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Mystery movie stunt shoot goes awry in a big hurry

08/06/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: China, Safety, Videos, TV/Movies

Movie stunt goes bad

Stunt choreography is a business that really needs to be done properly. A failure in any one area has the potential to not just ruin the stunt and waste a film or TV show's budget, but could lead to a member of the cast or crew getting seriously hurt (or even killed).

We won't spoil what happens in this particular video, which looks like it's from a set somewhere in China (we hear Mandarin at the end, but clear, unaccented English in the beginning), buy it's safe to say that this particular stunt has gone very, very wrong. It's difficult to know if the failing was with the stunt driver or in the planning, but it seems clear that this video wasn't staged - something really did go wrong here, judging by the chaos following the stunt.

It's unclear if anyone was injured inside the car, although it seems that there were no injured bystanders. Take a look and let us know what you think.

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Be a star in a reasonably priced car with the Top Gear Track Experience

08/01/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Videos, UK, TV/Movies

Kia Cee'd on the Top Gear Test Track

You're at the Dunsfold Aerodrome - more popularly known as the Top Gear test track - behind the wheel of a Kia Cee'd. You've got raw talent and know the lines because The Stig just showed them to you. So you cross the finish line in record time, knocking all the other celebrities off the top of the leaderboard. But you're not a celebrity, and nobody's interested in how fast you can drive a reasonably priced car. So you open your eyes and realize it was all a dream. Only it doesn't have to be.

That's because the BBC is cashing in once again on the popularity of its hit car show and inviting members of the paying public to play "our guest tonight" in Surrey, UK. With the Top Gear Track Experience, you get to drive the cee-apostrophe-dee around Dunsfold and take hot laps with The Stig himself. There's even an off-road course for drivers both young and old. All of which sounds rather compelling, if only we lived in the UK and had the £99 and an afternoon to spend.

The program reportedly opens on August 27, with availability depending on the filming schedule.

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Elon Musk to get spot on The Simpsons

07/31/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Celebrities, Humor, Tesla, TV/Movies

Tesla Motors IPO

It's hard to believe that The Simpsons is moving into its 26th season, but there's good news for auto enthusiasts, especially of the EV variety. The show's executive producer, Al Jean, confirmed on Twitter that Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk would have a guest spot on the show in the upcoming season. Even better, it sounds like a pretty significant role.

Elon Musk in ep 1/11 and not a "kiss ass" celebrity guest star turn: Burns tries to kill him, and we reveal Musk's master password.

- Al Jean (@AlJean) July 29, 2014

According to Automotive News, Jean first announced the episode during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con. It's titled "The Musk Who Fell to Earth" and has Mr. Burns somehow losing all of his money to the Tesla boss. With his name prominently in the title, it gives the indication that Elon's role is going to be a lot bigger than just muttering a few lines in one scene and then walking away.

This is technically Musk's second appearance on The Simpsons. An earlier episode featured Elon Musk as a fragrance of the fictional ASK Body Spray. Tesla put up a screenshot of it on their blog and said, "You know you're famous when you get featured on the Simpsons." Apparently, the CEO is an even bigger deal now with this guest-starring gig.

Of course, The Simpsons has made at least two, great contributions to the automotive world - the Homer and the Canyonero. Our only hope is that Musk can somehow feature EV versions of them both in his episode.

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Mad Max Fury Road shows a new road warrior in its latest trailer

07/29/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Videos, Ford, Celebrities, TV/Movies

Mad Max Fury Road Trailer

Mad Max is finally returning to the big screen nearly 30 years after its last installment. The new, long-awaited Mad Max: Fury Road will bow in 2015. This doesn't appear to be just some cash-in, nostalgia-based reboot, either. George Miller wrote and directed the latest entry, just as he did all three previous movies in the series. The teaser trailer, released at San Diego Comic-Con, has hit the Web, and its dark view of the post-apocalypse looks, if anything, even more grim than the earlier ones.

Mel Gibson is no longer the titular hero, with Max now being played by Tom Hardy. Thankfully, the supercharged Pursuit Special still appears to play a role, though. Charlize Theron co-stars as a woman fighting against the horrors of the post-apocalypse, just like Max.

From the trailer, the latest installment seems to be playing up the sci-fi elements more than the previous films with modern, computer-generated special effects. Don't worry, though, there are still a good number of real-world shots on display with cars going up in fiery explosions and actually crashing. With a release not scheduled until next year, there's still time to catch up on the series, and it's well worth it for some of the best vehicular stunts ever put on film. Scroll down for an early preview of Mad Max: Fury Road.

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Hot Wheels reveals life-size Darth Vader car at Comic-Con [w/video]

07/23/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Coupes, Toys, Celebrities, Special/Limited Editions, Design/Style, TV/Movies

Hot Wheels Darth Vader Car

Hot Wheels Darth Vader Toy CarLet's face it; Darth Vader is a thousand times cooler than Luke Skywalker. The hero might get the girl, but in the case of Star Wars, it's his sister. Vader, though, controls the Death Star, two of them in fact. It turns out that the Sith Lord has a meaner car too, at least thanks to Hot Wheels.

With Star Wars a hotter property that the surface of Tatooine thanks to the new movie due in 2015, Hot Wheels has partnered with the brand to sell replica vehicles and playsets later this year. It's kicking off the new toy line with a life-size, fully operational, one-off Darth Vader Car at San Diego Comic-Con on July 23.

According to Hot Wheels to Autoblog via email, the Darth Vader Car "was designed in-house at Mattel" and built by Picture Car Warehouse. It uses a tuned LS3 V8 to send 526 horsepower to the rear wheels and has a backlit, side-exit exhaust system. The nose piece is made from carbon fiber, and it rides on a custom set of wheels from MHT. If you can't make it to San Diego to see the Vader, don't fret. "It will certainly be making appearances after Comic-Con for fans," said a company spokesperson.

The earlier image we saw of the car looked downright ugly, but the Sith's helmet made the transition into real life with a lot more menace. You could easily imagine the Vader as a very wicked-looking hotrod. The triple headlights and split windshield are especially nice touches.

If you happen to be at the con, you can even buy the 1:64 toy version of the car that comes in a case that looks like Vader's red lightsaber, plus a commemorative box, for $40.00. There will also be a limited number on sale after the show at Hot Wheels Collectors. Scroll down to watch the Vader Car in action with some very over-the-top dialogue and read the full announcement of the official vehicle of the dark side of the force.

Continue reading Hot Wheels reveals life-size Darth Vader car at Comic-Con [w/video]

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James Garner, celebrated actor and auto enthusiast, dies at age 86 [w/videos]

07/21/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, Videos, Celebrities, TV/Movies

GRAND PRIX (1966) JAMES GARNER GRPX 001 CP

James Garner, star of such Hollywood television and film classics as Maverick and The Rockford Files, has passed away at his home at the age of 86. Garner is believed to have died of natural causes.

While Garner is best known for his television and movie roles, he was also a certified car guy. After starring in Grand Prix in 1966, James Garner developed a taste for racing, later being part owner of the American International Racers team, which took part in Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring endurance racing events. Garner's outfit also took part in the Baja 500, finishing 7 out of 10 AMC SC/Ramblers and taking three out of the top five positions. Garner himself drove an Oldsmobile 442 in off-road competition in 1969 and 1970. Garner's love of racing extended to the Indy 500, where he drove the pace car in 1975, 1977 and 1985.

With such a certified pedigree for competition racing, it comes as little surprise that Garner's automotive obsessions carried over into this acting career, gaining particular notoriety in The Rockford Files, where the gold Pontiac Firebird Esprit Garner's character drove became something of a star in its own right. Anyone who has watched the series is surely familiar with the J-turn that Garner's character, Jim Rockford, employed for quick getaways. So engrained was this stunt, which Garner performed himself, in the show that it is commonly referred to as the Rockford Turn.

We've gathered together some auto-themed clips for which Garner is known. Scroll down to take a short trip down memory lane as we celebrate the life and career of James Garner.

Continue reading James Garner, celebrated actor and auto enthusiast, dies at age 86 [w/videos]

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A look back at the life of James Garner, celebrated actor and auto enthusiast [w/videos]

07/20/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, Videos, Celebrities, TV/Movies

GRAND PRIX (1966) JAMES GARNER GRPX 001 CP

James Garner, star of such Hollywood television and film classics as Maverick and The Rockford Files, has passed away at his home at the age of 86. Garner is believed to have died of natural causes.

While Garner is best known for his television and movie roles, he was also a certified car guy. After starring in Grand Prix in 1966, James Garner developed a taste for racing, later being part owner of the American International Racers team, which took part in Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring endurance racing events. Garner's outfit also took part in the Baja 500, finishing 7 out of 10 AMC SC/Ramblers and taking three out of the top five positions. Garner himself drove an Oldsmobile 442 in off-road competition in 1969 and 1970. Garner's love of racing extended to the Indy 500, where he drove the pace car in 1975, 1977 and 1985.

With such a certified pedigree for competition racing, it comes as little surprise that Garner's automotive obsessions carried over into this acting career, gaining particular notoriety in The Rockford Files, where the gold Pontiac Firebird Esprit Garner's character drove became something of a star in its own right. Anyone who has watched the series is surely familiar with the J-turn that Garner's character, Jim Rockford, employed for quick getaways. So engrained was this stunt, which Garner performed himself, in the show that it is commonly referred to as the Rockford Turn.

We've gathered together some auto-themed clips for which Garner is known. Scroll down to take a short trip down memory lane as we celebrate the life and career of James Garner.

Continue reading A look back at the life of James Garner, celebrated actor and auto enthusiast [w/videos]

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The best place to get your Top Gear fix online has been thwacked by lawyers

07/20/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Etc., Government/Legal, Tech, Celebrities, TV/Movies

Top Gear World Tour - Photocall

The website Final Gear is one of the premiere fan sites for Top Gear on the Internet. For over a decade, it has been providing followers of the show and its spinoffs with BitTorrent links for the episodes and gave people a place to discuss all things related. However, the site was hobbled on July 17 by a Digital Millennium Copyright Act Takedown notice that forced it to remove all of its links to the series.

In addition to publishing the notice in full, the site left this brief message to fans: "While FinalGear.com does not host any torrents or copyright infringing material, we have had to disable all episode links due to a DMCA Take-Down covering every Top Gear (and spin offs) episode." The letter indicated that it came from BBC Worldwide Consumer Products, and it specifically requested that Final Gear remove all of its links to Top Gear, Top Gear Australia and Top Gear America. While not mentioned, the site removed BitTorrent connections to Fifth Gear, as well. Otherwise, everything else, including the episode summaries and forum, are still up and running, as of this writing.

According to Final Gear, the site originally launched in October 2003 and did host the actual downloads at the time. In March 2004, it was redesigned and began using the torrents. Autoblog has reached out to the site for more information on what it plans to do going forward. We'll update this story, if we hear back.

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What you missed on 7.15.14

07/16/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Hybrids/Alternative, Sports/GTs, Hatchbacks, Audi, Ford, Electric, TV/Movies

Daily U-Turn

Top GearTop Gear's 10 most offensive mistakes

The boys at Top Gear UK have a habit of making some big mistakes that offend large groups of people. The show's presenters - mainly, Jeremy Clarkson - have been under fire due to supposedly mumbled racial slurs, staged scenes, generally inappropriate commentary on social media platforms, and more. Here, we list ten of the hosts' biggest blunders.

Audi A3 E-Tron Second Drive: 2015 Audi A3 E-Tron

Despite already taking a quick spin in Audi's electrified A3 Sportback, we never really got a proper feel for the car - until now. AutoblogGreen editor Sebastian Blanco spent some time with the A3 E-Tron over in Europe, dissecting all there is to know about Audi's (supposedly) no-compromise plug-in hybrid vehicle. Read his discussions about what's good and what's bad in our followup review.

Ford Mustang SVTFord Mustang SVT spy shots

We're chomping at the bit to get some time behind the wheel of the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang. But to pique our interest even further, our spy photographers have just caught the hotter, SVT-tuned 'Stang running around Germany's Nürburgring with much of its camouflage removed. Check out the next, super-hot Mustang in our latest gallery of spy shots, here.

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The 10 most offensive mistakes that got Top Gear in trouble [w/videos]

07/16/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Etc., Videos, Celebrities, TV/Movies

Presenter Jeremy Clarkson Filming Scenes In China For Top Gear

Clarkson is so recognizable a figure, anything and everything he says or does reflects on Top Gear, whether good or bad.

We happen to fancy ourselves as pretty good at taking a joke. In this day and age of political correctness and walking on eggshells so as not to offend anybody, it's almost refreshing to hear some funny words directed at the various factions of the world in which we live. With so much diversity on our lovely planet, on the other hand, you can bet that somebody, somewhere, is going to take offense with pretty much any opinion you might hold. For some, being offensive is just a fact of life.

Few, though, have the knack for offending down to a science like the boys from Top Gear, and that's particularly true of the show's most visible and vocal figure, Jeremy Clarkson. Some of Clarkson's distasteful language has come from the television show, while some was penned in his regular column in the newspaper. No matter where he's been published, Clarkson is so recognizable a figure that anything and everything he says or does reflects on Top Gear as a whole, whether good or bad.

The most recent snafu that landed Top Gear in the wrong end of the news, in which they staged a crash in Peugeots at the exact location where a young woman lost her life in her own personal Peugeot, was described by a local politician as "reckless and insensitive." TG, for its part, maintains it had no foreknowledge of the fatal accident, but either way, that incident is just the tip of the offensive iceberg, so to speak.

Scroll down below to sort through the ten most offensive mistakes that have landed Top Gear in trouble.

Continue reading The 10 most offensive mistakes that got Top Gear in trouble [w/videos]

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