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50+ Years of Hollywood’s Coolest Cars

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History.com presents 50+ Years of Hollywood’s Coolest Cars.   Here are three of my favorites and some thoughts at the end…

1963 ASTON MARTIN DB5
Goldfinger (1964)

James Bond’s bespoke British grand tourer wasn’t just suave. It was also menacing, which likely had something to do with all that supercool spyware: pop-out machine guns and tire slashers, rotating license plates, and a smoke screen and oil-slick sprayer that (temporarily) foiled the baddies in hot pursuit.

Most memorable? Its fully functional passenger-side ejector seat, activated by a button hidden on the gear-shift knob—an audience favorite despite the fact that the villain flung from it barely cleared the top of the car. In 1964, Corgi made a toy die-cast model complete with machine guns and ejector seat and a little toy bad guy to launch from it.

The DB5 went on to appear in Thunderball, Casino Royale and many other Bond films, becoming synonymous with 007. Of the two DB5s actually used in the film (two others were used for promotion), the one originally kitted out with all the gadgetry has disappeared, stolen from a Florida airplane hangar in 1997. The other, used in road scenes and later retrofitted with the spy goodies, sold at auction in 2010 for $4.6 million.

1967 SHELBY MUSTANG GT500 FASTBACK ‘ELEANOR II’
Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)

When it comes to leading cops on a chase, few scenes can match the climactic one in Nicolas Cage’s star vehicle Gone in 60 Seconds. Eleven cars were custom-made for the film, only three of which were driveable. One of those three, the “beauty car” Cage drove in that infamous chase (sporting a not-too-shabby 400 horsepower Ford V-B engine and its much copied “Go-Baby-Go” shifter knob), sold for $1.07 million at auction in 2013. A few years earlier, the other two fetched roughly $200,000 and $100,000 respectively. A cottage industry has emerged selling replicas.

1976 LOTUS ESPRIT
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

James Bond’s Aston Martin may have helped him defend Queen and country with an impressive collection of spy gear, but could it … swim? The 10th Bond film featured a funky disco soundtrack, a leggy Russian spy and a villain with mouthful of metal. And if that wasn’t enough, it showcased “Wet Nellie,” a futuristic, wedge-shaped Lotus best remembered for the shocking moment when it dove into the water, sprouted fins and retracted its wheels—essentially transforming into a submarine. (Reportedly, the bubbles it left in its wake were created with a cache of Alka-Seltzer tablets.) When it motored back up on the beach, it morphed back into a proper car.

The Lotus earned its spot in the 007 sports-car pantheon in a distinctly sneaky way: Lotus’s PR manager, on hearing of a new Bond film in the making, strategically parked the striking vehicle outside the office of franchise producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, hoping to catch his attention. Apparently, it worked.

Two of the three coolest cars were James Bond vehicles.  Not much is cooler than cars with weapons, ejector seats and that can go underwater.  The Shelby Mustang is also a favorite.  I had a Mustang in high school and my uncle owned a Shelby Cobra.  Gotta love those muscle cars.

Two cars that didn’t make the list that would have made mine –

  1.  The original Batmobile from the 1960’s Batman tv series
  2.  Stallone’s ’50 Ford Merc from Cobra

The 25 Best ’90s Movies

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Gem Seddon and GamesRadar present The 25 Best ’90s Movies. The list is excellent and coming up with just three choices was really tough, but here are three of my favorites…

24. LA Confidential (1999)
The movie: Slow-burning, throwback-inspired noir was a big thing in the ’90s. Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead, Twilight, Red Rock West… and the one that tops the lot: Curtis Hanson’s tightly-plotted riff on James Ellroy’s L.A.-based novel. Its razor sharp script slowly unravels to reveal the rotten core of 1950s Hollywood, that’s made all the more enchanting by its killer cast: Kim Basinger, Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe all deliver stonking turns.

Most ’90s moment: While the film is set during the ’50s, its last act twist is an utterly ’90s invention.

21. The Sixth Sense (1999)
The movie: It’s testament to the quality of The Sixth Sense that it even holds up when you know exactly what is coming. Just in case you haven’t experienced its twist yet (and I can’t imagine there are many who haven’t), I won’t do a cheap gag at its expense. Instead, I’ll praise M. Night Shyamalan’s masterful control of suspense and chills, and bemoan the fact that he’s rarely managed to repeat it. Regarding its iconic ending, I will say that the moment the end credits roll, you’ll dive straight back in to see just how you could have missed it.

Most ’90s moment: It really is the ending. Seriously, the ’90s were all about twists.

 

 

17. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
The movie: Quentin Tarantino’s first – and, for some, still his best – feature introduced us to his world in brilliant fashion. From Mr. Pink’s (Steve Buscemi) opinion on tipping and the cool-as-fuck opening titles to the unforgettable ear-slicing, it showed us exactly what to expect from a Tarantino effort. And those elements remain today in The Hateful Eight, even if his recent movies have lacked the narrative tightness of his debut. Perhaps the only surprising thing for some first-time viewings is how restrained the filmmaker is. Modern-day Tarantino may see Aldo Raine carve a swastika in someone’s head but, back then, we didn’t even see the ear sliced off.

Most ’90s moment: Sure, it was twenty years old at the time but Stealers Wheel’s Stuck In The Middle Of You became a massive ’90s hit.

 

Ken Meyer Jr.’s Ink Stains 59: Ordway, Beatty, Mazuchelli & More!

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If you’re a fan of fanzines, then you’ve got to check out Ken Meyer, Jr.’s monthly column Ink Stains.  Each month Ken (who is an amazing artist) posts… well, let’s let Ken explain…

I have a collection of over 200 fanzines from the 60’s-80’s that I plan to scan and talk about, one at a time. I hope to have some of the participants answer a few questions. Many of those participants are established comics professionals now, while some have gone on to other things. I will show a few snippets from each zine and give you a link to download a pdf of the whole thing, which I hope all of you will do!

For Ink Stains 59, Ken took a look at Fantafolio 3 from 1980 from Editor and Publisher: Peppy White

Fantafolio 3 features –

  • Cover by John Beatty and Jerry Ordway (Both who went on to long distinguished careers as comics pros)
  • Doug Herring Portfolio
  • Pin-Ups by David Mazzuchelli (Batman: Year One and Daredevil fame), Willie Blyberg & Doug Hazelwood (both who became comic pros)
  • Fandom regulars in the issue include: Larry Houston, Pete Iro, Mike Machlan, Don Secrease and others.
  • Tons of fan art, comic stories, spot illos and more.

 

This is a new one to me.  Interesting to see how many future comic super stars(Rick Burchett inked one of the stories) were included!

Ah, the memories of the glory days of fanzines.  Thanks to Ken Meyer, Jr. for making these available!

Give Thanks and Say, “You’re Welcome!”

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Today is Thanksgiving and many of us will come together with family and friends to pause and give thanks for what we have and perhaps what we’ve been sparedCharles Dickens may have said it best…

  • “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many–not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”

Of course not everyone gives thanks.  The Sexy Pilgrim doesn’t. Instead he says, “You’re welcome.”

I hope that you and yours have one of the best Thanksgiving Days ever. Count your blessings, eat too much turkey, ignore that family member who irritates you, make big plans, eat too much pie, doze in front of the tube, have a bit more turkey, and remember to watch a bit of the parade and some football!

15 Fun Facts About “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

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Roger Cormier and Mental_Floss present 15 Fun Facts About Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Here are three of my favorites…

1. ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL BELIEVES THAT JOHN HUGHES WANTED HIM TO PLAY FERRIS.

Hall told Vanity Fair that his relationship with the director ended rather abruptly following their work together on Weird Science, and after Hall had begun working with other directors. But he believed that Hughes wrote the roles of Duckie in Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller for him. For his part, Hughes said Broderick was the actor he had in mind when writing the screenplay. Casting directors Janet Hirshenson and Jane Jenkins only seriously considered one other actor for the part: John Cusack.

6. LOVE WAS IN THE AIR.

Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey (who played Jeanie, Ferris’ sister) met and got engaged just before the movie’s release. Cindy Pickett and Lyman Ward, who played Ferris’ parents, met on the set of the movie and eventually got married and had two children.

7. BEN STEIN WAS INITIALLY SUPPOSED TO DO HIS LECTURE OFF-CAMERA.

The student extras laughed so hard that Hughes decided to put Stein in front of the camera for his speech on supply-side economics. Stein himself picked the topic after Hughes asked him to speak about something he knew a lot about. Before he became a familiar movie and television presence, Stein—who is also a lawyer—was a speechwriter for Presidents Nixon and Ford.

17 Action-Packed Facts About “Crimson Tide”

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Roger Cormier 
and Mental_Floss present 17 Action-Packed Facts About Crimson Tide Here are three are my favorites…

2. QUENTIN TARANTINO WAS AN UNCREDITED WRITER.

Though Michael Schiffer earned the film’s sole screenplay credit (based on a story by Schiffer and Richard P. Henrick), Tarantino contributed some words to the script as well. He wrote the scene in which members of the crew talked about their favorite submarine movies. Tarantino and Tony Scott had worked together two years earlier, when Scott directed Tarantino’s script for True Romance.

3. DENZEL WASHINGTON CONFRONTED TARANTINO ON THE SET.

Washington was very open with his anger about Tarantino’s use of racial slurs. The Pulp Fiction writer-director’s request that they have their argument privately was reportedly denied by Denzel. In a 2012 interview with GQ, Washington said that he has since apologized to Tarantino, and pointed out that his own daughter had just acted in Tarantino’s Django Unchained.

14. HACKMAN ACCIDENTALLY PUNCHED WASHINGTON.

Though Hackman insisted to Larry King that it was an accident, he said it made things tense.

The Mercenary Sea #8 by Symons and Reynolds

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The Mercenary Sea is an on-going series created by Kel Symons & Matthew Reynolds published by Image.

Writer: Kel Symons

Art and Colors: Matthew Reynolds

Letterer: Pat Brosseau

“ON TREASURE ISLAND” The second of a two-part story: On the hunt for Koji Ra, Jack and the crew of the Venture explore ancient ruins on a deserted island and run into an old adversary. This issue also includes a bonus short story just in time for Christmas.

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below *** The Good

  • Matthew Reynolds kicks things off with another impressive cover.
  • Kel Symons sets the table with a race against time [an unstable volcano about to blow] and an old adversary hunting for the same treasure.
  • Regular readers will be surprised by this one: I like the blur effect on page 6, panel 3.
  • The splash on page 11.
  • “Can we go again?”
  • The bonus Christmas story!

The Bad:

  • “The room is flooding!”
  • “There’s too much water pressure.”
  • “No good, Skipper.  No way out up here.”

The Ugly:

  • The centipede’s path.

The Mercenary Sea #8 should appeal to all who old time action and adventure.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Joe Carnahan Has No Fear

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 Joe Carnahan, [the writer/director known for Narc, Smokin’ Aces and The Grey] put together a short video to give a feel for what he’d do if given an opportunity to bring Daredevil to the big screen.  The video combines clips from several movies, with art from Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli’s run on Daredevil as well as some sweet Curtis Mayfield music thrown in to add a bit of spice.

Man, I’d love to see what Carnahan could do with the right cast and budget.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this will happen.

Thanks and a tip o’ Matt Murdock’s shades to CBR.com.