November '08
News Archive




11/29/08 - Transporter 3:  My Review

I dragged my nephew to the movie theater on Friday to catch Transporter 3.  I really enjoyed the first one, was indifferent about the second one and was pretty fired up to see the third one, which officially makes the Transporter movies a franchise.  First of all, Jason Statham was terrific.  He's quickly climbing the top 10 list of my favorite actors.  A major plot device, that Jason's Frank Martin couldn't be more than 75 feet from his Audi A8 D3, ensured that there would be PLENTY of automotive action.  The scene pictured above, as incredulous as it was, was one of the movie's most thrilling moments.  In addition to car chases, there has to be fight scenes, as well.  There were a couple of good ones, but they seemed more like an afterthought, not really contributing to the advancement of the story, just sort of plugged in because we expected them.  And once again, I can do without the quick-cut-disorienting-close-up fight scenes.  It made me long for the fight scenes of pretty much ANY Jackie Chan film.  Another gripe I have relates to the forced-upon-us romance between Frank and his passenger Valentina (freckle-faced Natalya Rudakova).  The character of Valentina had absolutely no likeable qualities that would want me to see her end up with our hero.  She was annoying, guzzled Vodka, took Ecstacy (I think), peed on the floor of a convenience store, stole Frank's car key and made him strip to get it back, yet we are supposed to believe this behavior was enough to crack Frank's cold-steely facade.  I don't think so. 


In summary, I found the movie satisfying despite predicting every twist and turn.  The fight scenes were entertaining and the car chases thrilling.  I could've done without the romance, but eh, I can't complain too much.  With this effort, Jason Statham makes a claim for future induction in the Car Movie Hall of Fame, with movies like The Italian Job, Death Race and the upcoming The Brazilian Job on his resume. 




11/29/08 - Dukes R7

I added the 7th release from Johnny Lightning's The Dukes of Hazzard line to my collection after ordering it from my sponsor Movie Car Mania.  Once again, this release only includes 4 cars limited to 2750 pieces each.  Pictured above are the General Lee, which doesn't seem to be any different than previous releases; Cooter's '65 Chevy Pickup Truck; Lucifer, the '68 Shelby GT-500 featured in the episode Luke's Love Story from Season 1; and finally, the cringe-inducing Monster Truck (ugh.)  The above pics have been added to the ever-growing The Dukes of Hazzard gallery. 




11/29/08 - Gallery Updates

I've finally gotten around to adding some new items to the galleries.  Pictured above is the Target-exclusive Grand Prix 6-pack, which includes two exclusive cars:  Zoomishi and Masurai.  I held off buying the set because I couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of dough just to photograph two new plastic cars, but recently the 6-pack went on sale for $9.99, so I picked it up.  The pics have been added to Speed Racer Movie gallery.  There are several more cars I need to add from the hard-to-find Wave 2, including Delila, Thor Axine, Taejo Togokhan and Three Roses.  I may have to resort to eBay to get these, ugh.


Also, efforts to locate Motormax's American Graffiti yellow '32 Ford Coupe have been fruitless in my area, but luckily, my buddy Dennis came through.  He found one at his local WalMart.  This is a really great piece.  I've added a pic of the Mel's Diner diorama to the American Graffiti gallery.





11/25/08 - Giving Thanks!

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I'm giving thanks I popped into my local Wal*Mart store this afternoon.  I didn't find anything new in the die-cast aisle, but I saw a palette loaded with boxes of new toys waiting to be put out for holiday shoppers.  Sitting at the very top of the pile were two boxes marked Hot Wheels cars.  I had to take a peek inside and to my surprise I found the second wave of oversize Cars.  I saved some stocker some extra work and grabbed them right out of the case.  Pictured above are Marco, Mack and Dinoco Helicopter. 




11/24/08 - Quantum of Solace:  My Review

My review of Quantum of Solace is a little overdue, but hey, better late than never.  Any new James Bond film is an event film and my friends and I gathered together for this special occasion.  Daniel Craig raised the bar in Casino Royale.  Did Quantum of Solace live up to expectations?  In my opinion, not quite. 


Picking up right where the previous film left off, the movie kicked off with a bang.  A fantastic car chase featuring Bond in his Aston Martin DBS, a dark-colored DBS this time around, that takes quite a beating.  The car chase leads into the opening title sequence that stayed true to Bond movies of the past.  Womanly forms blended in with sand dunes was a very creative idea.  The theme song was tolerable, but didn't really stick with me.  As the movie kicked into gear, there were elements I liked, and there were elements I didn't really care for.  I guess my biggest problem with the movie was the villain.  Mathieu Amalric portrayed Dominic Greene, who had some sort of plan of getting rich by creating a drought, or something.  Personally, the whole villain thing came across as secondary to me, merely a device to keep things moving, without ever taking center stage.  And without a menacing villain, Bond never seemed to be truly in danger at any time.  Daniel Craig's Bond was in complete and total control every minute of the film, even when falling from the sky without a parachute, he was always calm, cool and collected.  In some ways I enjoyed that aspect of the character, but c'mon, it's fun to see a vulnerable side of the character, too. 


I did enjoy the pairing of Daniel Craig and Olga Kurylenko as Camille.  Both characters bonded in their quest for revenge and I enjoyed watching that element of the story unfold.  Overall, though, Quantum of Solace failed to live up to the expectations created by its predecessor.  Casino Royale easily ranks among my top five favorite Bond films of all time, where Quantum of Solace fails to crack the top ten.  It did have fun, classic Bond moments, some stunningly beautiful Bond women, and fantastic action, and you can bet my friends and I will be there opening night when the next installment hits theaters.




11/13/08 - Where were you in '62?

My buddy Dennis called me last night to tell me he spotted these at Wal*Mart.  Motormax has been producing a 1:64 scale American Graffiti line for a few years now, although none of the cars released had anything to do with the 1972 movie...UNTIL NOW.  The '32 Ford Coupe pictured above not only resembles the car from the film, it's parked in front of an awesome diorama of Mel's Diner.  I'll be searching for it today to add to my collection.  The above photo was found on eBay. 




11/11/08 - Holy Hot Wheels Announcement!

Mattel has officially announced the lineup for the 2009 release of 1:50 scale vehicles in the Batman line.  The website Entertainment Earth posted some of this info on their site several months ago, then pulled it.  But here is the official confirmation from the Hot Wheels Collectors website:


1966 BATBOAT™ (with trailer - New tool!) (SKU# N8016)
1966 BATMOBILE™ (with trailer hitch) (SKU# N8017)
1989 BATMAN BATMOBILE™ (New tool!) (SKU# N8014)
1989 BATMAN™ BATWING™ (New tool!) (SKU# P4407)
Animated Series BATMOBILE™ (SKU# M7100)
Animated Series BATMOBILE™ (with battle damage) (SKU# P4408)
BATMAN™ Bat-Pod™ (New tool!) (SKU# P3636)
Comic Book BATMOBILE™ (SKU# M7101)
Super Friends BATMOBILE™ (New tool!) (SKU# N8015)


Mattel has also announced it will be releasing the '66 TV Batmobile in 1:87 scale. 




11/8/08 - "A Blaze of Power!  Iron Man!"

A while back Matchbox released a 1:64 scale Audi R8.  I bought one, but in a Matchbox forum I complained that it lacked the distinctive black "blade" as they call it. A Matchbox representative told me to just be patient.  Now, thanks to a tip from Steve aka "Skinnybird" I found out Matchbox has indeed released the car as part of its Superfast line.  Although it's not an OFFICIALLY licensed from the film, the Audi R8 with the black blade is a dead-ringer for the car Tony Stark drove in the blockbuster Iron Man.  I'll definitely be adding this one to my collection when I find it. 




11/8/08 - Dukes R7 Shipping NOW!

Just a little over a month since Series 6 was released, I've learned that Series 7 is now in the hands of some online vendors.  The pics above came in an e-mail from Cooter's Place saying they have them in-hand. 




11/7/08 - Cool Customs

You may remember that on the original Knight Rider TV series KITT would, at times, transform into Super Pursuit Mode.  Well, Knight Rider fan Lars Groeneveld took Joy Ride's 1:18 scale KITT and did some modifications of his own.  Check out his very impressive work:






11/5/08 - Gran Torino

The trailer for Clint Eastwood's film Gran Torino has appeared online.  In it we finally get a glimpse of Clint's prized Gran Torino.  The movie looks pretty good, although Clint's growling voice makes Christian Bale in The Dark Knight sound like a little school girl.  Gran Torino was filmed here in the Metro Detroit area and I had the pleasure of getting a glimpse of filming back in July.  Gran Torino hits theaters in December.  Check out the trailer by clicking HERE.