Ride of the Week… What is the Best Character in Movies?

Here in Malibu, we are inundated with cars and movies.

On virtually every corner of this town, we can name a film that was shot there, a memorable scene or a moment in Hollywood history. It’s an amazing place.

And although you may not know it, Hollywood has been successful for one simple reason: it shows us the hero’s journey.

Now, not all of the journeys have been successfully portrayed, but most are and it is enough to keep Tinseltown going. It’s kind of like a surfer chasing that perfect wave. They may run across a few less-than perfect ones, but it’s not about those. It’s about the Holy Grail of waves — the one which makes you feel alive.

Hollywood works in this way, and many films have been very successful in doing this. And to my delight, they’ve used cars not only in the films, but as the actual hero as well.

Here, you will see a shot I took of the “Back to the Future” DeLorean from the third film. And although it’s the story of Marty McFly and his journey, it’s also the story of the DeLorean and how it became Marty’s trusty steed, never failing him (although, it didn’t start a few times).

Cars in film have been a staple since the beginning. In fact, the first actual movie car appeared in a Laurel and Hardy film. It got squished like an accordion and had to be built that way. But car people gravitate to certain brands, types and scenes.

If you’re a muscle car aficionado, then you’ll be interested in seeing a movie with muscle cars. It’s pretty simple really.

But there’s a more complex action going on here. If you reverse engineer a few Hollywood success stories, you’ll see why they’ve been successful. And you’ll notice that virtually every Hollywood property that has been long running has had cars in droves.

Let’s take a look.

Example No. 1 is James Bond. Jimmy’s movies have virtually all been successful, which is why this year will launch his 25th film. And the reason is that there are consistent compartmentalized components. Jimmy never changes and always falls within what he naturally would do.

And he wouldn’t wear a cowboy hat. But the key integral components of the films never change. Jimmy himself, exotic locations, gadgets, girls and cars.

Example No. 2 is Fast and Furious. Although virtually the same, cars are the main ingredient here. Everything else comes secondary.

Example No. 3 is Star Wars. OK, now you sitting there and saying “Wait, there’s no cars in those films, Fireball!” To which I would respond, “Hold on a tick, lil’ compadre!” George Lucas is a huge car guy and has filled his films with automotive reference.

Case in point is Luke’s Landspeeder and many other automotive design languages. Even the new upcoming Solo movie has a Landspeeder car chase. So there.

Example No. 4 is Back to the Future, and actually many others. My point is, the hero’s journey is a person facing insurmountable odds to overcome and prevail. And it’s clear to Hollywood that he or she needs a cool car to do that.

And who am I to argue?

Batman, Jurassic Park and Marvel films all incorporate vehicles of some sort. And as a result, butts land in the chairs in droves. Films have even been done without actors at all and just cars.

It makes one wonder. What films could have been more successful had they added some kind of vehicular contraption? Hollywood, are you listening?

I may not be a lot of things, but what I am is the King of Car Culture. And I say that humbly, because, as such, it’s my job to share the stories of those who love cars. And filmmakers better listen up, because if adding a cool car into your flick is that powerful, then I’ll help you put the butts in the chairs, including my own.

Want to be featured in Ride of the Week? Send Fireball an email at askfireball@fireballtim.com.

MOVIE CAR Saturday brings the Deathmobile… But where is it now?

Where is this car now? Anyone’s guess and last seen at The Volo Museum in Chicago, but no one should kill a Classic Lincoln like this, unless your were Belushi.

Don’t miss the clip below…

On Tomorrow’s Vlog… The Beverly Hillbillies Truck UNCOVERED!

Yes, we discovered the whereabouts of the BEVERLY HILLBILLIES Truck! And it’s on tomorrow’s Vlog, so SUBSCRIBE!

Unbelievable unused BLADE RUNNER 2049 Spinner Concept Designs…

Although the film didn’t do so well at the Box Office, as I always say “The Movie May Stink, but the Cars are Always Cool.” And these Spinners certainly are cool. Maybe if they used more, the film would have done better? What do YOU think?

Fireball Design TUESDAY… Ben Affleck’s BENALI

I designed the interior of this Denali (Dubbed the “Benali”) for Picture Car Warehouse and Actor Ben Affleck. Basically, a roving dailies station and driving theater for Ben and his kids while on set. Very cool.

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE GEORGE BARRIS BATMOBILE? – FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG 675

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE GEORGE BARRIS BATMOBILE? – FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG 675 – Fireball mishmashes an episode today, resulting in something happening to the BATMOBILE & MUNSTER KOACH! WATCH BELOW!

The Batmobile is the fictional car driven by the superhero Batman in American comic books published by DC Comics.

The Batmobile made its first appearance in Detective Comics #27 (May, 1939).

Housed in the Batcave, which the Batmobile accesses through a hidden entrance, the heavily armored, weaponized vehicle is used by Batman in his crime-fighting activities.

The look of the Batmobile has varied over time, but since its earliest appearances, the car has had a prominent bat motif, typically including distinctive wing-shaped tailfins.

Depictions of the vehicle have evolved along with the character, with each incarnation reflecting evolving car technologies. It has been portrayed as having many uses, such as vehicular hot pursuit, prisoner transportation, anti-tank warfare, riot control, and as a mobile crime lab.

In some depictions, the Batmobile is able to be driven unmanned or remotely operated. The car has appeared in every Batman iteration—from comic books and television to films and video games—and has since become part of pop culture.

The Munsters is an American sitcom depicting the home life of a family of benign monsters starring Fred Gwynne as Frankenstein’s monster-type head-of-the-household Herman Munster, Yvonne De Carlo as his wife, Lily Munster, Al Lewis as Grandpa and Beverly Owen (later re-placed by Pat Priest) as their teenage niece, and Butch Patrick as son Eddie Munster.

The series was a satire of both traditional monster movies and the wholesome family fare of the era, and was produced by the creators of Leave It to Beaver.

It ran concurrently with the similarly macabre themed The Addams Family and achieved higher figures in the Nielsen ratings.

The series originally aired on Thursday at 7:30 pm on CBS from September 24, 1964, to May 12, 1966; 70 episodes were produced.

George Barris (born George Salapatas; November 20, 1925 – November 5, 2015) was an American designer and builder of many famous Hollywood custom cars, most notably the Munster Koach and 1966 Batmobile.

EXTRA! Batmobile and Munster Koach to arrive at THE MURPHY MUSEUM!

This just in, guys! After this Sunday’s WHEELS AND WAVES, a group of us (and anyone who wants to join in) will be leaving Malibu right at 9am and heading to Oxnard’s MURPHY AUTO MUSEUM. On display starting Friday will be George Barris’ original 1966 BATMOBILE and MUNSTER KOACH!

I will be up there on Friday and Saturday as well (Press Release at the bottom of this post), but anyone coming to WHEELS AND WAVES this Sunday September 17th, I want you to caravan with us up to the Murphy to see these cars in person!

I was very fortunate to interview my good friend George before he passed on and you can also watch the episode below, but if you haven’t seen these cars, now’s your chance. JOIN US!

*** MEDIA ALERT — Exclusive preview day!

Murphy Auto Museum rolls out red carpet for two Hollywood star cars, original 1966 Batmobile and Munster Koach, Sept. 15

(OXNARD, Calif.) – Two legendary Hollywood movie and television cars built by the late George Barris, “King of the Kustomizers,” will arrive at the Murphy Auto Museum at approximately 11:00 am on Sept. 15 for an exclusive media preview ahead of weekend events.

The cars, both cultural icons with fame that spans multiple generations, will be accompanied by Barris’ daughter, Joji A. Barris-Paster. They will remain on display inside the museum to kick off a weekend of festivities and fun for fans and the entire family.

Media is encouraged to attend for interviews, videography, news segments and photo opportunities.

WHEN:           Friday, Sept. 15

TIME:             10:00 am for media arrivals; cars scheduled to arrive approx. 11:00 a.m.  

WHERE:         Murphy Auto Museum, 2230 Statham Blvd., Oxnard

WHAT:            The original 1966 Batmobile Car No. 1, and original Munster Koach built by George Barris Kustoms

WHO:              David Need, museum owner, and Joji Barris, daughter of the late George Barris

CONTACT:      David cell: 805-895-4005; museum main line: 805-487-4333

INFO:               www.murphyautomuseum.org and www.barris.com

EVENTS:

Friday, September 15 – Media Day

11:00 am – The Batmobile and Munster Koach arrive by hauler to the museum

Local media invited to interview David Neel and Joji Barris, roll video, and take photos

Saturday, September 16 – Fan and Family Day

10:00 – 12:00 – Fans and families are invited to bring their children to see the cars and have their picture taken. Superhero attire encouraged! Kids under 12 and active military are always admitted free of charge. Adults are $10.

Sunday, September 17

8:00 – 10:00 a.m. Cars and coffee enthusiast gathering in the parking lot – one day only. Participants with a car on display are admitted free admission into the museum to check out the two Barris cars.

Saturday, Oct. 21

Memorial Car Rally Honoring George Barris will benefit local after school student program, Drag Racing Against Gangs and Graffiti (DRAGG) through the Oxnard Police Department. Registration open to 50 cars only for a full day event and after-party at the museum. More information is available at http://www.murphyautomuseum.org/public-events.html#barrisrally2017 

About the Murphy Auto Museum

The Murphy Auto Museum was founded in 2000 and encompasses 30,000-sq.-ft. museum with more than 90 classic cars, a large collection of Americana, and a permanent 1,800-sq.-ft. model H/O railroad. Parking is complimentary. A nonprofit organization, it is owned and operated by Ventura County business owner and car enthusiast David Neel.

The Mission of the Murphy Auto Museum is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret the history and heritage of the American automobile. We celebrate the automobile and educate the community, students and enthusiasts regarding the role of the automobile in the Tri-County area.

It is at 2230 Statham Blvd., Oxnard. For more information, call 805-487-4333 or visit www.murphyautomuseum.org.

Watch! CARS 3 TRAILER hits like NASCAR rubber…

One last chance…. One more dream….

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician,

Cruz Ramirez, with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

Cars 3 is an upcoming American 3D computer-animated sports comedy-drama film. It is the eighteenth film produced by Pixar and will be released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the third installment in the Cars franchise and the sequel to Cars 2 (2011). It is being directed by Brian Fee, a storyboard artist on Cars (2006) and Cars 2. The film is scheduled to be released on June 16, 2017.

After being trounced in many races by hightech racer Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), many begin to wonder if the famous Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) will retire from racing after he endures a terrible crash. With help from race technician Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) and some other friends, he begins training to attempt a comeback in the Florida 500.

MOVIE CAR of the Week… XXX

Some cool XXX info from Wiki…

XXX is an American action film series created by Rich Wilkes. The series stars Vin Diesel and Ice Cube and consists of three films: xXx (2002), xXx: State of the Union (2005) and xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017). The series has grossed $656 million worldwide.

xXx (2002)

The film was released on August 9, 2002, which stars Vin Diesel as Xander Cage, a thrill seeking extreme sports enthusiast, stuntman and rebellious athlete-turned-reluctant spy for the National Security Agency who is sent on a dangerous mission to infiltrate a group of potential Russian terrorists in Central Europe. The film also stars Asia Argento, Marton Csokas and Samuel L. Jackson. Rob Cohen previously directed The Fast and the Furious (2001), in which Diesel also starred.

xXx: State of the Union (2005)

The film was released on April 29, 2005, which stars Ice Cube as Darius Stone, a new agent in the Triple X program, who is sent to Washington, DC to defuse a power struggle amongst national leaders.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017)

The film was released on January 20, 2017, sees the return of Diesel as Xander Cage who comes out of self-imposed exile, thought to be long dead, and is set on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior and his team in a race to recover a sinister and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box. Recruiting an all-new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments.

Future

In a interview with Variety, Diesel revealed that Paramount has already contacted him about returning for a fourth film, even going so far as asking him if he and other cast members would be willing to get to work sometime in May.

BATMOBILE from Justice League REVEALED!!

Only 1 quick image from director Zak Snyder, but the new Batmobile will be an enhanced version of the BVSS Batmobile according to Production Designer Patrick Tatopoulis. More Guns, More Bombs, More Badass. This one’s gonna hurt some.