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Vote for the People's Chase Award 2012

  • Created on Sunday, 05 May 2013 15:56
  • Written by Star Wars Fanatic

After a long hiatus, the annual VaRaces awards are making a comeback, commemorating the best in cinematic car chase achievement. 

As is tradition, we're giving the community a chance to have their say in the People's Chase Award. You can vote for your favourite car chase of 2012 here.

Final Fast and Furious 6 trailer

  • Created on Monday, 29 April 2013 17:29
  • Written by Martin Bigg

Fast Six final trailer

Excitement is mounting for the approaching release of Fast and Furious 6, in what is expected to be 2013's most important film on many of VaRaces member's car chase calendar.

And just to further fuel the hype train, Universal has released a final trailer, as the release draws ever closer next month.

While most of the footage has been recycled from other trailers, we get a further glimpse into what promises to be the most OTT action scene in the series to date, featuring an flying Ford Escort MKII, a Dodge Daytona, a Ford Mustang, a tank and a long Mexican highway. Certainly a rousing recipe, but the trailer confirms our fears that, criminally, neither the Mustang of the Daytona make it in one piece.

Our only worry is that, like many modern trailers, there won't be many surprises left in the final film, as the trailer goes out of its way to showcase the film's numerous hi-octane action sequences as frequently as possible.

Not that we're complaining. Every Fast and Furious film to date as upped the ante in terms of automotive action, and Justin Lin's final stint as director of the series in this sixth instalment looks to be no exception.

Indeed, whereas Fast Five crammed most of its action, and its inflated budget, in the final 15 minute Brazilian bank heist segment, Fast and Furious Six looks as if it will contain ambitious stunts throughout the film, from the Flip Car sending British police cars soaring through the air and cars catapulting through showrooms and convoy ambushes, to traditional night time street races and a rampaging tank leaving a trail of destruction on a public highway. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Fast and Furious 6 races into UK cinemas May 17th and May 24th in the US. Considering much of the film was shot in London and Glasgow, we’d say that's a perfectly fair order of release.

First RUSH trailer races to victory - the film Formula 1 fans have been waiting for?

  • Created on Monday, 08 April 2013 20:20
  • Written by Martin Bigg

The first theatrical trailer for Ron Howard's long-awaited Formula 1 feature film adaptation RUSH has finally been revealed. And it's absolutely spellbinding. 

RUSH tells the story of drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth), and their rivalry during the 1976 Formula 1 season following a near-fatal accident with Niki where his car burst into flames during the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. The film also documents his miraculous recovery and subsequent chase for the 1976 Grand Prix Championship in what was a deadly era for the motorsport. 

With its slick-looking cinematography, spectacular crashes and diligent fan service for Formula 1 fanatics who will no doubt foam at the mouth over the rich assortment of vintage racing cars on display, RUSH looks set to be quite possibly the best motorsport film since Le Mans.

Then again, that's hardly a difficult achievement given the state of modern motorsport films. Sure, there was the acclaimed and sensational Senna documentary film a few years back, but our memories of Driven starring Stallone sadly still haven't faded. 

RUSH will be racing to victory in cinemas September 20th 2013.

Fast and Furious 6 Flip Car featurette conjures memories of Gone in 60 Seconds 2

  • Created on Thursday, 25 April 2013 22:57
  • Written by Martin BIgg

Being a Fast and Furious film, it’s safe to say that we’ll be seeing a rich assortment of swanky motors on display in the sixth instalment. We know Diesel will be driving a Dodge Daytona, Walker will be vaulting a Ford Escort MKII over highways and a classic Mustang will be meeting its maker courtesy of a rampaging tank. Sniff.

But there’s one star car that stands out above the rest. And it’s not even a real licensed car.

It’s called the Flip Car, a custom-built vehicle built for one purpose: cause catastrophic carnage at all costs.

Flip Car

Driven by leading villain and former spec ops soldier Owen Shaw played by, its angled nose allows it to flip any car that dares to cross its path, sending them somersaulting into the air before plummeting to the ground in scenes that will surely be the embodiment of a car crash junkie’s heavenly wet dream.

Indeed, if you thought Fast Five rivalled The Blues Brother’s record for most totalled cop cars in a chase, the spectacular stunts seen in the trailers released so far show that director Justin Lin certainly hasn’t lost his appetite for destruction in Fast and Furious Six. Still, at least smashing some British bobby’s Vauxhall Astra police cars probably didn’t hurt the budget too much.    

A new behind the scenes featurette on Top Gear reveals that that the flip car was made into a real working car rather than an immobile film prop, allowing the stunt team to do their magic without the use of cheating CGI. It’s a rather raucous machine, too, with a savage 500bhp engine and rear wheeled steering.

But wait, haven’t we seen this before?

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but, contrary to actor Chris Bridge’s awe that such a vehicle has never been seen before, the late H.B. Halicki beat Fast and Furious 6 to it some 24 years ago using the similarly-shaped Slicer from Gone in 60 Seconds 2:

Given its inevitable mass mainstream popularity, it’s a shame this will go completely unnoticed by the majority of people who will watch Fast and Furious 6 unaware of Halicki's legacy. Whether or not it would be a different story if Gone in 60 Seconds 2 was actually completed is up for debate (Halicki tragically died on set but finished stunt scenes were later released on DVD).

Still, the inspirational independent filmmaker would surely be delighted to know a vehicle inadvertently inspired by his creation will be featured in a big budget Blockbuster film viewed by millions, a feat Halicki hoped to achieve himself with Gone in 60 Seconds 2.

Gone in 60 Seconds' 'Eleanor' Shelby Mustang to be sold at auction

  • Created on Thursday, 04 April 2013 20:37
  • Written by Martin Bigg

Our favourite leading lady Eleanor from Jerry Bruckheimer's Gone in 60 Seconds remake will be going under the hammer next month at the Dana Mecum's 26th Original Spring Classic auction in Indianapolis.

The auction takes place on May 18th, and represents the last surviving Eleanor out of the eleven that were built by Cinema Vehicle Services and esteemed car designer Chip Foose. Only three were working models, two of which were destroyed during stunt sequences in the film.

This particular model of the modified 1967 Shelby Mustang has been dubbed as the 'hero' version, as it was the very car driven by Nicholas Cage and was used in close-up shots in the film as well as posters and promotional material.

Of course, car buffs will probably already know that Eleanor isn't actually an authentic Shelby, but a Ford Mustang Fastback with a few select modifications, including a unique bonnet and boot panels, centrally-mounted lights, beefed-up bumpers and a 5.7 litre V8 engine producing 400 horsepower. And in case you were wondering, no, it doesn't come with any on-board nitrous. The famous 'Go Baby Go' button on the gear shift will still be there however, so you can at least pretend.

We'll have to see just how much Eleanor is sold for in the final auction, but you can bet it will sell for a pretty penny considering its rarity and stardom. There's also the fact that another model was sold a few years ago in an auction for $216,000 - I think I'll keep hold of my 1:18 scale model for now, thank you very much.

Some photos of the auction car were also released along with some of the rare promotional material that will be bundled with the car to the winning bidder, which you can view in a gallery on our Facebook page.

Fast and Furious 7 confirmed for Summer 2014

  • Created on Sunday, 21 April 2013 16:42
  • Written by Martin BIgg

Fast and Furious 6 may not even be starting its engine until the end of next month, but that hasn’t stopped the gravely blabber mouth Mr. Diesel from outing the release date of its inevitable follow-up. Ladies and gentleman, mark your calendars for July 11th 2014 as the release date for Fast and Furious 7.

The announcement was made at the Las Vegas CinemaCon this week with Universal announcing several new films currently in development. As Diesel took to the stage to announce the expected release date of Fast and Furious 7, which will commence filming this summer and once again reunite recurring actors Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, he tipped it to be “the biggest one of all.” What with Fast Five’s preposterous bank vault-towing chase and Fast and Furious 6 already gluing our palms firmly to our faces with its lessons on how to bring down a cargo plane with a car, we dread to think what lengths the seventh film will go to defy the laws of physics.

Justin Lin, who took over the series from Tokyo Drift in 2006 right up to the sixth instalment due out on May 24th, will not be fulfilling directional duties for the seventh film, however. Instead, the director’s chair will be handed over to James Wan, whose filmography includes Saw and Insidious. It could therefore spell an interesting new, darker tone for the series, but he certainly has his work cut out with such a tight schedule – previous films in the series have traditionally been released two or three years apart.

It’s incredible how a series that started as a juvenile tale about street racing yobs has managed to sustain interest over the last 12 years, but it’s principally thanks to Justin’s efforts to revitalise the series into the gloriously OTT automotive action-fest it is today. We await to see which road the franchise’s new driver takes the series down, but you can bet it won’t be the last we’ll see of Fast and Furious as having a new director will surely spawn many more sequels to come. Indeed, Fast and Furious will soon have the dubious honour of outnumbering the total number of Police Academy films if en eighth film gets commissioned.  

A Good Day to Die Hard home video release to include hour long car chase featurette

  • Created on Saturday, 30 March 2013 16:08
  • Written by Martin Bigg

50803 front20th Century Fox has announced that A Good Day to Die Hard will be coming to Blu-Ray and DVD on June 4th, just before Father's Day – who could have predicted that one?

As well as an extended cut of the film (the theatrical release’s running time felt very rushed), the release will be bundled with a surprisingly comprehensive array of extras including:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Jack Scopes Out Courthouse
  • Collins Gets Approval to Move
  • John McClane Original Introduction
  • Russian Girls on Plane
  • Safe House Intrusion
  • Gun Store
  • Fight with Anton
  • Making it Hard to Die
  • Introduction
  • Stunts
  • Helicopters and Aerial
  • Special Effects
  • Motion Base
  • Armoury
  • Russia and Budapest
  • The Look of the Movie
  • Chernobyl
  • Camera Work
  • Editorial Los Angeles
  • Colour Grading
  • Visual Effects
  • Film Scoring
  • Wrap Up
  • Anatomy of a Car Chase
  • Two of a Kind
  • Back in Action
  • The New Face of Evil
  • Pre-vis
  • Cold Opening
  • Truck Chase
  • VFX Sequences
  • Stills: Gallery
  • Storyboards
  • Concept Art
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Commentary by Director John Moore and First Assistant Director Mark Cotone
  • Maximum McClane

 

While the film was a complete car crash both commercially and critically that effectively wrote the well regarded action series off with its wooden acting, sloppy direction and facepalm-inducing OTT action sequences, the extended opening chase (which was reportedly so audacious it took 78 days to film) was undeniably the highlight of the film as a truck rampages through the streets of Moscow in pursuit of John McClane’s son in a Mercedes Sprinter van.

It’s destructive to a fault, however. Like Gone in 60 Seconds 2, watching the truck demolish literally rows of cars is enthralling at first, but it soon becomes rather gratuitous and samey, and the least said about the antagonist’s appalling acting the better. Nevertheless, it’s still a glorious spectacle to behold for those with an appetite for destruction.

Having already endured it in the cinema, I must admit I swore I would never buy the home video release of A Good Day to Die Hard. Considering that the ‘Anatomy of a Chase’ featurette will be an hour long, I may have to reconsider however…

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