Friday, September 28, 2007

Was the 'Transformers' a GM ad in disguise?

In July, almost all movie houses were posted by huge tarpaulins of the most awaited car film of the year, the ‘Transformers’ starring Jon Voight, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel and Megan Fox. But the movie not just starred these famous Hollywood celebs, the Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Solstice, GMC Topkick and Hummer H2, all General Motors produced vehicles are also on the lead.

“You’re going to see these cars as the heroes. You’re not going to see the other actors,” said Dino Bernacchi, GM’s associate director of branded entertainment.

“These cars are the stars, literally, in the movie.” he added.

With the film, toys, and video games featuring the robotic cars, GM is said to be targeting the youth demographics aging from 18-34. The automaker is luring them to their showrooms as its vehicles had oversized presence in the film.America’s top automaker is spending millions of dollars in marketing the vehicles starred in the movie but the company refused to give the figures. Thanks to the movie, GM is converting exposure to sales.

“This is hopefully a discovery point for maybe some of those who didn’t know the great design, the great-looking vehicles that we have out today,” Bernacchi said.

“I find it really difficult to believe that a global blockbuster movie like this that has so many merchandising components to it that we’re not going to get incremental exposure.” he added.

The ‘Camaro’, which is eventually the name of one of the vehicles, had been mentioned for a number of times by different characters. The Chevy, Pontiac, GMC and Hummer had close-ups for enough screen time.

“Product placement has never been so blatant, and the potential for a global platform to build brand awareness could not have come at a better time for GM,” said David Koehler, a clinical marketing professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“The younger demographic most likely to flock to the theaters is exactly what GM needs,” he said.

On the other hand, according to Erich Merkle, the vice-president of forecasting for Grand Rapids-based auto consulting company IRN Inc., although the movie caught the youngsters impressed with the rides GM vehicles can give, it doesn’t mean that they will be directing themselves to GM’s showrooms to buy them.

“Keep in mind that some of the vehicles they’re showing are vehicles the youth market won’t be able to afford,” he said.

“But they do have a tremendous influence over what people who can afford those vehicles go to buy. You shouldn’t underestimate the influence of the youth. I don’t know a Baby Boomer out there who doesn’t want to be cool.” Merkle added.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Quentin Tarantino, ran out of Gas in Death Proof

Quentin Tarantino, famous for his films including Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown and the Two-volume Kill Bill has proven that he is the main man, the bee’s knees and the charismatic director in one. His sixth film, Death Proof does not have the same zest as his previous films, says many movie experts.

According to a consensus, in this new film, Tarantino lost his ear for dialogue, gift for quirky characterization that made his previous movies on the box office.

The movie’s plot is that of the cheap seedy 1970s films featuring fast cars, guns and women. When shown in America, it flopped badly as it evoked the “grindhouse” era of American cinema. In Britain, it is being shown on its own with scratches on the print, bad color and the typical lost frame.

Although not very promising in the eyes of movie critics, Death Proof also has good shots including two high-speed car chases ending in crashes proving his talent for producing action movies. Stuntwoman Zoe Bell straddled the bonnet of her car on a second chase, and the film's funniest moment, when Russell, about to commit mayhem, stares at the camera and smiles and gleefully making the audience complicit with Mike's evil deeds.

The other 100 minutes of the film featured dull, repetitive and incessant dialogues from different women. Once, Tarantino had been known for his snappy and smart dialogues.

Tarantino said he hung out with these women, and insisted that “this is how girls talk”. QT said “this is how actresses talk when they know there's a writer-director in the room, eagerly taking notes”.

Their yakking is as tiresome as Tarantino's habit of ramming his taste down audiences' throats: the movie posters on every interior wall, the Joe Tex single lovingly framed on a jukebox – and the mention of "the white 1970 Dodge Challenger with the 440 engine in Vanishing Point", repeated three times.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Top 10 Best Car Movies

Typically, a movie stars an actor and his leading lady. But with amazing cars around the corner, they have proven that they can also take the lead role with the lead actor or actress.

Let me give share this list I got from where some extraordinaire vehicles shared the lead role of Hollywood stars that they eventually became Hollywood Star Cars:

1. American Graffiti (1973)
Stars: Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford
Star cars: 1932 Ford coupe, 1955 Chevy, 1958 Chevy Impala, 1951 Mercury coupe, 1956 Ford Thunderbird
Quote: "I'll love and protect this car until death do us part."

2. The Blues Brothers (1980)
Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd
Star car: The Bluesmobile — 1974 Dodge Monaco
Quote: "It's got a cop motor, a 440-cubic-inch plant; it's got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks. It's a model made before catalytic converters so it'll run good on regular gas. What do you say — is it the new Bluesmobile or what?"

3. Cars (2006)
Stars: Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Richard Petty
Star cars: Porsche Carrera, Hudson Hornet, Willys MB, Ford Model T, Volkswagen microbus.
Quote: "Turn right to go left! Guess what? I tried it, and you know what, this crazy thing happened. I went right!"

4. The Fast and the Furious (2001)
Stars: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel
Star cars: Mitsubishi Eclipse, Toyota Supra, Honda Civic, Mazda RX-7, Dodge Charger R/T, Volkswagen Jetta
Quote: "I live my life a quarter-mile at a time."

5. Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)
Stars: H.B. (Toby) Halicki
Star cars: Many, including a certain Ford Mustang Fastback named Eleanor.
Quote: "I bet five more cars have been stolen in just the time I've been here."

6. Grand Prix (1966)
Stars: James Garner, Eva Marie Saint
Star cars: 1960s Formula 1 racecars
Quote: "There is no terrible way to win. There is only winning."

7. The Gumball Rally (1976)
Stars: Michael Sarrazin, Gary Busey, Raul Julia
Star cars: Shelby 427 Cobra, Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona, Porsche 911 Targa, Camaro Z/28, Dodge Polara
Quote: "And now my friend, the first rule of Italian driving: What's behind me is not important."

8. Mad Max (1979)
Star: Mel Gibson
Star car: Australian Ford Falcon
Quote: "Look, any longer out on that road and I'm one of them, a terminal psychotic — except that I've got this bronze badge that says that I'm one of the good guys."

9. Thunder Road (1958)
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Gene Barry
Star cars: 1950 Ford coupe, 1957 Ford Fairlane
Quote: "That hard-headed hillbilly has caused us enough trouble already. Now tonight we're going to take him out. And I mean really out."

10. Vanishing Point (1971)
Stars: Barry Newman, Cleavon Little
Star car: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T
Quote: "And there goes the Challenger, being chased by the blue, blue meanies on wheels."

Friday, September 7, 2007

Top 15 most Iconic Cars in Movies

Don't we all love lists? From, I found this list of hot vehicles featured in equally steaming motion pictures:

1. DMC-12 from Back to the Future.

The DeLorean DMC – 12 in the 1985 science fiction-comedy movie made it to the top.Directed by top-grossing, Steven Spielberg, then teenager Michael J. Fox was sent thirty years back in time on the De Lorean time machine. The movie grossed $210 million at the U.S. box office.

2. Herbie from The Lovebug

Herbie is "played" by an L87 pearl white 1963 Model 117 Volkswagen Type 1 Deluxe Sunroof with yellow-on-black California license plates OFP 857.

3. The Batmobile from Batman

The batmobile provides batman with additional crime-busting features like carrying the highly intelligent computer that is remotely linked to the Batcave’s main computer, a remote control function, a field forensic kit and a personal small helicopter held in the trunk called a whirlybat.

4. Bandit 1 from Smokey and The Bandit

Smokey and the Bandit is a 1977 movie primarily starred Burt Reynolds and Sally Field. The film made use of five modified 1977 Pontiac Trans Ams that were each built according to the required stuntwork.

5. The General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard

The TV series, The Dukes of Hazzard, is an adventure story of two good old boys, Bond Like Duke, living in an unincorporated area of the fictional Hazzard County, Georgia, racing around in their modified 1969 the Gerneral Lee, a Dodge Charger.

6. Ford Gran Tourino from Starsky & Hutch

Two streetwise undercover cops played by Ben Stiller and Owen wilson in 1975, driving in a red 1974 Ford Gran Torino, chased drug criminals with the help of underworld player, Huggy Bear.

7. Christine from Christine

A movie based from Stephen King’s horror novel, Christine used a 1958 red Plymouth Fury was a story of a teenager and his evil car.

8. Ecto 1 from The Ghostbusters movies

The Ectomobile in the Ghostbuster movies is a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor limo-style endloader combination car of hearse and ambulance.

9. Blues Brothers Police Car from The Blues Brothers

The musical comedy movie starred John Landis and John Belushi featured musical numbers by R&B and soul legends James Brown, Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, and epic car chase scenes.

10. Lightening McQueen from Cars

Lightning McQueen #95, typically referred to by his surname McQueen, and occasionally called "Stickers" by Sally, is the main character and is voiced by actor Owen Wilson. He is no real-world car in particular, but his overall profile was inspired by the Ford GT40.

11. Bumble Bee from The Transformers Movie

The Autonomous Robotic Life form or "Autobot" for short, Bumblebee is also on Earth, disguised as a 1976 Chevrolet Camaro.

12.”Black Moon” from Black Moon Rising

Black Moon, is a 300-MPH prototype vehicle where CIA agents kept the cassette containing vital information chased Sam Quint (Jones) and Marvin Ringer (Lee Ving).

13. Eleanor from Gone in Sixty Seconds

Codenamed "Eleanor", was played by a 1967 Shelby Ford Mustang GT 500.

14. BMW Z3 from Golden eye

The BMW Z3 is nothing but another car by the British crime-buster, James Bond.

15. Lamborghini Countach from Canonball Run

Jill, played by Adrienne Barbeau and Marcie, two attractive women drove the Lamborghini Countach.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Who wants that James Bond Car?

The Aston Martin DBS first seen on wide screen driven by James Bond (played by Daniel Craig in the 2005 movie Casino Royale) is now a production car. Anyone can own it soon! Scheduled to go hit the car market early next year, the launching was held last weekend on the extravagant Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.

Famous scene starring this blockbuster car where James Bond breathtakingly jumped and spin the car in mid-air, writing it off upon eventual impact on the ground despite no obstacles, bumps or cars to cause the mishap.

These Aston Martin DBS Specifications from made it a Hollywood Car:

  • Two-door coupe body style with 2+0 seating
  • Bonded aluminium VH structure
  • Aluminium, magnesium alloy and carbon-fibre composite body
  • Extruded aluminium door side-impact beams
  • High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps (main beam)
  • LED rear lamps and side repeaters

  • All-alloy, quad overhead camshaft, 48-valve, 5935cc V12.
  • Compression ratio 10.9:1
  • Front-mid mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
  • Fully catalysed stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves
  • Max power: 380kW (510bhp/517 PS) at 6500rpm
  • Max torque: 570Nm (420 lb.ft) at 5750rpm
  • Acceleration: 0-100 km/h (0-62mph) in 4.3 seconds
  • Max speed: 302 km/h (191mph)

  • Rear-mid mounted, six-speed manual gearbox
  • Alloy torque tube with carbon fibre propeller shaft
  • Limited-slip differential
  • Final-drive ratio 3.71:1

Wheels and Tires
  • Front: 8.5'' x 20'' Pirelli P Zero 245/35
  • Rear: 11'' x 20'' Pirelli P Zero 295/30

  • Rack and pinion, Servotronic speed-sensitive power-assisted steering, 3.0 turns lock-to-lock. Column tilt and reach adjustment

  • Front: Independent double wishbone incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bare and monotube adaptive dampers
  • Rear: Independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers
  • Adaptive Damping System (ADS) with Track mode

  • Front: Ventilated carbon ceramic discs, 398mm diameter with six-piston calipers
  • Rear: Ventilated carbon ceramic discs, 360mm diameter with four-piston calipers
  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Track mode
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
  • Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
  • Traction control

  • Length: 4721mm (185.9'')
  • Wheelbase: 2740mm (107.9'')
  • Width: 1905mm (75'') (exc. Mirrors) 2060mm (81.1'') (inc. Mirrors)
  • Fuel tank capacity: 78 litres (17.2 Imp.galls, 20.5 US galls)
  • Height: 1280mm (50.4'') Weight: 1695kg (3737lb)