up. The stand out obviously being Max’s supercharged 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT.
I can only hope that the new movie can live up to the hype and be half as good as The Road Warrior. I’ll post a review of it as soon as I see it and let you know how it compares. Until then I suggest you take an afternoon and re-watch this classic or maybe watch it for the first time, you won’t be disappointed.

THE FALL GUY AKA LEE MAJORS OTHER SHOW

Did you ever notice that every cool TV show from the 80’s had a cool vehicle to go with it?  The Dukes had the General Lee, Knight Rider had K.I.T.T., the A-Team had an awesome GMC Vandura , Miami Vice had their Ferrari’s and the list goes on.  The Fall Guy starring Lee Majors was no different.  Running from 1981-1986 the series followed Colt Seavers (Majors) a Hollywood stunt man who moonlighted as a bounty hunter. Who used his physical skills and knowledge of stunt effects (especially stunts involving cars or his large GMC pickup truck) to capture fugitives and criminals.  The GMC pickup referred to was a Rounded-Line 1982 GMC K-2500 Wide side with the Sierra Grande equipment level package. It had a 4-inch lift (Burbank Suspension seven leaf front and nine leaf rear) and 36×16.5×15 inch Dick Cepek Fun Country off-road tires mounted on a 15×10-inch chrome wagon style wheel. The truck also had a custom-made chrome roll bar mounted with 4 off-road lights, and a custom chrome grille guard mounted with 2 off-road lights and a Warn winch. One unusual characteristic was a secret compartment in the truck’s bed, which was used to stash away villains or to hide weapons.  This truck and this series holds a special place in my childhood and it really bothers me that it never gets mentioned in the same breathe as many of the other great shows from the 80’s.  Below is a tribute video to Colt’s truck showing all the insane jumps that took place during the show’s 5 seasons.  Pay special attention at 2:57 🙂

P.S. That’s Majors singing the ever so catchy theme song to the show.

FURIOUS 7 REVIEW

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Any time a car movie hits theaters I make it a priority to go see it, but with the “Fast Franchise” it’s more than that.  They’re an event all unto their own.  I remember seeing the first Fast & Furious in theaters when it came out in 2001,  I was a Senior in High School.  Now fast forward (no pun intended) 14 years later, I’m married, have a son, and a career.  Every time I see one of these movies I feel like I’m visiting an old friend that I don’t see very often, we catch up, have a good time and BANG before you know it it’s over.  F&F is a lot like that old friend because throughout the course of the series I’ve become emotionally invested in the characters and their relationships with one another.  This franchise has carved out a prominent niche in cinema history, most movies franchises don’t make it past the first sequel let alone six with the possibility of up to nine!  It’s become one of the most successful movie empires of all time and is one of the only to make more money as each successive movie is released.  With that being said I had a chance to see Furious 7 last Thursday evening and with all of the buzz surrounding the movie I tried to go into the showing with an open mind.  So how is it?  How does it stack up against the rest?  Do they do Paul Walker and his character justice? Read on…..

WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET

If Ghostbuster’s started the audience in reality and worked it’s way up to making you believe that a 100 ft marshmallow man could exist then Furious 7 is definitely the 100 ft marshmallow man of the series.  You kind of have to leave reality at the door and just enjoy the ride.  Physics and what the human body is capable of are stretched to the limits of believability.  Makes you think that these guys could go up against the Avengers and stand a fighting chance of winning lol.  I’m making fun of it only because I truly love the series but did find myself being taken out of the movie at times when things got a little too unreal.  The story is pretty straight forward with Jason Statham playing the older brother of Fast Six’s main villain and seeking revenge for what Dom and his team did to his sibling.  Notice I didn’t refer to the younger brother posthumously though. (Spoiler)  Walker’s Brian O’Conner is found struggling to adapt to domesticated life.  He “misses the bullets” (yea cheesy I know but that’s their words not mine)  The gang is thrown back into the fold when Shaw (Statham) kills one of their own in Han (seen after the credits in Fast Six and tying Tokyo Drift into the Fast timeline) putting Hobbs (The Rock) in the hospital and attempting to blow up Dom, Brian and MIa.  The rest of the movie is a collision course between Dom and Shaw (literally)

Furious-7-Movie-Review-Image-5  with a kind of silly secondary subplot that finds the gang rescuing Ramsey a computer hacker who invented a program known as “God’s eye” that can find anyone anywhere in the world.  And of course we couldn’t have this technology falling into the wrong hands so enter Mr. Nobody played by Kurt Russell who’s a government agency guy that hires Dom and the crew to help track down Shaw and find “God’s Eye” in the process.  Let me introduce you to villain B Mose Jakande who’s only role is to scowl at the camera and shout orders.  This leads to a climactic ending that see’s a drone chasing our beloved characters thru the city while switching between Vin Diesel and Jason Statham beating the crap out of one another atop a parking garage.  This all ends in a silly but epic conclusion with Dom’s band of rebels once again pulling it off.  The movie then trails off into a place where movies seldom ever go.  How do you say goodbye to a lead character and the actor who portrays him when the two are such an integral part of the series and nearly one in the same?  I won’t ruin this one for ya folks, you’ll have to see it yourself but not only does it do Walker and his character justice it’s probably the most touching tribute to an on screen character ever.  The actors are not only saying good bye to the character of Brian O’Conner they in their onscreen roles are saying good bye to their friend and brother but doing so within the context of the movie.  And while Vin’s scene at the end comes close to breaking the fourth wall it does so gracefully and in the right way.  CB8cFzvW4AI7BHO

I walked out of the theater very satisfied with the film and though it’s not my favorite of the franchise (5 holds that honor) it is a very worthy addition and with it’s global box office already being north of $800 million at the time of this writing I can almost safely say that it won’t be the last time we see Dominic Torretto and company on the silver screen.

paul-walker-furious-7-end.pngFOR PAUL

1973-2013

What we’re dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law…

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RELEASED IN THE SPRING OF 1977, SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT WAS THE SECOND HIGHEST GROSSING MOVIE OF THE YEAR. BESTED ONLY BY THE SCI-FI BLOCKBUSTER STAR WARS. BURT REYNOLDS PLAYS BO “BANDIT” DARVILLE. A LEGENDARY TRUCK DRIVER THAT ACCEPTS AN $80,000 CHALLENGE TO DRIVE FROM ATLANTA TO TEXARKANA AND BACK WHILE TRANSPORTING 400 CASES OF ILLEGAL COORS BEER. ALONG FOR THE RIDE IS BANDITS’ PARTNER IN CRIME CLEDUS SNOW OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “SNOWMAN” PLAYED EXPERTLY BY SINGER/SONG WRITER JERRY REED. ON THE WAY TO TEXAS BANDIT PICKS UP A RUNAWAY BRIDE IN SALLY FIELD WHO RECEIVES HER “HANDLE” OF FROG BY THE WAY SHE JUMPS AROUND THE CAR. IN HIGH SPEED PURSUIT IS JACKIE GLEASON IN RARE FORM AS SHERIFF BUFORD T. JUSTICE.

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THIS MOVIE IS A PERFECT STORM OF CINEMA, FROM THE CASTING OF BURT,JACKIE AND SALLY TO AN EXCELLENT SOUNDTRACK WITH JERRY CONTRIBUTING MOST OF THE SONGS. EXPERT CHASE SCENES AND CRASHES ARE COURTESY OF STUNT MAN TURNED DIRECTOR HAL NEEDHAM, AND A NEW FOR 1977 BLACK AND GOLD PONTIAC TRANS AM PLAYS THE HERO CAR THE LIKES UNSEEN SINCE STEVE MCQUEENS GREEN MUSTANG IN BULLITT. I’VE LITERALLY SEEN THIS MOVIE A 100 TIMES SINCE I WAS A LITTLE BOY AND THAT’S SAYING A LOT CONSIDERING I WASN’T EVEN ALIVE WHEN THIS MOVIE ORIGINALLY CAME OUT. BUT NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I WATCH IT, BURT IS JUST AS MACHO, SALLY IS JUST AS HOT, JACKIE IS JUST AS FUNNY AND THAT BLACK TRANS AM IS JUST AS COOL TODAY, AS THE DAY IT HIT THEATERS. I CAN’T RECOMMEND THIS MOVIE ENOUGH TO ANYONE WHO LOVES CAR MOVIES AND OR CAR CHASES. THE ONE WORD YOU CAN USE TO DESCRIBE THIS MOVIE IS “FUN” AND THERE’S LOADS OF IT TO BE HAD, 400 CASES TO BE EXACT.

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BEST SCENE: THE CHANCE MEETING BETWEEN THE BANDIT AND SHERIFF JUSTICE AT THE ROADSIDE RESTAURANT IS PURE CINEMATIC GOLD. 

THE CAR ACTION NEVER REALLY LETS UP BUT ONE OF THE BEST SCENES DEALS WITH A CERTAIN BRIDGE BEING DEMOLISHED AND BURT AND SALLY TAKING THE TRANS AM AIRBORNE.

RATING: *****

 

Buckle Up and Hold On!

Welcome to DRIVE – N: The Car Movie Blog, dedicated to car guys (and gals) written by a car guy.  I’m Ron and I’ll be your guide thru cinema’s best and worst races, chases and crashes.  I’m a gearhead foremost, and love anything car related but I have a real passion for films featuring these automobiles defying gravity and speed limits while roaring thru my home surround speakers and driving my wife crazy.  So what exactly is a car movie you ask?  To me it’s a movie where the plot predominantly revolves around cars or car culture (Gone in 60 Seconds, The Fast Franchise) or a particular race or chase scene is used to further the plot or story (Bullitt).  Variations and combinations of these themes will be used in the selection of films and TV shows I present here with the occasional call out to noteable exceptions here and there.

So sit back, relax and scroll thru box office blockbusters, obscure lost gems and cult favorites from yesteryear and today, as well as news about upcoming and new releases.  Feel free to leave comments on how I can make the blog more enjoyable to read and which movies/TV shows you would like to see featured here.