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Mad Max: Fury Road finishes filming

  • Created on Monday, 17 December 2012 22:38
  • Written by Martin Bigg

It’s been twenty-five since we last entered the post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max, but news that the long-delayed fourth Interceptor2entry, Road Fury, has now finished filming confirms that the wait is nearly over for the belated return of the Road Warrior. 

Filmed predominately in Namibia and South Africa and directed by George Miller, who has directed every Mad Max film to date, Tom Hardy replaces Mel Gibson in the role of Mad Max, starring alongside Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa.

The film centres around Mad Max “getting caught up in group of people fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by the Imperator Furiosa” and the ensuing Road War that follows.

As visitors of VaRaces will undoubtedly know, the opening chase scene in Mad Max and the extended tanker chase in The Road Warrior are considered car chase staples, so we’re hoping that Fury Road will deliver a similar dose of automotive action.

Still, there is room for optimism – after all, a film named ‘Fury Road’ will surely feature some car action, right? Well, we already know that Max’s Interceptor will indeed be reprising its role as the film’s car star, which you can see for yourself in the photo below:

Interceptor

With filming now complete, a trailer is surely not long in coming now. Mad Max: Fury Road will be roaring into cinemas sometime in 2013.

Christopher McQuarrie on Jack Reacher car chase: “If the camera wasn’t in danger, the shot wasn't worth doing”

  • Created on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 21:28
  • Written by Martin Bigg

As 2012 draws to a close, we come to that point where it's time to reflect on our favourite movie car chase scenes of the year. But don't make your mind up just yet, as there's still one more last minute entry to count, as the highly-anticipated Jack Reacher approaches cinemas in just a couple of weeks. It's so close we can practically smell the burning rubber.

Based on Lee Child’s best-selling novels, Tom Cruise plays the lead role of ex-military vigilante Jack Reacher in this film adaptation based on the ninth book in the series, One Shot. In the film, Reacher gets drawn into the case of a suspicious spree of homicides by a sniper who seemingly targeted random civilians.

While we can’t say how faithful it is to the book, there’s one notable difference that stands out in the film adaptation: he happens to be rather adept at driving muscle cars really fast. Indeed, the latest trailer shows snippets of an extended chase scene set in the gloomy night time streets of New York, as Reacher’s puts a Chevrolet Chevelle through its paces.

Judging from the battered state it’s left in by the end of the trailer, it’s fair to say we can expect the Chevelle to trade a lot of paint as it is seen smashing into police cars and ramming into an Audi. There’s even a nice nod to Nicholas Winding’s Drive, as Reacher evades his pursuers by donning a disguising cap from a passer-by before standing cool as a cucumber watching the police obliviously sail past.

The on-screen driving looks spectacular, too. Tom Cruise is renowned for doing his own stunts, and Jack Reacher is no exception – all the driving you see on-screen was performed by Cruise himself. "What we did is actually very dangerous and took a lot of skill, but I had an absolute blast doing it," Cruise commented at the London premiere this week. "It was really fun. That car is a tricky car; the surfaces on the road were not always ideal, but I'd always wanted to do a car chase like that."

A new car chase featurette video looks at Tom’s prowess behind the wheel in some behind the scenes footage of the chase, proficiently powersliding and performing handbrake turns in the substantial slab of American muscle all by himself : "We had a car chase with one great resource - an actor who is a professional driver," director Christopher McQuarrie explains. “If the camera wasn’t in danger, the shot wasn’t worth doing.” We here at VaRaces approve of that mentality.

Jack Reacher is also notable for being director McQuarrie’s first directed film in twelve years since the underrated The Way of the Gun, which also featured a unique car chase - albeit one that probably didn’t stray above 10 miles an hour. And yet despite the snail’s pace, the scene is effectively suspenseful, so it will be interesting to see what the man can achieve when he focuses on a more action-packed chase scene.



Early reviews of Jack Reacher have been positive so far, and often cite the chase as a central highlight. Hollywoodreporter noted that “another action sequence that delivers the goods and doesn’t cheat is an extended nocturnal car chase through Pittsburgh streets that harks back to the propulsive realism of Bullitt and The French Connection days; it’s no coincidence that the car Reacher drives is a 1970 Chevy Chevelle.” A tall order indeed.

Hollywoodreporter also confirmed that there will be no music to distract us during the chase, allowing us to become fully immersed and appreciate the sounds of squealing tyres, brutal crashes and that bellowing V8 engine - a quality that many of the very best chases like Bullitt and Ronin seem to share: “As it races through the city’s shadowy canyons, the set piece delivers a fine sense of real speed and is prolonged enough to achieve a sense of genuine occasion rather than seeming just an obligatory action interlude to offset the talk scenes.” 


Jack Reacher chase

While the Chevrolet Chevelle doesn’t have the car chase stardom of its muscle car cousins the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Charger, it seems to have become a rising star in contemporary car chase films. Recent examples include Fast and Furious, Faster, Drive Angry and War.

So there you have it: you can officially call us excited about Jack Reacher now. From what we’ve seen and read, it could well slip in at the last minute as 2012’s defining car chase sequence – it won’t be long until we find out, either, as Jack Reacher rolls into cinemas December 21st in the US and December 26th in the UK – other release dates can be found at its IMDB page.

Halicki's original Gone in 60 Seconds out now on Blu-Ray

  • Created on Saturday, 24 November 2012 22:06
  • Written by Star Wars Fanatic

The advent of Blu-Ray has seen several car chase classics get the high definition treatment. Indeed, the likes of Bullitt, Vanishing Point and The French Connection were given Blu-Ray releases relatively early inGone_coverthe format’s lifecycle, boasting updated transfers that make it a pleasure to relive our old favourites with a noticeable increase in detail 

And now, at long last, it’s H.B. Halicki’s original 1974 Gone in 60 Seconds’turn. Given its somewhat cult following, I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t expect to see a Blu-Ray release of my all-time favourite car chase film any time soon.

And yet here it is, as the belated Blu-Ray was released on October 16th with an updated transfer – the first since its 25th anniversary DVD restoration job back in 2000, in fact.  As expected, the added sharpness allows us to make out the not-quite-so-elegant Eleanor’s wounds, dents and scratches much more vividly, and the colour correction makes the film look far less washed out than before. Given its considerable age and prior condition, there is a noticeable level of grain visible throughout the picture, but this only adds to the film’s vintage authenticity.

While Halicki Films has done a commendable job with Gone in 60 Second’s picture quality, it’s a different story for the audio, sadly. Unfortunately, the Blu-Ray release of Gone in 60 Seconds doesn’t sport a lossless audio track, instead opting for a DTS 5.1 with a 755 kbps bitrate, Dolby Digital with a 640 kbps bitrate and DD Stero at 192 kbps. In short, it’s no better than the DVD release which is a crying shame.

And in case you had a glimmer of hope that the original country music soundtrack would return, you will also be disappointed - again, the soundtrack is exactly the same as the generic incidental music found in the DVD release. It’s certainly a missed opportunity, but, as a reviewer on Blu-Ray.com pointed out, it could well be due to licensing issues. We could therefore have something of a Star Wars situation on our hands, then, as this the remastered version is clearly now considered the standard cut in the same vein as the on-going debacle with the Star Wars Special Editions. If you want to own the original theatrical release, which contains a country soundtrack written by Halicki’s brother along with unedited sound effects, then obtaining an out of print VHS is still your only option.

 Gone_blu_ray_2              Gone_blu_ray

As for extras, Gone in 60 Seconds on Blu-Ray features the same selection found on the DVD, including the insightful ‘The Life and Times of H.B. Halicki’ documentary, with a couple of odd omissions – despite being advertised on the back of the box, the interviews with Parnelli Jones, JC Agajanian, Jr, and Bobby Ore are reportedly nowhere to be seen.

Nevertheless, Eleanor's HD makeover is likely to be the best transfer we’re ever likely to see of Halicki’s legendary budget flick that is still talked about today when recounting the all-time best car chases in cinema  – whether the car crash king’s destructive follow-up films The Junkman and Deadlne Autotheft will also get the Blu-Ray treatment remains to be seen.

With this in mind, it makes you wonder if any other notable car chase films are in-line for a fresh lick of Blu-Ray paint. The Driver, anyone?

The Classic Bullitt Chase - 2013 Style

  • Created on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 15:13
  • Written by Super User

 alcatraz-tv-show

Ever wondered how the Bullitt chase would look if it was shot today? Well wonder no more thanks to this recent remake from TV series Alcatraz featuring a 2013 Mustang GT Coupe and Dodge Charger. It was even filmed on the same streets as the original!

Dwayne Johnson's Snitch trailer teases destructive freeway chase

  • Created on Saturday, 24 November 2012 21:27
  • Written by Martin Bigg

As 2012 draws to a close, trailers for next year’s big blockbuster films are starting to pop up in abundance.Snitch_stunt

Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock, and his bulging biceps will be starring in the far-fetched flick Snitch, playing the role of a father whose son is about to go down for selling illegal drugs. Johnson’s character hatches a deal with a U.S. attorney, acting as an informant in order to infiltrate a drug cartel to
While the preposterous plot doesn’t look too encouraging from the trailer, there’s certainly a lot to like action-wise – particularly if we’re talking about automotive action.
We’re shown glimpses of a high octane freeway chase with Johnson fending off enemy vehicles in a semi truck, with copious amounts of gunfire, explosions and flipping cars before what looks to be the climactic stunt where the trailer detaches.
They look well-executed, but this comes as no surprise since the film’s director, Ric Roman Waugh, has worked as a stuntman and co-ordinator for over 17 years, with notable films including Tango & Cash, Total Recall (1990), Hook and The Crow.
Car chase fans could well be seeing Dwayne Johnson’s face a lot next year, as he will also be reprising his role in The Fast and Furious 6 due for release in May.

Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock, and his bulging biceps will be starring in the far-fetched flick Snitch, playing the role of a father whose son is about to go down for selling illegal drugs. Johnson’s character subsequently  hatches a deal with a U.S. attorney, acting as an informant in order to infiltrate a drug cartel.

While the preposterous plot doesn’t look too encouraging from the trailer, there’s certainly a lot to like action-wise – particularly if we’re talking about automotive action. 

 

We’re shown glimpses of a high octane freeway chase with Johnson fending off enemy vehicles in a semi truck, with copious amounts of gunfire, explosions and flipping cars. Add to this what looks to be an spectacular climactic stunt where the trailer detaches from the moving truck, and Snitch has already become one of the most anticipated car chase films of 2013. 

Indeed, the stuntwork looks well-executed, but this comes as no surprise since the film’s director, Ric Roman Waugh has worked as a stuntman and co-ordinator for over 17 years, with notable films including Tango & Cash, Total Recall (1990), Hook and The Crow. Car chase fans could well be seeing Dwayne Johnson’s face a lot next year too, as he will also be reprising his role in The Fast and Furious 6 due for release in May.

Snitch opens in cinemas February 22nd in the US.

 

Need For Speed Most Wanted : Live Action Trailer

  • Created on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 13:03
  • Written by DerrickH

Need-for-Speed-Most-Wanted

The newest Need For Speed:Most Wanted game brings back the what the series is best known for, crazy chases through city streets.  The live action release trailer does a good job of putting you in the mood to run from the cops.

 

 

2011 Car Chase/Racing Films

  • Created on Thursday, 30 December 2010 09:34
  • Written by carcrashking

As 2010 comes to a close, what better way to spend the early new year than reading up on the major car chase/racing releases to come in 2011. While it does not appear that 2011 will yield a similar bumper crop of chase and racing films as did 2010, there are some notable releases that look distinctively promising.

Here's what we can look forward to in 2011:

 

Drive Angry PosterFast Five PosterDrive Poster


Red Dirt Rising (2010): Technically a 2010 film, it will have its direct to dvd release in January 2011. Red Dirt Rising traces the 1940s pre-history of American stock car racing from its moonshine origins. More info is available at the film's website.

Release date: 11th January.

Trailer:

 

The Green Hornet (2011): Michel Gondry directs this feature film adaptation of the 1960s television series that sees Seth Rogen star as the Green Hornet and Jay Chou as Kato. It's unlikely that the film will be anything like the original series, but who cares if the Green Hornet's vehicle - a modified 1960s Chrysler Imperial - gets an appearance in a car chase.

Release date: 14th January (in 3D). Website.

Trailer:

 

The Mechanic (2011): Always a good bet that a Jason Statham film will more than likely feature a car chase. And given that it is a remake of the 1972 film, starring Charles  Bronson, even more reason to be hopeful. Not much go on via its trailer, but this clip shows that the film will have a fairly destructive pursuit sequence.

Release date: 28th January. Website.

Drive Angry (2011): Arguably, Drive Angry will be first major car chase film to be presented in 3D. Time will tell whether 3D technology will add anything new to the 2D automotive experience, but there is no doubt that this film is a major event on the car chase calendar.

Trailer:

Release date: 25th February (in 3D). Website.

Paul (2011): Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reunite in this sci-fi comedy featuring a less than adorable alien named Paul. Expect some car chase action in the shape of a RV being pursued by federal agents, as can be witnessed in its trailer.

US Release date: 18th March. Car chase fans in the United Kingdom will have the rare pleasure of having the opportunity to watch this before its release in the States as it opens on the 18th February. Website.

Fast Five (2011): Fifth instalment in the Fast and Furious franchise with Justin Lin returning to the directorial helm for the third time. The story picks up from where the Fast & Furious left off, with the action now taking place in Rio de Janeiro. Good chance that Fast Five will prove to be the car chase highlight of the year.

Trailer:

Release date: 29th April. Website.

Cars 2 (2011): The much anticipated sequel to Cars will be amongst the big summer releases with the film being a cross between a James Bond spoof and a Grand Prix racing movie. Let's hope that Pixar delivers and that the sequel is as good as the original.

Trailer:

Release date: 24th June. Website.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011):

Another Marvel comic book adaption with Chris Evans playing the titular role with the film set during the 1940s bringing to life the comic books original setting. No trailers out yet, but the word is that the film will feature car chase shot in Manchester, England to capture the appropriate historical look.

Captain America Still

Release date: 22nd July. Website.

Horrible Bosses (2011): Jennifer Aniston stars in this comedy involving three friends murdering their boss. Apparently the film features a Volkswagen Jetta in a car chase. No trailer or poster art yet.

Release date: 29th July.

30 Minutes or Less (2011): Another crime comedy that follows the story of two small time criminals who kidnap a pizza delivery driver and force him to rob a bank. Jesse Eisenberg, of The Social Network fame, stars but more important to our concerns is that there are rumours that the film features a car chase and car stunts. No trailer or poster art yet.

Release date: 12th August.

Drive (2011): This could be the surprise car chase film of the year. For a start, the plot sounds extremely promising: a Hollywood stuntman (Ryan Gosling) moonlights as a as a getaway driver. And then there is the serious talent involved in this production: Christina Hendricks (in presumably a femme fatale role), Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, and Nicolas Winding Refn who directs. Hopefully the trailer will shed more light on what's to come.

Release date: 16th September.

Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011): The fourth installment in the Mission Impossible series with Tom Cruise returning in his Ethan Hunt role. Not much yet to go on in terms of story and action, but this blog reports that a car chase sequence was shot in Dubai.

MI4 Production Still

Release date: 16th December.

Don 2 (2011): Sequel to Don (2006), which itself was a remake of the original Don released in 1978. Sharhrukh Khan returns in the lead role who was involved in an accident while filming a car chase scene for the film, as noted in this report. At any rate, always good to see a Bollywood film amongst the car chase calendar of releases.

Release date: 23rd December.

Up the Aisle (2011): Also due to hit the screens in 2011 is this Australian comedy that centers around a wedding that involves a host of odd ball characters, with a couple of car chases thrown into the mix, according to the film's IMDB plot summary.

Release date: T.B.A. Website.

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