Tag: movies

By on May 23, 2017

MGM

You’ll have to forgive this author. It’s hard to see your heroes die, and today brought yet another sad moment, another painful departure of a silver screen idol. Roger Moore — Sir Roger Moore, to be exact — has died at the age of 89.

As an admittedly Bond-obsessed youth, a great childhood moment was walking up and touching the white submersible Lotus Esprit from the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me at a car show. The signs said no touching, but screw that. I wanted to touch a car Roger Moore touched.

Roger Moore was my hero. With honorable mentions to Sean Connery and Clint Eastwood, no one was cooler. The man’s British wit, even if it came in the form of a lewd or eye-rolling one-liner, made a lasting impact. And what a dresser. But it was the addition of very cool cars to Moore’s combination of suave confidence and self-deprecating humility that made the man so iconic.

For a man once quoted as saying, “My acting range? Left eyebrow raised, right eyebrow raised,” Moore was allowed no shortage of fun behind the wheel. Let’s enjoy some of those moments. (Read More…)

By on February 4, 2017

It was a dark and unexciting night. The setting: my apartment. The time: well, last night.

The hour was was growing late, but going to bed at a normal time on a Friday night — even my definition of a normal time — seemed like an invitation to early onset senility. I’m a human being, dammit, I’m alive, and doing anything — anything — besides refreshing my taxed brain cells seemed like a good plan.

So, a Budweiser was cracked, an old movie was sought out, and my feet soon raised themselves to a comfortable, elevated position. Now, many who aren’t familiar with my history are unaware of a shocking secret — something that could prompt fits of laughter if you’re not ready for the news. (Read More…)

By on October 12, 2016

BMW Films

Before Twitter and Facebook and all that other social media crap that complicates your life, BMW was hiring legendary (or noted) filmmakers to shoot a series of eight 10-minute short films.

The directors instilled their years of experience into the plot and cinematography of each spot, with big-name actors brought on for flashy star power. Perhaps the last time Madonna was relevant was in one of these flicks. (It was directed by Guy Ritchie — when he was last relevant, too. —Mark) And all of this happened before YouTube! Can you believe how much you’ve aged?

Well, BMW Films is back, and it’s packing a Brit. (Read More…)

By on October 7, 2016

AMC Pacer

There’s some weird stuff out there today, but let’s get to the pop culture stuff first.

One of the world’s ugliest and most unappealing cars is going on the auction block by way of Barrett-Jackson next week — and it could fetch a ridiculous price.

Yes, it’s the Wayne’s World car. (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2016

blazing magnums

Very few people enjoy Canadian films, and there’s damn good reason for it. Public funding is heavily bureaucratized, giving birth to movies essentially “filmed by committee.” Artsy, yes. Depressing? Very often so. But Scandinavia already has that covered!

This wasn’t the case in the glorious, sleazy 1970s. For a brief era, Canada was a free-wheeling, balls-out orgy of low-grade filmmaking, all thanks to insane tax write-offs. Slasher flicks and soft-core porn, lewd sex comedies and gritty crime dramas, this era had it all — and most of it was awful.

One film crew, who probably saw Bullitt way too many times, knew what audiences — American audiences especially — wanted to see, and set about filming one of the most un-Canadian films ever shot north of the border.

They also produced one of the greatest and least-known car chases ever filmed.

(Read More…)

By on March 29, 2016

Trans Am SE Bandit Edition (Image: Trans Am Depot)

Ungodly horsepower and unbridled car lust? Check. Gaudy awesome lettering and badges? Check. (Optional) Disco era moustaches? Check.

If you’re triggered by anything that isn’t subdued, then the Trans Am SE Bandit Edition is definitely not a safe space.

Trans Am Depot, the Tallahassee-based creator of custom-built Trans Ams (using 5th-generation Chevrolet Camaros as a canvas), is out to satisfy 77 lucky buyers who yearn for the heady days of the late 1970s.

(Read More…)

By on March 19, 2016

1951 Cadillac Fleetwood 75

If you’re fabulously wealthy and have a thing for musicals, get thyself to the UK right now.

Bonhams auction house will be selling a 1951 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Limousine at the March 20 Goodwood Members’ Meeting Sale, but this isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill Fleetwood 75 Limousine.

Oh, no. This Caddy was the presidential car for former First Lady of Argentina María Eva Duarte de Perón, also known as Evita (also known as the lady from that Madonna movie your girlfriend made you watch in the ’90s).

(Read More…)

By on June 16, 2015

I don’t mind being preached to. Or being preached at. I mean, I’ve played guitar in a few church bands, and not all of the churches in question would let me sleep in my car during the sermon. Once in a while, I’d toss a couple of bucks in the collection plate, as well. So you could even argue that I’m okay with paying for the privilege of being preached at.

Insofar as I have an Internet connection and the ability to use it, I knew prior to walking into the new “Mad Max” film that I’d be effectively paying to be preached at, and the sermon would be the American-media orthodoxy of 2015: Women are just like men, only smarter, braver, and tougher. Old white men are the source of all the world’s evil and they are always trying to “own” babies, er, fetuses, er, tissue, that should be the property of women. Only by becoming a “feminist ally” can a man have any worth in society.

I knew all of this before the first digital frame of this movie appeared on the screen, and I was prepared to live with it. What I was not prepared for was this: Mad Max: Fury Road just plain sucks.

(Read More…)

By on June 8, 2015

QOTD - Instead of Trans Am Bandit Choice - 610px

We had a 1970s movie-car QOTD last week, and that was so much fun we’re doing it again! So, here we go: in the beginning of Smokey and the Bandit, when Big Enos challenges The Bandit to fetch 400 cases of that Colorado Kool-Aid, a wad of cash of unspecified thickness gets handed over for expenses, including a “speedy car.” As we all know, The Bandit headed straight to the nearest Pontiac showroom and bought himself a brand-new 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. In the film, that car seemed to be the fastest imaginable motor vehicle (thanks to the magic of engine swaps, stunt drivers, and special effects). In reality, however, the ’77 Trans Am was kind of a bloated Malaise Era slug, and The Bandit probably had a lot of better escape-the-smokeys car choices available.

So, in his shoes and with a ’77 Trans Am-sized stack of C-notes, what car would you have bought for that run to Texarkana and back? (Read More…)

By on May 26, 2015

Jeep Cherokee

“Extras with cars! This way!”

A 20-something assistant to someone else’s assistant guides us to where the next shoot will take place.

“You! You! And You! We need you for wardrobe!”

Me? This can’t be good.

(Read More…)

By on May 12, 2015

Slasher Courtesy docurama.com

Movie director John Landis is probably best known for his 1978 comedy classic Animal House. I am such a fan of it that I recently made a pilgrimage to the Dexter Lake Club, the Oregon roadhouse used in the film where the frat boys partied during their road trip in a black suicide-door 1964 Lincoln Continental. (“Do you mind if we dance wif yo dates?”)

To folks in the retail automobile business Landis is better known for his lesser-known 2004 Independent Film Channel documentary Slasher, a movie that represents the most authentic cinematic depiction ever about selling cars. (Read More…)

By on April 17, 2015

UIS-CroppedSome might tell you that Cheech & Chong’s 1978 movie, Up In Smoke, was about Malaise Era drug culture, or Los Angeles, or California punk rock, but in fact it is one of the greatest car movies in cinematic history. For this reason, I have used my Svengali-like powers to convince the management of the Denver Alamo Drafthouse theater to include this fine automotive film as part of the Murilee Martin Presents series. Yes, on Monday, which just happens to be April 20, we’ll roll Up In Smoke starting at 7:30 PM. (Read More…)

By on March 31, 2015

DuelBecause the power of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™ is so extreme, the Alamo Drafthouse Theater in Denver has fallen under my spell and allowed me to select and introduce four car films, to be shown each Monday during their “Alamo Takes the Wheel” month of April (actually, it was the endorsement of Repo Man director Alex Cox, who teaches at the University of Colorado, that convinced the Alamo management that this idea wasn’t completely stupid). The first of those films is the amazing Duel, an all-time-great Malaise Era car movie that shouldn’t need any introduction for TTAC readers. (Read More…)

By on March 8, 2015

It makes sense that since the dawn of motion pictures, filmmakers have been drawn to the motive action of automobiles. There have been so many theatrical movies made that have had cars as part of the plot that Hod Rod magazine was able to poll readers on the 40 best car movies ever produced. Another perennial favorite, even more popular than car movies are horror/monster/sci-fi (yeah, I know it’s kind of broad) movies. Both genres have spawned movies from cheesy exploitation flicks to high art. I suspect that the artistic sensibilities of the producers of a proposed independent film lean more towards the former than the latter because they have decided to join monsters and motors in Road Kill, a movie they describe as “The Exorcist meets American Graffitti on the Highway to Hell complicated by a three way romance.” They need $150,000 to start filming and you can get in on the ground floor by participating in their Indiegogo project with as little as a $25 investment. A variety of perks, including many hot rod related items are associated with the different funding levels. (Read More…)

By on March 19, 2014

shoot1

“Gimme Carter!!! Gimme Carter!!!”

“You can have him!” My brother Lewis, a lifelong conservative was watching me, a hyperactive  six year old, pointing eagerly at our home’s only TV.

“I’m voting for Reagan.”

“Pa-tau!!1 Pa-tau! To a 1st grader’s ear, the word Reagan sounded just like “Ray gun”. And for all I knew, Carter and Reagan were locked in some Star Wars parallel universe fighting each other for control of the presidency.

Lord knows that 34 years later, I would need every single ounce of that youthful imagination to get through a day long movie shoot.

(Read More…)

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