Got the Blus: Cars 3 Star Armie Hammer
Cars 3 releases on Blu-ray today. The third entry returns Lightning McQueen to his stock car roots for those Cars fans who thought the series' international adventure was unrealistic. In case one would forget these are the adventures of talking cars, the latest film has Lightning McQueen grappling with change and aging. There's also a lot of Rocky IV vibes.
As the film opens we are reintroduced to racer Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) at the top of his game in the race world. Two races into the season a rookie named Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) dominates the field using modern technology and statics to train. After an accident, Lightning McQueen gets a new sponsor (Nathan Fillion) and a trainer named Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) to try to get an edge in the field.
After pretty much failing to adapt to modern technology, Lightning goes in search of other ways to get his speed up. The Crazy 8 demolition derby scene delivers the film's most memorable cast member, Miss Fritter (Lea Delaria). Luckily for us, the blu-ray release of the film gives the delightfully demented demolisher her own mini movie: Miss Fritter's Racing Skoool. In addition to that short, the disc includes the theatrical short Lou, behind the scenes features on new character Cruz Ramirez, The Crazy 8 sequence and its enormous complexity, and a featurette about the generational themes of the film.
We got lapped into an interview with one of the stars of the film, Armie Hammer. Armie's character of Jackson Storm is essentially the Drago of the series, but Hammer is quick to say he has no intention of breaking anyone. Hammer says of playing the character, "I’m definitely in there when it comes to the voice of Jackson Storm, but he isn’t the nicest of characters. He is a bit of a jerk, but I am not a jerk. That’s something in the character we kept pushing during the recording sessions, but I’m not like that at all. It feels really great to be part of the Cars franchise. Not only is it a fun franchise, but it’s a franchise that I truly love. I remember when the first Cars movie came out. I loved the sense of nostalgia you felt when you watched the story unfold, and the fun road trip aspect to the movie."
Spoiler Warning: In Cars 3, the twist has Lightning seeing racing talent in his trainer and becoming her mentor. When asked about who his mentors are, he leans into his career and also manages to name drop that he's worked with some big name directors. "Every time I’ve worked on a movie," the actor says, "I’ve viewed my relationship with the director as the mentor of the project. Whether it’s David Fincher, Guy Ritchie or Clint Eastwood, they are in charge. They are the boss. I’m probably a very annoying person to have on set because I’m always asking questions like, “Why are you doing it like that? Why are you using that lens? Why that light?” I love the idea that everybody knows at least one thing that you don’t. Everybody can be your mentor in one way or another."
Though he acknowledges the process for a Pixar film is much different. Armie stated, "It’s a totally different world when you compare the way Pixar and Disney animated movies are made versus live-action movies. Pixar worked on Cars 3 for years and years and years. The amount of time and effort that’s gone into this movie is incredible. I’m very proud to be part of something so great."
As more and more fans turn to streaming, Hammer also took a moment to talk about the joys of Blu-ray and home entertainment. "You’re talking to a father of two here. Trust me, I’m way deep into deleted scenes and all the bonus features that come along with the in-home release. I love all the ‘making of’ extras. I love all that stuff. When a movie is done as well as this, you get so lost in the immersive experience that you often forget how it’s made. That’s what I love about the bonus features; the fact that you can delve into the making of the movie. I think it impresses people when you go back and show them the amount of work that actually went into the making of Cars 3. I also think it inspires them. It’s fun to get a behind-the-scenes look at something they truly enjoyed."
Cars 3 is available on Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD & Blu-ray with Target having a very cool exclusive steelbook.